FdA Professional and Commercial Dance

Are you considering a career in dance? On the FdA Professional and Commercial Dance you’ll have the opportunity to gain core skills in ballet, jazz, contemporary and commercial dance, and develop the knowledge and practical experience needed for employment in a variety of exciting and demanding professions in the performing arts industry.

FdA Professional and Commercial Dance

Course details

Designed to give you the edge to succeed in the busy performing arts market place, the Foundation Degree (FdA) Professional and Commercial Dance is a partnership between the University of Bolton and Shockout Arts, based in central Manchester. For full details about Shockout Arts, their open days and accommodation, please visit www.weareshockout.com/arts.

You’ll be based at Shockout Arts, studying and training in their purpose-built, high-specification dance studios that are equal to professional industry standards. Alongside your intensive practical dance training, you’ll have regular performance opportunities to help you develop a diverse range of performance and production skills.

In addition to exploring the core techniques of ballet, jazz, street, hip hop and contemporary dance, you’ll be encouraged to build your skills in acting and singing ready to take advantage of employment opportunities in musical theatre performance. You’ll also be guided to develop a knowledge and understanding of the historical, cultural, societal and political factors that influence UK and international dance practice.

Teaching staff at Shockout Arts are professional practitioners and include BAFTA-nominated choreographers. They are keen to make the time you spend with them as stimulating and rewarding as possible, and enjoy a well-deserved reputation for being approachable and interested in your progress. As teaching often takes place in small groups you’ll have access to individual support and guidance at every stage.

  • UCAS points: 48
  • Start date: 23/09/2019
  • Location: Shockout Arts
  • Award: FdA
  • UCAS code: 8N01
  • Duration: 2 years

Course highlights:

  • Shockout Arts is a dynamic and innovative dance school – the first in the country to offer higher level qualifications in professional and commercial dance in partnership with the University of Bolton.
  • This course provides you with the chance to interact and work alongside professional artists from the dance industry.
  • We offer you the chance to strengthen your CV and benefit from valuable networking opportunities.
  • You can gain additional insights and knowledge of the performing arts industry by exposure to active industry professionals. These can include professional dancers, directors, producers and choreographers.

Key features:

  • The practical elements of this course involve workshops and structured training in a range of dance types, supported and underpinned by theory elements delivered through lectures, presentations, seminars and tutorials.
  • You could develop transferable skills such as critical analysis, creative problem solving, working with other people, planning and time management, oral and written presentation, decision-making, and computer skills.
  • A link tutor provides academic communication between Shockout Arts and the University of Bolton’s academic school, so that the experience you receive as an off campus student is equivalent to that of an on campus student.
  • As an off campus student you'll also have access to the support of the university’s dedicated off campus team and resources, to help make you truly feel part of the institution.
  • You’ll also have access to the university’s e-learning resources, an extensive e-library and the support of university librarians.

Entry requirements

  • UCAS points: 48
  • Start date: 23/09/2019
  • Location: Shockout Arts
  • Award: FdA
  • UCAS code: 8N01
  • Duration: 2 years

Any subjects are acceptable at Level 3, but subjects that include experience of dance are preferred.

You should also have five GCSEs at grade C or above or grade 4 to 9 (or equivalent) including English.

This course is open to UK and EU students. Applications from International students cannot usually be accepted because the study location for this course does not have a Tier 4 licence. Therefore, if you require sponsorship under Tier 4 (i.e. a Tier 4 international student visa to study in the UK) then unfortunately we’ll be unable to consider your application for this course.

In addition, you’ll be required to attend an audition as part of the application process. The quality of the audition is the primary basis on which applicants, with at least the minimum entry requirements, are selected. There is an audition charge that is payable directly to Shockout Arts at the audition (please see additional costs).

You may be required to attend an interview, provide a portfolio of work and take a diagnostic assessment.

You’ll be required to pay a registration fee (please see additional costs). The registration fee is refundable if you do not gain the UCAS points required for entry onto the course or a satisfactory medical report.

Successful applicants and students on the course will need to wear suitable dance attire (a list of items will be provided). You may well have many of these items, but for an estimate of the cost if you need to buy them new, please see additional costs.

If English isn’t your first language you’ll also need IELTS 6.0 with no less than 5.5 in any band (or equivalent). We also accept a range of other English language qualifications – please visit our English Language Requirements web page for more details. Find out more

Career opportunities

Careers in dance are many and varied. When most people think of dance they think about performance. There are many different performance opportunities but all require hard work and perseverance. The most common employers of performing arts graduates include arts organisations, education institutions, leisure companies and voluntary organisations. Short-term or freelance contracts, generating opportunities through networking, attending auditions, collaborating with other artists and putting on your own shows are all part of a performer's lifestyle.

This foundation degree offers an industry relevant specialised education designed to develop your skills, knowledge and expertise in a range of dance genres to a professional level. In addition, you can gain a range of key transferable skills such as confidence, self-presentation, teamwork, self-awareness, communication skills, and the ability to cope with criticism.

