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Dance courses

Dance degrees cover a wide range of styles, from ballet to street dance. Courses at performing arts schools prepare you for a career as a professional dancer or choreographer and are highly competitive. For these you would need experience of multiple dance styles and possibly even singing or acting abilities. Other university-based courses have a broader scope - including community arts, dance teaching and dance for fitness. Entry to most courses includes an audition.

Studying dance at university

Example course modules

  • Dance technique
  • Choreography: improvisation and composition
  • Contextualising dance
  • Dance portfolio
  • Critical lenses and identities
  • Dance journalism
  • Performance and place
  • Bodywork
  • Making dance work
  • Dance in the community

Teaching hours / week

Average for this subject


Average for all subjects

The time you'll spend in lectures and seminars each week will vary from university to university, so use this as a guide.

More on studying and contact hours at uni

Who studies this subject

  • Female : 86%
    Male : 14%
  • Mature : 9%
    School leaver : 91%
  • Full-time : 100%
    Part-time : 0%

What students say about dance

What you need to get on a course

Subjects you need

A-levels (or equivalent) usually required

  • No Specific Requirements

Useful to have

  • English literature
  • Performing Arts

Application checklist

Here's a guide to what to expect from the application process - also check individual university entry requirements, as these may differ.

  • January application
  • October application
  • Personal statement
  • Portfolio
  • Interview
  • Entry test
  • Work experience
  • Audition

Personal statement advice

Your personal statement is a core part of your university application, and getting it just right takes time. Before you start work on yours, take a look at our five quick tips on writing a personal statement. We'll help you past that writer's block!

Career prospects

Sources: HECSU & KIS
Many dance graduates from 2012 went straight into dance or choreography jobs, and there are good employment rates overall. Work in education, in schools and colleges, or as freelance dance teachers, are also common. Be aware that freelancing and self-employment is common, as are what is termed 'portfolio careers' – having several part-time jobs or commissions at once, and networking can be very important for dance students to find their first job, so be prepared to work on your people skills.
Professional and accrediting bodies:

Six months after graduating

Typical graduate job areas
  • Artistic, literary and media occupations

Longer term career paths

Jobs where this degree is useful

  • Dancer
  • Choreographer
  • Dance instructor

Other real-life job examples

  • Fitness intstructor
  • Performance director
  • Vocational trainer

What employers like about this subject

A degree in dance should provide you with subject-specific skills that include an ability to communicate and influence an audience through performance; a knowledge of the history of dance and its effect on culture and the choreography, production, criticism and management of artistic performances. You can also gain useful transferable skills, including excellent communications skills, team-working, self-motivation and project management. Dance graduates are usually found working in the performing arts or education, but other industries, including arts administration, welfare, health, tourism and the fitness industry, also employ dance graduates.