Diploma in Dance Teaching Studies*

This programme is designed to extend knowledge, understanding and practice of dance teaching across a range of contexts and genres in preparation for working in an increasingly diverse employment market.


The programme is offered part-time over two years through distance learning, enabling you to study alongside other commitments. You will receive one-to-one tutorial support from experienced tutors, with opportunities for collaborative study through online student forums. And, each module is supported by a comprehensive module study guide and online materials.

Entry Requirements

Applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Hold a Certificate in Ballet Teaching Studies or a Level 4 dance teaching qualification or equivalent.
  • Have access to 38 teaching hours across the two year programme.

Applicants without formal qualifications may be considered on submission of video/DVD evidence. (Please refer to the How to Apply section for guidance on the content of the video). Accreditation of Prior Learning: Applicants who are offered a place may apply for Accreditation of Prior Learning (AP(E)L), including experiential learning, against one or more modules. Please note that application for AP(E)L is a separate process which can only take place after an offer has been made and accepted. All applications for AP(E)L will be processed centrally by the Faculty of Education Registry in London. AP(E)L is a lengthy, time-consuming process for which a fee will be charged.

Language of delivery

Students who do not have English as a first language

If your first language is not English and you are applying for a programme where an English Language Proficiency test is required, you must achieve one of the following qualifications:

  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS): band 6.5 overall, with a minimum of 6.0 in each of the subtests. The IELTS test must have been taken no earlier than two years before the date of the Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies is issued.
  • Some other school leaving or matriculation certificates contain a compulsory examination in English and these may be taken as equivalent.
  • If you have another recently achieved English language qualification, please check with our Registry department faculty@rad.org.uk to see if it is acceptable.

Further study & career development

Graduates of the Diploma in Dance Teaching Studies may apply for a place on the BA (Hons) Dance Education and enter the programme at Level 5. Applicants will normally be required to undertake three compulsory modules at Level 5 completing 60 credits and then 120 credits at Level 6 to complete the Award.

Please be aware that if you enter the BA (Hons) Dance Education via this route but do not subsequently complete the degree, you are not eligible for a University of Bath exit award. Only if you successfully achieve all required modules at Level 5 and Level 6 will you be eligible for a University of Bath award.

See the BA (Hons) Dance Education programme page for further details and Fees and Funding pages for tuition fee information.

Additional Information

For prospective applicants who may be eligible to apply for either the Certificate in Ballet Teaching Studies or Diploma in Dance Teaching Studies programmes, please see the following comparison chart which will provide you with information on the fundamental components of both programmes. Among other areas covered, this chart includes reference to: the length, aims and types of modules studied on both programmes.

*This programme is currently under review and will not run in January 2024.

How to apply

Programme Content

Year 1


Dance Pedagogy: How Learners Learn, How Teachers Teach


This module focuses on developing your knowledge and understanding of how learners and teachers engage with and inform the process of learning dance.

The module also explores:

  • What is meant by learning?
  • Peer learning opportunities to support reciprocal learning
  • Socio-economic circumstances which can impact on a learner’s potential and engagement in class
  • How adults learn (andragogy) and the relationship to pedagogy
  • Stages of learning in relation to skill acquisition
  • Different forms of feedback to enhance learning
  • Motivation and goal setting as an essential element for learning and personal development
  • Assessing learning in informal and formal settings
  • Dance teachers as role models

Dance Pedagogy: Theory to Practice


This first teaching placement will teach you how to apply effective teaching practices and strategies underpinned by theoretical principles of dance pedagogy and reflective practice.

The module also explores:

  • Applying theoretical principles of dance pedagogy to professional practice
  • Inclusion and differentiation theories and strategies
  • Reflective practice for dance teaching
  • Evaluating and developing teaching skills

Safe Practice and Enhancing Performance (Optional)

This option module aims to promote a secure understanding of both physical and psychological factors affecting dance performance to inform teaching practice.

The module also explores:

  • Psychological and emotional wellbeing in dance performance and injury prevention
  • Somatic practices in dance
  • Conditioning for optimum performance
  • Fitness for dance
  • Scheduling activity for optimum training and performance
  • Factors affecting flexibility and stability
  • Training for proprioception, strength and stability

Ballet Studies (optional module)


This option module focuses on promoting a secure understanding of progressions of ballet vocabulary through established movement analysis frameworks in order to develop teaching practice.

The module also explores:

  • Understanding and using movement frameworks to develop and enhance creative teaching practices
  • Extending vocabulary: Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) Advanced work
  • Teaching young children: creating dance classes for the young child
  • Creating movement sequences to support RAD syllabus settings

Year 2


Extending Teaching Practice

In this second teaching placement, you will focus on your primary or main teaching context in order to develop increased knowledge and understanding and higher level teaching skills. In addition to this you will carry out a further placement in a new teaching context. These skills include assessment for learning and teaching creatively as well as the ability to adapt teaching to the needs of individual learners. The module will integrate theory and practice and the assessment will be via a practical teaching assessment, an accompanying lesson plan and a vive voce.

The following are specific areas which will be considered in the module:

  • Exploring how context affects teaching practice
  • Reflection in Action: developing reflective practice through Donald Schön’s concepts of ‘reflection in action’ and ‘reflection on action’ (1983)
  • Evaluating teaching skills in known and new contexts and developing professional practice
  • Planning for progression, assessment for learning and student achievement through application of relevant theoretical principles
  • Refining and developing effective planning and time management strategies

People Dancing: Dance as a Participatory Art Form (optional)

This option module will offer you an opportunity to develop secure knowledge and understanding of community dance as a participatory art practice and its relevance to the development of professional opportunities.

  • Investigating the definitions and concepts of community dance and the plurality of influences, aesthetic and practice
  • The role of artist, teacher and leader in community dance
  • Researching the contexts in which community dance occurs and the participants involved
  • Identifying competencies applicable to teaching and leading community dance and the relevance of these to
  • practice, communities, stakeholders and the dance profession
  • Evaluate and value dance as a participatory art practice
  • Identifying personal communities – people, networks, stakeholders, partnerships, hubs, customers.

Music for Studio and Stage (optional)

This option module aims to promote a secure understanding of music as it is used in dance teaching and performance.

The module will also explore:

  • Theories of expression, communication and meaning in music
  • The social functions of music
  • Key concepts in musicality and development in dance pedagogy
  • Musical aspects of selected dance styles and teaching contexts
  • Rhythm, metre and timing in music and dance
  • Use voice to communicate musical ideas, rhythm and phrasing
  • Introduction to computer-based sound editing and processing

Evaluating Professional Practice and Values


This module will allow you to critically evaluate professional practice through compliance with legislation and codes of conduct, and to identify opportunities for professional development.

The module also explores:

  • Understanding legislation: RAD policies, codes of conduct, equal opportunities, safeguarding and risk assessment
  • Developing professional values through high expectations of self and others
  • The role of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) for dance teachers
  • Developing appropriate networks and partnerships across dance teaching contexts
  • Developing career plans using relevant frameworks


Modules are assessed through a variety of practical examinations, written assignments, recorded oral presentations, projects, case studies and teaching portfolios.
Programme Specification


Successful completion of the programme leads to the award of Diploma in Dance Teaching Studies and eligibility for registration as a teacher with the Royal Academy of Dance.

60 seconds with…

60 seconds with…Felicity Kerr, Programme Manager for the Diploma in Dance Teaching Studies
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