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BTEC Performing Arts


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Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Performing Arts is the equivalent of a full A Level course. The Extended Certificate is for learners who are interested in learning about the performing arts sector with a view to progressing to a wide range of higher education courses. It is designed to be taken as part of a programme of study that includes other appropriate BTEC Nationals or A Levels. This qualification gives a broad introduction to the performing arts sector with an emphasis on core knowledge and fundamental skills which are transferable across other sectors (including communication, presentation, physical and creative skills).

Entry - Please refer to entry requirements

Attendance - Two years to complete the full Level 3 Extended Certificate

Assessment - Pearson Edexcel

By following this link, you can see the specification on the exam board website:

There are four units of work, of which three of these are mandatory and there are options for the fourth. The course is broken down into a mixture of internal and external assessments.

Unit Number

Unit Title

Mode of Assessment

Brief Outline of Unit


Investigating Practitioners Work

Externally assessed

Learners investigate the work of performing arts practitioners and develop critical analysis skills and contextual understanding of how practitioners communicate themes in their work.

In this unit you will:

  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of contextual factors that influence work of performing arts practitioners
  • Apply knowledge and understanding of how contextual factors influence the creative intentions and themes of performing arts practitioners
  • Apply critical analysis skills to develop and demonstrate understanding of performance, production and repertoire

Be able to apply an effective investigation process to inform the understanding of the work of performing arts practitioners, communicating independent judgements


Developing Skills and Techniques for Live Performance


Internally Assessed

Learners explore technical performance skills with a focus on developing skills and techniques in at least two performance styles.

In this unit you will:

  • Understand the role and skills of a performer
  • Develop performance skills and techniques for live performance
  • Apply performance skills and techniques in selected styles

Review and reflect on development of skills and techniques for live performance.


Group Performance Workshop

Externally Assessed


Learners explore and integrate creative, physical and vocal skills and techniques, working collaboratively to create a performance in response to a given stimulus.

In this unit you will:

  • Understand how to interpret and respond to stimulus for a group performance
  • Develop and realise creative ideas for a group performance in response to stimulus
  • Apply personal management and collaborative skills to a group performance workshop process

Apply performance skills to communicate creative intentions during performance workshop AO5 Review and reflect on the effectiveness of the working process and the workshop performance


Optional Choice

See Brief Outline

Internally Assessed

There are a number of other optional units to choose from which include:

  • Acting Styles
  • Developing the Voice for Performance
  • Improvisation
  • Movement in Performance
  • Musical Theatre Techniques

Variety Performance

Moving on

It is highly beneficial for anybody seeking any sort of performance-based career and it proves valuable for work in broadcasting and the media in general. Performing Arts is useful for anyone entering teaching as a career and particularly as a subsidiary subject for those working in primary and middle schools. In addition to the performance sector-specific content outlined above, this qualification gives learners transferable and higher-order skills that are valued by higher education providers and employers, for example performance techniques, communication skills, team working.