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Level 1 Performing Arts

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Level 1 Diploma in Music, Performing & Production Arts
Awarded By
UAL Awarding Body

course overview

The Level 1 course at BIPA is your gateway to the captivating world of performing arts. Tailored for those with a passion for acting or a desire to explore their artistic side, this course lays the crucial groundwork essential for a successful journey in the realm of performance.

Embark on a transformative experience where your journey begins with the cultivation of foundational skills. The curriculum is crafted to empower you with the confidence needed to navigate the intricate landscape of acting. Throughout the course, dynamic exercises and activities await, challenging you to break free from your comfort zone and fully unleash your creative potential.

The spotlight is on building a solid foundation, with a particular emphasis on honing your vocal and physical expressions. You'll delve into the intricacies of character exploration, mastering the art of embodying different roles and navigating a spectrum of emotions. The course also places a significant focus on improvisation, fostering the spontaneity and quick thinking necessary for a versatile performer.

Upon successful completion, you will not only hold a valuable qualification but will have gained an invaluable introduction to the skills, knowledge, and understanding integral to the performing arts. This course serves as a launchpad for enhanced self-confidence, providing you with profound insights into the demands and opportunities within the ever-evolving landscape of the creative industries.


The Level 3 Extended Diploma emphasises practical learning through hands-on experimentation, enabling you to gain a thorough understanding of the outcomes. These units summaries the outcomes of each unit and our teaching, learning, and delivery methods are regularly updated to align with your chosen pathway and to incorporate current industry trends and practices.

Year One
Unit 1
Principles of performance
This unit will introduce you to a range of activities that are essential for developing and delivering a performance. You will learn about the basic elements of drama, dance, and music and how performance is a collaborative activity.
Unit 2
Engaging with an audience
In this unit, you will learn about oral, written, and visual communication in performing and production. You will explore and analyse the meaning behind messages and how to convey them effectively to an audience.
Unit 3
Introduction to professional practice
This unit will introduce you to the diverse roles, responsibilities, employment, and progression opportunities available within the performing arts sector. You will also learn about the importance of health and safety as well as the characteristics needed for a career in the performing arts.
Unit 4
Critical and contextual awareness
In this unit, you will learn how to investigate 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 and apply knowledge and understanding acquired in previous units. You will also explore 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 and apply knowledge and understanding acquired in previous units. You will also explore 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. You will also explore the specific skills and attributes required for your personal practice.
Year Two
Unit 8
Collaborative performance project
This unit will give you the chance to apply the skills, knowledge, and understanding you have developed through the previous units in the completion of a collaborative project. You will also have the opportunity for self-directed learning and to clarify your longer-term goals through your choice of activity to explore in greater depth.
Unit 9
Developing performance and production skills
In this unit, you will enter into a more formal dialogue of personal interrogation and diagnosis designed to identify strengths, enthusiasms, and ambitions within a specific pathway. You will also develop the artistic, professional, and vocational skills necessary for progression within your chosen discipline.
Unit 10
Preparation for higher education or employment
This unit will prepare you for specific higher education or employment progression routes appropriate to your ambitions. Through a process of research, dialogue, reflection, and evaluation, you will 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
This unit will provide you with an opportunity to engage in an extended activity related to your discipline of choice. You will take responsibility for your learning by responding positively to the greater opportunities for individual expression and creativity afforded, and you will demonstrate your achievement through proposing and realizing a project that integrates the skills, knowledge, and understanding acquired throughout the course.

frequently asked questions

Who awards the qualification?
Qualifications are awarded by the University of the Arts London Awarding Body (UAL). UAL is a prestigious and internationally recognised institution in the field of arts, design, fashion, performance and communication. It is known for its commitment to nurturing creative talent and maintaining high standards of education. UAL Awarding Body is responsible for developing and accrediting a wide range of creative qualifications, including diplomas and certificates.
Does this qualification attract UCAS points?
Yes, this qualification does award UCAS points (Pass/Merit/Distinction) as follows - Pass: 72 | Merit: 120 | Distinction: 168 UCAS points.

These UCAS points can be a valuable asset if you plan to apply for higher education courses, such as bachelor's degrees, in the UK. Universities and colleges often consider UCAS points as part of their admissions criteria, so achieving a higher grade in your Level 3 Extended Diploma can improve your chances of gaining entry to your preferred courses and institutions.
Will this qualification prepare me for drama school or university?
This course is designed to prepare you for drama school or university. While gaining admission to drama school can be highly competitive, the qualification has been structured to provide you with the skills, knowledge, and experience necessary to give you the best possible chance of successfully applying and being well-prepared for further training.
How much does the course cost?
The programme is fully funded for students who are 16 to 18 years old at the start of their course. Students may also have the opportunity to apply for a bursary (subject to various conditions). Auditions are also free. Students are kindly requested to cover the expenses for their initial kit and make a contribution towards the cost of trips.
What are the entry requirements?
Following a successful audition/interview, to start the course you will need to have achieved a minimum of five GCSE grades 4-9, including Maths and English, or hold approved Level 2 Diplomas with a Merit or Distinction.
How do I apply?
To apply for our courses, please visit click the "apply " button on the website. This action will direct you to the SGS online application portal, where you can complete the application process, which typically takes around 20 minutes. It's important to note that applications are coordinated centrally by the SGS admissions team, acting on behalf of BIPA. Once your application has been processed and approved, you will receive an email confirming your place, subject to the entry and audition requirements. Following this confirmation, a member of the BIPA team will contact you to arrange your audition or interview. You will be contacted with the outcome by a member of the BIPA team.
Will this course help me get on a BIPA degree or professional diploma?

