BA (Hons) Dance (Contemporary)


Programme Leader – Lisa Cottrell

Validated by – Bath Spa University


Who is the programme for?

The three-year BA (Hons) degree in Dance (Contemporary) is designed to provide individuals with the skills, knowledge, and creative ability to gain and maintain lasting careers as a professional contemporary dancer.

This linked with our extensive industry contacts provides our students with all the tools to thrive in the world of dance.

Please note this course is subject to approval from September 2023

Where will this course lead?

At the MGA Academy of Performing Arts, we prepare our students for sustainable successful careers within the Dance industry through hands on, vocational based training.

Successful completion of this course can open doors to numerous amazing progression routes, with previous graduates finding employment opportunities in many industry roles including:

  • Professional Dance Companies
  • Artist in Residence
  • Choreographer
  • Artistic Director
  • Devising your own Work
  • Creating your own Dance Company
  • Teaching/Lecturing
  • Film
  • Movement Director
  • Video

Students have also progressed onto Postgraduate study upon completion of this course.


Programme overview

The BA (Hons) Degree in Contemporary Dance is a three-year intensively taught vocational training programme. Across the three years all students will study

  • Graham
  • Cunningham
  • Jazz (Horton)
  • Commercial Dance
  • Ballet (British and Russian)
  • Choreography
  • Entrepreneurship and business for the professional performer
  • Anatomy and Kinesiology for the healthy dancer
  • History and critical theory for the professional performer (the reflective practitioner)

Degree Structure

The BA (Hons) Degree in Acting is taught full-time over three years. The programme is made up of 360 credits, 120 per year, which are divided into modules which are either 20 or 40 credits each.

The programme develops progressively over the three years.

Technical Skill – Year 1 is focussed on the development of the technical and intellectual skill required for Acting`.

  • Contemporary Dance 1. 40 credits
  • Ballet 1. 20 credits
  • Jazz and Commercial. 20 credits
  • Anatomy and Kinesiology. 20 credits
  • Writing and Research for the Arts. 20 credits


The Performer – Year 2 is focussed on building on the skill developed in year 1 and developing integrated performance skills

  • Contemporary Dance 2. 40 credits
  • Ballet 2. 20 credits
  • 20 credits
  • Performance and Interdisciplinary Project. 20 credits
  • Theatre Historical and Contextual Studies. 20 credits


The Professional – Year 3 is focussed on developing advanced performance skills and advanced professional expertise in preparation for launch into industry

  • Performance – Contemporary Dance. 40 credits
  • Professional Performer. 40 credits
  • Entrepreneurship and Professional Studies. 20 credits
  • Independent Research Project. 20 credits


Teaching and learning

All MGA undergraduate programmes share a common approach to teaching and learning. The central theme is learning by doing. Students will spend the majority of their time in the studio where their skills will be developed by MGA’s highly experienced professional staff.

This practical way of learning is supplemented by lectures and seminars supporting other professional areas such as Anatomy and Kinesiology, Historical and Contextual Studies, and Entrepreneurship and Business Studies.

We realise that all of our students are individual creative artists and wherever possible we adapt our teaching to their individual needs and aspirations with all students receiving one to one tutorials where progress is discussed and action plans developed.



Each module has specific learning outcomes. These outcomes are evaluated through assessment tasks. All assessment tasks are mapped in detail against the learning outcomes. Assessment tasks, together with dates and times are normally published at the beginning of the teaching year.

Assessment tasks vary according to the learning outcomes. They can include group performance presentations, solo presentations, written assignments, and contribution to public performance projects.


As well as formal written feedback given for each assessment tasks, feedback is also given informally during most practical teaching sessions. All feedback is designed to be positive and contrastive and enhance the learning experience.

Entry requirements

Degree Course applicants should have 80 UCAS points including qualifications at SCQF Level 6 (Higher / A Level / Other). Applicants should be aged 16 years or over.

Entry onto all our courses is by online registration.

You will be contacted within two weeks of receipt of your audition submission.

Natural aptitude, potential and attitude will be key considerations throughout the application process.

You must be a UK citizen to apply for MGA’s professional full-time training courses and be able to provide proof. MGA is able to accept applications from outside of the UK if a candidate has applied successfully for Settled or Pre-Settled Status. All relevant information regarding our audition requirements will be sent out on receipt of a valid ascertificate. (More information on EU Settlement Scheme.) Please read the information on fees and funding here before completing the application form.

Fees, finance and funding

For more information on tuition fees and available funding visit our Fees and funding page.

Full-Time Auditions

Applications are taken all year round, until course places are full – so the earlier in the year you apply, the more places will be available.

Auditions are in person at MGA campus in Edinburgh. A member of our team will be in touch within two weeks of submission to take you through the process. Apply now »

In-person audition dates:

  • 2022-23 dates coming soon

If you are unsure which course to apply for, please get in touch and the MGA Team will be happy to discuss it with you.

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Get in touch

Phone: 0330 058 0656

General enquiries/student information:

Office address:  Barbara Ritchie House, Livingston, West Lothian, United Kingdom
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