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Performing Arts

OCR Level 3 Cambridge Technical Extended Certificate in Performing Arts

What are Cambridge Technicals Level 3 Qualifications?

Cambridge Technicals are vocational qualifications that are designed to give you a work-focused alternative to A Levels. They’ve been designed to give you opportunities to demonstrate and develop the practical application of knowledge and understanding in the areas of work that appeal to you. This will enable you to develop your research skills as you work, both independently and with colleagues, to progress through your qualifications. The assessment for the qualifications is task-based, so you won’t need to take exams to achieve Cambridge Technicals qualifications.

This qualification offers a wide choice of units to reflect the range of opportunities available within the performing arts sector. At Level 3, students have the option of a specialist pathway where they can take a learning route that fits with their individual career aspirations. It provides students with an understanding of performing arts through engagement with techniques, the work of practitioners, industry conventions and community projects.


  • Includes hands-on practical experience based upon real life scenarios
  • UCAS points available at Level 3 to support progression to higher education
  • Develop skills
  • Gain underpinning knowledge, understanding transferable skills and personal skills in a subject area that interests you with the aim of enhancing your employability
  • Improve employability
  • Prepare for further learning or training
  • Move into different areas of employment
  • Develop your knowledge and skills as part of your Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
  • Achieve a nationally recognised vocational qualification
  • Learners will also have the opportunity to acquire the essential knowledge and tools for the world of work by developing transferable skills such as planning, research and analysis, working with others and effective communication

Why should I study this qualification?

You can be confident that Cambridge Technicals are working with universities to make sure they provide you with the depth and breadth of knowledge, understanding and skills required for further study in Performing Arts at Higher Education. These qualifications will include a range of mandatory and optional units. The Cambridge Technicals qualification is equivalent to one A-Level equivalent size qualifications, making sure you have a recognised qualification designed to take you to university.

If you prefer to learn in a way that’s practical and work-related, then Cambridge Technicals are ideal. The great thing about them is that they keep your options open – so if you’re not fully convinced that a vocational way of learning is right for you, Cambridge Technicals keep the door open for a move to higher education further down the line.

This qualification is suitable for:

• Learners studying in preparation for employment in Performing Arts

• Learners wishing to gain a Level 3 qualification to support further study in Further Education (FE) and Higher Education (HE) in Performing Arts

• Learners wishing to gain a Level 3 qualification to support further study in FE or HE in any other sector or subject area

Entry requirements

Applications are considered on an individual basis but subject areas have their own entry requirements. As a guide you will normally be expected to have achieved a minimum of the following:

Specific entry requirements for this course are as follows:

You will have studied Music and/or Drama at GCSE and will be an accomplished, competent and confident musician/performer. You need to have an interest and a showing passion for the performing arts.

There will be an initial assessment to ensure the learner is capable of reaching the required standards.


To achieve this qualification, a learner must achieve the following:

Total credit from mandatory units 1, 2, 3, 4 and an additional combined unit – unit 8. Please see list below of the unit outline and forms of assessment.

Course Content Units

What will I study? What and how will I be assessed?

Unit 1 – Prepare to work in the performing arts sector

Externally examined.

➔ Personal portfolio

➔ Pitch for a piece

➔ Audition piece


Unit 2 – Proposal for a commissioning brief (Commission for a Community Performance)

Externally examined.

➔ Create and perform in and for your community

➔ Write a detailed proposal for a community performance project


Unit 3 – Influential Performance Practise

Externally assessed.

➔ Two contrasting performance extracts

➔ Report in response to examination question


Unit 4 – Combined arts (Creation of a Combined Arts piece)

Internally assessed and externally examined.

➔ Combined arts performance based of a stimulus

➔ Programme notes


Unit 8 – Performing repertoire (Performing Repertoire in your chosen Performing Art)

Assessed through teacher marked Log ‘Book’ and teacher marked performances.

Internally assessed and externally moderated.

➔ Research project and presentation

➔ Repertoire piece

➔ Devised Group Performance based on style


Future opportunities

The course is great preparation for any Music, Drama or Performing Arts degree. It is also an excellent platform for finding work within the music or creative arts industry. The great thing about Cambridge Technicals qualifications is that they still give you a choice of opportunities once you’ve completed them. The three choices open to you are:

  • Employment, where you can put your new practical skills towards generating an income
  • Further education, such as a higher-level qualification at school or college
  • Higher education, such as a degree course at university. Access to higher education is possible if you take the Level 3 qualifications because they have UCAS points and are equivalent to one A-Level.

Some Related Job Titles

  • Musician
  • Actor
  • Script Writer
  • Director
  • Composer
  • Sound Engineer – for live sound or recording
  • Producer
  • Music or Drama Teacher/Lecturer
  • Music Journalism
  • Music Therapist
  • Community arts events organiser
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