What is this subject about?

BTEC Performing Arts is a nationally recognised vocational subject. The subject provides the opportunity to develop skills in the performing arts which are relevant to the industry. Units in the different art forms are offered to cover the students’ range of abilities in the three disciplines of dance, drama and music. Each student will have different skill levels in the different art forms and the course will help the student develop their skills. This is a two year course equivalent to one full A Level with equivalent UCAS points value.

What will I study in the first year?

You will take units covering dance, drama and singing in preparation for a performance to an audience at the end of the year where you will be able to choose what you want to perform from the three art forms. In other words, you can choose two of the art forms rather than three. You will take units throughout the year in ‘Singing for Actors’ and ‘Dancers’, ‘Performing to an Audience’ and ‘Physical Theatre’.

What will I study in the second year?

Students can develop their skills further by taking different units such as: ‘Contemporary Drama for Performance’ where we will look at new playwrights such as Mark Ravenhill, Bryony Lavery and Simon Stephens. You will perform sections of these plays as well as study the practitioners’ techniques.

In ‘Musical Theatre’ you will learn songs, dances and drama scenes for performance as well as looking at the genre as a whole. You will look at musicals such as Hairspray, Once, Matilda and Wicked.

There will be an option to develop your dance skills through learning about choreography and producing your own dance numbers for performance. Options also include:

• Audio performance – Acting

• Auditions for Actors

• Movement Skills

What skills will I need and develop in this course?

You will need some experience in two of the art forms, a willingness to try new styles and forms and a desire to work with others. You will develop a range of performance, writing and devising skills. You will also develop self-confidence and presentation skills.

How is the course assessed?

The course is assessed throughout the year, unit by unit. You will be assessed on log books, short written tasks and performance.


What can the course lead to in terms of higher education and future careers?

Typical future careers might be performer, critic, therapist, art administrator, arts funder, Performing Arts coordinator. Higher education might include degrees in the separate art forms i.e. dance, drama, music, musical theatre or in combination with other subjects e.g. English or Art.

Entry Requirements

What are the formal entry requirements for this course?

Aside from the general entry criteria that the College requires, you will also need a grade 4 in English Language GCSE and some experience of two of the art forms whether through GCSE or other lessons/ grade exams out of school – by negotiation with the Head of Department.

Extra Support

​What extra support/enrichment activities are on offer?

Professional companies come to college to perform and do workshops with the students e.g. the Reform Theatre Company from Sheffield. Trips have included West Side Story, Barnum, Once, Mathilda, Onegin at the Royal Opera House, Lord of the Flies (Matthew Bourne) at Sadler’s Wells, The Believers at the Tricycle Theatre, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Light Princess and Richard Alston at GLive.

Subject combination advice

​Subject combination advice:

BTEC Performing Arts is an asset for any subject combination. Some students who study Performing Arts might do English, Fashion, Photography, Art, Media Studies, Film Studies and History. Other students choose to study Performing Arts as a contrasting subject and might be studying Mathematics, Sciences or humanities subjects such as Geography.

What is the difference between Drama & Theatre Studies and BTEC Performing Arts?

BTEC Performing Arts focuses on rehearsal and performance in order to train students for entry to Higher Education Level on a course which is aimed at a career in the industry. It has internal assessment and no final written examinations. You will be assessed through performance, assessment tasks and written logs. We study modern texts and pieces and encourage group work where possible although there is the opportunity to do solo work for those who wish to. The emphasis is always on performance.