This site uses cookies to improve your user experience. To find out more see our Cookies Policy.
By using this site you agree to these cookies being set.
Dance - Combined Subjects (Major, Dual and Minor) BA/BSc (Hons) - University of Sunderland

Course overview

Most modules are practice-based so the teaching is through studio sessions with our dance professionals.

By combining dance into your studies you will have opportunities for students to experience the essential aspects of dance as performer, creator and spectator. Practice is supported by theory and academic and subject specific elements strengthened via reference to and links with the professional dance world.

A popular combination is dance and education. This will allow you to pursue your passion for dance while simultaneously developing your capacity to share that passion with others. Another popular combination is dance and drama, bringing together two creative arts subjects may increase the range of roles that you will be able to fulfil. You could also combine dance with any of the other subjects in the Combined Subjects programme. You can choose to spend a third, half, or two thirds of your study time on dance.

From the start of the course you will have a Personal Tutor who will monitor progress, discuss options and offer appropriate guidance.

At various points during the course there will be opportunities to work with practising artists and touring dance companies. You can also engage in community projects and evening classes and perform in professional venues.

The University provides a very supportive learning environment. Sunderland is No.1 in the North East for spend per student in Drama and Dance, according to The Guardian University Guide 2015.

Staff and students talk about the benefits of studying a combined subjects programme at the University of Sunderland:

Course content

A major/minor combination involves taking two thirds of your credits in the major subject, and one third in the minor subject. With a dual combination you take an equal number of credits in both subjects.

If you take a dual combination with one subject that is a BA and one which is a BSc, the award of a BA or BSc is determined by the subject in which you complete your final project or dissertation.

Modules on this course include:

Year 1 (national level 4)

Core modules

  • Dance and Me (20 Credits) 

Optional modules

  • Dance Performance (20 Credits)
  • Jazz, Urban and Commercial Dance (20 Credits)

Year 2 (national level 5)

Core modules

  • Dance Composition and Performance (20 Credits)

Optional modules

  • Experimental Dance (20 Credits)
  • Dance Preparation and Presentation (20 Credits)
  • Live Project (20 Credits)

Final Year (national level 6)

Core modules

  • Staging the Dance (20 Credits)
  • Key Dance Practitioners (20 Credits)

Optional modules

  • Staging the Dance (40 Credits)
  • Dance Practice and Application (20 or 40 Credits)
  • Physical Dance Theatre (20 Credits)
  • Live Project (20 Credits)

Teaching and assessment

Teaching is largely based around studio sessions and workshops. There are supporting seminars, lectures and independent learning. 

There are no examinations; instead your coursework is continually assessed. All modules end in performances or presentations and you will have public performance opportunities at all stages.

To find out more about modules, credits and how you will be assessed, please see the page how courses are taught. Information about our policies relating to student experience and quality assurance processes can be found on the Academic Services website.

Key Information Sets

All UK universities and colleges display Key Information Sets (KIS) on their undergraduate courses. The KIS gives you a quick overview of some standard information about a course, and has a link to more detailed information on Unistats.

The majority of our courses display the KIS directly on the course information page, as an animated image. However, because there are so many possible Combined Subjects combinations, the KIS for these courses are held on another page - click here to see the KIS for Dance Combined Subjects.

Facilities & location

Our facilities for dance and performing arts include the following: 

  • A main studio with a state-of-the-art lighting rig, a cyclorama for digital work and portable seating for small public performances
  • A second dance studio
  • Rehearsal spaces
  • Two dressing rooms
  • Cameras and edit suite

We’ve got a large collection of books, e-books and audio-visual materials related to dance, with many more titles available through the inter-library loan service. We also subscribe to a comprehensive range of journals so that you can access the most up-to-date research and information.

During your time as a student, you can take advantage of opportunities to participate in University-based dance and drama societies as well as musical theatre performance projects.


Priestman Building

City Campus, Albion Place, Sunderland, SR1 3PZ

Entry requirements

Our typical offer is 120 points from a minimum of two A Levels or equivalent (for example 1 x AVCE double award). Read more on the new UCAS Tariff point system for 2017.

We accept a maximum of 6 points from Level 3 Key Skills qualifications. 

We also require three passes at GCSE grade C or above, which must include Mathematics and English Language, or a minimum of Level 2 Key Skills in Communication and Application of Number.

If English is not your first language, please see our English language requirements.

If you are studying a HND or Foundation Degree you may be able to enter onto the final year of our degree courses. For more information, please contact

Other acceptable qualifications

BTEC National: 120 points from a BTEC Certificate or Diploma.

Access Courses: We would require successful completion of an Access to Higher Education course that is accredited by the Quality Assurance Agency. We would also require a minimum of grade C in GCSE in Mathematics and English Language or the equivalent as part of your course.

Scottish Highers: Our typical offer is for 120 points.

Irish Leaving Certificate: Our typical offer is for 120 points.

International qualifications: Please call the Student Helpline for advice on other acceptable qualifications. The number from outside the UK is +44 191 515 3000.

