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UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma in Performing & Production Arts — Overview

This practical, industry-focused route will help you develop the knowledge, skills and understanding necessary to succeed as a storyteller in front of an audience and behind the scenes in the performing arts.

You’ll be introduced to the art of drama and acting, as well as the process of design, production and delivery of a performance.

You’ll be based in our pre-degree campus alongside film, photography and fashion students, providing opportunities to create and perform for traditional and community theatre, TV, film and audio. This will give you the grounding needed to understand the complete process, from concept to post-production.

Develop the knowledge, skills and understanding necessary to succeed in front of an audience and behind the scenes in the performing arts

Performances are created for an audience. You’ll explore and debate the ways that performance can influence people’s opinions and perceptions, thinking particularly about how the messages in a performance can fit within a wider social context.

Using live and digital techniques, you’ll develop an understanding of personal voice, social responsibility and how performances help to create an identity. You’ll gain hands-on experience in backstage skills such as make-up, costume, props, set design and prosthetics.

Alongside this you’ll also have the opportunity to develop your abilities in event management, front- of-house hospitality, and operating technical equipment.

“Whether you aspire to be a director, actor, set designer or costume maker, working in theatre, film or tv is a real team effort where every role creates the whole. As an independent theatre company, Stiltskin recognises the potential that Plymouth College of Art’s new course offers to students who wish to learn these many interdisciplinary skills; where you can find out what it takes to be a part of that team and discover the many exciting and varied career pathways within the performing arts.”

- Jacqueline Slade, Executive/Artistic Director, Stiltskin’s Soapbox Theatre, one of the leading organisations for children’s theatre within the South West


Students from across the college work on live projects with collaborators including Tate, Barbican Theatre and Theatre Royal – and we’ve partnered with the British Film Institute (BFI) to bring the prestigious BFI Film Academy to Plymouth.

You’ll work as part of a team from day one to produce performances that make a difference, sharing working spaces with directors, costume designers and graphic designers.

“This dynamic and specialist programme will equip students with the diverse skills required to thrive in the ever-changing world of live arts production, while broadening understanding of what contemporary performance can be. Students will develop a range of production and performance techniques in a creative and professional environment, preparing the next generation of confident, groundbreaking performance-makers.”

- Natalie Piper, Pretty Furies Theatre Company


We guarantee our Extended Diploma students a place on one of our BA (Hons) programmes if they achieve a Merit or higher in their final assessment and meet any additional entry criteria.

Students gain hands-on filmmaking skills at BFI Film Academy Plymouth

Many of our students choose to continue their studies with us on degree programmes including BA (Hons) Film, BA (Hons) Costume Production & Associated Crafts, and BA (Hons) Digital Media Production.

Future careers could include: actor, costume designer, prop-maker, screenwriter, stage manager, director, make-up artist, set designer.

UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma in Performing & Production Arts — Modules

Unit 1: Principles of performance - This unit will provide you with an introduction to a range of activities essential to the development and delivery of a performance. It will introduce the basic elements of drama, dance and music and impart an understanding of performance as a collaborative activity.

Unit 2: Engaging with an audience - This unit will provide you with an introduction to oral, written and visual communication in performing and production. It will enable you to explore and analyse meaning and how to convey a message to an audience.

Unit 3: Introduction to professional practice - This unit will provide you with an introduction to the diversity of roles, responsibilities, employment and progression opportunities available within the sector. It will introduce you to the importance of health and safety as integral to the performer and production and give an understanding of the characteristics needed for a career in the performing arts.

Unit 4: Critical and contextual awareness - This unit will provide you with an introduction to the investigation of both historical and contemporary contexts and perspectives that influence the development of ideas within the performing arts.

Unit 5: Production skills and context - This unit will enable you to critically analyse, integrate and apply knowledge and understanding acquired in previous units and to explore the specific skills and attributes required for production and design in the performing arts.

Unit 6: Performance skills and context - This unit will enable you to critically analyse, integrate and apply, knowledge and understanding acquired in previous units and to explore the specific skills and attributes required for performance in the performing arts.

Unit 7: Preparation for specialist study - This unit will provide you with an opportunity to critically analyse, integrate and apply the knowledge and understanding acquired in the previous units and to explore the specific skills and attributes required for your own personal practice.

Unit 8: Collaborative performance project - This unit will provide you with the opportunity to make use of the skills, knowledge and understanding developed through the previous units in the completion of a collaborative project. The unit will provide you with a measure of self-directed learning and enable you to clarify your longer-term goals through your choice of an activity to explore in greater depth.

Unit 9: Developing performance and production skills - This unit will provide you with an opportunity to enter into a more formal dialogue of personal interrogation and diagnosis designed to identify strengths, enthusiasms and ambitions within a specific pathway, and to develop the requisite artistic, professional and vocational skills necessary for progression within your chosen discipline.

Unit 10: Preparing for progression - This unit will prepare you, through a process of research, dialogue, reflection and evaluation, to identify and prepare for specific higher education or employment progression routes appropriate to your ambitions. The unit will enable you to demonstrate the requisite practical, intellectual and communication skills necessary for progression.

Unit 11: Exploration of specialist study and context - This unit is designed to enable you to understand a range of critical and contextual perspectives and approaches influencing performing and production arts. You will demonstrate your understanding through a personal research project in an area of interest, preparing you for the direction of your final project.

Unit 12: Extended project (Level 3) - This unit will provide an opportunity for you to engage in an extended activity related to your discipline of choice. The unit will enable you to take responsibility for your learning by responding positively to the greater opportunities for individual expression and creativity afforded, and to demonstrate your achievement through proposing and realising a project which integrates the skills, knowledge and understanding acquired throughout the course.

UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma in Performing & Production Arts — Staff

The staff listed on this programme are correct at the time of writing. Students will be notified if there are any changes to key staff (i.e. Programme Leaders and Lecturers).

UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma in Performing & Production Arts — Student Work

UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma in Performing & Production Arts — Students Say

UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma in Performing & Production Arts — Careers & Alumni

UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma in Performing & Production Arts — Entry Requirements

UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma in Performing & Production Arts — Resources

UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma in Performing & Production Arts — Interview

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