Performing Arts (Musical Theatre) *NEW*

Entry Requirements

Minimum grade 4 or equivalent in GCSE English & Mathematics.


About This Course

The BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma in Performing Arts Practice: Musical Theatre is intended as an Applied General qualification and is the equivalent of 3 A Levels. It is for post-16 learners who want to continue their Musical Theatre education this qualification offers learners the opportunity to develop their performance and technical skills through a process of self-evaluation, practice and review which supports them as they start to build their personal portfolio in preparation for entry to higher education. In addition to the performing arts sector-specific content outlined above, the requirements of the qualification will mean that learners develop the transferable and higher-order skills that are highly regarded by higher education and employers, for example communication skills, team working, personal practice and reflection.


What does the qualification cover?

The content of this qualification has been developed in consultation with academics to ensure that it supports progression to higher education. In addition, employers and professional bodies have been involved and consulted, in order to confirm that the content is appropriate and consistent with current practice, should learners choose to enter employment directly in the performing arts sector. In addition to the knowledge, understanding and skills that underpin study of the performing arts sector, this qualification offers learners experience of the breadth and depth of the sector to prepare them for further study or training. Learners taking this qualification will study four mandatory learning and teaching modules:

Performing Arts Skills Development

The Performing Arts Industry

Personal Performing Arts Profile

Collaborative Performing Arts Project



Assessment is specifically designed to fit the purpose and objective of the qualification. It includes a range of assessment types and styles suited to vocational qualifications in the sector.  There are three main forms of assessment that you need to be aware of: external, internal and synoptic. This means that marks can be awarded for the exploration and creation of work, not just the final project. For the National Extended Diploma, there are four learning and teaching modules assessed by 10 assessment units, with each assessment unit attracting a grade. Learners must complete all assessment units and achieve at Pass grade or above in the mandatory assessments and at least five other assessment units.


Student Expectation

It is expected that students taking this course will perform in several shows and showcases throughout the year.  They will also need to attend extra rehearsals in order to complete performance work and projects. The course requires a great deal of commitment as some of the assessments are created in groups and others will be reliant on your attendance to rehearsals. You will also be expected to perform in projects in the community as this will be part of your assessments. This is a highly practical course however, there will be essays, research journals and reflective evaluations to complete in order to build your evidence of work.


What could this course lead to?

This qualification carries UCAS points and is recognised by higher education providers as contributing to admission requirements to many relevant courses. When combined with other qualifications in a two-year study programme, such as A Levels or another BTEC National Foundation Diploma, learners can progress to higher education degree programmes, such as:

BA (Hons) English with Theatre and Performance

BA (Hons) Media Studies

BA (Hons) Acting and Performance

Learners should always check the entry requirements for degree programmes at specific higher education providers.

In addition to the performing arts sector-specific content, this qualification provides learners with the opportunity to develop all-round performance skills and transferable skills such as self-confidence, self-presentation, personal discipline, time management and organisational skills which are highly regarded by higher education and employers.

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