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HND Diploma in Performing Arts (Performance) Theatre

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Course Details

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Subtitle In Partnership with – Theatre Royal Wakefield
Location Mechanics’ Theatre - Wakefield City Campus
Level Level 5
Start Date September
Duration 2 years
Mode of Study Full Time
Awarding Body Edexcel BTEC
Offering Code HDL5PER1D000
Institution Code W08
UCAS Code 004W
Programme Design and Overview

Professional development is at the heart of this course and you will have the opportunity to develop as a dramatic theatre artist in a truly creative and collaborative way. This course will provide you with the opportunity to apply your experience in the studios and in a diverse range of performance arenas. In year one you will develop performance and theatre skills in a supported forum.

In year two you will develop industry practices further, building on your previous experiences and exploring your own lines of enquiry to help develop you as a performing arts practitioner. Through engagement with industry professionals you will experience and gain first-hand knowledge and understanding to enhance your studies.

Through practical classes you will develop a wide range of performance techniques that are drawn from world-renowned practitioners and theorists enabling you to become a versatile practitioner. You will use this knowledge to truly understand the role of the performer and the relationship between you and the audience and the material being presented. The course is designed to give you the necessary skills to become proactive about your own career progression, building the confidence and ability to plan and deliver workshops, direct your own performances, devising and creative writing skills, teamwork and build a solid understanding of how the industry works.

Underpinning the practical aspects of the course is the exploration of theoretical concepts of performance and its creation and presentation. You will perform in two full scale productions a year that will see you apply techniques and develop your stagecraft. You will be expected to work with fellow students in a supportive and creative manner, often working with the director to develop performance work and your own understanding of how you make theatre works and take them from the page to the stage.

A variety of teaching and learning methods are used to encourage and facilitate your creative and artistic development and bring together practice and theory. Independent and collaborative learning will be encouraged through use of practical workshops, interactive lectures, resource-based learning, individual and group work, tutorials, discussion, critiques, performances, and rehearsals. You’ll also get to experience guest lectures from industry professionals and take part in workshops with top companies.

Indicative Content

YR 1 The Performing Arts Industry, Professional Development, Acting 1, Voice and Speech for Actors, Acting for Camera, Movement for Actors, Devising Theatre and Performance, Stagecraft.

YR 2 Working in the Performing Arts Industry, Creative Research Project, Acting 2, Immersive Theatre, Directing, Performance Project, Working in Creative Education.

Units can change according to reflecting industry trends or project designs.

Decisions like this are taken at the discretion of the course leader and are not optional.

Delivery Methods

Course hours typically stand at 15 hrs contact per week of lectures, rehearsals, workshops and self-directed study. This can increase during performance weeks and will require evening work and on occasion, weekends.

In addition to the course contact hours, students will need to undertake at least 10 hrs per week directed & self-directed study/ practice.

The course is typically split 60% Practical Work 40 % Classroom.

You will have classes with students in your own discipline and classes with students from other performances disciplines.

Nature of Assessments on the Programme

The College assesses you through the coursework that you produce as you complete each unit, this may include finished pieces of work, written work, your research, and a reflective journal which allows you to evaluate your learning and highlight your strengths and areas for further development.

Most units have some form of performance-based assessment attached that focus on a range of performance skills and genres.

There are two types of assessment that you will receive while on your course:
Formative assessment is the process whereby your work and progress are assessed at regular intervals with accompanying feedback from staff to help to improve your performance. Staff will provide you with feedback on the progress of your work before you reach the assessment point at the end of the unit. This may take place one-to-one with a tutor (e.g. in a tutorial) or in group sessions.

