Northern School of Contemporary Dance - NSCD


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Northern School of Contemporary Dance (NSCD) was founded in 1985 as the first conservatoire dance school within the public sector. Nadine Senior was founding Principal, and she established the school to give the young people of Leeds vocational dance Read More training following the success of her earlier teaching work at Harehills Middle School.

Since its inception in 1985, NSCD has produced some of the UK’s leading contemporary dance artists including Akram Khan, Tom Roden, Robert Hylton, Benji Reid and Fleur Darkin.

NSCD moved into its permanent home of a former synagogue in Chapeltown in 1987 and since then it has grown into one of the UK’s leading dance training institutions. Nadine Senior MBE retired in December 2001 and was succeeded by Gurmit Hukam as Principal in January 2002.

In 2012, Janet Smith left her position of Artistic Director of Scottish Dance Theatre to become Principal of NSCD. Well known for her inclusive dance practise and passion for developing young artists, this marked the beginning of an exciting new phase for the school. Read Less

Course & Program View All

Qualification Level: MA (Masters) Degree

The uniqueness of this course lies in the 50:50 balance of choreography and research-led activity with the vital business skills to establish your creative voice in the field.

Learn how to manage creative projects effectively, develop your awareness of fundraising and marketing, and gain the tools to realise your artistic ambitions.

The course encourages further development through individual and collaborative approaches to arts practice and enterprise. All under the guidance of some of the UK’s leading academics, practitioners and specialists in both the art and business of dance.
The MA in Dance & Creative Enterprise explores: Dance research and perspectives, Fundraising for the creative industries, Digital marketing & representation, Arts Project Management, Dance techniques/modes of enquiry, Developing professional practice. Choose between Professional Practice Placement or Project modules to gain real-world experience. Our teaching is informed by research, and module content changes periodically to reflect developments in the discipline.

Course Duration: One Year (Two Year Part-time)

Course Fee: £ 8000.00 For Year

Qualification Level: BA (Hons) Degree

The BA (Hons) Dance (Contemporary) degree is a course of study specifically designed for the education and training of professional contemporary dance artists, performers, choreographers and artist facilitators. Our students become dance artists with highly tuned specialist knowledge, technical and creative skills, plus experience as a producer and teacher with understanding of project management and dance pedagogy. The range of technical training undertaken during the programme is designed to train the body, whilst developing artistic intelligence and an understanding of movement that enables the dancer to respond to the varied and changing demands of contemporary choreography. Students are encouraged to be curious about the place of contemporary dance within the broader landscape of the professional arts scene. We provide opportunities for students to work in collaboration with other arts organisations and professional settings, and for you to engage with different audiences at different stages of your professional training. Through the programme students embrace a range of industry relevant modes of working, such as dance film, site-specific practice, social responsibility in dance, collective working, as well as a thorough grounding in traditional theatre practice.

Course Duration: Three Years

Course Fee: £ 9250.00 For Year

Qualification Level: CertHE

The Certificate of Higher Education in Contemporary Dance (CertHE) is a course specifically designed for preparing dance artists to undertake further in-depth professional training. Previously known as the Foundation/ Access to HE course, this programme provides an insight into the three year full-time degree and has an excellent record for helping students to access conservatoires and Higher Education. Students are enriched by a range of technical, creative and performance experiences in a variety of contexts, all of which support them at the start of their journey towards a career in dance. 98% of students who completed this equivalent programme in 2017 progressed to further dance training either at NSCD, another conservatoire or other university.
Through the programme students embrace a range of industry relevant modes of working, such as Ballet and Contemporary techniques, Improvisation, Choreography, Contextual studies, Performance and Dance repertoire, in order to give them a thorough grounding in traditional theatre practice.

Please note: this course is suited to individuals who need more time to develop their technique and creative skills in order to meet the criteria for entry onto our degree programme. It is also a recommended route of study for applicants who are looking for a one-year intensive programme of study, or are undecided whether they are ready to commit to three years full time training. This programme is also suitable for the very talented 16-17 year olds as a full time alternative access route to Higher education.

Course Duration: One Year

Course Fee: £ 8000.00 Full course fee

Qualification Level: MA (Masters) Degree

This one-year, full-time programme provides an opportunity for students to undertake extensive professional development and refine their performance skills, as a member of an established professional dance company.The distinctiveness of this programme lies in the offer of a work placement with a professional dance company of between five and nine months. Students work alongside professional dancers at their chosen host company, experiencing the creation, rehearsal, production and touring of a professional performance programme or project, including any related education and community outreach work.

Whilst on their placement, students are supported by a tutor at NSCD. Placement experience is supplemented by a wide range of technical and creative work delivered at NSCD, involving performance platforms, classes with VERVE and research-based activities. Crucially, students on the professional placement pathway develop an understanding of the wider skills required of a professional dance artist, through small-scale projects, introductions to local networks and awareness of a variety of activities such as workshop teaching and project management.

Course Duration: One Year

Course Fee: £ 9000.00 Full course fee

Qualification Level: MA (Masters) Degree

VERVE is a one-year, full-time programme that offers dancers a safe and inspiring space to grow as an artist, rigorously challenge their physical skill and build an understanding of the professional working environment, as part of a touring contemporary dance company.
VERVE is the postgraduate company of Northern School of Contemporary Dance. This MA equips students with Professional performance skills as members of a touring Contemporary dance company. Each year the company commissions choreographers from all over the world to create an artistically distinct, physically daring and engaging programme of dance work.

The programme offers emerging dance artists the opportunity to challenge and develop their skills across a varied repertoire of work, guided by Artistic Director Matthew Robinson, alongside an exciting range of visiting teachers and artists. The programme enables students to take creative risks with their practice, to grow their individual artistry and rigorously challenge their physical skill. Dancers develop their identities as performers, whilst building an understanding of the professional working environment to support them in their future careers.

The company tours extensively to venues and festivals across the UK and internationally, in recent years performing in Austria, Germany, Italy, Malta, Spain and Switzerland. VERVE seeks connections with partner institutions, industry professionals, choreographers and companies, to broaden and enrich the students’ experience and understanding.

Choreographers who have worked with the company include: Akram Khan, Sita Ostheimer, Ben Wright, James Wilton, Ben Duke, Lenka Vagnerova, Anton Lachky, Hannes Langolf, Luca Silvestrini, Lea Anderson and VERVE Artistic Director Matthew Robinson.

Course Duration: One Year

Course Fee: £ 9000.00 Full course fee

Qualification Level: Post Graduate

Advance your career in teaching with this professional development course and gain a recognised teacher training qualification.
Our PGDip ALTHE enables professionals at varying stages of their careers in the Arts to advance their understanding of learning and teaching in Higher Education settings.

The course runs simultaneously alongside your work commitments and fits flexibly around your working hours, no matter where you are based, so you can deepen your knowledge of Arts HE without interrupting your career.

You can expect to gain:

Evidence of your expertise and development within learning and teaching practice.
Knowledge of curriculum design within clear academic frameworks.
Increased confidence in your practice.
An ability to use action research and reflexive practice as mechanisms for change and development.
An ability to think creatively and from an evidence base about how to improve education and learner support within and beyond your practice.

Course Duration: Two Years (Part-Time)

Course Fee: £ 1900.00 For Year

Leverhulme Trust
Awarding Bodies
University of Kent