NSCD Student Charter - Northern School of Contemporary Dance

NSCD Student Charter

To encourage and shape student success, NSCD has agreed the following summary of commitments which have been agreed in consultation with key staff and student representatives.

The Student Charter represents important information surrounding Student Academic Rights and Expectations of Behaviour. It is reviewed regularly and signed off by the Chief Executive and Executive Leadership team in consultation with the student body.

It also provides summary and links to key student facing policies and procedures. NSCD expects and requires students to conduct themselves in a manner that is reasonable and proper, both on-site and in the wider community.  Nearly all NSCD students study on-site except when working with external organisations on placement as part of their programme of study. Professional conduct, self-respect and respect for others and school resources are essential to the function of our artistic and academic community.  NSCD will take appropriate action where there has been a breach of its policies or regulations, in relation to student conduct.  All students and staff are expected to follow the spirit of our student charter (subject to reasonable adjustments relating to individuals).

NSCD aspires to undertake to:

  • have employees who positively demonstrate high standards of professional conduct in all avenues of their work and in their representation of the organisation, beyond the walls of the institution.
  • treat all our student body as full members of our School community, recognising its diversity and equality of opportunity for all, treating students with respect and professionalism.
  • work in partnership with students as co-authors in a positive journey that will shape their higher education experience.

NSCD will provide:

  • exceptionally high standards of conservatoire level teaching and learning activities that will develop artistic practice as well as graduate skills, research and artistic scholarly practice
  • support, advice and guidance in order that students can make the right choices and do this in a comfortable and supportive environment
  • encourage students to become the very best that they can through enhancement of their personal and professional development to enable them to become employment ready
  • access to a professional services team who will provide services for advice on health and wellbeing, injury support and bodywork supervision, accommodation, finance and careers
  • an optional bespoke support package for students with learning support needs in their academic work, with exceptional systems in place for screening, disclosure and a programme of continued support both face to face and online.
  • optional support for students where English is not their first language, with access to an English support tutor and programme of continued support both face to face and online.
  • access to the very best dance library, archive and IT facilities
  • support for student election of representatives and encourage student consultation and participation in academic and programme development.

NSCD undertakes to provide students with the following information about their programme of study, its delivery and the future:

  • published programme fee costs, fee payment options, amounts and deadlines, and will identify where appropriate additional costs
  • A course fact file, student handbook and module guides which outline professional expectations, contact hours, attendance expectations, mode of course delivery,
  • An assessment overview document which has as part of its content assessment criteria, assessment arrangements and regulations, academic guidance and support, and appeals and complaints procedures, clear deadlines and clarity about our 20 day feedback policy on submitted work
  • appropriate periods of notice for planned changes to the timetable and curriculum and communication processes for sharing this information.

Codes of Conduct & Practice


NSCD requires that students undertake to support our Learning Culture:

  • work with patience and generosity of spirit in order to create a positive learning environment for all
  • take the time to get to know your classmates and understand their point of view
  • be supportive of peers
  • consider the importance of learning to work both as an individual and in collaboration as a member of a team
  • recognise the value of approaching all of your classes with curiosity and an open mind
  • be aware of the need for reflection and independent study in taking responsibility for your own learning
  • be prepared to take on new ideas and ‘let go’ of previously formed habitual thought and movement patterns
  • be aware that dealing with new ideas can be confusing and overwhelming but this is a natural part of progressing
  • be aware of the need for consistency of approach in order to see progress
  • commit to working through the resources prepared to support and enhance your physical practice i.e. reading and resource lists.  work mindfully in relation to safe practice and individual physical structure
  • seek to recognise your strengths and weaknesses and apply this knowledge in setting targets for improvement.

Once you join the School you are expected to share the responsibility for creating an environment in which everyone can learn and enjoy the academic and social life of the School. Northern School of Contemporary Dance asks that you please abide by the following guidelines:


  • Respect School property and other people’s belongings.
  • Support the School with its security by keeping visitors and guests to a minimum and ensuring that all visitors or guests sign in at Reception on arrival and remain in the foyer waiting area. All visitors must sign in and comply with the School visitors system. Permission must be sought in advance for visitor access the School apart from on open days or public performances. Please note that visitors are not allowed to observe any classes or rehearsals except where arranged or agreed by the School.
  • The School cannot give students permission to use external rehearsal spaces (except where organised by the School). Students using external facilities under their own arrangements are not covered by the School’s insurance policies or its Health and Safety Policy and therefore the School cannot accept responsibility for any injury, loss or damage sustained off the School premises.
  • Students are not permitted to book rehearsal space at NSCD for external projects or on behalf of people external to the school.
  • Only eat and drink in the designated areas. Eating and drinking (except bottled water) are not allowed in the theatre, classrooms, studios or the Library.
  • The School is a non-smoking environment apart from the designated area.


  • Be considerate and respect everyone else in the School, ensuring you are always polite and courteous. This includes respecting other’s race and religion; gender; sexual orientation; disability; age; social background and role within the School. Harassment will not be tolerated. Harassment can include bullying, insulting comments, offensive behaviour, jokes, threats and giving people unwanted attention.
  • Do not engage in gambling, consume alcohol or take or deal in illegal substances on School premises. Any drug-induced or drunken behaviour will be subject to disciplinary action.
  • Move about the learning areas, studios, classrooms, offices, reception areas, car park and grounds in a professional manner
  • Take care to act safely and not put yourself and others at risk. If there are special safety requirements related to your studies, you must comply with them.
  • Physical violence or aggressive behaviour will not be tolerated, and any act of violence or aggression can lead to your being immediately suspended. The School Code is there to protect everyone. If you do not follow these guidelines you may be subject to disciplinary action which could lead to your expulsion from the School.

