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Professional Diploma in Performance (Acting) Level 4

Practical Vs Theory


Course overview

This excit­ing course accred­it­ed by the Uni­ver­si­ty of the Arts Lon­don has been designed to devel­op your pro­fes­sion­al skills in act­ing and pro­vide you with essen­tial indus­try expe­ri­ence, knowl­edge and skills to fur­ther devel­op as an act­ing practitioner.

A cross-lev­el pro­gramme which focus­es on the skills required to progress onto fur­ther train­ing as an Actor, whilst also devel­op­ing gen­er­al per­form­ing arts skills, run by the East­ern School of Per­form­ing Arts (ESPA). Gain an excel­lent ground­ing to become a ver­sa­tile per­former and devel­op your indi­vid­u­al­i­ty and per­for­mance skills to allow you to progress on to dra­ma schools, uni­ver­si­ty and employment.

Across the pro­gramme you will par­tic­i­pate in a wide vari­ety of projects that intro­duce you to var­ied styles, gen­res and method­olo­gies. With a focus on devel­op­ment of the prac­ti­cal skills required, you will explore areas such as devis­ing, clas­si­cal text, con­tem­po­rary text, move­ment and voice. The projects will devel­op your skills with­in act­ing styles such as nat­u­ral­ism, epic, sur­re­al­ism and phys­i­cal the­atre, through script­ed and devised projects.

This course is aimed at stu­dents who wish to gain more expe­ri­ence work­ing in a pro­fes­sion­al set­ting before audi­tion­ing for top dra­ma schools or pro­fes­sion­al work. This course is unique in that it is ful­ly fund­ed for any­one who is 18 to 19 years old at the time of enrol­ment (Advanced Learn­er Loans are avail­able for any­one 19+).

ESPA pro­vides indus­try-expe­ri­enced tutors for all their cours­es, enabling stu­dents to devel­op skills required for their next steps. The course is high­ly voca­tion­al and you will spend your days in the stu­dio with high­ly expe­ri­enced indus­try professionals.


Entry Require­ments

72 UCAS points typ­i­cal­ly from A Lev­els or a Lev­el 3 Diplo­ma in Per­form­ing Arts, although stu­dents from oth­er sub­ject spe­cialisms are encour­aged to apply.

An inter­view and audi­tion will also be required, in which you will be asked to per­form 2 con­trast­ing pieces of your choice.

Mature stu­dents who may not have for­mal qual­i­fi­ca­tions are encour­aged to apply for an inter­view where you will be con­sid­ered on your expe­ri­ence, enthu­si­asm and commitment.

We will review each appli­ca­tion on a case-by-case basis to ensure you get a place on the course most suit­able for you.

One of the ways we do this is through a very effec­tive 6 weeks to suc­cess’ pro­gramme that oper­ates from the first day you start your course. This includes sup­port such as (but not lim­it­ed to):

Allow­ing you to change cours­es if you change your mind in the first 6 weeks — sub­ject to course availability

Mov­ing you between course lev­els if you are find­ing your cur­rent lev­el too easy / too hard — sub­ject to course availability

One-to-one reviews with your aca­d­e­m­ic tutor to ensure you are pro­gress­ing and achiev­ing well

You will be expect­ed to com­mit to rehearsal sched­ules and some addi­tion­al hours for per­for­mances. You will be required to wear uni­form for class­es as per the essen­tial kit list pro­vid­ed before start­ing the course.

Our course enquiries and admis­sions team can be con­tact­ed at enquiries@​stamford.​ac.​uk should you have any fur­ther ques­tions. Alter­na­tive­ly con­tact the Prin­ci­pal at ESPA, Kel­ly Ann Gor­don on 01780 767696 or admin@​easternschool.​co.​uk

Poten­tial Future Career

Suc­cess­ful com­ple­tion of this course will allow you to progress to the HND in Per­form­ing Arts at The East­ern School of Per­form­ing Arts or study at pres­ti­gious per­form­ing arts schools. Pre­vi­ous stu­dents have gone on to study at estab­lish­ments such as: Arts Ed, Guild­ford School of Act­ing, Urdang, Per­form­ers Col­lege, Bird Col­lege, East 15, Leeds Con­ser­va­toire, Roy­al Birm­ing­ham Con­ser­va­toire, Roy­al Cen­tral School of Speech and Dra­ma, Trin­i­ty Laban, Italia Con­ti, Liv­er­pool Cen­tral Stu­dios and Liv­er­pool Insti­tute of Per­form­ing Arts.

Course Con­tent

You will study the fol­low­ing units:

Project 1 — Core Skills Devel­op­ment. You will work on fur­ther devel­op­ing your act­ing tech­niques and skills, along with the devel­op­ment of mate­r­i­al. You will work on a vari­ety of mate­r­i­al, both as indi­vid­u­als and as a com­pa­ny, explor­ing and apply­ing appro­pri­ate skills and tech­niques devel­oped in classes.

Project 2 — Pro­fes­sion­al Development

There are a wide vari­ety of pro­gres­sion routes avail­able in the Per­form­ing and Pro­duc­tion arts. Through a process of research, dia­logue, reflec­tion and eval­u­a­tion you will iden­ti­fy and pre­pare for spe­cif­ic high­er edu­ca­tion or employ­ment oppor­tu­ni­ties that are appro­pri­ate to your indi­vid­ual ambi­tions. You will assess your own strengths and per­son­al goals and explore the routes suit­ed to you. Prepar­ing for poten­tial audi­tions takes time and clar­i­ty of aims, to ensure you pre­pare the cor­rect mate­r­i­al and demon­strate your strengths. In this project you will break down and exam­ine the prepa­ra­tion that is need­ed to devel­op appro­pri­ate audi­tion tech­niques and present your­self in a mock audi­tion. You will also pre­pare appli­ca­tion mate­r­i­al and devel­op pre­sen­ta­tion skills that are required when apply­ing for future study or work. Through crit­i­cal eval­u­a­tion and reflec­tion, you will be able to define your emerg­ing ambi­tions and capabilities.

Project 3 — Com­pa­ny Performance

You will per­form in sev­er­al com­pa­ny per­for­mances — one of which will be a pub­lished work, and the oth­er a devised com­pa­ny per­for­mance. This project will enable you to exam­ine the cre­ative and devel­op­ment process, along with that of being a com­pa­ny mem­ber and tak­ing direc­tion for performance.

Project 4 — Final Major Project

This final project pro­vides an oppor­tu­ni­ty for you to present a port­fo­lio of work that show­cas­es your cre­ative devel­op­ment in a full scale pro­duc­tion. You will work on a select­ed com­pa­ny piece that enables you to hone in on the skills and knowl­edge devel­oped through­out the pro­gramme to focus on the areas of inter­est and impor­tance to you and your next steps. This project will cul­mi­nate in a pub­lic per­for­mance of the work.


Infographic_Perf Arts3 Infographic_Perf Arts1 Infographic_Perf Arts2 Infographic_Perf Arts4


The tutors are great and give you all the sup­port and skills you need to become a well-round­ed per­former. I’m now study­ing at LIPA (The Liv­er­pool Insti­tute for Per­form­ing Arts).

Zara Whitwell



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