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Professional Diploma in Performance (Acting) Level 4 - 22/23

Practical Vs Theory


Course overview

This exciting new 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 opportunities to enhance your CV and employment prospects. You will build your technique and professional profile whilst exploring alternative styles of acting in theatres across the UK.

You will become a member of ShedLght Theatre Company and will spend the year creating and performing ground-breaking and innovative theatre. You will also have the opportunity to work closely with the professional directors, producers and actors from our partner professional company; Lamphouse theatre.

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+)


What Does The Programme Include

You will learn through a combination of practical classes, workshops, lectures, seminars and through preparing for performances. Practical classes will enable you to enhance and develop your practical-based performance skills in all areas of the of the performing arts. Classes develop your practical ability and experience allowing you to hone those skills in a positive and supportive environment, creating the best opportunities to reach your potential.

You will work as a professional theatre company and as such gain experience of industry practice. You will also have the opportunity to work closely with our partner professional theatre company Lamphouse Theatre, in order to gain further professional experience and learn from their directors, producers and actors.

Entry Requirements

  • 80 UCAS points typically from A Levels or a Level 3 Diploma in Performing Arts, although students from other subjects specialisms are encouraged to apply.
  • An interview and audition will also be required, in which you will be asked to perform 2 contrasting monologues 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.

How The Course Will Be Assessed

You will be assessed through the observation of practical workshops and performances, peer assessment, seminars, written essays, reflective journals, presentations and mixed media portfolios. Strong emphasis is placed on practice and therefore, formal written assessments will be less frequent. We aim to ensure that all written components are relevant to professional practice.

Potential Future Career

Successful completion of this course will provide you with the professional experience and skills required to audition for top Drama Schools and Universities.

This course acts as a bridge from Level 3 to top professional training and as such is looked at by drama schools as a sign of quality. Alternatively you may decide to enter the industry directly as a Performer, Director, Producer or Outreach Practitioner.

Course Content

Unit 1: Applied Professional Practice

Unit 2: Specialist Performance Practice

Unit 3: Specialist Performance Project

Over the course of the year the following projects are covered:

  • Devising Theatre
  • Auditioning for Drama Schools and Professional Work 
  • Dance Theatre
  • Practitioner Study
  • Musical Revue
  • Rep Season ( Shedlight to produce a season of plays to be performed in the summer term)

Work-based Learning

The Level 4 Professional Diploma in Performance (Acting) places a strong emphasis on work-related practice. After acquiring many essential skills and developing a comprehensive level of knowledge in the first few weeks, you will apply this to industry-based experience in the second and third terms. You will also gain valuable experience working with professional directors as part of in-house company ShedLight Theatre.

Course Trips

You will undertake trips to London to develop your knowledge of different career opportunities in Performing Arts and have the opportunity to take part in an overseas trip to support your development.

You will take part in at least 1 week of intense work with Lamphouse Theatre Company professional directors, producers and actors. You will also take part in various workshops and masterclasses from industry professionals and drama school lecturers throughout the year.

In addition to this, as a member of ShedLight Theatre Company, you will take a produce and perform in a number of public performances at University Centre Stamford and the local area. 


You will have access to professional rehearsal rooms, recording studios and a large 98 seat on-site theatre for your performances.

All of our lecturers are highly experiences and come from an industry background. This means that you will recieve 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 benefit from various study facilities including a recently refurbished Library where you’ll have access to books, journals and computers.

You will also have access to an Academic Support Tutor to assit you with your studies and Careers Advisors to help you with your future employment.


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The tutors are great and give you all the support and skills you need to become a well-rounded performer. I’m now studying at LIPA (The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts).

Zara Whitwell



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