BA single honours Dance Education 2020/21

Year of entry

This course allows you to spend most of your time in dance studios where you will develop technically and creatively as a dancer.

You will work with artists, choreographers and academics in workshops and seminars, and be supported and challenged to improve as an artist and a teacher.

You will study dance from historical, social and political perspectives, with the opportunity to gain experience through a variety teaching placements and projects in dance company, community or school-based contexts.

You will explore areas including:

  • ballet, jazz, contemporary Limón, contemporary Release, urban, African and South Asian techniques and styles
  • choreography
  • dance pedagogy (teaching and learning)
  • dance science
  • historical, social and political dance landscape
  • ways of researching dance
  • ways of marketing yourself as a practitioner/artist

100% of our most recent Dance Education students were in jobs or further study 6 months after finishing their course.

Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education Survey 2016/17

The Dance Education degree is designed to prepare you for entry into the dance profession as a dancer , practitioner or artist. It develops your knowledge, skills and understanding in initiating, creating, organising, managing, teaching and/or performing dance . It enables you to work with people of varying ages and abilities in a variety of company, school and community contexts.

“Dance Education offers a range of dance styles and techniques which allows you to explore choreography in many different ways and to grow professionally as a dancer or educator.” Danielle Wilkinson, Current student

The programme supports and challenges you to develop technically and creatively as a dancer, teacher/practitioner and choreographer and to become more confident in taking leadership roles with greater responsibility and independence. You should leave with knowledge, skills and understanding of a range of dance techniques and styles, ways of creating, teaching and presenting or performing dance and first-hand experiences of where, why and how dance happens in the current dance/arts landscape, via the range of projects and placement opportunities.

92% of our Dance Education students were satisfied with their learning opportunities.

National Student Survey 2018

Top reasons to study this course

  • Placement opportunities for all Dance Education students.
  • A wide variety of dance techniques are studied. These will prepare you for employment as a versatile performer/practitioner.
  • High quality tutor team including practitioners, artists, performers, managers, choreographers, researchers and published authors e.g. Dr Angela Pickard (Editor in Chief of Research in Dance Education journal, specialist in pedagogy and ballet studies), Russell Maliphant (international choreographer, Artistic Researcher)
  • Collaborative teaching with established organisations/companies e.g. Magpie Dance Company (dance and disability), Avanti (marginalised youth), Jasmin Vardimon Dance Company (physical theatre) and Matthew Bourne Re­Bourne (Boys’ dance legacy)
  • Enhanced curriculum of artists in residency (e.g. dancers/choreographers from Jasmin Vardimon Dance Company, Vinnicius Salles, Matthias Sperling, Ash Mukhejee, Dam van Huynh), workshops with company artists/performers (e.g. Protein, Boy Blue, Loop), performances (end of year performances, Canterbury Festival, Canterbury Dance Company) and education and health/well­ being projects (e.g. Kent Dance Network, Sidney De Hann Research Centre), placements, trips and visits (e.g. The Marlowe Theatre, The Gulbenkian Theatre, Sadler's Wells Theatre and Move It).
  • A focus on developing student as collaborator and as an individual practitioner/artist of the future with individual choices for placements, focus of choreography, areas of investigation for dissertation and ways of presenting work (e.g. theatre, site­ specific, installation, using digital image, film/camera) linked to individual future aspirations/employability.
  • The School of Music and Performing Arts offers opportunities to collaborate with Drama, Performing arts and Music students (Commercial and Classical).
  • This is a consistently high performing programme gaining 100% satisfaction in many aspects of the NSS.

You can study French, German, Italian, Mandarin Chinese and Spanish as part of, or alongside, your course.

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  • A variety of dance techniques such as ballet, contemporary, jazz, African, South Asian and aerial
  • Aspects of historical, social and political development in dance;
  • A range of ways of creating and presenting choreographic work;
  • Ways of planning, teaching, evaluating/assessing dance with different ages and stages;
  • You will have a placement each year in different dance contexts; body conditioning and wellbeing
  • How to engage in safe and healthy practice for longevity in the profession as a dancer but also how to apply safe practice when working with different ages and stages;
  • How to find and analyse information about the dance landscape, use a range of methods and develop an independent study/project;
  • How to market oneself and harness employability and entrepreneurial skills for a career in dance education;
  • Optional interdisciplinary modules enabling you to work with music, (commercial and classical) drama and performing arts students
  • Optional global experience module enabling you to experience arts in another country with a short trip abroad


The majority of sessions are practical with theory and research integrated into practice. All students have a Personal Academic Tutor who will work to support and challenge you through enabling greater understanding of assignment information, assessment marking and feedback and target setting. The programme uses the core principles from the University Teaching and Learning Strategy.

