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HND Diploma in Performing Arts (Performance) Dance

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Course Details

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Subtitle In Partnership with – Theatre Royal Wakefield
Location Mechanics’ Theatre - Wakefield City Campus
Level Level 5
Start Date September
Duration 2 years
Mode of Study Full time
Awarding Body Edexcel BTEC
Professional Body Pearson, Edexcel, BTEC
Offering Code HDL5DAN1D000
UCAS Code O55W
Programme Design and Overview

At Mechanics’ Performing Arts we deliver a full time Higher National Diploma in Dance that is designed to training performers, choreographers and dance practitioners at a higher level for those who wish to pursue a career within the dance industry. This course provides professional dance training in commercial, contemporary, jazz, ballet, tap, choreography, conditioning and community dance teaching. After this course many of our graduates convert this qualification by studying their own tailor made BA Hons Top Up course to achieve the BA Hons Degree in Performance Industries.
We have close links to many areas of the industry and our graduates are now working all around the world in a variety of different employment areas including on cruises, professional dance companies, freelancing, dance teaching. Our students take part in industry led days where artists from across the industry, such as casting and talent agents, professional artists and our own graduates come and inform our students of current aspects needed for a successful career in today’s industry.

The units you'll study have been specially chosen to enable you to develop technical and performance skills, to achieve a sound knowledge of the industry and give you optimum scope for accessing further study or employment. Our students take part in a variety of internal and external projects with a termly performances to provide as many performance platforms as possible.

Performance platforms have included Phoenix Dance Theatre Platform, Fresh Dance Platform, Move it, Can You Dance and collaboration with professional dance artists, corporate businesses and commercial adverts. Your study will provide you with the opportunity to apply your experience in the studios to a diverse range of performance spaces such as community-based contexts, choreographic projects, and professional theatres.

Through practical classes you'll develop a wide range of dance performance techniques drawn from the work of world-renowned choreographers. You'll grow as technical dancers, experience a range of classes which will increase your strength, flexibility and versatility. Dancers undertake weekly conditioning classes to improve their dance fitness and develop new skills.

All projects and performances are linked to the performing arts industry to give a real flavour of working as a dancer, choreographer, teacher and theorist. A variety of teaching and learning methods are used to encourage and facilitate your creative and artistic development and bring together practice and theory. Independent and collaborative learning will be encouraged through use of practical workshops, interactive lectures, resource-based learning, individual and group work, tutorials, discussion, critiques, performances, and rehearsals.

Indicative Content

• The Performing Arts Industry
• Professional Development
• Creative Research Project
• Working in the Performing Arts
• Contemporary Dance 1
• Contemporary Dance 2
• Ballet 1
• Ballet 2
• Tap Dance 1
• Tap Dance 2
• Jazz Dance 1
• Jazz Dance 2
• Commercial Dance 1
• Commercial Dance 2
• Choreography 1
• Choreography 2
• Performance Project

Delivery Methods Course hours typically stand at 15 hrs contact per week of lectures, rehearsals, workshops and self-directed study. This can increase during performance weeks and will require evening work and on occasions and some weekends. You are also required to undertake conditioning classes to improve strength, flexibility and stamina to help you develop.
Nature of Assessments on the Programme

The College assesses you through the coursework that you produce as you complete each unit, this may include finished pieces of work, written work, your research, and a reflective journal which allows you to evaluate your learning and highlight your strengths and areas for further development.

The majority of units have some form of performance-based assessment attached that focus on a range of performance skills and genres.

There are two types of assessment that you will receive while on your course:

Formative assessment is the process whereby your work and progress are assessed at regular intervals with
accompanying feedback from staff to help to improve your performance. Staff will provide you with feedback on the progress of your work before you reach the assessment point at the end of the unit. This may take place one-to-one with a tutor (e.g. in a tutorial) or in group sessions.

Summative assessment is the process whereby your work is evaluated and given a mark at the end of course unit. Summative assessment formally records your achievement of the unit’s learning outcomes and final feedback.

