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Stepping Up | A new free level 2 training course from NYT

Posted 22 Jul 2023 by Joe Duggan

Stepping Up is a brand new course from National Youth Theatre which is going to run conjunction with Playing Up. It’s a new course that has been launched this year to provide a group of young people aged 19-24 with access to a level 2 qualification. It’s specifically aimed at those who, for whatever reason, haven’t achieved a full set of GCSEs or a full level 2 qualification and who have an interest in theatre. 

Over the past 10 years Playing Up has provided such an amazing platform for young people to have access to higher education or a career that they might not have been able to pursue without Playing  Up, through the Level 3 Access to Higher Education diploma it offers. With Stepping Up, we thought why not provide that opportunity to get drama training as well as reconnecting with education to those who might not have secured their GCSEs, offering a pathway to a Level 2 qualification. 

Playing Up has changed so many people’s lives and we hope Stepping Up will do the same

What’s great about the new course is that participants can potentially progress onto Playing Up, and work towards their Level 3 qualification once they’ve achieved their Level 2 through Stepping Up, and then after that potentially move on to higher education. 

Stepping Up is a London based part time vocational programme, running for 13 weeks from January 2019 to mid April 2019.  There will be various modules focusing on different skills from physical theatre to improvisation, giving participants a real taster of all the different theatre practices out there, as a well as some academic and personal development work. It’s a really practical course, where students will get to work with a whole host of NYT practitioners and get an opportunity to perform as well. 

Since it started, Playing Up has changed so many people’s lives and we hope Stepping Up will do the same. Taking part in the course doesn’t mean you have to go into theatre, or be an actor, but crucially it gives you access to learning and the chance to choose your own next step. It’s empowering and provides a safe space where for 12 weeks you can just be yourself, explore what you want to do in life, and work to improve your skills.  

It’s such an important and exciting opportunity because there’s nothing like it out there at the moment. Not only is it an amalgamation of a practical theatre training programme, and studying for a qualification at college, but you also get to work with the National Youth Theatre. NYT is such an amazing organization in terms of supporting young people – once you’re a member, you can return to NYT year after year and get involved, and it always feels like home. What’s more is that the staff are just so brilliant, and supportive, and creative and allow you to play and explore and just be silly. 

It’s such an important and exciting opportunity because there’s nothing like it out there at the moment.

If you’re thinking of getting back into education, and like the sound of Stepping Up – just do it! Send in an application, or if you have a friend who you think would be suitable for the course tell them, and get them involved. We want to get the word out there far and wide about the course, so that we can provide as many young people as possible with a life changing opportunity. 


Phao Wheatley is the 2018/19 Playing Up Course Assistant. Find out more about the Stepping Up course here