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Performing Arts BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma at Stafford College

Course description

This course prepares students for HND or Degree level courses in the Performing Arts. (At Stafford College we offer an HND in Performing Arts).  The programme is contemporary in nature and students will explore more experimental types of performance alongside more traditional practices.  Our students go on to become contemporary performers in dance, music and drama-based industries in addition to technical and directorial work.  This course is of value to people who are broadly interested in communication based industries, from television to journalism.


The course is made up of 18 separate units of study which are delivered and assessed through performance projects.  Some units are mandatory but learners are usually given options in their second year of study.

Course content

Core Units

  • Performance Workshop
  • Performing Arts Business
  • Historical Context of Performance
  • Rehearsing for Performance                                              
  • Performing to an Audience


Year One Units

  • Principles of Acting
  • Drama Improvisation
  • Choreographic Principles
  • Developing Contemporary Dance
  • Developing Physical Theatre
  • Singing Skills for Actors and Dancers 


Year Two Drama Units

  • Radio Acting
  • Film and TV Acting
  • Approaches to Directing Theatre
  • Performing with Masks
  • Storytelling
  • Singing Technique in Performance


Year Two Dance Units

  • Musical Theatre Performance
  • Choreographing Dances
  • Applying Physical Theatre
  • Jazz Dance
  • Applying Contemporary Dance Technique


English & Maths

We are committed to helping students improve their skills in English and maths. Students on a full-time course at College who missed out on GCSE qualifications at grades A-C in these subjects at school will attend additional classes and receive support to enhance their grades. Depending on individual ability, students will work towards GCSE, City & Guilds or Functional Skills awards to ensure that they have the qualifications needed to progress to university or employment. To take catch-up classes to ensure you have the qualifications you need to progress onto university or into the workplace.  

Entry requirements

  • Four GCSE passes at A, B or C; English preferred
  • BTEC Level 2 Diploma or equivalent
  • A Certificate of Achievement from a BTEC 14-16 preparatory programme with appropriate profile


The course may be appropriate for mature students without standard entry requirements if they have relevant experience or a high level of skill in the subject – please enquire.


All applicants will be given an interview and may be asked to audition.


All practical work for this programme is formally marked during live performance to an audience.  As a result, the department produces three major productions each year, which take place in Tenterbanks and The Gatehouse Theatres.  Students will also be set written assignments for each unit studied and these will be marked by staff and returned with detailed feedback to aid and develop learning.

Financial information

If you require any advice on financial /travel support towards your education, please contact Student Services on 01785 275512 and ask for Carole Moore, or by email:

Future opportunities

BTEC Level 3 Extended Diplomas are valued by employers and higher education (universities and colleges). If you decide to go to university or college you could take an honours degree or a Foundation Degree in Performing Arts.

Further information

If you would like any more information about the college or our courses, you can write, visit, or telephone Student Services on 01785 275468.  Our e-mail address is:  If you are unsure about which course to take, we can arrange for you to talk to our guidance advisors.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Stafford College directly.

Last updated date: 20 May 2014
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