BTEC Performing Arts (Diploma)

Why BTEC Performing Arts?

The opportunities for students of Musical Theatre have continued to develop over the last decade, perhaps nowhere more so than in the Midlands.

As Birmingham continues to be promoted as the nation's "Second City" and attracts major Arts organisations to the area, so the West Midlands is becoming recognised as a centre for Culture and the Arts.

The job opportunities for students leaving full time education will continue to grow over the coming decade.

The Musical Theatre course offered at Sandwell Academy provides a range of vocational experiences. They will prepare students for their choice of career in both the world of work and Higher Education. Most of our students go onto to study for a degree related to Performing Arts or Teaching.

Course Type: BTEC
Exam Board: Pearson
Weight: Double

Specific Entry Requirements:
Grade 4 in Mathematics and English

Satisfactory level in Performing Arts or a Performing Arts discipline (Dance, Drama or Music). In addition, we ask all applicants to attend either a group or individual audition to assess basic skills and suitability for the course.

Experience in performance work in at least one area either at GCSE level, or through outside agencies, such as dancing schools or amateur theatre is desirable. The emphasis of this course is to develop skills in all areas of musical theatre and to develop you as an all-round performer.

You will be expected to have a flexible approach to all areas of the Performing Arts, regularly participate in a range of workshops with visiting practitioners, and attend a variety of live Performances.

Course Assessment:
This is a double award qualifcation. You will study 8 units.
Contact Curriculum Leader for more information:
Miss Hubble
Download Course Leaflet

Course Outline

Unit 1: Investigating Practitioners' Work

Level: 3 Unit type: External Guided learning hours: 90

Example content: Learners investigate the work of performing arts practitioners, develop critical analysis skills and contextual understanding of how practitioners communicate themes in their work.

In this unit, you will develop skills that allow you to investigate the work of influential performing arts practitioners. You will identify the contextual factors that influence their work and critically analyse key information such as creative intentions, performance, production and repertoire in order to develop and communicate independent judgements.

This unit will give you research, critical analysis and extended writing skills that will support your progress to higher education. As a performing arts practitioner you will need to have a good understanding of the work of influential practitioners to inform your own work and professional practice.

This mandatory unit will be assessed through a task worth 60 marks and completed under supervised conditions. The supervised assessment period is a maximum of 3 hours and should be arranged by the centre in the week timetabled by Pearson.

Unit 2: Developing Skills and Techniques for Live Performance

Level: 3 Unit type: Internal Guided learning hours: 90

Example Content: Learners explore technical performance skills with a focus on developing and demonstrating skills and techniques in at least two performance styles within a selected discipline.

The work of the professional performer requires time and dedication to training, developing and improving the tools of the trade. For actors, dancers and singers, the 'tools' are the body, the voice and the creative and intellectual skills needed to interpret the performance material to communicate with and entertain an audience. Employment opportunities in performing arts often require the performer to demonstrate skills in more than one style, for example the ability to perform in classical texts or repertoire as well as contemporary works. Training, development and practice of skills are lifelong commitments, enabling the performer to respond to the demands of rehearsals and performances with commitment, imagination and accuracy.

This unit serves as an induction into the performing arts where you will develop the appropriate skills and techniques in one or more of the performance disciplines of acting, dance, musical theatre, physical theatre and variety/popular entertainment. You will participate in regular workshops, classes and exercises where you will acquire, practise and develop the necessary technical, practical and interpretative performance skills to help you succeed when performing live to an audience. You will consider the nature, skills and attributes of the performer's role in your chosen discipline. You will work with at least two existing performance works, analysing and interpreting the material in order to understand and apply the relevant skills and techniques appropriate to the style. In practical classes you will demonstrate the discipline, focus and commitment the role of the performer requires. Ongoing review and evaluation will allow you to monitor your progress and set targets for the development of your performance skills.

The skills you gain in this unit will prepare you for progression to further study, training or higher education by equipping you with practical and technical skills key to your development as a performer. The training and experience provided by this unit will also help prepare you for employment in the performing arts industry as the development of performance skills and techniques is fundamental to all live performance roles.

Unit 3: Group Performance Workshop

Level: 3 Unit type: External Guided learning hours: 120

Learners explore creating theatre and develop scripted and devised performances as both a solo and a group.

In this unit, you will learn how to respond to a given stimulus as part of a group, using research, discussion and practical exploration to develop performance material and later present an informal presentation of the work to an invited audience. As a member of a team, you will contribute to the creative development and rehearsal process, shaping and refining the work and applying performance and teamwork skills. You will share responsibility for creative decisions regarding the nature and direction of the intended performance, and your individual contribution will reflect your own skills through the group's interests and ideas. The workshop performance will be an opportunity to try out the work before an audience to invite discussion and evaluation of its potential.

This unit will prepare you for progression to higher education as well as careers in the performing arts industry. The experience, skills and knowledge gained through this unit are applicable to a range of job roles, including performing, directing, choreography, devising, Theatre in Education

(TIE) and project leadership.

