Performing Arts

Course Title: 

  • BTEC Level 3 Extended Certificate in Performing Arts (Equivalent to one A Level)
  • BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Performing Arts (Equivalent to two A Levels)



Entry Requirements: 

  • Grade 5 in GCSE Mathematics
  • Grade 5 in GCSE English 
  • Merit/Grade 5 in Performing Arts 


This qualification will enable you to develop the essential knowledge and skills needed for building a career in the performance industry with a specific focus on developing techniques, performing, understanding of practitioners and responding to stimuli. You will gain an insight into the various different occupational routes you can take, helping you progress in employment, or move on to further study.

A broad range of topics are studied over two years including: Drama, Musical Theatre, Physical Theatre and Dance.



Size and structure2

Summary purpose


Pearson BTEC Level 3

National Extended

Certificate in

Performing Arts


360 GLH (480 TQT)

Equivalent in size to one

A Level.

4 units, of which 3 are mandatory and 2 are external.

Mandatory content (83%).

External assessment (58%).


The Extended Certificate is for learners who are interested in learning about the performing arts sector alongside other fields of study, with a view to progressing to a wide range of higher education courses, not necessarily in performing arts.

It is designed to be taken as part of a programme of study that includes other appropriate BTEC Nationals or A Levels.


Unit 1 - Investigating Practitioners’ Work (Mandatory) (External)

Unit 3 - Group Performance Workshop (Mandatory) (External)

Unit 2 - Developing Skills and Techniques for Live Performance (Mandatory) (Internal)

Unit 28 – Variety performance (optional) (Internal)


Pearson BTEC Level 3

National Diploma in

Performing Arts


720 GLH (945 TQT)

Equivalent in size to two A Levels.

8 units of which 6 are mandatory and 3 are external.

Mandatory content (83%).

External assessment (46%).


The Diploma is designed to be the substantive part of a 16–19 study programme for learners who want a strong core of sector study.

This programme may include other BTEC Nationals or A Levels to support progression to higher education courses in performing arts areas before entering employment.

The additional qualification(s) studied allow learners either to give breadth to their study programme by choosing a contrasting subject, or to give it more focus by choosing a complementary subject.


Unit 1 - Investigating Practitioners’ Work (Mandatory) (External)

Unit 3 - Group Performance Workshop (Mandatory) (External)

Unit 5 - Individual Performance Commission (Mandatory Synoptic) (External)

Unit 2 - Developing Skills and Techniques for Live Performance (Mandatory) (Internal)

Unit 4 - Performing Arts in the Community (Mandatory) (Internal)

Unit 6 - Final Live Performance to an Audience (Mandatory) (Internal)

Unit 11 – Street dance (optional) (Internal)

Unit 12 – Contemporary Dance (optional) (Internal)

Unit 28 – Variety performance (optional) (Internal)


What students say:

Practicing as a Lawyer has always been a profession I’ve wanted to go into, on the other hand, Performing Arts became a passion later on. I starting Performing Arts in year 7 with very little knowledge and finished year 13 with substantial knowledge on the subject. By year 12 I was able to know exactly what interested me the most about this subject which was dance. I attended the Northern School of Contemporary Dance in Year 13 which I was accepted into through an audition organised by school. This wouldn’t have been possible without the help and support I received from my incredible teachers. Not only were they my teachers, but also people I could call upon and even speak to if anything was ever troubling me, whether that be school related matters or personal problems. I saw my confidence grow massively as I began to teach dance to younger children, assist with choreography, choreograph my own material, perform at various venues for both dance and drama, attending dance competitions, taking lead roles in performances and finally doing solo performances.
Bienvenu Ngudie – Class of 2018

Opportunities in Performing Arts at Sheffield South East VI Form

  • Teaching KS3 and primary students
  • Performing in the community (Darnall Lantern Parade / Movefest / Shakespeare Festival)
  • Participating in competitions such as the Great Big Dance Off
  • Performing in productions across the cluster of Academies
  • Working with professional dancers such as the BalletBoyz

United Learning comprises: United Learning Ltd (Registered in England No: 00018582. Charity No. 313999) UCST (Registered in England No: 2780748. Charity No. 1016538) and ULT (Registered in England No. 4439859. An Exempt Charity). Companies limited by guarantee.
Registered address: United Learning, Worldwide House, Thorpe Wood, Peterborough, PE3 6SB.

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