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Performing Arts - Extended National Certificate BTEC Level 3 at The Sixth Form College Farnborough

Course description

The BTEC Level 3 Certificate/Subsidiary Diploma in Performing Arts is an exciting, vocationally based course designed to equip students with the knowledge, understanding and skills required for success in current and future employment in the dance and performing arts industry.

Alternatively it can be used for progression to higher national diplomas or degrees in dance and performing arts.

You will be encouraged to attend professional performances and apply the working methods and approaches used by professionals within the industry in your own work. Its highly practical nature allows for a broad and advanced exploration of a number of key, performance-based skills.

You will be fully involved in each lesson developing your technical performance skills through physical and vocal training.   Analytical observations of professional works, choreography and devising. Contextual research and exploration, group performance, rehearsals and performances.

Course content

You will study four units over the two year course where you will train, develop and improve the tools of the trade; the body, the voice and the creative skills in order to interpret performance material to communicate and entertain an audience. 

In addition to this, the course will also focus on broadening your understanding of the contextual factors within the work of performing arts practitioners through investigation projects.

There are 3 mandatory units and 1 unit chosen by your specialist tutor.

Unit 1: Investigating Practitioners Work

In this unit, you will investigate the works of professional practitioners develop skills to identify the contextual factors that influence their work and critically analyse key information such as creative intentions, performance and production. Assessment- Written Investigation

Unit 2: Developing Skills and Techniques for Live Performance              

You will participate in regular workshops, classes and exercises where you will acquire, practice and develop the necessary technical, practical and interpretative performance skills to help you succeed when performing live to an audience. Assessment - Performances and Process Log

Unit 3: Group Performance

In groups you will develop devising skills in order to respond to a given stimulus to create and perform original performance material. The work may be in a single discipline or combine elements of dance, acting and musical theatre. Assessment - Group Performance and Digital Progress Log

Entry requirements

  • You should have at least 5 GCSE grades at C or above with at least one of these in English Language or English Literature because of the written, portfolio nature of the assessment.
  • If you have previous experience or have followed a GCSE course in Drama, Dance or the Expressive Arts, this could be to your advantage but it is not essential.
  • More than this you should enjoy working individually and in groups; whilst a commitment to rehearsal both individually and as part of a small group will be required.
  • Rehearsing outside the normal college hours will be a feature of the course from time to time.


There is no written examination, however there is project –based write-ups which will be under controlled conditions and further assessment is through portfolios, observed practical, rehearsal work and performances. 

Portfolios will typically consist of working diaries, research material, photographs, video recordings of rehearsals and evaluative reflections on skills.

Future opportunities

The Extended Certificate will prepare you with the knowledge and skills for a successful performing career. Upon completion, students have progressed onto a number of opportunities with this qualification.

Mostly, students audition for established Performing Arts Schools such as GSA and Laines and also further education such as universities. Whilst others may progress onto teacher training and relevant employment such as cruise ship entertainers.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact The Sixth Form College Farnborough directly.

Last updated date: 16 March 2016

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