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Level 3 Diploma in Performance

This dynamic course is an ideal route for those who wish to follow a career in performance.
Course description: 

Students will gain a wide range of skills and experiences within a working theatre and by completing projects and assignments that are based on realistic workplace situations. Students will also be required to attend theory based classes which develop knowledge and understanding of the acting industry.

The course is vocational which means students will undertake the role of an actor/performer throughout the two years. Students will participate in public performances and become part of the college's theatre company, Platform Productions. The company’s artistic policy is to provide theatre of the highest quality within the local community and beyond. To view recent productions please check CCN Platform YouTube.

The UAL Level 3 Diploma is a nationally recognised qualification, equivalent to three A Levels.

Key tasks could include:

  • learning lines and rehearsing
  • researching or undertaking activities to help prepare for a part
  • discussing interpretation and delivery with other members of the company and the director
  • performing for a live audience
  • performing in a theatre or 'on location'
  • audio as well as visual performances
  • rehearse/polish performances in your own time
  • managing the day to day running of the theatre, including front of house duties

Students will need enthusiasm and commitment and also be able to attend rehearsals and performances, some of which will be in the evening.

The course is structured to allow students to experience what life is like as an actor. Instead of traditional weekly lessons on diverse subject, participants will work intensively on preparation and rehearsal, culminating in regular performances.
Through participation in these projects students will develop their acting and performance skills as well as understanding of the performing arts as a whole. The projects are often commissioned by outside agencies, as they would a professional acting company. This offers students the opportunity to create work for real stakeholders, giving students a feel for working in the current arts scene.

Students will spend approximately 15 hours a week at College with tutors having taught sessions. Students will be expected to match this time with their own rehearsal, preparation, research and homework per week. During production periods students will be expected to spend more time at the College in order to undertake and keep to rehearsal schedules.
It is essential as an actor that students see as much theatre as they can; therefore we arrange regular trips to theatres across the county to see a variety of work produced. We also arrange a yearly residential trip, and in the past we have visited London, Paris, Italy and New York.

Entry requirements: 

Applicants should have a BTEC or UAL Level 2 Diploma in a related subject or at least four GCSEs at grades A*-C including English, or equivalent.

Students will also be asked to attend an audition/interview workshop, where they will be required to participate in practical activities, perform a prepared audition piece and undertake a short interview.


The Diploma is made up of a number of units covering a range of subjects and is arranged into a mixture of weekly rehearsal and performance projects. The aim is to provide a broad range of skills and experiences to enable students to progress onto drama school, university or a career in the arts.

Previous performance projects have included:

  • Adaptation Project
  • Mike Leigh Project- The actor and film
  • Directed plays
  • Festival/street theatre
  • Physical Theatre Project

Core Training Elements:

  • Voice for the actor
  • Movement for the actor
  • Analysing text and interpretive skills
  • Contextual awareness
  • Devising
  • Improvisation
  • Communication to an audience
  • Drama School and industry preparation
  • Imaginative and creative thinking
  • Staging, design and direction

Wider Skills Training:

  • Collaborative working
  • Integration of singing and musicianship in performance
  • Acting for film
  • Physical Theatre
  • Theatre for the community

Assessment is on-going throughout the course and requires students to complete projects and assignments based on realistic workplace situations, activities and demands. Assessment activities that students may undertake include participating in practical workshops, rehearsals, performances, coursework, research, keeping journals, writing essays, giving presentations, discussing and evaluating work.

Academic progression: 

Successful completion of this one year Level 3 Diploma will provide direct entry onto either the one year Level 3 Extended Diploma in Acting, Musical Theatre or Dance.  The Level 3 Diploma qualification achieved will be equivalent to 3 AS levels (and 3 A Levels overall if the Level 3 Extended Diploma is subsequently completed) and the recognised equivalent UCAS points for progression to Higher Education.

UAL Level 3 Diplomas are valued by employers and higher education. Progression routes could include drama school or university.

Career progression: 

Successful completion of this course serves as preparation for a career in the arts and entertainment industries and students could work as performers/actors. This may be subject to further training at drama school, university or via an apprenticeship. Whilst further training is the norm, some students have progressed straight into employment in the industry.

Other career pathways could include theatre design and production, directing, casting, teaching, drama therapy, arts administration etc

This is a Level 3 course:
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Course: Performing and Creative Arts
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One year