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More in this section Drama & Theatre

Dance BA

UCAS code W500
Year of entry 2017
View 2018 entry »
Course Length
3 years full time
Department Drama and Theatre »

New for 2017 entry, BA Dance at Royal Holloway builds upon our strength as a university with an established reputation for performing arts excellence, rated 14th in the world and 6th in the UK in the QS World Rankings 2016.

This course will take you beyond the traditional borders of dance, as embodied awareness and practice is complemented by cultural, historical, social and aesthetic context.  This will enable you to reflect critically about what you do, enhancing your own performance, choreographical skills and technique.

Central to the programme is a focus on an active and exploratory engagement with the discipline of dance and how movement, choreography and text help shape performance practices. You'll come away with the skills to be a serious practitioner in the performing arts and creative industries, and an expert in the history and theory of dance, as well as its practice.

Our location means you'll be able to experience the cultural life of London, with its theatres, productions and practitioners just a short train ride away, but base yourself in the close, stimulating community and safe environment that only a campus university can offer.

Our campus environment and community gives you the space to experiment with your own ideas alongside other dance and drama students and other top rated arts departments, such Media Arts and Music, we're justifiably proud of our creative campus.  There are also a wide range of performance societies on campus including the Drama Department’s own Student Workshop.

Our links with industry professionals and companies, such as the Jasmin Vardimon Company, are unsurpassed.

Core modules

Year 1

Writing Dance

In this module, you will study different ways to write about dance: movement analysis, performance criticism, and theoretical analysis. You will both read and write in these different modes to better understand how dance partners with the written word.

Theatre and Performance Making

You will encounter a range of creative methods for work-shopping practice, and produce a 20-minute performance as a response to one company.

Moving Bodies

The module provides you with practice in contemporary dance technique in order to facilitate your engagement with the ways that technique can help generate movement ideas. You will also develop your understanding of dynamics, musicality, alignment, placement, posture, breath, weight, flow and spatial awareness.

World Dance Histories

In this module you are exposed to a variety of dances and choreographers from the 20th and 21st century. You will examine what histories they tell, how they are told and explore their relevance to today.

Choreographic Practices

In this half-year module you will develop your skills as a choreographer by focusing on solo work that enhances choreographic thinking, and your ability to translate embodied ideas into a full-length dance piece.

Year 2

Theatre and Performance Making 2

You will choose an option that enables you to focus on a particular creative skill, such as acting for camera, dance, playwriting, physical theatre, site-based performance or scenography.

Moving Bodies 2

This module provides you with intermediate practice in contemporary dance technique. You will have the opportunity to build on the foundational experience from year one and deepen your reflective and technical skills. You will continue to develop your understanding of dynamics, musicality, alignment, placement, posture, breath, weight, flow and spatial awareness skills that you encountered in your first year.

Choreographic Practices 2

In this full-year module you will learn principles of crafting small and large group dance theatre and physical theatre performance. You will develop your ability to work with multiple bodies, generate movement material through a range of group tasks and scores, and solve problems creatively.

Theatre and Culture 2

You will choose an option that enables you to consider the ways in which theatre and culture reflect and resist each other within a particular context, including feminism, popular theatre, theatre for young audiences, dancing bodies and global culture.

Year 3

Dance Repertory and Repertoires

This module will provide you with the opportunity to develop a comprehensive embodied understanding of contemporary dance practices through continued participation in classes and workshops led by a specific practitioner

Group Performance

You will develop a project for public performance in a form, mode and style that builds on understanding and expertise previously acquired on the degree and you will be advised and supported by staff for this. You will present your work at a ‘Finalist Festival’.

Dance Research Practices

This module builds upon the theoretical knowledge you will have gained in World Dance Histories and Theatre and Ideas in order to help you formulate your ideas for more directed written or practice-as-research work.

Optional modules

In addition to these mandatory course units there are a number of optional course units available during your degree studies. The following is a selection of optional course units that are likely to be available. Please note that although the College will keep changes to a minimum, new units may be offered or existing units may be withdrawn, for example, in response to a change in staff. Applicants will be informed if any significant changes need to be made.

Year 1

Only core modules are taken

Year 2

Choregraphic Practices 2

Dance, Devising and Dramaturgy

Dance on Screen

Theatre and Ideas

Year 3

Final Year Project - Special Study

Special Topics in Dance

Birth of Experimental Theatre

Curating Dance

Contemporary Technique

Each year students take a total of four units in the department to fulfil their requirements. Teaching is delivered through a variety of methods which include: lectures, seminars, individual tutorials, group work, and studio based practice. Students are expected to engage in self-directed study by dedicating significant time to preparing readings before lectures and/or regular rehearsal or practicing/maintaining technique and/or fitness level. Each student will be assigned a personal tutor who will serve as their main point of contact in the department for academic and personal matters when/should they arise.

