Dance and Education Studies

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Studying Dance at Bath Spa University provides you with an opportunity to immerse yourself in an exciting and challenging artistic environment. The course is focused on helping you build the skills you need to become a versatile, creative, and articulate dance professional.  

There are three undergraduate courses available:

BA (Hons) Dance. This is a specialised award and is suitable for students who want to study dance as a single subject.

BA (Hons) Combined Award. This course is suitable for students who want to study dance alongside another subject, for example: Education Studies, Film & Screen Studies, or Psychology.

BA (Hons) Creative Arts. This course is suitable for adventurous students who do not wish to be restricted by the boundaries of a single art discipline. You can study the subject with:

Dance at Bath Spa University is increasingly respected for its work in both live and screen-based performance practice. It is contemporary-based and will provide you with exciting artistic and professional experiences.

Why study Dance?

The course has a strong practical focus and will suit creative individuals who are looking for a dance training programme that is both physically and intellectually challenging.  You will have regular opportunities to present your work in a variety of different performance projects throughout the course and lots of chances to work alongside professional dance companies and artists.

"I could not be more proud to say that I was trained at Bath Spa, and I believe that I speak for all the dance students when I say that no matter where or what we do, the things we have learnt in the past three years have not only set us up for the 'real world' but have been invaluable in shaping our artistic thoughts and confidence."

- Sarah Dyke, dance graduate.



Course structure

Studying full time for your BA (Hons) in dance means you are with us for three years.  During this time you will take a wide range of exciting modules that will build your skills in choreography and performance.

Over the course of each year you take five modules totalling 120 credits.   At the heart of each year’s study is a 40 credit choreographic module.  This is where you develop your core practical skills as a creative practitioner/artist.  You will also develop a critical and analytical mindset that will help to support your creative enquiry.

Alongside this core study area there are modules that support and inform your performance practice as a creative dance artist. Technique forms an important part of this and you take classes in the studio on a regular basis. Limon and Cunningham-based work, somatic practice, and contact improvisation are all part of your training and give you the chance to develop into a strong and confident dancer.

BA Dance

 In each year there are also performance modules that build your skills as both a maker and performer of work.  These modules take you into the world of site-specific work, collaborating with composers and other artists, filmmaking and exploring the exciting world where different art forms intersect to make performance work.  Digital technology will play a significant role in the programme, both in its application to creative practice and in an e-learning context. Screendance, and the interface and integration of digital media in live performance work is one of the distinctive features of the course.

There are regular opportunities to work alongside professional dance artists and companies and in year 3 you will undertake a work placement with a professional organisation.  By the end of your three years you graduate with your video portfolio on your own website and we pledge to continue to support you as part of our graduate alumni scheme, no matter how long ago you graduated.



It is important to note that if you choose to study dance as a combined subject, you do not do all the available modules. You can choose to study a joint degree, with 60 credits in each module, or you can major or minor, placing a greater emphasis on one subject or the other.

Modules

If you study dance as a Specialised Award you take all modules below.
If you study dance as part of a Creative Arts programme or as a Combined Award subject, you will study all the modules in the Choreography strand * (Compulsory), and depending on the weighting of your route, have options on other modules marked **

Year 1

  • Choreography 1: Constructing the Body – An exploration of a range of choreographic principles, performance practice, research, analysis and study skills. *
  • Movement Techniques: Codified Practice Level 1 – Principally incorporating the techniques of Cunningham, Limon and Release, as well as other contemporary styles from guest tutors.
  • Movement Technique and Improvisation: Somatic Practice – An introduction to anatomy and body-mind techniques, such as Alexander Technique & Shin Somatics. **
  • New Media and Performance Practice – An introduction to a range of digital software and practical projects exploring their use in dance performance.
  • Collaborative Practice 1 – An investigation into collaboration and creativity in dance performance. **

Year 2

  • Choreography 2: Body as a Conscious Site – Developing choreography through cultural and experiential memory, creating group and solo work. *
  • Movement Techniques: Codified Practice Level 2 – Principally incorporating the techniques of Cunningham, Limon and Release. Other contemporary styles from guest tutors.
  • Movement Techniques: Contact Improvisation – An exploration through improvisation of dynamic and weight interchange between two or more practitioners. **
  • Dance on Camera: The practice of screendance – Exploring the relationship between dance and the lens.
  • Collaborative Practice 2: Sound and Site – Working with composers and musicians from the school of music, plus professional site specific performance making. **

Year 3

  • Choreography 3 – Your final independent project - practical or written. *
  • Movement Techniques: Codified Practice Level 3 – Principally incorporating the techniques of Cunningham, Limon and Release. Other contemporary styles from guest tutors.
  • Movement Technique & Improvisation: Somatic Research – Further development of somatic skills focusing on self enquiry, movement therapy and the creative and performing body. **
  • The Company – Formation of a company to work with a professional choreographer. **
  • Professional Portfolio: The Enterprising Artist – Work placement, and the construction of your professional portfolio. **

Course assessment

Tutors assess your work through practical projects, essays, portfolios and seminar presentations. In practical projects, assessment may focus on your creative process, on the final choreographic product or both. 