What can I do with this qualification?

There are many different career options open to those interested in working in the dance profession, including teaching dance in the community, schools and colleges or in independent studios. Opportunities exist within commercial dance for TV and film, work on cruise ships and within the leisure industry, promotion and commercial events and popular music performance.

A career in performance may need to be complemented with employment in teaching or choreography. Self-employment may be another option, where you could establish your own dance-related business.

You could also choose to build on your foundation degree to get an honours degree, by applying for and studying a final year top-up BA (Hons) programme in a related subject area.

Alternative career options

  • Teaching and education
  • Arts administration
  • Broadcasting
  • Theatre stage support
  • Event management
  • Acting
  • Dance/drama therapy
  • Sports training
  • Marketing and PR
  • Advertising
  • Community arts
  • Musical theatre
  • Mental health and wellbeing

Professional recognition

Fees & funding

Home/EU fees

  Year of study Total
Entry year 2019/202020/212021/22
2019/20 £9,250£9,250-£18,500
2020/21 -nullnullnull

International fees

  Year of study Total
Entry year 2019/202020/212021/22

The fees for a student’s course of study will be set for the normal duration of that course subject only to inflationary increases – measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) recorded in March each year to take effect for subsequent start dates.

The University is currently awaiting Government guidelines as to EU fee charges for students commencing study in 2019/20.

UK undergraduate tuition fees are subject to UK government approval and are subject to the outcome of the Teaching Excellence Framework.

How to apply


Call Admissions

Please contact Admissions by telephone on 01204 903903 or email enquiries@bolton.ac.uk

University of Bolton
Deane Road
Bolton, BL3 5AB
United Kingdom

Tel: 01204 903903
Email: enquiries@bolton.ac.uk


International applications are not possible for this course

As an international student you are not allowed to study this course because of the restrictions on your visa.

We offer a wide range of full-time courses in lots of different subjects, many of our courses start in September and January. If you would like to see what courses are available please visit our Course Search.

Teaching & assessment


Modules listed below are a mixture of compulsory and optional. You may not have the opportunity to study all the modules as part of the course.

  • Core Techniques 1
  • Musical Theatre 1
  • Introduction to Professional Practice
  • Introduction to Commercial Dance
  • Creative Arts 1
  • Core Techniques 2
  • Musical Theatre 2
  • Choreographic Devices
  • Professional and Commercial Showcase
  • Creative Arts 2

Teaching, learning and assessment

We use a variety of teaching and learning strategies throughout the programme to develop appropriate concepts, knowledge and skills and help you achieve the intended learning outcomes. We take a blended learning approach that includes practical sessions, lectures and workshops as well as online support via the university’s virtual learning environment, Moodle. The practical sessions take place within the dance studio environment and are designed to teach each of the core technical forms as well as the specialist area of commercial dance and musical theatre.

In addition, you’ll be expected to spend time on guided independent study; for example, engaging in general background reading, preparing for seminar activities, working on assignments and in rehearsing and training. The development of employability and information literacy skills and personal development planning (PDP) is also explored.

You'll be expected to attend traditional lectures, seminars, practical sessions, workshops and tutorials. You may also have opportunities to work on live projects as part of your practical modules. Through these, you can gain unique insights and a thorough understanding of the performing arts industry operating in international markets and across many sectors.

Some of the key assessment forms for this programme are in-studio technical assessments, practical skills assessments, showcase performances, practical project reports, portfolios, oral presentations, written coursework and a major research project. You’ll receive feedback on your assessments so that you’ll know what you have done well and where you can improve.


The university will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver your course as described in its published material and the programme specification for the academic year in which you begin your course. Please be aware that our courses are subject to review on an ongoing basis. The content of course modules and mode of associated assessments may be updated on an annual basis. This is to ensure that all modules are up to date and responsive to employment and sector needs. The published course material and the programme specification contain indicative ‘optional modules’ that may be subject to change due to circumstances outside of our control. For this reason we cannot guarantee to run any specific optional module.

Assessment methods

Level Assessment method
Level One Coursework (43%), Practical exams (57%)
Level Two Coursework (43%), Practical exams (57%)

Learning activities

Level Learning activity
Level One Guided independent study (34%), Scheduled learning and teaching activities (66%)
Level Two Guided independent study (36%), Scheduled learning and teaching activities (64%)

Contact The University

Key facts

  • UCAS code:
  • Course type:
  • Start date:
  • Location:
    Shockout Arts
  • Award:
  • UCAS points:
  • Duration:
    2 years

Contact us

Yusuf Giga
Academic Partnership Manager, University of Bolton
Email: Y.Giga@bolton.ac.uk
Telephone: +44 (0)1204 903211

Lindsey Brocklebank
Link Tutor, University of Bolton
Email: L.Brocklebank@bolton.ac.uk
Telephone: +44 (0)1204 903288

The Administration Team
Shockout Arts
Email: admin@shockoutsarts.com
Telephone: +44 (0)161 833 9937