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Dance - BA (Hons) 

Course Overview

BA (Hons) Dance is the first single honours degree in Wales and focuses on developing creative and reflective independent dance practitioners, equipped to work across performance, community and education contexts. Contemporary dance is the main focus and is explored through 3 core strands: The Healthier Dancer; Dance Contexts: Choreography & Performance; and Professional Practice.

In 2010-11 and 2012-13, the BA (Hons) Dance degree was awarded 100% student satisfaction in the National Student Survey.

Watch our selection of Dance course videos to find out more about this course - Dance at Cardiff Met on YouTube

Course Content

The Healthier Dancer – Physically training the body & mind.
Modules within this strand include:

  • Performance Techniques
  • Healthy Dance Practice

Dance Contexts: Choreography & Performance – Creative approaches to performance.
Modules within this strand include:

  • Research in Performance Practice
  • Choreographic Research Project
  • Analytical & Contextual Studies

Professional Practice – Preparation for the profession.
Modules within this strand include:

  • Dance Pedagogy & Leadership
  • Professional Placement
  • Managing Professional Dance Practice
  • Research Process

Module Detail:

Performance Techniques (studied in all 3 years)
Performance Techniques form a core part of the studies and draws on a range of current dance techniques, styles and approaches to practice. Students engage in a range of classes that have included: contemporary, classical jazz, urban jazz, yoga and pilates. These classes are also supported by Anatomy in Practice where students consider the healthier dancer in practice and Analysis of Practice, which explores technology to aid analysis and understanding of individual practice. Classes are led by lecturers and visiting professional artists.

Healthy Dance Practice (studied in years 1 & 2)
Healthy Dance Practice focuses on the principles of safe and effective dance practice, body systems and body-mind connections to support the healthier dancer. The concepts of fitness training/conditioning and basic psychology are also considered to support the healthy dancer.

Research in Performance Practice (studied in years 1 & 2) and Choreographic Research Project (studied in year 3)
Research in Performance Practice and Choreographic Research Project develop student’s understanding and practice of choreography and performance in the theatre and on location.

Analytical & Contextual Studies (studied in years 1 & 2)
Analytical & Contextual Studies provides an opportunity for students to understand the culture and context of dance through a critical analysis of historical, political, aesthetic, and social perspectives.

Dance Pedagogy (studied in years 1 & 2)
Dance Pedagogy & Leadership introduces students to the principles of learning and teaching to function as an effective teacher, leader and facilitator of dance in formal and informal settings.

Professional Placement (studied and experienced in year 3)
Professional Placement enables students to experience and benefit from interacting with employers from the industry in a placement specifically considered and planned for and by the individual student.

Managing Professional Dance Practice (studied in year 3)
Managing Professional Dance Practice supports the Choreographic Research Project module where students form independent dance companies to design and implement location based performance projects for a target audience. Managing Professional Dance Practice supports the development of students’ knowledge and skills to successfully plan and manage a dance project and business.

Research Process (studied in all 3 years)
Research Process supports students in their development of academic study skills enabling them to research and write an independent project in the 3rd year.

Dance in Wales and the UK:
The picture of dance in Wales is one of continuous development. The worlds of creativity, performance, programming, participation and viewing are an integral part of the vibrant dance ecology. In order to further its ambitions for dance in Wales, the sector is consolidating existing strengths and building on achievements, whilst developing new initiatives and strategies, and pursuing vital partnerships at national and international level.

Consequently the needs of the dance industry, not only in Wales but also across the whole of the UK, demand a highly skilled and innovative workforce. Life and career pathways are crucial to dance; through encounters with dance in school years to study and patterns of training at higher levels; and from there to the employment and retention of practitioners and the sustainability of practice and companies. The importance of preparing those who wish to pursue a career in dance cannot be over stated and as such, any education and training, whether at initial entry points, undergraduate, postgraduate or continuing professional development (CPD), needs to reflect this preparation and development.

A more strategic approach to dance education, training and CPD in Wales has emerged in recent years with a clear growth and development in the range of provision. Our dance degree has made a significant contribution to that growth as the first single honours dance degree in Wales and its design and structure has taken account that all students need to be aware of, and sensitive to the issues and debates that are topical to dance and the need to develop a broad experience of creative, performance and teaching based dance work.

