Dance BA (Hons) – 2017 entry

I recently completed my Professional Training placement at Akram Khan Company - a professional dance company who are known worldwide for producing thoughtful, provocative and ambitious dance productions for the international stage.

What you'll study

Our unique degree lets you experience and interrogate dance as an embodied practice embedded in our contemporary globalised culture. You will encounter a broad range of contemporary dance forms and gain exciting insight into dance’s histories, influences and contexts.

Programme overview

Our rich and varied programme gives you the vital knowledge and competence for a professional career as a dance teacher in education, a dance manager in the creative industries, or a dance researcher and reflective artist.

The only programme of its kind, we offer a fully integrated course and explicitly welcome differently abled bodies.

Almost 30 years ago, we at Surrey were the first university to set up an academic dance department. Since then, we have continued to build on our reputation as an internationally leading centre for dance research.

Our unique pedagogic approach rejects the artificial separation of ‘practice’ and ‘theory’, and instead develops your understanding of dance as a diverse, complex and most dynamic cultural practice, where moving and thinking simply cannot be separated.

You are taught by our team of world-leading international experts whose research includes:

  • Contemporary European dance and dance theatre
  • Cross-cultural dance performance and globalisation
  • African and South Asian dance
  • Dance in popular culture and film
  • Dance dramaturgy
  • Movement analysis and choreography

You will study within the vibrant creative environment of the Guildford School of Acting, which also includes theatre, film and music, as well as Guildford School of Acting (GSA) and the Digital World Research Centre.

Other than the Professional Training element, all modules are shared between both the three-year and four-year degree programmes.

Programme structure

Year 1 (FHEQ Level 4)

Dance and context

Year 1 provides you with an introduction to key skills in dance studies. You will develop new learning skills in academic study and get started in creative research into contemporary dance practices.

You will explore your own body as a source for solo choreography and movement analysis, examine the role of dance in culture and society, and encounter the foundations of somatic body work and release-based techniques.

Core modules:

Compulsory modules:

Year 2 (FHEQ Level 5)

Dance and the creative industries

In Year 2, you begin to make and develop work, exploring dance and its relationship to the creative industries and arts sector. You will engage with dance history, dance policy and politics, choreography and dramaturgy, movement analysis and devising performance, and further develop your professional dance practice.

We work closely with external partners, companies and organisations to offer you the opportunity to follow a performance project from inception to completion.

Core modules:

Compulsory modules:

Optional modules (two of the following):

Professional Training placement (optional)

If you choose to undertake a Professional Training placement, you will work with an established dance organisation based within the United Kingdom or internationally.

You may choose to specialise in a particular area of dance, for example within dance management, community dance or dance company education, but whatever your specialism you will find yourself involved in a wide variety of activities.

Year 3 (FHEQ Level 6)

Dance and professional practice

Year 3 offers you further opportunities to specialise in your chosen career direction and to develop your professional profile.

You will concentrate, through independent research and a final dissertation project, on your expertise in choreography, dance education, arts management, movement analysis and somatic practice or other areas.

In addition to a range of module options, the final year enhances your overall proficiency in independent creative research and critical reflection, and provides opportunities for collaboration with students across the Guildford School of Acting.

Core modules:

  • Contemporary Dance Practices IV
  • Contemporary Dance Practices V

Compulsory modules:

Optional modules (three of the following):

Professional Training placements

Our unique and optional Professional Training placement gives you the chance to apply your knowledge and understanding in the context of a year-long placement, and thereby build your experience in a professional dance environment with high-quality mentoring and support from experienced placement hosts.

A pioneer in integrated professional training, the University has operated its placement scheme in partnership with industry and professional bodies for the last 40 years.

Employers interviewing graduates have been impressed by the maturity and professionalism of those with placement experience. Although dance students do not usually receive a salary, they are normally paid a bursary by their employer.

Organisations and companies that have participated in the scheme include:

  • Northern Ballet Theatre
  • Rambert Dance Company
  • Sadlers Wells
  • South East Dance
  • Birmingham Royal Ballet


You will have practical classes, lectures, seminars and tutorials. Performance and choreography modules have higher class-contact time, while classroom-based modules have fewer contact hours but require independent study where you read, research, write and prepare work in your own time.

