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BA (Hons) Dance

Our BA (Hons) Dance course gives you a chance to perform, produce, create and collaborate within this ever-changing art form.

Dance Course Information

Our staff are inspiring teachers, researchers, industry practitioners and technicians who are here to support you with your studies and help you to achieve outstanding outcomes.

Our teaching staff are exceptional. We’ve recently been awarded Gold by the TEF (Teaching Excellence Framework) which assesses the quality of teaching.

Our Dance degree runs in partnership with Pavilion Dance South West (PDSW), the National Dance Development Organisation for the South West. We have our own, purpose-built dance studios on campus and we also have the use of PDSW’s town centre studios. This is a perfect combination of both professional and educational environments. You'll be able to build a network of collaborators and professionals to help you launch your own creative career.

This degree will also enable you to understand the current dance industry and meet the professionals running it. On campus, you can make the most of our culture of collaboration by exploring AUB’s creative community and all that it has to offer. You’ll finish with a degree and the skills to be a dance artist, capable of thinking about dance in new and relevant ways. This is a competitive market, but you're one of a kind and have something great to offer. We’ll help you to become a dance professional with an edge.

Course duration

3-years (full-time)

UCAS course code


UCAS institution code


Level 4 (first year)

Train, Explore and Investigate

In your first year, you’ll develop the core skills that you’ll need to enhance your understanding of making, performing and producing for a range of dance contexts.

We’ll focus on three key practical aspects: Dance Technique, Improvisation and Composition.

You’ll work on your technical, creative and performance skills through a variety of performance opportunities and develop frameworks for reflection and analysis of a range of perspectives on dance.

You’ll gain embodied and theoretical experience of making and viewing work within different environments and contexts and have the opportunity to work as part of a group as well as individually.

You’ll also be introduced to the infrastructure for producing dance and begin to develop the fundamental entrepreneurial skills required to sustain and manage a performing arts practice.

By the end of this level you will have a sound knowledge of the fundamental technical, creative and entrepreneurial concepts related to the dance industry.

Level 5 (second year)

From Practice to Vision

As you progress to your second year, we expect you to engage in more complex issues through your creative work, as well as in the more theoretical units. You’ll continue to gain experience of performance in various environments.

You will deepen and extend your technical knowledge base through the study of a variety of dance techniques and deepen your consideration of the audience as an integral factor in the creative process.

You’ll learn current industry standards for safe and effective dance practices, while working creatively on more complex choreographic and performance projects.

At Level 5, we encourage you to think about specialised areas of study appropriate to your developing interests in performance, choreography, and applied dance practice or producing. Further theoretical frameworks and methodological tools will also deepen your understanding and enhance your practical work.

By the end of this level, you should be confident in your ability to organise your working methods and you will be prepared with key knowledge and skills that will allow you to enter the third year of study with confidence.

Level 6 (third year)

From Vision to Industry

At Level 6, you’ll consolidate your expertise and take your work into more advanced areas, including public performances.

You’ll be given the opportunity to test the working methods that you’ve developed in the previous two years and apply them to an independent project, collaborating with fellow students involved in performance, choreography, applied practice or producing, to a professional level.

The Investigative Study unit gives you the opportunity to pursue a course of advanced independent research in your chosen specialism. This allows you to demonstrate your skills in research, analysis, and criticism.

By the end of this level, you should be able to evaluate your development in performance, choreography, applied practice and producing. You’ll consider your strengths and weaknesses and demonstrate an understanding of the business aspects of working in dance and your ability to work at a professional level.

Throughout the course, you’ll have opportunities to engage with artists working at Pavilion Dance South West as Guest Lecturers, Visiting Tutors, and workshop providers and possibly as Directors/Producers/Choreographers for Level 6 productions.

All students are registered for the award of BA (Hons); however, exit awards are available if you leave the course early, having successfully completed one or two levels. If you successfully complete a level of the course, you will automatically be entitled to progress to the next level.

For the award of a Certificate of Higher Education (CertHE), you must have achieved a minimum of 120 credits at Level 4. This qualification may be awarded if you leave the University following successful completion of the first year of your course.

For the award of a Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE), you must have achieved a minimum of 240 credits of which a minimum of 120 must be at Level 5. This qualification may be awarded if you leave the University following successful completion of the second year of your course.

