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In Short

Application for this course is via UCAS UCAS Institution/Course Codes: Institution Code: W66, Course Code: W491

Higher Nationals in Performing Arts are designed to give students a broad range of skills essential to those who want to seek a career in the performing arts industry and to support their route into employment.  Students will study a wide variety of performance disciplines including: Acting, Dance, Singing, and Technical Theatre options as well as more generic units.  By delivering a range of skills the course aims to enhance opportunities for employment in the performing arts industry as well as developing transferable skills for many other industries.

This course is highly practical in nature and assessed entirely through coursework and practical activities that mirror industry requirements.

Students who successfully complete Year 1 of this course will be eligible for a stand-alone Higher National Certificate in Performing Arts.

Successful completion of Year 2 will enable students to receive the Higher National Diploma in Performing Arts (Musical Theatre).

Throughout this course there will be a requirement for students to work in groups culminating in live performance.

Students on the course will also have the opportunity to see live professional theatre at the Weymouth College Bay Theatre where they will be able to engage in workshops with visiting professionals.

Performing Arts alumni have found success in a number of related pathways, including film, television advertising, West End theatre performance, touring companies and a variety of technical theatre roles.

Note: students on this course will be registered to receive a stand-alone HNC Performing Arts in Year 1 of their studies

Entry Requirements

Applicants should normally be at least 18 years of age. Applications are welcomed from candidates with a subject-specific Level 3 course such as a National Subsidiary/Diploma/Extended Diploma, A Level, Access to Higher Education Course, or a work-based course, such as NVQ 3 or Advanced Apprenticeship with a minimum 48 UCAS points achieved. International applicants will be required to have an IELTS score of 6 achieved within the last two years to apply for this course.  Mature  students may present a more varied profile of achievement that is likely to include extensive work experience (paid and/or unpaid) and/or achievement of a range of professional qualifications in their work sector.

Applicants will be required to attend an interview and audition prior to an offer of a place on this course.

Course Content

The Pearson BTEC Level 5 HND in Performing Arts (Musical Theatre) (RQF) is a qualification with a minimum of 240 credits.  All units are 15 credits unless stated differently.


Year 1 – BTEC Higher National Certificate in Performing Arts

The General pathway has been created to support students who are unsure of their chosen specialist area at this stage in their development.

Mandatory Core Units: The Performing Arts Industry (Pearson-set), Professional Development

Optional Units: Jazz Dance 1, Contemporary Dance 1, Singing 1, Acting 1, Voice and Speech for Actors, Devising Theatre and Performance, Crewing

Year 2 – BTEC Higher National Diploma in Performing Arts (Musical Theatre)

Mandatory Core Units: Creative Research Project (30 credits) (Pearson-set), Working in the Performing Arts Industry

Specialist Units: Dance for Musical Theatre, Singing 2, Acting 2

Optional Units: Performance Project, Hair and Makeup Design

(* please note Optional Units may be subject to change)

How will I be assessed?

This course is predominantly assessed through the completion of assignment projects. Much of the study will require work outside of formal classes, so self-motivation and good time management skills are essential. As a guideline you are advised that a 15-credit unit approximates to a learning time of 150 hours.



A key progression path for BTEC HNC and HND learners is to the second or third year of a degree or honours degree programme, depending on the match of the BTEC Higher National units to the degree programme in question. Depending on the entry requirements of individual universities successful completion of the course will enable you to apply to top up to a range of degree level courses in related subject areas.  UCAS course search will enable you to explore options for Top Up courses available throughout the UK.


The course fees for all students for this course will be £6250 per annum. Details of the student finance available for all higher education students can be found on the student finance website

Note this course is classed as full-time HIGHER EDUCATION.

Additional Course Costs

Additional costs include:Theatre Season Ticket (approximately £70).  Performing Arts Department Hoodie and T Shirt (approximately £30)

*Note – All costs may be subject to change and may vary dependent on place of purchase.


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