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Post 16 Community Arts Practice

 Subject Overview

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 Deadline Year 12 Community Arts Practice: 25th January 2019.

The Community Arts Practice course is designed for students wanting to not only  develop their skills in performing arts but use them as a vehicle to promote positive change within society. Across the two year course, students study a range of performance techniques such as; acting, dance, physical theatre and singing as well as studying the history and development of Community Arts Practice, these skills are then applied to a range of community contexts . Since the course began in 2012, students have worked with a wide variety of community partners; TBAP Pupil Referral Unit, St. Christopher’s Hospice, Oaklodge School for Deaf children, MIND, Certitude Adult Services, Crisis and The Royal Brompton Hospital to name but a few.

As head of the course, my mission is to develop new and innovative ways for students to engage with the community and develop their artistry. I want students to leave this course feeling confident in their abilities as community artists and equipped to take which ever step they choose next. 

Emma Balaam, Head of Community Arts Practice.




If you have got a passion for the performing arts and want to discover how your skills can play more of a role than just on the stage, our Community Arts Practice qualification provides you with the practical skills to enrich, inform and transform the lives of people who have little access to the arts. 

Available only if you are aged 16 or over, you will achieve a UAL Extended Level 3 Diploma in Performing Arts at the end of your course, which is equivalent to three A Levels. 

The community arts practice course is a full time two-year course that introduces students to a range of skills and knowledge that will prepare them for a career or further training and education in the field of community arts. This is a growing area of the performing arts industry in which trained practitioners use the performing arts to enrich, inform, and transform the lives of people who may have had little access to the performing arts, through participation in workshops, classes or performances.

What kind of student are we looking for?

This course is for students who are interested in using the performing arts for more than just performing. The course is aimed at students who may have interests or skills in more than one art form or performing art and would like to keep developing these skills. The course will also be of interest to students who are keen to work with a wide range of people of different ages and backgrounds.

Course Details

The course focuses on how the performing arts can be used positively for change and development and students will develop skills as a community arts practitioner. There will be the opportunity to work directly with various community groups including young people, school children, the elderly and people with disabilities. Students may work with vulnerable groups including those that are homeless or in a pupil referral unit.

The course will offer contextual studies covering the history of community arts, technique classes where students will acquire practical skills in theatre, music, movement and design. Students will learn how to plan, deliver and lead successful workshops themselves. Students will learn how to deliver community arts projects, identifying prospective partners, liaising with outside organisations through to the successful completion of the project.

The course will culminate in a community arts festival that will include work created by students on the course who will also run and administrate the festival including organising performances and workshops with visiting professionals.

Typical Units on offer may include;

Year 12
  • performance workshop
  • devising plays
  • theatre for children
  • storytelling as performance
  • physical theatre
Year 13
  • special subject investigation
  • theatre-in-education
  • performing to an audience
  • rehearsing for performance
  • arts in the community
  • performing arts events management
  • physical theatre

Facilities & Activities

Community arts practice students will have access to rehearsal studios where they will take part in performance technique classes and create and rehearse work for performance. Students will also have access to classrooms equipped with computers and internet access to take part in taught sessions as well as conduct their own administration; liaising with outside organisations, booking tours, organising workshops, setting up meetings and booking professional companies and practitioners.

Students will have the opportunity to perform in work that will tour locally and nationally to theatres, arts centres and schools. Students will also have access to The BRIT School’s own theatre spaces to perform their work as well as see the work of visiting professionals.

The course will offer students the opportunity to take part in community arts events, festivals and performances, as well as venue and site visits to organisations who deliver outreach and community projects professionally.


After completing the community arts practice course students will be equipped with skills and knowledge which means they could start to pursue a career as a community arts practitioner. These might include work in: education departments of arts organisations (theatre, opera, dance, visual arts, music), work within local authority arts provision, freelance work as an arts practitioner, workshop leader, youth theatre leader, teaching assistant, performing with touring companies, and arts administration.

There are also directly related courses on offer at a number of Universities and specialised vocational institutions including:

  • BA (Hons) Community Arts and Drama/Dance/Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University
  • BA (Hons) Drama, Applied Theatre and Education at
  • Central School of Speech and Drama
  • BA (Hons) Community at Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts
  • BA (Hons) Community Theatre at East 15
  • BA (Hons) Street Arts at the University of Winchester FdA/BA in Inclusive Performance at Chickenshed/Middlesex University
  • Central School of Speech and Drama Partnership

The Royal Central School of Speech & Drama, University of London, has long been associated with The BRIT School. Our students have taken up places on all Central's undergraduate degrees in the past and one of the Governors of the School is Deputy Dean of Studies at Central. A number of Graduates from Central have become members of staff at The BRIT. Central's prestigious BA Hons Drama, Applied Theatre and Education (DATE) degree is a natural follow on for students on the Community Arts Practice course here. Central's DATE course team will interview all successful applicants from the School’s Community Arts course.

How to Apply

Questions to be answered in section 7 of the application form:

a) Give an example of an activity or project that you were involved in that was carried out as part of a team and that you were particularly proud of.

b) What do you think makes you a suitable candidate for the course?

c) How do you think being involved in a performing arts project could enrich the life of someone who has not had the opportunity to be involved in the arts before?

d) If you could create your own community arts project, what would it be and who would it be aimed at?


The BRIT School

The BRIT School for Performing Arts & Technology
60 The Crescent

tel: 020 8665 5242
fax: 020 8665 8676


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