The Dance Education course started in 2009 and has since recruited students from all over England, Slovakia, Greece, Cyprus and the USA. It has consistently achieved high satisfaction scores in the National Student Surveys and is now jointly rated as best in the country.

Work experience

Dance Education offers a placement each year across a variety of contexts such as primary and secondary schools, further education colleges, dance companies, community contexts such as Early Years centres, youth groups, dance and disability contexts and in other projects such as arts and health initiatives.

There are performance opportunities throughout the year.

Canterbury Dance Company is an auditioned company and engages you as a dancer. You will undertake a number of performance projects throughout each year that include presenting work in different contexts and working with different guest choreographers.

The Dance Education course started in 2009 and has since recruited students from all over England, Slovakia, Greece and Cyprus. It has consistently achieved high satisfaction scores in the National Student Surveys and is now jointly rated as best in the country.

Core modules

Year 1 (Level 4)

Technique and Style 1 (20 credits)

In Year 1, you engage in dance classes in contemporary (Limon), ballet and jazz.

Dance Science: Student as Dancer (20 credits)

Here the focus is on the student as dancer through an exploration of aspects of anatomy and physiology. It is underpinned by a consideration of safe working practices and factors that help to maintain a healthy dancer.

Dance Research: Landscape of dance (20 credits)

This module introduces you to dance history through a practical exploration of the roots of dance, social and political developments through the ages from 16th-19th centuries. You will also learn how to access a range of resources to support your research, learning and teaching in the current landscape of dance and where, when and how dance happens.

Dance in Society: Modern/Contemporary (20 credits)

Here you study practically European influences, early pioneers of modern dance and key innovators of early modern dance. You will also undertake a cultural study of African contemporary dance.

Dance Pedagogy: Planning and Practice (20 credits)

An introduction to the nature and practice of dance in schools and community and the practical skills, knowledge and understanding needed for working with different people in different contexts in different ways, practically and creatively. You will have a placement as part of this module.

Core modules

Year 2 (Level 5)

Technique and Style 2 (20 credits)

You study Limon­based and Release­based contemporary styles and modern ballet.

Choreography: New/Independent Approaches (20 credits)

You explore different ways of presenting work such as site­specific, dance for the camera/dance film, use of digital image and theatre style work. You create a group piece of choreography.

Dance Science: Applied (20 credits)

You will extend and develop the work encountered in Dance Science 1. The focus is on application of dance science in different dance contexts. You will explore physiological and psychological factors in relation to working with children, adolescents and adults.

Dance in Society: Post-modern and Independent (20 credits)

You study the development of new/independent dance and post­ modernism. You also undertake a cultural study in South Asian dance.

Dance Pedagogy: Applying creativity (20 credits)

Building on work from Dance Pedagogy 1, you will focus on analysing and understanding school and community contexts and the application of practical skills, knowledge and understanding when working in different contexts and facilitating creative work. You will have a placement as part of this module.

Core modules

Year 3 (Level 6)

Dance in Society: Pushing Boundaries (20 credits)

The focus is on innovation and development within choreography and professional works. The social and political landscape is explored in greater depth.

Professional Practice (20 credits)

Here you will apply your skills, knowledge and understanding of dance to the workplace and concentrate on the practicalities of managing and presenting yourself as a dance artist/practitioner.

Dance Pedagogy: Working as a Practitioner/Artist (20 credits)

You can apply skills, knowledge and understanding of dance to the workplace through a context ­based project and practicalities of project development, management and completion. You have a placement as part of this module.

Dance Research: Applied (20 credits)

You have an opportunity to investigate a particular area of interest related to dance/dance education as an independent project.

This is an illustrative sample of some of the options we offer. Please note that not all optional modules will run each year as these are dependent on student numbers.

In Year 1 (level 4) you can take one of the following optional modules (all are 20 credit modules).

Choreography: mainstream making (20 credits)

In your first year, you study mainstream choreography and ways of creating dance and create a solo piece of choreography.


Interdisciplinary module: Devising (20 credits)

This module focuses on interdisciplinary working and the devising process in groups with students from music, performing arts, dance and drama.

In Year 2 (level 5) you can take one of the following optional modules:

Dance Research: Methods and Proposal (20 credits)

You will study the appropriateness, benefits and limitations of research methods, be introduced to ethical considerations and write a research proposal.


Interdisciplinary module: Arts and Politics (20 credits)

You examine the incorporation of political agendas into theatre, music, and dance.


Global Experience in Dance (20 credits)

You will explore arts and culture in another country including a short trip abroad.

In Year 3 (level 6) you can take one of the following optional modules (all 20 credit modules). This is an illustrative sample of some of the options we offer. Please note that not all optional modules will run each year as these are dependent on student numbers.

