Dance at the University of Surrey has a great variety of modules compared to other dance degrees available. I was drawn to the mix of dance techniques and diverse theory modules, which allowed me to expand my knowledge and then tailor my studies to particular interests.
Our unique degree lets you experience and interrogate dance as an embodied practice embedded in our contemporary globalised culture. You will encounter a broad range of contemporary dance forms and gain exciting insight into dance’s histories, influences and contexts.
Our rich and varied programme gives you the vital knowledge and competence for a professional career as a dance teacher in education, a dance manager in the creative industries, or a dance researcher and reflective artist. The only programme of its kind, we offer a fully integrated course and explicitly welcome differently abled bodies.
Almost 30 years ago, we at Surrey were the first university to set up an academic dance department. Since then, we have continued to build on our reputation as an internationally leading centre for dance research. Our unique pedagogic approach rejects the artificial separation of ‘practice’ and ‘theory’, and instead develops your understanding of dance as a diverse, complex and most dynamic cultural practice, where moving and thinking simply cannot be separated.
You are taught by our team of world-leading international experts whose research includes contemporary European dance and dance theatre, cross-cultural dance performance and globalisation, African and South Asian dance, dance in popular culture and film, dance dramaturgy, movement analysis and choreography.
You will study within the vibrant creative environment of the University of Surrey School of Arts, which also includes theatre, film and music, as well as Guildford School of Acting (GSA) and the Digital World Research Centre.
Other than the PTY element, all modules are shared between both the three-year and four-year degree programmes.
Dance and context
Year 1 provides you with an introduction to key skills in dance studies. You develop new learning skills in academic study and you get started in creative research into contemporary dance practices. You explore your own body as a source for solo choreography and movement analysis, examine the role of dance in culture and society, and encounter the foundations of somatic body work and release-based techniques.
Dance and the creative industries
In Year 2, you begin to make and develop work, exploring dance and its relationship to the creative industries and arts sector. You engage with dance history, dance policy and politics, choreography and dramaturgy, movement analysis and devising performance, and you further develop your professional dance practice. We work closely with external partners, companies and organisations to offer you the opportunity to follow a performance project from inception to completion.
If you choose to undertake a Professional Training Year placement, you will work with an established dance organisation, based within the United Kingdom or internationally. You may choose to specialise in a particular area of dance, for example within dance management, community dance or dance company education, but whatever your specialism you will find yourself involved in a wide variety of activities.
Dance and professional practice
Year 3 offers you further opportunities to specialise in your chosen career direction and to develop your professional profile. You concentrate, through independent research and a final dissertation project, on your expertise in choreography, dance education, arts management, movement analysis and somatic practice or other areas. In addition to a range of module options, the final year enhances your overall proficiency in independent creative research and critical reflection, and provides opportunities for collaboration with students across the School of Arts.
Optional modules include:
Our unique and optional Professional Training Year gives you the chance to apply your knowledge and understanding in the context of a year-long placement, and thereby build your experience in a professional dance environment with high-quality mentoring and support from experienced placement hosts.
A pioneer in integrated professional training, the University has operated its placement scheme in partnership with industry and professional bodies for the last 40 years. Employers interviewing graduates have been impressed by the maturity and professionalism of those with placement experience. Although dance students do not usually receive a salary, they are normally paid a bursary by their employer.
Organisations and companies that have participated in the scheme include Northern Ballet Theatre, Rambert Dance Company, Sadler's Wells, South East Dance and Birmingham Royal Ballet.
You will have practical classes, lectures, seminars and tutorials. Performance and choreography modules have higher class-contact time, while classroom-based modules have fewer contact hours but require independent study where you read, research, write and prepare work in your own time. You have the opportunity to develop computing skills using our E-Learning facilities, in addition to word-processing, spreadsheet and database packages.
You are also able to participate in dance classes, events, performances, seminars and residencies on campus, including extracurricular classes in Guildford School of Acting’s evening programme. These are open not only to students studying Dance, Culture and Choreography, but also to the wider University and the general public. This provides you with a lively and challenging dance environment.
Modules are assessed in a format that is most suited to the content and structure of each. We therefore use a variety of assessment methods, such as essays, portfolios, seminar presentations, lecture demonstrations and performances.
Our Dance degree programmes are well resourced and include the PATS dance studio and the state-of-the-art Ivy Arts Centre. The campus is home to a unique archive, the National Resource Centre for Dance, and the School of Arts.
