Production Arts Practice BTEC National Extended Diploma level 3 – C0169

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Course Overview

Giving you a head start in the industry this course covers all the behind-the-scenes roles involved in backstage technical theatre and concert production. You will help run internal and external shows at our professional city-centre venue, the Sue Townsend Theatre, learning on the job to gain the skills you need to get work in this booming market.

Our two year course starts by studying the Diploma in the first year before progressing into year two to complete the Extended Diploma. You must pass year one to progress to year two. The Extended Diploma carries UCAS points and universities recognise the qualification as a method of progressing to relevant degree courses.

If you are aged 16 to 18, you will be enrolled on a study programme. This will include retaking GCSEs or undertaking Functional Skills in English and maths if you haven’t already achieved a grade 4 or above.
You will take part in activities that help you to develop your personal skills, such as building your character and confidence. This will help you to live well and move into your chosen career.

If you are 16-19 years old these activities will be timetabled as will work experience and placement. You can also choose to take part in other activities.
For other age groups, activities will be tailored to your needs.

What You'll Learn

Year 1

Over the two years, you will cover aspects of stage management, lighting, sound, props and set making and you will learn the importance of how these areas work together. You will also look at production arts planning; the context of performance; health and safety; and working for yourself in the industry.

The structure of the course means the first year is when more of the operator and technician roles are learnt and completed, before progressing onto more senior production roles in year two.

Year 2

Year two is more in-depth, and it introduces you to the more senior roles in stage production. You learn and develop the roles of lighting designer, sound designer and deputy stage manager and stage manager, again working on college and external productions to demonstrate learning.

Entry Requirements

Entry to this course requires five GCSEs at grade 4 (C) including English (essential) and maths (desirable). You will be required to provide one reference and it is desirable that you can demonstrate a 90% attendance rate from your last place of work or study.

You will be invited to attend a welcome event where you will participate in an audition to show you have a suitable level of experience or interest in the production arts, this is to support your careers choice and ensure that we place you on the right programme for you.

Consideration will be given to all applicants over the age of 19 who do not hold formal English and maths qualifications.

How you will be assessed

Assessment is completed through coursework over the two years. This course is highly practical, with an emphasis on doing and reflecting, often in a working blog format. Other assessment methods include presentations, sound and lighting design, plots, and reports. All areas of the course contribute to your final grade, however, there is opportunities to focus on particular areas of specialism too.

Course Fees

Tuition fees

Tuition Fees (16-18): £0.00

Tuition Fees (19+): £8583.00

Additional Costs

To get you started there is a £20 materials fee.

Material Fees



If the course is longer than one year the total fees are for the first year only and further fees may apply in future years. All fees are based on a ‘home’ learner status. Please contact us for information on overseas fees.

For more information, please see our course fee disclaimers page.

Learn more about fees

Course and Career progression

On completion of the two-year extended diploma, you may decide to study for a foundation or undergraduate degree in an area related to technical theatre. The Extended Diploma will award you with UCAS points which you may use to apply to our Higher Education provision or other universities across the UK. In terms of industry roles, if you are successful on the course you may go onto work in sound design and operation; lighting design and operation; stage management; set design; and building in theatres or concert venues.

What Happens Next

Apply online via the College website, or if your school uses the Positive Steps @16 (PS16) application system please apply through this and speak to your careers advisor if you are unsure. You will need details of your qualifications and employment history, a reference, and a personal statement to complete your application. Once your application has been successfully processed, you will be sent a conditional offer and be invited to a Welcome Event at the college for a tour and suitability audition. You will then need to confirm your acceptance of the course offered to you.

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