For the award of a BA (Hons) you must have achieved a minimum of 360 credits of which a minimum of 240 must be at Level 5 or above, of which a minimum of 120 credits must be at Level 6. This qualification will be awarded upon successful completion of your course.

A BA without Honours may be awarded if you have achieved 300 credits, at least 180 of which are at Level 5 or above, and at least 60 of which are at Level 6.

Our dedicated teaching staff are experts in their specialism. You can take a look at their experience by browsing their profiles below.

Photo of Jane White

Jane White

Jane has a strong interest in collaborative arts projects and opportunities for dance in education at all levels. As an experienced...

Jenna Hubbard teaching in a dance studio

Jenna Hubbard

Jenna Hubbard joined AUB in September 2015 as a Lecturer for the BA (Hons) Dance programme. Jenna is a dance artist with an interest in...

Ian Dolan balancing on one hand

Ian Dolan

Ian joined AUB in 2018 and comes from a largely vocational background. Having spent the last thirteen years working as a professional...

Claire Benson

Claire Benson

Graduating from the London Studio Centre in 2001, Claire has since enjoyed a spectacular performing career that has taken her across...

Sophie Douglas

Sophie is a visiting lecturer on the BA (Hons) Dance programme at AUB...

Nicola Lloyd photo

Nicola Lloyd

Nicola joined AUB as a visiting lecturer in 2015 and comes from a wide range of experience in managing, teaching, choreographing and...


Wayne Sables

Wayne works across several disciplines including digital technologies, film, photography and dance. He is passionate about the power of...

Dan Parker with a puppet

Daniel Parker

Dan has had a passion for Technical Theatre since the age of 14 and worked at several venues as well as touring around the UK. During...

Image of Marta Ammendola

Marta Ammendola

Marta is a professional dance artist who has worked within the industry across performance...

Image of Katie Neal

Katie Neal

Katie graduated from London Contemporary Dance School in 2014 and has had the opportunity to work...

Image of Jazz Gritt

Jazz Gritt

Jazz Gritt trained at Creative Academy, Ballet Boyz the Dancers...

Black and white image of Victoria Clark

Victoria Clark

Victoria Clark is a visiting lecturer and practitioner specialising in contemporary performance...

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How to apply

Once you've found the perfect Undergraduate course, you can apply to study via UCAS, including direct entry applications to second and third year.

When applying through UCAS, use the institution code A66. All of our courses take place on one site, so we don't have a campus code. We'll then use your completed UCAS form to make decisions about your application. You can find out more on entry requirements in our apply section.

When you apply to one of our courses, it's important that you help us get a good picture of both you and your work – so you'll need a great personal statement. We want to know more about why you're interested in the course, your key influences, and what you hope to do after your studies.

If you're invited for an interview, many of our courses will ask to see a portfolio of your work so we can get more insight into your ideas and abilities. To help you, we've created guidelines outlining what we expect from your portfolio for each course.

Interview and audition

Hear from Course Leader, Jane White, about the auditioning process:

Due to Covid-19 and the need for social distance, we will not be able to offer on campus interviews to applicants this cycle. For courses that require a portfolio review or an audition, the Admissions team will be in touch with you and request a digital portfolio or audition.

We will hold Offer Holder days in Spring and invite applicants to visit the campus and meet the course team, or if you are unable to visit us you will be able to attend a virtual Offer Holder Day.

Dance is about being brave; pushing yourself, testing your creativity and trying new things. We embrace the idea of creative individuality and we want to train your brain and your body to feel like anything is possible. We’ll help you make the impossible a reality, and become a versatile and industry-ready dance artist.

Jane White, Course Leader

Fees and Funding

The fee that you pay the Arts University Bournemouth provides the necessary equipment and training for you to complete your course.

You may also choose to buy some items of personal equipment such as a laptop or tablet computer, but this is not required; desktop and laptop computers are available for you to use in common study areas, including a loan system in the Library.

Studios and Resources

Our degree runs in partnership with Pavilion Dance South West (PDSW), the National Dance Development Organisation for the South West.

Based on campus and at PDSW, you’ll study in some of the best spaces dedicated to dance in the South.

