Shrewsbury Colleges Group


Teaching Institution Awarding Organisation
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Intermediate Awards


Approval Date/Review Date

2021 - Pending

Mode of Study

Full-time, Part-time options may be available.          

Location of Study

London Road Campus

Course Length

One year

Total Guided Learning Hours (GL) – 480 hours

Total Qualification Time (TQT)  – 1200 hours

Course Code




QAA Subject Benchmarks


HECoS Code


Accreditation Type


Accreditation Details


Criteria for Admission to the Programme


All applicants are individually assessed on their qualifications, skills and experience.  However, a typical A-Level, BTEC or other L3 study programme offer will be a minimum of 64 UCAS tariff points (2021). GCSE or equivalent in Maths and English or willingness to work towards. International applicants require a current IELTS 5.5 score, with no single skill being below 5.

Accreditation may be given for prior learning both academic and work-based.

Minimum/Maximum Numbers

Minimum 6                   Maximum 25

Applicants will be advised wc the 27th August 2021 if insufficient numbers have been recruited to make course viable.

Course Fee

£6,500 for full-time study.

Please refer to the published fee policy for information on international fees, when your fees are due and how they will be collected.

Additional Costs

No mandatory trips although learners are encouraged to attend if possible.

Date of Production

Jan 2021

Proposed Revision Date

July 2022


This Programme Specification contains an overview of HNC Performing Arts and how it will be taught and assessed at Shrewsbury College. At the end of the document, you will find some more general information on the support and guidance available to you whilst studying with us. This document should be read in conjunction with the Edexcel/BTEC Higher National Specification for this award.

We hope you choose to come and study with us at Shrewsbury College and take advantage of the opportunity to access Higher Education locally in Shropshire. Additional information on student learning support, finance and our policies and procedures can found on our website at:

Welcome from Curriculum Leader:

Gill Cox

I would like to offer a warm welcome to you if you have or are about to enrol to the Higher National Certificate (HNC) in Performing Arts.

The HNC qualification is an ideal opportunity to gain a higher-level qualification that will develop practical skills and knowledge in a number of specialist areas. As well as gaining vital experience to prepare you for a range of pathways, it offers the potential for you to continue your studies on the Higher National Diploma, subject to grade profile.

The Performing Arts teaching team have a wealth of experience in both teaching and industry and this adds to what is already a very stimulating and interesting course.

I do hope you have an enjoyable experience and achieve your goals whilst studying with us.

Gill Cox

At Shrewsbury Colleges Group we are committed to providing vocationally relevant arts education for the creative industries and enabling our students to both enjoy a creative journey and gain crucial employability skills within their chosen area. We strive with our students to make the creative journey from student to working professional achievable and enjoyable. All creative courses provide challenge and enable our students to both express themselves and understand their work in a wider context through research and analysis of the work of others. We are building our visiting lecturer and study visits programme, to provide a programme of both personal and professional development for all of our students. In Creative Arts we recognise that not all of our learners are looking for a career change and perhaps have come to Art & Design after a full working life, for these students we involve them fully in the activities within our faculty and they provide a great sounding board for younger students. A diverse mix of ages, abilities and outlooks provide for a healthy and dynamic creative atmosphere that benefits all our learners. We welcome you and look forward to working with you throughout your course here at Shrewsbury Colleges Group.

Staff Profiles

Overview of the Award – what does the course involve?

Edexcel BTEC Higher Nationals are designed to provide a specialist vocational programme, linked to professional body requirements and National Occupational Standards. They offer a strong, sector-related emphasis on practical skills development alongside the development of requisite knowledge and understanding.

The qualification provides a thorough grounding in the key concepts and practical skills required in their sector and their national recognition by employers allows direct progression to employment. A key progression path for the BTEC HNC students is an honours degree programme, this is dependent on the match of the Edexcel BTEC Higher National units to the degree programme in question.

 This course is the ideal place to begin your higher-level studies in Performing Arts. If you have qualifications in Performing Arts and a passion for Performance this is the course for you.

To ensure that this programme complies with the Colleges internal monitoring processes an External Verifier ensures that we assess learner performance in accordance with national standards and evidence requirements. At the last annual visit the External Verifier for this award identified the following areas of good practice:

‘The course is delivered by a teaching team who have extensive experience and knowledge from the industry. They are still practitioners outside of their college role. This experience is clear in the teaching and is freely shared with students.’