Learning & Teaching

Studying at University.
Applicants are encouraged to recognise that studying Dance at university engages you in a range of environments. You will experience and learn about dance through an integrated approach where practice is informed by theory.  At university year one serves as a foundation to your learning; year two provides an opportunity to apply this learning to your practice and in year three student learning shifts from a place of dependence to independence through new experiences. Students progress their learning through these three years, with tutor- led learning in year one, tutor-guided in year two and tutor-facilitated learning in year three. A student-centred approach ensures learning experiences are informed by current professional practice and dialogue.

Students engage in a variety of activities to promote their learning - all learning is student-centred:

  • Technique classes (focus on individual development and peer learning)
  • Workshops (task based learning, collaborative practice, peer and micro teaching)
  • Lead lectures & discussion based learning
  • Independent study & research
  • Individual and group tutorials
  • Work based learning
  • Tutorial support (academic and pastoral)
  • Academic study support
  • ICT support (Blackboard as a learning resource)

Features of learning and teaching within the programme include flexible and blended learning, social learning and work-based learning. More recently the programme embraces technology enhanced learning. The student experience is enhanced by strong industry partnerships providing opportunities both within and additional to the programme. The programme team is active within the industry as practitioners and researchers’, ensuring their teaching is both current, relevant and research informed.


A wide range of assessment methods are used which relate to the aims of the individual modules, these include:

  • Action Plans
  • Essays and Reports
  • Reflective  Journals & Portfolios
  • Peer led micro – teaching
  • Group-based & Individual Project Work
  • Presentations (Individual and Group)
  • Tests on-line (Research Process)
  • Host Feedback (Professional Placements)
  • Independent Project (Dissertation)

Employability & Careers

There has been an increase in the range of career opportunities in the field of dance in recent years, fed by the increased demand for dance activity in a variety of settings. This exciting programme is designed to meet those demands by preparing skilled dance practitioners of the future.  As such the course will prepare students for a range of careers in the dance industry, particularly work which takes place in performance, community and education settings.

Career opportunities include freelance performers and choreographers, education and dance practitioners with professional dance companies, primary & secondary education dance specialists, dance development officers, researchers, community dance practitioners, inclusive practice, and commercial dance performers.

Entry Requirements

Applicants should demonstrate potential, motivation and a sound level of current dance experience of which experience in contemporary dance would be an advantage. Candidates should have 5 GCSE passes (Grades A – C) including English Language, plus one of the following:

  • 280 points to include BB at A Level or Scottish Advanced Highers to include a relevant subject. Welsh Baccalaureate Core is considered as 3rd subject; General Studies excluded;
  • BTEC Diploma: Distinction Merit Merit within a relevant subject to include 12 Distinctions overall
  • 280 points from the Irish Leaving Certificate at Highers to include 3 x B1 grades within a relevant subject
  • Pass Access with 45 credits at Level 3 to include 15 credits with Distinction within a relevant subject; or Foundation course in Dance plus 100 points at A Level equivalent
  • Qualifications equivalent to the above are also acceptable and the course welcomes applications from non-standard applicants.

If your qualification isn't listed above, please refer to the UCAS website.

Selection Procedure:
Selection is usually on the basis of a completed UCAS application and where relevant an interview.

Key Facts

UCAS Code(s): W500

Place of Study:
Cardiff School of Sport
Cyncoed Campus

Course Length: Three years full-time.

Also available part-time and can be up to eight years. The part-time students join the full-time students for all modules. Therefore most of the modules are completed between 9.00am and 6.00pm on weekdays.

How to Apply:
Applications for this course should be made online to UCAS at For further information please visit our How to Apply pages at
International Applicants:
Before making an application, international students (those outside of the EU), should contact the International Office at Cardiff Met to discuss the necessary procedures in relation to studying with us. For further information visit

Tuition Fees & Additional Costs:
For up to date information on tuition fees and the financial support that may be available please refer to For additional costs please refer to

Bursaries & Scholarships:
The university also offers a bursary and scholarship scheme to help students whilst at university. To see if you are eligible, visit

Contact Us

For general enquiries please contact the Student Recruitment Team on 029 2041 6044 or email

For course specific enquiries, please contact the programme leader, Sally Varrall:
Tel: 029 2041 6173

Come and see us
If you’d like to find out more, then why not come and see us at one of our undergraduate Open Days. To book a place, click here.

See Also:
Cardiff School of Sport Website

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