Undergraduate study

BA (Hons) Dance

UCAS code: W590 BA/D

You study a range of dance techniques, learn how to choreograph and teach. You also develop your knowledge and understanding of the world of dance practitioners and how to manage yourself as a dance artist. You focus on practical skills and are taught over 16-18 contact hours a week which includes daily studio practice.

Course information


  • Length: 3 years

More full-time details

Entry to 2017/18 academic year


  • Not available part-time

Contact details

Further information


£500 available to kick-start your degree – for travel, accommodation or other living expenses

Eligibility criteria apply


Over £270m invested in our town-centre campus for your improved student and learning experience

More about the campus


95% overall satisfaction with their course
(National Student Survey 2016)

Why choose Teesside

Through performances, shared projects with other disciplines and realistic work experiences you develop your individuality, creativity, versatility and communication skills. At the end of the academic year you take part in the 16 Degrees festival, when you and your fellow students operate as a professional dance company, taking ownership of all aspects of the performance – choreographing and performing, rehearsal direction, stage management and marketing. You have the chance to be involved with a variety of professional organisations such as the international Tees Dance Film Fest and mima (Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art).

This degree prepares you to sustain a lifelong career in the dance sector. You develop yourself as an artist. We place emphasis on innovation, using technology in the arts and operating as a healthy dancer, as well as on how to manage a career in dance including marketing and business skills.

Can't make our open day?

Contact us at arts@tees.ac.uk and we will arrange a one-to-one visit for you, we would love to see you.

A practical study of dance is coupled with knowledge of different traditions and uses of dance, and an understanding of the place of dance in society.

You engage in several dance techniques ranging from contemporary dance and modern jazz to somatic practices such as Pilates, yoga and body conditioning and you experience current trends with visiting artists. You develop your unique movement style by improvisation and choreography classes. The course emphasises creative ideas and innovative practice, combined with a high level of professional awareness and a dedicated work ethic.

You take part in a number of performances, led by tutors and international visiting artists, as well as your own choreographies – these are performed in theatres, art galleries, informal studio settings or on location.

You focus on being a healthy dancer, on safe dance practice and teaching skills. Underpinned by the knowledge gained in modules such as Dance Science and Dance Facilitation Skills you practice how to teach and facilitate Dance for various groups and environments. You have the opportunity to develop your teaching practice with groups in the University as well as outside organisations, and you undertake work-based projects in the community with artists or regional organisations of your choice.

We have strong expertise in dance on film and Teesside University hosts the international Tees Dance Film Fest – the only dance film festival in the UK, where you can submit your films to the young filmmakers programme. You focus on how to choreograph dance specifically devised for the camera and learn how to film and edit a dance film. You explore how to use different media creating dance, such as sound editing and using digital technology in creative processes.

Teesside University offers unique support in setting up new businesses, and you learn how to develop a digital portfolio, website and how to write a business plan. You also develop your entrepreneurial skills, which are vital to build a career in the dance sector and wider creative industry.

Your classes take place in a purpose-equipped dance studio with a professional fully sprung floor. You have access to state-of-the-art editing facilities, cameras and an industry-standard fully equipped theatre.


Year 1 core modules

Choreography, Improvisation and Performance

In this module we introduce you to fundamentals of movement and improvisation in dance within a range of choreographic contexts. You will research, create and perform dance compositions, including participation in choreography sharing/feedback sessions. This module provides you with the foundational skills and knowledge upon which to build in the second year of your work as a choreographer and facilitator in a range of performative and educational contexts.

Dance Contextual Studies

In this module we will look at the history of dance and how it influences the way we practice dance today. We will discuss developments in dance in the broader context and learn by viewing examples of choreographers. You will have the opportunity to see live performances at local and regional venues and will have the chance in group work to get to know various perspectives of dance.

Dance Education

The sessions in this module will help you to develop your own movement material and how to teach it to others. We will discuss a variation of different theories which are concerned with teaching dance and will apply them in our shared practice. We will learn how to build up teaching sessions in dance and creative movement- making. In this module you encounter first teaching experiences and you will develop your own choreographic practice.

Dance Science

It is often said that a dancer’s body is their instrument and the fitter, stronger and more supple that body is, the better they can perform. You take a scientific look at the dancer and examine the anatomy and physiology of the dancer and explore how the muscles, heart and lungs all work together to produce a performance. You also explore ways of how the dancer can improve their strength, endurance and flexibility and how to optimise their performance and weight management through diet and nutrition. Alongside these areas the module will also look at the psychological aspect of performance and how to keep injury free. You look at theory and also develop your fitness through a practical body conditioning session. You can also utilise the University’s Sports Injury Clinic.

Dance Technique

You learn different dance techniques in a wide range of styles including regular training in contemporary and modern dance techniques, improvisation practices, modern jazz and somatic practices such as pilates and yoga. You participate in workshops in ballet and current styles such as urban and streetdance and will have the chance to work with guest artists.

You participate in choreographic projects which you create and perform in. You increase your skill set and knowledge of a broad range of approaches towards a creative and artistically intriguing dance practice.

Dance Technique and Performance 2

Following on from the Dance Technique module in semester 1, this module continues to develop your foundational skills and knowledge of dance techniques, movement techniques and choreography upon which to build in the second year of your work as a performer, facilitator and choreographer. You will continue to develop your dance technique skills and have the opportunity to be involved in the creation and performance of choreography (self-led, and tutor-facilitated).

You will also perform during Creative Teesside which is a week of celebrating the work of School of Arts & Media students.