‘The international HE trips are seen by the students to have great value… and add a valuable dimension to the students’ learning.’

Programme Aims

Aims of the programme:

The academic content of this programme concentrates on providing opportunities for full-time students to gain a nationally recognised vocationally specific qualification to enter employment in the performing arts and cultural industries or progress to higher education vocational qualifications such as a full-time degree in musical theatre, acting, dance, theatre studies, performance-art and voice practices.

Programme Learning Outcomes

The Edexcel BTEC Level 4 and 5 Higher National Certificate/Diploma in Performing Arts is designed to:

  • Equip individuals with knowledge, understanding and skills for success in employment in the Performing Arts industry
  • Enable progression to an undergraduate degree or further professional qualification in music
  • Provide opportunities for specialist study relevant to individual vocations and contexts
  • Support individuals employed or entering employment in the Performing Arts industry
  • Develop the individual’s ability in the Performing Arts industry through effective use and combination of the knowledge and skills gained in different parts of the programme
  • Develop a range of skills and techniques, personal qualities and attributes essential for successful performance in working life and thereby enabling learners to make an immediate contribution to employment
  • Provide flexibility, knowledge, skills and motivation as a basis for future studies and career development in music.

This programme is distinctive because:

Students are given the opportunity to design projects and assignment work. Teaching staff all have industry-relevant experience and use this to generate ‘real world’ opportunities for study and practice. The teaching staff still work in the industry and often provide students with the opportunity to communicate and interact with other professionals in the field. Students wishing to pursue a career in community-based work, teaching or workshop delivery are given the opportunity to gain experience and make professional connections which have in previous years led to paid work. All students are encouraged and supported to develop entrepreneurial skills, to seek out work opportunities suitable for their skills and career aspirations.

On successful completion students should be able to:

  • Progress on to ‘top-up’ university courses to achieve a full BA (honours) degree in a relevant subject.
  • Apply for work in a variety of employment areas, in the past this has included: Cruise ship performers, children’s entertainer, television and radio presenters, performance workshop leaders, musical theatre performers and directors.


Graduates of this course have gone onto careers in the performing arts industry, undertaking work in entertainment, television, stage, touring productions and community work. Successful students could potentially earn up to £460.00 per week (Equity rates, 2016-21).

Performers could also develop their skills as a ‘creative’ in the field, obtaining directorial roles within the field on a self-employed basis, with each project possibly earning up to £5000. This course is an excellent grounding for people who want to move on to BA programmes, professional performance work and developing their own performing arts-related companies.

Programme Structure, Modules and Credits

Award title: HNC Performing Arts









Block 1


Block 2

Unit 2

Professional Development

(15 Credits)

Level 4

Unit 3

Jazz Dance 1

(15 Credits)

Level 4

Unit 20

Devising Theatre & Performance (15 Credits)

Level 4

Unit 12

Singing 1

(15 Credits)

Level 4

Unit 1

The Performing Arts Industry

(15 Credits)

Level 4

Unit 10

Investigation Of Specialism

(15 Credits)

Level 4

Unit 13

Acting 1

(15 Credits)

Level 4

Unit 15

Ensemble Singing

(15 Credits)

Level 4

 All modules must be passed to achieve the qualification at both levels.
Bold = Core
Standard = Mandatory
Italic = Unit Choice

Teaching and Assessment

How will I be taught?

On the Higher National Certificate in Performing Arts your time will be split between tutor-led skills-based classwork and autonomous self-study. You will attend a tutor-led session for two / three days a week with the expectation that you will do a comparable amount of time working on your own projects autonomously or with fellow students as required. There will be times during the year when you will be required to attend college for rehearsal/production sessions or professional workshops that are extra to your normal required attendance. You will be given prior notice of any alterations. The course features units which directly relate to work experience, where you will be taught to manage a rehearsal from start to finish, in this instance studio space, will be allocated to you.

How will I be assessed?

You will be required to complete an assessment for each module of your course.
Your work will be assessed in each unit through the completion of project-based assignments. The work you will be required to complete will be a mixture of theoretical and practical projects, always with the emphasis on relevance to the Performing Arts industry. Alongside the development of practical skills across the disciplines of Singing, Dancing and Acting based work you will be encouraged to explore an entrepreneurial approach to the Performing Arts industry.