In Year 3 (level 6) you can take one of the following optional modules:

Repertoire (20 credits)

You become a company and work on an intensive repertoire and choreography project and performance with a choreographer in residence. For example, as part of this module recently, students studied and performed aerial work.


Interdisciplinary module: Community Arts Project (20 credits)

You will work as interdisciplinary teams and create a community based arts project, sharing and applying skills, knowledge and understanding of arts to the context and the practicalities of project development, management and delivering a project.

In semester 2 you can choose from:

Choreography: Risk and Independence (20 credits)

You continue to examine different ways of presenting work such as site­specific, dance for the camera/dance film, use of digital image and theatre style work and are encouraged to take greater risks and work with increasing greater independence. You choose whether you create a solo, group or larger ensemble piece choreography and the way to present your work.


Interdisciplinary module: Multimedia Performance (20 credits)

This module is designed to explore the rapidly emerging and diversifying field of multimedia performance and interactive performance installation. Multimedia performance embraces a new technology as means of extending both the self and place. (Can be chosen if combined)

As a dance practitioner or artist, a student might be employed to work, for example, in a company as a dancer or education/outreach manager, in a school, community setting or to develop a dance for a festival funded by a local council. You could be involved in marketing, publicity, fund­raising, venue and festival management, or publicly­ funded provision, to name but a few. You will be equipped to embark on a Schools Direct or PGCE programme (providing they have GCSE or equivalent English, Maths, and in addition for Primary, Science) and work in mainstream school settings or may choose to lead your own career and market yourselves as freelance dance artists. You will also gain many transferable skills ranging from confidence and resilience to teamwork and communication skills.

You will be taught through a combination of practical workshops, technique classes and seminars. You will typically have around 12-14 contact hours per week.

Seminars in smaller groups will enable you to discuss and develop your understanding of topics. 

Some modules include different uses of technologies such as ‘Flipped Learning’.

There are also work-based placements and projects.

In addition, you will regularly meet with your personal academic tutor (PAT). 

The actual contact time depends on option modules selected.

Independent Learning

It is expected that you will engage in independent directed tasks, readings, rehearsal, practise and research to support your studies. When not attending seminars, workshops or other timetabled sessions you will continue learning through self-study.  Typically, this involves practical practice, rehearsal and choreography. You will also read journal articles and books, undertaking research in the library, working on directed task or projects, and preparing for coursework assignments/examinations, workshops and seminars.

Your module tutor will direct you towards specific readings and/or activities to complete before each class. You are also encouraged to see as much dance as possible, for example, at the local theatres.

For the independent project and Dissertation in year three, you will undertake independent research. You will work under the supervision of a member of the course team. You will meet with your supervisor regularly.

Overall workload

For every 20 credit module there is 50 hours of contact time and it is expected that there will be 150 hours of additional study time to undertake directed tasks, readings, rehearsals, choreography, practise, research and assignments. Typically you will have 12-14 hours of contact time a week.

Academic Input

All staff teaching on this programme are highly qualified and recognised in the field of dance/dance education. All staff are research active. You will have the opportunity to work with our Artistic Researcher Russell Maliphant.

Some members of staff hold doctoral qualifications. All our staff hold teaching qualifications. All staff are research-active. They have experience in delivering research-informed teaching. 

Postgraduate students sometimes assist in teaching and assessing some modules. However, experienced academics teach the vast majority of teaching.

All programmes are informed by the University’s Learning and Teaching Strategy 2015-2020.

Assessment methods include technique classes, practical presentations, practical demonstrations of teaching, creative and choreographic projects, performances and written assignments. There are no formal exams. There are generally two assessments per module and these are generally one written and one practical. There is a longer independent study as part of Year 3 work. Each module normally contains 'formative' assessments for which you receive feedback from your tutor. Formative assessments are developmental and any feedback you receive for them do not count towards your module mark.

There is a formal or 'summative' assessment at the end of each module. The grades from formal assessments count towards your module mark.

You will receive feedback on summative assessments. There are target setting opportunities regarding assessments and feedback facilitated by your personal academic tutor (PAT).

We aim to provide you with feedback within and 15 working days of hand-in or performance date

The Daphne Oram creative arts building, our new £12m arts facility in Canterbury, is equipped with the latest technology and bespoke learning spaces for our arts and humanities students.

Our main campus in Canterbury has city centre facilities on its doorstep and, of course, you will benefit from all the new arts building has to offer.

You will enjoy the use of two sprung floors; surround sound dance studios, a sprung floor performance studio theatre with full lighting rigs and tech. room, and three tiered a ‘concert’ hall. There is also a range of small gym equipment that you will use as part of body conditioning, wellbeing and dance science sessions and a fully equipped gym as part of our sports centre.

