In short, if you have a passion for Ballet and dance, we want to hear from you. For entry at the beginning of Year One of the Foundation Degree, the normal entry requirements are: aged 16 by 1 September of the year of enrolment; adequate physical, technical and artistic aptitude and previous training (tested at audition); five passes (9 – 1) predicted at GCSE including English Language (desirable) or equivalent; or satisfactory completion of required entrance tasks; and interest in and aptitude for further academic study. You can find out more about the entry requirements on our course pages: Foundation Degree BA (Hons) Top-Up
We welcome applicants from across the world and Central always has a number of international students on the undergraduate courses from countries including Japan, Singapore, China, Australia and several European countries. For those who are unable to travel to one of our audition locations, we accept video auditions. Find out more on our Video Auditions page.
You need to complete our online application form. There are a few things you need to prepare first though, including your personal statement and headshot. If you are applying with a video audition, you will also need to prepare and film your video before you can submit your application. All information about auditions and the application process is available on our auditions page.
As part of your application, you may be asked to submit a recent headshot. We do not require any other images with your application; you will not need to submit audition photos. Find out more about our application process on our auditions page here.
Most students join Central at the start of the Foundation course and stay for the full three years, completing the two-year Foundation Degree and progressing directly to the Third Year for the BA (Hons) Top-up Degree. Central also accepts direct entry into Year Two or Three, for students with relevant experience and training.
All applicants are encouraged to audition in-person where possible. Auditions take place across the UK and overseas. For anyone who is not able to attend an in-person audition, we accept video auditions. Find out more on our Auditions page.
Applicants will be required to pay an application fee. This covers the cost of the audition itself and the administration of your application. Anyone eligible for our Assisted Application Scheme will not be required to pay the application fee. More information can be found on our Fees and Funding page. Applicants are also encouraged to plan ahead for any potential travel or accommodation costs for in-person auditions.
In your audition, you will be guided through a Ballet class, usually lasting 1 hour and 45 minutes. This will be followed by 30 minutes of Contemporary work. Please note, these timings are subject to change. You will usually be in a group of no more than 30 applicants and we ask you to allow up to 3 hours for your audition, in case the audition runs over.
For September 2024 entry, tuition fees are £9,000 for Home Fee paying students and £22,697 for International students. There are other additional costs you will need to take into account. Find out more about funding your training on our Fees and Funding page.
Yes, there are a variety of additional costs in addition to the tuition fees. Find out more on our Fees and Funding page.
You may be able to borrow money from the UK Government to help pay for Central’s tuition fees and to help with living costs. Most of Central’s UK students are eligible for student loans to cover tuition fees. Central’s undergraduate courses qualify for UK Government student loans. See government website here. The loan is paid directly to Central, and students repay the loan after graduation as a percentage of their income once earnings reach a certain threshold, see government website for more information on how payments are processed and when. Maintenance loans are also available and the amount available is dependent on personal circumstances, see student finance calculator. This loan must also be repaid as a percentage of your income after you graduate and once your earnings are over a certain amount. International students are not eligible to get loans from the UK Government for tuition or living expenses while studying in the UK. Find out more about funding your training on our Fees and Funding page.
UK students are eligible to apply for tuition fee and maintenance loans from Student Finance, as well as being considered for Central’s Means Tested Bursary scheme. Depending on your individual circumstances, additional financial support may be available from our In-house Bursaries. Find out more about funding your training on our Fees and Funding page.
A good understanding of English is needed for students to understand direction in the studio, for the completion of work in the classroom, and for written assignments. International students whose first language is not English will be required to meet the English language requirements of the Student Visa. Applicants for the Foundation Degree (Years 1 or 2) are required to achieve a minimum B1 Level, reaching a 4.0 score in each module band, in an approved English language examination such as International English Language Testing System (IELTS for UKVI), in time to commence their visa application in advance of the course. Applicants for the BA (Hons) Top-up are required to achieve a minimum B2 Level, reaching a 5.5 score in each module band.
