Extended Diploma

Performing Arts


The ICTheatre Extended Diploma in Performing Arts is a two-year course designed specifically for the training performer entering further education. This highly practical vocational program will develop performance skills, exploring and improving the techniques required for acting, dancing and singing in a contemporary professional environment.

In our first graduating class alone we saw 94% of our student cohort move on to study at higher education both at accredited drama and musical theatre schools, universities as well as our own ICTheatre degree. Of that graduating class, 65% attained Distinction or above with our upcoming graduating cohort currently predicted to attain 72% Distinction or above.

The last three years have seen the students take part in a hugely varied curriculum of study, filled to the brim with visiting professionals, masterclasses, panels and theatre trips. We have produced 2 full scale book musicals, 3 full-length plays, 3 devised productions, a selection of cabarets and concerts, taken theatrical work out to schools and into the community as well as helping some of our students to gain work experience both on and off the stage and set with local film and theatre companies.

This year, we are particularly excited to announce that upcoming students can specialise their diploma down one of three highly specialized routes:

  • Musical Theatre (Triple Threat)
  • Acting & Theatre-Making
  • Dance Artistry & Performance


Course Overview

The ICTheatre Extended Diploma in Performing Arts is a two-year course designed specifically for the training performer entering further education. This highly practical vocational program will develop performance skills, exploring and improving the techniques required in a contemporary professional theatre or dance environment.

Over the two years of practical and theoretical study, you will gain a fundamental understanding of the way the industry operates and will be guided by specialist tutors and prominent industry professionals to help steer you towards your future study or career goals.

Successful completion of the course will gain you a nationally recognised RSL Extended Diploma qualification in Creative and Performing Arts, equivalent to three A-levels – ideal for taking your first steps in into a career in the industry, or continuing with study in the form of degree level study at ICTheatre or other higher education routes at a variety of highly renowned institutions.

UK and EU students aged 18 and under are eligible for funding in full (subject to academic requirements), and educational loans are available for UK students over the age of 24. This in keeping with the ICTheatre ethos of extending high quality education and training to all, regardless of financial circumstance.


Core Training 

ICTheatre sets itself apart from other colleges and further education establishments with its fundamental focus on rigorous vocational development and the refining of technical skills. Coupled with current industry professionals imparting fresh working experience of the industry and a commitment to providing students with practical ways to operate as an entrepreneur within a diverse industry sector, ICTheatre is positioned to provide a student experience like no other.

You will work in a focused and creative atmosphere alongside other motivated and like-minded individuals aiming for a career in the arts supported by a hugely experienced network of tutors, all of whom are practitioners working in the industry and many of whom also teach on our degree program. Prominent visiting professionals frequently lead workshops or participate in panels.

In keeping with our practical and vocational approach, there are a series of fully-realised productions (both internal and external) across the two years of study as well as a variety of opportunities to take part in major theatrical festivals, conventions and events across the country.

Students on the ICTheatre Extended Diploma in Performing Arts will all receive a minimum of 18.5 contact hours training across a variety of disciplines specific to your route of study.

Professional Development 

Alongside your practical and academic classes, students are frequently required to prepare and simulate the experiences of the working industry.

In Performance Preparation classes, you will work alongside professional tutors and guests to experience other job roles within the industry, including backstage and administrative, in order to enhance your understanding of the theatre and performance industry as a whole. You will also be required to prepare for mock audition assignments, testing out material in a safe environment before a panel of your tutors.

In Project Class, you will bring together skills from all of your classes to create partially and fully realised theatre and live performance works, from dance numbers to plays to fully-fledged musicals.

Personal Development

Training you to be mentally and physically resilient in an increasingly competitive and saturated industry is essential to the ICTheatre ethos. Mindfulness is an essential class for every student on a weekly basis, nurturing a healthy attitude to self and others and developing a manageable and stress-free approach to workload and professional practice.

All ICTheatre Extended Diploma locations have a dedicated and fully-trained Student Support team and offer one-to-one pastoral support in the form of bookable weekly tutorials.


Free to UK & EU students age 18 or under
(subject to academic requirements)

Year 1

Subject to change

  • Acting

    Good technique is essential if you wish to push your discipline to the next level. In the first year of Acting Technique classes you will cover various essentials for the actor’s toolkit, from classical Shakespearean approaches, through the ‘systems’ introduced by leading practitioners of the twentieth century to modern day film and TV techniques.

  • Dance

    As with all arts disciplines you need to start with a core grounding in technique. In dance you will start with Ballet as a fundamental, but also cover Dance Tech, Street Dance, Commercial and Contemporary, all styles which are currently used across the whole of the musical theatre and performing arts industry.

