University of East London

BA (Hons) Dance: Urban Practice

The BA (Hons) Dance: Urban Practice, is a forward-thinking course that continues to increase in popularity nationally and internationally since it started in 2007. This vibrant and distinctive course offers students the chance to study with a dynamic and specialist skilled dance team in a great location that is the cultural hub of East London. This course is also offered with a foundation year, as a four year course. 

BA (Hons)

We cover hip-hop, club, social and popular dance styles, with contemporary techniques from across Europe, Africa and Asia. Whether it is popping or locking, contemporary or capoeira, afro-house or bharata natyam, our course continues to be the first of its kind to offer a degree in dance without borders or limitations.

You will have great opportunities to perform your work in our annual student led festival, studio sharings and external events. The dance team will support and guide you to develop your skills as a researcher, choreographer, performer and in events management whilst giving you networking opportunities from our varied and exciting industry links.

We help create dance all-rounders preparing you for a portfolio career in the arts. So you will theorise, create  and collaborate in dance managing yourself and others.  You will discover and practise many various types of dance.

BA (Hons) with foundation year

The Level 3 Foundation year in Performing Arts is designed to equip students with a range of performance and academic skills. It will prepare you for university level study. Once you complete the foundation year, you will be able to progress onto the BA (Hons) Dance: Urban Practice.

Entry Requirements


Without Foundation Year

 112 UCAS Points from

  • A LEVEL- Including passes at A2 in at least two subjects.
  • BTEC- Extended Diploma or Diploma.
  • INTERNATIONAL BACCALAUREATE- Diploma with 27 points including a minimum of 15 points at Higher Level.
With Foundation Year

 64 UCAS Points from

  • A LEVEL- Must include pass at A2 Level in at least 1 subject.
  • BTEC- Extended Diploma or Diploma.
  • INTERNATIONAL BACCALAUREATE- Diploma with 27 points including a minimum of 15 points at Higher Level.

Additional requirement

We would normally expect you to have Grade C in GCSE English and Maths.


All applicants will be expected to attend an audition, an interview and bring one piece of writing along with them.

You should also demonstrate a specific interest in the practice and study of dance in your application (particularly in your personal statement).

Some examples include:

  • Details of any dance related projects you have been involved in
  • Any relevant training and performances, particularly in relation to hip-hop, club, and social forms alongside contemporary forms from Europe, The Americas, and the African and Asian Diasporas
  • Your enthusiasm and commitment to studying aspects of dance such as choreography, dance teaching and management, and applying theory to practice
  • Any interdisciplinary interests in relation to dance

All applicants who fulfil the above criteria will be expected to attend an audition, an interview, and bring one piece of writing along with them:

  • Audition – this would take the form of a practical technique and choreography workshop lasting 2 hours taught by a member of staff from the UEL dance team.
  • Interviews – these will take place in small groups with a member of staff from the UEL dance team.
  • Writing Task –You would complete a 300 word review of a recently viewed live dance performance, to bring along to the audition/interview

Other entry routes

Access to HE Diploma (QAA approved) with 60 credits overall and 45 credits at Level 3

English language requirements

Overall IELTS score of 5.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking (or recognised equivalent).

If you do not meet the academic English language requirements for your course, you may be eligible to enrol onto a pre-sessional English programme. The length of the course will depend on your current level of English and the requirements for your degree programme. We offer a 5-week and an 11-week pre-sessional course.

Alternative GCSE qualifications

Level 2 equivalences such as Level 2 Functional Skills in English / Maths, Level 2 Key Skills in Communication / Application of Number and Level 2 Adult Literacy / Adult Numeracy

Mature applicants and those with no formal qualifications

As an inclusive university, we recognise that applicants who have been out of education for some time may not have the formal qualifications usually required for entry to a course. We welcome applications from those who can demonstrate their enthusiasm and commitment to study and have the relevant life/work experience that equips them to succeed on the course. We will assess this from the information provided in your application – in particular your personal statement - to help us decide on your eligibility for the course.

Career Prospects

The breadth of our course means you'll graduate with a wide set of skills to equip you to be a true dance all-rounder.

Many of our graduates go on to enjoy what we call a 'portfolio' career, making a thriving living in varied areas such as teaching, choreography, performing and managing.

Through your work placements, dance management studies and your involvement in creating and staging community dance projects, you couldn't be better prepared for the world of work.

Our graduates are working in teaching, dancing, advertising, marketing, design and arts administration. One graduate, Dani Harris-Walters, even became a TV star as runner-up on Sky TV’s Got to Dance series in 2014.

We're proud to have helped shape the careers of our students, whether they've gone on to run their own companies, to work as dance administrators and managers, to deliver and teach workshops in communities and schools or to produce, choreograph and direct works for stage and screen.

The graduates who succeed on our course are innovative, confident and original. People like Brian Gillespie, who got his degree a couple of years back and now runs his own company, B-Hybrid Dance, in which he’s artistic director, choreographer and performer.

Course Details

One of the great attractions of our three-year course is its sheer variety in both study and practice.

Sometimes, you'll combine both as you create and perform dance that communicates a response to political, cultural and aesthetic questions.

You'll study a wide range of dance forms, such as hip-hop, club and funk styles, and international forms including capoeira, African contemporary, Afro-house, bharata natyam, kathak and kalaripayattu.

Each year, you'll take modules in technique, choreography, professional development and research. There'll be opportunities to focus on performance and choreography through film and video practice, and you will have the opportunity to collaborate with your music and theatre student colleagues.

In your final year, through our excellent links with partner organisations such as East London Dance, Breakin' Convention and Stratford Circus, you’ll undertake a work placement.

In addition, thanks to our reputation, you’ll have numerous opportunities throughout the course to work with acclaimed professional artists, such as renowned choreographers Kenrick Sandy (Boy Blue) and Hofesh Shechter and top dancers such as house dance's Clara Bajado and popping and locking master Fred 'The Realness' Folkes.

Foundation Year

Group Work 1
Dance Skills 1
Public Outcome
Dance Skills 2
Group Work 2
Mental Wealth: Professional Life: Enterprise and Engagement 1

Year 1

Dance Technique: Healthier Dancer 1
Collaboration 1
Public Project 1
Dance Technique: Healthier Dancer 2
Collaboration 2
Mental Wealth: Professional Life: Enterprise and Engagement 1

Year 2

Dance Technique and Hybrid Forms 1
Multidisciplinary Collaboration 1
Public Project 2
Dance Technique and Hybrid Forms 2
Multidisciplinary Collaboration 2
Mental Wealth: Professional Life Enterprise and Engagement 2

Year 3

Dance Technique and Community Dance Techniques 1
Final Project: Research and Development
Public Project 3
Dance Technique and Community Dance Techniques 2
Final Project: Implementation and Impact
Mental Wealth: Professional Life : Enterprise and Engagement 3

*The information’s are correct at the time of publishing, however it may change if university makes any changes after we have published the information. While we try our best to provide correct information, It is advisable to call us or visit university website for up to date information.

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