NC Acting and Theatre Performance

NC Acting and Theatre Performance

The National Certificate (NC) in Acting and Theatre Performance at SCQF level 6 provides candidates with appropriate skills and knowledge in drama and theatre performance by offering a core set of Units and a wide range of optional Units which can be tailored to the needs of the candidate. This can provide opportunities to a number of qualifications progression routes and enhanced employment prospects.

The framework has deliberately been kept broad, allowing maximum flexibility and opportunities for personalisation, choice and specialism. Candidates will be able to acquire skills and knowledge in particular fields depending on their needs and interests, for example, acting or musical theatre.

The qualification integrates voice, movement, acting and stagecraft in production to develop a range of skills. It is designed to offer the opportunity to work in rehearsal and performance creatively and innovatively, to give an understanding of theatre practice, and to develop communication and interpersonal skills.

National Certificates (NCs) are designed for full-time delivery over one year (or part-time over two years) and are available through schools, colleges and training providers.

Why deliver this qualification

The structure of the NC in Acting and Theatre Performance allows centres a high degree of flexibility in delivery, with a number of different modes possible in order to tailor the qualification to suit an identified range of progression pathways. Although primarily designed as a full-time Course, candidates could equally undertake the NC on a part-time basis.

The NC opens up possibility of interdisciplinary working and continued study for candidates.

Who does this qualification suit

The NC in Acting and Theatre Performance can appeal to a wide variety of potential candidates, including:

  • school leavers
  • adult returners
  • those interested in working in the drama or theatre industry
  • those already working in the drama or theatre industry as part of their Continuous Professional Development (CPD)


Access to the NC is at the discretion of the centre. Candidates would benefit from previous experience of a Drama Course or Units — Standard Grade Drama or National Courses in Drama at Intermediate 1, 2 or Higher would be appropriate.

Candidates would be expected to have an interest in this field and have some experience of acting and performing or drama. Relevant work experience would also be acceptable.


The NC in Acting and Theatre Performance is designed for candidates who wish to develop a foundation for progression to further study, and to provide skills and knowledge appropriate to the theatre industry.

The majority of those achieving the NC are likely to progress to HNC/HND Acting and Performance or Drama related programmes. However, it is also possible that successful candidates could possibly find employment in performing (drama, dance, music theatre); arts promotion/management; or teaching.


Centres with devolved authority are eligible to seek approval through their own internal approval process.

Centres without devolved authority will have to come forward for approval and should contact the Business Development Team for guidance in completing the combined CA1/SA1 form.

Assessors and verifiers must be able to meet SQA's general requirements as outlined in the guide to approval.

How to assess

The assessment strategy aims for a balanced approach which takes into account complementary and supplementary methods of assessment, reflecting the nature of the subject area. The majority of assessment is practical with written assignments and projects, where this is appropriate.

Qualification content and delivery tools

Qualification structure

Group Award code:G98A 46 (72 SCQF credit points)
SCQF level: 6

Arrangements Documents - NC Acting and Theatre Performance at SCQF level 6 (315 KB)

Course Overview and Skills Development Summary - NC Acting and Theatre Performance at SCQF level 6 (750 KB)

Framework Acting and Theatre Performance at level 6  (42 KB)


The NC in Acting and Theatre Performance has four mandatory Units and candidates must also complete two to seven optional Units.

Mandatory Units

Drama: Acting Skills (F5KY 12)
Drama: Voice Skills (F5LF 12)
Drama: Movement Skills (F5L1 12)
Drama: Theatre Skills in Performance (F5LB 12)

Any other information

Assessment Support Packs (ASPs) are available for all mandatory Units and selected optional Units. These reinforce the practical aspect of the Unit specification as well as reinforcing a common standard across centres. ASPs can be downloaded from SQA’s secure website.

Qualification Verification Summary Reports

2012 NQ Drama and Theatre Arts Internal Assessment Report (133 KB)