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What are we looking for?



Put simply, you can’t imagine doing anything other than what you love, and, potentially, going on to make a living from it

That could mean acting, dancing, playing an instrument or performing in a band, or taking a more ‘behind the scenes’ approach, such as music production, set or costume design, lighting, sound design or stage management. If you’re not sure what you want to do, we can help you work it out.

You may have noticed in the course outlines that we have not asked for any specific creative and/or performing arts subjects to have been studied at GCSE, as we know that not everyone has had the same opportunities. This is deliberate. We don’t feel that a lack of previous opportunity should prevent applicants to LIPA Sixth Form College with real potential – even in its rawest form – from accessing and benefiting from our industry-experienced learning. This belief is reflected in our approach to applications.

We look at your natural ability, your fit with what and how we teach, your commitment to personal and discipline-related development and your potential. We can’t evaluate these based solely on your predicted grades at GCSE, so we also look for other ways to confirm your suitability for our courses.


In order to assess your commitment and potential, we have identified six attributes we feel our students need to give them the best chance of success on our courses:

Knowledge, ability and experience in your discipline

We would like you to have some experience in your discipline, gained either through opportunities at school or in your spare time. Good examples of this may be through your involvement in school productions (either performing or backstage), through youth theatre, school choir or orchestra, or through developing your own interests in design or technology.


Commitment to your discipline

We would like to see that you have begun to develop your interest for your discipline. Signs that you read about the subject, make efforts to see other people active within the discipline you wish to study and can talk with enthusiasm about your subject will support your application.


Ability to work effectively with others

We would like you to be able to work well with others. While you are with us, you will work with a wide range of people – teachers, industry professionals and other students. We would like to see that you are open to learning from other people, that you can listen to them and see their point of view (even if it’s not the same as yours) and that you can offer constructive feedback.


Broad interest and engagement

We would like to see that you are curious about the world around you, that you are keen to share your experience and learn from the experience of others and that you are willing to get involved with the wide range of opportunities we offer.



We would like to know why you are applying to us - how do you think your course will help you to grow, and what can you bring to your studies? What are you good at, and what would you like to be able to do better, or more of? As we begin to get to know you better, we can help you begin to work more effectively towards your further study and/or career aspirations.


A spirit of enterprise

We want you to be able to work on your own initiative and see that you are interested in creating your own opportunities. Even if you haven’t had much opportunity to be involved with projects that were not part of your regular school/college curriculum, your ideas and enthusiasm will go a long way.


Minimum GCSE requirements

Entry to all our Level 3 Extended Diploma courses will require a predicted minimum of five GCSEs at grade A*/9 to C/4 - ideally to include Maths and English. If you are made a conditional offer but still need to gain a grade C/4 or above in Maths and/or English Language - but still have five GCSEs at grade C/4 or above in other subjects - we can support you to retake these subjects alongside your Level 3 Extended Diploma studies. However, as retaking these GCSEs will be an additional demand on your time, it is in your interest to work to pass them the first time round – especially as you will be in competition for a place with other young people, who may achieve these grades first time round.