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BA (Hons) Dance: Urban Practice

Course overview

Start date

September 2017

Subject area

Arts and Digital Industries




On campus

Course summary

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.

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 dance, create dance, collaborate in dance managing yourself and others and, well, you will discover and dance many various types of dance.

UCAS points


Course options


UCAS code


Contact us

If you have any questions, talk to a member of our Applicant Enquiries team on +44 (0) 20 8223 3333 or email

Get in touch

Multi-talented professionals

You’ll be taught by a team of multi-talented professionals, featuring skilled academics, specialist dancers and choreographers. You’ll learn to move and dance in ways you’ve never done before.

Unique course

This is a unique, trailblazing course. We pioneered it, and it’s the only one in the UK to focus on urban dance styles from around the globe.

Hands-on experience 

You’ll be able to perform in and help organise COLL!DE - one of Britain’s most vibrant and innovative annual student-led dance festivals.

Enquire Visit UEL

Scott Dean

Dance: Urban Practice, BA (Hons)

I chose UEL because its urban dance course is the only one of its kind in the UK. The most memorable thing has been seeing myself and others finding our own style and also progressing academically.

Entry requirements


New UCAS Points

A Level
Must include passes at A2 in at least two subjects.
Extended Diploma (QCF) or Diploma (QCF)
International Baccalaureate
Diploma with 27 points including a minimum of 15 points at Higher Level
We would normally expect you to have Grade C in GCSE English and Maths. Applicants will be expected to attend an audition, an interview and bring one piece of writing along with them (See below for details)


(Including European Union)

We accept a range of qualifications from across the world. Please see our country pages for information on specific entry requirements for your country.


All Applicants

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 fulfill 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.

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

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

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

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 relevant life/work experience that equips them to succeed on the course. We will assess this from the information provided in your application (particularly your personal statement) and may ask you to attend an interview or submit a piece of work to help us decide on your eligibility for the course. Our pre-entry Information Advice and Guidance Team are able to provide further advice on entry requirements and suitability for study.

You can speak to a member of our Applicant Enquiries team on +44 (0)20 8223 3333, Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm. Alternatively, you can visit our Information, Advice and Guidance centre. Please click here for details.

What you'll learn

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.

What you'll study and when

Choreographing the Body, Staging the Body (core)
Moving Bodies, Exploring Space (core)
Locating Dance Cultures, Making Dance Cultures (core)
Reading the Body, Preparing the Body (core)
Site-Specific Contexts (core)
Screening Dance, Dance on Screen (core)
Thinking Bodies, Sharing Space (core)
Crossing Borders, Hybrid Forms (core)
Producing Dance, Staging Events (core)
Final Project (core)
Performing Bodies, Shaping Space (core)
Practicing Research, Researching Practice (core)
Placement: Dance in the Community, Working in the Community (core)

How you'll be assessed

We’ll assess you course through practical performances, rehearsals and dance technical developments. We assess theoretical work through essays, workbooks and journals that reflect on progress and performance. Second and third-year modules contribute to the final degree award classification.

In your final year, you’ll undertake a compulsory written dissertation and a placement with a dance organisation or company.

Course specification

How you'll learn

You’ll learn as you dance. Our students land exciting opportunities, such as the chance in 2013 to perform for the Queen at the televised 60th anniversary Buckingham Palace concert.

Then there’s the opportunity to help organise, choreograph and perform in our acclaimed student-run festival COLL!DE - a wonderful day-long, international celebration of dance.

You’ll be taught by a team of professionals, featuring skilled academics, specialist dancers and choreographers.

They’re multi-talented, like Course Leader Carla Trim-Vamben. She’s a professional performer and researcher who has trained in contemporary, contemporary African and club dances such as waacking and has years of experience as a community dance practitioner teaching dance nationally and internationally.

We’re situated ideally in University Square Stratford, with its advanced performance studios and more than £750,000 of new specialist equipment, close to Stratford Circus, East London Dance and Theatre Royal Stratford East.

They’re among our partners, who work closely with us to offer professional development, performance viewings and workshops.

You’ll have the chance to take up work placements here in the UK as well as abroad.

One of our students worked with Breakin’ Convention at Sadler’s Wells - the international festival of hip-hop dance theatre.

Another has taken advantage of our ‘Going Global’ bursary to teach dance in Ghana as part of Awareness Through Dance - a charity focusing on dance’s power to be a medium for social change.

Your future career

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.

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Meet us in your country

Our international team travel overseas regularly to meet prospective students and attend recruitment fairs. Our academics also give regular lectures overseas and are happy to speak to prospective students. In addition, we have a large worldwide network of advisors who can provide guidance and support with applying to study at the University of East London.

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