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.

Applications are now open.

Applications for 2021 entry close at midnight on Sunday 3 January 2021. 

Due to COVID-19 we have introduced a two-stage audition process for VERVE and Professional Placement Scheme (PPS) applicants with an additional third-stage for PPS applicants who are shortlisted. See below for more information.

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.

Visit the course pages for entry requirements.

Fees & Finance Apply now

Important information


The application form is available on this page until the closing date.

What do I need to include in my Application / Stage 1 Audition submission?

  1. Which course/s you wish to be considered for (You can apply for either VERVE or PPS, or both in one application)
  2. Personal Details
  3. Place of academic education
  4. Qualifications
  5. Place of dance education (which may be the same as your place of Education)
  6. Headshot photo
  7. Academic Task (Some applicants may choose to submit an essay/presentation completed during their current course.)
  8. Equality and Diversity Information
  9. Audition Links: (full details in the guidance sheet below)
    • Improvisation (link to examples in the guidance below)
    • Solo
    • Technical Practice: Contemporary (links to set work provided in the guidance below)
    • Technical Practice: Ballet (links to set work provided in the guidance below)
    • Verbal Personal Statement

Read our application guidance below for more detailed information, including set work


Once you submit your application you will be redirected to pay the application fee. Applications without payment will not be processed.

You will also receive a confirmation email from Please check and save this email. We recommend you add this email address to your contacts to avoid emails going into your spam/junk folders.

Stage 1 Outcomes

Shortlisted applicants are invited to the Stage 2 VERVE & PPS auditions after the closing date.  Those who are not shortlisted will be informed.


Important information for International Applicants 

From 1 January 2021 there will be a new immigration system in the UK – the Tier 4 visa will be replaced by a new UK points-based system.   Citizens of the EU, EEA and Switzerland will be included in the new points-based system and will require a visa to study in the UK.  Full details have not yet been confirmed but our International page will be updated with the latest information about the new points-based immigration system as it becomes available.

International applicants are welcome to apply for VERVE.  International applicants are also welcome to apply Professional Placement Scheme (PPS) as we are able to offer a limited number of placements to students who require a visa at Phoenix Dance Theatre.  However, placements with other participating companies based outside Leeds are unfortunately not open to students who require a visa due to UK Visa and Immigration restrictions.


The application fee is a one-off payment of £20, payable on submission of your application. No further fee is be required as part of the audition process.  Applications without a payment will not be processed.



Shortlisted applicants living in the UK are invited to take part in a Stage 2 Audition at NSCD on one of the following dates:

  • Monday 18 January 2021
  • Tuesday 19 January 2021
  • Wednesday 20 January 2021
  • Thursday 21 January 2021
  • Friday 22 January 2021
  • Saturday 23 January 2021
  • Sunday 24 January 2021

Stage 2 Auditions are combined for both VERVE & PPS applicants which means you need only attend one audition.  Full details on how to book your Stage 2 Audition and the content/schedule will be provided.

Please note: if on-site Stage 2 Auditions at NSCD are not possible due to enhanced lockdown measures, all shortlisted applicants will follow the Stage 2 Online steps.


Shortlisted applicants living outside the UK are not required to attend an on-site audition.  Instead, a zoom interview will be arranged and further footage may be requested.

Stage 2 Outcomes

After the Stage 2 VERVE & PPS auditions all applicants who were shortlisted to this stage will be contacted by email with either:

  • A VERVE offer


  • An invitation to attend the PPS Company Auditions


  • No offer


Only applicants who apply by midday 15 November 2020 and select Tanzmainz may be shortlisted. This audition is in advance of Stage 1 shortlisting to fit in with the company’s schedule. The date and venue is yet to be confirmed but full details will be provided to those who are shortlisted.  Potential travel restrictions are being considered in relation to this audition.

All other PPS Company Auditions

Shortlisted Stage 1 applicants are invited to attend the PPS Company Auditions.  These are delivered by each company and held at NSCD from late January to early March.  Further details of dates, times and audition content will be provided to those who are shortlisted.

Please note: if on-site Company Auditions at NSCD are not possible due to enhanced lockdown measures alternative arrangements will be made.


Places are awarded to applicants who demonstrate the greatest potential to benefit from the course. The audition panel assesses performance ability and creativity underpinned by technical/physical understanding, as well as critical thinking and reflective engagement.

See What is NSCD looking for in potential students? for more information

  • VERVE offers are made shortly after the Stage 2 Auditions.
  • 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 which you would need to be aware of before accepting).
  • Applicants who are offered a place are given 2-3 weeks to accept.
  • Shortlisted applicants who are not initially offered a place after their Stage 2 / Company Auditions are placed on our reserve list with potential further offers being made at a later date.

Audition feedback is available on request to and will be provided after the offers are made.  It will consist of one of the four descriptions below (due to high applicant numbers we are unable to provide more detailed feedback)

A response to the tasks/movement material set which:

  • Demonstrates insufficient ability to meet the demands of the course applied for at this time.
  • Inconsistently demonstrates an ability to meet the demands of the course applied for at this time.
  • Consistently demonstrates that the candidate would be able to meet the demands of the course applied for.
  • Consistently demonstrates, to a high level, that the candidate would be able to meet the demands of the course applied for.

Have a question?

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