Performing Arts (Acting) BTEC

The BTEC in Performing Arts (Acting) aims to provide a broad educational base for further training, further education and employment within the performing arts sector. The course will develop learners’ abilities through the knowledge and practical skills gained in different parts of the programme.

The vocational context of the course provides learners with realistic, work-based scenarios and projects. Forging links and relationships with local and national professional practitioners such as Frantic Assembly provides a strong, vocational focus.

Learners are encouraged to take responsibility for their own learning and achievement, taking into account industry standards for behaviour and performance. The internal assessment approach allows learners to receive regular feedback on their progress throughout the course as they provide evidence towards the grading criteria.
The qualifications available at Aquinas College are:

Year 1- Certificate (equivalent to half an A level)

Year 2- Subsidiary Diploma (equivalent to one A level) or 90 Credit Diploma (equivalent to one and a half A levels)

UCAS Points gained for the course are currently as follows;

 PassMeritDistinctionDistinction*
Certificate8162428
Subsidiary Diploma16324856
90 Credit Diploma24487284

Montage of BTEC acting students

  • Course Outline
    • Learners undertake a number of units dependant on which qualification they undertake. The certificate option take 3 units, subsidiary diploma 6 units and the 90 credit diploma 9 units.

      Unit 19 Principles of Acting

      Aim and purpose– Learners will study the key principles of acting. These will be explored mainly through practical workshops, tutor-led rehearsals and performances to a live audience.

      Unit outline– Learners will study two contrasting practitioners with a practical focus and will consider a range of techniques that can help the actor to characterise a performance both physically and vocally. Learners will explore these principles both theoretically and practically and use the skills and techniques to develop characterisation and rehearse material for performance. The unit will also enable learners to evaluate their rehearsal and performance processes and to consider the relative success of different acting styles in communicating with an audience. Learners will rehearse scripted work and give two performances before an invited audience.

      Unit 7 Performing to an Audience

      Aim and purpose– The aim of this unit is to give learners experience of performing a role as part of an ensemble presenting rehearsed work to a live audience in an appropriate vocational setting.

      Unit outline– Learners focus on the realisation of rehearsed performance work to a live audience. Learners will gain a realistic experience of carrying out a defined performance role and apply relevant performance skills. The work will be offered to a live audience, whose experience and judgement of the performance should reflect those of a paying customer. This unit reflects the fact that every live performance has a unique and changing set of creative problems and challenges. The experience gained through this unit will enable learners to meet similar challenges in the future, whether seeking work in the profession, or progressing to further study in higher education.

      Unit 21 Drama Improvisation

      Aim and purpose– This unit invites learners to work on dramatic situations without the initial support of a written text. It allows the free exploration of ideas that can be developed into dramatic form to performance level.

      Unit Outline– Being able to improvise will be enormously helpful for anyone wanting to be a performer; however, it is an essential skill for any actor. Not all actors like having to improvise scenes and ideas in their work, but those who can, with speed, wit and ingenuity, find it a hugely important tool in their box of skills. In short, it makes those who are good at it much more employable than those who are not. Improvisation is great fun to do as well as being one of the best means of finding your way through a scene or into the head of a character. This unit will allow learners to explore fully how improvisation can work for an actor, what the techniques are, how to develop from a starting point and how not to come to a grinding halt through embarrassment or lack of ideas. There is an array of methods an actor can use to get over this and the more actors can employ them easily and to good end, the better the drama.

      Unit 32 Developing Physical Theatre

      Aim and Purpose– In this unit learners will gain an understanding of the skills and techniques of physical theatre, its key practitioners and styles and their role in contemporary performing arts.

      Unit Outline– This unit introduces learners to physical theatre as a unique form. The ability to create a sense of place and action without the necessity of settings, props and costume promotes a form where the actor is the centre of all stage effects. In this unit learners will explore key practitioners who have influenced physical theatre. They will develop physical theatre skills and techniques as well as create physical theatre performance work from a range of stimuli. Learners will investigate physical techniques through workshop participation and performance creation. Learners will have opportunities to try out different styles of physical theatre, to interpret both contemporary and traditional texts. They will learn how to create appropriate work for different kinds of audiences; for instance pieces made specifically for children and young people, based on fairy tales, contemporary issues and themes.

  • Career opportunities and further study
    • Students completing the BTEC will be amply prepared for further education or drama school. Past students have gone on to act on television, in Hollywood films and in West End musicals.

  • Trips and Events
    • Learners will perform in a variety of showcases throughout the academic year as part of the course requirement. Attending theatre trips, external workshops, and engaging with live performance work are vital parts of the course.

Entry Requirements 2019

You can download provisional entry requirements for 2019 courses below. Please note that your enrolment on to a particular course must be approved by the Head of that department.

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