You will be assessed against the approved unit learning outcomes and assessment requirements as outlined in the unit handbooks, these typically include the module descriptor, assignment brief(s) and programme outlines. The unit handbooks guide you through the specific areas of work in which you will be engaged to produce the work required for assessment and so successfully achieve the unit learningoutcomes. Many courses also employ self and peer evaluation or assessment within their overall assessment processes. Self-evaluation and self-assessment require you to reflect upon your learning and performance and to submit this to tutors. Peer evaluation and peer assessment are used when students have been working in teams and require each team member to reflect upon their peers’ performance and to submit this to tutors or to give you support and guidance in developing areas of performance. There is a minimum of one piece of assessed work per unit.

Your tutors will help you to track your areas of achievement for each unit/module and to identify and discuss with your opportunities to collate evidence for module achievement You will be graded using the Edexcel guidelines and specifications to assess whether the evidence produced for assignments has reached the required standard at pass, merit or distinction level.

Assessment is ongoing within sessions and will comprise of peer and self-assessment as well as tutor assessment. There is a minimum of one piece of assessed work per unit.

Entry Requirements

64 UCAS tariff points from A Levels or a Level 3 Extended Diploma in a related subject.
An Access courses.

GCSE Grade C or above in English Language (or equivalent qualification) is required.

Those with previous experience or learning that is relevant may be eligible via our APL process for accreditation towards this course.

All applicants are required to audition consisting of an interview and a dance class including a creative task. You will need to prepare a dance solo of your choice that showcases your ability and style. This should be 1 and 1/2 minutes in length.

Attendance Expectations

Full time: 2 years, 3 days per week plus evening performances/ some weekends. You will also be expected to see local and national performances to enhance your performing arts knowledge and experience different kinds of performances.

As the very nature of performing arts is unsociable, there will be times when you are needed to work later than usual. This type of attendance will be given in advance.

Attendance - Please note

Theory lessons take place at the Main College Campus on Margaret Street and the brand-new ASIC (Advanced Skills and Innovation Centre) where up to date technology can be used to complete your studies.

Performances generally take place at The Mechanics’ Theatre in the Waterton Building. In the past, performances have also taken place at the Theatre Royal Wakefield.

Fee Information

These fees relate to 2020/21

Annual Tuition Fee : Full-time £6750.00 per year

All eligible full-time Home and EU undergraduate students are entitled to apply for affordable Student Loans and Grants towards their tuition fees. For more information, please visit:

Different fees apply to international/overseas students and those studying this qualification as a standalone course. per year.

All eligible full-time Home and EU undergraduate students are entitled to apply for affordable Student Loans and Grants towards their tuition fees. For more information, please visit:

Different fees apply to international/overseas students and those studying this qualification as a standalone course.

Additional Course Costs

What the College provides for your tuition fees


• Induction week course activities
• Teaching and technical instruction
• Access to, and use of relevant workshops and equipment
• Access to, and use of relevant equipment in studios, including computers
• Materials used as part of timetabled workshop inductions
• Access to, and use of recycled materials within workshop
• Access to Academic Registry and Student Support
• Access to Careers Advice
• Access to the Library and associated resources
• Some local study visits
• Performance opportunities
• Discounted entry at Theatre Royal Wakefield and a range of shops and venues around the City

Not included:

• Equipment for your personal or private use
• Dance wear uniform items. I.e. Leotards/Training wear, shoes and tights
• Day-to-day items you may need as part of your personal, portable toolkit
• Materials for producing your own work beyond inductions
• Books for your personal or private use outside key course texts available in the Library
• Study visits, unless specified
• Course and personal equipment

We advise Performing Arts students to invest in a basic set of equipment to help get started on the course. Depending on your specialism this equipment will inevitably vary; for example, as a student of Performing Arts, you may give some thought to investing in a range of suitable movement wear, stationary and a USB stick. We would encourage you to give some consideration to this before starting your course with us, and your future Course Leader will be happy to advise you regarding any queries you may have before starting your course with us.

