Skip to content ↓
Ivybridge Community College

Ivybridge Community College

BTEC Performing Arts

BTEC Extended Certificate in Performing Arts                                                                            

Exam Board: Pearson

Overview of the course:

This two year course provides an excellent stepping stone for those wishing to pursue a career in Performing Arts, or who would like to progress onto an appropriately related course or occupation.  This course would lead to a BTEC Extended Certificate in Performing Arts (equivalent to one A Level) and can be studied alongside other BTEC qualifications or A Levels to support progression of knowledge in the sector of Performing Arts.  Having additional studies alongside this qualification allows students to obtain a wider breadth of subject knowledge, especially if choosing a contrasting subject.  Likewise, students can choose subjects which lend more focus to pursuing a Performing Arts career, in subjects such as A Level Drama and Theatre Studies, Dance or Music.

Where the BTEC in Performing Arts differs from A Level is that it has practical led elements which drive the course.  Students should expect to be involved in rehearsal and performance activities at a consistently high standard, which requires a great deal of focus, discipline and professionalism.  Students will be taught by three subject specialist teachers within their field, of acting, singing and dancing, so standards will be high.

The BTEC will provide students with the opportunity to learn, enhance, and combine three key Performing Arts skills to a professional standard, of acting, singing and dancing. Through its approach students will gain a unique understanding of the focus and discipline needed in order to perform.


What will you study?

The BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Performing Arts is a 360 guided learning hours (GLH) qualification that consists of four units.  Three are mandatory, with two of those being externally assessed, and two internally assessed.                                                       Mandatory content makes up 83% of your BTEC.


Mandatory units: 

Unit 1: Investigating practitioners’ work, 90 GLH, mandatory, externally assessed. 

Unit 2: Developing skills and techniques for Live Performance, 90 GLH, mandatory,    internally assessed.

Unit 3: Group Performance Workshop, 120 GLH, mandatory, externally assessed.


Specialist Units:

Unit 27: Musical Theatre Techniques, 60 GLH, optional, internally assessed.

Unit 28: Variety Performance, 60 GLH, optional, internally assessed.


Possible Career paths?

Higher Education

Performing Arts/Dance/Drama school

Member of a Theatre/Performing Arts company

Actor/Dancer/Director in film, television or media

Teacher or workshop facilitator


Communication based job requiring well rounded and confident employees


Previous destinations of past students:                                                                   

Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts, East 15, Bird College of Dance and The Institute of the Arts Barcelona.


Entry requirements:

Preferably five GCSE’s grade 9-5 including Drama, English and Mathematics.  However, in the absence of Drama qualifications we would expect students to have some performance experience and extra-curricular engagement within the Performing Arts.  Students will be expected to work as a group at the start of the course in order to assess their suitability for this course.


Performing Arts Staff

We are very successful classroom practitioners who work well as a team, while offering students individual, creative and varied teaching styles.   Every member of staff is committed to helping students to achieve the very best that they can and this is reflected in our results.

The teaching staff includes:

  • Teacher in charge of BTEC Performing Arts and Drama – Miss Rachel McGarry
  • Teacher leading BTEC Music- Mrs Hannah Stephenson
  • Teachers leading BTEC Dance – Mrs Lisa Arnold and Mrs Wilson



The Department has the following facilities:

  • Drama studio fully equipped with technical facilities
  • Performance hall with an open-plan stage fully equipped with technical facilities. The hall is the focal point of College concerts and presentations
  • Two Performing Arts studios with mirrors and a sound system
  • Gymnasium with mirrors and sound system
  • Dance Classroom (C309) with white board
  • Performing Arts ICT Suite

The Department’s staff are renowned for their dedication to an extensive programme of lunchtime and after-school activities, which enables the College to run sparkling music concerts, Performing Arts shows, highly acclaimed musicals, dance shows and other exceptional College productions.


Community Links

The learning community of the Department is supported and enhanced through access to a variety of innovative professional programs of activity including:

  • Theatre Royal
  • Primary partner schools

                                                                                                                                    Performance Opportunities:

When enrolled upon the class, students will also be expected to participate in the following extra-curricular events as part of the course, often linked to assessment points, alongside developing live performance skills.

Performing Arts Show or College Production

Open Evenings

Awards Evenings

Primary Festivals and Events

Christmas Carol Service

Musical Theatre Show

Year 12 Transition to Performing Arts Students