Back to all courses
Course overview

This course focuses on the practical and theoretical study of drama and theatre performance. The teachers draw on their expertise gained from working professionally in the industry and students are encouraged to develop their creativity and confidence. The Performing Arts Academy, set up with the help from The Octagon Theatre, Bolton, and enrichment programmes are designed to support students who wish to pursue a career in the industry.

Entry requirements

Students studying three A Levels will be expected to have a minimum of two GCSEs at grade 6 and three GCSEs at grade 5/4, including English Language and Mathematics at grade 5/4 or above. Or eight GCSEs at a minimum of grade 5. 

Students not currently studying Drama should have a proven record in the interest of drama by having participated in extracurricular clubs and enrichment, for example, drama clubs or school productions. To study Drama, you will be required to attend an audition.

Topics you will study

Component 1: Devising Theatre (Performance and Coursework)

Create an original piece of theatre from a stimulus
Use techniques from practitioners such as The Paper Birds or Antonin Artaud

Component 2: Theatre in Performance (Performance)

A group performance/design realisation of one key extract from a performance text. 
A monologue or duologue performance from one key extract from a different performance text.

Component 3: Theatre Makers in Practice (written exam) 

Live theatre evaluation 
Practical exploration and study of Machinal by Sophie Treadwell * - focusing on how this can be realised for performance. (Perspective of performer and a designer) 
Practical exploration and modern interpretation of Woyzeck by Georg Buchner, influenced by practitioner Bertolt Brecht* (Perspective of Director) 

*Please note plays and practitioners could change

Key features

You will develop a range of analytical and practical skills by exploring various theatre styles relating to both classic and contemporary theatre. Your skills will develop as a performer of scripted plays and you will become disciplined in the art of set and lighting design, devising new material, directing, and rehearsing. You will study a minimum of five theatre practitioners, and apply different theories and techniques to your own work. You will perform in a number of scripted and self-devised plays and see live performances. This course focuses on everything involved in developing theatre, and will suit students wishing to pursue a career in acting or other areas of theatre such as set design or directing.


Component 1: Devising - a group devised performance supported by a written portfolio documenting the development of the piece (40% of the qualification).

Component 2: Text in Performance - group performance/design of one key extract for a performance text and a monologue or duologue from one key extract from a different performance text (20% of the qualification).

Component 3: Theatre Makers in Practice - Written exam. Section A: Live Theatre Evaluation, Section B: Page to Stage, Section C: Interpreting a Performance Text (40% of the qualification).

Exam Board: EDEXCEL

Enrichment and Work Experience

Upon entry to a performing arts course you will be accepted into the Performing Arts Academy. The academy is an opportunity for our students to participate in professional workshops with industry professionals at The Octagon Theatre, universities, drama schools and local casting agencies. You will learn about different career opportunities in the performing arts industry and widen your experience and understanding of the professional world of performing arts. You will have the opportunity to perform at various events throughout the year as well as public performances both at our home theatre and larger venues such as The Lowry Theatre in Salford.

Why choose B6?

We keep class sizes small which means our students get the very best in personal tuition alongside the chance to gain more lead roles and be noticed when we have guest professionals visit, including casting agents and university recruiters. Keeping our class sizes small has proven to increase student performance and confidence, giving you greater opportunities to be heard and seen meaning you can reach your full potential. Our teachers have professional experience in the performing arts industry and have developed the Performing Arts Academy. The academy offers students the opportunity to take LAMDA exams, gain work experience and participate in professional workshops at the Octagon Theatre and with other professionals to develop those wider performance skills. We have free workshops and performances all year round delivered by guests from universities such as UCLAN, Liverpool Hope University, Arden School of Theatre, Sterling Academy and Bolton University. We also have visitors from the Octagon Theatre including professional scriptwriters and actors. We have excellent facilities including a theatre, rehearsal rooms, recording studios and a dance studio. 

Future career opportunities

The options are endless - all down to transferable skills! Many students progress to university, leading into careers including acting for stage and TV, musical theatre, broadcasting, presenting, directing, stage management, journalism and teaching, law and public relations. 

Additional information

Additional to your study, we provide you with the opportunity to visit the theatre to watch professional performances and visit Media City to learn about TV and radio performance. 

We are looking for students who are dedicated to success and ready to learn in a fast paced energetic environment. You will be expected to attend extra rehearsals, study sessions and skills workshops in order to reach your full potential.   

Our students also perform in a number of shows and events including national competitions. We also rehearse towards a large scale musical which is performed in a professional theatre.

Oskar Nuttall

Oskar Nuttall

A Level Drama & Theatre Studies, Law and Psychology

Previous school:
Harper Green School

Find out more


Sixth Form Expressive Arts Alumni Share Their Success Since Leaving B6

Sixth Form Expressive Arts Alumni Share Their Success Since Leaving B6

It’s always lovely when former students drop in to see us and recently a number of Expressive Arts

Find out more
Exceptional achievement for young rugby stars

Exceptional achievement for young rugby stars

Exceptional Achievement for Young Rugby Stars Jack Lightbown, aged just 17, was recently selected

Find out more
Art Students stun with end of year showcase

Art Students stun with end of year showcase

Early last week, Level 3 Art & Design students from The Sixth Form Bolton proudly showcased their

Find out more

This site uses cookies that enable us to make improvements, provide relevant content, and for analytics purposes. For more details, see our Cookie Policy. By clicking Accept, you consent to our use of cookies.