Students are required to be reflective and critical in developing evidence-based solutions to questions founded on both theory and referenced opinion from other sources. This will allow them to actively demonstrate their understanding, interpretation and judgement. These are all skills needed to be a successful employee. Assessment can take a number of forms including logs, group work, presentations, documentations and live performance.

There are no formal timed examinations for this Award.

HE student procession


Full-time applications for this Award need to be made through UCAS at:

Part-time applications for this Award need to be made directly to our Admissions Team via the online application form on our website.

For more information on our application process or to receive the application form in an alternative format, please follow the link below or contact our admissions teams on 01743 342346.


Students will be provided with a structured Induction Programme covering:

  • Welcome Event – June
  • Enrolment Event – August/September
  • Induction Events – September/October
      • College Induction
      • Programme Induction
      • Student Finance Support Session for those with outstanding queries

Student Charter

The College has a HE Student Charter which sets out the standards of conduct expected of tutors and students on the programme with us. Follow the link below for more information.

What happens if I fail a unit?

 All students are entitled to one re-submission opportunity if the work they initially submit is judged to have failed.

However, if the initial work is not covered by extenuating circumstances, and you submit work for the module for a second attempt (called a referral) the maximum mark that can be awarded for re-submission is the threshold pass mark; i.e. 40% grade point 4 for levels 4 and 5.

If the re-submitted failed work or non-submission is covered by a successful extenuating circumstances claim then the re-submitted work is considered ‘as if for the first time’ and can receive its full awarded mark.


The College has formal procedures for appeals if you have grounds for believing that your work has not been assessed fairly. For further information, please speak to your course tutor or the curriculum area leader within seven days of your assessment being returned. Follow the link below for more information.

Assessment and Award Boards

All summative assessment grades are agreed at formal Assessment and Award Boards held at regular intervals throughout the year at the College.

Support for students with additional needs

We aim to ensure that individual needs are met before starting a course and during the course of study.

Our Student Support Tutor for HE runs a study skills support programme throughout the academic year. This covers academic skills such as:

  • Assignment planning
  • Presentation skills
  • Critical thinking
  • Reading and note-making
  • Referencing
  • Time management & organisation

These will be advertised and accessible to all HE students. The HE tutor will also be available to work with and support learners with an identified additional learning need or disability. If you’re a current HE student or prospective HE student with additional learning needs the sooner you inform us the earlier we can discuss and advise you on the support available for you while you study.

Learning support can also be provided by approved Disabled Student Allowance (DSA) providers for Higher Education Students studying at Shrewsbury College who have an identified disability, mental-health condition, medical condition, or a specific learning difficulty and who are in receipt of DSA. If you have an identified disability, mental-health condition, medical condition, or a specific learning difficulty an application to Student Finance for Disabled Students Allowance will need to be completed along with supporting evidence of your disability. Follow the link below for more information.

Alternatively, visit


Quality improvement: Listening to your views

We aim to make your experience both worthwhile and enjoyable and to continually improve the quality of our awards. Therefore, we value your feedback about the quality of our programmes. Student Consultatives will be held every term and a nominated representative from your group will attend these to provide feedback on your experience, please let your Course Tutor know if you would like to become a student representative. An end of course review will also be carried out to obtain your feedback.

HE student engaging with teacher


We really hope you never have any reason to be dissatisfied with the delivery of your course and/or the support we provide you with here at Shrewsbury Colleges Group, however, we are aware that sometimes things go wrong. If your concerns are affecting the whole of your group please use the Student Consultative meetings to air your concerns and enable us to resolve your complaint, if able.

If your concern is of a more personal nature, in the first instance we would always encourage you to talk over your concerns with your Course Tutor or whoever it is that has been providing the service you are unhappy about, often things can be resolved quickly in these circumstances. The HE and Education Lead is also available to chat things over on a one-one basis.

If you wish to formalise your complaint you will need to access the guidance in our HE complaints policy.

If following your complaint/appeal to the College you feel that our regulations have not been applied properly or procedures followed incorrectly The Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA) can consider whether the decision made by ourselves was fair and reasonable. More information can be found here.

Term and Conditions/Policies and Procedures

Please ensure the Terms and Conditions you are issued with at offer stage are retained for your reference.

Policies and procedures to support you during your studies can be found via the link below.

During the year it may be necessary to make minor changes to our Terms and Conditions/Policies and Procedures. We will advise you of any such changes once you have accepted an offer with ourselves and update our website accordingly.

HE Regulatory Information

Regulatory information can be found via the following link.