The dance department has the use of three fully equipped dance studios, the University Theatre, Mac editing suite and additional rehearsal spaces for independent study. In addition, site-specific work takes advantage of our outstanding campus and the architecture and history of the City of Bath. Our greatest resource is perhaps the professionalism and experience of the tutors who teach on the course and our professional partnerships.

BA Dance

Teaching methods

Lectures, workshops, seminars and choreographic laboratories are led by qualified staff, visiting choreographers and artists.  You work in our dance studios, which are fully equipped for choreography, performance and work with digital media, our Apple Mac edit suite, and in the University Theatre performance spaces.

Bath Spa regularly host professional performances and workshops from leading dance artists in the University Theatre.
 Previous guest artists/companies have included: 
Jasmin Vardimon Dance Company, Bedlam Dance Company, Earthfall (our Associate Company), Gill Clarke, Siobhan Davies and Company, Wendy Houston, Nigel Charnock, Precarious, Silesian Dance Theatre, Liam Steel (Stan Won’t Dance), Yael Flexer, Jessica Cohen, Sean King, Arthur Pita and Protein Dance, Helen Bagget, Stuart Lynch, Maresa von Stockert, Dan Watson (Richard Alston Company), Beth Powesland. Karla Shacklock (our associate dance artist) and Jean Abreu.

Application method

All full time applications are through UCAS

Course enquiries

For further information about the programme or other enquiries, please email us at admissions@bathspa.ac.uk.

Entry requirements

260–300 UCAS Tariff points, with minimum 80 points from Dance or Performing Arts preferred.

OR dance experience outside education.

We select eligible candidates to attend a practical auditions. Auditions are normally scheduled between December and April.

Overseas applicants may submit a video application. Details from Bath Spa University Admissions.

Career opportunities

The undergraduate programme prepares you for a range of careers in the creative industries by giving you the opportunity to develop the technical, creative and performance skills needed to become a confident and highly skilled individual.  On graduating, you may choose to study further at postgraduate level or to find work as a choreographer, performer, teacher, filmmaker, community dance practitioner, independent dance artist, dance administrator, starting your own company, or a combination of more than one area of interest.  

On graduating, you may choose to study further at postgraduate level or to find work as a choreographer, performer, teacher, filmmaker, community dance practitioner, independent dance artist, dance administrator, starting your own company, or a combination of more than one area of interest.  Bath Spa dance graduates have moved into a wide range of roles that include dance teachers in schools, lecturers in further and higher education, choreographers, dance company and solo performers, filmmaking, running a dance company/school, making and performing work as an independent dance artist, continuing in education, dance movement therapists, community dance practitioners, digital media specialists and events managers.

BA Dance

Our students say:

"I thought I would write to let you know that I have had loads of work since graduating. I just got the job as lead practitioner for the Youth Company at Theatre Royal. I also run a theatre company at Sterts Theatre Cornwall."

Lauren Davey; BA Hons Dance graduate.

"I can't thank you all enough for all of your help and support, since returning to Ireland I have got so much work:

  • Contemporary Dance Tutor in the Bray Institute of Further Education on their 3 year dance course (Fetac and BTEC HND qualification)
  • Teach Movement for the Actor module on a Performing Arts Course
  • Dance Theatre of Ireland on their DPOP programme
  • 'Remote Intermedia Dance Theatre Company' are still around and we hope to go to the Fringe Festival next year

I am so very very happy and love all of my jobs, this is thanks to the great training and education I received at Bath Spa."

Eimear Byrne; BA Hons Dance Dance graduate.

What students say...

Here are a selection of recent student comments:

"Through my time at Bath Spa I feel I have really developed as a dancer/choreographer but most importantly I have been able to do so in my own way. The course has been challenging but also very rewarding and has allowed me to believe in myself and realise I can achieve things that I want."

Emily Gibbs BA (Hons) Dance graduate

"I will be forever grateful to the highly encouraging, supportive and knowledgeable Dance Department at Bath Spa University. All aspects of the course have enabled me to become a diverse dancer with a wide skill set. In a forgiving and understanding environment, I was able to be myself and produce innovative work that challenged me creatively and technically. I couldn't have asked for more..."