We have artists in residence who work on longer term projects and work with a number of professional dance artists and companies each year for shorter term workshops and projects. We also have partnerships with two local theatres - The Marlowe and Gulbenkian giving you access to free tickets to a number of performances.

We work with industry stakeholders aligned to the continued development of our teaching programme and research and consultancy work. Our links include local, regional and internationally recognised dance schools and companies such as The Royal Ballet School, Laban, The Avanti Project, Magpie Dance Company, Loop Dance Company, Cascade Dance Company, Jasmin Vardimon Dance Company and The Marlowe Theatre.

The Subject Lead, Dr. Angela Pickard, works closely with the dance-strategic bodies and is a well-known dance academic and researcher in fields such as dance pedagogy, dance sociology and dance science. Dr Stina Sommerlade has experience as a choreographer and project manager internationally. Nina Atkinson is Artistic Director of Loop Dance Company. Nicola Gaines is a historical/early dance specialist and works with us and The Royal Ballet School. Akosua Boakye is part of the choreography team for The Lion King. Ash Mukhejee has an international career as a dancer and choreographer.


Tuition Fees for 2020/21 have not yet been finalised. Course webpages will be updated with Tuition Fee information once these have been agreed.

Additional course costs

Although we aim to minimise any additional costs to students over and above the course tuition fee, there will be some additional costs which students are expected to meet.

Costs applicable to all students

Text books Own purchase text books
Travel to other sites Where travel to other sites is required, this will be payable by the student
Library Fees and Fines Where students fail to return loaned items within the required time they will be responsible for the cost of any Library Fees and Fines applicable
Printing & Photocopying The cost of printing and photocopying undertaken by students to support their individual learning are payable by the student
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire / photography are additional costs payable by the student

Course specific costs

Field Trips (including trips abroad and trips to museums, theatres, workshops etc) Additional travel cost only (as tickets paid for) for trips using local theatres if an enrichment activity. Travel to theatres/exhibitions/events that are not in Canterbury are funded by the School of Music and Performing Arts.
Travel for Placements Where possible, students are placed in a context near their home or within the normal travel distance from home to University. There may be additional travel costs for placements if placed in contexts beyond the normal travel distance from home to University but students can claim the money back after their placement.
DBS / Health Checks All Dance Education students need a DBS check and have to pay for this themselves. The charge for this process is £52.
Clothing / Kit A basic dance kit and soft sole ballet shoes are needed at cost to student.
Learning Materials If students want costumes and props for Choreography/teaching then these are paid for by students.

General principle policy

The University’s general principles policy for additional course fees are set out here

CategoryIncluded in the tuition feeAdditional cost to student
Field trips (including trips abroad and trips to museums, theatres, workshops etc) No, if the trip contributes to the course as an optional module. Yes if the trip is optional.
Travel and accommodation costs for placements  No

Travel and accommodation costs for professional placements within the Education and Health & Wellbeing Faculties.

Travel and accommodation costs for other work placements. 
Text books No Own purchase text books.
DBS / Health checks No Yes
Professional Body registration No Yes
Travel to other sites (e.g. travel to swimming pool for lessons) No Yes
Clothing / Kit Yes, where the clothing / kit is essential for Health & Safety reasons. Yes, where the clothing is kept by the student and not essential for health and safety reasons.
Learning materials Essential learning materials (excluding text books) in connection with the course. Additional materials beyond the standard provision essential for the course or where the costs are determined by the student’s area of interest and the outputs are retained by the student.
Library fees and fines No Yes
Printing and photocopying No Yes
Social events No, unless the event forms an essential part of the course. Yes, unless the event forms an essential part of the course.
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire/ photography are additional costs payable by the student.


Full-time study

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Full-time study

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For advice on completing your application please contact the Course Enquiry Team:

Email:  courses@canterbury.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0)1227 928000
Tel:+44 (0)1227 928000  (0)1227 928000


Contact our International Team

Fact file

UCAS course code

  • WX53

UCAS institution code

  • C10


  • 3 years full-time


  • September 2020

Entry requirements

  • A typical offer would be 88-112 UCAS Tariff points

    Experience of in-depth study of any dance style for a minimum period of two years

    There is an audition that includes a group warm-up and learning a phrase of movement. You will also share a pre-prepared solo of 3 minutes duration. This can be in any style, any music and any theme.

    There will also be a 1-1 interview.

    Be prepared to speak at interview about any experience of performing, teaching, facilitating, choreographing or managing dance with peer group or beyond and a desire to develop a career as a dance practitioner/artist.

    Entry is subject to a satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.

    More entry requirement details.



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Last edited: 28/08/2019 12:18:00