Performing Arts

Course Description

This is a highly practical course where you will gain and develop a range of performance disciplines. Your teachers have worked in the professional industry and use their experiences to help you devise and develop performances. This is an intense but fun course where you will have the opportunity to develop your own theatre company and create original work, providing you with organisational and leadership skills which will benefit you in any career path.

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. This course may be taken alongside A Level courses and may be more suited to learners with a strong profile of prior attainment in vocational studies.

Students not studying Drama should have a proven record in the interest of performing arts by having participated in extra-curricular clubs and enrichment, for example, drama clubs or school productions. To gain entry to this course you will be required to attend an audition.

Features of the Course

This course is designed to give you a ‘tool box’ of performance skills in a range of different styles and genres. You will be involved in live performances and will see external theatre productions and work with visiting professionals. You will learn how to create a theatre company and experience a range of career paths in the industry, meaning you develop more than just performance skills. This is a practically demanding subject, with energetic lessons alongside crucial development of your English skills.


Assessment consists of four units, two of which are examined externally. You will be examined in both practical performances and controlled assessments.

Exam Board: Pearson RQF

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 performance 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.

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 be the best you can be.

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.

Future students would benefit from researching the following practitioners and theories in preparation for the course: Frantic Assembly, Laban movement and efforts, Steven Berkoff and Konstantin Stanislavski.

Links With Other Subjects

Most subjects combine well with Performing Arts. However, if you are serious about a career in the industry then why not consider a combination of the following subjects: Drama and Theatre Studies, Media Studies, Music, Music Technology, Film Studies, English Literature and English Language.

Future Career Opportunities

Students progress to study at drama or dance school, or university. The skills are very transferable and desirable in other careers including law and public relations-related careers. Careers may include becoming a dancer, stage or screen actor, director, stage manager, teacher, drama therapist or choreographer.

Why study at The Sixth Form Bolton?

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, The Octagon Theatre, Bolton University and professional scriptwriters and actors. We have excellent facilities including a theatre, rehearsal rooms, recording studios and a dance studio.