GCE Performing Arts (2016)

Summer 2022: View Specification and Specification Addendum in place for the 2021/22 academic year for those candidates completing their course in Summer 2022.

Please email CCEA Helpline [email protected] for queries/support.

The CCEA GCE Performing Arts specification encompasses drama, dance, music and any genre that involves performing in front of an audience. Performing arts is a huge growth industry in Northern Ireland: the Game of Thrones phenomenon has resulted in a burgeoning film industry, with many other major productions, such as Derry Girls, Line of Duty and The Fall creating a range of employment opportunities here.

This specification is available at two levels: AS and A2. Students can take the AS units plus the A2 units for a full GCE A level qualification. They can also choose to take the course as a stand-alone qualification.

In the AS units, students develop their skills and apply them to practical contexts. They will also plan and realise a Performing Arts event.

Students who continue to A2 learn about planning for employment in the performing arts industry, and will also have the opportunity to form a production company to research, plan, promote and realise a performing arts event in response to a commission brief.

The specification has four units:

  • Unit AS 1: Developing Skills and Repertoire
  • Unit AS 2: Planning and Realising a Performing Arts Event
  • Unit A2 1: Planning for Employment
  • Unit A2 2: Performing to a Commission Brief.

Current Specification

First teaching: from September 2016
First award of AS level: from Summer 2017
First award of A level: from Summer 2018
QAN AS level: 601/8906/X
QAN A level: 601/8907/1
Guided learning hours AS level: 180
Guided learning hours A level: 360
Qualification level: 3
Subject Code: LC11

Skills developed through our GCE Performing Arts

This specification builds on learning from Key Stage 4 and gives students opportunities to continue to develop the Cross-Curricular Skills and the Thinking Skills and Personal Capabilities.

Students develop skills through preparing for performances by:

  • using a variety of research methods;
  • completing a skills audit;
  • independent learning and self-management;
  • action planning and target setting;
  • using rehearsal strategies and techniques;
  • engaging in a regular programme of practice;
  • using teacher, peer and self-evaluation;
  • record keeping;
  • understanding health and safety practices; and
  • completing a risk assessment.

Students develop skills in relation to their chosen discipline:

  • Dance
  • Drama
  • Music
  • Choreography
  • Set Design
  • Costume Design
  • Direction
  • Musical Direction
  • Stage Management
  • Technical (Lighting or Sound). 

For more information on this specification contact:

Maureen Black
Subject Officer
Nola Fitzsimons
Specification Support Officer
(028) 9026 1200 ext. 2235