BA (Hons) Dance (Contemporary) - NSCD


Type: Undergraduate

Qualification: BA (Hons) Dance (Contemporary)

Duration: 3 years (full-time only)

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.


Find out more about Undergraduate study at one of our Open Events > LEARN MORE

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.

NSCD programmes of study are validated by the University of Kent. The Programme Specification for this course is available here: BA (Hons) Dance (Contemporary) Programme Specification

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.

Exceptions are made for 17 year-olds who are offered a place on the degree course, who would therefore not have completed A Levels or a full diploma etc. Equivalent qualifications may also be accepted depending on the strength of the grades achieved. Equivalent level overseas qualifications are also accepted.

In some cases, applicants who don’t have the standard entry requirements will be required to complete the School Matriculation Task as part of their entry requirements.

Any questions about any of the above can be directed to/further details can be obtained from

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 (15 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 (30 credits) Compulsory module
  • Performance in Context 5 (30 credits) Compulsory module

Teaching and learning

Students are taught through a combination of practical classes and workshops, lectures, seminars and ‘laboratory-style’ practical sessions. In addition, you have timetabled tutorials with your academic tutors, the possibility to book adhoc tutorials as necessary and interaction over email and/or the School’s VLE. You use industry-standard facilities throughout your course

On average throughout the academic year you will have around 24 hours per week of structured face-to-face learning activity. This is underpinned by directed study tasks, such as responding to moodle forums, or reading/watching relevant material for analysis, and the expectation of at least 2 additional hours study per module, per week to engage with resources provided.


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

Overall workload

Your overall workload consists of class contact hours, directed study tasks, independent study, academic tutorials and an expectation that you will engage with enrichment activities and opportunities to see work at Riley Theatre. Contact time averages at around 24 hours per week, although this is module-dependent. During each 5-week creation, rehearsal and performance period (once per year) this increases to approximately 30 hours per week.

In addition to structured learning activities there is a clear expectation that you will engage with independent study of at least 2 hours per module per week. Actual contact hours will vary depending on the optional modules you select.

Download Course Fact File

NSCD Value Added

We are devoted to the experience we give our students. Based on a comparison with other HE Dance degrees of the same price, we offer the following as ‘value added’:

  • 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

Read the 2023 'FUTURE NOW' Programme

FUTURE NOW is an evening of performances by students graduating from NSCD’s BA (Hons) course. In 2023, students performed original choreography as well as works by guest choreographers Rhiannon Faith, Vidya Patel and Ben Wright.