Gain the skills you need to become a versatile and creative performance practitioner.
The nature of the Performing Arts industry is extremely competitive and the opportunities for career diverse. The HND in Performing Arts (Acting Pathway) has been designed to provide a vocational based programme equipping you with the required skills to succeed in the range of career paths available. Our programme provides diverse and challenging learning experiences, whose aim is to extend and consolidate your expertise as a total performance maker. You will in part refine your live performance skills (vocal & physical) alongside developing greater understanding and command of specific techniques in multi disciplines including, directing, devising, producing, adaptation & stage craft. The selection of units enables you to nurture your creativity, developing your own voice as future innovators within the art form. The overriding focus of the programme is based on acknowledging the importance of versatility & diversity to allow for longevity, ensuring that you can become an all-round live performance maker & practitioner, skilled for successful careers in the ever-evolving Performing Arts industry.
The first year units have been designed to introduce you to the broad spectrum of the Performing Arts Industry with focus on a live theatrical performance specific pathway. You will study some of the core skills of the live theatre performer including, vocal technique (both spoken & singing) & movement skills for actors. With the exploration of theory based studies allowing for the acquisition of a wider understanding of the historical and cultural context of theatre as an Art form. You will be encouraged to develop reflective and enquiring approaches to your work, drawing on independent research in order to underpin your own practice. Within this year you will have the opportunity to participate in a collaborative project with the theatre company Teatro dei Borgia, resulting in a site-specific piece performed in Italy.
Throughout your second year an emphasis is placed on theatre making and honing the transferrable skills required. This ensures that you are a viable industry-ready performance practitioner. Our industry specialists will prepare you to step into the outside world with auditioning and interview techniques. You will have the opportunity to explore physical theatre techniques through the development of an adaptation project which will involve a trip to Milan. The rest of the year focuses on developing your skills as a director and producer. The programme will help prepare you to start up your own performance company and nurture your creativity. It will allow you to pursue the diverse range of further education or employment routes current within the industry.
This course is designed to be vocationally driven with a focus on strong industry links delivered through a programme of exciting 'live' projects working with current external professional choreographers.
You will work as a member of the in-house dance company developing your skills base through levelled classes in all genres. You will also have the chance to nurture your own creative voice through choreographic projects aimed at preparing you for the varied employment opportunities within the industry. Our holistic approach and company ethos will ensure that you enter the industry having developed a broad skills base through practical training in various disciplines.
The first year is designed to introduce you to the broad spectrum of the Performing Arts Industry with focus on a Dance specific pathway. You will train in a variety of styles and techniques including contemporary dance, classical ballet, commercial, jazz and tap, and choreography for performances. With the exploration of theory based studies allowing for the acquisition of a wider understanding of the historical and cultural context of dance as an Art form. You will be encouraged to develop reflective and enquiring approaches to your work, drawing on independent research in order to underpin your own practice. Within this year you will have the opportunity to participate in a collaborative project with the theatre company Teatro dei Borfia, resulting in a site specific piece performed in Italy.
Through your second year you will continue to hone your practical skills participating in technique classes and refining your own choreographic style. An emphasis is placed on vocational training, and the skills required to enter into the professional worlds of performing arts. You will have opportunities to explore current industry trends in order to equip you to step into the industry. The course will prepare you for auditions and castings, in addition to nurturing your own creativity, allowing you to pursue the diverse range of further education or employment routes current within the dance industry.
This programme is offered in two specialist pathways for you to choose from: Dance and Acting.
The Acting pathway aims to explore all aspects of the domain of performance, from the role of the performer within a range of genres (including, naturalism, physical theatre, contemporary performance (adaptation) & site specific performance (Italy project), to creating work independently as skilled performance makers. You will have opportunities to delve into the role of the director; cultivating industry standard skills to develop you own performance companies. During the two-year course, you will always be working towards performance projects, applying your technique through practice. We aim to facilitate & support your curiosity as an up and coming artist, which will naturally lead you to investigate a wide range of performance topics and worlds, including style, space, character, vocal/movement technique and cultural theory.
In the Dance pathway, you will train in a range of techniques and styles, including contemporary dance, classical ballet, commercial, jazz and tap, and choreography for group and solo performances. An emphasis is placed on vocational training, and the skills required to enter into the professional worlds of performing arts. You will have opportunities to explore current industry trends in order to prepare you to step into the industry. The course will prepare you for auditions and castings, in addition to nurturing your own creativity, allowing you to pursue the diverse range of employment routes current within the dance industry.
Performing arts industry
The learning outcomes in year one facilitate the discovery of key theories and principles, in acquiring basic practical skills, and in developing a knowledge framework with a limited amount of independence. In year two the learning outcomes are geared towards industry requirements, in developing professional skills, and in synthesizing knowledge with independence. Throughout the programme there is an emphasis on self-direction, working in teams, and in problem solving. These are inherent within the unit learning outcomes. Units are delivered through a variety of methods of teaching and learning. These include practical workshops and demonstrations, technique classes, group and individual projects, peer group presentations, lectures, seminars and tutorials. All courses emphasise active participation and experiential learning, in combination with the development of research, analytical and critical skills.
When not attending lectures, seminars and workshops or other timetabled sessions you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically, this will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, rehearsing, undertaking research in the library, preparing coursework assignments and presentations. A range of excellent facilities, including the library, the Learning Resource Centre and the Forum, supports your independent learning.
Timetables are normally available one month before registration, though we endeavour to let you know an outline as soon as possible. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week and may include twilight sessions. Typically, year groups are expected to attend lessons for 15 hours a week spread over three days. We expect you to build on this learning through Independent Study for at least a similar period. For this time, we usually have space available within the Campus or at the Forum in Southend.
You will benefit from industry-related work experiences including:
15 hours per week, which is a full three days in college, split 5 hours theory and 10 hours practical.
Both the Acting & Dance pathways have an expectation for students to further develop their performance practice through rehearsal & workshops outside of timetabled classes for which the studio spaces will be made available.
The courses are delivered cross-campus at Southend Luker Road and at our Grays Campus.
You will be assessed via rehearsals, research projects, technical application, and journals. There are no exams.
During your second year, you will discuss careers options with your tutor. Our students have successfully progressed onto a range of BA (Hons) top-up programmes to complete their full degree training, including musical theatre programmes at Bath Spa, acting & dance degrees at Brooksby Melton & Colchester Institute, the performance art course at Arden School of Theatre, Manchester & level 6 dance programmes at Performers College, Middlesex & Bird.
As well as further academic study and performance training, students have also taken up teaching through embarking on the PGCE programme offered here at South Essex.
Other graduate destinations (acting pathway) include:
Other graduate destinations (dance pathway) include:
You will need a minimum of 64 UCAS points from one or more of the following:
You will also need GCSE English at grade C or above (old specification) or grade 4 (new specification) OR a Level 2 equivalent such as functional skills.
Applications from mature students who do not possess the entry requirements as listed above, but who possess related professional experience or professional qualifications, are welcome to apply. You will need to demonstrate by interview, exceptional entry portfolio (this is likely to include evidence of paid or unpaid work experience) and/or written assessment that you are suitable for the course. In the first instance we suggest you contact HEAdmissions@southessex.ac.uk to discuss your application.
Applying for a course is simple:
If you have any questions, a course adviser is here to help you.
This award is validated by Pearson Edexcel.
Students will have access to Thurrock Campus and High House Production Park, Purfleet.