This two year course is equivalent to the 1st Year of a degree programme. It is a production-based course for students who wish to develop skills in the performing arts. The course is highly practical, but it also demands academic ability.

Accredited via Pearson, this two-year course has an emphasis on learning skills current to the performing arts industry with the aim of increasing your employability. It is a production-based course for students who wish to develop skills in the performing arts. The course is highly practical, but it also demands academic ability. We employ Project Based Learning (PBL) approaches giving you industry relevant experiential learning; preparing you for employment within the broad spectrum of the performing arts field. So, whether you’re looking to change job, return to work or boost your career prospects, the HND Performing Arts offers a higher education qualification for people of all ages and backgrounds.

Typical delivery hours consist of 17 hours per week of student/lecturer contact time. Students are expected to undertake approximately 10 hours self-study time per week. Studies will be based at the new SPACE building, located within Bangor.

Staff hold significant industry experience with specialism in devised theatre and specialism with academic practice and creative arts research skills.

You will study three mandatory modules throughout the duration of the programme, along with 13 specialist modules.


Mandatory modules include:

  • Creative Arts Research Skills
  • Preparation, Process and Production
  • Professional Practice


modules may be a choice of:

  • Popular Entertainment
  • Voice and Speech Development and Practice
  • Naturalistic Acting
  • Devising Performance
  • Lighting Operations for Live Performance
  • Acting for Microphone
  • Site-specific Performance
  • Acting for Camera
  • Development of Acting Skills
  • Creative Arts Workshop Leadership
  • Theatre Directing
  • Alternative Approaches to Acting
  • Innovative Theatre Performance Work
  • Final Major Performance will dictate final module choice

Additional modules can be attained via the optional dance pathway.

These may include:

  • Commercial Dance
  • Choreography of Group Performance
  • Dance for Musical Theatre

Each module or unit is assessed via 2 or 3 assignment briefs, with an emphasis on current industry practice (PBL).

Entry Requirements

Candidates must meet the following criteria:

  • A minimum of 4 GCSEs Grade C or above (or Level 2 Essential Skills)

And one of the following:

  • An A level qualification (minimum of 32 UCAS Points)
  • BTEC Extended National Diploma


  • Provide evidence of ability to undertake the course through the Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL). APEL is a process by which you may be awarded credits for learning that you have gained in the past, and which is relevant to the course to which you have applied. It may also help you gain entry to a programme if you do not have the required entry qualifications. This may be certified or experiential learning. Please ask for additional information.

Desirable qualities should include good performance skills and/or performance experience.

All applicants will undergo an interview; perform a 2-3 minute monologue from a published play and participate within a drama workshop. The interview process will involve an interview, a workshop audition and a monologue. The outcomes of which, along with the required grades, will determine your successful entry to this programme.

Please note that if the course is oversubscribed, additional criteria will be applied.

Where will it take me?

Progression routes include top ups at university, in Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK, or employment in the relevant field. Students can gain entry to the second year, or a final top-up year of a degree programme with appropriate grades in particular subject modules.

The specific vocational content of this course, along with access to a state-of-the-art theatre environment provide an invaluable pre-requisite to employment in all aspects of the creative arts industries. Previous students on this course have gained employment in technical theatre, teaching, and acting roles as well as establishing their own dance businesses.

How will it make me more employable?

You will ‘Get the Edge’ by:

  • Gaining a vocational qualification demonstrating your technical competence.
  • Gaining a Personal Development qualification demonstrating your employability skills (communication, teamwork, critical thinking).
  • Gaining hands-on experience through Industry Projects (PBL).
  • Getting involved in activities such as the SERC Volunteer Programme and SERC Student Companies.

This course will help you succeed in a highly competitive job market by developing the skills and knowledge that are required by employers.

As well as gaining a recognised qualification you will take part in employability skills workshops and gain skills in teamwork, commitment, IT and problem solving. You will also have the opportunity to become a member of The Glass Umbrella Theatre Company.

How will I be assessed and given feedback?

You will be assessed throughout the year by a mix of continuous, practical assessment and time-restricted assignments. Assessed work will include live performances and portfolios. Lecturers who are practising industry specialists will give you insightful feedback after inspecting your work.

There will be performance opportunities each semester during which you will present your work to peers, assessors and an invited audience.

Possible grades are as follows:

  • Distinction
  • Merit
  • Pass
  • Not Yet Achieved

Additional Costs

Field trips are mandatory, however there are occasions when lecturers will recommend performances with the teaching team deem supportive to the students' studies. The department recognises the importance of providing students with the opportunity to see professional works, both locally and internationally. Field trips do not have a direct impact on individual academic success. Costings for field trips are based on the confirmed total number of students wishing to partake.


Course and Provider regulated by Pearson.

Entry Requirements


Pearson BTEC HND in Performing Arts (QCF)
  • Week Starting: 04/09/2017
  • Type: Full-Time
  • Fee: £ 2500.00
  • Places Available: 16
  • Interview / Assessment Required
  • Year of Study: 1
Program taught in:
  • English

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Last updated May 10, 2019
This course is Campus based
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2 years
2,500 GBP
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