Value for Money

Statement 2020-21

NSCD is about the time students spend with us, embodying new creative and technical dance activities and making lifetime friendships, on a school campus and in a city they can call home, and often do make home once their course of study ends.

Our tutors and guest artists are subject experts who challenge students’ thinking. NSCD students develop transferable skills needed for a portfolio career – critical thinking, problem solving, communication, and creativity. We provide opportunities, within the curriculum and beyond, to help our students stand out in a crowded job market, including opportunities to network and collaborate, project-based curricular activity and enrichment, placements, learning from our alumni, and careers advice.

Our international approach to education means our students are ready to operate in a global environment when they graduate. We also work in partnership with local institutions and artists to support graduates to feed into the thriving dance ecology in Leeds.


NSCD Income pie chart. Fees from home students 48%, HE grant income (ITSA) 16%, Fees from overseas students 15%, Other grant income 13%, Other income 5%, HE teaching grant income 3%

  Fees from home students 48%

  HE grant income (ITSA) 24%

  Fees from overseas students 9%

  Other grant income 12%

  Other income 3%

  HE teaching grant income 4%


Like most universities that receive public funding, Northern School of Contemporary Dance is a charity, and raises income from a wide range of sources. This income is spent on day-to-day running costs, providing teaching and other student services, undertaking enterprise activities and engaging with arts organisations and local communities. Any surplus income is reinvested back into improving facilities, or developing proposed new premises.

Fees from UK and EU students: We make every effort to ensure that every tuition fee offers great value for money and that every student experiences an exceptional standard of education. These fees are currently capped at £9,250 a year, and students can take out a loan to cover this cost which is only repaid when a graduate is earning above a certain level, currently £27,288. The actual amount a student will pay for their course will therefore depend on how much they earn after graduating.

Government teaching grants: Some subjects cost more to deliver than the fees that UK and EU students pay. For these courses the government provides income to fill some, but not all, of this funding gap. Some universities receive this grant for studio-based dance, which amounts to £3,000 per student.

Fees from international students: Unlike home and EU students, universities receive no government support for international students. The fees for these students are unregulated and are often higher than those to UK and EU students but represent the cost of courses provided.

Other sources of income: These include grants from the Department of Education and Arts Council England. We also receive income from investments, charitable donations and business activities.


NSCD Expenditure pie chart. Teaching 42%, Central admin and services 15%, Other premises expenditure 13%, Academic services 9%, Scholarships 7%, Student and staff facilities 6%, Other general expenditure 5%, Repairs and maintenance 7%, Research 1%

Teaching 45%

Central admin and services 15%

Other premises expenditure 13%

Academic services 8%

Scholarships 6%

Student and staff facilities 5%

Other general expenditure 5%

Repairs and maintenance 2%

Research 1%

How are student fees spent?

Our main expenditure is on teaching and related activities, but we also spend money on a range of other areas that benefit students.

Teaching and curriculum delivery: Delivery and support of student teaching, including pay and pensions for academic staff, musicians and technicians, teaching resources and equipment. This includes payment of guest artists, choreographers, funding placement opportunities with postgraduate companies and student projects leading to assessment work and performances. The School continues to increase its provision of academic services, including appointing significant numbers of new academic staff.

Student support and school life: Includes a Careers Network, student mental health and wellbeing services, disability support, teaching administration, and student facilities including dance studios and outside spaces. We also recently invested in a new café facility, supporting dancer nutrition and health.

Scholarships and fee waiver bursaries: Financial support for students, including those from disadvantaged backgrounds as part of our Access and Participation Plan.

IT and Library: Includes library running costs, books, subscriptions, Moodle, Wi-Fi, student email, classroom IT and AV. Investments in IT enhance the student experience, including Zoom and moodle for student learning and information sharing, and upgrading wi-fi across campus.

Maintaining the building: Includes repairs and maintenance, utilities, cleaning, caretaking, security. We recently carried out a range of upgrades to the campus, including refurbishing the school support suite, and upgrading the studio heating and ventilation system to meet COVID-19 safe standards.

Running costs: The costs of keeping the school running and being visible including student recruitment and admissions, HR, Finance, alumni relations, media communications and marketing.

As a result of careful management of the University’s finances, we make a ‘surplus’ each year which is reinvested in new initiatives to enhance our teaching, research and services for students.

Spending on student support

Our spending on financial support is maintained, with the school offering additional support to students impacted by COVID-19. Through careful management of the School’s finances we were able to invest in a range of measures to support our students during the Covid-19 pandemic. These included:

  • Additional student welfare support for student mental health and wellbeing, and the introduction of additional academic tutorials and alternative assessments to support remote learning.
  • Online streaming so that student work can be visible to a global audience.
  • Investment in additional support for students having to self-isolate, including food packages, online events and activities, and supportive welfare calls.
  • Increased financial support for students experiencing financial hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic including living and other costs.

Additional student hardship funding has been in place to remove barriers to access education, at a time when most students have been unable to work. These funds supported:

  • Free school meals
  • Money for extended and vital medical appointments or physiotherapy and scans
  • Money towards specialist dance clothing
  • Travel subsidy to auditions
  • Money towards household gas/electricity bills
  • Support for enhanced internet accessibility

Through Moodle, we have made applying to these funds more straightforward and promoted them widely to encourage take-up. We have also provided loanable laptops and equipment for students struggling with digital access.

Further information on NSCD income and spending can be found in our financial statements.