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Course leader: Mr B Lancaster

Aims of the course:

  • The aim of the Extended Diploma in Performing Arts is to provide a deep
    learning experience for students who are passionate that a future in this industry is for them. A fully cohesive educational programme consisting of Acting, Singing and Dance techniques is provided with a view to successful audition placements at Universities, Conservatoires or Stage Schools [Vocational Colleges]

What are lessons like?

  • Lessons are heavily influenced by practical workshops and rehearsals. Theory work is embedded through the practical elements and there is opportunity to consolidate new information through specialised theory- based classes as required.
  • A lot of the work is done individually or as part of smaller performance groups so there must be a strong focus on your own personal management skills.

What are exams like?

  • On this course, there are four externally assessed units. The first is a written essay which has 4 weeks preparation and 3 hours to complete. The second is a practical performance that has a guided learning hour of 60. Both of these assessments are sent to the exam board for marking. The final two units are a solo performance to a commission as well as an industry proposal.
  • The other units are completed in-house. They are marked by the department and sent off to the examination board for standards verification.

Recommended prior learning /entry requirements:

  • For the full-time course, a background of prior performing arts education is essential. Ideally at least one Drama/Musical Theatre or Dance GCSE at a Grade 4+ [Btec Level 2 Pass+]. If this is not the case, then it is advised that you take some form of technique classes before your commencement with us.
  • All students who wish to study with us are asked to attend our open workshop day later in the year.

Recommended additional reading:

  • An understanding or knowledge of how plays are written and stage directions. We recommend ‘An Actor Prepares’ by Konstantine Stanislavski as a good basis.

Where can this course lead to?

  • This course can lead on too many university, conservatories or Vocational
    college placements. We have strong links with some of the best training facilities in the United Kingdom and it is worth pointing out that our previous students have gone on to study Acting, Theatre Directing, European Theatre, Community Theatre, Performing Arts, musical Theatre at Trinity Laban, York St Johns, The Brighton Academy, Chichester University, TheatreWorks to name a few.

Why study the Extended Diploma in Performing Arts at St Mary’s College Sixth Form?

  • Our highly qualified faculty of staff have both academia and professional performance experience who bring a wealth of knowledge to your education. We are a hugely passionate team of staff who work hard to bring you an education than spans more than the pages of the specification.
  • We are one of the only 6th form courses in the country to be recognised by the CDMT (The Council for Dance, Drama and musical Theatre)
  • Our links with the RSC and top UK Vocational colleges are celebrated throughout the year. We invite certain Higher Educational colleges to us for audition purposes. We are also passionate about bringing in current professional performers.