Higher Certificate in Performing Arts

Course Type:

Higher Certificate


1 year, full time



Total Tuition Fees 2024

R85 280

NQF LEVEL: 5 | SAQA ID: 111403

The Higher Certificates (HC) courses at AFDA are 1-year NQF level 5 programmes designed to lay a foundation of basic skills and learning to enter the creative economy at an assistant level, as well as enable further access to degree level education for first year in the BA or BCom degrees at AFDA.

The Performing Arts is a growing medium that can fulfil purposes of entertainment and/or education. In the informal sector, in particular, community theatre is becoming an increasingly relevant tool to engage with audiences, however it must be achievable on minimal resources. This means that having dual skills as a performing artist while also understanding all aspects of theatre-making gives students more opportunity to create theatre productions for a variety of audiences and exhibition platforms themselves. As technology continues to advance, it might be that the only area where human beings stay relevant is within the creative industries.

The 1-year Higher Certificate in Performing Arts is project-led, with a focus on learning through experience. Students are assessed on how they are able to analyse and apply the knowledge they have by performing a prescribed text, as well as running a theatre production including stage props, costumes, sound, lighting and production administration. This way of learning helps students translate their conceptual understanding into practical skills, as well as socialize their learning through collaboration with their team members. This includes learning Performing Arts techniques, practicum, arts management (hosting and technical management) as well as academic development.

Contact your nearest campus about visiting the campus for a consultation, attending an Open Day or for more information about the Higher Certificate Programmes.

Students in the HC Performing Arts programme will receive comprehensive learning on how to:


  • Identify movements, genres, styles and trends in Performing Arts in the South African context.
  • Develop and apply a range of acting skills, exercises and understanding through the use of the disciplines of creativity and improvisation.
  • Create theatre performances through storytelling and workshop processes.
  • Use the voice as an efficient and effective instrument for performance.
  • Understand the essential elements of movement and apply these by developing the body as an effective instrument of communication.
  • Identify, describe and compare the different jobs and functions of all human resources involved in the planning and executing of a stage performance.
  • Identify and describe different types of props and costumes and appropriate Health and Safety requirements.
  • Describe and demonstrate the basic skills of Stage Lighting and Sound.
  • Explain and describe the development of character, role and message and the role of directing of a character to perform a specific role.
  • Organise, co-ordinate and manage a performed event.
  • Develop and apply critical thinking and writing skills.
  • Communicate effectively and professionally on and off stage, in written and verbal format.
  • Demonstrate office computer skills, as well as deeper insight on how to generate knowledge using computers.
  • Manage the resources required to effectively create, plan, manage and execute a performance.
  • Develop a marketing plan for a performance and a personal branding strategy for yourself in the Performing Arts.


AFDA offers a unique higher education environment where outcomes-based and collaborative learning empowers students with competitive, professional and innovative skills.


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