School of Humanities and Performing Arts

BA (Hons) Dance

Engage with cutting edge, contemporary performance practices in The House, our stunning new performing arts building. You'll experience an innovative and inclusive approach to dance training, and develop as a skilled, expressive dance practitioner able to work in different contexts and professional dance environments. We’ll nurture your creativity in performance and choreography and help you to develop a strong career portfolio as you study.

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Join Plymouth Conservatoire

This programme is delivered through Plymouth Conservatoire - a unique partnership between the University and Theatre Royal Plymouth, providing training and professional experience that will set talented students apart in today’s arts and creative industries.

Plymouth Conservatoire

Careers with this subject

Advice from graduate Catarina Lau:

"Be strong, be realistic, but never stop working towards your dream. I understand that suggesting being realistic and but also to dream could come across as confounding variables, but I believe that you should dream big, but take realistic steps. Otherwise you will overwhelm yourself and become disappointed when you’re not living ‘the dream."

Read more from Catarina in her case study.

Key features

  • Study with Plymouth Conservatoire and benefit from the very best, up-to-date industry expertise, research and teaching practice as well as unrivalled access to professional opportunities.  
  • Experience our award winning, purpose-built performing arts facility, The House.
  • Theatre Royal Plymouth's production centre, TR2, provides yet more training and rehearsal space.
  • Develop a strong career portfolio with work-based learning and professional development opportunities that will boost your skills and expertise, and enhance your employability.
  • Advance your creative practice with talks, master classes and workshops with visiting companies and internationally recognised teachers; in the past these have included Alvin Ailey CompanyRussell Maliphant, Hofesh Shechter, Jordi Cortés (DV 8), Yael Flexer, Leila McMillan, Candoco and StopGap.
  • Benefit from free texts provided in year one, an intensive residency with a nationally acclaimed company in year two, and a production budget available for your final degree performance.
  • Gain professional experience through intensive patterns of teaching delivery, production and technical rehearsals, giving you the same experience you’d gain with a professional dance company.
  • Bursary awards are available for international workshops and field trips subject to approval..

Course details

  • Year 1
  • Focus on developing your dance technique and choreographic skills. Explore, through practice, the relationship between performer, movement, sound and space. Widen your understanding of dance work, and how 20th century dance practitioners have inspired the development of dance as an art form. Perform in a major dance ensemble work directed by a professional choreographer.

    Core modules
    • DATH401 Dance Making and Knowing

      This module is an introduction to `how we study¿ dance in higher education and to the key aims and objectives of the BA Dance Theatre degree. Through practice and theory students will begin to examine how dance is informed by other disciplines and how dance scholarship embraces dance making as practical knowledge and understanding.

    • DATH402 Ensemble Choreography

      This module introduces key theories and the work of major practitioners and performance makers who have shifted and developed the notion and concept of `the body¿ in democratic ensemble performance since the 20th century. It will examine how theories and artistic practices have contributed to the developments of dance and theatre as an art form and influenced the reception of the body in contemporary ensemble performance practice.

    • DATH403 Training for Dancers 1

      This module will develop students¿ dance and performance skills through classes in contemporary dance technique, release technique, pilates and movement improvisation. It offers a practical exploration of the physical and mental qualities necessary to the developing dancer and their understanding of performer training.

    • DATH404 Training for Dancers 2

      This module develops dance and extends the performance skills practices from term 1 (Training for Dancers 1) through a variety of classes that may include in contemporary technique, release technique, pilates and improvisation. It offers a practical exploration of the physical and mental qualities necessary to the developing dancer and their understanding of performer training.

    • THPF403 Performance Praxis 1

      This module comprises both a lecture and a workshop series that surveys the key elements of dance, theatre and performance, including the terminology and discourses that help to develop a critically engaged practice. It includes an introduction to contemporary and historical theories and debates, while offering students an introduction to appropriate modes of study, research, devising and workshop skills.