You will have the opportunity to develop computing skills using our e-learning facilities, in addition to word-processing, spreadsheet and database packages.

You will also be able to participate in dance classes, events, performances, seminars and residencies on campus, including extracurricular classes in Guildford School of Acting’s evening programme.

These are open not only to students studying Dance, Culture and Choreography, but also to the wider University community and the general public. This provides you with a lively and challenging dance environment.


Modules are assessed in a format that is most suited to the content and structure of each. We therefore use a variety of assessment methods, such as essays, portfolios, seminar presentations, lecture demonstrations and performances.

Contact hours

The following represents an indicative estimate of how you can expect your time to be split on this programme, based on the information available at the time of publication (February 2016):

  • 16 per cent medium group teaching
  • 5 per cent large group teaching
  • 79 per cent studying and revising in your own time


Our Dance degree programmes are well resourced and include the PATS dance studio and the state-of-the-art Ivy Arts Centre. The campus is home to a unique archive and the National Resource Centre for Dance.

Global opportunities

You have the opportunity to spend time abroad on a work placement in a foreign country or studying at one of our partner universities.

These include the North Carolina State University and Texas Tech in America. Additionally we operate exchanges with La Trobe University and Monash University in Melbourne, Australia and Brock University and Ontario University in Canada.

The benefits of working or following courses abroad are numerous. You are exposed to a different culture with its language and traditions which broaden your horizons in terms of knowledge but also in terms of employment opportunities.

Career opportunities and graduate prospects

Graduates of our Dance degree programme are currently employed in:

  • Performance
  • Choreography
  • Education (including private, secondary, further and higher education)
  • Community dance settings (including arts centres and arts and dance projects)
  • Theatre management
  • Dance company education
  • Public relations
  • Marketing

Dance graduates have also received employment in some of the foremost dance institutions in the UK, including:

  • Greenwich Dance Agency
  • Shobana Jeyasingh Dance Company
  • The Place Theatre
  • English National Ballet

Our graduates have an excellent track record in securing places on MA and PGCE courses in dance and related subjects. Over the last few years, Surrey Dance students have gone on to careers such as:

  • West London Partnership/Surrey County Council, Graduate Dance Teacher
  • Royal Opera House, Education Department
  • Independent Dance, Administrator
  • King Edward VI School, Dance Teacher
  • East London Dance, Project Co-ordinator
  • Ludus Dance Agency, Project Manager
  • Self-employed, Ballet Teacher
  • Dance School, Maya Sofou, Athens, Dance Teacher
  • Rambert Dance Company, Development Officer
  • Arts Strategy, Arts Council, Assistant Officer
  • Greenwich Dance Agency, Programme Co-ordinator
  • South East Dance, Programme Producer
  • The Place, Education Officer
  • Laban, Education Officer

2017 Entry requirements

What qualifications do you need?



Access to HE Diploma

QAA recognised Access to Higher Education Diploma with 39 Level 3 Credits at Distinction and 6 Level 3 Credits at Merit - QAA recognised Access to Higher Education Diploma with 30 Level 3 Credits at Distinction and 15 Level 3 Credits at Merit.

BTEC (QCF Level 3) Extended Diploma


European Baccalaureate

75 per cent-74 per cent

International Baccalaureate

35-34 points

Scottish Highers

Scottish Advanced Highers AAB/Scottish Highers AAABB-Scottish Advanced Highers ABB/Scottish Highers AABBB

Welsh Baccalaureate

Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma and A-level AA-Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma and A-level AB

Other international qualifications

If you are an international student and you don’t meet the entry requirements to this degree, we offer the International Foundation Year.

Select your country:

Required subjects

Dance at either A-level or AS-level (or equivalent) is preferable.

GCSE English Language and Mathematics at grade C/4 or above (or equivalent)

Selection process

Offers are normally made in terms of grades.

