Stepping Up


Stepping Up is a OCNLR Level 2 accredited 4 month drama training programme, offering young people aged 19 - 24 who have not yet achieved a full level 2 qualification the opportunity to gain a Certificate in Progression in Theatre Arts.

Graduates from Stepping Up's sister course Playing Up include BAFTA Breakthrough BRIT and star of BBC1’s Three Girls Ria Zmitrowicz, Eastenders star Seraphina Beh (Eastenders, BBC, Top Boy, Netflix). 

Applications are currently closed

Owing to the current outbreak of COVID-19, the delivery of Stepping Up 2020 has currently been postponed. Please check back on this page for further updates. 

Am I eligible for a free place?

Places are available to NYT members and non- members. You are eligible for a FREE place if you are: 

  • 19 – 23 year olds 
  • You do not yet hold a full level 2 qualification (You have not yet achieved 5 GCSE’s A-C or a BETEC Level 2 Diploma or equivalent)

Funded places are only available to young people who fulfil the criteria above. Enrolment for those that are 24-25 years old is still possible if you are registered unemployed and are in receipt of benefits. However students in this position would need to pay a fee to cover the materials of the course.

Throughout the course participants receive a travel bursary of up to £5 per day, free theatre tickets, pastoral and academic support.

What should I expect during the Stepping Up Company Course?

The course focuses on performance skills such as physical theatre, improvisation, devising, and performance skills. There is also a focus on development of confidence and study skills such as team building and leadership which allows you to explore your strengths and areas for development. In the last weeks of the course the group will work towards a Final Sharing which will be performed to an invited audience.

How many people take part?

The Stepping Up Company is made up of 14 members.

What happens after the course?

Following this unique 4 month programme Stepping Up students receive support to apply for a place on the NYT Playing Up Level 3 Access to HE course.

National Youth Theatre would like to thank the following people and organisations for their support of Stepping Up: City and Islington College, European Union European Social Fund, L&Q Foundation, The Ironmongers’ Company and Unity Theatre Trust. 



  • Level 2 Accredited Course
  • For 19-24s
  • Leading to Certificate in Progression in Theatre Arts


Course Guide