Performing Arts

Qualification: UAL Extended Diploma
Level 3

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About this course

If your ambition is to work in the performance industry then this is the professional training programme for you. This course is designed to make the transition to drama schools as seamless as possible by offering you the range of professional training skills you will require.

This two year course has led many of our students to progress to London or overseas drama schools and universities and then into work as professionals in the performance industry. It is equivalent to 3 A-Levels and successful completion will provide you with the same UCAS points to enter drama schools and universities.

You will be taught by tutors who have extensive industry experience in a wide variety of theatre, TV, film, voice-over acting, stage combat and dance roles. Our tutors also continue to practice in the industry, which enables them to provide you with valuable links for work experience and progression opportunities.

This course is very rewarding if you are prepared to rise to the challenge and have the desire to be trained as a professional actor. It is highly practical and will provide you with a range of performance opportunities, projects and events.

On completion of this course you will have built a comprehensive portfolio of work application material and will have trained professionally in an extensive range of styles in the performing arts.

Full-time students aged 16-18 will follow a study programme at City College which includes:

  • The main subject qualification
  • Work experience which is effective, relevant, and includes careers fairs, site visits, guest speakers and introduces you to the expectations of the real demands of work
  • English and maths, where students have not yet achieved a GCSE grade A*-C/9-4 in these subjects by age 16
  • Additional activities, such as tutorials and work-related learning, to help further develop the personal skills relevant to your progression goals

These four elements should combine to provide stretch and challenge to prepare you for progression to employment or further study.

Earn up to 168 UCAS points#

#168 UCAS points based on Distinction grades

Take a look at our Centre for Contemporary Arts Guide

    Performing Arts

What you will learn

Over the two years you will perform in a variety of productions including the annual pantomime, a contemporary arts showcase and final major production. You will also have the opportunity to discover yourself as a performer by participating in a number of other smaller training productions.

This course also provides you with a number of training opportunities in the industry as well as the chance to interact with a variety of guest lecturers and industry professionals. 

Year 1

  • Exploring the principles of live performance
  • How to engage with an audience
  • Performance skills development and professional practice
  • Exploring the work of practitioners
  • Working to a directors brief
  • Audio voice acting
  • Contemporary dance
  • Movement (stage combat)
  • Final major production

Year 2

  • The business of performing arts
  • The historical context of performance
  • Vocal training for the actor
  • Performance and production skills
  • Professional training and drama school preparation
  • Advanced practitioner studies
  • Perform to an audience in a variety of productions
  • Final major production

If you successfully complete the first year of study you will gain a level 3 Diploma qualification. In order to progress to the second year, you will need to pass the first year of study.

Learning style

You will train in our professional state-of-the-art hub theatre and learn practical and theoretical aspects of performance techniques, theatre practitioners and acting styles. Classes are designed to lead you and your fellow actors to demonstrate your skills in live performances within the hub theatre.

  • Professional 240 seat state-of-the-art theatre that can be adapted in size based on performances
  • Rehearsal and dance studios complete with bars and mirrors
  • Recording studio for voice acting
  • State-of-the-art TV studio for screen acting
  • Stage weapons for combat training
  • Costume and props room
  • Latest sound and audio equipment
  • Excellent links with local theatres and entertainment businesses

100% Coursework/practical

This highly practical course is assessed through class based training, practical application of styles and theoretical projects.

Entry requirements
  • 5 GCSEs grade 4/C or above (including English)


  • Level 2 in Performing Arts (with GCSE English grade 4/C or above)

You will be required to attend a practical workshop and an interview at the College prior to enrolling onto this course.

Dates, times & fees
Start Date Course Times Duration Campus Fees
01/09/20 2 years Main campus
What next?
  • Level 4 Professional Diploma in Performance at City College
  • Professional training course at a drama school
  • Degree at university
Additional information

Trips, visits & activities

  • Tour of theatres
  • Experience productions
  • Trip to a drama school fair
  • Work experience
  • Industry week activities

If you will be 19 before the start of the second year of this course, you will be liable to pay a fee for that year. Please contact us for more information.