Assessment methods include a variety of the following: workshop facilitation, independent and group movement projects, analytical research essays, solo and/or group performance, critical reflection portfolios, performance reviews.

Typical offers

Typical offers


The offer given will take into consideration:

  • subjects taken at A level
  • the educational context in which academic
  •  achievements have been gained
  • whether the Extended Project Qualification is being taken
Required/preferred subjects

Preferred: Dance, Drama, Theatre Studies and English A levels. Applicants are required to be studying Dance or have Grade 8 in a graded Dance qualification. Applicants without these qualifications will be required to attend an audition.
Required: Five GCSE passes graded A*- C including English and Maths

Other UK Qualifications
International Baccalaureate 5,5,5 at Higher Level, with a minimum of 32 points overall
BTEC Extended Diploma Distinction, Distinction, Merit in relevant subject area such as Dance,
Performing Arts or Musical Theatre. If applicants are studying an alternative BTEC we require Grade 8 in a graded Dance qualification. Applicants without these qualifications will be required to attend an audition.
BTEC National Extended Diploma Distinction, Merit in relevant subject, plus an A level grade B
BTEC National Extended Certificate Distinction in relevant subject, plus A level grades B, B
Welsh Baccalaureate

Requirements are as for A-levels where one non-subject-specified A-level can be replaced by the same grade in the Welsh Baccalaureate - Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate.

Scottish Advanced Highers AB at Advanced Higher Level, plus Higher requirements
Scottish Highers AABBB at Advanced Level, plus Advanced Higher requirements
Irish Leaving Certificate H2, H2, H3, H3, H3 at Higher Level
Access to Higher Education Diploma Pass with at least 30 level 3 credits at Distinction, and 15 level 3 credits at Merit in a relevant subject. The Access to Higher Education Diploma is only acceptable if you've had a considerable break from education.

Other UK qualifications

Please select your UK qualification from the drop-down list below

Please select a qualification

Please select a qualification

International and EU entry requirements

Please select your country from the drop-down list below

English language

IELTS 6.5 overall with 7.0 in writing and a minimum of 5.5 in each remaining subscore. For equivalencies please see here.

For more information about entry requirements for your country please visit our International pages. For international students who do not meet the direct entry requirements, we offer an International Foundation Year, run by Study Group at the Royal Holloway International Study Centre. Upon successful completion, students can progress on to selected undergraduate degree programmes at Royal Holloway, University of London.

Graduates from the Department of Drama, Theatre and Dance go into a wide variety of careers, as well as further academic study. Many go into performance, stage management, broadcasting (including at the BBC), arts administration, journalism, teaching, health, marketing, and PR. Lots of our graduates also start their own performing arts companies.You'll be familiar and confident in performance situations – skills which are vital for meeting and networking, and make you viable for visible leadership roles.

You'll also walk away with considerable experience of technical, intellectual, imaginative, and practical skills, valued by most employers. Aside from these performance skills, you'll also get whole host of other skills in research and project management.  Find out more about what our graduates are doing now.

Some of our recent graduates have gone on to work for:

  • Lyceum Youth Theatre, Edinburgh
  • The Salmon Youth Centre, London
  • Youth Music Theatre UK
  • Canterbury Institute for the Performing Arts
  • Block Stop Game makers
  • Lazarus Theatre Company
  • Next Stage Theatre Company
  • Imperium Management Talent Agency
  • European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

Home and EU students tuition fee per year 2017/18*: £9,250

International students tuition fee per year 2017/18**: £15,600

Other essential costs***: There are no single associated costs with studying this course greater than £50 per item. Ticket costs for mandatory theatre trips are capped at £10.

How do I pay for it? Find out more.

*Tuition fees for UK and EU nationals starting a degree in the academic year 2017/18 will be £9,250 for that year. This amount is subject to the UK Parliament approving a change to fee and loan regulations that has been proposed by the UK Government. In the future, should the proposed changes to fee and loan regulations allow it, Royal Holloway reserves the right to increase tuition fees for UK and EU nationals annually. If relevant UK legislation continues to permit it, Royal Holloway will maintain parity between the tuition fees charged to UK and EU students for the duration of their degree studies.

**Royal Holloway reserves the right to increase tuition fees for international fee paying students annually. Tuition fees are unlikely to rise more than 5 per cent each year. For further information on tuition fees please see Royal Holloway’s Terms & Conditions.

***These estimated costs relate to studying this particular degree programme at Royal Holloway. Costs, such as accommodation, food, books and other learning materials and printing etc., have not been included.

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