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

Conservatoire Academic Excellence Bursary

This £1,000 bursary is awarded in recognition of outstanding academic achievement to all first year students enrolling in 2019 who achieve 144 UCAS tariff points or above.

It’s not too late to apply for September 2019

If you haven’t applied to the University of Plymouth for September 2019 entry, prior to the UCAS deadline, there may still be vacancies on your chosen course.

It’s not too late to apply

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

  • Teaching may be delivered solely at University of Plymouth campus or a combination of specialist spaces at the University and the rehearsal and educational spaces at Theatre Royal Plymouth.
  • 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
    • DATH400 Performance Lab 1 : Dancer¿s Toolkit

      This module addresses collaborative practice and is a practical and studio-based module which emphasises the development of the dancer¿s wider range of industry related skills and experience as part of a dancer¿s toolkit . It will encourage students to understand the wider socio-cultural positioning of their emerging practice, and also build relationships with other disciplines and their immediate surroundings.

    • 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.

    • PLYCO423 20th Century Performance Practices

      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.

  • 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.

    • PLYCO522 Theatre Residency

      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.

    • PLYCO523 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
    • 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.

    • PLYCO610 Performance Research

      Students will plan and conduct a research enquiry relevant to the application, practice and study of performance (including acting, 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. Projects can be articulated in one of three ways; lecture demo, practice as research or dissertation.

    • PLYCO613 Performance Laboratory

      Working in self -selected groups students will identify significant aspects of contemporary performance practice to inform their own creative process. Students will explore the implications of this research for their own practice in order to produce a performance work with a contemporary resonance.

    Optional modules
    • PLYCO616 Professional Placement and Practice

      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.

    • PLYCO617 Applied Practices: Community, Education and Wellbeing

      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.

    • PLYCO618 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.

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 2019 20 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.

English language requirements

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

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

Fees, costs and funding

New Student 2018 2019
Home/EU £9,250 £9,250
International £13,000 £13,400
Part time (Home/EU) To be confirmed To be confirmed
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per a number of credits. Please note that fees are reviewed on an annual basis. Fees and the conditions that apply to them shown in the prospectus are correct at the time of going to print. Fees shown on the web are the most up to date but are still subject to change in exceptional circumstances.

Conservatoire Academic Excellence Bursary

This £1,000 bursary is awarded in recognition of outstanding academic achievement to all first year students enrolling in 2019 who achieve 144 UCAS tariff points or above. The bursary takes the form of a cash payment and will be paid in three instalments over the year.

Eligible students can only receive one bursary in any given academic year. Should you qualify for two or more, you will only be entitled to receive whichever has the highest value.

Find out more

Undergraduate scholarships for international students

To reward outstanding achievement the University of Plymouth offers scholarship schemes to help towards funding your studies.

Find out whether you are eligible and how you can apply

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.

Watch our film about Plymouth Conservatoire.

We can help you to prepare for your audition with us

We invite our applicants for an audition. This lets us find out more about you, and gives you the chance to find out more about us.

Find out what you need to know about coming for an audition

Dance technique and choreography

Our team of dance technique and choreography teachers bring with them a wealth of knowledge and experience to enhance your learning and development.

Meet the team

Welcome to 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, built to the very highest technical and sustainable specification, 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

<p>The House stage</p>
The House stage
<p>The House stage viewed from above</p>
The House stage from above
<p>The House studio</p>
The House studio
<p>Roland Levinsky Building room 307</p>
Roland Levinsky Building room 307
<p>Roland Levinsky Building room 306</p>
Roland Levinsky Building room 306
<p>Roland Levinsky Building room 308</p>
Roland Levinsky Building room 308

Have you thought about what path you might take after your degree?

Throughout the course, we focus on your professional development, giving you the opportunity to shape your own future.

With work-based learning and strong industry links, we give you the chance to get close to potential employers.

Whatever related career you may be interested in, we'll do our best to guide you along the way.

Find out how we can help you.


*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.