Skip to content
Performing Arts

HNC/HND Performing Arts (Musical Theatre)

  • Course Type: Higher National Certificate
  • Institution Code: P56
Course overview

What can this course lead to?

You will have the opportunity to apply to Theatre/Dance Colleges for further professional training. Students completing this course will also be prepared to go out into the world of work – into local or regional theatres as performers, or to develop their own Performing Arts businesses, teaching either privately or in schools and educational establishments.

You could also top-up to a full degree at university with a further one year of study.

Who is it for?

This course is delivered at the Eastern School of Performing Arts (ESPA) in Stamford and encompasses all aspects of Musical Theatre. It provides an excellent grounding in singing, dancing and acting, alongside developing individuality and performance skills. Working in a vocational manner, in a private theatre school setting allows students to focus and commit to their craft.

Students learn through a balanced programme of core training in acting, singing and dance technique along with developing artistic and creative individuality. The course comprises of modules which include Jazz, Singing, Vocal Repertoire, Acting and a Creative Research Project.

There are 15 contact hours per week and the course also allows students to take additional classes alongside the qualification to develop a five day a week schedule.

ESPA students will have their own study area on non-taught days for independent study and rehearsal. Throughout the course ESPA students will also be offered guest workshops with industry professionals.

ESPA provide a supportive environment that fosters not only the artistic development but also intellectual and personal development within all its students. The training is based around practical sessions and performance experience, where the three skills are brought together. Students will also study the historical, stylistic and professional aspects of the industry culminating in a solid understanding of the performing world.

You will have the opportunity to perform in both a showcase and full scale show during both the first and second year of the course along with some smaller community based and in house projects.

What is covered?

You must take modules worth 120 credits at each level of the course. Each module is worth a specified number of credits.

Year one for full-time students (Level 4):

  • Performing Arts Industry (15 credits)
  • Professional Development (15 credits)
  • Jazz Dance 1 (15 credits)
  • Commercial Dance 1 (15 credits)
  • Singing 1 (15 credits)
  • Acting 1 (15 credits)
  • Devising Theatre (15 credits)


  • Vocal Repertoire (15 credits)
  • Dance for Camera (15 credits)

Year two for full-time students (Level 5):

  • Creative Research (30 credits)
  • Working in the Performing Arts Industry (15 credits)
  • Jazz Dance 2 (15 credits)
  • Ballet 2 (15 credits)
  • Contemporary Dance 2 (15 credits)
  • Commercial Dance 2 (15 credits)
  • Dance for Musical Theatre (15 credits)

A typical 15 credit module is 150 hours which includes 36 hours of tutor led delivery and 114 hours of recommended independent study. A typical 30 credit module is 300 hours which includes 72 hours of tutor led delivery and 228 hours of recommended independent study. A full-time student should expect to undertake 30 additional hours per week during term-time.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

You must meet the following entry requirements:

5 GCSE grades C/4 or above, including English, Maths and Science and 80 UCAS points, which should be from a related subject in one of the following:

  • A Levels
  • BTEC Level 3 National Diploma
  • IB Diploma
  • Access to HE
  • Related work experience
  • Overseas qualifications are judged to be equivalent to the above

Students who do not qualify by any o these qualifications may be offered an interview to discuss equivelant qualifications and previous experience.
We accept A Level General Studies and AS levels when combined with other full qualifications.
If English is not your first language, you will require an IELTS score of 6.0 or above or an equivalent English Language qualification.

Mature students or students who do not have the above qualifications can contact our admissions team on 01733 214466 or to discuss equivalent qualifications or relevant work experience.

An interview and audition will also be required.


We can accept a wide range of overseas qualifications and use UK NARIC to compare qualifications. For advice about overseas qualification conversion call the Admissions Office on 01733 214466 or email


To find out more about UCAS tariff points and how they work, visit

We accept a wide range of qualifications such as A-levels (you must have grades for at least two A-levels), BTEC, Cambridge Technicals, International Baccalaureate (IB), NVQ Level 3, Access to Higher Education and Scottish Advanced Highers.

The tariff points for qualifications can be added and combined together (e.g. A-levels plus BTECs).

The UCAS points for A-level General Studies, AS-levels and the EQP (Extended Project Qualification) are accepted when combined with other full qualifications.


APCL relates to learning completed through an earlier course of study. If you have previously completed a course which is relevant to your proposed course you should make this clear when you apply. For this to be eligible for consideration you must be able to provide certification, which shows your success in a final assessment for that course. Learning must be completed in the last five years or further evidence of updating will be required. Simple participation in a course or an attendance certificate is not sufficient.


We offer students flexibility in their studies, by recognising learning they may have completed elsewhere before they apply. The Accreditation of Prior Learning process ensures that we can take this into account when determining the modules you must study. It is important that you identify any relevant prior learning when you apply. If your previous study specifically relates to modules on the course you wish to undertake we may approve a reduced programme of study, thus shortening the time it takes to obtain your award. Where this relates to learning completed through an earlier course of study, this is called Prior Certificated Learning, and where learning has been achieved through relevant work or experience, this is referred to as Prior Experiential Learning. Claims must be approved before you commence a course.


It is important to understand that the APEL process does not award academic credit for experience alone, but for learning which can be shown to have been achieved through that experience. Students are required to prepare an individual case for the credit arising from their learning experiences. This normally means that a student receives support in the preparation of a portfolio, which evidences their claimed exemptions for entry. This portfolio of evidence is then submitted for assessment and the possible award of academic credit. Alternative methods of assessment of evidence may be available but needs to be discussed with the Admissions team or Course Leader.

Course information
Ucas Code
Start Date
The tuition fees for full-time undergraduate students will be £7,500 per yearThere may be additional costs for this course which are not covered by the tuition fee.

HNC - Full-time 1 year

HND - Full-time 2 years

Validated by
Pearson Edexcel
Tariff points
Apply Now

Part of the Inspire Education Group © 2024 All rights reserved

Website by Itineris