BA (Hons) (Top Up) Professional Dance and Performance

The BA (Hons) (Top-up) Professional Dance and Performance is a full-time, one-year course

Entry Requirements

Successful completion of Central’s Foundation Degree or sufficient credits from a comparable degree course (See Course Summary)

Course Length

One year commencing September each year

Tuition Fees

£9,000 per year for UK students; £20,985 for international students

Application Dates

Applications for September 2022 entry have now closed.

Applications for September 2023 entry will open in due course.

Degree validated by University of Kent


Course Outline

The BA (Hons) (Top Up) Degree is a full-time, one-year course, designed to offer a course of study to follow on from Central’s Foundation Degree, or equivalent. This course provides a practical understanding of the technical skills and artistry required by the profession in Ballet, Contemporary and Jazz techniques, with the opportunity to extend the skill base to virtuosic level, and provide training in aspects of musical theatre performance.

Throughout the one year course, and extensively in the National Tour Module, by joining Ballet Central, knowledge is used in creative situations working with teachers and external professional practitioners leading to public performance opportunities in a range of contexts, including a national tour of small and mid-scale theatres as well as site-specific venues.

The development of individual talent and unique performance qualities is achieved through the breadth of the curriculum, and, most importantly, the National Tour Module. The preparation and performance of a wide range of repertoire, requiring the practical application of different techniques and styles, alongside variations in artistic and musical interpretation and characterisation, facilitates the development of individual strengths and versatility, leading to the development of the distinctive and unique performing artist.

A Vocational Preparation and Portfolio Module allows students to examine and synthesise concepts from their practical modules linked to career planning and vocational preparation, further extending their transferable skills.

The Dissertation Module requires students to research, develop and perform an appropriate solo from existing ballet or contemporary dance repertoire.  Following selection of a solo the student undertakes extensive research to support the performance of the solo to a high standard, including historical and cultural context, costuming and rehearsal processes.

Experience of community and outreach work is achieved through a series of taught workshops, observations, and participation in outreach events both in the local community and on tour with Ballet Central.

Completing the BA (Hons) (Top-Up) year provides the opportunity secure the BA (Hons) Degree in Professional Dance and Performance, validated by the University of Kent. This internationally recognised qualification establishes graduates as having outstanding achievement validated by a globally respected university and carries a value above and beyond a dancer’s performing career.

From 9 June Central joined the registered Office for Students English higher education providers. From 1 August all undergraduate and postgraduate students studying at Central will be registered with Central School of Ballet rather than the Conservatoire of Dance and Drama. All degree courses will continue to be validated by the University of Kent and this change will have minimal impact on Central’s training and the student experience. Updated Central School of Ballet’s Policies and Procedures for the academic year 2022 – 2023 are currently under review and will be made available in due course.

Potential impacts of Covid-19 on the delivery of Degree Courses

Central School of Ballet is following Government and Public Health guidelines in relation to the pandemic and it may be necessary to make adjustments to the delivery of courses to ensure the safety of students and staff.

Entry Requirements

For entry into the course, the normal requirement will be the successful completion of a Foundation Degree, or 240 credits on a directly comparable course (or equivalent), or the completion of a required entrance task ( a piece of reflective writing and a research task) and an audition. BA (Hons) (Top-up) in Professional Dance and Performance applicants are required to demonstrate a proficiency in both written and verbal English. For international students where English is not their first language, applicants are required to achieve a minimum B2 Level, reaching a 5.5 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.

Note that completion of the Central School of Ballet Foundation Degree does not guarantee direct entry to the BA (Hons) (Top Up) course. Students who continue directly from the Foundation Degree are required to submit an application for the BA (Hons) top up.

International Applicants

Central is proud to welcome students from all over the world. Applicants who live outside of the UK are generally invited to submit a digital application demonstrating they meet the selection criteria, as specified in the stepped application process below. More information for international students is available in the Course Summary.

Successful applicants who live outside of the UK may be required to obtain a visa to study at Central School of Ballet. For more information on visas, please see our Student Visa Guide below. Prospective students are also encouraged to follow the government website for the most up-to-date visa guidance and information.

Attend an Open Day

There are currently no more open days scheduled for September 2022 entry.

Further information regarding September 2023 entry open days will be announced in due course.



How to apply

Applications for September 2022 entry are now closed. If you have any questions regarding applications, please email


Applicants to Central are chosen solely on the basis of talent and potential to develop the skills required for a professional career in dance. Central School of Ballet is committed to widening participation and encourages applications from students regardless of their background. Central actively encourages applications from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds, from lower income households, and from those in care, care leavers or those estranged. Central will support those with cognitive and learning disabilities and those with sensory, medical or physical disabilities to enable them to access the audition and course.

