Qualification: BA (Hons) Dance (Contemporary)

Duration: 3 years full-time

Validated by: The 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.

The programme comprises two strands, Performance and Creative and Choreographic Studies. Through an integrated approach to the delivery of the two strands, students experience studio-based contemporary techniques ranging from Cunningham to other more hybrid, evolved practices, and ballet tailored to the needs of contemporary dancers. Alongside the practice of technique, run theory and practice-based sessions focused on the exploration of performance practice, choreography, improvisation, somatic practice, site-specific performance and screen dance. Students also develop critical thinking and reflective skills, all of which are required to become articulate and expressively nuanced performers. Through Creative and Choreographic practice, students have access to HD cameras and the latest video and sound editing software, enabling new ways of presenting work incorporating film, projection and installation.

Course overview (themes)
— Technique
— Performance projects
— Solo performance
— Dance pedagogy and teaching or Practice as Research
— Independent enquiry
— Project management
— Funding & Marketing

Enrichment of your studies
Enrichment is supplemented by guest teachers who offer workshops and classes in related areas of practice. For example, Flying-Low, Gaga, Yoga, fitness training, contact improvisation, partner work and coaching.

Mock audition preparation, visiting workshops, master classes and visits to performances enable students to contextualize their learning and prepare for future careers or postgraduate study in Dance.

Entry Requirements
Entry is through successful audition and interview. Normally candidates should have gained two A Level passes or a BTEC National diploma or professional/ vocational training at an appropriate level and five GCSE passes at grade C or above (including English Language) OR from 2017 Grade 4 or above. Equivalent qualifications may also be acceptable depending on the strength of the grades achieved. If applicants do not have the relevant academic qualifications a special entry procedure is available. Details can be obtained from admissions@nscd.ac.uk


The Artist as creator and performer
We believe it is vital for students to make the connection between technical training, creative exploration and performance. Accordingly, students across all year groups are openly  encouraged to explore the relationship between theory and practice. There is an emphasis throughout the curriculum on openness and you will be encouraged to seek curiosity about the place of contemporary dance within the broader landscape of the arts. To this end, learning is further supported by key elements of theoretical and contextual study. Repertoire classes are also provided which focus on the analysis, conceptual understanding, physical mastery and embodiment of a range of choreography and movement ideas. Devising and staging work in a variety of contexts gives students the opportunity to develop their communication through performance and to realise choreographic ideas. Visiting guest artists and NSCD staff introduce students to different choreographic methods and styles, in an environment that nurtures students’ growth and development as a dance artists. Students have the opportunity to present their work in our Riley Theatre as well as at other venues across the city and beyond.


The Artist as a Teacher/Facilitator
Throughout the programme there are opportunities to learn the skills of teaching and workshop leading. This work is made possible through collaboration with NSCD’s
Learning and Participation department, including the Centre for Advanced Training scheme and other local school and community partnerships. This area of work empowers students to further articulate, share practice and engage others in contemporary dance, supporting future career development as versatile dance artists with additional skills in preparation for employment.


ld7a3621 ‘The £9k offer’

We 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 study including classes, support and guidance
  • More access to practical work (both 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
  • Visiting workshops with Guest Choreographers and companies
  • 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 student support including learner support and student well-being support with on-site counselling service
  • Rehearsal spaces
  • Access to projects and research run by staff and our network of partner organisations
  • Intensive ‘special projects’ to round off the year

* Based on a comparison with other HE Dance degrees of the same price

Northern has been a place where I’ve grown and been challenged incredibly, not only as a dancer but as a person too. Three years of constant support from some of the most inspiring teachers, as well as dancing alongside humble and driven students. The school prepares and supports each student, producing well rounded artists, offering top class teaching and musicians, very high standards, a close family atmosphere and a springboard for opportunities.

Heather Walrond, Graduate NSCD

To apply for a BA (Hons) audition please go to apply.