BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Performing Arts

Course Leader:

Mrs H Whitmore –

Exam board: Pearson Edexcel
Guidance: Five GCSEs at grade 4 or above, ideally including a 5 or above in English language or literature; this will be reviewed on a case by case basis. Some previous performance experience in or outside of school, commitment and good attendance.
Course Start Date: 09/2024
Course length: 2 Years
Course description:

The course has been developed to give learners the opportunity to gain a vocational qualification in the performing arts sector. This is a course that will suit those who enjoy the performing arts, are committed to developing as a performer and who want to be assessed in a practical context. You will give two full scale performances each year and will have the opportunity to work with excellent facilities and resources.

You would enjoy this course if you:

  • love acting and are comfortable performing Musical Theatre
  • enjoy working as part of a team
  • are interested in learning more about theatre styles and practitioners
  • are organised and good at meeting deadlines throughout the course
  • prefer ongoing assessment rather than one final examination
Course units:

Unit 1: Investigating Practitioners’ Work (25%)
The practical and critical study of a range of practitioners. Students then select two to analyse in the context of a theme given by the exam board.
Unit 2: Developing Skills and Techniques for Live Performance (25%)
Students undertake practical workshops in acting and musical theatre reviewing their skills development over time through written logbooks. They also participate in two performances of existing work in contrasting styles.
Unit 3: Group Performance Workshop (30%)
Group performance in response to a stimulus given by the exam board.
+ one additional unit (20%): This unit will be selected from a range of options to suit the needs of the class.


One extended essay in exam conditions over three hours. Internally assessed performances, logbooks, presentations and a written report. One externally assessed devised performance accompanied by a four part process log completed in exam conditions.

What can I do with this qualification?

The course helps you to develop a range of important transferable skills including creativity, teamwork, leadership and self-evaluation skills which are useful in almost any future career. Many of our students go on to further study of performing arts in a higher education context or career paths in the performing arts industry. BTEC performing arts also lends itself well to careers in law, teaching, hospitality and leisure, drama therapy, broadcasting, sales, PR, marketing, HR and arts administration. It combines well with subjects such as English language and literature, media, art, film studies and music.

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