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College - media course / performing arts / A levels???? confused

(4 Posts)
lookatmenow Mon 20-Mar-17 10:38:41

Some advice would be very appreciated.

DD is yr 10, were starting to think about college/sixth form.

I never went to college so have no idea how best to navigate this next stage in her life and advise when asked.

What i'm confursed with what is best for her, she wants to do something along the lines of media or performing arts (not sure what's best) - are these vocational courses, would she be best doing A level in this along with other subjects and if so, which????

She is also thinking after college she'll go to university so i'm not sure if she needs A levels the do a degree with in the course or if vocational would be best.

As i said, i have no idea, all input will be gladly received smile


Meloncoley2 Fri 31-Mar-17 09:46:09

If you look at the websites of your local sixth form colleges you can get an idea of the courses they offer, and the GCSE results she would need to get on them. Have a look to see when their open evenings are, when you can look round the various departments and chat to tutors.

It depends what she would like to study at University, there are BTEC qualifications available which may suit her better than A levels.

homebythesea Sun 09-Apr-17 22:56:39

If she is capable of doing A levels this is the route that will keep most doors open for higher education should she wish to do that. Not many HE routes are open without A levels, some for BTEC but not so many. Your current school will advise if A levels are a realistic option for your DD. It's my view that it's always better to go for the most academic route possible because vocational courses, especially in performing arts, channel into a very narrow path. A levels in e.g. drama, media studies and another academic subject (English, History, Economics etc) wouid keep the skills up but allow for a wider range of HE options than if she did purely vocational courses.

Does she want to pursue a performing career? What advice might current dance/drama teachers be able to give about courses local to you?

pizzaface31 Mon 10-Apr-17 00:26:55


I'm a trainee film and media teacher, who has a degree in film and did both BTEC and A-Level Media, Film Studies and was heavily involved with performing arts.

From my experience, if she isn't going to go into a performing arts career then I wouldn't do it at college as it is extremely demanding (most of my friends did/do it and it ended up being their only subject), but she can still take part, which from experience is better as you get all the fun stuff without the grading and pressure! What she could do is enquire as to whether they run a production arts course alongside performing arts, I have friends who have done this and are going on to be stage managers and have went to the country's best arts university. A course like this will allow her to discover how a stage production works, how to do lighting and sound and how to direct, which works brilliantly alongside media and a media career.

For the media course, let her decide which one she'd prefer. I did both, and I performed better in the BTEC because I work better in coursework graded projects, which are demanding but you can steadily work towards your grade, and in the a-level my being bad at exams let me down, I got a Distinction in BTEC (which is the BTEC equivalent to an A) and I got a B in A-Level, so it's really about how she is graded best.

For a course alongside, either Film Studies or English Literature are best, or if she's interested, politics. Film with Media will lead to a very creative pathway and university course, so English Lit if she enjoys it might be safe as it means she can always go into teaching.

University wise, as long as she puts the work in, she should get in! Both BTEC and A - Level offer something called UCAS points, and these points all add up, so if she talks to her tutors she can find a suitable university to aim for, but I got into two universities and a teaching course with a Distinction, B, B, and a D, so she shouldn't worry too much!

If you need more help please give me a PM

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