Two years full-time.
2019 entry: 112 UCAS points
Please see Entry Requirements below.
The BA (Hons) Dance programme is the first two-year work-based dance degree in the UK, representing a unique partnership between the University of Suffolk and DanceEast. Responding to growth in demand for dance artists working in health, education and community settings this innovative course will prepare you for a successful career within this context. The course is delivered intensively over 40 weeks each year, from mid-September to the end of July.
DanceEast is one of the UK’s leading national dance organisations. It hosts an eclectic selection of internationally renowned dance companies and choreographers such as Rosemary Lee, Luca Silvestrini's Protein, Julie Cunningham, Matthew Bourne’s Re:Bourne, Russell Maliphant Company, Shobana Jeyasingh Dance, Anna Williams and Joseph Toonga. They create new work and perform alongside local community projects in a diverse programme bringing people together through dance from across Suffolk and the region. DanceEast’s reach extends far beyond what is presented in the theatre – through a wide range of projects professional dance artists bring dance to people in schools, hospices and sheltered housing.
Working with people from all walks of life; from disadvantaged backgrounds and those with special needs, we’re privileged to see how dance changes lives every day. DanceEast delivers ground-breaking work through projects working with ‘looked after’ children and those at risk, as well as children in hospitals and older people in care homes, offering them all the opportunity to use dance for creative expression and physical and psychological therapy. Dance can energise, motivate, encourage creative thinking, and develop expressive minds and healthy bodies.
Photo credit: Roswitha Chesher
The BA (Hons) Dance course at DanceEast is designed to facilitate your development as a versatile dance artist. You will gain the technical, creative and professional skills and knowledge to work in a range of community, education and health settings. Throughout the course you will be taught by professional dance artists, practitioners and experienced lecturers. Your experience and employability will be enhanced through a unique interdisciplinary approach to dance that brings together a number of departments at the University, from health science to education to photography and film.
To celebrate the launch of our new two-year dance degree, annual fees will be maintained at £9,250, the same as a typical three-year programme, for our first intake of students starting in 2018.
Photo credit: Mike Kwazniak
Throughout the BA (Hons) Dance course you will attend lectures, participate in classes and workshops, and you will learn through a range of hands-on work experiences and placements. The modules are grouped in four strands, which combine to form your learning: Dance Pedagogy, Creative Practice, Contextual Studies in Dance and Independent Artist. Each strand is equally important in your journey towards becoming a holistic dance artist. The modules are undertaken over two consecutive years on a full-time basis. You will advance through all modules, which are structured to allow you to continuously progress and develop your own artistic voice. In Year 1 you will build essential skills and experience, and you will be exposed to a range of current artistic practices. Year 2 provides a thorough framework for you to apply and further enhance these skills in a range of community, education and health settings. Your confidence as an independent learner will be nurtured throughout the course. The coursework culminates in your final independent research project, which will encourage you to further focus on your own area of interest within dance.
Full downloadable information regarding all University of Suffolk courses, including Key Facts, Course Aims, Course Structure and Assessment, is available in the Definitive Course Record.
This module introduces you to the concepts of learning and teaching to support you in your journey towards becoming a skilled and effective dance teacher and facilitator. Combining theoretical study with hands-on explorations it investigates examples of creative learning and teaching situations typically found in dance practice. The module will address principles of inclusive and safe dance practice.
In this module you will develop your own individual creativity and support others in doing the same. You will participate in workshops where your tutor will guide you through a range of choreographic investigations. You will explore solo and group composition and develop your own movement language . You will make your own work and contribute to that of others, and engage in sharing and feedback sessions.
You will participate in technique classes by selecting from DanceEast's wide offer. This might include Contemporary Dance Technique, Ballet or Hip Hop.
In this module a range of key historical artworks will be considered in the light of contemporary performance practices. You will examine how artistic movements have emerged within their socio-cultural contexts, and how they have challenged and provoked new understandings of the body.
This module examines how dance can positively impact health and wellbeing. Drawing on current national and international dance and health initiatives, it will be exemplified how the arts and dance specifically make a contribution towards concerns within the wider public sector, including public health campaigns and interventions (i.e. Dance for Parkinson’s, Dance for children with SEN). Study in this field is particularly relevant as increasing opportunities for employment and research within this sector are emerging.
You will acquire new professional skills through undertaking a supporting role in an established, professionally led Community Engagement & Participation project. Your role could involve and integrate different areas of interest such as creating, teaching, management and curation.
This module will provide an overview of the current provision of community and applied dance initiatives through a range of guest lectures. In seminars you will develop your presentation, communication and networking skills. You will gain more knowledge about getting and keeping work, project planning and budgets, and funding sources.
