Access & Participation - Northern School of Contemporary Dance

Access & Participation

Access & Participation Statement 2023-24


NSCD’s mission is to provide an inspirational learning experience, from first contact through into the profession, enabling aspiring dance artists, and dance professionals, regardless of background, to shape the future of dance.

 Our vision is underpinned by our core values which reflect equity and inclusion, from first contact to the excellence of our educational provision, to the support we provide our graduates and their professional development in the years ahead.

NSCD ensure that this vision is upheld by numerous Committees and Boards including the Equality, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee and the Access and Participation Committee.

The Office for Students released a publicly available data dashboard providing data on student populations and outcomes for students from recognised groups under-represented in Higher Education and considered target groups for access and participation activity. The figures below provide a percentage of the student entrants in 2021/22 of these recognised groups at NSCD.

Student Population (2021/22*)

  • Undergraduate students: 78%
  • Postgraduate students: 22%
  • International: 28%
  • Male: 24%
  • Female: 75%
  • Non-binary: 1%

 Full-time undergraduate first-degree UK-domicile entrants (2021/22):

  • Students from low-participation neighbourhoods (POLAR4 Q1 or 2**): 28%
  • Students from the most deprived neighbourhoods (IMD Q1 or 2***): 19.2%
  • Students with a declared disability: 55.9%
    • Those with specific learning differences: 28.8%
    • Those with mental health conditions: 10.3%
    • Those with multiple impairments: 11.9%
  • People of Global Majority: 6.3%

*2021/22 is the most recently published data.

** The participation of local areas (POLAR) classification groups areas across the UK based on the proportion of young people who participate in higher education. It looks at how likely young people are to participate in higher education across the UK and shows how this varies by area. POLAR classifies local areas into five groups – or quintiles – based on the proportion of young people who enter higher education aged 18 or 19 years old. Quintile one shows the lowest rate of participation. Quintile five shows the highest rate of participation.

*** The Index of Multiple Deprivation, commonly known as the IMD, is the official measure of relative deprivation for small areas in England. IMD ranks every small area in England from 1 (most deprived area) to 32,844 (least deprived area). The IMD combines information from the seven domains to produce an overall relative measure of deprivation. The domains are combined using the following weights: Income Deprivation (22.5%), Employment Deprivation (22.5%), Education, Skills and Training Deprivation (13.5%), Health Deprivation and Disability (13.5%), Crime (9.3%), Barriers to Housing and Services (9.3%), Living Environment Deprivation (9.3%). The weights were derived from consideration of the academic literature on poverty and deprivation, as well as the levels of robustness of the indicators.


Our access and participation work is embedded through the school’s 2023-30 Strategic Plan, more information here, and NSCD’s Equality, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Commitments.

Access & Participation Plan (APP) Targets

As evidenced in our current APP, NSCD has an excellent track record of helping all undergraduate students, no matter what background, stay on course, achieve positive grades and progress onto further training or employment.

NSCD have 3 targets on its current Access & Participation Plan which are to increase the Access of 3 target groups:

  1. Students from low-participation neighbourhoods
  2. Students from the most deprived neighbourhoods
  3. Students from the Global Majority


In order to encourage these groups to study undergraduate courses at NSCD we have a wide range of targeted outreach including but not limited to:

Targeted Student Recruitment:

  • Access Tour – free workshops across the country to excite & enthuse young dancers about NSCD.
  • Undergraduate Experience Days – working in partnership with dance organisations across the UK to offer young dancers an in depth look at NSCD’s undergraduate offer, free of charge.
  • Online Open Day – ensuring that everyone can access information about NSCD’s undergraduate courses, free of charge.
  • Open Day Travel Bursary available for one youth dance group.

Targeted Application Support:

  • Free workshops offering applicants insights into the audition process.
  • Application Fee Waivers.
  • Audition Travel Bursaries

Targeted training & provision for youth dancers:

  • Kick Off Boys Dance Project – regular training and performance opportunities for young dancers identifying as male, free of charge.
  • Access Bursaries – financial support for young dancers accessing our regular children’s and youth training programmes and our intensive courses.

NSCD also have a vast children’s and youth dance offer, which includes the Centre for Advanced Training, funded by the Department for Education, which attracts many young dancers from targeted backgrounds, through a wide-ranging outreach programme throughout the Yorkshire area.


This Access and Participation statement is reviewed annually. We will update and re-publish this statement annually as required by condition A2 of the Office for Students Regulatory Framework.

Statement published: March 2024

OfS Condition A1 – Access & Participation Plan

In accordance with Condition A1 of its registration as an Approved (Fee cap) Provider with the Office for Students (OfS) NSCD has developed an Access and Participation Plan (APP). The APP details the School’s commitments and the resources that it will allocate to enhancing the access, success and progression of students from priority groups that are currently underrepresented within the School’s Higher Education student community. A copy of our Access and Participation Plan for 2023 is below:

NSCD Access & Participation Plan 2022/23 – 2026/27 – summary

NSCD Access & Participation Plan 2022/23 – 2026/27 – full document*

*There is an update on page 36 of the plan; course fees for First degree, BA (Contemporary) are £9,250

Fee summary 2023-24

Fee Summary 2024-25

OfS Condition F1 – Transparency Information 2023

The information published below shows: 

The number of students who attained a particular degree or other academic award, or a particular level of such an award, on completion of their course with us at Northern School of Contemporary Dance.

It shows these numbers by reference to:

  • the gender of the individuals to which they relate
  • their ethnicity
  • their socioeconomic background.


Please note: The small, specialist nature of NSCD means that much of the data available for this report been suppressed (ie not included).

Numbers have been rounded to the nearest multiple of 10 and where figures are 20 or less, the field is populated with an “N”.

In instances where publishing data might identify an individual student, this has been suppressed for data protection reasons, and fields populated with “DP” instead.

If you have queries relating to the data please contact