Foundation Degree Professional Dance and Performance

The Foundation Degree is the first of two Undergraduate Courses through which students train at Central. New students usually commence with the two-year Foundation Degree and, on successful completion, may progress to the one year BA (Hons) Top-up course to achieve the BA (Hons) Top-up Degree in Professional Dance and Performance. Both courses are based in classical ballet and are highly vocational with intensive contact with expert tutors.

Course Duration

September 2024 - July 2026

Two years (36 weeks per year not including half-term).

Please refer to the Term Dates for more information

Tuition Fees

Home fees £9,000*
International fees £22,697

*Subject to approval from the Office for Students (OfS)

Applications and Auditions

All applicants are required to complete an application form and have the opportunity to audition in-person, or submit a video audition.

For more information on the application and audition process, including application deadlines, please refer to our Auditions page.

Degree validated by University of Kent


Course Outline

Year 1 (Stage One) provides students with a practical understanding of the fundamentals of Ballet and Contemporary Dance (Graham technique), with supplementary studies in Spanish technique and Choreography work.

Year 2 (Stage Two) provides a practical understanding of the technical skills and artistry required by the profession in Ballet, Contemporary Dance (Cunningham technique) 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.

Successful completion of the course offers students the opportunity to the BA (Hons) (Top-Up) Professional Dance and Performance. 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.


Entry Requirements

Applicants to Central are chosen solely on the basis of talent in dance 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.

All applicants are required to audition.

Entry into Year 1, the normal requirements will be:

  • minimum aged 16 as of 1 September year of enrolment
  • adequate physical, technical & artistic aptitude (see audition criteria)
  • previous training (tested at audition)
  • interest in and aptitude for further academic study (tested at audition interview)
  • five passes (9 – 1) predicted at GCSE or equivalent

Direct Entry into Year 2, the normal requirements will be:

(In addition to the above)

  • the successful completion of a Certificate (i.e. 120 units of certificate level learning on a directly comparable course) or equivalent;
  • satisfactory completion of required entrance tasks, including a piece of reflective writing and a research task

Students may be admitted to the course with appropriate recognised prior learning. Such cases are subject to prior approval by the University of Kent according to its RPL process see here.

In line with UK Visas and Immigration and Student Visas, International applicants where English is not their first language 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.

All Foundation Degree in Professional Dance and Performance applicants are required to demonstrate an adequate proficiency in both written and verbal English.

International Applicants

Each year, Central is proud to welcome students from all over the world including Japan, China, Australia, South Africa and many other countries. Applicants who live outside of the UK are encouraged to attend one of the in-person preliminary audition dates where possible, or alternatively submit a video audition.

International students 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.


Open Days

Open Days for Central’s Undergraduate Courses take place at The Countess of Wessex Studios in London and online via Zoom, and are designed to give potential applicants a taste of what full-time training looks like at Central School of Ballet, whilst also offering support and guidance with the application and audition process.

Open Days will give attendees the opportunity to have a tour of facilities, meet current students and receive guidance and support ahead of the application and audition process.

For more information, please refer to our Open Days page below.

Dance Days

Dance Days are held annually in locations around the UK for young dancers aged 11-16 years who are hoping to pursue full-time vocational training in a Higher Education setting. The course is designed to provide a series of sample or taster classes to support participants’ current training and to inform them about life for students on a professional training course and how to access full-time vocational training with Central School of Ballet.

Dates of Dance Days ahead of September 2025 entry, will be published in due course.

Assisted Application Scheme

Central recognises some individuals and communities in society face obstacles and experience unfair disadvantage. In line with Central’s vision to be an institution which supports an increasingly diverse and innovative, internationally recognised culture of dance in the UK, the School is committed to finding ways to address these barriers where possible. Central’s Assisted Application Scheme is designed to offer additional support.

Eligible UK applicants may receive:

  • support and guidance through the application and audition process
  • potential travel bursaries
  • free tickets to performances

All UK applicants are encouraged to check the eligibility criteria, by referring to the page below.

