Performing Arts Courses

Start Date
Full Time

Programme Specification

This two-year higher education course is practical and vocationally focused, and aims to prepare you to move to a degree course or into employment. It is production-based, with a strong element of practical work covering all aspects of performing arts from research, performance and production to professional practice and management. The Higher National Diploma in Performing Arts aims to:

  • Develop your general ability in Performing Arts through effectively using and combining knowledge and skills gained in different parts of the programme
  • Provide specialist studies in Performing Arts across a range of disciplines, including rehearsal and performance, movement and voice, singing, contemporary and jazz dance
  • Provide a taught programme of study to support you in learning new skills and in developing your individual practice, within the culturally diverse environment of West London
  • Provide enhanced tutorial support to help you develop your educational and vocational abilities, and your personal qualities and attitudes
  • Develop the ethos and creative process of a small, touring production company
  • Provide the foundation for a range of administrative, technical and creative careers in Performing Arts, where you could make a staged contribution to employment
  • About the Course

    The course is delivered by enthusiastic staff with industry experience. It is divided into core and optional units covering all aspects of performing arts from research, performance and production to professional practice and management. Throughout the course you will develop skills in acting, dance and singing.

    You will spend a minimum of 14 hours at college per week. At least 80% of this time will be spent with a professional lecturer. In addition to this you will be expected to work independently.

    The course is structured around three areas of study:

    • Performance work: in our studio theatre
    • Knowledge: independent and group research in the history of contemporary theatre, how theatre companies work, copyright and health and safety
    • Skills: including acting technique, movement for actors, voice, singing and dance, and basic stage design.

    You will study:

    • Acting for camera
    • Alternative approaches to acting
    • Creative arts professional practice
    • Creative arts research skills
    • Dance for musical theatre
    • Devising for performance
    • Employability skills
    • Movement for the actor
    • Naturalistic acting
    • Physical theatre
    • Singing for musical theatre
    • Theatre in education
    • Applied contemporary performance practice
    • Classical acting
    • Innovative theatre performance
    • Jazz techniques and performance
    • Outreach drama
    • Peforming arts workshop leadership
    • Preparation, process and production
    • Singing techniques and styles

    You will use our Endeavour Theatre and dance and performance studios with a rehearsal room and costume department.

    You will set up your own production company and run performances in college and on tour.

    Information correct at 23 June 2016.
  • Entry Requirements

    The standard minimum entry qualification is a grade E at A Level, National Diploma or equivalent, preferably supported by a pass in GCSE English.

    We encourage mature students to enter with a pass in an appropriate Access Certificate. We consider other background and experience and may accept students without formal qualifications.

    All students are interviewed and given an audition before an offer is made. The International Office will organise an appropriate interview for overseas students: telephone or portfolio or as required.

    If you need advice before you apply, please call 020 8326 2020 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

  • Progression

    Second or final year of a BA (Hons) degree or work on stage or behind the scenes in film, theatre or TV productions.

    The college boasts numerous success stories including students who have secured parts in films and TV productions, while others work in dance companies and the theatre both on stage and behind the scenes.

  • Assessment Method

    The course is continually assessed through vocationally based assignments, finishing with a major project and assessed show.

    Regulation of standards:

    • Assessment conforms to Edexcel regulations
    • Internal Verification of assignment briefs and assessment standards
    • External moderation of samples of work by external examiner
    • Public performance, inside the college and at external venues, to show standards of work

How to Apply

Please apply via or click the "apply now" button below and fill out the online application form. An adviser will be in touch regarding interview dates.

Course Info

Courses for Adults 19+,Higher Education

Full Time

Level 5

Location Isleworth

Start Date 27/09/2021

BTEC (EdExcel) Higher National Certificate Performing Arts JACS Code: 034W Institution Code: W65

West Thames College

One of the top 3 Colleges in London *

* Based on overall performance for students aged 16-18 across all levels in 2018-19

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