Opening Soon
Course length
3 or 4* years
Start date
September 2025

This course is subject to revalidation by UAL.

*4 years if choosing optional placement

Developing world-leading dance artists

The BA (Hons) Contemporary Dance Performance, a highly intensive and diversified degree course which includes the opportunity to deepen focus in one of four elective pathways, is designed to develop versatile artists with all the tools and skills needed for a prolific career in dance and the creative industries.

It includes a wide breadth of practical studio-based classes, enhanced by a range of contextual studies that directly relate to the experience of performing, making, researching, and understanding dance.

You will also become part of the community at The Place, one of Europe’s most exciting, innovative dance spaces, with opportunities to perform in our Theatre, take part in in-depth creative processes with our Work Place Artists, work with visiting companies, and learn from our in-house producers and creative learning team.

The course is developed on the principles of periodisation, a training method which originates from sport science and has been further evolved by our world-leading dance educators and informed by research from our dance science team. Periodisation involves the strategic planning of training, performances, and rest periods to optimise physical and psychological wellbeing. Our approach equips dancers with the tools you need to effectively and sustainably manage your own physical and psychological wellbeing throughout your career.

Each student chooses their own pathway, which takes shape from the beginning of the second year. Alongside core units that enable all students to develop their skills in dance techniques, performance and creative practice, you will take smaller elective units to hone your skills in an additional specific area.

The four pathways you can choose from are:


In the second-year elective units you will focus on exploring the relationship between music and dance, with the opportunity to develop an independent choreographic project. In the final year of the course, you may take on the role of a choreographer in fully developed professional productions, working within interdisciplinary artistic teams on projects like Collaborations.

Advanced Physical Practice

In the second-year elective units you will deepen your technical proficiency of specialist dance techniques and challenge yourself to meet the demands of professional repertoire. In the final year of the course, you will have additional opportunities to perform in front of public audiences in fully developed professional productions, working with your peers in multi-disciplinary teams and with professional choreographers.

Education and Communities

In the second-year elective units you will begin to take responsibility for leading teaching spaces to ensure the development of safe and positively motivated learning environments. You will experience a diverse set of participants across different teaching programmes. In the final year of the course, you will have the opportunity to work as facilitators in participatory arts projects and engage in outreach activities connected to multidisciplinary performance projects, for example co-creating choreographic work with youth dance companies.

Producing and Arts Management

In the second year elective units you will discover and develop new skills in producing, management and event organisation. You will act as producers for the work of your peers, under the supervision of professional producers. In the final year of the course, you will have the opportunity to work as producers, rehearsal assistants, marketing officers, production managers as part of multidisciplinary performance projects with your peers and professional artistic teams.

You will be taught by exceptional teachers (many of whom are also professional artists) and international guest choreographers. You will have the opportunity to work with creative industries such as immersive media exploring AR and VR, and with leading organisations such as: Wimbledon School of Art, Guildhall School of Music and Drama, National Centre for Circus Arts, Sadler’s Wells, Victoria & Albert Museum, Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and Central St Martins


You have the opportunity to undertake an optional full year’s professional placement between Years 2 and 3 of the degree. For a minimum of 100 days/20 weeks, you can take internships in professional settings in roles associated with your pathway. For example, there are opportunities to work with The Place’s Classes & Courses team for children and young people or within our Producing & Touring or Artist Development teams. There will also be opportunities to work with The Place’s network of partner schools and organisations, or to source your own placement in line with your professional aims and interests. The internships may be paid or voluntary.


In your second year, you also have the chance to study abroad for one term as part of our exchange programme at one of our prestigious international partner universities. For 2024 these include:

  • CalArts in California, USA
  • Conservatoire national supérieur de musique et de danse de Paris (CNSMDP) in France
  • Seoul Institute of the Arts (SeoulArts) in South Korea
  • Taipei National University of the Arts (TNUA) in Taiwan
  • State University of New York at Purchase (SUNY Purchase) in New York, USA
  • Universidade Federal de Campina Grande (UniCamp) in Brazil

This exchange programme allows you to immerse yourself in new cultures, gain valuable life experience, and broaden your perspectives. You can choose from a range of subjects to study, and you will receive full academic credit for the courses you complete while on exchange. This opportunity is a unique chance for you to challenge yourself, develop independence, and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Graduation Show, Shift by Shobana Jeyasingh Credit: Foteini Christofilopoulou 2023

The highly focused and nurturing environment at LCDS allowed me to develop and expand my artistic practice as well as form friendships and collaborative relationships with my peers.

Emily Lue-Fong, BA graduate 2021

Dancers from all over the world find a home at LCDS. As a student you are recognised as an individual and supported to follow your own artistic interests within a broad community of makers, leaders, educators, producers and performers. Our world-leading teaching faculty inspire and encourage you to develop as a well-rounded, creative dance artist.

