Apply for the National College for the Creative and Cultural Industries

,  9 May 2016

From September 2016 there will be a new training option for prospective students wanting to prepare for a career in the creative industries. They will be able to study at our new National College for the Creative and Cultural Industries based at The Backstage Centre at High House Production Park in Essex.

image credit: Warren Page
image credit: Warren Page

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills today announced £5.5 million in capital funding to support the creation of the National College for the Creative and Cultural Industries. Students who wish to start a career in the creative sector are invited to take part in this unique opportunity.

If you are interested in attending our Open Evening on 19 May, signing up for the National College, or want more information, please visit or contact

Meeting the needs of the creative industry

The new college will be fully incorporated - recognised as equivalent in status to a Further Education college - but it will only offer courses that address specific training and skills for the available jobs in the creative industries.

There are some real staff shortages in the creative industries, but it’s not always obvious where they are! People think about the performers but the vacancies are backstage, technical, front-of-house and in start-up businesses.

Join the very first Diploma students

We are looking for 20-30 students who want to get into the technical and production side of the theatre, music and live events business. We’ve been working with a panel of employers from the industry including equipment companies, theatres, orchestras, media and digital companies. Together, they have developed the first level 4 course for anyone who is aiming for a job as a technician.

“Students who wish to start a career in the creative sector are invited to take part in this unique opportunity.”

As a student, you will be working towards a Level 4 Diploma in Technical and Production which is a University Arts London Awarding Body qualification. You’ll be the first students to do this so you’ll also have a chance to work with the employer group throughout the year of the course.

The Diploma course will operate from High House Production Park in Purfleet, Essex. This is a new state-of-the-art campus that houses 43 artists at ACME studios, the Royal Opera House’s set-building and costume making centres and The Backstage Centre where you’ll be based.

Throughout the year The Backstage Centre hosts music bands, film companies and new media work in its Sound Stage. You’ll get hands-on experience of working with them starting in October 2016 with Sir Matthew Bourne’s new production of The Red Shoes.

What you will get from the Diploma

We want to work with each individual student to plan their year. We’ll want to know your career plans as we’ll be tailoring a programme that will include work placements and opportunities to work in the industry during the course so that you’ll have actual work placements on your CV at the end of the course.

And we’ll introduce you to the vital networks that make our sector tick. Although you’ll be based at The Backstage Centre for the first three months you may be placed in companies elsewhere after then – we’ll talk to you about this and make sure the placements work for you.

Everything you do will be practical and immediately applicable to the real world of the industry. We need a mix of students: some aiming for backstage work in theatre, others in music production or live events. Together you’ll make a diverse group of new entrants into the industry and we can match you into different participating industry partner companies in-year.

The course will cost £5,000 per student (UK/EU) or £8,000 (overseas). We expect the course to eligible for a student loan through the Student Loan Company.

Apprenticeships through the National College

In addition, we will be offering 100 apprenticeships per year. An apprenticeship is an actual job so apprenticeships start when employers need them. Each apprenticeship lasts for at least one year and can be anything from business administration, venue operations or creative media to technical theatre.

Typically apprenticeships will be at level 2 or 3, aiming for level 4 in the future. They will be based with the employer but we’ll provide off-the-job training and assessment online.

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