School of Humanities and Performing Arts

BA (Hons) Dance

Train in contemporary dance techniques and choreographic practices in The House, our stunning performing arts building and theatre. Experience a range of dance techniques and movement practices to develop as a highly skilled dance practitioner who is able to apply their performance skills and knowledge to different industry and professional working dance environments. Create a strong career portfolio through professional development opportunities with Plymouth Conservatoire and our partnerships.

Plymouth Conservatoire - Esme Appleton in Theatre Royal Plymouth’s Golem. Photograph: Bernhard Mueller.

Join Plymouth Conservatoire

This programme is delivered through Plymouth Conservatoire - a unique collaboration 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

2020 NSS results:

  • The dance course is in the top 10 institutions in dance the UK for teaching on the course.

Register in advance for Clearing

We'll give you a call on A level results day to discuss your place at Plymouth, meaning there's one less thing to worry about.

Find out more about Clearing

Careers with this subject

Benefit from our consistent focus on employability skills and professional development during your degree, giving you opportunities to prepare for a successful career in dance. Students go into careers as performers, choreographers, dance teachers, arts administrators, community dance artists, producers and project managers working in dance and theatre organisations. You can also choose to pursue further study, such as doing a masters, or MPhil/PhD that could lead to becoming a dance researcher or lecturer.

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.
  • 154 placements this year for directors, producers, practitioners and performers including with paid placements with Jermyn Street Theatre (West End), Kneehigh and at Theatre Royal Plymouth.
  • Enhance your career portfolio by joining our BA Dance Undergraduate Company.
  • 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 your dance skills and creative practice in performance and choreographic tasks. Explore the relationship between performer, movement and space and develop your choreographic voice. Broaden your understanding of the elements that contribute to the identity of a dance work and how this generates meaning for an audience. You work intensively with a professional choreographer on a major dance production and develop other skills in dance film making and workshop leading skills.

    Core modules

    • Dance Making and Knowing (DATH410)

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

    • Training for Dancers 2 (DATH411)

      This module will develop students’ dance and performance skills through classes in a range of contemporary dance techniques, ballet, somatic movement approaches and movement improvisation. It offers a practical and theoretical exploration of a broad range of approaches to performance training to enable students to critically reflect on their training needs and technical development

    • Exploring the Dance Medium (DATH440)

      Through practical workshops this module explores the relationships between the performer, movement, sound and space and will examine how these can form the identity of a dance work. These connections are explored through improvisation, choreographic tasks and analysis of dance performance.

    • Devising Toolkit 2: Ensemble Practice (PLYCO415)

      This module will focus on developing the skills necessary to work in a successful ensemble context, exploring the practice and examines the creative processes involved in the crafting and devising of performance work. Through workshop study, a creative understanding of the physical and mental processes necessary in performance presentation will be established.

    • Performance Spaces and Environments (PLYCO430)

      The module identifies the dynamics between the key elements of performance within the context of the devising and generation of ‘live’ theatre practices.The module places the study of theatre and performance within a contemporary context by exploring the discourse of and tension between naturalism and non-naturalism in 20th century performance theory and practice.

  • Year 2

  • Focus on dance making and performance, engaging with new choreographic strategies and performance environments. Consider how dance is influenced by and reflects the culture that produces it, and have the opportunity to explore other cultural dance forms such as African dance. Develop your understanding of the politics of movement and engage with critical dance scholarship. Develop your collaborative performance practice and skills by working intensively with a company in residence, and in preparation for student and professionally led dance productions.

    Core modules

    • Experimental Digital Dance Practices (DATH510)

      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.

    • Dance Technique (DATH551)

      Students will develop their technical dance skills and ability to apply a range of dynamic qualities and spatial properties in performance. The module will develop students’ understanding of dance as a cultural discourse and foster awareness and appreciation of other cultural dance forms. Students will engage with workshop leading skills and pedagogic strategies to plan and deliver a workshop activity to their peers.

    • Dance Repertory (DATH555)

      Students will develop their technical dance skills and ability to apply a range of dynamic qualities and spatial properties in performance. The module will develop students’ understanding of dance as a cultural discourse and foster awareness and appreciation of other cultural dance forms. Students will engage with workshop leading skills and pedagogic strategies to plan and deliver a workshop activity to their peers.

    • Theatre Residency (PLYCO522)

      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.

    • Performance Practices (PLYCO523)

      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.

    • Performance Making (PLYCO570)

      This module explores practically the work of major practitioners and introduces key theories that have impacted upon contemporary performance making. Through practice and contextual study, students will explore the implications of ideological, cultural and social codes for contemporary performance makers.

  • Final year

  • This suite of modules will enable you to focus on your key strengths and career ambitions and prepare effectively for your career pathway. Through work-based learning and engagement with external partners and/or performance platforms, you develop your professional skills and profile. Your final year provides you with advanced dance training and many professional development opportunities.