    • THPF406PP Plymouth Plus: Performance Lab 1

      Offering Dance, Theatre and Acting students the chance to work collaboratively on a site-based project, this module will foreground the city as a rich and vibrant context for the creation of performance materials. Encouraging students to understand the wider socio-cultural positioning of their emerging practice, and encouraging them to build relationships beyond their immediate surroundings.

  • Year 2
  • Develop your dance making and performance skills by engaging with new choreographic strategies and performance environments. Work with a professional choreographer on a large scale dance production. Consider how dance is influenced by, and reflects the culture that produces it and explore other cultural dance forms, such as contemporary African dance. Working with a company in residence, there are opportunities to engage with new performance practices and develop your choreographic voice. 

    Core modules
    • DATH501 Dance Theatre Practice

      This module is a study of dance and its performative events located within the field of contemporary dance theatre practice. Students will develop performance, choreographic and dramaturgical skills through their exploration of making meaning through the body and its relationship to the total stage event.

    • DATH502 Experimental Digital Dance Practice

      This module will develop students¿ knowledge, historically and aesthetically of the leading practitioners and researchers who have contributed to the development of innovative digital dance practices. Students will undertake research and practical experimentation to interrogate mediatised representations of the body in a selected field such as dance installation, computer based dance performance, screendance or live performance and technology.

    • DATH503 Training for Dancers 3

      This module develops students¿ dance and performance skills through classes in contemporary dance technique, release technique, and movement improvisation. Students are expected to demonstrate growing proficiency and deeper understanding of technique and to demonstrate an embodied knowledge that rests upon a growing understanding of the anatomical and physical principles that underpin human movement.

    • DATH504 Training for Dancers 4

      This module moves training dancers toward a higher level of performance through classes in contemporary dance technique, release technique, and improvisation. Students are expected to demonstrate a greater understanding of the training process and demonstrate an ability to embody movement principles. This embodied knowledge should be capable of being expressed both physically and verbally through seminar presentation.

    • THPF502 Performance Lab 2

      This module addresses collaborative and interdisciplinary practice. It is a practical and studio-based module that emphasises the development and presentation of student-led work and collaboration across year groups.

    • THPF503 Performance Practices

      This module encourages students to find their creative voice through the exploration and application of a specific performance practice. Students will develop and practically interrogate the skills and understandings that establish specific forms of contemporary performance practice as both skilled activities and culturally significant artistic statements.

  • Final year
  • Your final year will enable you to focus on developing your key strengths and interests and prepare you for a variety of dance-related careers. 

    Prepare an audition piece and extend your performance skills with advanced dance training classes. Choreograph and perform your final degree performance and produce a dance research project. 

    Core modules
    • THPF613 Performance Lab 3

    • THPF615 Performance Research: Dissertation

      Students will plan and conduct a research enquiry relevant to the application, practice and study of performance (including dance, theatre, live art, and cross-form practices). Through lectures, workshops and tutorial guidance, students develop appropriate ways of collecting, analysing, documenting and organising material to present and evidence their research process and findings in a written dissertation.

    • THPF617 Applied Practices

      This module offers students access to community-based professionals and work-based experiences within the realm of the student's employability. Through seminars and independent practice, the student will take an initiative in directing their future endeavours regarding employability within the field.

    Optional modules
    • DATH601 Advanced Dance Training

      The module will provide classes in advanced technical dance training and a framework of independent study and research to assist students to develop a professional practice. Students will be expected to engage with training as an ongoing developmental process and consider how these training techniques and principles have informed their own performance practice and career development and how they intend to sustain their practice upon graduating.

    • THPF614 Cultural Embodiment

      Students will pursue research into a topic of contemporary relevance to performance theorists and/or practitioners that consolidates aesthetic, social, historical and cultural products. This approach recognises the interdependency of related disciplines and also the role of theatre and performance processes in the production of culture in its widest sense.

    • THPF616 Professional Strategies: Creative Enterprising

      In this module students will be asked to identify a specific professional working relationship, for example mentor/project/ liaison or context, to work in. This initiative should reflect the students¿ personal development planning aims and needs and support their career ambitions and life long learning.

