(Programme Code: HU020)

This three year diploma programme is an intensive vocational training for stage performance and/or dance teaching. It is intended for students who do not qualify for the BA Theatre & Performance on the basis of their matriculation results but who show exceptional potential in an audition.

The programme includes some courses from the academic major in Theatre & Dance Studies but its main emphasis is practical.

The programme offers five different professional orientations.

  • Acting (Stage and Camera)

  • Dance Performance (Contemporary, African, Ballet)

  • Performance Making (Theatre Making or Choreography)

  • Pedagogy/Applied Performance (Education/Teaching)

  • Scenography (Theatre Design and Technical Disciplines)

(Please note: Not all orientations are offered every year.)

The Diploma in Theatre & Performance admits very restricted numbers of students and is specifically intended for candidates who wish to undertake professional studies in Dance, Theatre and Performance and make careers in the dance, theatre and related industries.

Admission to this programme is by audition and the programme is capped across all orientations in each year. For more information on the audition procedure please click here.

Students who complete the Diploma in Theatre & Performance will receive their diploma at the end of third year. Thereafter, if their grades allow, they may choose to register for a one-year Advanced Diploma which will grant them possible access to Honours or PGCE study.

More information about respective streams:


This stream is focused on producing professional actors primarily for stage performance. Camera acting is introduced in a limited way for degree students in the fourth year. If you choose this stream you must be willing to engage in extensive production work outside of formal class time. You should choose this stream if you wish to act primarily in productions created by other people.

Careers: Actor for stage, film and television, radio; voice artist; events MC or TV presenting


This stream focuses on producing dancers for the professional stage. The curriculum offers engagement with multiple dance forms and styles such as Contemporary Dance, African Dance, Classical Ballet and movement approaches such as improvisation and somatic dance. If you choose this stream you must be willing to engage in extensive production work outside of formal class time You should choose this stream if you want to perform in productions/works primarily created/choreographed by other people.

Careers: Dancer for stage, screen and other public events


This stream has two tracks – theatre making and choreography. At times students will follow their primary track separately and at other times students from both tracks will work together. The primary focus of this stream is to produce performance makers with the conceptual, technical and creative skills required to make their own work professionally. In this stream you will continue performance training but not to the same degree as in the acting or dance performance streams. All students in this stream graduate with a production/work that can potentially be staged in a professional context after graduation. If you choose this stream you must be willing to engage in extensive production/project work outside of formal class time. You should choose this stream if you want to make your own work alone or in companies with other creatives.

Careers: Choreographer for stage and/or screen; Theatre Maker producing own work in formal theatres, festivals or other contexts; Theatre director; Dramaturg; Playwright.


This stream focuses on educating professionals who will work in arts education (theatre and dance) in schools and other pedagogical contexts. The stream will also focus on training facilitators who will work with theatre and dance to foster community arts development, and the applied arts in responding to social justice, health, disability, and fostering wellbeing through participation in the arts. This work is aligned with performance-making and performance, but with the purpose of facilitating others’ access to theatre and dance. Students who choose this stream should be willing to work outside of class times in various sites such as senior homes, community centres, studios, schools or prisons. The curriculum offers opportunities for guided and independent projects in chosen sites of engagement and working with organisations in the same field. You should choose this stream if you are interested in facilitating other people’s access to and experience of theatre and dance, as well as developing agency in individuals and communities.

Careers: Educator/teaching artist, facilitator, arts activist, community arts worker, social development, drama/dance therapy.