Foundation Degree Professional Dance and Performance

New students commence with the two year Foundation Degree and, on successful completion, can progress to the one year BA (Hons) (Top Up) course to achieve the BA (Hons) Degree in Professional Dance and Performance. Both courses are predominantly vocational with a high number of contact hours.

Entry Requirements

Age 16 by 1st September of the year of enrolment; adequate physical, technical, and artistic aptitude for professional dance training and previous training experience; five GCSE subjects (9-1) including English Language or equivalent. Overseas students - see Course Summary

Course Length

Two years commencing September each year

Open Evening

To be announced

Tuition Fees

2021: £9,250 per year for UK students; £20,573 for overseas students

Application Dates

Applications for September 2022 entry will open in the Autumn

Degree validated by University of Kent


Course Outline

The Foundation Degree is designed to directly lead to the BA (Hons) Professional Dance and Performance.  Both courses are predominantly vocational with a high number of contact hours.

Stage One provides students with a practical understanding of the fundamentals of Ballet and Contemporary Dance (Graham-based) technique, with supplementary studies in Spanish technique and Choreography work.  Stage Two provides a practical understanding of the technical skills and artistry required by the profession in Ballet, Contemporary Dance (Cunningham-based) and supplementary studies in Jazz and Choreography. The teaching aims for students to use this knowledge in a rehearsal and professional performance situation including solo and group pieces, and work for public performance.

A course in contextual studies underpins the practical dance training. These skills are essential in sustaining a career as a professional dancer. Through regular self-evaluation and goal-setting, students develop into successful reflective practitioners. The work of key practitioners in Ballet and Contemporary dance (from the 19th century to the present day) is woven throughout the course in both practical and theoretical modules and is used to inform stylistic and interpretative differences.

Progressing to the third year provides the opportunity to work towards 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. The University of Kent and the Conservatoire for Dance and Drama have both been awarded the highest possible rating in the Government’s Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF). The TEF Panel judged that the University of Kent consistently delivers outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for its students.

The school is currently a member school of the Conservatoire for Dance and Drama (CDD), but over the next few years will be moving towards greater independence. For further details and timelines, see Central’s full statement here:

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.

Attend an Open Evening

The 2021 Virtual Open Evening has now taken place. Please regularly visit our website, sign up for news updates and follow us on social media to be notified of future Open Days.

Entry Requirements

For entry at the beginning of year 1, the normal requirement will be: aged 16 on entry; adequate physical, technical & artistic aptitude and previous training (tested at audition and by physical examination); five GCSE subjects (9-1), predicted at application stage and required for enrolment, including English Language (desirable) or equivalent; or satisfactory completion of required entrance tasks and interest in and aptitude for further academic study.

For entry into year 2 the normal requirement will be the successful completion of a Certificate (i.e. 120 units of certificate level learning on a directly comparable course or equivalent); or satisfactory completion of required entrance tasks; a piece of reflective writing or a research task and an audition.

Foundation Degree in Professional Dance and Performance applicants are required to demonstrate a proficiency in both written and verbal English. For overseas students where English is not their first language, applicants 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), in time to commence their visa application in advance of the course.

Overseas 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 overseas 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.


How to Apply

Applications for September 2022 entry will open in the Autumn.

Applicants to Central are chosen solely on the basis of talent and potential to develop the skills required for a professional career in dance. In line with the Conservatoire for Dance and Drama the other CDD schools, 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

Entry in 2021

Tuition fees for Central School of Ballet are set by the Conservatoire for Dance and Drama. The Conservatoire’s tuition fees for UK undergraduate students will be £9,250 per year for entry in 2021. Note that EU students are now classified as Overseas. There may be an increase in fees for both UK and Overseas undergraduate students in the second and third years of study – for more information please see the Conservatoire for Dance and Drama’s Fees Policy for 2021 entry: CDD fees and financial support 2021

The Conservatoire is a publicly funded institution which is registered with the Office for Students. 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.

Overseas Students

The tuition fees for all overseas undergraduate students (including those in the EU) will be £20,573  for entry in September 2021. Note that there may be an increase in fees for the second and subsequent years; increases are always implemented in accordance with directives set by the UK Government.

Additional Costs

You need to budget for additional costs while training at Central, including Private Medical Insurance, training uniform, and resource fee. There will be additional costs for Overseas Students in relation to their Student Visa. For a breakdown of additional costs, please refer to the Course Summary above. Should you have any questions about these additional costs, please contact Josh Yeardley:

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 each year of your training.


Depending upon your individual circumstances, bursary support may be available from Central or from the Conservatoire for Dance and Drama. 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.

The Conservatoire for Dance and Drama offers a range of scholarships in the form of bursaries and fee discounts. This includes information on admittance and support of students from all backgrounds including care leavers and estranged students. More information can be found on the CDD website: CDD fees and financial support 2021

Audition Fee Waiver

Applicants who meet the criteria as set out by the Conservatoire for Dance and Drama may be eligible to apply for an Audition 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

For further information and to apply for an audition fee waiver, see the Conservatoire for Dance and Drama website here: CDD audition and interview waiver

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 academic years 2020-21 and 2021-22 below.

Student Support

Becoming part of the Central family, enjoying the experience of training and the chance to perform are all an important part of becoming a 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."