To ensure all students can gain maximum benefit from Northern School of Contemporary Dance’s Higher Education programmes, and that all students, staff and guests feel confident and comfortable in the building we have devised a code of practice. Professional dance artists need to work effectively with others, whether in a company setting or working on independent projects and it is through the classes you undertake at NSCD, in all curriculum areas, that you will begin to fully explore and appreciate the benefits of a collaborative approach to learning. Please read and carefully consider the following information and advice in order to help us all maintain a positive, healthy and professional working environment.

Expectation of the Higher Education student

  • Familiarise themselves with information provided by the School and follow all recognised procedures
  • Attend all orientation, induction sessions and meetings with School staff inc. student support staff
  • Be punctual, attend all timetabled sessions and participate in classes and group learning activities
  • Take responsibility to manage own learning including undertaking the requirement of private study
  • Ensure that essential absences are agreed in advance and/or are notified through the academic administration team
  • Submit assessed work by the stated deadlines, log onto the NSCD-VLE to receive and learn from feedback
  • Demonstrate high standards of conduct through respect in their interaction with the school, peers and the local community
  • Participate in opportunities to develop and improve NSCD’s provision, such as being/supporting student representatives and completing online module surveys, NSCD’s student experience survey and other relevant feedback forms
  • Take responsibility for engaging in appropriate arts activities outside of their curriculum to enhance their employability skills
  • Be an effective and professional representative of the School whilst on a work placement or during a period of outside study.

Care of the working space

  • It is very important that each of us works together in taking responsibility for maintaining the School facilities. The School tries to maximise space around the building and ensures facilities are fit for purpose, clean, safe and in a good state of repair.
  • Please help us with this task by thinking about the following:
  • Help the cleaning and catering staff to make sure our environment is a pleasant one by tidying away litter and ensuring that you return things to their rightful place after using them.
  • The floors in the studios must be safe for you to dance barefoot and therefore outdoor shoes must not be worn in them as grit or glass may be left behind.
  • Outdoor shoes should be left in the shoe-racks provided outside the studios and bags, folders and coats should be kept in lockers whilst you are in class to ensure the corridors and studios are free from clutter.
  • Corridors and the areas surrounding doors should always be kept clear to ensure speedy evacuation of the building should it ever be necessary and to make sure people don’t trip and hurt themselves whilst making their way around the building.
  • Food and drink should not be taken into studios except for water in a plastic bottle, as cans, glass bottles and hot drinks are potentially dangerous.
  • Hair gel and body oil can leave studio floors slippery. Aerosol deodorants or other perfume sprays can aggravate asthma and other respiratory conditions so please don’t use them anywhere in the building except the changing rooms.
  • Make use of your lockers and don’t leave personal belongings around the building and studios, particularly your valuables.

Use of the Bodywork Studio:

  • Please remember that the Bodywork Studio is a shared working space. It is used for many reasons; muscle toning, Cardiovascular training, restorative work, stretching practice. For all our comfort please have in mind the following:
  • Return equipment after use in other studios
  • Store equipment in the correct place
  • Treat equipment with care
  • Dispose of rubbish
  • Respect students doing rehab work and give priority to those on Alternative timetable

Clothing and appearance

  • Whilst different types of clothing will be appropriate for different activities, wearing clean and appropriate clothing in the studio will ensure your comfort and safety. The teaching of dance by necessity involves a ‘hands on’ approach; there will be times when tutors and classmates make physical contact to make modifications to posture or alignment for example. Below are some general points to consider ensuring everyone’s comfort in the studio:
  • Remember it is at your tutor’s discretion to prevent you from participating in class if they do not feel you are suitably dressed.
  • Ensure you have enough suitable dance clothing for your practical sessions, allowing for you to clean your clothing regularly.
  • Students should wear supportive underwear such as dance supports or sports bras as necessary. This is to ensure comfort, safety and to adhere to professional standards.
  • Students are asked not to wear cropped tops for practical classes, the leg-length of dance tights/all in-ones/jogging bottoms should reach at least mid-thigh.
  • All hooped jewellery, including face piercings, should be removed. Small studs are permissible, but students should be clear that there is an increased risk of injury they are choosing to take. Guidelines around jewellery and piercings are in place to ensure that when working with partners, or receiving hands on feedback, piercings are not unintentionally caught and ripped out, which would be unpleasant for all concerned. If you can’t remove your piercing please tape it down, but it should be noted that the School will not provide tape for this purpose.
  • Consider a hairstyle which doesn’t cover your eyes or face or inhibit your participation in any element of all classes.

Preparation for practical sessions

Preparing for a class is very important in order to ensure you get the most out of it! Practical sessions vary and, with guidance from staff, you will need to work out what helps you most as an individual. Your approach to warming up for the first class of the day will be different to how you think about preparing for a session after lunch, and it is vital you take responsibility for preparing your body and mind thoroughly for every session you participate in to avoid injury and gain maximum benefit. Careful consideration of the advice given in the full code of practice document will help you to develop an appropriate and professional approach to preparing for studio based work.