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Dance BA(Hons)

Attendance UCAS code/apply Year of entry
3 years full time W500 2019
4 years full time including foundation year W501 2019
6 years part time Apply direct to the University 2019

Why choose this course?

Kingston's dance degree offers a diverse and exciting curriculum, combining practice with theory. It covers:

  • urban, ethnic and popular dance styles (including hip hop, b-boy, house, Indian classical styles and Chinese martial arts)
  • Western dance styles (including contemporary, ballet, contact improvisation)

The course capitalises on London's vibrant multicultural dance scene, enabling you to access well-known dance centres like Sadler's Wells, the South Bank Centre, the Barbican and the Place.

You will be taught by a team of leading industry professionals and academics. You'll also be exposed to real-life dance companies through guest workshops and in-house residencies from the likes of the BalletBoyz and Hofesh Shechter. You can get involved with local dance platforms and organisations, like DanceWest, Ignition Dance Festival, the Rose Theatre and Kingston's annual International Youth Arts Festival.

In Summer 2019, a flagship new dance facility will open in the Town House, designed by award-winning Grafton Architects. It will feature three large dance studios, each equipped to professional standards with fully sprung floors, mirrors and barres.
The dance degree enhances your employability through a placement module in your third year, and a Production Project module in which you create a new production from concept to performance. Also, the Dance Teaching and Leading module develops your teaching skills and can support a teaching qualification.

Watch these videos to find out what our students have to say about studying this course at Kingston University:

What you will study

During the degree you will learn to watch, discuss, make and perform dances in new ways, using eye-opening perspectives. As well as introducing you to new dance techniques and forms, this degree will enable you to develop your own dance identity.

Year 1 focuses on developing your dance technique and knowledge of dance history. You will also learn about non-Western dance forms, develop your knowledge of anatomy and expand your creative skills.

In Year 2, while continuing to develop your fitness and dance technique, you will learn about theoretical frameworks and methodological tools, and apply them to your practical work. You will also learn about popular dance styles. A variety of option modules enable you to focus on your own areas of interest, such as choreography, intensive technique, cultural dances, dance on screen, teaching and event management.

In Year 3, you will work with a professional choreographer to create and perform a new piece of work, and with a supervisor to develop a research project (this might be practice-led). You will continue with option modules introduced in Year 2, and have opportunities to undertake a work placement or collaborate across disciplines (eg. with a composer or filmmaker).

Foundation Year - Humanities & Arts

You can also study this course with a Foundation year. Find out more >

Module listing

Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list. Those listed here may also be a mixture of core and optional modules.

Year 1 (Level 4)

  • This is a year long, core Level 4 module for all students taking Dance programmes at Kingston.  In this module students will study dances from an anthropological perspective through both theoretical and critical analysis, and embodied practice and performance.  Students will study, analyse and embody dance practices from a range of cultures and societies.  Discussion will include how dances have been, and currently are regarded by a range of ‘audiences' and their participants, as well as analysis of the specific contexts of their production, reception and consumption.  Inherent in these discussions are notions of change, transmission and migration of dance forms and practices to other contexts.  Students will be encouraged to explore the relationships between dance and culture, dance and identity, and dance and the community, as well as reflecting on the role, place and value of dance in a range of cultures and societies, including their own.  Throughout the course students will participate in blocks of practical workshops that will develop technical and expressive skills in relevant dance styles.

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  • This Level 4 module is designed to provide students with knowledge and understanding of Western Theatrical Dance history. The module introduces students to the histories and practices embedded in Western theatrical dance and the research methods associated with the study of dance history.

    The combination of practice and theory will enable students to establish, identify and experience the relationship between dance histories, theory and practice. In a series of tutor-led seminars/practical sessions and workshops, students will consider the historical contexts that gave rise to and changed dance practices, the dancing body and dance performances. For example, discussions and practical sessions may include theories and histories embedded in the dancing body; Natural Movement in Britain; Reconstructing the past: re-enacting the cannon; Judson Church: rethinking dance performance and the dancing body.

    Besides learning subject-specific theory and practice, the module includes sessions dedicated to the development of academic skills. These sessions will enable students to develop their academic writing and key research skills such as information search and retrieval, bibliographical research, identifying and selecting relevant information, and referencing. 

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  • This is a core module for all level four students. It is the first in a series of three modules designed to improve students' critical appreciation and creative skills. In these sessions students will learn new choreographic techniques from a variety of performance disciplines. Students will also learn how to draw upon, frame, develop and appraise their existing creative skills. Students will develop collaborative skills and learn how to critically appraise their work and the work of others. 

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  • This module serves to expand students' knowledge of anatomy and physiology and its application to dance practice and safe dance practice. Issues of the ‘Healthier Dancer' (OneDanceUK) and the area of dance science/dance medicine will be features of the module, as well as how to better implement technical / personal progression within these classes. The module will complement and enhance all practical work undertaken within other modules, through the development of the students' functional understanding of anatomy and physiology.

