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Northern School of Contemporary Dance

Location: Leeds, north of England Show on Map

Site: Single site close to city centre

Specialist dance college.  Member of the Conservatoire for Dance & Drama. 

Student Population

Total Students:195
FE Students:15%


Total undergraduates:155
Full Time:100%
Mature on Entry:32%
UK Students:86%
State school entry:83%

Teaching Staff

10 full-time, 5 part-time

Broad study areas

Contemporary dance, including choreography, movement studies, performance opportunities 


Admission Information:4 AS-levels or 2 A-levels or 1 AVEC (1 AGNVQ overseas) or 4 Highers or equivalent
Drop Out Rate:4%
Accommodation:No school accommodation 


Structural features:Member of Conservatoire for Dance & Drama 
Site:Leeds (Chapeltown), close to city library/art gallery and universities. 
How to get there:Leeds very accessible by road (M1 and M62), by national coach services, by rail and air. 

Student services & facilities

Student advice & services:Tutorial system; specialist learner and welfare support officers; English language support for international students; health, fitness & injury support scheme.  
Amenities:City facilities only 
Sporting facilities:City facilities only 
Accommodation:No school accommodation. Students live in privately-owned accommodation close to the School: rents £65−£70 per week self-catering. Help in finding accommodation from the school and through Unipol. 10% of first-degree students live at home. 

Study opportunities & careers

Library & information services:5242 books, 1114 DVD/video, 35 study places. Information provision, £15 pa spent for each student (FTE). IT and library services converged. Ratio 1:10 workstations to students; 18 computers with internet access, 1 to library catalogue. IT facilities available 57 hours/week with continuous staff support. All new students have short induction to library and information service plus IT study skills sessions. 
Other learning resources:3 audio-visual viewing places (+ computer DVD drives), 2 audio places (+ computer CD drives), comprehensive collection of dance company information. Own theatre, The Riley Theatre.  
Study abroad:Occasional opportunites for project work internationally. Postgraduate company tours to selected European cities.
Careers:Information and advice available 


Living expenses budget:Minimum budget of £6000 for academic year (excluding tuition fees) recommended by School. 
Term-time work:School allows term-time work for full-time students (98% believed to work); part-time work fairly easy to find in Leeds. 
Financial help:Fee reductions of £1000 pa for all UK/EU students whose family income is up to £42.6k pa; scholarships of up to £4000 pa fee reduction may be awarded, based on audition. Also care-leaver’s bursary of £750 pa. Plus £13,000 government funds, £8000 own funds; average amount awarded £25 pw (any student with less than £40 pw eligible to apply). 
University tuition fees:Home students pay £9000 pa for first degrees. International students pay at least £16,000 pa (plus validation fee of £370 in first year).


Academic features:

Courses include contemporary technique and ballet for contemporary dancers, choreography, movement studies, performance. Also supplementary techniques (eg yoga), contextual studies (eg critical & reflective studies, ideas in art). 

Awarding body:

University of Kent

Main undergraduate awards:


Length of courses:

3 years (full-time).

Main subjects offered:

  • Choreography
  • Dance
  • Movement Studies
  • Performance Arts

Student view


Based in a beautiful, green, domed synagogue, converted to a working theatre in which blood, sweat, tears and laughter are shed daily. College takes pride in accommodating a diverse range of characters, regardless of background. You have to be committed to survive the intensity of the course. There are 2-4 classes a day, depending on year of study, including ballet technique, contemporary technique, body awareness, choreography, music, history of ideas, movement studies, history of dance, combined arts and dance as education. Everyone is in the same boat, so there is a very close-knit feel to the college. Staff form close working relationships with their students. Technical progress is continually assessed while written assignments are variable, set in accordance with individual course structures. At the end of each term, students work through a choreographic process with professional choreographers, culminating in a showcase at the Riley Theatre. Course is vocational, with greater emphasis on the practical as opposed to the academic element. However, it is extremely demanding, both mentally and physically. Previous dance training is not required but at the audition they are looking for people with spirit and the will to dance. Leeds has a massive student population, so there are numerous bars, clubs, restaurants, theatres and cinemas, catering for all tastes. No student accommodation, but college runs house-hunting days before the course starts to help new students find private accommodation.


Housing: Student digs; affordable housing possible to find. Eats: Cheap, informal - Indian, vegetarian. Drink: Good mixture of pubs, cheap/good atmosphere. Nightlife: Cheap student nightclubs, theatre, bars. Sports: No time for extra sports - occasional swim/sauna and gym workout. Travel: Student fares; hitching. Financial help: Scarce 

More info?

Enquiries to students' union, tel 0113 219 3000. 



Northern School of Contemporary Dance
98 Chapeltown Road


0113 219 3000





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