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Extended Diploma in Performing Arts Acting Level 3
Study Mode
Full Time 
Performing Arts 
Course Code:
Entry Requirements
5 GCSE's at A*-C or acceptable alternatives. Must include English Language. An audition will be required.

Extended Diploma in Performing Arts Acting Level 3

If you are interested in developing your performance skills and are prepared to work hard to do this, the Extended Diploma will provide the right pathway for you. This exciting course combines a range of practical work with closely related written assignments.

About the Course

You are ideal for this course if you are flexible and receptive, willing and eager to learn, and prepared to perform in front of an audience. Excellent attendance, punctuality and commitment are essential in order to craft performances which can be presented to the public. You also need to be able to work positively with others. You need to be able both to respond positively to direction in performance work and to develop your own creative ideas. The course will teach you a lot but also requires you to take responsibility for your own learning. It is challenging and intensive and you will need high levels of focus and enthusiasm throughout the two years

Key Units

Throughout the 2 years, there will be opportunities for public performances, both touring and in college, as well as small-scale in-house presentations. The first year of the course focuses particularly on the developing of understanding and techniques, culminating in a major performance at the end of the summer term. The second year of the course in particular is largely performance-based with students applying and developing their skills through three major assignments– a musical production, a T.V project and a final major performance.

The modules you will study are :

Year 1

  • Performance Workshop
  • Performing Arts Business
  • Historical context of Performance
  • Acting Principles
  • Physical Theatre
  • Devising
  • Special Subject Investigation 
  • Site Specific Performance

Year 2
  • Rehearsing for Performance
  • Performing to an Audience
  • Applying Acting Styles
  • Auditions for actors
  • Musical Theatre
  • Production for Theatre Performance
  • TV and Film 
The course will not only help you develop your knowledge and understanding of every aspect of performance but it will help your communication skills and should give you confidence in working both on your own and with others. These are skills that you can apply whatever you decide to do after you have finished the course. You will also be able to carry out research and reflect with thought and perception on your own working practices.

The Performing Arts department is based at Hillsborough College in a new purpose-built Creative Arts Centre . You will work in a fully equipped theatre and three drama studios all fitted out to professional standards. The facilities have been specially designed and equipped to give you the best possible environment in which to learn about the industry.

The Btec course is extremely well established and many of our previous students are now working successfully within the industry, either as actors and directors or in production and design. You will be taught by tutors who have strong links with performance specialists and companies both locally and nationally, and the team includes tutors who themselves have worked extensively in theatre and television as actors ,directors , writers and producers.

Hillsborough college itself is college is a bright and friendly college with excellent facilities and good public transport links.

Entry Requirements

5 GCSE's at A*-C or acceptable alternatives. Must include English Language. An audition will be required.


The course is assessed entirely by coursework, therefore you need to have good time management skills and be able to work to targets and deadlines.

Where does this Lead

Most students go on to do a degree or foundation degree, at a University or Drama School. Students from the course have gone on to many different Universities and Drama schools, and a significant number of ex-students are now working successfully in the T.V, Film and Theatre. Other students have formed their own acting companies. Some students remain at Norton to complete the Foundation Degree in Performing Arts (Drama). While some students progress onto courses in the performing arts, students do also go on to degree courses in a wide range of other areas where artistic understanding and communication skills are important including Hospitality and Events Management , Tourism and Nursing.

Tell Me More

Qualification Title:
BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma Performing Arts (Acting) which attracts UCAS tariff points equivalent to 3 A levels.

Any other Information:
During your course you will be performing in the evenings on a number of occasions. You are given a year planner at the start of the course to enable you to ensure that you are able to prioritise college commitments and participate fully in all projects.

Visits to theatres will be organised during your course and you are encouraged to see as much live performance as possible.

You will need to wear appropriate clothes when attending college as you will be taking part in practical sessions where this is essential. You will be given guidance as to suitable clothing and footwear at the beginning of your course. The wearing of jewellery is also not advisable because of the nature of the work.