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Extended Diploma in Performing Arts (Level 3)



Our performing arts courses are validated by: University of the Arts London

Hereford College of Arts has been teaching Performing Arts for over 25 years. It is unique in being the only college in the region to offer professional Performing Arts training within the creative environment of a college dedicated to the arts.

Our tutors have professional experience in the Performing Arts industry and the courses have strong links with a wide range of professional practitioners and performance companies that regularly come to visit the college to deliver workshops and/or performances to our students.

Educational trips are planned to see a varied selection of performance work, including cutting edge contemporary performances in dance, drama and musical theatre, as well as a programme of workshops by professional companies throughout your studies.


The Level 3 Diploma and Extended Diploma in Performing Arts course is designed to provide young people with the knowledge, skills and understanding necessary to access and progress to degree level study or employment in the performing arts.  The course provides an opportunity for those who have an interest in performing arts to explore, develop and test their creativity within a qualification structure which is stimulating and demanding and provides a supportive transition from general to more specialised study.

The course is delivered alongside our other performing arts course in an extremely creative environment based around the Folly Arts Theatre and our professional – standard dance studio.

Practical classes and tutorials take place over four days of the week, leaving plenty of study-time to complete supporting research and written tasks/ assignments. The units are delivered through practical performance project, which are assessed through an on-going monitoring of progress, together with supporting written tasks. Attendance and application to all areas is essential for successful completion.


On completion of the course, you will have developed your self-confidence, presentation skills, team-working potential and communication skills. As well as a personal career plan and improved performance skills, you will also have a deeper understanding of this challenging but very exciting, industry!

Students study English and Maths as an integral part of the course and will take Functional Skills qualifications and/or GCSEs as appropriate.


During your time at the College you will have the opportunity to join the Young Enterprise scheme, which gives you a real life experience of setting up a company.

Students study English and Maths as an integral part of the course and will take Functional Skills qualifications and/or GCSEs as appropriate.

Meet the people who teach on this course

Read our course blog



This course gives you access to modern performance dance studios and opportunities to collaborate regularly on projects with students from other FE and HE courses, such as Music, Fine Arts, Media Arts, offering you a rare creative, comprehensive and participatory learning experience.

On completion, the course is worth the equivalent of 3 A Levels.


Throughout the year you will be involved in a number of projects that will each introduce you to different skills and techniques needed. Each project culminates in a performance within the College and/or at external venues, enriching your experience and increasing your understanding and appreciation of the wide variety of different opportunities that exist in the Performing Arts industry.

The course provides you with an intensive, practical training environment together with grounding in theoretical analysis and appreciation of your own process. The units allow for you to design your own unique learning experience.

The course aims to prepare you for progression to higher education at university, dance or drama schools.
Practical classes and tutorials are delivered over four days of the week. Supporting research and written work for projects is completed during study time in and outside of college. Units are delivered through practical performance projects and assessed through observations during rehearsals, supporting written work and performance.


Depending on the project your skills sessions could include :

Jazz Dance
Ballet Technique
Physical Theatre
Circus Aerial/ Aerial Dance
Improvisation (movement)
World Dance
Contemporary Dance (Graham, Cunningham, Release)
Movement for the Actor

Classical Acting skills
Film and TV Acting
Radio Acting
Audition skills
Script writing
Contemporary Acting skills
Theatre for Education

Singing Technique
Classic Musical Theatre
Contemporary Musical Theatre
Improvisation (Acting)
Singing for Musical Theatre (Actors and Dancers)
Theatre for Children


Careers and Progression

The majority of our students completing the Extended Diploma successfully apply to degrees and foundation degrees at Universities and Colleges throughout the UK, as well as Drama Schools and Dance Conservatoires. Various career opportunities may include:

Actor (live and recorded media) , dancer, vocalist, arts administrators, musicians, technicians (live and recorded media), directors, performance managers and educators.

Some students have used their cross transferable skills to successfully forge careers outside of the Performing Arts, eg. Business and Management.

Frist Year+

First year (Award/Diploma)

Throughout your first year you will study all key areas of Performing Arts – Acting, Singing, Dance. You will have the opportunity to opt for a skills specialism in the second term.

In the third term you will take part in a public performance project. At the end of this year your performance throughout the course will be reviewed to determine progression onto the second year or we will discuss alternative and appropriate routes.

Second Year+


During your second year you will start to build an audition portfolio in preparation for the auditioning process at university, dance or drama school. During this time, a high level of advice and guidance will be given to you to support you through the UCAS application process.

You will take part in a number of projects and you will be assigned specific roles (on and off stage) depending on your individual development plan.

In your final term you will take part in a full-scale musical/drama production.


2 years


When we asked students:
87% think the library resources are good

87% feel the course has provided them with skills to get a job


This course has really boosted my confidence - I've learnt so much and so many new skills and I feel good about the future

Entry Requirements

  • Minimum 5 GCSEs at Grade C or above (to ensure that you qualify it is highly desirable that you achieve at least a grade C or above in both English and Maths)
  • Interview and audition. Applicants will also be required to complete a short piece of written work


College-Level 3


No tuition fees (with the exception of students from the Channel Islands) will be charged to students aged under 19 on 31st August in the year in which the student begins the course


Firstly, come along to one of our Open Events - meet our staff, current students, walk round the studios and workshops, and find out more about our courses
How to Apply

Fees & Funding