How to Apply: MA Contemporary Dance Performance - Northern School of Contemporary Dance

How to apply

Thank you for your interest in the MA Contemporary Dance Performance at NSCD for September 2020 entry.

Applications for September 2020 entry are now closed

Applications for 2020 entry opened on Tuesday 1 October 2019.

Applications closed at midday on Wednesday 15 January 2020.

NSCD auditions all applicants and our audition process is designed to assess your potential as a dance artist and your suitability for our courses.  We welcome all applicants regardless of disability, ethnicity, gender, sexuality or religion.

Please read What NSCD is looking for in potential students (click to open in pdf)

Visit the Course Information pages for full details of each course and the entry requirements.

Fees & Finance

Your application

We have a limited number of places available at our auditions and so recommend early submission of your application to secure your preferred audition date. We are unable to guarantee an audition place if they become fully booked before the closing date. Most applications are made and auditions booked by late December.

Full details of MA Performance Application Information (Click to open pdf)

The NSCD online application form will be available on this web page between the opening and closing dates.


MA Contemporary Dance Performance: VERVE and Professional Placement Scheme (PPS) First round auditions are combined for these two courses as many candidates may wish to apply for both and this way they only need to attend one initial audition.

First Round Auditions

Auditions at NSCD, Leeds, UK

Update 9 January 2020: Due to a high number of applications, the original allocated spaces at all UK auditions are now fully booked. A limited number of additional places have therefore been added for each audition. PLEASE NOTE: we recommend prompt submission of your application as we cannot guarantee an audition if these final places become booked before the closing date

Monday 20 January 2020
Tuesday 21 January 2020
Wednesday 22 January 2020
Thursday 23 January 2020
Friday 24 January 2020
Saturday 25 January 2020

Audition in Europe
Sunday 12 January 2020 | Rom for Dans AS, Marstrandgata 8, 0566 Oslo, Norway.  9.30-1.30 pm.

Remote Auditions (International applicants only)
Wednesday 15 January 2020 | Final date to submit Remote Audition

We are also holding pre-audition workshops in Chicago, New York and San Francisco, USA in October and November 2019.

See our USA Workshops page for more information

Recall Auditions

VERVE Recall Audition
NSCD Sunday 26 January 2020

PPS Company Recall Auditions
at NSCD on Monday 18 November 2019 (4-7pm).  Please note that shortlisted candidates from this audition will be invited to attend a second audition at the tanzmainz company base in December. Update 11 Nov 2019 – the deadline to confirm attendance at this audition has now passed.

All other PPS company recall auditions:

Phoenix Friday 31 January
Motionhouse Saturday 1 February
Black Box Sunday 2 February
Candoco Monday 3 February
Company Chameleon Friday 7 February
Protein Saturday 8 February
ACE Dance and Music Sunday 9 February
2Faced Monday 10 February


Details of times will be provided to those who are shortlisted from their first round auditions

What do the auditions involve?

The first round audition includes Improvisation into Ballet, for contemporary dancers, followed by a Contemporary class.  Candidates who are shortlisted from this first stage will then take part in a Creative session, Repertoire and have an individual interview.

In addition to our UK auditions we hold a number of auditions overseas. We also offer a remote audition option (for International applicants only, ie those outside the EU/EEA) which involves submitting a URL link to your filmed audition footage on YouTube/Vimeo.

Full details of MA Performance Audition Information (Leeds and Overseas) (Click to open pdf)

Full details of MA Performance VERVE Remote Audition Information (Click to open pdf)


Important Information for International Applicants (students who will require a Tier 4 Student Visa to study in the UK)

International applicants are welcome to apply for the Professional Placement Scheme (PPS) as we are able to offer a limited number of placements to students with a Tier 4 Visa at Phoenix Dance Theatre. Placements with other participating companies based outside Leeds are unfortunately not open to students with a Tier 4 Visa due to UK Visa and Immigration restrictions. If you are interested in undertaking a professional placement with Phoenix Dance Theatre you should apply and attend a first round audition through the standard application/audition process.

Audition Fee

The application / audition fee is £50 which is payable through our Box Office online at the point you book your selected audition date. There is no additional charge for recall auditions.  We are unable to process applications until your audition has been booked and paid for.

Audition Outcomes

We make our first shortlist at the end of stage 1 of the audition.

  • Candidates who are shortlisted from the first round audition, for one or both of the above courses, would then need to attend either the VERVE recall audition and/or some or all of the PPS Company auditions.
  • Candidates who are shortlisted from the Remote auditions will be invited to the VERVE recall audition as this is a good opportunity for you to learn more about NSCD and VERVE. However, if you are unable to attend you will still be considered for a place.
  • VERVE offers are made shortly after the recall audition
  • PPS offers are usually made after the final company audition to ensure that informed choices are possible for candidates (it is possible that offers can be made for more than one company placement which you would need to be aware of before accepting one placement).
  • Candidates who are offered a place will be given 2-3 weeks to accept.
  • Shortlisted candidates who are not initially offered a place after their recall auditions will then be placed on our reserve list with potential further offers being made over the following weeks.

Audition feedback is available on request to and will be provided after the offers are made.  It will consist of one of the three descriptions* as due to high applicant numbers we are unable to provide more detailed feedback. (*listed in: What is NSCD looking for in potential students?)

Find out more

For any further queries, please contact NSCD Admissions Team:
T: 0113 219 3050