Suitable candidates may be invited for an audition and interview. Applicants who submit a strong application and/or perform well at interview are likely to receive an offer at the lower end of the range.

During the visit to the University, the candidate can find out more about the programme and meet staff and students.

English language requirements

6.5 IELTS minimum overall

6.0 IELTS minimum in each sub-skill

If you are an international student and you are concerned that your English is not to the required standard, you may benefit from the International Foundation Year, run by the Surrey International Study Centre.

Please note that the University of Surrey offers English language programmes and is also an IELTS Test Centre.

See 2018 entry information

Course Options

Qualification Course Length Professional Training UCAS code KIS code
BA (Hons) 3 Years PPM3 View KIS data set
BA (Hons) 4 Years PPM4 View KIS data set

Tuition fees

View a complete listing of all ongoing fees for our undergraduate programmes.

The University will assess your fee status. If you are unsure whether you are likely to be considered a home, EU or overseas student for fees purposes, the UKCISA website offers more information.

Professional Training placement fees

Programmes marked with a tick in the table above include a Professional Training placement.

A reduced fee is charged for Professional Training placements.

Fees will not have to be paid up front for those eligible students who decide to take up the Government's loan for higher education fees. The Professional Training placement is a key factor in the high employability rates achieved by students with Surrey degrees.

Bursaries and scholarships

We're committed to making sure that we offer support for students who might need it.

Find out more

Major/minor Courses

What does it mean to study a course as a major or minor?

A Major/Minor degree lets you build in-depth knowledge of one subject (your Major) while also studying another topic (your Minor). At Surrey, your Major/Minor degree also includes an integrative module that allows you to develop a unique understanding of how your two chosen subjects relate to each other.

The type and title of the degree conferred upon you will reflect your Major subject while acknowledging your Minor. For example, you could receive BA (Hons) English Literature with Psychology, BSc (Hons) Politics with Creative Writing, BMus (Hons) Music with Digital Media Arts, etc.

What are the pros and cons of studying a Major/Minor course?

A Major/Minor degree gives you the opportunity to build a much broader base of knowledge than a traditional single-subject degree, but without sacrificing the opportunity to acquire real expertise in a particular field. You will come into contact with students, academics and ideas from two disciplines rather than one.

There are a small number of careers that require graduate membership of a chartered institute, for which an accredited single-honours degree may be necessary, or which require particular postgraduate or doctoral qualifications that may only be gained after completing an undergraduate degree in a specific, single-honours subject. However, for the overwhelming majority of career paths this is not the case and in most cases there are conversion courses or equivalency allowances should you later decide you wish to follow a career with these requirements. Please speak to a careers advisor for further clarification.

What would studying a Major/Minor course mean for my job prospects?

Modern employers rarely demand a specific degree relevant to their field or sector, instead preferring culturally aware people who can place their knowledge in a wider context, who have used their time as a student to develop personally and intellectually as well as academically, and who leave university with impressive professional workplace experience already under their belt.

Because of this, it is the graduates who have combined academic achievement with the development of critical skills, who have acquired the capacity for independent learning across a range of subjects and who are comfortable dealing with a wide variety of colleagues and clients who will find themselves in greater and greater demand.

How will my time be split on a Major/Minor programme?

As you'd expect, the majority of your degree modules, exams, coursework and assessment marks will come from your Major subject. As a guideline, we would expect you to spend around 70% of your time studying for your Major, with the remaining 30% dedicated to your Minor. However, our Major/Minor framework allows you to choose from a flexible range of optional modules, so the actual balance will depend on your own preferences and requirements.

Remember also that Surrey Major/Minor degrees include our unique integrative modules, which bring you together with your fellow students to reflect on how your Major and Minor subjects complement each other.

See all Major/Minor courses

International students

Experienced staff in our International Student Office are available to help from the moment you consider studying at the University. We offer professional advice on immigration, visa issues, entry qualifications, pre-departure information, employment regulations and international student welfare.

How to apply

Find out how and when to apply to study at Surrey.

More info

BA (Hons) Dance


Modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that modules may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.

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