Year 2 core modules

Choreographic Approaches

In this module you will examine the relationship between the dancer and the choreographer. By expanding your skills within dance technique and being introduced to various approaches to choreography, you will develop your individual movement vocabulary and knowledge in dance making. Besides regular technique sessions, and workshops, you will work in peer-led groups with staff support, and have the opportunity to begin to develop your own choreographic practice through short choreographic tasks resulting in a public performance.

Dance and Performance

You develop your dance technique skills through regular technique and choreography classes in this studio-based practical module. You practice various dance techniques and have the chance to develop, direct and perform your own and tutor-led choreographic work. As well as getting to know your way around a theatre you also learn how to use digital technology such as video in performance and sound editing. Through workshops with visiting artists you gain dance experience from practicing artists of the creative industry. You perform during Creative Teesside, which is a week of celebrating the work of School of Arts & Media students. Your performance usually includes choreography created for you by tutors and/or guest artists.

As the projects are created in groups, you will be introduced to methods of devising and collaboration. You will practice methods of peer feedback and assessment to reflect on the processes of group work.

Dance Facilitation

This studio and seminar based module develops your knowledge of dance facilitation. Through a combination of theory and practical teaching experiences you explore ways of working with diverse groups within society such as people with disabilities, elderly people and young people outside education.

Safe and effective dance teaching practice is a key element of this module and will enable you to design, plan and deliver technique classes or creative sessions, through a combination of dance science, duty of care issues and teaching methods.

Dance for the Camera

In this module you will create your own dance video. You will be able to direct, film and edit a choreography created especially for the screen. The module offers the chance to learn digital sound and video editing skills. You also have the opportunity to work in collaboration with students of another discipline for example musicians to produce original sound for your video.

Dance Management

This module looks at how you build a career as a dance artist practitioner. You will have the chance to develop your own website and work towards possible career paths. Furthermore you will be equipped with all the necessary things you need to know to start your life after University, whether as a member of a company, or as a self-employed artist.

This module will help you to plan for your entry into the world of work.

Safe and Effective Dance Teaching Practice

Building upon the introduction given in Dance in Education, this studio-based module extends and develops your knowledge and experience of the role of the facilitator. This module examines in depth safe dance practice including studies of anatomical, psychological, and ethical concerns.

You will continue to develop your research skills and methodologies to synthesise theory and practice and you will practically explore your knowledge in short teaching sessions.


Final-year core modules

Dance Professional Performance – Student Company

You perform and operate as a professional touring dance company Divers@tees. Divers@tees devises and creates exciting and inspiring repertoire with accompanying educational workshops that will appeal to regional secondary schools. You take on the role of performer, co-choreographer, workshop leader, producer and project manager. You gain industry specific experience and increase your understanding of your professional practice and working with others.

Dance Professional Practice – Performance and Professional Events

Following on from the Dance Professional Performance – Student Company module in semester 1, this module will continue to develop your professional skills by working in practice based contexts with visiting professionals and students from other disciplines within and outside the University. You will operate as a performance practitioner in a range of different contexts, learning to apply professional disciplines and work practices to apply your acquired skills in new and unfamiliar contexts. The module requires you to work autonomously, with tutor support available.

Final-year Creative Project

This is a large scale student led third year project. For this module you will be expected to research prepare and produce a performance (for any medium) or a creative arts event in a field of your choice. Lectures and workshops include: Resourcing and planning, workshop development, team building, and ethical and professional conduct. All lectures and workshops are followed by supervisory support.

Researching the Arts

This is the biggest academic project you will undertake within your degree. Once you have agreed a subject for research with your supervisor, you begin the process of investigation. You work will be disseminated in one of two ways: either as a 5,000-word written dissertation; or as a live lecture / presentation. There is scope for a performance element within the latter.

Work-related Contexts

As part of this module you undertake a work placement with an appropriate artist/practitioner or organisation. This gives you the chance to gain valuable hands on experience. For example, you might shadow and assist a dance teacher in a secondary school, work with a community dance artist on a particular performance project or work with the marketing department of a national dance agency.
Seminars support your development and equip you with essential skills such as Interview techniques and how to evaluate your work.


Modules offered may vary.

How you learn

You undertake both practical and theoretical studies, including dance classes and workshops, other practical sessions, lectures, seminars and presentations, and performances. These are in a number of different learning environments and also in the wider community. There is a work placement later in the course.

How you are assessed

Your practical and theoretical knowledge are assessed through technique classes, performances, presentations, leading workshops and classes, and contextual and reflective writing around your practice.

Career opportunities

Graduates of this course are able to work in a number of different contexts within the dance industry. This programme is rooted in the community and educational arenas, while developing your digital and entrepreneurial skills – all these aspects contribute to your employability. You gain a wide range of transferable skills which can be applied within the dance world, in other educational and community careers and in the wider creative sector. Graduates are also equipped to continue into further study, either vocational or academic.

Examples of our graduates’ career paths:

  • internships at dance company – Fertile Ground, Newcastle upon Tyne, as dancer, company administrator
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Education, leading to full-time employment in primary and secondary schools and higher education
  • leading a dance school teaching vocational dance styles
  • freelance dance artist delivering dance health, fitness and the community
  • postgraduate study in degrees such as MA Dance Professional Practice and MA Management.

Entry requirements

You need to audition for this course, as well as having formal academic qualifications or professional experience. We welcome your application if you're a mature student without traditional qualifications but with relevant experience or abilities.

For additional information please see the entry requirements in our admissions section

International applicants can find out what qualifications they need by visiting Your Country

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Course information


  • Length: 3 years

More full-time details

Entry to 2017/18 academic year


  • Not available part-time

Contact details

Further information