Type: Undergraduate

Qualification: BA (Hons) Dance (Contemporary)

Duration: 3 years (full-time only). Year one - 10th September 2019 - 6th July 2020

Validated by: University of Kent

Our students become performers with highly-tuned technical and creative skills, developed through dance experiences in a variety of professional, studio and community contexts. NSCD’s approach is founded on an openness to explore related theory and practice. You are encouraged to be curious about the place of contemporary dance within the broader landscape of the professional arts. We provide opportunities for you to work in collaboration with other Arts organisations and professionals, and for you to engage with different audiences in a  variety of settings.

Apply by: 15th January 2019

Download Course Fact File How to Apply

Course overview

The BA (Hons) Dance (Contemporary) degree is a course of study specifically designed for the education and training of professional contemporary dance artists, performers, choreographers and artist facilitators. Our students become dance artists with highly tuned specialist knowledge, technical and creative skills, plus experience as a producer and teacher with understanding of project management and dance  pedagogy. The range of technical training undertaken during the programme is designed to train the body, whilst developing artistic intelligence and an understanding of movement that enables the dancer to respond to the varied and changing demands of contemporary choreography. Students are encouraged to be curious about the place of contemporary dance within the broader landscape of the professional arts scene. We provide opportunities for students to work in collaboration with other arts organisations and professional settings, and for you to engage with different audiences at different stages of your professional training. Through the programme students embrace a range of industry relevant modes of working, such as dance film, site-specific practice, social responsibility in dance, collective working, as well as a thorough grounding in traditional theatre practice.

“I feel the course has given me a good basis of technique, strength and physical ability to develop in my career.” (NSS, 2017)

Life at NSCD

Living in Leeds

Entry requirements

Entry is through successful audition and interview.  Additionally candidates should normally have gained five GCSE passes (grade C/4 or above), which must include English Language, and two A Level passes or a L3 BTEC National diploma or professional/vocational training at an appropriate level.  Equivalent qualifications may also be accepted depending on the strength of the grades achieved. Equivalent level overseas qualifications are also accepted.  Further details can be obtained from

“I feel the staff have challenged and pushed me to my full potential and have provided me with enough tools and skills to be able to then graduate with all the necessities for the outside world. I feel very prepared.” (NSS, 2017)

What will I study?

Level 4

  • Dance Techniques: Ballet & Contemporary Dance Practices 1 (15 Credits) Compulsory module
  • Creative Practice 1 (15 Credits) Compulsory module
  • Performance in Context 1 (30 Credits) Compulsory module
  • Research Project 1 (15 Credits) Compulsory module
  • Dance Techniques: Ballet & Contemporary Dance Practices 2 (30 Credits)
  • Compulsory module
  • Teaching Dance 1 (15 Credits) Compulsory module

Level 5

  • Dance Techniques: Ballet & Contemporary Dance Practices 3 (30 Credits) Compulsory module
  • Performance in Context 2 (30 credits) Compulsory module
  • Research Project 2 (30 credits) Compulsory module
  • Teaching Dance 2 (15 credits) Option module
  • Creative Practice 2 (15 Credits) Option module
  • Creative Practice 3 (15 Credits) Compulsory module

Level 6

  • Dance Techniques: Ballet & Contemporary Dance Practices 4 (30 Credits) Compulsory module
  • Research Project 3 (30 credits) Option module
  • Teaching Dance 3 (30 credits) Option module
  • Performance in Context 3 (15 credits) Compulsory module
  • Performance in Context 4 (15 credits) Compulsory module
  • Performance in Context 5 (15 credits) Compulsory module

Teaching and learning

Students are taught through a combination of practical classes and workshops, lectures, seminars and ‘laboratory-style’ practical sessions. Seminars and small group tutorials enable you to discuss and develop your understanding of topics covered in lectures in smaller groups. In addition, you have timetabled tutorials with your academic tutors. You use industry-standard facilities throughout your course.

At level 4 (as a guide) you typically have around 30 contact hours per week, typically consisting of:

  • 24 hours of practical classes or workshops
  • 1 hours of seminars /tutorials
  • 3 hours of lectures
  • 2 hours directed study

“I believe the communication between students and the staff/leadership at NSCD is outstanding as they utilize a range of methods for best possible communication.” (NSS, 2017)

Assessment and Feedback

NSCD employs a wide variety of assessment methods including formative, continuous and summative assessment.

Assessment evidence is collected through:

  • Continuous and summative assessments in technique modules, creative and performance modules
  • Assessed rehearsal processes
  • Showings of performance, choreographic work, improvisation & movement research
  • Lecture demonstrations
  • Written essays and dissertations
  • Written /verbal project reports and evaluations / reflections
  • Individual and small group verbal presentations
  • Observation of teaching practice
  • Viva Voce

“The collaborative and research projects have given us the opportunities to grow while investigating our own practice.” (NSS, 2017)

Overall workload

Your overall workload consists of class contact hours, around 30 hours per week, on top of this independent learning which is expected to be at least 2 hours per module, rehearsals (varies) and assessment activity with each credit taken equating to a total study time of around 36 hours. While your actual contact hours may depend on the optional modules you select, the following information gives an indication of how much time you will need to allocate to different activities at each level of the course.

“There has been an outstanding number of workshops, extracurricular opportunities, and options to collaborate with other dancers and artists.” (NSS, 2017)

Download Course Fact File

NSCD Value for Money

Based on a comparison with other HE Dance degrees of the same price, NSCD are devoted to the experience we give our students and to what we try to offer them as ‘value added’ for their course fees:

  • A full term extra of tuition (May-July) including classes, support and guidance
  • On average more contact hours per week (creative workshops and technique classes)


  • Enrichment classes are offered in the evening, some of which are free to NSCD students – these have included pointe work, fitness, men’s ballet vocabulary, yoga, percussion and Lighting for dance, Gymnastics for dancers
  • Visiting workshops with guest Choreographers and companies
  • Access to visiting artists and practitioners talks
  • Cost of travel to ‘site’ work
  • Career development workshops inc. audition preparation
  • Sponsored Theatre Visits
  • Health and well-being days
  • On-site injury intervention and support
  • Reduce priced theatre tickets and deals
  • On-site counselling service
  • Access to additional rehearsal spaces
  • Access to projects and research run by staff and our network of partner organisations
  • Intensive ‘special projects’ during the year
  • Subsidised support for injury support including Physiotherapy
  • Connection to projects which cross the small specialist institutions in Leeds
  • Support for cross CDD schools projects

All above quotes: NSCD student feedback, National Student Survey 2017