Entry requirements

Click the button to read our faculty brochure or read more about the course below:

  • Six GCSEs 9-4 (or A*-C)
  • Two from English, Maths OR Science
  • Two at least grade 6

This is equivalent to 1 A Level and can be taken alongside other A-level courses, including alongside A Level Drama.

BTEC Extended Certificate Performing Arts (1 A Level equivalent)

BTEC Performing arts - 1 A level equivalent

(Not a musical theatre course)

The course is ideal for any student who wishes to progress their career in acting, performance or go into the creative industries. The course is a vocational qualification that enables students to develop their performance skills to a very high level and to learn the graft and craft of acting. Although it is predominately practical by nature you will take part in theory sessions to deepen your understanding of Drama and the industry. It is a nationally recognised qualification by well-established Universities and Drama Schools.

Exam board: PEARSON

All BTEC Performing Arts students will also work towards a LAMDA Acting qualification in a bespoke LAMDA session


In the first year you will study 2 units:

  • Unit 1:  Investigating Practitioners’ work

Method of assessment: Written exam 3 hours (25%)

  • Unit 2: Developing skills and techniques for live performance

Method of assessment: Practical performance and coursework

In the second year you will study a further 2 units:

  • Unit 3: Group performance workshop

Method of assessment: Performance &  written controlled assessment 4 x 1 hour (33.3%)

  • Unit 19: Acting styles

Method of assessment: Practical performance and coursework



The majority of your learning will take place in purpose built theatre and rehearsal studio where you will develop specific acting techniques and skills. You will develop communication and presentation skills as well as developing confidence. You will learn through rehearsing, performing and research.  You will develop critical evaluation and reflect on your practical rehearsal and performance work. You will appraise the work of others.



Many students who have completed their training with us have gone onto professional work and to prestigious drama schools and university including: East 15, LAMDA, Arts Educational, ALRA, Mountview, Central School of Speech and Drama.

Students move onto a range of careers in theatre and the arts in both on stage and off stage roles as actors, directors, designers and more.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the differnce between Performing Arts and A Level Drama?

They both have some similarities. Both courses are Level 3 courses, meaning that if you get a Distinction* in the BTEC course, it is equivalent to getting an A* in A Level Drama.

The main difference is in how they are assessed:

- The BTEC course has 4 units over the 2 years, 3 of which are
very practically assessed with accompanying coursework. 2
units are externally set by the exam board, one focus on
Investigating Practitioner’s work, the other is Group
Performance Workshop. You study set works and repertoire and create your own work in response to a stimulus.

- The A level course is a brilliant
lend of practical work and
theory, including text interpretation, analysis, devising and performance. You will study 5 plays over two years and
explore a range of practitioners and styles using influence
from live and digital theatre performance.

On both courses you will get
24/7 access to digital theatre plus and the National Theatre Collection as part of your course materials.

Does the college put on shows?

Yes! We make regular use of our excellent facilities and put on high
quality, sell-out shows and performances as regularly as possible.
We offer a range of enrichments across college such as the college
productions (musicals and plays), the MANCEP Shakespeare
Festival, Dance showcase, Talent Show, Concerts and much more! Check out all shows here: https://www.loreto.ac.uk/performing-arts-and-music/

Is this course singing, acting and dancing?

No. It's a performing course. If you have a talent in voice or movement, it can be incorporated into your work.

What support do you provide for student applying to drama schools?

Whether you are applying to study performance at University at
drama school, you will most likely have to prepare for and attend
an audition.
We offer dedicated and bespoke training and support sessions for
students wishing to apply to drama school or performance training
centres and conservatoires. We will provide 1-2-1 training and
tuition for your audition monologues, songs and repertoire, as well
as support with the application process itself.
We have a brilliant track record of success; students have gone
onto the most prestigious drama schools including RADA, LAMDA,
East 15, Italia Conti, Mountview, Arts Ed and ALRA
All department staff are highly trained and have a wealth of
industry experience. We have excellent links to our past students
who have gone onto drama school and the performing arts sector
and have industry professionals and representatives from drama schools and accredited drama training universities regularly
delivering masterclasses and Q and A sessions to give you the best
advice each year.