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BTEC Performing Arts

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BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Performing Arts

The performing arts are a major part of the creative and cultural industries in the UK. Overall, the industry contributes £4 billion to the UK economy and is a major employer. The UK’s performing arts sector is vibrant, varied and hugely successful. It is a growth industry that offers diverse employment opportunities, for example in dance, drama, music, theatre, film, puppetry, costume design, directing, set design, make-up or special effects, as well as in the support functions and roles that bring these art forms to the fore.

Who is this qualification for?

BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Performing Arts is intended as an Applied General qualification, and is designed for post 16 students, with an interest in performing arts, who want to continue their education through applied learning, and who aim to progress to higher education. The qualification is equivalent in size to 1 A Level and is designed to occupy one ¬third of a typical study programme, which could include other vocational or academic qualifications, such as another BTEC National or A Levels. This qualification gives a broad introduction to the performing arts sector, with an emphasis on core knowledge and fundamental skills that are transferable across other sectors (including communication, presentation, physical and creative skills).

What does the qualification cover?

The content of this qualification has been developed in consultation with academics to ensure that it supports progression to higher education. In addition, employers and professional bodies have been involved and consulted in order to confirm that the content is also appropriate and consistent with current practice for students choosing to enter employment. The three mandatory units focus on:

  • research – critical analysis and extended writing skills that aim to support students’ progress to higher education. As possible performing arts practitioners, students will gain a good understanding of the work of influential practitioners to inform their own work and practice (Unit – Investigating Practitioners’ Work)
  • an induction into the performing arts – where students will develop the appropriate skills and techniques in various performance disciplines such as acting, dance, musical theatre and physical theatre (Unit – Developing Skills and Techniques for Live Performance)
  • group performance – students will develop the essential psychomotor and affective skills essential for the performing arts.

They will develop physical techniques, as well as wider transferable skills such as being able to work collaboratively, personal management and organisation (rehearsals, time management), being able to give and take direction, confidence in front of an audience, problem solving and team work (essential when dancing as a group). Students will understand different audiences in different environments and will learn to adapt a performance to engage the target audience.
Students select one optional unit to support choices in progression to performing arts and other courses in HE, and also cover acting, dance and musical theatre topics. Examples of the optional units include: classical ballet technique, street dance technique, acting styles, developing the voice for performance, and variety performance.

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