  • Vocals

    Vocal technique is where you start understanding your voice and how to use it safely, developing and extending your ability in not only your own, but other genres, making you a more versatile and confident singer. In vocal technique classes, you will cover solo and group singing in various styles, including Musical Theatre, Pop and Jazz.

  • Portfolio - Theatre business and Entrepreneurship

    It is important to remember that there’s much more to being successful in the arts industry than performing alone. In this lesson you will learn all about the entertainment industry and start to prepare yourself for a future within it.

  • Performance Preparation

    In Performance Preparation you’ll look at all the aspects that go towards a great performance, focussing on rehearsal technique, both for solo and ensemble performance. With your tutors and fellow performers, you will dissect and rehearse parts prior to your performance. The professionalism and attention to detail that’s taught here should set the standard for all performances to follow.

  • Live Performance Workshop

    This is where you get to put your hard work in Performance Preparation to the test, performing in front of an audience. Doing this on a regular basis will help you become a confident, well prepared, professional performer.

  • Theatre Context and Critical Theory

    Extended Studies gives the opportunity to recap and expand on the information covered in the course. It’s also a great chance for us to bring celebrity guest speakers in to help further your education and ensure you’re prepared for a future in the performing arts industry.

Year 2

Subject to change

  • Acting

    Following on from your first year, you will continue to build on those skills learnt but with specific focus on audition technique and musical theatre.

  • Dance

    Building on the core grounding developed in year one, you will continue with some dance technique but will also discover new styles such as Bollywood or urban tap, and develop your own choreography.

  • Vocals

    As your vocal technique develops, in these 2nd year classes there will be more of a focus on ensemble singing and its practical application in musical theatre, including studying revolutionary practitioners who have discovered techniques which are being utilised by West End professionals today in order to survive the rigour of eight shows a week.

  • Musical Theatre in Context

    Music Theatre in Context is where you’ll learn about the interaction between theatre and society. Here you’ll track back through history and study some of the most influential productions and performers, and the impact they’ve had on the arts and society as a whole.

  • Performance Preparation

    Performance Preparation will act as the platform for your Live Performance Workshops, only this year you’ll be looking in detail at increasingly challenging solo and ensemble pieces.

  • Live Performance Workshop

    Live Performance Workshop continues to be the weekly opportunity to perform in front of an audience, only now the standards are raised and professional quality will be the goal.

  • Theatre Context and Critical Theory

    Much like in Year 1, Extended Studies continues to give the opportunity to expand on content covered in the course. It’s also a great chance for us to bring more West End and Industry guests in to help further your education and ensure you’re prepared for a future in the performing arts industry.

Entry requirements:

Minimum requirements

If you’re applying to ICTheatre for our Extended Diploma in Performing Arts course and are a UK-based student, you’ll need three GCSEs at a minimum grade of C/4, including English Language. Pass or above in your RSL Level 3 Diploma and passing your audition receiving a recommendation for this level of course.

Students who haven’t achieved these grades may be able to retake their GCSE English and Maths exams alongside their training on the Extended Diploma, at the discretion of the admissions team.

We’ll also expect you to attend a workshop audition for assessment. This will be an opportunity for you to showcase yourself and if successful we will offer you a place or you may be recalled for a second audition.

Productions and Events:

Recent Successes

Recent student productions and events include:

• Cabaret – to complete their first year of study, current students will perform one of Kander and Ebb’s most famous musicals this June

• Toys – a new musical revue performed at The Spire in Brighton

• Much Ado About Nothing and Macbeth – performed in rep at The Spire in Brighton

• Extended Diploma students, alongside students from the degree program, opened a gala event at Brighton Dome with a fully realised commercial routine

• I Am What I Am – a musical theatre cabaret performance performed to an intimate invited audience at BACA

• The Crucible – performed at ICTheatre House at the end of the first term

Want to study at ICTheatre?

How to apply

You can apply directly to ICTheatre at brictt.co.uk. Alternatively, you can call our Admissions Team on 01273 603333 or email bricttadmissions@brictt.co.uk.

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Whatever you need:

World-class facilities

All our colleges are kitted-out with high-tech industry-standard equipment… and our expert tutors will guide you to make sure you get the best out of it you can.

Full list of facilities +

Training for all:

Accessibility, Diversity and Inclusion

The performing arts industries in the UK are an increasingly diversifying environment, and are seeing huge leaps and bounds moving forwards in inclusivity with regards to race, gender identity, sexuality and (dis)ability. ICTheatre hopes to champion and spearhead a further diversification in performing arts training that allows for accessibility, inclusion and acceptance.

The ICTheatre Ethos +
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Course Specification

Mode of attendance:
Length of course:
2 Years
Validated by:
Delivery organisation:
Language of study:
Final award:
RSL Extended Diploma qualification, equivalent to three A-levels
ICTheatre and Brighton Aldridge Community Academy