Drama is a popular and successful subject in Wellington that aims to see students develop in creativity, communication and performance analysis.

There is a strong focus on collaborative work across all stages, alongside the development of independent learning and research skills, designed to equip students for the demands of third level education and beyond.

The department is well established at A Level with a record of 100% A-C since 2015. Performing Arts students have progressed to courses in law, hospitality, music and scenic art, throughout a variety of universities in the UK and Ireland, including the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

GCSE Drama

Examination Board: CCEA

Wellington follows the CCEA GCSE Drama specification which motivates and inspires students to build and showcase their competence in a range of creative, practical and performance skills.

This comprehensive and innovative course encourages students to develop a personal interest in drama. Students choose one of two pathways – performance (acting), or design (costume, lighting, multimedia, set or sound). They work creatively with others, generating, developing and communicating their ideas for a devised performance and for a scripted performance. They also explore social, historical and cultural influences on drama texts and activities.

Both the theoretical and practical elements of the course help students to become critical thinkers with enquiring minds, confident communicators, and independent learners.

This qualification builds on the knowledge, understanding and skills developed through the Area of Learning, The Arts.

This specification is a linear qualification: students take all the assessment at the end of the course.

The specification has three components:

The table below summarises the structure of this GCSE course.

Component title Assessment Weighting
Component 1: Devised Performance
Controlled assessmentIn response to a stimulus, students either:devise and present a group performance; ordevise and give a design presentation.All students submit a student log.Teachers submit a recording of every student’s performance or presentation.Teachers mark the tasks, and we moderate the results. 25%  (15%) (10%) 
Component 2: Scripted Performance
Controlled assessmentUsing a published play script, students either:present a group performance; orgive a design presentation.Teachers mark the tasks, and we moderate the results. 35%
Component 3: Knowledge and Understanding of Drama.
External written examination1 hour 30 minsStudents answer three questions using one set text.Open book 40%

A-Level Performing Arts

Examination Board: CCEA

Module Outline:

Module Content Weightings
AS 1: Skills Development and ApplicationInternally assessedExternally moderated  Students are assessed on an individual performance and a contrasting collaborative performance. They must also produce an accompanying written portfolio. 60% of AS30% of the A Level
AS 2: Planning and Realising a Performing Arts EventExternally setExternally assessed  Students must plan and realise a live performance based on an externally set title. This is a collaborative piece. In addition students must provide supportive documents, completed under controlled conditions. 40% of AS20% of the A Level
A2 1: Planning for EmploymentInternally assessedExternally moderated  Students must produce a report on the skills required to work in PA industry as well as producing a professional CV. They must undertake an audition, demonstrating 2 contrasting pieces of repertoire, and sit an interview. A written evaluation of their audition and interview is also required.  60% of A230% of the A Level
A2 2: Performing to a Commission BriefExternally setExternally assessed  Students must write/create, promote, plan and perform a live event based on an externally set title. This is a collaborative piece, requiring them to undertake a specific administrative role in preparation for the event. In addition students must provide a detailed written record of work.  40% of AS20% of the A Level

Entry Criteria:

Students must demonstrate considerable skill in their chosen discipline as well as an ability to write fluently.

Grade related qualifications in Dance, Drama or Music and past participation in music and/or drama related extra-curricular is desirable.

In addition to this:

All students will be expected to be involved in the college’s extra-curricular programme which may include music groups, choir, drama club and/or school productions.


The drama department has established connections with a number of theatre organisations in Northern Ireland including The Lyric Theatre Belfast and Replay Theatre, affording students with work experience opportunities and insight into working within the Performing Arts industry. A Level studies include research into Performing Arts courses and a wide variety of potential jobs alongside specific teaching and assessment in how to construct a CV, prepare a professional portfolio, complete an audition and sit an interview. Many students move onto related courses in QUB and universities in Scotland.

Performing Arts is a competitive industry but the skills associated with it are transferable to many career pathways.

Jobs directly related to performing arts related degrees:

  • Actor
  • Community arts worker
  • Costume designer
  • Choreographer
  • Dancer
  • Dramatherapist
  • Lighting technician
  • Music producer
  • Music therapist
  • Musician
  • Set designer
  • Stage manager
  • Sound technician
  • Theatre director

Jobs in which a performing arts related degree is useful:

  • Arts administrator
  • Broadcast presenter
  • Film director
  • Further education teacher
  • Higher education lecturer
  • Hospitality and events management
  • Secondary school teacher
  • Talent agent

Useful links