St John Plessington Catholic College

About the Course:

This course is a BTEC National Award, equivalent to A Level. Spread over two years, the Performing Arts course covers a wide spectrum of performance based activities in order for learners to experience every aspect of drama and theatre. Learners will develop the technical and interpretative skills necessary to work in many areas of the performing arts. Learners will explore the means and processes of characterisation, interpret texts, develop material for performance through rehearsal and take part in performances of  rehearsed material. Although the emphasis is on practical work to develop and expand vocal skills, improvisation and technical understanding, the course does contain elements of theory and written work which is collated throughout the course in a portfolio of evidence.


Assessment is carried out over the two years of the course through practical drama sessions, written projects, presentations, essays and performances.
You will have the opportunity to discuss possibilities for pathways through 2 Core Units plus 3 Specialist Units. These include:

Unit 7 Performing to an Audience:

This unit gives the learner the opportunity to undertake, prepare and perform a role as part of a performing arts company presenting  work to an audience. It can therefore be seen as the ‘icing on the cake’, the culmination of work carried out in training and skills  development in the respective performance disciplines.

Unit 19 Principles of Acting:

In this unit the learner will study key principles of acting using a range of techniques. Learners will explore these principles both theoretically and practically and use their skills and techniques to develop characterisation and rehearse material for performance.

Unit 9 Devising Plays: This unit provides opportunities for learners to learn about all aspects of producing a piece of Drama. Learners will select a topic of interest and devise a play for live performance. During the rehearsal process learners will direct, perform and create sets/costumes for their final performance work.

Unit 14 Musical Theatre Performance:

Learners will rehearse and perform a role within a musical theatre performance in order to gain the experience of combining acting,  singing and dancing abilities and skills.

Unit 10 Theatre In Education:

This unit gives learners opportunities to work as a Theatre Company and tour a piece of work within school or in the local and wider  community. The unit involves learners liaising with professional T.I.E companies and writing a script for live performance.

Assignments must be completed for each unit, within set deadlines. On completing this Award pupils will be awarded either a Pass,  Merit or Distinction grade.  All units must be completed for the final award.

Is there anything else I need to know?

The course combines particularly well with other arts-related qualifications such as Music, Media, Art and Textiles.

Progression Routes:

BTEC National Awards are highly prized by employers and Universities alike. The Performing Arts course is excellent preparation for the further study of Acting at Drama School or University, as well as for a wide range of other related areas within the Theatre industry.

Student quote

“Having already taken and enjoyed Drama in year 11 I looked forward to continuing my studies in the subject at a higher standard.  I hope to work in the field of dentistry and the skills I will acquire in the course will help me deal confidently with the public I will come into contact with”.

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