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UAL Level 4 Professional Diploma

a dancer mid-air

Availability & Details

Professional Diploma in Performance - UAL Level 4 Diploma SF-PAPR4D-D(0000)000

South Downs Campus

Type of study
Adult Learning, Full Time, Higher Education

Academic Year 2023-24 (1 years)

Examination board
University of the Arts London (UAL)

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How to apply

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The qualification is suitable for students who intend to pursue a career in the creative industry as a dancer, actor or musical theatre performer.

You will automatically become a member of ‘Pivotal Performance Company’ a multidisciplinary performers company engaged in the study and realisation of creative work which explores contemporary and innovative performance practice.

The course is intended as a professional foundation in performance practices and will provide you with an opportunity to stretch and refine your practical skills, deepening your understanding of performance contexts.

The course units are designed to encourage you to explore and develop your creativity through stimulating skill classes, masterclasses and project creations across the performing arts disciplines in dance, acting and singing. In addition to advancing your technical competency you will engage in performance activities to platform and showcase your expanding repertoire and produce a personalised performance portfolio.


Cost: £4,670 (free if under 19 years old).


You will require either:

– 5 GCSEs at grade 4 or above
– 120 UCAS points from a full Level 3 Extended Diploma in Performing Arts qualification
– an equivalent A Level programme

Entry also includes an interview and successful audition.

On this UAL Level 4 course you will study the following units:

  • Unit 1: Applied Professional Practice
  • Unit 2: Specialist Performance Practice
  • Unit 3: Specialist Performance Project.

The focus areas are:

  • Performance Aesthetics
  • Acting Skills
  • Singing Practice
  • Dance Technique
  • Practitioner Study
  • Professional Standards
  • Performance Theory and Context
  • Audition Preparation
  • Styles and Genres
  • Contemporary Performance.

This course uses a blended learning programme of practical sessions, seminars and lectures supported by digital learning technologies. You will take part in skill classes across the performing arts disciplines, and have performance opportunities to realise and showcase your expanding repertoire.

The specialist facilities include two large dance studios, a rehearsal and performance black box studio and a fully functioning and flexible black box theatre with seating capacity of 160. In addition, there are numerous flexible classrooms for workshops, rehearsals and seminars. 

You are expected to attend campus across three days with some intermittent evening commitments. You can expect to take part in lectures, seminars, skill classes, workshops, visiting company masterclasses, performance visits and live performances.

You will be assessed in a variety of ways including tutor observation of your practical skills in workshops, rehearsals and performances. You will receive regular feedback and guidance.

You will also submit a portfolio of evidence in a form of your choice including presentations, written essays, vlogs and reflective journals.

Key assessments are based on:
– Practical performance skills
– Collaborative project work
– Performance portfolio including research, critical reflection and evaluation

Theatre visits
Play texts
Movement wear/footwear

Successful applicants have gone on to pursue the following careers: actor, dancer, performer, performance facilitator and movement/theatre director. Students have also progressed to university or Conservatoire to undertake Higher Education.

We have links with a variety of local performance based and creative industries.


As a company member of Pivotal, you will be involved in works directed and choreographed by experienced staff, in the creation of discipline based projects informed by a shared artistic theme or topic, blending, acting, dance and song to extend your insight into multidisciplinary performance work. You will also have the opportunity to collaborate in student-led work, defining your own personal interest and area of expertise in your final showcase.

You will apply professional standards and showcase your creative work on stage in our South Downs Campus Theatre. In addition you will have the opportunity to tour your work to an external venue.

As a key member of Pivotal you will gain insight into industry expectations and gain experience through:
- Performing
- Touring a production
- Workshop facilitation
- Reflective practice

“HSDC provided me with the opportunity for autonomous study and the choice of subjects that I wanted to study, which helped me develop relevant knowledge as well as relevant skills for the workplace.”

Lucas Ratcliffe, A Level and CTEC student

My time at the college was definitely life changing, I have learnt a lot of new skills, and obviously it’s a completely new experience. The support was great, there was always people there to help and try make it as easy as they can for you. The college is really fantastic, it has helped me on the way to get to what I want to achieve within my career goals.

Erin Morgan, BTEC student

My experience at the college was enjoyable and productive, with thoroughly helpful people surrounding you, an excellent experience. I wasn’t expecting it to be as good as it was, with the work shop time and experience I had, it was a great two years preparing me for the next stage.

Edward Smith, BTEC student