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UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma in Performing and Production Arts + IBCP

Course Duration

2 years; full-time

Whether you're interested in theatrical performance and set design or technical sound and lighting, this well-rounded course will immerse you in the exciting world of performance and backstage production.

The full title of this award qualification is UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma in Performing and Production Arts. University of the Arts London (UAL) Awarding Body supports innovative approaches to programme design and specialist delivery models within broader contexts. Therefore Pre-Degree students at Plymouth College of Art are offered the opportunity to pick this course amongst five other creative pathways including; Art & Design, Fashion & Textiles, Film, Animation & Media Production, Graphics, Illustration & Game Arts, Photography.

ED Performing Arts

The UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma in Performing Arts and Production Arts (+IBCP) provides students with a high degree of professional flexibility that can be mapped across various progression routes including freelance careers, creative and industrial employment, business development opportunities, university and higher-level apprenticeships. This study route provides two exploratory years equivalent to A-levels, offered as part of the new International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme (IBCP).

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. This provides you with an opportunity to develop your creative practice in a professional and agile manner, and work across different subject areas. It allows opportunities to collaborate, understand the wider aspects of creative practice and gives you the opportunity to explore, test and experiment in your chosen specialism, as you start to develop the employable and industry skills that will help you build a career.

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This course is designed and delivered by an industry specialist team with a significant body of professional practice. You’ll be introduced to the art of drama and acting, as well as the process of design, production and delivery of performance.

You will be taught by staff who have worked across a wide spectrum of theatre and performance contexts, from small scale touring to large scale International festivals. From intimate community theatre to epic-scale arenas, our experienced staff will apply their real-world expertise to your studies and help future-proof you for success in the competitive world of theatre, TV, film, and audio.

Your days will be highly practical and industry-focused. You’ll work both online and on-site at our dedicated Pre-Degree Campus, Palace Court. Interdisciplinary collaboration is encouraged, seeing you combine forces with peers in film, fine art, graphics, photography and fashion to realise your creative concepts.

“This unique course is desperately needed at a time when performance and theatre-makers have to respond creatively to some very tough global challenges. Forty years ago I stepped out of drama school thinking all I had to do was a good audition. What a shock I received on my first rural tour! How little I understood about space, architecture, acoustics, engineering, basic electronics… and the list has grown over the years! How I envy students on a course like this who might enter the world better equipped to be complete artists”
Rod Dixon, Artistic Director, Red Ladder Theatre Company

Perhaps you are an aspiring actor who also loves to illustrate, a dancer who can design, or an artist who wants to get into producing video content — as a theatre-maker, you can be all of these things and more. The college's strong focus on live projects will support you in developing the knowledge, skills and understanding you’ll need to succeed as a theatre-maker, whichever path you choose to take — in front of a live audience, behind the scenes, or a combination of both. If you are excited to explore your creative agency across a diverse range of performance and production disciplines this course is for you.

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You’ll work as part of an ensemble company (both digitally and live) and as a solo artist, to explore theatre-making practices and the actor-audience relationship, sharing creative spaces with performers, makers, directors, designers. You’ll encounter the worlds of performance, design, make-up, costume, props, lighting and projection and, using live and digital techniques, you’ll investigate the places where these worlds collide, where off-stage meets on-stage.

All students at our Palace Court campus learn additional skills through our ‘Character Project’, designed to empower their learning experience and prepare them to develop the resilience and interpersonal skills needed to succeed at work and life beyond education.

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.

“Flexible thinking, risk-taking, adaptability, collaboration and empathic perspective are key skills for any high-quality life long career, these skills are not innate they have to be learnt and honed for a life in the arts. The core principles that sustain the individual with these skills are taught on this course by some of the most expert professionals in the country. No matter what the future holds, any graduate from this course will have what they need to thrive."
Ros Philips, Freelance Theatre Director, Citizens theatre, The Albany, Queens Theatre Hornchurch, Lyceum Edinburgh

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.

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

Future careers could include; actor, director, choreographer, producer, designer, prop-maker, screenwriter, stage manager, make-up artist.

“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

International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme (IBCP)

You’ll have the opportunity to study an Extended Diploma as part of our IBCP, which also incorporates two International Baccalaureate Diploma subjects and core IBCP skills and competencies that align with our existing Character Project to help develop students with the integrity, communication and personal skills necessary for success in a rapidly-changing world.

While the IBCP will empower you to become a self-confident, skilled, and principled learner, ready to pursue your career on an international stage.

Alongside the Extended Diploma, IBCP students will complete two IB Diploma subjects, choosing from English Literature, Film, History, Business Management, Mathematics, Environmental Systems & Societies, Visual Arts, or Psychology.

All IB Diplomas and the Levels that they are taught are subject to demand - for this reason, applicants must list three IB Diplomas on their application, in order of preference.

Guaranteed Progression

Many of our students choose to continue their studies with us on degree programmes across art, design, craft and digital media. 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.

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