Completing this course offers an advantage for your future at BIPA. Firstly, you'll receive a fast-track recall audition for any of our degree or professional diploma programmes. This is a substantial benefit, giving you a head start in the competitive admissions process.

Furthermore, it's important to note that BIPA programmes are highly competitive. However, this course is tailored to equip you with the knowledge, skills, and practical experience needed to shine in auditions and meet the rigorous standards and expectations of these programmes. This qualification not only enhances your audition readiness but also provides a valuable edge when pursuing a BIPA degree or professional diploma.
Who ensures the quality of education?
We are responsible for the quality and experience of our students. BIPA is part of the SGS College Group, and as such, it adheres to the same rigorous quality assurance standards as all other faculties and departments within SGS.

To maintain and enhance the quality of the course, BIPA conducts regular classroom and teaching observations, ensuring that teaching standards are consistently high. We are committed to providing an outstanding learning experience for all its students, fostering an environment conducive to creative and academic growth. Alongside SGS, UAL ensure the quality of delivery through programme moderation.

It's important to note that students at BIPA are enrolled and considered as SGS students. SGS is subject to routine inspections by Ofsted. During its last inspection, SGS received an overall rating of "Good," which underscores its commitment to maintaining high educational standards and providing quality education to its students. This commitment extends to the programs offered by BIPA, ensuring that students receive a high-quality education and a fulfilling learning experience.

a campus designed to stand out

3 acting studios
Each of our acting studios offers soft flooring and black-out curtains/blinds, Bluetooth speakers and large presentation TV screens.
6 dance studios
Filled with natural light and well-ventilated, our six dance studios are equipped with ballet barres, Bluetooth sound system, and premium Harlequin dance flooring.
2 Rehearsal studios
Our rehearsal studios are adaptable spaces that can quickly be transformed for production and group rehearsals, singing workshops, and movement spaces.
2 academic rooms
Our academic rooms are designed to facilitate lectures, tutorials, and contextual studies. These dedicated spaces are equipped with a bank of laptops and presentation facilities.
Our Olympus Theatre has been producing and receiving theatre on a local and regional scale since opening in 2005 and its cultural and creative significance has exceeded expectations. Students will feel at home performing in our 250 seat auditorium, which is home to over 30 productions a year.
Our 80 seat Studio Theatre is our most diverse performance space, with fully flexible seating accommodating a variety of production design styles. This 'black box' space is designed for intimate productions, showcases and cabaret performances.
scenic workshop
Our workshops are designed to cater to a variety of interests and skill levels, offering students the necessary tools and equipment to bring their creative designs to life. In the scenic arts workshop, students have access to a wide range of equipment, from traditional woodworking tools to advanced computer-aided design software.
tv studio
Based on campus in the Brunel Centre, the state-of-the-art green screen studio enables high-quality video content production for online and offline audiences.
Costume & props store
With over five thousand costume pieces ranging from period to contemporary, our collection offers limitless possibilities for bringing our productions to life. Additionally, our prop store houses hundreds of prop pieces.
fitness gym
Located within the Brunel Centre, our state-of-the-art on campus gym boasts stations for cardio, strength, and conditioning training, all set in a welcoming and serene environment. To ensure a safe experience, students are required to undergo an induction and reserve their training sessions through SGS Sports dedicated Strength and Conditioning (S&C) department.
Library plus+
At LibraryPlus+, you'll find a collaborative learning environment that is enhanced by the expertise of our dedicated staff in information finding, referencing, and digital technologies, as well as an extensive collection of theatre history, make-up, costume and theatre arts books, along with plays, scores, journals, and research resources.
starbucks hub cafe
The 'Hub' is the beating heart of our campus serving a range of hot and cold food throughout the day and evening. This lively hub is more than just a place to grab a bite, its a place to unwind and socialise.

staff profiles

Lydia Cook
Associate Lecturer in Performance & Directing
Natalya Slater
Course Lead for L3 Musical Theatre & Level 1 Tutor
Niall Farnan
Learning Support Worker
Rebecca Morgan
Team Lead for L1 & 2 Courses / Deputy Head of Teaching & Learning

"The guidance and mentorship provided by the lecturers has been invaluable"

My time at BIPA has been an incredible journey of personal and technical growth. I have enjoyed the range of experiences offered within the course and the work has challenged me to think critically both as a performer and creative. The guidance and mentorship provided by the lecturers has been invaluable, pushing me to my full potential. I have developed not only a strong foundation in performing but also a newfound confidence in my abilities. This course has not only equipped me with the skills and knowledge necessary for my future career but has also shaped me into a well-rounded and self-assured individual. I am immensely grateful for this journey and the countless opportunities it has presented me.
BA (Hons) Musical Theatre