Peter Symonds College

Study at PSC

BTEC Performance: Acting is a Level 3 Extended Certificate, which is a two year course equivalent to 1 A Level. It is an exciting professional and vocational course focussed on practical performance.

Course Content

You will be developing and extending all your performance skills in acting with a view to broadening your skills to develop you into a versatile and experienced performer. You will perform from established scripts and also develop your own performance ideas through group devised work. Every unit is practical and contains performance. There are 5 units in total; 3 to be studied in the first year and 2 in the second year. As well as being taught by our highly qualified staff, you will at times be working with industry professionals. There are numerous opportunities to go to top quality live theatre in London and beyond, including New York. 

Year 1

  • Developing Skills and Techniques: (Internally Assessed) This unit is about developing the skills required to use the voice and body to explore performance skills in a creative context. This unit enables students to develop a range of approaches to acting through studying different acting skills and techniques and applying them to performance.
  • Acting Styles: (Internally Assessed) This unit enables students to develop a range of approaches to acting through studying different acting styles and applying them to performance. Students will rehearse and perform two contrasting performances of scenes drawn from scripted plays.
  • Storytelling: (Internally Assessed) This unit develops students’ skills in creating performance for different target audiences. Students will explore and develop performance ideas utilising a variety of performance skills and techniques, such as puppetry and song.

Year 2

  • Acting for Screen: (Internally Assessed) - In this unit, you will develop an understanding of how to apply your acting skills and techniques in front of the camera. You will learn how to scale your performance both physically and vocally to suit the requirements of the camera. Screen acting gives a range of employment opportunities, including working in television drama, performing in adverts motion-picture acting and corporate training and information work. This unit will provide you with the technical know-how for working on a film/TV set or location.
  • Group Performance Workshop: (Externally Assessed) This unit requires students to develop a performance as part of a group. Students are required to follow a process of research, devising, rehearsal techniques and final performance for a public audience. Productions will be based on a stimulus set down by the exam board and students will be guided through the performance process through a series of workshops and rehearsal. 

Methods of Teaching

We encourage students to explore theatrical ideas in a practical way creating a variety of performances which will develop a range of performance skills.  The course is taught through a combination of practical workshops, student led research, rehearsal and performance evaluation.

Methods & Patterns of Assessment

Students are rewarded along the way for consistent hard work, without the added pressure of written exams at the end.  The course is totally assessed through a range of assignments, predominantly performances and some focussed coursework. In the final year there is an externally assessed unit which will be set by the exam board. This assessment will involve a 5 week exam period which will culminate in a final assessment which will take place in May/June.

There are no written examinations.

Where Could It Take Me?

BTEC Performing Arts will give you the skills you need to develop to the next stage either into Drama Schools or Theatre related courses at University. This course will also support those students who wish to take Drama or Performance as a joint honours course or who are looking to develop valuable confidence, team work and presentation skills into other subject areas or the world of work.

Financial Implications

You will be asked for a payment of £120 at the start of each year which covers visits to professional performances, including any travel costs, and also professional workshops. The cost of each trip/workshop will be specified in a letter given to the students prior to each activity. Included in the one-off payment is a contribution towards the costs of hand-outs and other resources, at the start of the course.

The college has a Student Support Fund for those who have financial difficulties, so please do not allow any worries in this area to prevent you from embarking on this course.

Entry Requirements

5 GCSEs at grade 4 or above, including English and Mathematics.  GCSE in Drama or Dance, Performing Arts Diploma or equivalent recommended.