Image of one of AUB's dance studios

Dance Studio

AUB's have three purpose-built dance studio for learning and practice

Pavilion Dance South West

Pavilion Dance South West

AUB has partnered with PDSW, so you'll study in some of the best spaces dedicated to dance in the south

Life drawing class taking place inside the Drawing Studio

Drawing Studio

Our icon, blue Drawing Studio is used by student from all courses and was designed by Alumnus, Sir Peter Cook

Teaching and Learning

The association between Arts University Bournemouth and Pavilion Dance South West responds strategically to the needs and conditions of the dance sector nationally and will help to strengthen the core of the course, which is to provide you with an authentic experience of what work opportunities are available to you in the dance industry, and the skills and experience you'll need in these areas in order to gain employment.

Where appropriate, the course offers regular and sustained contact with and delivery by national and international dancers, choreographers, practitioners and producers working in the dance profession and related industries.

Experiential learning is a key principle of study and your work throughout the course reflects the collaborative nature of dance. Throughout the degree, you will experience both tutor-led learning with specialist studies tutors and self-directed methods of learning (through negotiated practice and research work). In this way you will be able to develop an increasing independence and a positive attitude to life-long learning.

The course objectives are met by deploying a wide variety of teaching and learning methods including rehearsal, performance, ensemble working, workshops, lectures, seminars, group critiques and tutorials. In consultation with the Course Leader, the teaching team is responsible for co-ordinating individual units of study, and for selecting appropriate methods of delivery according to subject matter and student experience.

The delivery methods are informed by the University’s Creative Learning Plan and share the over-arching aims:

  • To enable each student to realise their potential
  • To develop and support individual learner autonomy
  • To promote the acquisition of transferable/key skills
  • To develop and promote best practice in approaches to teaching, learning and assessment
  • To promote the sharing of good practice across the University, building on best practice both within the University and nationally

Contact hours include all scheduled teaching sessions, but also supervised time in the workshop or studio. In line with national guidance, we include in our calculation of contact hours all the time which is scheduled in the studio for independent study which is also supported by staff (either academic staff, or technicians).

The information provided below gives the proportion of your study time which constitutes contact hours. Where there are optional routes through the course, we've used the figures for the most popular option.

Year 1 (% time) Year 2 (% time) Year 3 (% time)




Assessment and Feedback

Each unit is assessed separately, and the assessment forms part of the unit. Assessment both provides a measure of your achievement, and also gives you regular feedback on how your learning is developing.

The course uses a variety of assessment methods to test your knowledge and understanding of all aspects of contemporary dance performance practice:

  • Essay
  • Presentation
  • Critical Evaluation (with written and verbal feedback)
  • Research and Reflective Log Book (a written background research that underpins your learning and practice and includes a word limited critical reflection of your learning and development processes and performances)
  • Intensive Practical Industry Project (working in a professional context in partnership with PDSW with either professional performance artists or within the wider dance community that will culminate in an assessed end product that could be, for example, workshop delivery, dance performance, or choreographic lab)

You'll receive a final mark for each unit in the form of a percentage, which will be recorded on your formal record of achievement (transcript). Each component of assessment is graded using a notched marking scale, whereby only certain marks are used within each grade. The only marks available within any ten-point band are *2, *5 and *8 (e.g. 62, 65, 68). These marks correspond to a low, mid, and high level of achievement within each grade band.

The University has agreed that, during 2019/20, it will run a pilot project. This will mean that on some courses, one unit at Level 4 will be assessed on a Pass / Fail basis only, with written feedback but no numerical grade. If your course has been selected for the pilot, your Course Leader will tell you this, and the details will be clearly expressed on the Unit Information Sheet.

All learning outcomes must be passed to successfully complete the unit.

Career Destinations

The course is designed to equip you with the skill to be a dance artist, capable of think about dance in new and relevant ways. We'll also enable you to understand the current dance industry and meet the creative professionals running it.

As a BA (Hons) Dance graduate, you'll be prepared to undertake roles such as:

  • Performer
  • Choreography
  • Teaching (Educational pathway/private sector)
  • Small to mid-scale touring
  • Community Practice
  • Technical Theatre
  • Digital Dance
  • Dance Management
  • Event Production
  • Fitness Industry

Trips and Visits

As part of your course you may also get the opportunity to take part in course trips. Previous trips have included:

  • London
  • Roche Court
  • Salisbury

*These trips are optional and some may incur additional costs

Due to the current travel restrictions and social distancing guidelines, it is unlikely that any trips will be planned in the first half of the new academic year. We will follow Government advice as soon as it is available for the remainder of the year.

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Our BA (Hons) Dance course gives you a chance to perform, produce, create and collaborate within this ever-changing art form.