Foundation Diploma

BTEC Foundation Diplomas in Acting, Dance or Musical Theatre

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  • BTEC Foundation Diplomas in Acting, Dance OR Musical Theatre
  • BTEC National Extended Diploma in Performing Arts Practice 

All 100% internally assessed – no external examinations


Foundation Diplomas in Performing Arts Practice allow you to specialise in either Acting, Dance or Musical Theatre. The diplomas are two-year courses that are equivalent to 1.5 A-Levels and will allow you to develop your skills within your chosen genre through workshops and refine the work to be presented to audiences both within the College as well as in external venues.


What Will You Study?




The BTEC Performing Arts Acting course is a practical based subject that will introduce you to a broad range of theatrical styles and approaches to acting. The course will enrich your ability to develop and embody roles from published plays. You will also work in groups to create your own performance material and you will also develop your improvisation skills through extensive practical workshops. In addition to this you will develop an understanding of the performing arts industry in terms of current and future developments, financial aspects, employment opportunities and self-promotion.

As part of the Exploring Performance Styles and Skills for Performance and Creating Performance Material units, you will study the ideas of key theatrical practitioners, directors, and acting coaches. You will apply their techniques to specific roles from contrasting plays. You will perform extracts from plays in front of invited audiences in a workshop setting, and you will also perform a role/s in a full-length play for a public audience. You will take part in extensive practical drama workshops where you will develop your improvisation skills through games and activities, and you will work in groups to create original plays.  In addition to this will develop your skills in other areas of performance such as physical theatre, voice, movement and classical acting




The BTEC Dance course is a practical based subject that will introduce you to a broad range of dance styles and approaches to dancing. The course will enrich your ability to develop your technical and performance skills. Working in groups is an essential component on the course, you will develop improvisational and choreographic skill in workshop situations and refine the work to be presented to audiences both within the college as well as in external venues. In Y12 you will study Exploring Performance Styles which will enable you to experience both the theoretical and practical application of a variety of different dance styles, which include Modern Dance, Contemporary Dance and Jazz Dance. The main aim of this part of the module is to increase your performance skills whilst studying contrasting practitioners. Creating Performance Material will provide you with the opportunity to learn the craft of choreography, exploring the different forms and structures and choreographic devices used in professional practice whilst creating and devising your own work.  In Y13 you will continue to develop your Dance technique with a focus on performance and planning a career.


Musical Theatre


In Y12 you will study Exploring Performance Styles – during this module you will explore different types of Musical Theatre genres whilst learning extracts from shows and performing to an audience.   You will look at Creating Performance Material, during this module you will have the opportunity to create your own piece of musical theatre that incorporates dance, acting and singing.   In Y13 you study Performing Musical Theatre for an Audience, this is where you will rehearse, and perform a musical for a live audience.  You will also complete Planning a Career in the Industry – this is where you will investigate the opportunities available within the industry of the Performing Arts.   The course is exciting and full of fun, a great opportunity to perform and create.  Alongside developing your skills of dancing and acting, you will receive a group vocal lesson taught by a specialist vocal coach.  There are also opportunities to take part in professional workshops and trips to the theatre.




BTEC Extended Diploma in Performing Arts Practice


The Extended Diploma in Performing Arts Practice allows you to study a range of Acting, Dance and Musical Theatre skills. It is equivalent to 3 A-Levels and will allow you to develop your skills across the industry through extensive training and study. This Advanced Performer Training (APT) course will equip you with a full range of skills and experiences to become an all-round performer.


If you live and breathe Performing Arts, if you want the very best training to help you on the road to a career in the Performing Arts, if you want to study a practical course designed in collaboration with educators and industry professionals this is the course for you.

The qualification has been developed alongside experts from the creative industries to focus on practical and progression focused learning. It provides you with opportunities to enter a broader range of higher education, apprenticeships, or employment roles as well as developing skills to become a ‘triple threat’ performer.

APT features four large, simple and holistic modules across the course with linked assessment units that can be combined into the larger projects. Work is generated through practical projects, briefs, workshops and engagement with industry, preparing you through the development of portfolios and materials for progression.




APT is for those students who have decided they want to push themselves to EXCEL in one of the most competitive industries in the world. You will receive training in Acting, Dance and Musical Theatre from the finest tutors who have a combined wealth of educational and industry experience.



What Next?


Many students choose to study performance further at University in degree courses such as, Drama and Theatre Studies, Performing Arts, Dance Performance, Dance Performance and Teaching, Media and Performance. Some students go onto Vocational Training in some of the country’s most prestigious Drama, Dance and Musical Theatre Schools such as Trinity Laban, Guildford School of Acting, LIPA, Bird College, Laine Theatre Arts, Italia Conti etc.


Exam Board:




Entry Requirements:


You will need at least five 4s in your GCSEs and at least a 4 in English Language or Maths.

For Dance, previous experience is preferred.


Course Type:

BTEC Foundation Diploma

BTEC Extended Diploma


What other subjects go well with this subject?


The Foundation Diplomas can be studied alongside any two other A-Levels or equivalent, but cannot be chosen alongside each other.

Film Studies, Media Studies, Fine Art, English Literature, English Language, Dance, Music, Drama & Theatre Studies.

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    TELEPHONE: 01772 460181

    Cardinal Newman College,
    Lark Hill Road, Preston, Lancashire. PR1 4HD