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Level: 3

Location: Joseph Wright Centre

Years: 1

Interview: Y

Course Summary

This Advanced Level 3 qualification is designed for?students aged 16 years or over who have already achieved GCSE grade 4 [C] in both English and Maths and want to continue to study Performing Arts through applied learning to progress to higher education or professional vocational training.


The Advanced Performing Arts course has been specifically designed for students wishing to study a creative subject in addition to work experience, tutorials and personal and professional development. The course is comprised of three main subject areas; Dance, Acting and Singing.


The Dance units will prepare you for the demands and exhilaration of showcasing live dance performance. You will focus on building a strong foundation in dance techniques and gaining an insight into the realities of life as a dancer.

The Acting units?focus on acting technique, performing repertoire and classical theatre performance. You will also develop skills in improvisation or script writing.?


The Singing unit is designed to develop your singing skills with a range of vocal exercises, techniques and characterisation. You will be studying and singing songs in a range of styles, working to develop skills in vocal harmony.


This qualification is suitable for students who:

  • want to progress into Performing Arts-related apprenticeships
  • want to gain a Level 3 qualification to support further study in Further Education (FE)
  • want to progress to Higher Education (HE) in Performing Arts

The qualification is not just about being able to perform on stage.?It will provide students with the skills, knowledge and understanding to progress into higher education or professional vocational training on a Performing Arts programme or specialist performance degree. You will also develop transferable skills such as planning, communication and adaptability.

Entry requirements

Typically, you will have at least?five GCSEs graded A*- C (1 – 4) including English Language and Maths. Alternatively, you may have equivalent?intermediate qualifications at Merit grade or above, along with GCSE grade 4/C in English Language and Maths.


Importantly a university application will probably require?five GCSEs graded C (4) or above,?including both English Language and Maths GCSE at grade 4/C or above.


In addition to the entry requirements above, you will also need to attend a full-day audition, where your practical skills and potential will be assessed.

Course Content

On the Advanced Performing Arts course, you will develop a foundation of the?core knowledge, skills and understanding that the performing arts sector requires and develop further skills by completing a range of specialist units. You will study a range of units which will give you an understanding of the Performing Arts in wider contexts, including the way the sector works, job roles, progression opportunities, how to build strategies for sustaining a freelance career and how to plan and develop projects. You will study the work of Performing Arts practitioners and learn how to demonstrate practical ideas for performance. You will gain knowledge of the broader supporting functions of the sector which facilitates performance work. You will also bring all of your skills together to perform group work and evaluate your abilities.

How will I be assessed?

To achieve this qualification, you must complete a range of internally and externally assessed units. Methods of assessment include performances, rehearsal observations, practical workshops, reflective journals, evaluations and presentations.


Qualifications are graded using a Pass, Merit, Distinction structure.

Are there any additional costs or specialist equipment required?

You will need to provide suitable clothing and funds to attend mandatory theatre productions?and purchase?copies of play texts [approximately £25].

What can I do after this course?

The content of the course has been developed with universities, professional performing arts colleges, theatres and individual practitioners in the sector. Such collaboration ensures that this qualification will support progression to universities and specialised accredited colleges/ institutes and will give students the specific skills they need to build a successful career in the performing arts.

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This course is run at the Joseph Wright Centre

About Joseph Wright Centre »

Joshua Horsley

Joshua Horsley

Stepping out in a dance career

A keen dancer, Joshua Horsley perfected his performance skills both during and outside his Derby College course – taking to the stage regionally and nationally.

He combined his Performing Arts studies with his participation in the award-winning Bounceback contemporary dance youth performance group at Déda in Derby. He also developed an enthusiasm for technical theatre, providing backstage support for a range of College productions.

Joshua’s excellent progress and positive attitude led to him being highly commended in the Media, Music and Performing Arts category of our 2014 Peak Awards.

His dedication earned him the Media, Music and Performing Arts prize, sponsored by the Derby Telegraph, at our 2014 Peak Awards.

It was the ideal finale to his College studies: he will now join the first group of learners on the University of Derby’s BA (Hons) Dance, which will be based at Déda.

I hope to be a professional dancer in the future but I am keen to gain behind-the-scenes skills too, which will stand me in good stead for my career.
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