Summative assessment is the process whereby your work is evaluated and given a mark at the end of course unit. Summative assessment formally records your achievement of the unit’s learning outcomes and final feedback.
You will be assessed against the approved unit learning outcomes and assessment requirements as outlined in the unit handbooks, these typically include the module descriptor, assignment brief(s) and programme outlines. The unit handbooks guide you through the specific areas of work in which you will be engaged to produce the work required for assessment and so successfully achieve the unit learning outcomes. Many courses also employ self and peer evaluation or assessment within their overall assessment processes. Self-evaluation and self-assessment require you to reflect upon your learning and performance and to submit this to tutors. Peer evaluation and peer assessment are used when students have been working in teams and require each team member to reflect upon their peers’ performance and to submit this to tutors or to give you support and guidance in developing areas of performance.

There is a minimum of one piece of assessed work per unit.

Your tutors will help you to track your areas of achievement for each unit/module and to identify and discuss opportunities to collate evidence for module achievement.

You will be graded using the Edexcel guidelines and specifications to assess whether the evidence produced for assignments has reached the required standard at pass, merit or distinction level.

Assessment is ongoing within sessions and will comprise of peer and self-assessment as well as tutor assessment. There is a minimum of one piece of assessed work per unit.

Entry Requirements

64 UCAS tariff points from A Levels or a Level 3 diploma in a related subject.
An Access courses.

GCSE Grade C or above in English Language (or equivalent qualification) is required.

Those with previous experience or learning that is relevant may be eligible via our APL process for accreditation towards this course.

All applicants are required to audition consisting of an interview, 1 two-minute contemporary monologue and 1 two-minute classical theatre monologue, and a theatre critique.

Attendance Expectations Full time: 2 years, 3 days per week plus evening performances/ some weekends.
Attendance - Please note

Practical sessions take place at the University Campus and at The Mechanics’ Theatre in the Waterton Building.

Performances generally take place at The Mechanics’ Theatre in the Waterton Building. In the past performance have also taken place in various site-specific spaces and at the Theatre Royal Wakefield.

Theory lessons take place at the University Campus on Margaret Street.

Fee Information

These fees relate to 2020/2021

Annual Tuition Fee : Full-time £6750.00 per year

All eligible full-time Home and EU undergraduate students are entitled to apply for affordable Student Loans and Grants towards their tuition fees. For more information, please visit:

Different fees apply to international/overseas students and those studying this qualification as a standalone course.

Additional Course Costs

What the College provides for your tuition fees.


  • Induction Week course activities
  • Teaching and technical instruction
  • Access to, and use of relevant workshops and equipment
  • Access to, and use of relevant equipment in studios, including computers
  • Materials used as part of timetabled workshop inductions
  • Access to, and use of recycled materials within workshop areas
  • Access to Academic Registry and Student Support
  • Access to Careers Advice
  • Access to the Library and associated resources
  • Some local study visits
  • Performance opportunities
  • Discounted entry at Theatre Royal Wakefield and a range of shops and venues around the City

Not included:

  • Equipment for your personal or private use
  • Day-to-day items you may need as part of your personal, portable toolkit
  • Materials for producing your own work beyond inductions
  • Books for your personal or private use outside key course texts available in the Library
  • Study visits, unless specified Course and personal equipment

We advise Performing Arts students to invest in a basic set of equipment to help get started on the course. Depending on your specialism this equipment will inevitably vary; for example, as a student of Theatre, you may give some thought to investing in a range of suitable movement wear and stationary. We would encourage you to give some consideration to this before starting your course with us, and your future Course Leader will be happy to advise you regarding any queries you may have before starting your course with us. Because of the choice and diversity of materials for Performing Arts practice, it is not possible to generalise about the costs that you might incur.
Course requirements will largely determine the amount which you need to budget. For theatre visits or visiting practitioners your costs will not normally exceed £200.

You will be expected to contribute to the purchasing of costumes for which you will have ownership of, this will not normally exceed £50 You will be provided with a reading list, these titles are available in our college library. If you chose to purchase your own copies, you can buy used or new from websites such as Amazon. Information regarding suppliers of related services and materials within the region can be easily obtained from the internet or academic staff within the College.

The following costs should be used as a guide only.