How to apply

Applications for September 2024 entry are closed. All information regarding the audition process for September 2025 entry will be published, when applications open in October 2024.


Step One – Check if you are eligible for our Supported Application Scheme

The scheme is designed to offer support and guidance, potential travel bursaries, free tickets to performances and more, to eligible UK applicants. Those who are eligible, will not be required to pay the application fee.

Step Two – Decide how and when you want to audition

Applicants can audition in-person or online. Please refer to our Audition pages for more information on in-person audition dates, how to prepare your video audition and FAQ’s.

Please also ensure you refer to our application deadlines.

Step Three – Prepare your headshot

You will be required to upload a recent headshot within your application form. Professional headshots are not necessary, and images can be taken on a mobile device. The headshot is for internal purposes only and will used so our Admissions Team and audition panel are able to identify you. Please ensure your image:

  • Is in portrait orientation
  • Is taken within the last 6 months
  • Is in front of plain background (ideally white)
  • Shows your full face clearly e.g. hair tied back
  • Shows head and shoulders clearly

Step Four – Prepare your personal statement

You will be required to submit a personal statement(s) to support your application. Your personal statement should reflect who you are as a person; please submit this statement in the format which feels most accessible to you.

For more information on the topics you’ll be asked to cover, and ways in which you can provide this personal statement, please refer to our Undergraduate Personal Statement Guidance.

Step Five – Start your application

Our online application form takes approximately 15-20 minutes to complete and should be completed in one sitting. You will need to have a parent / guardian with you, whilst completing the form.

If you’re not eligible for our Supported Application Scheme, you will be required to pay the application fee at the end of your application form.

Should you have any access requirements or require any further support with your application, please contact our Admissions Team at

Step Six – Submit your application

Once you are satisfied with your application, please submit.

If you need to update any information after you have submitted your application, please contact

Once we have received your application, it will be reviewed and our Admissions Team will be in touch.

Step Seven – Whilst you wait

You may wish to consider attending one of our Open Days or Dance Days. Attendance is not compulsory, but we encourage applicants to participate in these events if possible, as it may help you feel more comfortable and relaxed ahead of your audition.

Tuition Fees

September 2024 Entry

Home fees                  £9,000
International fees        £22,697

Note that EU students are now classified as International. There may be an increase in fees for both UK and International undergraduate students in subsequent years of study – for more information please see Central’s Fees Policy on our Policies and Procedures page.

Additional Costs

Due to the nature of vocational and elite training on undergraduate courses, students will need to budget for additional costs whilst training at Central.

Additional costs may include:

  • £100 acceptance fee (payment plan available for applicants eligible for our Supported Application Scheme)
  • £650 deposit for UK students (applicants eligible for our Supported Application Scheme are not required to pay a deposit)
  • £3,000 deposit for International students
  • Approximately £1490 for private medical insurance
  • £125 resource fee
  • Approximately £400 – £600 for Central’s school uniform
  • Health Certificate, to be completed by a GP. Prices vary

There will be further costs incurred for International students who require a Student Visa; including but not limited to the cost of the visa itself, and any other requirements e.g the IELTS for UKVI English test and the health surcharge. For more information on the Student Visa and costs, please visit

Please note, this is a brief overview and applicants are encouraged to refer to the Course Summary document for a full breakdown of any additional costs.

Students eligible for the Assisted Application Scheme will receive guidance and financial advice regarding these additional costs.

Funding and Bursaries

We recognise that embarking on a Higher Education course is a financial commitment and we strive to support talented students, to ensure that financial barriers do not limit their ability to apply or enrol onto our Undergraduate courses. There are a variety of ways students could potentially receive further financial support.

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 the student’s individual circumstances, additional financial support may be available from our In-House Bursaries.

For more information on Bursaries, Fees and Funding, click the link below.

Central will also 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

The Foundation Degree is a two-year course, commencing in September each year.

Each academic year is split into three terms:

Term 1 – Autumn term
Term 2 – Spring term
Term 3 – Summer term

Full term dates can be found 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
  • 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."