Gain a broad understanding of the dance industry and the ability to manage a successful career in this exciting field. Become a thinking practitioner of dance and spend time looking at performance development through choreography and dance science.
If you have completed a foundation-level degree, HND, or equivalent qualifications in a relevant subject, you can choose to top-up your studies to gain a full bachelor’s degree. Applications are welcomed from dancers with any dance background, including both traditional and non-traditional forms, but the programme focuses primarily on jazz technique and is therefore aimed at those students with an interest in the commercial dance industry.
We understand that when it comes to deciding where you’d like to study, there are a lot of things to consider. Come along to our Open Day and discover why BNU could be the place for you. You can find out more about your course, meet the course team, and get all your questions answered.
For everything you need to know about applying, check out our Application Guide. You can find useful information for each stage of your application journey – from before you even apply to what to do if you receive an offer, and everything in between.
Why study this subject?
If you love to Dance and Perform, this course could see you getting your first role within the industry. Wake up every day knowing you’re doing what you love, turn your passion for dance and performance into your career.
Whether you end up being the star of the show or choreographing it, you will be able to use your degree to inspire others.
Why study at Buckinghamshire New University?
A top-up degree is the equivalent of the final year of an undergraduate degree, and offers a chance to deepen your knowledge, skills and understanding of your subject, while also getting an internationally-recognised qualification.
This programme will focuses on commercial dance forms that range from street, to classical ballet. Unlike many other courses this programme focuses primarily on jazz technique and the commercial dance industry and is therefore aimed at those students keen to learn about the wider commercial dance sector.
During this course you’ll be able to take advantage of regular masterclasses. Taught by leading industry professionals, these classes allow you to further develop technique and acquire a deep understanding of a range of dance styles. This also provides ample opportunity to network with professionals working in the field.
You will have access to a range of our state-of-the-art facilities including a well-equipped gym, dance studios, fitness studio and a brand new Human Performance Lab. Also with the West End just a short train ride away, you'll be perfectly located to immerse yourself in the performing arts.
What facilities can I use?
We have excellent facilities at BNU including a well-equipped gym, dance studios, fitness studio and a brand new Human Performance Lab. Our lecturing team have a wealth of industry and academic experience and will nurture your learning and professional development throughout your time with us.
Our Human Performance Laboratory has been designed to increase athletes’ performance through improved technique, and also assists with injury prevention and rehabilitation. The lab is home to an indoor three-lane running track that incorporates 3D motion-capture technology and is equipped for assessing a range of physiological, biomechanical and psychological parameters.
We also have access to the Wycombe Swan Theatre and Wycombe Town Hall as part of our Wycombe Swan Residency. The Swan Theatre sits adjacent to the University and is one of the UK’s leading regional theatres.
What will I study?
BA (Hons) Dance and Performance Top-up offers students the chance to study at an institution rich in culture, with The Wycombe Swan theatre next door and London West End just a short train ride away. This industry focused Programme is delivered through a variety of teaching mediums; studio classes, workshops, lectures and seminars, all designed to provide a stimulating environment with opportunities for students to work with local dance organisations and professional dance practitioners in the field.
The overall aim is to use innovative teaching and learning methods to guide students towards becoming more independent learners by the end of the programme, and to allow them to explore issues fully in the context of their work
How will I be taught and assessed?
During your time with us you will find the emphasis will be on enabling you to develop essential skills (both in practice and theory) and knowledge that are needed to learn and to demonstrate learning. You will be expected to apply theoretical understanding in a variety of different scenarios, and employ a number of approaches to expression and articulation in assignments in self-directed modules.
Masterclasses will be taught by industry professionals and will be used to expand your knowledge and understanding of a variety of dance genres as well as to develop and hone your technique.
Bucks is a Placements Plus university. So, whatever degree you do, you can be sure there’ll be plenty of industry-relevant opportunities on offer, to help you get into your chosen field.
We’ll also prepare you for work beforehand, with special skills for work training, further boosting your CV, and building skills employers will value. In recognition of the value we place on these skills we have incorporated this experience into your study time.
Placements Plus is all about helping you get some valuable experience under your belt while you’re a student. To increase your choices later, and help you get the graduate-level job you want.
What are the course entry requirements?
This top-up qualification is for students who have completed an HND, FdA or other equivalent qualification in a relevant dance-related subject and who wish to progress further to achieve an Honours degree. Applications are welcomed from dancers with any dance background, including both traditional and non-traditional forms, but the programme focuses primarily on jazz technique and is therefore aimed at those students with an interest in the commercial dance industry.
Applicants will be assessed through a recruitment process that includes a dance audition (on campus or via video submission if a campus visit is not possible), review of a piece of academic written work and an interview to assess their practical dance skills, academic writing skills and ability to benefit from the course. All students applying to the programme will be expected to demonstrate a specific interest in this area of study and should have a commitment to engaging with the subject.
This module map provides a list of the modules that make up your course. You can find more information about how your course is structured on our Academic Advice section.
Year 1 Modules
Dance Industry Technique and Performance
Applied Injury Prevention and Performance Optimisation
Collaborative Performance Project and Professional Practice
Independent Project: Written Thesis (optional)
Independent Project: Practical (optional)
How much does it cost
Home and EU
Home and EU, Academic Year 2021-2022
£9,250 per year
International, Academic Year 2021-2022
£13,750 per year
What are my career prospects?
When you finish this degree, you’ll have a variety of career prospects to explore. If you choose to pursue a career in performance, you may need to supplement this with employment in teaching, choreography or dance development. Having gained skills in entrepreneurship and enterprise, you’ll also have the skills necessary to be self-employed, or even launch your own dance related business venture.
Throughout your time with us we’ll support you on the route to your chosen career. We’ll help you to develop crucial skills, encouraging you to become enterprising, employable and good leaders. We also help you find employment after graduation. Have a look at our Careers and Employability pages to find out more.
Our BA (Hons) Dance and Performance (Top-up) course will help prepare you for a range of career possibilities, such as:
- Dance instructor
- Fitness instructor.
Previous graduates have gone on to do roles such as teachers (in schools, primary and secondary and in private dance schools), performers (abroad and in the UK), entertainers, exercise instructors, managers and dance artists.
You may also wish to stay on at Buckinghamshire New University and study our full-time or part-time Postgraduate courses.