Any other qualifications: If you have any other qualifications not listed here, you may still be eligible. Please contact the Student Helpline for advice: 0191 515 3000.

Returners to Learning: If you are a mature student, you may benefit from our dedicated Returners to Learning Progression Scheme. For further information email or call the Student Helpline: 0191 515 3000.

If you wish to be considered for direct entry to a different year of a course, please contact the Student Helpline: 0191 515 3000.

Additional entry requirements

Before a decision can be made on your application the academic tutor requires you to provide an audition dance video. We would require you to provide a contemporary dance solo (1 minute) together with a written evaluation of the work 200-500 words (the evaluation should include the intentions and context of the piece and self analysis in relation to technical and performance ability). Please send this portfolio via email or provide a website link where this can be found.

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL)

If you feel you already know some of the topics covered in this course, either due to previous learning or from experience of work, then you may not need to study all of the course.

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) is the name given to the process of gaining credit towards a qualification because of something you have learnt in the past. If you are eligible for APL you won't have to learn the same topic again, and so you can be exempt from a module, set of modules or year of a course. 

Read more about APL in the Quality Handbook (.pdf). If you think you may be eligible for APL, please contact the course leader.

Fees & finance

Full-time fees 

The annual fee for this course is:

  • £9,250 if you are from the UK / EU
  • £10,750 if you are an International student

If you are not sure whether you qualify as a UK, EU or International student, please see the International section of this website. 

Scholarships and bursaries may be available to you – please see the Fees and Funding section of this website for more information.

Employment & careers

Your studies will develop skills and experience to help you succeed in a career in dance. Career paths of recent graduates include:

  • Teaching and working in education (an important source of employment)
  • Freelance/self-employment
  • Performing
  • Community work
  • Entrepreneurs – setting up dance schools
  • Further training and development (MA, PCET, professional training)
  • Arts administration

Placements and projects

You can gain real-world experience by selecting 'Live Project' modules. Past projects have included working with school pupils, people with special needs and people undergoing drugs rehabilitation. Other projects have included creating teaching resources for GCSE Dance and developing classes for local communities in Sunderland.

Visiting artists

Whenever possible, we arrange visits by companies such as Rosie Kay, Urban Classicism and Birmingham Royal Ballet.

Professional venues such as The Customs House and Arts Centre Washington host student work. At stage 3 students have the opportunity to tour regionally and nationally with the undergraduate company DUSC (the Dance University of Sunderland Company).


We invite careers advisers and professional speakers to share experiences and stimulate discussions about working practices, networking, career opportunities, shadowing professional practitioners and learning professional etiquette.

The Enterprise Place

If you have a good idea for a new business and have the dedication and motivation to make it happen, then we want to hear from you. The Enterprise Place, based on-campus at St Peter's Gate Business Centre, is the perfect environment for entrepreneurial students and graduates to turn their business ideas into reality. You will have access to free hot desk space, IT facilities, specialist advice and support and business mentors and networking opportunities.

To find out more about how we can help you start a business, please contact the University's Enterprise Team:

Tel: 0191 515 3751

University Language Scheme

It is usually possible to take a module from the free University Language Scheme. This can be studied on top of your 120 credits or in some cases, can earn credits towards your degree.

Language skills increase your international mobility and you can choose between French, German, Spanish, Mandarin, Japanese and Arabic at a range of levels. If your first language is not English, please check with your tutor about entry requirements.

Staff and students talk about the benefits of the University Language Scheme: 

Study Abroad

You can switch your studies in Combined Subjects to another country for one or two semesters during the second year. You can choose from over 150 universities in 20 countries, either English-speaking (such as Australia, Canada and the USA) or non English-speaking (such as Argentina, Brazil and Japan). This gives you an opportunity to get an international perspective on both subjects that you are studying. 


The University of Sunderland is committed to ensuring that every student has an impressive range of opportunities to enhance their CV and gain valuable experience:

  • Work placements
  • Graduate internships
  • Studying abroad
  • Student Ambassador Scheme
  • Mentoring
  • Starting your own business
  • Student jobs and volunteering
  • Careers advice

For full details, please see our Employability page.


Support from staff

You can expect stimulating contact time with teaching staff as well as significant amounts of time when you will be studying on your own. If you have queries or difficulties, you can book an appointment with your tutor to gain more in-depth support and guidance.

Students who are taking Combined Subjects have Personal Tutors. You’ll meet your Tutor at agreed times throughout each year of the course. Personal Tutors encourage your personal development, monitor your progress and act as a useful point of contact for any queries about your course, extracurricular activities and issues that require more specialist services. These include student counselling, financial advice and chaplaincy support.

In addition, the Combined Subjects team provide a high level of personal help and support. We offer a daily face-to-face drop in service and we can also arrange out-of-hours appointments where necessary. If you send us a query, we commit to responding to it promptly.

Support for your development

To help ensure the course is meeting aspirations for personal development, we invite students to fill in questionnaires at the end of modules. This provides a structured way for you to keep us up-to-date with your views.

