SCQF Level 8
Performing Arts

Course Overview
This 2-year Acting and Performance HND is a diverse course designed to push you towards your performing potential. Performing Arts Studio Scotland (PASS) has a range of exceptional professional facilities including the Pass studio theatre as well as dance, acting and aerial studios is course will test your skills in acting, production, voice and movement.

Opportunities for practical work experience will be available through PASS industry connections. You will gain essential experience in working environments and make crucial connections with theatre professionals. Upon completion, you will be qualified for further study of acting at a university level. 

Your final show (PassOut) takes place at the Traverse Theatre to a paying audience and industry professionals and agents will be invited. This course can collaborate with other students in Edinburgh College including make-up artists, costume designers and technical theatre designers. You will learn how to take a simple idea and expand and explore it until becomes a final product; bringing it to life. You will meet previous PASS students who have become theatre professionals at our yearly and inspiring PASS It On. 

We organise up to six theatre visits a year to a range of different productions. You will also have the exciting opportunity to take part in an international theatre visit to Romania. During the visit, you will work with Romanian and Hungarian peers at the National Theatre Academy in Targu Mures.

What You Will Learn

  • Acting Methods and Practitioners 
  • Physical Theatre: Skills for Devising and Performance 
  • Theatre Styles 
  • Live Performance 
  • Voice Development Skills 
  • Acting Development Skills 
  • Movement Development Skills 
  • Text and Performance 

Entry Requirements
  • Two Highers, one of which should be Higher or Advanced Higher Drama
  • NC at SCQF Level 6 in Acting and Performance
  • A very good personal statement with a desire to make a career in performing arts
English Proficiency Requirements
  • IELTS 5.5
How the course is assessed
  • You will be assessed through; practical performance, self-evaluation through logbooks or Vlogs and theoretical/research assignments 

Information on Test/Auditions/Interview Requirements

To successfully be given a place, all candidates must take part in an audition at Granton Campus. The audition process will likely last between two and three hours and contains four sections: 

  • A tour of our facilities with current HND students
  • An induction session
  • A workshop with fellow auditionees
  • An audition monologue performance followed by an interview


For the entire audition process, please wear appropriate clothing (loose-fitting clothes and flat shoes) and have jewellery and watches removed.

If you have long hair, please tie it back to make sure your face is visible and does not obscure your expressions.

The workshop is an essential component of the audition process. We are looking at your ability to take direction, express yourself and to successfully work in a team. This will include games and devising exercises with the whole audition group.


The monologue must be fully memorised to performance standard. It must be from a published play that is no longer than two minutes - those that go over may be stopped due to time constraints. The piece should be from a contemporary play and of a character who is near your age and the gender you identify as. Please do NOT choose classical pieces, including Shakespeare. We recommend that you avoid pieces from the following plays: 

  • The Letterbox or Tally’s Blood by Ann Marie di Mambro
  • The Steamie by Tony Roper
  • Men Should Weep by Ena Lamont Stewart
  • DNA by Dennis Kelly
  • Like a Virgin by Gordon Steel
  • Passing Places by Stephen Greenhorn

These pieces tend to be very popular and are frequently overused.


Immediately after your performance, you will have a short interview where we will ask you about your reasons for wanting to train with us and about the kind of theatre that interests you. Please come prepared to answer questions about your experience, the productions you’ve seen and why you chose your piece.


Please note the following. Due to the number of applicants we see, we are unable to give feedback on your audition. It is possible that the place offered will be on a different course than the one you applied for or that a place will not be offered on a course within PASS. This is due to many factors, including experience, education, results of the audition given and/or the quality of the application submitted. It is also important to stress that not all applicants will be successful in securing an interview, even if they meet all the requirements. This is due to the high-quality applications we receive and the limited amount of space we have on offer.

Progression And Articulation Routes

  • Dance and Drama BA Hons at PASS Edinburgh College with Kingston University 
  • Year three BA (Hons) Acting for Stage and Screen at Queen Margaret University 
  • Year three BSc (Hons) Acting for Stage and Screen at Edinburgh Napier University 
  • Progress to drama schools such as Italia Conti RCS, RADA Central School of Speech and Drama, LIPA Rose Bruford Manchester Metropolitan University, Birmingham School of Acting and The Drama Centre 
  • Drama school BA Drama and Performance at Queen Margaret University 

Download our progression route map here
Career Opportunities

  • A job in the acting and performance industry 

Number Of Days Per Week
  • 3 - 4 days per week however this will be increased when working towards performances
Course Cost And Funding Options
Student Stories
We asked actor Karen Gillan about her time spend on the Edinburgh College PASS course:

“PASS is a fantastic stepping stone to a career in the arts. Through the encouragement and support and the highest quality of training I realised I could pursue a career in acting. I would highly recommend Edinburgh College to anyone with an interest in the arts and wish the College every success with PASS.”

Since leaving college Karen went on to study in London at the Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts before appearing in popular tv shows such as The Kevin Bishop Show and medical drama Harley Street. Karen’s popularity has seen a sharp rise since she appeared as Amy Pond, Dr. Who’s assistant in early 2010.

Course Delivery
GRANTON x x x x x
MIDLOTHIAN x x x x x
MILTON RD x x x x x
SIGHTHILL x x x x x
OUTREACH x x x x x

Courses may be subject to alteration or cancellation

Our Campuses
Performing Arts

Edinburgh College is home to the Performing Arts Studio Scotland (PASS), one of the country's largest and most respected centres for training in the performing arts.  

We are delighted to have renowned actress Karen Gillan as our Patron.

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To apply please download an SCP application form and contact your guidance teacher who will support you through your application.

For further information please contact the College t: 0131 669 4400 | Terms of use and disclaimer
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