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Performing & Production Arts (Extended) Diploma Level 3

Practical Vs Theory


Course overview

This course will provide you with the opportunity to develop your acting career, exploring a wide range of styles and genres including cutting edge contemporary, classical and Shakespearian, physical and musical theatre to name a few.

You will also explore acting through song (singing) and movement (dance) in order to develop into a versatile and formidable performer. You will have the opportunity to take part in several performances showcasing your talents each year in our fully equipped in-house studio theatre, as well as in theatres across the region. You will also have the opportunity to explore all aspects of performance such as: lighting, sound design and operation, set and costume design and construction, as well as props and multimedia features.

To ensure that you gain a thorough understanding of the Performing Arts industry, you will take part in a variety of trips, residentials, workshops and masterclasses each year. These vary year to year but could include residentials to New York, London and Athens (the home of theatre!), as well as workshops and performances by leading industry professionals from top drama schools and theatre/​film companies.

All of our lecturers are highly experienced and come from an industry background. This means that you will receive top quality teaching and support in order to forge a long and successful career in whichever area of the performing arts industry you wish to go into.

You will study the following units: 

1st Year-

  • Principles of Performance
  • Engaging with an Audience
  • Introduction to Professional Practice
  • Critical and Contextual awareness
  • Production Skills and Context
  • Performance Skills and Context
  • Preparing for Specialist Study
  • Collaborative Performance Project

2nd Year-

  • Developing Performing and Production Skills
  • Preparing for Progression
  • Exploration of Specialist Study and Context
  • Extended Performance Project


What Does The Programme Include

From day 1 of the course you are treated as are expected to conduct yourselves as a professional theatre company. This means that you are given freedom to be creative and fully explore your strengths and limitations as a performer. It also means that a high level of professionalism is expected at all times; something that is vital when working in this competitive and often tough industry. The majority of your learning will be explored through practical workshops, rehearsals and performance. You will cover some elements of theory that are embedded into practical sessions to ensure that theory underpins your practical exploration of different performance styles, genres and your own character development.

Entry Requirements

5 GCSEs at grades 4/​C or above including English, plus Drama grade 6/​B or above. 

Alternatively a Merit in a relevant Level 2 Diploma, and a GCSE grade 4/​C or a pass for FS Level 2 English. You will also be required to complete a successful interview and audition of a prepared monologue of your choice.

A Merit in your first year is required to enter the second year Extended Diploma.

How The Course Will Be Assessed

You will take part in practical assessments of your performances and assessed rehearsals with evaluative discussions to help you improve and perfect your styles for future employment. You will also be assessed through reflective journals and research portfolios, presentations, written essays, debates and interviews.

Additional Information

You will be required to wear plain black clothing that is easy to move around in, as well as sensible footwear (indoor trainers, jazz shoes, bare feet) during practical workshops. There may be some additional costs to cover theatre trips, official scripts and professional workshops. At Level 3 you will be expected to commit to rehearsal schedules and some additional hours in order to gain both teaching and performing experience. Assessed public performances usually take place in the evening when you will be required to arrange your own transport from the performance venue (either college or a local theatre).

Potential Future Career

On successful completion of this course, you will be equipped with the skills to audition for a number of pathways including:

  • Top Drama Schools offering further professional training and degrees. Previously, students have gained places at institutes such as: Mountview, Guildford School of Acting, The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts to name a few.
  • Universities offering degrees in Performing Arts, Acting, Creative Arts, Musical Theatre, Dance and other creative courses. Previously, students have gained places at universities such as: Lincoln, Staffordshire, Northampton, East London, Coventry to name a few.
  • Our new and exclusive* Level 4 Professional Diploma in Performance. This is an exciting course accredited by the University of the Arts London which enables you to gain a Level 4 (HE) qualification whilst being part of our University Centre Stamford (UCS) Shedlight Theatre Company. 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 or 19 years old at the time of enrolment. Please see our Level 4 Professional Diploma in Performance for more details.
  • *In 2018 – 19 we were one of only 10 centres nationally approved to run this course. As a pilot centre we have been able to help shape and develop this qualification to fully meet the needs of our students!


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There lots of opportunities to take part in real productions so I have the training and experience to apply for Drama Schools such as RADA!

Johan Lohmann-Bond



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