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Pearson BTEC Level 4 HNC Performing Arts (Acting)

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This programme develops a wide range of performance skills (acting, voice, devising, acting for camera and movement) and is aimed at dedicated learners who want to move into the performing arts industry or drama school, and are looking for further practical training and a nationally-recognised Level 4 qualification. This full time course is delivered by experienced professionals who are experts in the industry and have an extensive performance and teaching profile.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) information

Kingston College continues to welcome applications for the 2020-21 academic year via UCAS.

Interviews and portfolio reviews will be conducted online via Skype (free to download), and applicants are encouraged to set up Skype accounts in preparation for this.

September 2020 delivery

It is anticipated that delivery for this course in September will be through a blended approach consisting of some face to face delivery and some online delivery. Following the lead of industry practice, lecturers will facilitate students in creating performance and artwork in a range of live and digital performance platforms. As professionals adjust their own practice, taking on board external factors; our practitioners teaching on our BA programmes will guide students to be creatively responsive. We will continue to be guided by the Department of Education and Pearson guidelines. Our class sizes are typically small which is beneficial in adhering to social distancing measures and keeping our students and staff safe. We aim to move to full face-to-face delivery as soon as Government guidelines allow us to do so safely.

Introductory course information

Award: Pearson BTEC Higher National Certificate in Performing Arts (Acting)

UCAS Code: KC11

Institution Code: K82

Location of study: Kingston College (Kingston Hall Road and CIC – Creative Industries Centre) 

Awarding body: Pearson.

Course duration: 1 year (full-time)

Academic year dates:  September 2020 until July 2021 

Days of the week:  You will be expected to attend for 3 days a week, including evenings for rehearsals and performances. 

Work placements: N/A.

Timetables:  Timetables are normally available one month before registration. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week. Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and cultural activities. Part-time classes are normally scheduled on one or two days per week, details of which can be obtained from the course leader. 

Course leader: Sheryl Skyme This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 020 826 82745 

Entry Requirements

High School Leaving Certificate. Satisfactory reference, audition for applicants in the UK, DVD accepted from students overseas. IELTS 5.5 or equivalent English Language Certificate. Applicants should have at least 32 UCAS points from one A Level, a BTEC Level 3 or equivalent qualification. You will need to pass an audition and provide a satisfactory reference. Maths and English GCSEs at grade C/4 or above are also required. Non-traditional entry with alternative qualifications or experience, for example mature students, with relevant experience may also be considered.

See below for accreditation of prior learning or experience as alternative entry requirements and credit transfer.

Additional requirements

References from an official email address (ie. NOT Outlook, Gmail, Yahoo, etc.) This can be from your previous institution if you were a student in the last 4 years or from a line manager if you are currently working.

Credit transfer and accreditation of prior learning or experience

If you do not have the required qualifications, it may be possible to gain entry to the course. For example,  those with relevant performance experience may also be considered for accreditation of prior learning.

If you have achieved a qualification such as a foundation degree or HND, or have gained credit at another higher education institution, you may be able to enter the course at level 5 or level 6.  For further information, please visit our Credit Transfer page [link]. Other qualifications and relevant work experience may also count for academic credit. Further information is available at our Accreditation of Prior Learning page.

International Students

Suitable applicants requiring a Tier 4 Visa will be contacted by our International and Compliance Officer, who will guide you through the process. These are the courses available for Tier 4 students.

Course Overview

This programme develops a wide range of performance skills (acting, voice, devising, acting for camera and movement) and is aimed at dedicated learners who want to move into the performing arts industry or drama school, and are looking for further practical training and a nationally-recognised Level 4 qualification. This full time course is delivered by experienced professionals who are experts in the industry and have an extensive performance and teaching profile.

The course is practically driven but it also demands academic ability to build a solid grounding in performance, theory, industry knowledge, and business skills. Performance opportunities run throughout the course.

Skills covered are tailored to drama school/industry requirements:

  • Practical skills provide the building blocks and include acting, movement, voice, devising, film and TV, audition techniques. (Extra dance, production and/or writing opportunities may be customised to an individual’s learning programme if required.)
  • Industry knowledge will underpin practical skills. Participants will develop a well-presented CV and be supported to develop an industry-level profile as a performance practitioner. Knowledge about agents, agencies, unions, relevant legal and statutory frameworks, current and historic company structures, and funding, will form the basis of ensuring industry readiness.

Module/Unit Information

Students will study the following Level 4 units:

Unit 1: The Performing Arts Industry (Core, 15 credits): This provides an exploration into the creative arts industry, considering varied jobs roles and functions within the performing arts. This unit develops students’ awareness of key areas of working in performing arts and allows for exploration and research in all matters related to surviving and thriving within the performing arts industry. Employability, self-maintenance, managing finances and the increasing importance of online and offline marketing are all areas that will be covered throughout this unit.

Unit 2: Professional Development (Core, 15 credits): Building on your knowledge of working within the performing arts, this unit encourages you to set yourself up as a professional within the industry, considering the audition process and online promotion. In this unit, you will explore the many potential avenues of employment that relate to your specialism, build an awareness of how to present yourself to the market place and embark on a journey of professional development. On completion of this unit, students will have made decisions around their vocation and demonstrated the level of autonomy needed for success in the creative industry.

The College intends for the following modules to be available, however this may depend on staffing:-

Unit 10: Investigation of Specialism (Optional, 15 credits): The aim of this unit is to give students a grounding in the history of their specialist area, so that they may achieve a greater knowledge of their roots. Through the academic study of their chosen genre, they will also develop presentation and dissemination skills, refine their artist’s voice, gain confidence and retain important historical information to use throughout their careers.