During your course, and particularly towards the end of it, we encourage you to make full use of the resources at our Careers & Employability Service. The Service helps you explore your options, clarify your ideas, develop a career focus and make effective applications.

Extracurricular activities

The University supports student-led initiatives that enhance the extracurricular activities available to you. Some of these are related to particular subjects while others allow you to pursue interests and social activities. It’s all part of the vibrant and life-changing atmosphere at the University of Sunderland.

For more information about all the support services you will have access to as a Sunderland student, please see Student support and guidance.

“The University offered a large range of combined courses, which gave me the freedom to select two subjects I felt really passionate about, which were Dance and Childhood Studies. This combination of subjects is very rare when applying through UCAS, so I decided I would jump at the unique opportunity.

Elysia Byrne W5

Elysia Byrne - Combined Subjects Childhood Studies and Dance

Studying a Primary PGCE course at Manchester Metropolitan University

“The University of Sunderland offered a large range of combined courses, which gave me the freedom to select two subjects I felt really passionate about, which were Dance and Childhood Studies. This combination of subjects is very rare when applying through UCAS, so I decided I would jump at the unique opportunity. The staff were also lovely and seemed very supportive on the open day, which helped give me the confidence to move far away from home.

 “I decided to study childhood studies as part of the combined degree as I have always wanted to work with children either in a primary school context or in early years and this course had many modules such as: 'Introduction to Child Development', 'Primary Curriculum', 'Family Studies', 'Health Issues and Equality and Diversity', which I believe were all important skills and knowledge to carry on into either of these contexts. I chose dance as I love being able to express yourself through movement; being able to develop simple ideas into a devised choreography that can express feelings. Certain dance modules also relate to national curriculum subjects in an exploratory manner, for example 'Dance Composition and Performance’; throughout this module we explored different art forms such as: literature, paintings, fashion and music to create dance piece.

“The aspect of my course that I enjoyed the most was being able to gather expertise in both subjects, especially in third year where I got to create my own final project, which linked both subjects together. My tutors throughout both courses and my personal tutor, have always been very supportive, I felt like I could email them at any point and pop in their offices for advice, they were brilliant throughout the three years of study. The lecturers also worked very hard to engage us in lectures and seminars, to make our experience as valuable as possible.

“Since graduating I have gone on to study a Primary PGCE course at Manchester Metropolitan University, which I am thoroughly enjoying and hope to make a career out of.”

“I chose to major in psychology by choosing more modules in that than dance. This means that my degree is now BPS accredited, which will aid a psychology related career, should I choose to pursue one.”

Amber Hale - Graduate W5

Amber Hale - Combined Subjects Psychology with Dance


“There were only a handful of universities in the UK that allowed me to study the two subjects of psychology and dance side by side. I visited and auditioned for a few but, the University of Sunderland offered an excellent psychology course and the kind of dance course that suited me. I am passionate about both subjects and the combined course at Sunderland allows you to pick modules you are especially interested in and mix and match modules. I chose to major in psychology by choosing more modules in that than dance. This means that my degree is now BPS accredited, which will aid a psychology related career, should I choose to pursue one.

“Although difficult at times, as combined courses require a great deal of personal organisation and time management due to lectures and assessments being so varied, I thoroughly enjoyed my three years. I loved that one week I could be submitting a highly scientific psychology report, then the next, doing a practical performance assessment in the dance studio, it was never boring.

“In my third year I was lucky enough to choose a dissertation project that truly combined psychology with dance as I conducted an experiment based on dancers perception of time during movement. All the tutors I worked with from both subjects were hugely supportive and understanding if you went to them for help or advice, especially when I was having difficulty with lecture clashes.

“I highly recommend a combined course, especially psychology with dance or a combination of a science and arts based subjects.”

Student work

Apply for this course

Interested in this course? Read our 7-step guide to applying to university, find all of the University of Sunderland's combined courses on UCAS and apply straightaway.


The UCAS Code will change depending on the combinations of subjects you choose to study. Download the UCAS codes combined subjects (.pdf) to see the offer from the University of Sunderland.‌

Want to know more about this course or the University of Sunderland? Download your personalised prospectus or come to our next Open Day to see the facilities and talk to academic staff:

    Next Open Day

  • Date: Saturday 12th November 2016
  • Time: 9:30am-4:00pm
  • Type: University Open Day
  • Location: Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peter's

Contact Sunderland

Programme Leader:
Jane Johnson

Contact the recruitment team for further information about studying at the University of Sunderland:

Recruitment Team
Telephone: 0191 515 3000 

The details

Course Name Dance - Combined Subjects (Major, Dual and Minor)
UCAS Code See 'Contact & apply' page
Classification BA/BSc (Hons)
Course Mode Full-time
Course Level Undergraduate
Duration 3 or 4 years
Study Location On-campus (Sunderland)
Starting 18 September 2017
UK/EU Fee £9,250
Intl Fee £10,750

Entry requirements

120 points

Related courses

If Dance - Combined Subjects (Major, Dual and Minor) BA/BSc (Hons) isn't right for you, try these courses instead:

Search for something different?