International students may be required to obtain a Student Visa prior to commencing a course at Central. If you think you will need a Student Visa, we recommend you research this ahead of making your application. Central is a Student Sponsor and will support a student with their visa application. For further information please visit: gov.uk/student-visa
Central does not provide residential accommodation for students but can recommend accommodation frequently used by dance students living away from home. Many new students communicate with each other prior to the course commencing and search for accommodation together. More information regarding accommodation can be found on our Accommodation page.
Both Central’s undergraduate courses, two-year Foundation Degree and one year BA (Hons) Top Up, are vocational with a high number of contact hours. Students spend approximately 80% of time in the studio or on-stage developing skills and artistry that are both relevant to and coveted by the modern dance industry. The core of the course is Classical Ballet supplemented by classes in Contemporary, Jazz, Spanish, Improvisation and Choreography, see our Course Structure page for more detail. A programme of contextual studies in the classroom underpins the core practical dance training.
Each year group will perform in Central’s in-house Gable Studio Theatre in the annual Winter Showcase as well as a variety of other shows and events throughout the year. The end of year show takes place every year in July, typically at the Britten Theatre in London. Year Two students also take part in choreographic projects which include a range of performances opportunities. Final Year students all join Ballet Central, Central’s touring company. Every year Ballet Central tours a range of repertoire, performing to ticket-buying audiences in theatres and venues across England in the spring and summer terms. This comprehensive performance experience is a unique facet of Central’s dance training. Touring and performing a range of works provides the skills, technique and versatility that make our graduates particularly suited to professional careers in dance. Final Year students are also often asked to join leading ballet and dance company shows to support or supplement dancers in-house. Recent students have joined productions by Scottish Ballet, English National Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet and New Adventures during their training at Central and this opportunity often leads to employment.
Ballet Central is the school’s touring company. The company tours extensively each year during the spring and summer terms. Successful completion of the Foundation Degree allows students to take the BA (Hons) Top-Up year in which they will tour with Ballet Central. Every final year student joins the company and will perform on tour. Each year Central works with established, renowned, and emerging choreographers to produce a range of repertoire for the tour. Students learn the repertoire from experts and dance industry professionals allowing in depth understanding of different types of dance and approaches. The repertoire is then performed on stage in theatres across the country.
Central’s graduates join dance companies around the world, as full-time artists, on contracts for specific productions, and as apprentices. Graduates often find employment in leading international musical theatre productions and in other performance settings where professional dance training is required. Examples include Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures Company, Scottish Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Nederlands Dans Theater, English National Ballet, Northern Ballet, Rambert, Ballet Black, Phantom of the Opera, West End & Worldwide, Milwaukee Ballet – USA, Singapore Dance Theatre, Sarasota Ballet – USA, K-Ballet – Japan, New English Ballet Theatre.
Central has a range of highly qualified tutors, all with professional dance backgrounds. You will also be taught and supported by a range of academic and health and wellbeing staff throughout your training. You can read more about Central’s tutors here.
The Countess of Wessex Studios, Central’s home, is fully equipped with a health and wellbeing suite. This includes a Pilates studio and two treatment rooms. Central has a dedicated team of physiotherapists and an established recovery from injury programme to support students through injuries and to prevent further injuries from occurring. Mental health support is also a priority at Central with internal student support and referral to external services where necessary. Find out more on our Student Support page.
Central’s undergraduate courses welcome around 45 students each year. However, for most classes your year will be split into smaller groups to allow tutors to work with each student individually to tailor training to your unique abilities and challenges.
Central is located in Southwark, part of the vibrant South Bank arts community, home to leading theatres, dance companies, museums, and music venues. The area has excellent connections through London’s comprehensive public transport system – underground, buses and overground trains. Southwark is home to thousands of students who study at universities close by including King’s College, London School of Economics and South Bank University. You will join a strong community of students in the area and experience the diverse culture of Central London!