Unit 13: Acting (Optional, 15 credits): There is no one defined process which provides a ready manual to be followed to develop a student’s acting skills. The aim of the unit is to introduce students to accepted principles of acting technique. Students will explore and develop technical and interpretive skills required to perform in a range of performance contexts and as such provide a foundation for future development which, as their understanding of the acting process and themselves develops, they can shape to suit their own needs.

Unit 17: Acting for Camera (Optional, 15 credits): This unit will foster technical acumen in meeting the practical and artistic demands of realising performance for the screen. Topics included in this unit are understanding the challenges of working on set, developing suitable acting techniques for camera, rehearsing material and performing in front of camera.

Unit 12: Singing (Optional, 15 credits): This unit is designed to produce independent vocal practitioners who have the knowledge and skills to fulfill their full potential as a singer and the versatility to meet the wide-ranging vocal demands of the musical theatre industry. Students will acquire a detailed physical understanding of the workings of the vocal mechanism and the technique and awareness required to achieve vocal performances of the highest possible standard. By the end of the unit students will learn how to produce a more confident and tonally secure sound by developing their musical ear.

Unit 19: Movement for Actors (Optional, 15 credits): Significant physical demands are placed on the modern performer, whether it be to execute period movement or dance, participate in a fight sequence, and perform in a physical theatre piece or to portray the precise physicality of a role.

The aim of this unit is to provide students with an understanding of the importance of developing an expressive body as an essential component of their performance toolkit. Students will acquire foundation skills in suppleness, strength and agility which will facilitate the development of movement capability and physical presence.

Unit 20: Devising Theatre and Performance (Optional, 15 credits): By the end of this unit, students will have developed a creative toolbox of methods, ideas, techniques that could all be applied to a devised work. They will also have improved their understanding of the contextual development of devising and its importance in today’s creative arts industry. Students will also have explored contemporary devising processes, including use of movement, text and ensemble, and developed their appreciation of the entire creative process and how it informs and links to the final product.

Unit 18: Voice and Speech for Actors (Optional, 15 credits): This unit introduces students to the fundamental principles of vocal performance and how sound is formed physiologically. In this way, through the application of technique and exercises, they can develop an expressive and flexible vocal instrument capable of meeting the demands of a variety of material.

Teaching and Learning


You are taught through a combination of lectures and practicals. In addition, you have timetabled meetings with your personal tutor. You will use industry-standard equipment and have access to labs and library facilities throughout your course.


Independent learning

When not attending lectures, seminars and other timetabled sessions you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically, this will involve reading, working on individual and group projects, undertaking research in the library, preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for examinations. Your independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities, including the library, the Undergraduate Centre, and our computer laboratories.



The course provides you with opportunities to test your understanding of the subject informally before you complete the formal assessments that count towards your final mark. Assessment methods include written examinations and a range of coursework assessments such as essays, reports, portfolios, performance, presentations and your final year major project. The grades from formal assessments count towards your module mark;

All assessment are spread across the year to make the workload manageable. The course work will be based on e.g. practical write ups.


Overall workload

Your overall workload consists of class contact hours, independent learning, and assessment activity, While your actual contact hours may depend on the optional modules you select, the following information gives an indication of how much time you will need to allocate to different activities at each level of the course.


Summary of Teaching, Learning and Assessment

This is for the KIS information- this section will be completed in September when further training on the underlying calculations will be available.  Please do not complete this now, a spreadsheet will be circulated nearer the time with the required format. A detailed version will still be required for all programme specifications. The detailed version includes tutorial time/timetabled and compulsory trips etc.


Academic support

Our Academic Support Team provides help in the following areas:

  • study skills (including reading, note-taking and presentation skills)
  • written English (including punctuation and grammatical accuracy)
  • academic writing (including how to reference)
  • research skills (in conjunction with the library)
  • critical thinking and understanding arguments
  • revision, assessment and examination skills (including time management).

Our Student Support Services help students with additional needs resulting from disabilities such as sensory impairment or learning difficulties such as dyslexia. Link


Teaching staff

You will be taught by an experienced teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course. The team includes senior academics, professional practitioners with industry experience, demonstrators and technical officers.

Course Costs and Financial Support

Fees: For the academic year 2020-21 the tuition fees for this course are:

  • UK/EU students: Full-time £5,100
  • Overseas/International students: Full-time £TBC

Inflation linked tuition fee rises: The College may decide to increase tuition fees year on year at a reasonable rate in line with inflation. Any increases would not exceed the Office for Budget Responsibility’s forecast for RPI-­‐X (the retail price index, excluding mortgage interest payments). This intention will be clearly advertised on the College’s promotional material.

The following course-related costs are included in the fees:

  • annual printing allowance

The following course-related costs are not included in the fees:

  • additional printing over and above the annual allowance
  • the cost of books, or software that you might wish to purchase.

Accommodation and living costs are not included in the fees: This information can be obtained from our Accommodation page.

Sources of financial support: You may be eligible to apply for additional support. Details can be obtained from our Money to Study page.

Bursaries, scholarships and prizes: The College also provides a number of scholarships and prizes for undergraduate students, for which you may be eligible to apply. Some of these are available to students on any course, and some have specific conditions. You can check your eligibility for these types of financial support, along with their value and application deadlines, at our Scholarships, Bursaries and Prizes page.

Accommodation and costs-standard text already completed.


Successful graduates can progress onto University (1st or 2nd year). The course also prepares graduates for industry auditions and employment.

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