You have the opportunity to spend time abroad on a work placement in a foreign country or studying at one of our partner universities. These include the North Carolina State University and the universities of Florida and Cincinnati in North America. Additionally we operate exchanges with La Trobe University and Monash University in Melbourne, Australia.
The benefits of working or following courses abroad are numerous. You are exposed to a different culture with its language and its traditions which broaden your horizons in terms of knowledge but also in terms of employment opportunities.
Graduates of our Dance degree programme are currently employed in performance and choreography, education (including private, secondary, further and higher education), community dance settings including arts centres and arts and dance projects, theatre management, dance company education, public relations and marketing. Dance graduates have received employment in some of the foremost dance institutions in the UK, including Greenwich Dance Agency, Shobana Jeyasingh Dance Company, The Place Theatre and the English National Ballet.
Our graduates have an excellent track record in securing places on MA and PGCE courses in dance and related subjects. Over the last few years, Surrey Dance students have gone on to careers such as:
Dance at either A or AS-level (or equivalent) is preferable.
GCSE English Language and Mathematics at grade C or above (or equivalent).
Offers are normally made in terms of grades.
Suitable candidates may be invited for an audition and interview. During the visit to the University, the candidate can find out more about the programme and meet staff and students.
6.5 IELTS minimum overall
6.0 IELTS minimum in each sub-skill
|Qualification||Course Length||Professional Training||UCAS code||KIS code|
|BA (Hons)||3 years||PPM3|
|BA (Hons)||4 years||PPM4|
We're committed to making sure that we offer support for students who might need it.
Tuition fees are currently set at £9,000 per year for UK/EU undergraduates starting in 2015.
Fees for 2015 entry students classed as overseas for fees purposes are being reviewed and will be available in late summer 2014.
The University will assess your fee status. If you are unsure whether you are likely to be considered a home, EU or overseas student for fees purposes, the UKCISA website offers more information.
Programmes marked with a tick in the table above include a Professional Training placement.
A reduced fee is charged for Professional Training placements. Details will be available in late summer 2014.
Fees will not have to be paid up front for those eligible students who decide to take up the Government's loan for higher education fees. The Professional Training placement is a key factor in the high employability rates achieved by students with Surrey degrees.
A Major/Minor degree lets you build in-depth knowledge of one subject (your Major) while also studying another topic (your Minor). At Surrey, your Major/Minor degree also includes an integrative module that allows you to develop a unique understanding of how your two chosen subjects relate to each other.
The type and title of the degree conferred upon you will reflect your Major subject while acknowledging your Minor. For example, you could receive BA (Hons) English Literature with Psychology, BSc (Hons) Politics with Creative Writing, BMus (Hons) Music with Digital Media Arts, etc.
A Major/Minor degree gives you the opportunity to build a much broader base of knowledge than a traditional single-subject degree, but without sacrificing the opportunity to acquire real expertise in a particular field. You will come into contact with students, academics and ideas from two disciplines rather than one.
There are a small number of careers that require graduate membership of a chartered institute, for which an accredited single-honours degree may be necessary, or which require particular postgraduate or doctoral qualifications that may only be gained after completing an undergraduate degree in a specific, single-honours subject. However, for the overwhelming majority of career paths this is not the case and in most cases there are conversion courses or equivalency allowances should you later decide you wish to follow a career with these requirements. Please speak to a careers advisor for further clarification.
Modern employers rarely demand a specific degree relevant to their field or sector, instead preferring culturally aware people who can place their knowledge in a wider context, who have used their time as a student to develop personally and intellectually as well as academically, and who leave university with impressive professional workplace experience already under their belt.
Because of this, it is the graduates who have combined academic achievement with the development of critical skills, who have acquired the capacity for independent learning across a range of subjects and who are comfortable dealing with a wide variety of colleagues and clients who will find themselves in greater and greater demand.
As you'd expect, the majority of your degree modules, exams, coursework and assessment marks will come from your Major subject. As a guideline, we would expect you to spend around 70% of your time studying for your Major, with the remaining 30% dedicated to your Minor. However, our Major/Minor framework allows you to choose from a flexible range of optional modules, so the actual balance will depend on your own preferences and requirements.
Remember also that Surrey Major/Minor degrees include our unique integrative modules, which bring you together with your fellow students to reflect on how your Major and Minor subjects complement each other.
Find out how and when to apply to study at Surrey.