BA (Hons) Professional and Commercial Dance

On the BA (Hons) 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.

BA (Hons) Professional and Commercial Dance

Course details

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

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, 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 the ability to research, and understand, the historical, cultural, societal and political factors that influence UK and international dance practice.

Teaching staff at Shockout Arts are professional practitioners and 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: 104
  • Location: Shockout Arts
  • Award: BA (Hons)
  • UCAS code: W660
  • Duration: 3 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.
  • 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.
  • 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: 104
  • Location: Shockout Arts
  • Award: BA (Hons)
  • UCAS code: W660
  • Duration: 3 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, Mathematics and Science.

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’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

The most common employers of performing arts graduates include arts and education organisations. Short-term or freelance contracts, generating opportunities through networking, attending auditions, collaborating with other artists are all part of a performer's lifestyle.

This degree aims to provide an industry-relevant specialised education that will develop your skills, knowledge and expertise in a range of dance genres to a professional level. In addition, you could 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?

Graduates can take advantage of opportunities in a wide range of careers relating to performance, creative producing, education, community, and curatorial and arts administration. Opportunities exist in commercial dance for TV, cruise ships and in promotion and commercial events and popular music performances.

A career in performance is often complemented with employment in teaching or choreography. Self-employment may be another option, where you could establish your own dance-related business. Alternatively, you may choose to further your studies at postgraduate level, or train to become a dance teacher in the education sector.

Alternative career options

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

Professional recognition

Fees & funding

Home/EU fees

  Year of study Total
Entry year 2020/212021/222022/232023/24
2020/21 £9,250£9,250£9,250-£27,750
2021/22 -nullnullnullnull

International fees

  Year of study Total
Entry year 2020/212021/222022/232023/24

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


September start

Please apply through UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) for September entry.

The online application form and guidance notes are available on the UCAS website.

You can apply for up to 5 courses through UCAS (at the same or different institutions) for a fee of £24. Alternatively, if you only wish to apply for a single course at a single institution then a reduced applicant's fee of £13 is applicable.

You will need the following information to complete your UCAS application form:

  • Institution Code Name: BOLTN

  • Institution Code Number: B44

UCAS - Universities and Colleges Admissions Service

Tel: 0870 1122211


The University welcomes applications from international students from all over the world. We try to make the application process as simple and as fast as possible for our international applicants.

This course is not currently accepting online applications

Please contact Admissions by telephone on 01204 903903 or email

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

Tel: 01204 903903

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
  • Contextual Studies 1
  • Core Techniques 2
  • Musical Theatre 2
  • Contextual Studies 2
  • Choreographic Devices
  • Professional and Commercial Showcase
  • Major Project
  • Professional Practice and Self Promotion
  • Advanced Technical Studies
  • Research in Context

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 (38%), Practical exams (62%)
Level Two Coursework (20%), Practical exams (80%)
Level Three Coursework (62%), Practical exams (38%)

Learning activities

Level Learning activity
Level One Guided independent study (35%), Scheduled learning and teaching activities (65%)
Level Two Guided independent study (36%), Scheduled learning and teaching activities (64%)
Level Three Guided independent study (56%), Scheduled learning and teaching activities (44%)

Contact The University

Key facts

  • UCAS code:
  • Course type:
  • Location:
    Shockout Arts
  • Award:
    BA (Hons)
  • UCAS points:
  • Duration:
    3 years

Contact us

The Admissions Team
Shockout Arts
Telephone: +44 (0)161 833 9937

Yusuf Giga
Academic Partnership Manager, University of Bolton
Telephone: +44 (0)1204 903211

Lindsey Brocklebank
Link Tutor, University of Bolton
Telephone: +44 (0)1204 903288