Course Type: Full Time,Higher Education

Higher National Diploma (HND) Performing Arts

  • Course Code AAA0830
  • Day Weekdays
  • Time Day & Evening
  • Start Date 17th September 2018
  • Fee Year 1: £5,995
    Year 2: £5,995
  • Duration 2 years
  • Campus Baltic Campus

This programmes offers a well-rounded insight into a career in the performing arts industry, providing you with the skills required as a performer whilst also exploring the variety of roles that exist backstage and behind the scenes which will enable you to have a long, portfolio-style career in the sector.

Studying with us, you’ll get the practical, the theory and the professional skills you need to kick-start your career in this fast-paced and competitive industry. You’ll develop ‘real-world’ skills and experience by spending part of your study time with our key industry partners. 

The creative sector

Growing four times the rate of the UK workforce as a whole and set to create 1 million more jobs by 2030, the creative sector is booming and offers a diverse range of job opportunities in addition to the traditional performance roles.

Not all about being in the spotlight, on stage as a performer, the 3 million people who work in the sector today enjoy a huge variety of roles, many of which are behind the scenes.

About the course

Our HND in Performing Arts is a two year, full time course designed to appeal to those who wish to explore the many and varied faces and roles of the performer in the entertainment world. If your interests lie beyond just acting and you want to explore a wider array of career options such as touring artist, stand-up, magic, cabaret, compering, presenting, voice-acting and narration that may open doors to working in industries as diverse as TV/Film, computer games, advertising, cruises, holiday venues or children’s entertainment, then this is the programme for you.

We'll provide a solid grounding in solo and ensemble performance technique and help you explore the industry to find your niche. We'll support you to develop project work designed to play to your strengths and to your career ambitions, while encouraging your confidence and creativity. You'll get to showcase your work at regular points and we'll encourage you to perform outside of college and build your local and regional networks to get you started in the business.

What will I study?

  • Performance and rehearsal techniques
  • Voice and Speech
  • Movement
  • Devising
  • Stagecraft
  • Working as a performer in the entertainment industries

What is an HND?

A Higher National Diploma or HND is a nationally recognised, two-year level 5 qualification. It is equivalent to a Foundation Degree or the first two years of a BA programme. HNDs focus on the development of technical and vocational skills and are ideal preparation for jumping straight into work, but are equally suited to being ‘topped up’ with a level 6 degree so that you finish with a full BA (hons).

Skilled teaching team

Your teaching team are passionate about the sector and have all worked as professionals in the industry as actors in theatre and TV, stand-up comedians, singers or for national dance companies. Each team member teaches a specialist discipline and the majority of classes will take the form of practical workshops and rehearsals, becoming increasingly student led as the course progresses. In addition, there will be traditional lectures, seminars and demonstrations and some observation of professional work as part of the course.

Industry Professionals

You’ll be plugged into the world of work from day one as our course content is shaped by our professional Advisory Board made up of representatives from the North East’s booming creative sector including Northern Stage, Alphabetti Theatre, Open Clasp, Claypole Management and NE1. Content is kept relevant and up to date and you’ll have the opportunity to make vital contacts to help you seek employment opportunities.

Portfolio Careers

The conventional nine to five isn’t for everyone or for every industry. In the creative sector, many people have a ‘portfolio career’ which means splitting their time and skills between several different jobs or projects, combining freelance and contracted work and choosing their own hours.

How do we prepare you?

Skills not strictly connected to performance are explored such as entrepreneurial know how, communication skills, team working and facilitation skills.

How will I be assessed?

The programme is coursework assessed and there are no formal examinations. Assignments often take the form of practical rehearsal and performance projects (full group, small group, in pairs or solo), presentations, seminars, essays, reports and portfolios.

What next?

93% of our students progress into work or further study, many of them securing work with our partner employers in theatre, radio, film and television, as well as in the fields of community drama and education.

Roles in the creative sector are varied and not strictly limited to performance. Alongside the more traditional roles of actor, entertainer, or theatre performer, the sector offers other creative roles such as arts development officer, community project manager, artistic director or event management, with an earning potential of up to £30k.


Please note: Whilst every effort is made to run all advertised programmes, this programme will run subject to learner recruitment numbers.

An interview is required, an audition is required and a DBS check is required.

How to apply

You can register your interest for this course online, call 0191 490 2246 or email start@gateshead.ac.uk.

How will I be assessed?

By continual observation of your practical work, projects, assignments, oral and written questions

How will I be taught?

Students will work together on performance projects throughout the year culminating in a large-scale public production performed either in the College Studio Theatre or a local professional or community venue. The course is held in our purpose-built Performing Arts Studios.

Qualifications needed

96 Tariff points and grade GCSE English Language and maths at grade 9-4 (A*-C). You must also pass an audition designed to assess your practical skills.

Mature applicants without qualifications but with equivalent experience and knowledge may apply. Suitability will be determined at an interview.

There are loans available that you can apply for to help cover the costs of course fees and living costs(if studying full time).

For more information or advice, contact our finance support services on 0191 490 4627 or 0191 426 4329. Our support funds team can also be emailed at support.funds@gateshead.ac.uk