    This module also serves as a strong foundation for those students interested in working within the areas of Dance Practice, Dance Science/Medicine, Dance Teaching, Academia and the Health & Fitness sector.

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Year 2 (Level 5)

  • This core Level 5 module enables students to frame critical and analytical investigations of dance movement, dance works and dance events. Performing Theories combines practical sessions and lectures in order to introduce students to methodological tools, theoretical frameworks and critical writings in relation to dance performance and dance practices. 

    The module addresses a number of key methodologies used within 21st century dance research, including intertextuality in dance, the body politic and gender representations in performance.  These concepts will be explored through technique classes, repertoire sessions, video and live performance analysis and group discussions.  

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  • This is a core module for Level 5 Dance students that introduces the concept of ‘popular dance' through the examination of a range of theoretical approaches, the analysis of a number of popular dances, practical embodiment and students' own ethnographic research.  During the module we will examine the concepts of popular culture and popular dance using writing from cultural studies, popular music, film and media studies, and sociology.  We will examine a number of popular dance forms within their specific contexts of production, circulation, consumption and participation, and consider how the various sites in which they take place (across the vernacular, stage and screen media) have an effect on meaning, value and aesthetics.  We will consider how engaging in popular dance provides individuals with ways to negotiate, and challenge constructs of identity, and the social frameworks in which they are located.  We will also discuss and examine various methodologies used for the research of popular dance forms, and through practical workshops learn about specific technical and performative techniques that are often used when popular dance styles become theatricalised and codified.

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  • This optional Level 5 year long module develops students' knowledge and understanding of the professional dance world.  The module is designed to develop student employability for a range of professional dance contexts and careers (for example dance management and dance company education).  Students will be encouraged to develop key professional skills needed for the workplace, such as CV writing and project management, as well as learning about the structures and policies of large-scale dance organisations in the UK, and professional standards and codes of conduct.  In the second part of the academic year students will gain first hand experience of project organisation and management by working in groups to set up a University focused dance event, dance performance or dance education workshop with specific roles tailored to students' career interests.  This module may also prepare students who wish to undertake the additional qualification of the Trinity College Diploma in Dance Teaching and Learning (Children and Young People) for examination in Unit 2 at the end of the academic year.

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  • This 30 credit Level 5 optional module is available to full and major field students and is designed to consolidate the creative and critical concepts introduced at Level 4 and to expand upon improvisatory practices and choreographic techniques. Through the study of different dance and performance genres, students will be expected to make more sophisticated use of choreographic devices and effectively combine creative strategies from said dance genres in the creation of a piece of choreography.

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  • This optional Level 5 year long module develops students' understanding and skills relevant to dance teaching and learning.  The module is designed for students who have an interest in developing knowledge and skills for teaching dance either in the community sector or within formal educational contexts in any dance style.  The module content includes educational theory, learning and teaching styles, inclusive dance practice, and the professional codes and conduct of a dance teacher.  During the module students will gain experience in planning, teaching and evaluating sessions with their peers, as well as external classes.  This module also prepares students who wish to undertake the additional qualification of the Diploma in Dance Teaching and Learning (Children and Young People) for examination in Unit 1 at the end of the academic year.

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  • This is a year long optional Level 5 module in which students will deepen their understanding of the anthropological study of dance and human movement systems, whilst gaining technical and expressive skills relevant to a range of dances located outside of the traditional Western theatrical 'art dance' canon.

    Students will analyse and embody dance practices from a range of cultures and societies with a particular focus on the ways in which dance forms move and develop through diasporic networks taking on new meaning and value in each context.  Students will engage in an intensive series of practical workshops in national and diasporic forms such as South Asian and African people's dances, as well as attending a series of lectures and discussion sessions that examine how these dance styles have developed and changed over time.  Students will use their embodied experiences to enhance their theoretical study of dances using an anthropological perspective. 

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  • This module provides the student with the opportunity to study dance techniques and/or performance styles. Through practical sessions and seminars the student will develop an embodied and conceptual understanding of specific dance techniques and/or performance styles.

    The student will learn and consolidate the technical foundations of specific dance forms; learn the terminology used in class and develop an understanding of the role and function of:

    (i) Dance technique as a key foundation to the development of dance and artistic practices.

    (ii) Dance class as a site for the development of skills and preparation for performance.

    The module is designed to develop the students' reflective practice via seminars and tasks. The seminars will introduce students to a range of theories and approaches to reflective practice (e.g. Schon, Pollard, Gibbs, Crawley) and the importance of reflective practice in learning processes and skills development. The tasks will develop the students' awareness of reflective practice via written exercises, discussions and the compilation of a reflective blog or reflective journal.

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Year 3 (Level 6)

  • This core module for full field students, is designed to take students through the process of making a dance production, from initial conception to final performance. The focus of the module is to give students the experience of being in a ‘company' and of working closely with a professional choreographer. In the early part of the module, lectures will focus on the making / devising process of the lecturer / guest choreographer and the practical processes of creating a production, researching subject matter, setting movement material and improvising with movement ideas. Thereafter, groups will work with their choreographer both in class time and during independent study hours to create, rehearse and produce a full-scale dance-based production. Performances will take place in a theatre setting and will be open to the wider university and public.