Amy Osborne; BA Hons Dance graduate

"What a fantastic degree! It has made me the creative teacher and performer that I am today! After having graduated for a year, the support from all of the dance staff is still extremely strong. The staff are always at the other end of an email or the phone and genuinely still care about all we decide to do!"

Laura Polson; BA Hons Dance graduate.

'Throughout my time at Bath Spa University, working with the staff and other students, I have found a massive support system that enhanced my confidence and helped me with my creative practice.'

Sophie Taylor BA (Hons) Dance and Drama

"Thanks for the best 3 years of my life!"

Beth Townsend; BA Hons Dance graduate

BA Dance

Key features of the courses are: 

  • Education Studies at Bath Spa University is rated highly by students, with 91% satisfaction with teaching in the 2010-11 National Student Survey
  • All our awards are very flexible and can be tailored to your personal interests and ambitions
  • You will be able to choose from more than 45 modules which explore a wide range of subjects and issues
  • All modules are taught by experienced and respected staff 
  • You will be able to take a placement in a school or other educational setting in each year of your programme
  • You will have the opportunity to study overseas in each year of your programme
  • You will be able to apply (in year three) to stay with us to take a PGCE primary or secondary : OfSTED has rated our teacher education courses as 'outstanding' in 2011

Education Studies will give you an in-depth understanding of the world of formal and informal education in the UK and around the world. Education depends on an essentially optimistic view: that through learning we can change the world for the better.

Why study Education Studies?

There are a number of options available for studying Education at Bath Spa University.

Single honours awards in Education Studies are ideal for students who wish to gain an in-depth understanding of the world of education and education around the world. Four single honours awards are available:

  • Education Studies
  • Early Years Education
  • International Education
  • Youth and Community Studies

It is also possible to combine Education with another subject in our modular programme to achieve a joint honours degree.

  • Education Studies: Combined Awards

See the Course Structure tab for more information.

Please be aware that the above degrees do not lead to a reserved place on a PGCE Primary course, although you may apply for a place on our PGCE in year three.

If you choose to study for the Combined Award, please be aware that there is a separate Student Handbook.

Course structure

Education is a large subject at Bath Spa University so we are able to offer you various study options:

1. Education Studies (Single Honours award) (UCAS Code: X300)

Education Studies will give you an in-depth understanding of formal and informal education.

2. International Education (Single Honours award) (UCAS Code: X392)

These routes allow you to concentrate your study on either Education or International Education, but in your first year you will be able to take two modules from a selection of other modules related to your subject. This gives you a broader outlook on Education and its many related topics.

These routes are for those of you who are interested in the study of education but not yet certain about the professional route you are interested in developing beyond your degree.

If, however, you know at this stage that you would like to study a second subject alongside Education for all three years of your course (perhaps because your goal is to become a secondary teacher of that subject) you should look at Option 5 below – Education as part of a Combined Award.

You can also choose from two courses that are more directly linked to possible employment options;

3. Early Years Education (a specialised award) (UCAS Code: X312)

4. Youth and Community Studies (a specialised award) (UCAS Code: L590)

These awards offer you opportunities to both follow your academic programme and engage directly with professional practice in the relevant field which may give you an additional vocational qualification. You have a wide range of modules to choose from, but your module choices will be directly related to the specialism you have chosen (either Early Years or Youth and Community work) in order to prepare you for careers in these professions. There will be some core modules which you must follow on both these Specialised Awards which will be linked to possible professional occupations in either Early Years or Youth and Community. There will be opportunities to undertake some professional practice in your area of interest and your third year dissertation will be linked to your degree focus. As part of the Early Years Education specialised award, you will have the opportunity to gain a professional accreditation certificate in Childcare, Development and Learning.

5. Education as part of a Combined Award (with a second subject)

This option allows you to choose two subjects for all of your degree by taking two subjects throughout your three years and you can choose from a wide range of modules in both subjects. It is a suitable route for students who may wish to progress to a career as a teacher in a secondary school (for this you would need to apply to start a Secondary PGCE once you have completed your degree).

Whichever route you decide on there’s a wide range of relevant modules for you to choose from, along with some compulsory modules.

In Year 1, core modules introduce key concepts and skills that underpin the subject as well as modules in, for example: learning through life, early years education, adolescence, primary schools and education in Europe.

In Years 2 and 3 you will consider more deeply the current issues in education and how they relate to your particular course. You will think critically about teaching, diversity, inclusion, social and educational policy and explore global and international perspectives in education. There are opportunities to carry out original research and pursue your own interests in these areas.

