St John Plessington Catholic College

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BTEC - Level 3

This course is a BTEC Level 3 Extended Certificate in Performing Arts, equivalent to one A Level.

Spread over two years, the Performing Arts course covers a wide spectrum of performance based units in order
for learners to experience every medium 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 as well as participating in performances of rehearsed material. Although the emphasis is on practical work, the course does contain elements of both theory and written work.


Assessment is carried out over the two years of the course through practical drama sessions, written projects, presentations, essays and performances. There are two externally assessed units as part of the course. You will have the opportunity to discuss possibilities for pathways through two core units plus two Specialist Units.

Units to be Completed:

Unit 1: Investigating Practitioner’s work.

This is an externally assessed unit. Learners investigate the work of performing arts practitioners and develop critical analysis skills and contextual understanding of how practitioners communicate themes in their work. In this unit, you will develop skills that allow you to investigate the work of influential performing arts practitioners. Additionally, you will draw on your learning from across your programme to complete assessment tasks.

Unit 2: Developing Skills and Techniques for Live

Performance. Learners will explore technical performance skills with a focus on developing techniques in at least two performances. This unit serves as an induction into the performing arts where you will develop the appropriate skills and techniques in one or more of the performance disciplines of acting, dance, musical theatre, physical theatre and variety/popular entertainment.

Unit 3: Group Workshop Performance.

This is the second externally assessed unit of the BTEC course. Learners explore and integrate creative, physical and vocal skills and techniques, working collaboratively to create a performance in response to a given stimulus. In this unit, you will learn how to respond to a given stimulus as part of a group, using research, discussion and practical exploration to develop performance material and later present an informal presentation of the work to an invited audience.

Unit 19: Acting Skills. Learners develop acting methods by exploring different acting styles.
This unit will introduce you to the basic differences of a range of styles of theatre and the approaches of theatre practitioners. You will take part in workshops that explore acting styles, techniques and practices used by different theatre practitioners in their work. This will enable you to create character, interpret lines and develop your vocal and physical skills while rehearsing and performing a text or devising original work.

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 and passed in order to achieve the final award.

Progression Routes

The Performing Arts course is an excellent preparation for the further study of Drama or Acting at Drama School or university, as well as for a wide range of other related areas within the Theatre Industry. Further employment opportunities include teaching, acting, theatre, drama therapy and the media.