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Performing Arts

Professional Diploma in Performance (Acting) Level 4

  • Course Type: Diploma/Certificate

What can this course lead to?

Successful completion of this course will allow you to progress to the HND in Performing Arts at The Eastern School of Performing Arts or study at prestigious performing arts schools. Previous students have gone on to study at establishments such as: Arts Ed, Guildford School of Acting, Urdang, Performers College, Bird College, East 15, Leeds Conservatoire, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, Trinity Laban, Italia Conti, Liverpool Central Studios and Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts.

Who is it for?

This exciting course accredited by the University of the Arts London has been designed to develop your professional skills in acting and provide you with essential industry experience, knowledge and skills to further develop as an acting practitioner.

A cross-level programme which focuses on the skills required to progress onto further training as an Actor, whilst also developing general performing arts skills, run by the Eastern School of Performing Arts (ESPA). Gain an excellent grounding to become a versatile performer and develop your individuality and performance skills to allow you to progress on to drama schools, university and employment.

Across the programme you will participate in a wide variety of projects that introduce you to varied styles, genres and methodologies. With a focus on development of the practical skills required, you will explore areas such as devising, classical text, contemporary text, movement and voice. The projects will develop your skills within acting styles such as naturalism, epic, surrealism and physical theatre, through scripted and devised projects.

This course is aimed at students who wish to gain more experience working in a professional setting before auditioning for top drama schools or professional work. This course is unique in that it is fully funded for anyone who is 18 to 19 years old at the time of enrolment (Advanced Learner Loans are available for anyone 19+).

ESPA provides industry-experienced tutors for all their courses, enabling students to develop skills required for their next steps. The course is highly vocational and you will spend your days in the studio with highly experienced industry professionals.

What is covered?

You will study the following units:

Project 1 - Core Skills Development. You will work on further developing your acting techniques and skills, along with the development of material. You will work on a variety of material, both as individuals and as a company, exploring and applying appropriate skills and techniques developed in classes.

Project 2 - Professional Development

There are a wide variety of progression routes available in the Performing and Production arts. Through a process of research, dialogue, reflection and evaluation you will identify and prepare for specific higher education or employment opportunities that are appropriate to your individual ambitions. You will assess your own strengths and personal goals and explore the routes suited to you. Preparing for potential auditions takes time and clarity of aims, to ensure you prepare the correct material and demonstrate your strengths. In this project you will break down and examine the preparation that is needed to develop appropriate audition techniques and present yourself in a mock audition. You will also prepare application material and develop presentation skills that are required when applying for future study or work. Through critical evaluation and reflection, you will be able to define your emerging ambitions and capabilities.

Project 3 - Company Performance

You will perform in several company performances - one of which will be a published work, and the other a devised company performance. This project will enable you to examine the creative and development process, along with that of being a company member and taking direction for performance.

Project 4 - Final Major Project

This final project provides an opportunity for you to present a portfolio of work that showcases your creative development in a full scale production. You will work on a selected company piece that enables you to hone in on the skills and knowledge developed throughout the programme to focus on the areas of interest and importance to you and your next steps. This project will culminate in a public performance of the work.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

72 UCAS points typically from A Levels or a Level 3 Diploma in Performing Arts, although students from other subject specialisms are encouraged to apply.

An interview and audition will also be required, in which you will be asked to perform 2 contrasting pieces of your choice.

Mature students who may not have formal qualifications are encouraged to apply for an interview where you will be considered on your experience, enthusiasm and commitment.

We will review each application on a case-by-case basis to ensure you get a place on the course most suitable for you.

You will be expected to commit to rehearsal schedules and some additional hours for performances. You will be required to wear uniform for classes as per the essential kit list provided before starting the course.

Our course enquiries and admissions team can be contacted at should you have any further questions. Alternatively contact the Principal at ESPA, Kelly Ann Gordon on 01780 767696 or

Start date: 02/09/2024

Course Code



1 Year

Full-time courses are fully funded for 16 to 18-year-olds. For age 19+, various funding options are available.

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kyle jackson

ESPA’s nurturing tutors shared industry knowledge, guiding us rightly. Now in my 3rd year at my dream school, Performers College, I’m astounded by my achievements, thanks to ESPA.

Kyle Jackson

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