    • THPF618 Professional Strategies: Festival Practices

      This module will support students¿ entry into the wide field of the creative industries through the careful planning and execution of a professional quality performance product. Working in small companies, students will be expected to define their particular area of interest. In dialogue with supervising tutors, students will negotiate their role within the company, and articulate how their contribution will lead towards the development of performance material commensurate to professional practice.

    • THPF619 Professional Strategies: Practice Research

      Students will plan and conduct a practical research enquiry relevant to the broad disciplines of dance, theatre, live art, and cross-form practices. Through lectures, workshops and tutorial guidance, students develop appropriate ways of generating, analysing, documenting and disseminating material to present and evidence their research process and findings. Projects will also evidence understanding of best practice in practice-driven approaches to research

Every undergraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the course aims, the course structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest course structure and may be subject to change:

BA Hons Dance Programme Specification 2017 18 5852

The modules shown for this course are those currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new modules. Please note that programme structures and individual modules are subject to amendment from time to time as part of the University’s curriculum enrichment programme and in line with changes in the University’s policies and requirements.

Entry requirements

UCAS tariff


A level
A minimum of 2 A levels, General Studies accepted.

International baccalaureate
26 points overall, including five in drama/theatre.

18 Unit BTEC National Diploma/QCF Extended Diploma

BTEC National Diploma modules
If you hold a BTEC qualification it is vital that you provide our Admissions team with details of the exact modules you have studied as part of the BTEC. Without this information we may be unable to process your application quickly and you could experience significant delays in the progress of your application to study with us. Please explicitly state the full list of modules within your qualification at the time of application.

All access courses
Pass a named Access to Higher Education Diploma (preferably performing arts, humanities or combined) with at least 33 credits at merit and/or distinction.

Mathematics and English language grade C.

Equivalent qualifications may be considered.

Due to the creative nature of this course you will be considered on individual merit and required to attend an interview.  

English language requirements

For a full list of all acceptable qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary.

Fees, costs and funding

New Student 2017 2018
Home/EU £9,250 £9,250
International £12,250 £13,000
Part time (Home/EU) To be confirmed To be confirmed
Part time (International) To be confirmed To be confirmed
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per a number of credits. Fees are correct at the time of publication and may be subject to change.

How to apply

All applications for undergraduate courses are made through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). 

UCAS will ask for the information contained in the box at the top of this course page including the UCAS course code and the institution code. 

To apply for this course and for more information about submitting an application including application deadline dates, please visit the UCAS website.

Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office via our how to apply webpage or email

Welcome to Plymouth Conservatoire

Experts from the University of Plymouth and Theatre Royal Plymouth work together to give you training and professional experience that will set you apart in today’s arts and creative industries. 

Get the very best, up-to-date industry expertise, research and teaching practice as well as unrivalled access to professional opportunities.

Find out what it's all about

Your own purpose built theatre: The House

The University of Plymouth committed £7 million to building The House, a purpose built theatre on campus – and now the teaching home to Plymouth Conservatoire. A state-of-the art building, this award winning facility is a fully-accessible building with a 200-seater auditorium, a studio theatre and rehearsal spaces.

Come in to The House

Experience first-hand the excitement of dance

Broaden your experience of dance while you study with access to shows and performances from well-known practitioners and dance companies.

With fantastic performances at our newly opened performing arts building, The House, Peninsula Arts and the Theatre Royal Plymouth, you'll get to experience great dance on your doorstep.

But you'll also get to go on excursions to Bristol and London to see even more. Have a look at what you might be able to see.

Our alumni

Sidonie Carey-Green
"An experimental and innovative course that keeps you up to date with the ever changing landscape of theatre and dance", Sidonie Carey-Green
Jade Poole
"Studying at Plymouth University prepared me for the diverse world of work that awaits a Dance Theatre graduate" Jade Poole
Emma Pendle
"The course opened my eyes to different areas of dance and also different areas within the industry", Emma Pendle


*The results of the National Student Survey (NSS) and the Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey (DLHE) are made available to prospective students and their advisors through the Unistats website.