Cambridge Technical Level 3 Performing Arts (OCR)

Course Specification: Cambridge Technical Level 3

Course Overview (OCR)

A 2 year Performing Arts course that explores a wide variety of styles and genres, responding to performance briefs and real life scenarios about working in the performing arts industry.

Course requirements

5 GCSEs grades 9 – 4 including English and Maths at grade 4. If Drama was not studied at GCSE – students will be required to attend an audition.

Units of Study

Prepare to Work in the Performing Arts Sector

You will learn about the jobs and organisations that make up the industry, how it is funded and how companies are supported and regulated. The unit will give you strategies, attitudes and survival skills for sustaining a career in the performing arts industry. You will learn to self-promote and respond to current employment opportunities as well as learning when and how to adapt to a quickly changing economic landscape.

Proposal for a Commissioning Brief

This unit will equip you with the range of skills to be able to set out proposals as a response to a given brief and then set up and pilot performances and/or workshops. It will also provide you with a set of transferable skills that will underpin freelance work in your chosen artistic field.

Influential Performance Practice

You will learn about genres, styles and periods, social, cultural and historical influences and significant theatrical/performance developments and practitioners. You will become familiar with a range of different styles and periods, e.g. Classical, Modern and Postmodern, within their social, cultural and historical contexts and will be able to select, adapt and apply elements of your research into your performance concept and practical performance.

Combined Arts

Some contemporary performance companies do not want to be categorised. These companies don't want to be solely defined as 'theatre' or 'dance' companies, but would prefer to be known for the barriers they cross and for the integrated nature of the work that they do.

Your research into the history of new performance and influential artistic practice will reveal a long history of actors, dancers and musicians extending their skills into other forms and beginning new creative movements and styles.

You may be an actor, dancer or a musician, work with masks or puppets, be a mime artist or musical theatre performer; in this unit, you will be able to find innovative and dynamic ways of combining these to reimagine the existing piece and making it accessible and fresh for a contemporary audience.


This unit allows you to explore and develop the creative skill of improvisation and understand its place in the development process of performance. It will help you to extend your technical vocabulary and increase your ability to analyse and evaluate. You will begin to understand the demands and rewards of such work through a combination of research, practical workshops, rehearsals, reflection and refinement.

How will I be assessed?

All the units are either internally assessed and externally moderated or externally assessed.

You will complete a variety of portfolios, research tasks, presentations and performances over the 2 years.

Independent Study

You will be expected to complete research, learn lines and attend extra rehearsals throughout the course. It is also advisable that you try to independently watch live theatre performances in a variety of genres. 


The course is great preparation for any 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 Technical qualifications is that they still give you a choice of opportunities once you have completed them. 

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