School of Humanities and Performing Arts

BA (Hons) Dance with Foundation

Are you a passionate dancer, performer or maker but you wonder if you’re the type of person who goes to university? If you don’t quite hit the tariff for UCAS points for our 3-year course, have you thought about applying for our 4-year course which includes a foundation year? This would provide you with a solid base of skills and experience to progress from. You’ll acquire a toolkit of skills in a supportive professional environment, and the confidence to know how to use it.

Through collaborative provision with Theatre Royal Plymouth and its practitioners in the South West, we offer the very best, up-to-date industry expertise, research and teaching practice plus unrivalled access to professional opportunities. On successful completion of your first year, you’ll join the rest of the BA (Hons) Dance community for 3 lively years of discipline-specific study and inter-disciplinary enquiry giving you the chance to develop your distinctive voice as a dance practitioner.

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

£500 Performing Arts Foundation Bursary

We in the School of Humanities and Performing Arts like to reward those applicants who show a significant commitment to studying with us.

Therefore all applicants holding a valid offer for the BA (Hons) Dance with Foundation will be eligible to receive a bursary of £500 which will be automatically deducted from their tuition fees upon enrolment onto the course in September 2021.

Progression routes

From this course, you can progress onto:

Key features

  • This course is an integrated part of a performing arts degree at the University of Plymouth.
  • The foundation year is an integral part of the extended degree. Completion of the foundation year will not lead to a separate award or qualification its own right but will provide access to Year 1 of your degree.

Course details

  • Year 0 (Foundation year)
  • In your first year, you’ll explore a wide range of performance practices which will offer you a solid base for your BA degree in Dance. You’ll acquire a toolkit of skills in a supportive and professional environment, and the confidence to know how to use it.

    Core modules
    • PLYCO001 Introduction to the Study of Performance

      In this module, students learn both written, theoretical and conceptual skills that will support them in a BA Performing Arts degree. The module will provide an overview of key historical shifts in theatre, dance and performance practices and will examine the way in which they have influenced contemporary performance making.

    • PLYCO002 Introduction to Performance Training

      This year-long module, foster the development of vocal and movement skills and techniques necessary for the successful creation of contemporary performance. Through regular workshop study, students will embark on a creative exploration of the physical and mental processes embedded in core traditions of actor, dance and drama training.

    • PLYCO003 Introduction to Performance Making Processes 1

      This module will introduce a range of theatre devising, dance making and performance making methods to develop students' understanding about the relationship between process and performance. Students will be required to research relevant processes and practices of theatre and dance through ensemble and small group performance work.

    • PLYCO004 Introduction to Performance Making Processes 2

      This modules will continue the study of a range of theatre devising, dance making and performance making methods aiming to further the students' understanding about the relationship between process and performance. Students will explore and research in more depth relevant processes and practices of theatre and dance through ensemble and small group performance work.

    • PLYCO005 Introduction to Performance Analysis

      In this module, students learn the art of theatre and dance analysis and enhance their writing skills. Students are required to attend professional productions and will apply their analytical skills to write critical analyses of these productions. This module allows the students to strengthen their skills as a writer and grow their understanding of performance production through the audience's eye.

  • 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
    • DATH410 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 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.

    • DATH411 Training for Dancers 2

      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

    • PLYCO400 20th Century Performance Practices

      Taught through a series of weekly workshops, students will acquire a number of basic vocal and movement techniques that will foster the development of key expressive skills. The course will seek to provide students with an introductory knowledge of vocal technique, which will include the study of breathing, projection, resonance, pitch control and posture. Students will develop basic techniques for usages of the voice in performance, in both singing and spoken registers. The module will also introduce students to basic movement techniques seeking to develop an awareness of concentration, observation, relaxation, sensitivity, responsiveness, focus and ‘presence’.

    • PLYCO415 Devising Toolkit 2: Ensemble Practice

      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.

    • PLYCO430 Performance Spaces and Environments

      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
  • 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
    • DATH505 Training for Dancers 2

      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

    • DATH510 Experimental Digital Dance Practices

      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.

    • PLYCO500 Performance Making

      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.

    • 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
    • DATH600 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 will inform their own performance practice and career development.

    • 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.

    • PLYCO619 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.

    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.

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 with Foundation Programme Specification 2020 21 6714

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

32 -48

We require an IELTS of 6.0. overall with at least 5.5 in all components (reading, speaking, listening and writing).

English language requirements.

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

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 2020 2021
Home £9,250 £9,250
International £13,800 £14,200
Part time (Home) £770 £770
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

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.

£500 Humanities Foundation Discount

We in the School of Humanities and Performing Arts like to reward those applicants who show a significant commitment to studying with us.

Therefore all applicants holding a valid offer for the BA (Hons) Dance with Foundation will be eligible to receive a discount of £500 in their foundation year, which will be automatically deducted from their tuition fees upon enrolment onto the course in September 2021.

How to apply

If you are interested in this course, please contact Ruth Way, Programme Lead for BA (Hons) Dance:

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.

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

Any questions?

Please contact Ruth Way, Programme Lead for BA (Hons) Dance :