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Performing Arts (Sixth Form only)

In the Performing Arts Department, we aim to inspire a sense of passion for the arts through placing creativity and collaboration at the heart of everything we do. With an emphasis on exploring and developing skills within the creative disciplines of dance, drama and music, our intention is to develop well-rounded performers who are confident and industry ready.

Building on prior knowledge explored and acquired at Key Stages 3&4, students are challenged through workshops and activities that explore a broad spectrum of performance repertoire. We encourage research through independent study.  Experience of live performance is intrinsic in developing students' appreciation for the modern theatrical movement while offering a realistic view of what is achievable.

We encourage the students to challenge themselves physically and mentally, opening doors to new pathways and experiences, reaching their potentials as a 'triple threat.' Professional performance experience and expert subject knowledge mean our staff can tailor the course to ensure performers reach their full potential.

Curriculum Summary

Key Stage 5

BTEC Performing Arts is a new course running at BUCHS following the success of A Level Dance and Drama. By allowing students to gain combined experience in the disciplines of Dance, Drama and Musical Theatre, they can continue their vocational development in preparation for further education or directly aim to pursue a career in the industry.

BTEC Performing Arts students are able to gain experience through practical exploration within the course, developing creativity and skill whilst meeting our high expectations.

Qualification: Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Diploma in Performing Arts

Programme of Study/Assessment

  • Equivalent in size to 2 A Levels
  • 8 units of which 6 are mandatory and 2 are chosen by the teachers
  • 1 external exam
  • Internal assessment (62.5%)
  • External assessment (37.5%)
  • The majority of assessment takes place as practical performance with supporting coursework as evidence

Unit guide





Investigating Practitioners’ Work

External examination


Developing Skills and Techniques for Live Performance

Internal assessment


Group Performance Workshop

External assessment


Performing Arts in the Community

Internal assessment


Individual Performance Commission

External assessment


Final Live Performance to an Audience

Internal assessment

The last two units are chosen by the BTEC Performing Arts Lead depending on each cohort’s strengths and needs. We have previously covered units such as:


Musical Theatre Techniques

Internal assessment


Healthy Dancer

Internal assessment


Writing for Performance

Internal assessment

*Units 1 – 6 are compulsory units, the two optional units we study are subject to change.


What it can lead to

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.

Possible (but not limited to) employment opportunities with this qualification:

  • Professional performance (e.g. theatre, actor, singer, dancer, backing dancer, presenter, cruise ship, holiday entertainment)
  • Teaching
  • Creative therapy
  • Theatre based employment
  • Costume/fashion design
  • Fitness instructor
  • Events management
  • Technical design
  • Media

Employability Skills

  • cognitive and problem-solving skills: use critical thinking, approach non-routine problems applying expert and creative solutions, use systems and technology
  • intrapersonal skills: communicating, working collaboratively, negotiating and influencing, self-presentation
  • interpersonal skills: self-management, adaptability and resilience, self-monitoring and development.

External activities

Pineapple Dance Studios, Royal Opera House, the West End and local theatre performances, Essex projects, workshops with industry professionals and the opportunity to attend creative workshops and performances in New York.

University pathway

In 2015, over 25% of the students entering university in England did so with a BTEC qualification.  There are many universities that actively welcome students who have chosen the BTEC pathway.  

These are just some examples

  • Conservatoire for Dance and Drama
  • Royal Central School for Speech and Drama (University of London)
  • Surrey University
  • Rose Bruford
  • Chichester
  • University of the Arts London
  • Kings College London
  • Leeds Conservatoire
  • Middlesex University
  • Bournemouth University
  • Portsmouth University
  • Buckingham University 

Vocational options:

  • Urdang
  • Trinity Laban
  • Italia Conti
  • Mountview
  • Rambert
  • Performers
  • Masters
  • GSA
  • The Brighton Academy
  • MET Film School
  • Bird College
  • Laine Theatre Arts
  • London Studio Centre
  • Tring Park

BTEC students coming in with vocational skills can really add something extra to university.  We’ve seen a real rise in the number of students applying with BTEC qualifications and we’re really pleased to see that they are going to be really successful.”

Director of Education Exeter University

What UCAS points can I achieve? 

The points shown below are only for your BTEC qualification, you would also add your chosen A Level points and any professional performance qualifications (e.g. LAMDA, BATD, RAD, ISTD etc) onto these.

Final grade


















To find out more about BTEC Performing Arts, speak to Mrs Hilder or e-mail