Because of the choice and diversity of materials for Performing Arts practice, it is not possible to generalise about the costs that you might incur. Course requirements will largely determine the amount which you need to budget. For theatre visits or visiting practitioners your costs will not normally exceed £200. You will be expected to contribute to the purchasing of costumes for which you will have ownership of, this will not normally exceed £50

You will be provided with a reading list, these titles are available in our college library. If you chose to purchase your own copies, you can buy used or new from websites such as Amazon.

Information regarding suppliers of related services and materials within the region can be easily obtained from the internet or academic staff within the College.

Financial Support Information

The government provides financial assistance to help pay for tuition fees and to help with living costs. To find out more, visit the website at:

We have a strong commitment to widening access to higher education, and to help we have a range of bursaries and scholarships to support eligible students starting a higher education course with us in September. To find out more, email:

For more information on any funding or money matter issues please contact the Financial Support Team. Get in touch on 01924 789283 or email:

Further Study This course is recognised as a qualification in its own right or can be combined with a top-up degree to obtain a full honours degree like our BA (Hons) Performance Industries course. Alternatively, you can study a PGCE or Certificate in Education to progress to teaching.
Career Opportunities

Careers in the performing arts industry include being a dancer, choreographer, community arts worker, arts manager, teacher, or entrepreneur.

Previous students have had numerous careers after the course including performing professionally, teaching in educational establishments, set up their own dance schools/companies and working as freelance artists.

How to Apply Please apply through UCAS  Course Code 055W.
Admissions Process After applying through UCAS or through the college, all applicants are required to audition consisting of an interview and a dance class including a creative task. You will need to prepare a dance solo of your choice that showcases your ability and style. This should be 1 and 1/2 minutes in length.
Pre-enrolment Preparation There is no pre-enrolment preparation required.
Group Size A typical group size is between 7-15, in some classes where units are generic across pathways, this number will increase to between 20 - 30
Disability Support Information

We’re committed to a programme of support to ensure that the Equality and Diversity policy is fully effective. We recognise the importance of effective support mechanisms in enabling all students to achieve their potential and will continue to improve provision for students with a disability.

The Additional Support Service is responsible for supporting disabled learners and those with language support needs. The earlier you request support, the quicker it can be provided, so if you know you’ll need support or adjustments, contact us in good time before your course starts. Get in touch on 01924 789120 or email us at:

Terms and Conditions All units must be achieved in order to gain the correct amount of credits for the level of qualification.
For Further Details

Louise Wilkins, HND Dance Coordinator on 01924 789831 email:

Open Events

To see our upcoming Open Events and to sign-up for priority entry, please click here:

Case Study

"The HND was a fantastic course that I cannot fault and I feel prepared me adequately for employment within the industry. I am currently completing my Post Graduate Certificate in Education in Lifelong Learning at Wakefield College, this will be a 2 year part-time course allowing me to work alongside this and also apply for any dance teaching or performance opportunities that may arise. I am also currently working as a Choreographer’ Emma Jo Davis - Previous HND Dance Student.

‘I would highly recommend the HND in Performing Arts Dance Pathway for anyone wishing to pursue in the Dance Industry. This industry is a competitive one and it pays to comprehensive knowledge of it before you venture in to it! Not only did the HND provide me with fantastic technique classes in a variety of styles to a professional level, but the tutors themselves had valuable experience in the industry, passing on their personal guidance. The course is designed, not only to give me the physical ability to pursue your career, but the theoretical and mental skills too… I am very grateful for the experiences I had during my time on this course and I definitely wouldn't be where I am now without it.’ Cassie Butler – Previous HND Dance Student.

The HND Dance that I did at Wakefield College was a valuable part of my preparation to enter the dance industry. It gave me valuable training in contemporary, ballet and Jazz styles which helped me to become a more rounded performer. I was given the opportunity to develop my dance teaching skills which went on to become a more prominent aspect of my dance career. I was also given the opportunity to develop my own style and start to become the dancer I am today.’ Nicci Bateman – Previous HND Dance Student.

Course Groups (W) Higher Education
Subject Area (W) Performing Arts
Client Group (W) 19+, International, Higher Education
Search Ref (W) 57777
Website Ref (W)
Information last amended: 21 April 2020 14:27