Printing and photocopying costs:
There is no charge for course hand-outs, handbooks etc. Students will receive a printing credit of £10 per annum from the University Centre, after which students will have to pay for extra credits.

Library overdue charges:
Overdue charges apply to all library loans to encourage you to return any resources you borrow on time. Overdue charges are 5p per day per book.  There is no charge for e-books rentals.

Graduation Ceremony:
When you graduate, we will invite you to your graduation ceremony. It is free for you to attend, however, to take part you will need to pay to hire an academic robe to wear during the ceremony. Details can be found here:

Financial Support Information

The government provides financial assistance to help pay for tuition fees and to help with living costs. To find out more, visit the website at:

We have a strong commitment to widening access to higher education, and to help we have a range of bursaries and scholarships to support eligible students starting a higher education course with us in September. To find out more, email:

For more information on any funding or money matter issues please contact the Financial Support Team. Get in touch on 01924 789283 or email:

Further Study This course is recognised as a qualification in its own right or can be combined with a top-up degree to obtain a full honours degree like our BA (Hons) Performance Industries course. Alternatively, you can study a PGCE or Certificate in Education to progress to teaching.
Career Opportunities Careers in the performing arts industry include being a performer, deviser, community arts worker, arts manager, writer, director, teacher, or entrepreneur. Previous students have set up their own theatre companies or working as freelance Practitioners.
How to Apply Please apply through UCAS
Admissions Process

After applying through UCAS or through the college if you are internal student, you will be invited to an audition and interview. You are expected to learn and perform 1 classical and 1 contemporary monologue. You will then be interviewed by a member of the course team to discuss your reasons for applying and your career plan. You will also bring with you a theatre critique of a production that you have seen that has an impact on your perception of theatre practice.

For details on higher education admissions procedures, please see the 'Admissions Code of Practice' document on the Wakefield College website:

Pre-enrolment Preparation There is no pre-enrolment preparation required.
Group Size A typical group size is between 7-15, in some classes where units are generic across pathways, this number will increase to between 20 - 30.
Disability Support Information

We’re committed to a programme of support to ensure that the Equality and Diversity policy is fully effective. We recognise the importance of effective support mechanisms in enabling all students to achieve their potential and will continue to improve provision for students with a disability.

The Additional Support Service is responsible for supporting disabled learners and those with language support needs. The earlier you request support, the quicker it can be provided, so if you know you’ll need support or adjustments, contact us in good time before your course starts. Get in touch on 01924 789120 or email us at:

Terms and Conditions All units must be achieved in order to gain the correct amount of credits for the level of qualification.
For Further Details

Please contact Samantha Beswick on 01924 789868 or ring Campus Office on 01924 789803.

Open Events

To see our upcoming Open Events and to sign-up for priority entry, please click here:

Case Study

Student Feedback

The HND course in Theatre has been a tremendous experience. I have learned many skills such as collaboration, acting technique, directing, workshop leadership and production management. The staff here are passionate, honest and supportive, making me feel more like a company member than a student. The facilities are second to none, allowing everyone to rehearse and perform in a professional environment. Although my ambition has always been acting, I have learned to be an entrepreneurial artist, opening doors to many career paths within the performing arts. Jack Moorby, current HND YR 2 student.

The HND acting course at Wakefield college is brilliant, the range of units and modules greater your knowledge in all aspects of acting, including directing and devising. The tutors are supportive and always there when you need that extra bit of help and their knowledge is all relevant, so we're set up for the industry as it is currently. The course is friendly and fun and not only helps you achieve the grades in the course, but also helps to get yourself into the professional mannerisms of the industry. The course is engaging and interesting and overall a brilliant footstep into the world of acting. Anya Rodwell current HND YR 2 student.

Course Groups (W) Higher Education
Subject Area (W) Performing Arts
Client Group (W) International, 19+, Higher Education
Search Ref (W) 58014
Website Ref (W) EXNKBCE5NK, PG1379MMP
Information last amended: 01 April 2020 16:01