Unit 27: Musical Theatre Technique

Level: 3 Unit type: External Guided learning hours: 120

Learners explore key features of musical theatre, developing specialist skills and techniques as a musical theatre performer combining acting, singing and dance skills for a performance.

In this unit, you will develop the skills required to be a musical theatre performer by participating in technique classes, rehearsals and final performance. By learning about the key features of musical theatre performance you will develop an understanding of the skills and techniques required to create a successful performance. You will reflect on your progress as you develop skills and techniques in acting, singing and dance, setting targets and reviewing your progress.

Musical theatre is a significant area of employment in the performing arts industry with opportunities for chorus and ensemble work as well as solo/leading roles. The skills you develop in this unit will open up possibilities to be a performer that can work in a wide range of performance contexts as well as providing a platform for further study in acting, dance and/or music performance.

Unit 4: Performing Arts in the Community

Level: 3 Unit type: Internal Guided learning hours: 90

Learners develop their knowledge and understanding of performing in the community, applying specialist skills and techniques to a community performance project. Performing arts in the community gives you challenging and exciting ways to apply your specialist performance skills. You will perform in a range of venues, for example schools, community centres, care homes, theatres and in the street; allowing you to educate and inform as well as entertain groups from different communities.

In this unit, you will develop skills and techniques that allow you to apply your performance skills, such as dance and drama, to a community project. You will learn how to respond to and meet the needs of the community by listening and sharing ideas with beneficiaries, and modelling these into a performance. You will reflect on your progress as you develop and apply skills and techniques, setting targets and reviewing your progress. The skills you develop in this unit will give you progression opportunities and transferable skills that can be applied to a range of performance types. Skills such as working with others, creative thinking and problem solving will support your progression to further study or employment.

Unit 5: Individual Performance Commission

Level: 3 Unit type: External Guided learning hours: 120

In this unit, you will develop an understanding of how and why work is commissioned and the different purposes of work that is created using this process. You will learn how to respond to a commission, using research and practical exploration to create a proposal that explains how your ideas meet the objectives of the brief. Once you have made your initial decisions, you will develop and shape your ideas into an individual performance. You will apply the performance skills developed in your BTEC qualification to create your response. You can work in a single discipline or combine acting, dance and/or musical skills in your performance. The work you create in this unit will also be evaluated in a vocational context. You will need to reflect on the success of the final performance in meeting the commission brief as well as the process undertaken when creating the work. To complete the assessment tasks within this unit, you will need to draw on your learning from across your programme.

For assessment, learners will be provided with a commission brief that will include a context and purpose for the work to be produced, details of the target audience for the performance work and time constraints, such as length of performance, number of pieces and available resources.

Learners will respond to the commission and stimulus, developing an individual performance for an invited audience. Learners will submit a proposal explaining the performance piece(s) chosen and how it relates to the brief, a video recording of their individual performance and an evaluation relating to the commission and the performance work completed.

Unit 6: Final Live Performance to an Audience

Level: 3 Unit type: internal Guided learning hours: 90

In this unit, you will gain understanding and experience of rehearsal methods and techniques.

Through research and practical exploration, you will develop the necessary skills to interpret performance material and develop a character or role for a live performance. You will demonstrate essential personal management and collaborative skills necessary when working in a performing arts ensemble. The unit culminates in the realisation of your rehearsed work to a live audience, where you will demonstrate practical performance skills to communicate interpretation and meaning. Throughout the rehearsal and performance process you will reflect on your individual contribution, allowing you to set targets and to monitor and support your development.

Preparing for a live performance holds challenges and opportunities for a performer, from initial planning stages to the first performance for an audience. Rehearsals allow for creative aims and intentions to be explored and for performers to interpret the work and develop their role in it. The creative development process is demanding and rewarding for a performer and requires a range of skills and techniques to be applied.

You will also work with your teacher to select:

1 specialist optional unit from a list to compliment your suite.

Options for this unit include at Sandwell Academy:

Unit 10: Jazz Dance Technique

Unit 11: Street Dance Technique

Unit 19: Acting Styles

Unit 23: Singing Techniques for Performers

General Information

All Modules are assessed internally and then externally verified. They will include the following sorts of work:

You will be working in the Theatre, Dance and Drama Studios and Music Suite with specialist staff and visiting professional practitioners.

Regular visits to a range of local and national Performing Arts Venues will be arranged.

Assessment is continuous and evidence based. Students will put together portfolios for each module demonstrating their work and skill development. Evidence is often through audio and video recordings and teacher observations. You will also be required to keep a weekly journal detailing progress made in taught sessions and in individual rehearsal sessions.

Grades awarded will be either at Pass, Merit or Distinction or Distinction* and are equivalent to 2 A Level grades.

Please note that all students will be required to sing, dance and act throughout the course.

Important Forms

Questions or Queries?

Should you have any queries or comments please contact Miss Duncombe (Sixth Form Admissions Officer) by either:


Or by post:

Sixth Form Admissions Officer,
Sandwell Academy,
Halfords Lane,
West Bromwich,
West Midlands,
B71 4LG.

Please ensure that the correct postage is paid for the size of envelope used.