Arts Award - Northern School of Contemporary Dance

Arts Award

Northern School of Contemporary Dance is proud to be an Arts Award Centre and we can help you to achieve your goal whether it is Discover, Explore, Bronze, Silver or Gold. As an Arts Award Centre, we can support individuals or groups currently working towards their Arts Award.

We offer weekly classes, summer courses and one-off workshops for children, young people and adults. We are also home to Riley Theatre which hosts exciting dance performances throughout the year from community groups, student performances and professional companies.

So whether you want to take part in a practical class or be an audience member we can help you in your Arts Award journey! Contact for more information.


Arts Award centre logo


How can NSCD support your Arts Award?

DISCUSS: Small group sessions provide the opportunity to discuss what you have learned during your dance classes or your thoughts on a performance you have seen at the Riley Theatre.

PERFORM: If attending a children’s Saturday School class, Youth Company, Kick Off Boys Youth Dance project, our Adult weekly classes, NSCD Summer School or as part of our Centre for Advanced Training you will have the opportunity to perform in front of live audiences- be that in the theatre or in the open air!

RESEARCH: Talks on the history of NSCD and training opportunities on offer from pre-vocational, undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

MEET THE ARTISTS: Meet artists who are working with NSCD or performing in the Riley Theatre including CATAPULT artists, VERVE company dancers and professional touring companies.

REVIEW: Use your written skills to review a show and gain feedback from our Marketing Team.

DIGITAL: NSCD is always creating digital content for our website and social media channels which can help you gain insight into the work of choreographers, dancers and life as an NSCD student.  We are also home to the Children & Young Peoples Dance Network North who create and share informative videos and blog features about youth dance opportunities career pathways into dance.

If you would like to discuss your Arts Award or to arrange a group visit, please contact

Arts Award Discover

(around 20 hours to complete, for anyone up to 25) You’ll find that primary schools and children’s projects like Summer Reading Challenge use Arts Award Discover. It’s an introductory award which is not a formal qualification.

discover the arts  – take part in different arts activities

find out – experience artists and their work

share – show your discovery to others


Find out more

Arts Award Explore

(around 25 taught hours, for anyone up to 25, Entry Level 3) Arts Award Explore is found in primary schools and children’s arts projects. It’s also offered to children with special needs and young people facing challenges.

inspire – take part in a range of arts activities and record what inspires you

explore – experience the work of artists and arts organisations

create – make art work to show your arts skills and creativity

present –  show your exploration to others and record what you do

find out more

Arts Award Bronze

(around 40 taught hours, 11–25 years, Level 1 qualification) Bronze is currently the  most popular award, with nearly 20,000 young people achieving it every year. It’s often run with whole classes at Key Stage 3 in schools, and widely offered in arts organisations, youth projects and youth justice programmes.

take part in an arts activity – choose anything from sculpture to storytelling to music production and record your progress

arts review – record your views, collect programmes and other information and share your thoughts with others

arts inspiration – which artist or craftsperson inspires you? Research the story of their work and life

arts skills – share pass on your arts skills to others by helping to run a workshop, or by giving a demonstration and explanation of your skills


Find out more

Arts Award Silver

(around 60 taught hours, 11–25 years, Level 2 qualification) Silver is a step up and expects young people to take more responsibility for their progress.

arts challenge  -set yourself a challenge in your chosen arts activity through discussion with your adviser. Plan your work and review your achievements

arts review – review shows, exhibitions or events and share your views with others

arts research – find out about artists and arts activities in your area and, and research arts training and opportunities

arts leadership – share your skills with others by leading workshops or working in a team to run a project. Your role could involve passing on arts or media skills or taking charge of a particular creative aspect. You plan, deliver and review your arts leadership project

Find out more

Arts Award Gold

(around 90 taught hours, 11–25 years, Level 3 qualification, worth 16 UCAS points) Gold treats the young person as a ‘young creative’ and expects experimentation, opinions and an arts project.

arts practice – extend your arts skills by gaining experience of a new area of the arts through collaboration with another arts practitioner and developing new work.

the wider arts sector – get involved in the arts world through placements, volunteering, training and research

research and review –  go to high-quality arts events, use them to influence your work and find out about the artists and their career paths

form a view – make the case for an arts issue that you care about

arts project leadership – take individual responsibility for researching, planning, running and reviewing your own arts project with a public outcome. You can work with others, but you must take responsibility for a distinct creative part of the project. You plan your project, organising the people and resources needed. You deliver the project, working effectively with others, and review the project, collecting feedback from those who take part

find out more