Watch what our students have to say about the student-centered approach to dance education at London Contemporary Dance School.

Key Information

Entry Requirements

During the Admission Workshop we will be looking for your ability to engage in creative processes, demonstrating imagination, resourcefulness, and adaptability. We also want to see if you understand dance in its wider context and a potential for development of technical capabilities and performance skills. The Workshops are designed to give you the best opportunity to demonstrate your individuality. This is your time to show us what kind of dance artist you want to be and to question whether London Contemporary Dance School is the right place for you.

Dance Experience

You will have experience in contemporary dance and/or other dance forms, including hip hop and associated styles, ballet, south Asian dance practices, and dances of the African diaspora. You might experience dance as a medium to express yourself and as a creative outlet.

You will be considering a career in the dance industry or more broadly the arts.

We look for:

  • Ability to engage in creative processes, demonstrating imagination, resourcefulness, and communication skills
  • Understanding of dance in its wider context, i.e. awareness of critical issues relevant to dance
  • Potential for development of technical capabilities and performance skills

Academic Requirements

1. Three GCSE passes at grade 4 or above (grade A*- C)

2. One or a combination of the following accepted full level 3 qualifications:

  • Passes in 2 A Levels
  • Pass, Pass, Pass (PPP) at BTEC Extended Diploma (preferred subjects include Dance, Performing Arts or Musical Theatre)
  • Pass at UAL Extended Diploma
  • Access to Higher Education Diploma
  • Equivalent EU/International qualifications, such as International Baccalaureate Diploma (24 points

English Language

English Language IELTS level 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in reading, writing, listening, and speaking

Student Visas

If you are an overseas student, you might require a Student Visa to study with us.


Fees for the 2025/26 year are:

£9,250 – UK Home Fee per year*

£22,000 – Overseas Fee per year*

*The course fees per year may be increased in further years of study in line with inflation.

Find out more about our financial support for your studies.

How to Apply

Stage 1 – Online Application Form
First, you must complete our online application form where you input details about yourself, your educational and dance history, as well as a personal statement about why you want to join LCDS. We encourage you to complete your application form at the earliest possible as submissions will be viewed on a first come first served basis. Admissions Workshop dates and destinations for Sept 2025 entry will be updated here soon.

If you have a questions or need some help with the application form please get in touch with the Admissions Team.

Stage 2 Admission Workshop
If you meet the application requirements, you will be invited to an Admission Workshop (online or in person depending on your location), where we will set creative and improvisation tasks, as well as host a seminar-style discussion as a whole group. All details of what to expect from the Admission Workshop will be sent to you via email from our admissions team.

Stage 3 – Interview
You will be interviewed by one of our faculty here at LCDS during your Admission Workshop. We will send you the questions prior to the interview so you will have time to prepare. After your interview, the Admissions Team will be in touch via email (approximately two weeks after your interview date) with an outcome.

If you need extra help, be that academic, financial or in other forms, please get in touch with the Admissions Team. This is part of our commitment to ensuring people from all backgrounds have access to dance education. We do not discriminate on grounds of age, sex, disability, ethnicity, or religion. We only think about your readiness for the course.

We also welcome applications from people with a disability. We encourage you to inform us of any access requirements you may have on the application form (for example relating to dyslexia, a physical or sensory impairment or mental health condition), and this will help us make any necessary, reasonable adjustments for the Admissions Workshop and during your time studying.

Frequently Asked Questions

What classes will I take?

Dance Practices

You will be exposed to dance practices from various cultural backgrounds both physically and academically, exploring histories and cultural contexts to ensure holistic training and artistic development.

The curriculum explores Euro-American, African, and South Asian dance practices, including but not limited to:

Ballet aimed at contemporary dancers
Release based work
Cunningham based work
Floor work
Flying Low and Passing Through
Bharatanatyam based work
Kathak based work
Contact improvisation
Partner work
Authentic jazz

Most classes are accompanied by live music.


At the school, you will learn to broaden your perspective of what choreography is and develop tools to create work. You work with each other and people outside of LCDS, giving you the opportunity to collaborate with other art forms like design, music, or film.

Contextual Studies

Contextual Studies puts contemporary dance in context. It helps you to find your own voice and way of thinking about dance. It introduces you to debates from areas like; art theory, philosophy, cultural studies, and history, and considers contemporary dance within the broader cultural landscape. Contextual Studies gives you the skills to interpret dance and reflect critically on your dance practices.

Extra Curriculum

You can get involved in student-led initiatives. Student societies create the opportunity to get together socially with other students across year groups and courses. Students are supported to develop, create and promote their societies and initiatives and are also given the resources with which to run them. Many of the societies at LCDS are dance focused, for example the opportunity to choreograph or focus on a particular practice. We also have groups that focus on self-discovery and advocacy.

