Start Date: Duration: Level: Study mode: Course location: Course Type:
September 1 Year Level 5 Full-Time Bede Campus University Level Qualification

What’s it all about?

Sunderland College is well known for producing students who are highly creative, innovative and professional in their practice. Our Higher National Diploma (HND) Performance course is a nationally recognised qualification that allows you to progress directly into employment, or serves as a foundation to a top-up degree. This course will develop your existing skills and introduce you to a range of techniques and practices that will give you the confidence and versatility to succeed in the performing arts sector.

You will study a range of practical and academic units that cover the acting, singing and dancing criteria. This unique course gives you the opportunity to work with professional practitioners and acclaimed international companies, allowing you to extend your repertoire of experience and industry contacts.

A guidance of 32 UCAS points are needed to apply for the course.

It is also desirable that you have at least a Level 2 qualification in English and Maths.

Academic qualification - you will require one or more of the following:
- A BTEC Level 3 qualification
- Other related Level 3 qualifications
- An access to higher education certificate received from an approved further education institution
- Related work experience
- Mature learners may present a more varied profile of achievement that is likely to include extensive work experience (paid and/or unpaid) and/or achievement of a range of professional qualifications in their work sector

All candidates will be interviewed and auditioned before an offer is made

Accreditation of prior learning:
If you have achieved a qualification such as a HNC, or have gained credit at another higher education provider, you may be able to enter the course at level 5. For further information, please contact the College’s admissions team on

Study level Cost Additional fees
19+ please enquire Fees for September 2022 - £5999 It is not possible to confirm fees for future academic years, but the maximum increases each year will not exceed the rate of inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The following course-related costs are included in the fees: - Annual £10 printing allowance The following course-related costs are not included in the fees: - External visits – London, New York etc - Course kit/uniform – Available to purchase online at Total Sport - Course resources – stationery, files, books Financial support - For more information on Student Finance, please go to our HE Finance page.

A variety of teaching and learning methods will be used that encourage and facility learners’ creative and artistic development and particularly those approaches that investigate theory through applied practice.

Methods used will encourage both independent and collaborative learning through use of practical workshops, interactive lectures, resource-based learning, self-directed study and group work, tutorials, discussion and critiques and rehearsals. Individual or group projects for each unit will always culminate in public performance.

Students will critically reflect on their own development of skills and performance and that of others. Visiting companies and practitioners, attendance of performances and residences will be used to broaden learners’ concepts and practice.
Assessment is on-going. Verbal and written formative feedback are given at regular intervals. Assessment methods differ depending on the unit, however, typical assessment methods used may include: practical demonstrations and presentations, portfolios, performances and events, log books, essays, evaluations, online blogs, reports and tasks.

Timetables are normally available at enrolment. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as friendly as possible. Scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week.

The academic content of this programme focuses on providing opportunities for full-time students to gain a nationally recognised vocationally specific qualification in order to enter employment in the performing arts industries, or to progress onto a higher education vocational qualification, such as a full-time degree in musical theatre or a performance related area.

Students will be able to work with industry professionals and companies within the local region to build performance work in line with assessment criteria. This provides context, understanding and work readiness experience throughout their training, which prepares the student for the industry and life in employment.

Level 5 for full-time studens -

Semester 1:
- Immersive Theatre

Semester 2:
- Dance for Muscial Theatre
- Acting 2
- Singing 2

Semesters 1 & 2:
- Creative research project
- Working in the Performing Arts Industry
- Performance project


What’s next?

Our HND in Performance course combines creative talent with practical aspects of self-promotion, freelance awareness, and arts management. This mix of disciplines is good preparation for entering the world of performance.

This course could lead to a range of progression opportunities – such as drama, dance, or musical theatre school – continuation of studies in higher education for a BA Hons Degree, industry related work experience or placements, as well as freelance employment.

Some of the most well-known career options available upon completion:
– Dancer
– Actor
– Singer
– Teacher (Primary, Secondary, F.E. & H.E.)
– Community Arts Worker
– Freelance Artist

Typical employers of Performing Arts Graduates:
– Local government
– Arts organisations
– Education institutions
– The National Health Service (NHS)
– Leisure companies
– Voluntary organisations

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93.1% of our students have progressed to further study, university of employment.

(*Based on 16-18 year olds destination data, 2019/20 academic year)

Why choose Sunderland College?

100% overall A-Level pass rate

Summer 2021

97.4% of our apprentices progressed to employment or further study.  

Destination data for Sunderland College 2019/20, Apprentice completers. 

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