There are also modules which give you the chance to work in schools and other educational contexts including early years settings and youth and community contexts where you can develop your understanding of the nature of children and young people’s development and teaching and learning.

Modules

Sample modules Include:

  • Education for Change
  • How Young Children Learn
  • Young People's Sub-cultures
  • International Perspectives on Education

Please note that if you know at this stage that you want to be a primary teacher you should apply to our specialised course which offers you a route to a teaching qualification. This is known as our ‘3+1’ course because it is four years in length in total – three years for the undergraduate degree element and one year for the postgraduate PGCE element.

Course assessment

You will be assessed through course work submitted during modules. Course work includes essays, group presentations, research-based reports and portfolio-based work. We will provide you with prompt feedback on how well you are doing and give you regular guidance on how to improve your skills, knowledge and understanding. There are no examinations in Education Studies.

Bath Spa is a leading university in the field of Education Studies, and you’ll be taught by a very experienced and well qualified team of more than 50 tutors with different backgrounds as qualified teachers, academics, authors and researchers. At Bath Spa we believe in helping you understand the difficulties experienced by many children and young people for whom access to good formal and informal education is sometimes difficult. You’ll gain the knowledge, critical understanding and skills needed to explore the nature and functions of education in a rapidly changing world, and prepare for a range of professional employment.

As well as offering you an exciting undergraduate programme we also have full-time and part-time higher degrees which build on your undergraduate course and support you in professional development that will equip you to compete more effectively within the labour market. We have a flexible Education Studies Masters programme which allows you to develop further the focus of your undergraduate degree and includes modules such as Social and Education Policy, Education and Globalisation, Early Childhood Education, Work Based Professional Practice and Youth in the Community. From the moment you begin your undergraduate programme we will encourage you to think of yourself as maximising your opportunities by thinking of postgraduate options that will support your particular employment interests.

Whatever route you decide is right for you, we offer you the opportunity to become a committed, caring and creative professional- able to “make a difference”.

Teaching methods

Teaching

Teaching is through a mix of lectures (50 minutes), seminars and individual tutorials. Seminars are usually more informal than lectures - they are opportunities for you to discuss, ask questions and get involved in activities and debates.  In year one your minimum timetabled time will be 12 hrs per week.  All modules are led by experienced and respected university staff.  Many staff are active researchers and authors in the field of education studies - in years two and three they will introduce you to their particular specialisms and research interests through a range of optional modules.  We also have regular visiting speakers - these include headteachers, educational advisers, specialist researchers and international visitors.

Placements

Placements occur in each year of the programme. In year two there is a compulsory placement in an educational setting or school. Optional modules provide further placement opportunities for you to work with young people both locally and internationally. The School of Education Partnership Office will arrange each placement for you. We try to ensure you are located within a reasonable distance from where you live; however, you should normally expect to travel using your own or public transport. 

Teaching quality excellence

22/24 in a Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) assessment.

Application method

All full time applications are through UCAS.

Course enquiries

Please email admissions@bathspa.ac.uk.

Entry requirements

260–300 UCAS Tariff points.

Career opportunities

Education Studies will provide the basis for you to work with learners – young people and older people – in different organisations: children’s centres, youth organisations and community organisations. You may choose to work in educational and training advisory roles in a range of organisations including community organisations, youth clubs, businesses, local authorities, non-government organisations, museums, art galleries and libraries.

You will also be able to apply for PGCE courses in teacher training – but if you know at this stage that you want to be a primary teacher you should consider our specialised ‘3+1’ course.

If you think you would like to work in early years’ settings or youth and community organisations you should apply for the specialised awards in these areas. This will ensure you undertake placements relevant to your course and have specialised modules that you must follow to ensure the right experiences and knowledge to help you work in these fields.

As well as going on to study for the PGCE our graduates have been recruited by Notts Trent International College, Explore Learning,  the NHS and many schools and Local Authorities working in Educational roles such as tutors, trainers and Higher Level Teaching Assistants.

What students say...

Student Profile: Kia Prescott, International Education

“The course has made me question all of my opinions I held before. Studying International Education has given me a better knowledge of geography, countries, cultures, global issues, politics and world history, all of which has given me a wider base and has helped in all my modules. This year there is a study trip to Zambia for students on the international module, and it will be the perfect opportunity to gain first-hand experience of education abroad.

Although the majority on the course want to be teachers it is understood that there are some who don’t, and this is catered for. I have a great interest in other countries and cultures, and I have not completely decided if I want to teach abroad yet – but Bath Spa are enabling me to keep my options open.”