Your voice is an essential part of LCDS life. You have the chance to become a year group representative, playing a vital role in shaping The School and your time here. There is also the opportunity to work as Teaching Assistants for the Centre for Advanced Training and Classes and Courses programmes, as well as become front of house staff in the Robin Howard Dance Theatre and in the library.

What is periodization?

At the London Contemporary Dance School, our BA (Hons) in Contemporary Dance Performance integrates the principles of periodisation within our course design, teaching approaches, and overall student experience.

Periodisation is the strategic planning of 'peak' moments—such as performances or assessments—where students aim to perform at their optimal physical and psychological capacity. This planning also includes strategically placed rest periods to facilitate recovery after intense activities, monitoring class intensity throughout the term to prevent fatigue and burnout, and scheduling 'deload' times (periods where the intensity of training is reduced) following high-intensity periods to allow for reflection and a gradual decrease in physical and psychological demands.

Our curriculum design incorporates these periodisation strategies to ensure students are well-prepared for significant moments like performances while avoiding burnout. By strategically increasing physical and psychological capacities—such as technique, fitness, and resilience—we aim to reduce injuries and enhance overall wellbeing. Dance science education is a core component of our program, providing students with a thorough understanding of periodisation. This knowledge, combined with practical experience, equips students to confidently apply these strategies in their future careers.

We conduct longitudinal research (studies conducted over a long period to observe changes and gather data on the effectiveness of our methods) to continuously evaluate and improve our periodisation strategies. This research includes feedback from student focus groups, training load monitoring (measuring and tracking the amount and intensity of physical activity over time), wellbeing surveys, injury tracking, and fitness profiling.

Our findings inform our teaching and student support practices and are shared nationally and internationally within dance education, higher education, and dance science communities. By embedding periodisation principles in every aspect of our program, we strive to support our students in achieving their highest potential, both during their time with us and in their future professional endeavours.

More questions

Do I need to choose a pathway at the point of application?
We ask you to give an indication of one or more pathways you may be interested in. If successful in the admissions process, you will receive an offer for one or more of our pathways, at which point you will be asked to make a choice about which pathway offer to accept. However, it may be possible to change pathways after you enroll up until the middle of year 2, provided you show aptitude for your desired pathway and there are still spaces available on your desired pathway.

Are the pathways capped?
We require a minimum of 6 students enrolled onto a pathway to run it, however there is no cap on the maximum number of students on any pathway. We anticipate a large number of students to choose the Advanced Physical Practice and Choreography pathways at the point of admission, with many shifting to the Education and Communities or the Producing and Arts Management pathways as they learn more about those fields in year one.

Do I need to have prior experience in my chosen pathway to apply to this course?
No. You just need an interest in developing further knowledge and experience in this area. At the point of admission we are looking for your potential.

Will my degree title include the pathway I choose?
Yes, the pathway will be included in brackets after the main course title. It is up to you whether you wish to include the brackets on your CV; this may depend on the future job or further course of study you are applying for.

Will I get to participate in performances if I don’t choose Advanced Physical Practice?
Yes, there are many performance opportunities across the three years which are common and core across the programme, whichever pathway you choose. The programme is Contemporary Dance Performance, so everyone will get experiences of this and be enabled to develop all the required skills to work as a dance performer.

Will I have to audition in year 2 to be selected in my chosen pathway?
No there will be no additional audition at any point in the process. Students will be supported and guided by staff throughout their studies to make an informed choice.

What happens if I am not eligible for my preferred choice of pathway?
At the point of application, we are only looking for your interest and potential in a particular pathway. In the rare instance that you are not eligible for your preferred choice of pathway, you may receive an offer for one of the other pathways.

Can I choose to be part of multiple pathways?
Not formally, but all pathway learning materials will be available on our virtual learning environment for all students to engage with if they are interested. There are lots of opportunities to learn with and from students on other pathways, and/or to take on roles in projects that may sit outside your pathway, so you can create a unique learning journey for yourself where you do get experience in the other areas.

Can I choose to not be part of any pathway?
Offers are made for one or more of the pathways. However, you are only eligible to receive the bracketed degree title if you have completed sufficient elective units, placements and/or professional roles in projects to demonstrate competence within the pathway area. In the rare event that a student has completed all the credits but does not meet these requirements, they will simply receive the general degree title.

Find out more about your health and wellbeing when you study with us, where you can live and funding available to you:


Watch some of our most recent videos; the 2023 Graduation Show, student interviews, A Day in the Life and a streamed class. A great way to find out about the course and what our students think.

Meet The Team

Here you can take a look through the profiles of the teachers you will be working alongside.

Summary documents, specifications and term dates

Get in touch

If you have any questions about the course, how to apply, living in London or anything else, we are here to help