Supported by taught seminars you will gain the skills to prepare you for a pitch for a future professional dance project.
In this module you will build on the theoretical and practical knowledge gained in the Teaching Dance 1 module by applying it within a particular practical scenario. You will assist in a professionally-led class, gradually taking on more responsibility in supporting individual learners and in the delivery of elements of the class. Alongside you will work with increasing autonomy, identifying your own focus within teaching. You will design, deliver and evaluate your own dance class for a specific target group of your choice. With the supervision of your tutor you will learn to synthesise the knowledge that you will have gained through observation and your own practical experience, which will be essential for your own independent work at Level 6 study and for your future professional activity as an independent dance artist.
In practical sessions you will explore experiential anatomy and somatic approaches to movement to support your dance practice. You will continue to participate in technique classes of your choice by selecting from DanceEast's programe.
This module explores the relationship between movement and film in theory and practice. Particularly in community based dance practices, the recording, preservation, sharing and public presentation of dance work requires imaginative solutions. Considering the ephemeral nature of the art form of dance, you will be able to apply filming and editing skills to the documentation of your ongoing studio practice. You will explore the potential of this medium to provide an alternative to conventional stage presentations. You will create a dance film or dance documentary guided by a professional artist and supported by access to the unversity's film equipment and editing suite.
This module will enable you to apply your dance and creative skills that you have gained so far. You will participate in the creative process and perform a work within a community context, led by a professional choreographer.
In this module you will be able to build on the creative work you began in Choreography 1 in year 1 by shifting your practice from the studio into a different ‘site’. Site-specific dance is a key current development within contemporary dance, particularly within applied and community dance contexts, where a site- sensitive approach offers significant opportunity to bring together participants and audiences beyond the conventional stage setting. You will explore cross-art collaboration with architecture and design as part of this process.
Your dissertation will build on your area of interest. You will undertake an in-depth research project, which may be fully written or practice-based. You will be supported through seminars and individual mentoring.
Through an intensive placement within a dance organisation of your choice you will have the chance to enhance and further develop your professional skills and expand your professional network. You will be supported through seminars and individual mentoring.
In this module the different strands of the course come together. You will work in small groups to plan, facilitate and manage a project of your own devising. This might require you to employ a combination of expertise such as choreographic knowledge and skills in the creation of a work and teaching, leading and facilitating skills through the provision of related workshops. You will apply your professional skills in the creation, management, administration and evaluation of the project.
This course responds to growth in demand for dance in health, education and community settings equipping students with the professional skills, knowledge and practical experience required for a career in this context.
Potential career opportunities nationally and internationally include work as community dance practitioners and choreographers, dance teachers, dance curators, producers and roles within dance management.
Future graduates will have significant advantage in obtaining employment given DanceEast’s international reputation as a leader in its field, and the university’s great destination statistics.
Successful graduates will be prepared to progress onto a range of postgraduate courses, including PGCE Teaching Qualification programmes or Masters in areas such as Dance Movement Psycho Therapy, Dance Science or other artistic and pedagogic practices.
DanceEast, Jerwood DanceHouse, Studio Theatre. Photo: Carl Lamb, Ambient Light.
Fees and finance
- Full-time tuition fee: £9,250 p.a.
- International tuition fee: £13,330 p.a.
- Detailed information about Tuition Fees.
- Find out more about Financial Support eligibility.
- Also see Loans and Grants.
At University of Suffolk, your tuition fees provide access to all the usual teaching and learning facilities that you would expect. However, there may be additional costs associated with you course that you will need to budget for.
On your audition day you will participate in a practical dance class and a creative workshop led by one of the tutors. This is your opportunity to demonstrate your dance skills and creativity. It is not necessary to prepare any dance matertial in advance. Just attend with an open mind and be ready to be challenged. Please bring suitable clothing.
This will be followed by an interview with members of the dance teaching team including the course leader and DanceEast coordinator. You will be able to show us what excites and inspires you, and that the programme matches your own career aspirations. It is also an opportunity to ask any questions you might have.
A-level or BTEC qualifications in Dance are not an essential requirement, as long as you can demonstrate your suitability for the course.
If you have previously studied at higher education level before you may be able to transfer credits to a related course at the University of Suffolk and reduce the period of study time necessary to achieve your degree.
Facilities and Resources
DanceEast’s home, the Jerwood DanceHouse, has some of the best dance facilities in the country, including purpose-built dance studios and a fully equipped 200 seat theatre with highly trained technical staff.
You will have access to the lecture rooms at the Waterfront Building and to the University’s excellent library.