Last Updated on August 28, 2023
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Degrees For Dance
Dance degrees cover a wide range of styles, from ballet to street dance. Courses at performing arts schools prepare you for a career as a professional dancer or choreographer and are highly competitive. For these you would need experience of multiple dance styles and possibly even singing or acting abilities. Other university-based courses have a broader scope – including community arts, dance teaching and dance for fitness. Entry to most courses includes an audition.Search for all courses
At a glance:
- PRACTICAL SKILLS
- PERFORMING ARTS
- MUSICAL THEATRE
Studying dance at university
SOURCES:HESA & HEPI-HEA
Example course modules
- Dance technique
- Choreography: improvisation and composition
- Contextualising dance
- Dance portfolio
- Critical lenses and identities
- Dance journalism
- Performance and place
- Making dance work
- Dance in the community
Teaching hours / week
AVERAGE FOR THIS SUBJECT18HOURS14HOURS
AVERAGE FOR ALL SUBJECTS
The time you’ll spend in lectures and seminars each week will vary from university to university, so use this as a guide.
More on studying and contact hours at uni
Who studies this subject
- Female : 88%Male : 12%
- Mature : 10%School leaver : 90%
- Full-time : 99%Part-time : 1%
League tables for this subject
The Guardian The Complete University Guide The Times
What you need to get on a course
Subjects you need
A-levels (or equivalent) usually required
- No Specific Requirements
Useful to have
- English literature
- Performing Arts
Here’s a guide to what to expect from the application process – also check individual university entry requirements, as these may differ.
- January application
- October application
- Personal statement
- Entry test
- Work experience
Personal statement advice
Your personal statement is a core part of your university application, and getting it just right takes time. Before you start work on yours, take a look at our five quick tips on writing a personal statement. We’ll help you past that writer’s block! More advice on A-level requirements More advice on applying to uni Personal statement tips and advice
SOURCES:HECSU & KISMany dance graduates from 2012 went straight into dance or choreography jobs, and there are good employment rates overall. Work in education, in schools and colleges, or as freelance dance teachers, are also common. Be aware that freelancing and self-employment is common, as are what is termed ‘portfolio careers’ – having several part-time jobs or commissions at once, and networking can be very important for dance students to find their first job, so be prepared to work on your people skills. Professional and accrediting bodies:
Six months after graduating
SOURCES:DLHE & GRADUATE PROSPECTS Typical graduate job areas
- Artistic, literary and media occupations
Average graduate salary
We don’t have the average graduate salary for this subject yet.% of graduates in work or further study
Longer term career paths
Jobs where this degree is useful
- Dance instructor
Other real-life job examples
- Fitness intstructor
- Performance director
- Vocational trainer
What employers like about this subject
A degree in dance should provide you with subject-specific skills that include an ability to communicate and influence an audience through performance; a knowledge of the history of dance and its effect on culture and the choreography, production, criticism and management of artistic performances. You can also gain useful transferable skills, including excellent communications skills, team-working, self-motivation and project management. Dance graduates are usually found working in the performing arts or education, but other industries, including arts administration, welfare, health, tourism and the fitness industry, also employ dance graduates.
Top Five Universities in the UK to Study Dance or Drama
DANCE AND DRAMA UK UNIVERSITY COURSES
Studying a dance degree or drama degree at a UK university will help students achieve their dream of a career in or related to the performing arts.
Students will study modules such as dance technique, contextualising dance, choreography composition, improvisation, performance and place, dance portfolio and bodywork, and the flexible nature of many dance and drama programmes means you can specialise in what interests you.
Learn more about the top five dance and drama universities in the UK below (Guardian University Guide 2022) and if you wish to begin your UK study application, arrange a free consultation with SI-UK London today.
Top Five UK Universities for Dance and Drama
1. University of Essex
Studying drama at the University of Essex will help prepare you for life as an independent performing artist. Since opening in 1964, Essex has had a “radical innovation” approach to research and education. Because of a determination to do things differently and put student success at the heart of the University mission, Essex were named University of the Year at the Times Higher Education Awards 2018.
What they say: “Our training is by professionals and for professionals, allowing our graduates to work successfully across the globe. An international, outstanding teaching faculty is made up of professionals from all areas of live and recorded performance.”
- Suggested course: BA Acting and Contemporary Theatre
2. Conservatoire for Dance and Drama
Located in the UK’s cosmopolitan cities of London, Bristol and Leeds, the Conservatoire for Dance and Drama delivers world-leading education and vocational training in the performing arts across six member colleges. The School offers an immersive experience and access to industry links post training. Notable alumni include Olivia Colman, Naomi Harris and Dane Hurst.
What they say: “The course is fun and highly intensive, with studio-based classes, enhanced by a range of contextual studies that directly relate to the experience of performing, making, researching and understanding dance. Plus, you will have access to unique performance and creative opportunities throughout the course.”
- Suggested course: BA (Hons) in Contemporary Dance
3. Royal Conservatoire of Scotland
This Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow, Scotland is the busiest performance arts venue in Scotland. It offers several vocational undergraduate degree programmes in dance and you will develop classical and contemporary dance technique, becoming a technically strong dancer.
What they say: “This is the only place in Europe where you can study all of the performing arts on the one campus. There is a distinctive creative energy at RCS and you’ll be made to feel part of our inclusive and diverse environment from the very beginning of your studies.”
- Suggested course: BA (Hons) Modern Ballet
4. Manchester Metropolitan University
The Performing Arts programmes offered at Manchester Metropolitan University are designed to nurture and enhance raw talent and develop a career in the professional entertainment industry. You will get specialist training in dance, singing and acting all combined together or with an emphasis on any one, depending on what you wish to specialise in.
What they say: “This course will enable you to gain the skills and understanding to work professionally as a theatre maker, performer, director, producer, facilitator or teacher, or to move into other creative industries, as well as to engage in further academic study and research.”
- Suggested course: BA (Hons) Drama and Contemporary Performance
5. University of Manchester
A world-renowned leader in the education of contemporary dance and drama artists, the University of Manchester offers an environment of creative and technical excellence where you are encouraged to push your artistic boundaries. You will learn through intensive technical training, in-depth study, extensive studio time, collaborative projects and performance opportunities at the UK’s only music and contemporary dance conservatoire.
What they say: “With a huge range of course units to choose from, this course is diverse and flexible, enabling you to build upon existing interests while allowing you the room to discover new forms and traditions of performance, practice and media.”