    Core modules

    • Advanced Dance Training (DATH600)

      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 will inform their own performance practice and career development.

    • Performance Research (PLYCO610)

      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.

    • Professional Placement and Practice (PLYCO616)

      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.

    • Applied Practices: Community, Education and Wellbeing (PLYCO617)

      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.

    • Festival Practices (PLYCO629)

      This module will support students’ entry into the wide field of the creative industries through the planning and development of a professional quality performance product, commensurate to professional practice. Working solo or in small companies, students will engage with mentoring and feedback processes and locate their practice within the context of the contemporary performance practice and Festival platforms.

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 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.

In light of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the changeable nature of the situation and any updates to government guidance, we may need to make further, last minute adjustments to how we deliver our teaching and learning on some or all of our programmes, at any time during the academic year. We want to reassure you that even if we do have to adjust the way in which we teach our programmes, we will be working to maintain the quality of the student learning experience and learning outcomes at all times.
Entry requirements

UCAS tariff


A level

A minimum of 2 A levels, General Studies accepted.

International Baccalaureate

26 points. If overseas and not studying English within IB, must have IELTS 6.0 overall with 5.5 in all other elements. As a standard, all applicants are required to interview before an offer is made.

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

We welcome applicants with international qualifications. To view other accepted qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary

Audition and interview process for BA (Hons) Dance

Diversity and Accessibility are really important to us and so we audition and interview all of our candidates, UK-based and international in a way that works for you and for FREE.

There are two options available to you:

1. Candidates can choose to come to one of our audition and interview days at our fully accessible studios and theatres and perform a two to three minute solo choreography.

This can be performed with or without music, the music track should be on your phone or iPad. A student ambassador will assist you on the day.

Following your solo performance, you will be required to attend a 20 – 30 minute interview conducted by a member of our dance staff.

2. Or, if you have specific mobility requirements, if the costs of travel are prohibitive for you, if you work full time or if you live abroad, you can choose to hold your 20 – 30 minute interview via Skype conducted by a member of our dance staff. The online Skype interview for candidates is conducted in exactly the same way for those attending their interview in person.

If you choose this option we will also ask you to send us a video link (we suggest vimeo link and password protected) of your recorded performance of the two to three minute solo choreography. This video link should be sent three working days prior to your interview date to This option allows us to reach out to talented applicants who are not in a position to travel.

Whether you come onsite to audition/ interview or whether you interview/audition online you will have the same welcoming and inclusive experience.

Further details:

Your two to three minute solo performance:

Please prepare a two to three minutes (maximum of three minutes) contemporary dance solo of your own choreography. This can be performed with or without music, and if attending your audition onsite, the music track should be on your phone or iPad. One of our dance student ambassadors will assist you on the day.


  • Please wear dance clothing you feel comfortable in and dance in bare feet unless there is a medical problem and then just let us know.
  • Breathe and remember not to rush so you can complete each movement to reach its full expression.
  • Don’t position yourself too close to your audience at the start of your piece, there will be time beforehand for you to rehearse and consider the full use of the performance space.
  • Consider how you engage your audience, for as well as observing your potential as a skilled dancer, we are very interested in you, your creativity and individual qualities. Performance is about communication and dance can be uplifting and moving to watch.
  • Choose your music carefully, music with a relentless beat and songs with words, which have no direct connection to the content of the piece can dominate and detract from your performance and your original intention.

Your interview:

This is a 20 - 30 minute interview conducted by a member of our dance staff. Each candidate will be asked the same set of interview questions and this is also an opportunity for you to ask us any questions you might have at the end of the interview.

Please come prepared to talk about ….

  • Your passion for dance and career aspirations.
  • Why you are interested in this dance degree and what it offers.
  • A contemporary dance piece that has inspired you and why.
  • What role can dance and movement play in our lives.
  • The practical skills and understanding you think are important for a dancer pursuing a dance career today.
  • What you will bring to our working environment at Plymouth Conservatoire.

Fees, costs and funding

The UK is no longer part of the European Union. EU applicants should refer to our Brexit information to understand the implications.

New Student 2021 2022
Home £9,250 To be confirmed
International £14,200 To be confirmed
Part time (Home) £770 To be confirmed
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per 10 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. For more information about fees and funding please visit

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

Additional costs

This course is delivered by the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business and more details of any additional costs associated with the faculty's courses are listed on the following page: Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business additional costs.

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

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

Training: Contemporary Technique

See a typical Contemporary Technique class led by our Head of Movement Heather Richmond.

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

Take a tour of Plymouth Conservatoire

Watch a video tour of the spaces at Plymouth Conservatoire with Josh Slater, Lecturer in Dance, Theatre and Performance. See the spaces where our students learn, perform and experience visiting performance companies. Hear about the equipment available for students to use. See how flexible our purpose-built spaces at Plymouth Conservatoire are.

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.


* These are the latest results from the National Student Survey. Please note that the data published on Discover Uni (Unistats) is updated annually in September.