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  • This Level 6 core module provides an opportunity for students to work independently under supervision on a substantial piece of written work which might include a practical component or be a practice based research project. The module offers an opportunity for students to present the results of their research in a conference setting or in a formal performance, screening setting.

    Students will be able to exercise and deploy knowledge and skills acquired in earlier levels of their programmes in PASS by focussing on a specific topic in dance, drama, film and television, media or music. Using both primary and secondary sources, students will define and undertake a research project with the aim of producing a dissertation or practice-based research on an agreed topic. Students will be permitted to undertake research in inter-disciplinary areas such as dance on screen, choreography and philosophy, cyber dance or multi media performances.

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  • This Level 6 optional module enables students to undertake a placement with an professional dance organisation in a career path of their choice (for example community dance teaching, teaching dance in schools, community dance management, dance event organisation, dance company management, dance company outreach).  Initially students attend lectures at the University that will prepare them for applying for a placement, and then undertaking the placement successfully.  With help and advice from the module tutor students then organise their own placement with a relevant organisation, company or venue.  Whilst on work placement students must plan and manage a specific project, the focus of which is decided on with their placement host and is dependent on the type of placement (e.g. education, outreach, dance event management, project management, marketing).  The amount of time students spend in the placement will vary depending on the kind of activity with which they are involved.  Students should complete a minimum of 40 hours on placement (and a maximum of 120 hours) during the year long module.  Access to Dance also prepares students who wish to undertake the additional qualification of the Trinity College Diploma in Dance Teaching and Learning (Children and Young People) for examination in Unit 4 at the end of the academic year. 

    Note: Students opting to be assessed for the Diploma will need to undertake a minimum of 60 hours of placement experience in a dance teaching or leading context for children and young people.  They will also undertake an additional final practical teaching assessment at the end of the academic year.

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  • This module is designed to develop new skills whilst allowing students to capitalise on existing skills in the process of conceiving, devising and delivering a creative outcome.

    The module introduces students to collaborative approaches to creative practice. The collaborative approach will be explored in two different areas: choreographic practice and collaboration with different fields (e.g drama, film, music). In terms of choreographic practice, students will be able to select the nature of their role within the choreographic process and explore ideas embedded in didactic and democratic models of collaboration (Butterworth, 2009). The module enables students to collaborate with a creative from a different field (e.g drama, film, music) in the conception, creation and delivery of a creative outcome (e.g. dance on screen, choreography and composition, physical theatre).

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  • This module offers students the opportunity to continue enhancing and developing the knowledge, cognitive and practical skills acquired in Performing Techniques 1 (L5).  The reflective essay at L5 serves as the departing point from which students will develop and engage analytical and reflective modes of inquiry in order to consolidate, deepen and enhance the skills acquired at level 5.

    The module emphasises the relationship between practical class work and the performance of repertoire (e.g. canonical works and works from renown choreographers of the 20th and 21st century). The module will develop students' knowledge and understanding of dance techniques and performance practice. Performing techniques 2 allows students to engage in the analysis and reflection of their own practice and consequently develop knowledge, understanding, and the technical and interpretive skills required to perform repertoire. 

    The students will draw on practical and performance theories through participating and engaging with:

    • Technique classes.
    • In-depth theoretical discussions and analytical practice.
    • Practical performance of selected repertoire.
    • Historical and critical research of the selected repertoire
    • Reflective practice.

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  • This Level 6 optional module allows students to further specialise their study of dance by focusing solely on the group of popular dance forms that have become known under the umbrella term of ‘street dance'.  During the module students will study a number of ‘street dances' in their historical, cultural, economic and political contexts, reflecting on the ways in which these popular dance forms have been transposed, modified, codified, commodified and hybridised.  Using theoretical approaches introduced in the core Level 5 module Popular Dance, students will analyse street dances in relation to issues such as authenticity, ownership, identity, commercialisation and globalisation.  Students will also study how street dances are represented in screen media, for example in street dance films, music videos, TV talent shows and advertisements.  This module has a substantial practical component with a particular focus on developing technical skills in styles that may include locking, popping, breaking (or b-boying / b-girling), hip hop or house.

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You will have the opportunity to study a foreign language, free of charge, during your time at the University on a not-for-credit basis as part of the Kingston Language Scheme. Options currently include: Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

Most of our undergraduate courses support studying or working abroad through the University's Study Abroad or Erasmus programme.

Find out more about where you can study abroad:

If you are considering studying abroad, read what our students say about their experiences.

Key information set

The scrolling banner(s) below display some key factual data about this course (including different course combinations or delivery modes of this course where relevant).

We aim to ensure that all courses and modules advertised are delivered. However in some cases courses and modules may not be offered. For more information about why, and when you can expect to be notified, read our Changes to Academic Provision.

A copy of the regulations governing this course is available here

Details of term dates for this course can be found here

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