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.
Why study Dance?
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 dance and drama, or dance and pyschology.
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.
Ratio of applications to places
No. of applicants (2011): 344
No. of places (2011): 25 (additional places are available as part of a Combined Award)
National student survey results
Overall student Satisfaction with teaching for courses in this subject area (2011): 93%
Alongside this core study area there are 2 x 20 credit technique modules per year that support and inform your creativity and performance practice as a developing 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.
Another important strand of study is that of interdisciplinary and collaborative practice. This strand, comprising 2 x 20 credit modules per year, takes you into the world of filmmaking, site-specific work, collaborating with composers and other artists, and exploring the exciting world where different art forms intersect to make performance work. You also have the chance to perform with our third year company and to work with professional choreographers in the making of new and original work 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, no matter how long ago you graduated.
It’s 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.
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. **
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. **
Choreography 3 – Your final independent project - written or practical. *
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. **
Tutors assess your work through practical projects (choreography and performance), essays, portfolios and seminar presentations. In practical projects, assessment may focus on your creative process or on the final choreographic product. All work is assessed against a generic criteria so you can compare your achievements against your previous work.
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.
The course is highly practical in nature with choreography at the central core of the programme. Your skills as a performer are developed through technique, contact improvisation and somatic training over the three years. The programme helps you build vital critical, analytical and reflective skills, which inform your own artistic practice.
The choreography modules encourage you to explore making original work for performance within a variety of different collaborative contexts. You have regular opportunities to present your work in a variety of different performance projects throughout the course. The option of collaborating with students from other creative courses generates exciting possibilities for interaction, enabling the production of original and challenging work.
We also regularly host in-house performances and workshops from leading dance artists.
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.
Lectures, workshops, seminars and choreographic laboratories are led by qualified staff, visiting choreographers and artists. You work in our main dance studio, which is fully equipped for choreography, performance and work with digital media, our Apple Mac edit suite, and in the University Theatre's studio and performance spaces.
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.
All full time applications are through UCAS
International students should visit our international pages for more information about our entry requirements, fees and scholarships, and student support.
For further information about the programme or other enquiries, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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. You have the opportunity to work in different venues, network with professionals, and to undertake a work placement that prepares you to become a dance professional. In your third year, you complete a digital portfolio, including a web site, that promotes yourself as a dance professional.
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.
Since 2010, graduates have moved into roles that include dance teachers in schools (primary, secondary), lecturers in further 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 therapy, community dance practitioners, digital media specialists, events management, and the fashion industry.
What students say...
"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; BA Hons Combined Award 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 Coach for Stagecoach Kildare
- Dance Theatre of Ireland on their DPOP programme
- Teach dance in various youth clubs
- '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.
"The course was so amazing and I enjoyed every aspect of it. I feel that I have learnt so much - who would have known that you could learn so much information and loads of techniques, skills and new ways to be creative, all in 3 little years that fly by so fast!"Louise Doyle; BA Hons Dance graduate.
"I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Bath Spa University. My technical ability and confidence grew and I adapted my dancing style to make my movements original and unique. I am extremely grateful for the on-going support I received and still receive from every lecturer within the dance department, I gained so much experience and knowledge from them due to the professional careers they lead themselves. Thank you!!!" Lauren Honebon; BA Hons Dance graduate.
"Thanks for the best 3 years of my life!" Beth Townsend; BA Hons Dance graduate
"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.
"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.
"I will be forever grateful to the highly encouraging, supportive and knowledgable 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.
“Studying dance at Bath Spa University has been both an enjoyable and challenging experience. The course has broadened my knowledge of dance in a variety of areas and encouraged me to work outside my comfort zone, thus developing not only myself as a dancer but as a person”.
Melissa Gough; BA Hons Dance graduate