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students will be £9,000 per year for entry in 2022. Note that EU students are now classified as International. There may be an increase in fees for both UK and International undergraduate students in the second and third years of study – for more information please see Central’s Fees Policy for 2022 entry on our Policies and Procedures page.

If you are new to higher education, remember you will not have to pay in advance of your course and you may be eligible for financial support, see Funding and Bursaries below.

International Students

The tuition fees for all international undergraduate students will be £20,985 per year for entry in September 2022.

Additional Costs

You need to budget for additional costs while training at Central, including Private Medical Insurance, training uniform, and resource fee.  International students also need to budget for language tuition (where necessary) and Confirmation of Acceptance for Study (Student visa applicants).

Funding and Bursaries


If you are an English domiciled student and this is your first degree you can apply for financial support from Student Finance England: Government undergraduate loan

You can apply for:

  • A tuition fee loan. Note that the loan is paid directly to Central and you will have to pay it back
  • A maintenance loan to help with living costs is available up to £7,747 if you are living at home, up to £12,010 if you are living away from home in London. You may need to provide details of your household income. The loan is paid directly into your bank account at the start of each term. You will have to pay the loan back.

Remember you will need to reapply for Student Finance for each year of your training.


Depending upon your individual circumstances, bursary support may be available from Central. The in-house bursary fund is open for applications twice a year, once in the autumn term and once in the spring term. Awards are made in line with the school’s student support policy and the available funds.

Application Fee Waiver

Applicants who meet the criteria may be eligible to apply for an Application Fee Waiver.

You must meet all of the following essential criteria to be eligible for a free audition:

  • You are a current UK Resident
  • You are applying to an undergraduate programme (FD or BA degree)
  • You have no previous first degree qualifications (FD or BA degree)
  • You have an annual household income of less than £25,000 before tax

In addition to the essential criteria, applications will be prioritised for individuals matching one or more of the following criteria:

  • State school or college educated
  • Black and Minority Ethnic Background
  • Declared Disability
  • Care leaver
  • Estranged student

Further information will be released when applications open for September 2023 entry.

Central will also always endeavour to respond to situations of hardship and emergency requests for funding. Should a student find themselves in need of emergency funding, please contact the Senior School Manager

Term Dates

Central’s academic year commences in September and comprises of three terms; the autumn term runs from early September to mid-December, the spring term from January to March/April and the summer term from April to mid-July.

Download the term dates for the academic years 2021-22 and 2022-23 below.

Student Support

Becoming part of the Central family, enjoying the experience of training and the chance to perform are all are an important part of becoming and professional dancer.  Central has a long tradition of providing a comprehensive range of support services for students to support wellbeing and optimal performance.

All Central’s teaching and support staff are selected for their openness and expertise in their field. Students are allocated male and female ballet tutors who oversee work and progress across the course and, where necessary, provide guidance towards the appropriate source of support. We encourage open discussions about progress on a regular basis. Many students will be living away from home or abroad for the first time and may face challenges during their training. We aim to provide the support and services to ensure that the highest level of individual care is offered.

Services provided to students include:

  • Support for students with disabilities
  • Counselling and guidance for mental health and wellbeing
  • Financial assistance
  • Academic support
  • English language classes (where needed)

Working towards optimal performance

For most students, enrolment at Central School of Ballet is a significant step towards a career as a professional dancer. Central provides a holistic approach to training, with a focus on physical, emotional development and wellbeing. Dancers at Central will achieve a level of fitness similar to elite athletes by the end of the three year degree. To achieve this optimal performance, each dancer needs to maintain a balance of healthy body and mind. Students have open access to a comprehensive range of support services and staff to achieve this goal:

  • Physiotherapist
  • Pilates Instructor
  • Nutritionist
  • Performance Psychologist
  • Injury Prevention & Recovery Team

Disability and learning support

Central welcomes students with different abilities and additional needs. Central will support those with learning difficulties and disabilities to enable them to access the audition and course. So that each student can reach their fullest potential and meet personal goals, Central recognises that close personal and learning support is required and necessary.

Professional Development and Contextual Studies

The students enrolled on Central’s degree courses develop an exceptional range of skills and experience during their time at Central. This is due to a meticulously planned curriculum which integrates practical training with professional development modules that provide opportunities for research, career planning, goal-setting and contextual studies.

Student Life

Central offers rigorous degree level training in a range of skills that are both relevant to, and coveted by, the modern dance industry and we provide this in an environment which is positive, nurturing, supportive and encouraging.

Graduate Success

Kanika Carr, Performer at The Lion King (West End)

"I had some truly inspiring teachers during my time at Central School of Ballet."

Sarah Kundi, First Artist at English National Ballet

“My time at Central was a vital phase in my pre-professional career during which I gained the knowledge and tools necessary to pursue a career in ballet."