Taught course

Contemporary Dance Performance (VERVE)

Northern School of Contemporary Dance

Entry requirements

Entry is through a successful audition and interview. This course is open to graduates of two/three-year dance training courses at Higher Education level, or dance artists with professional experience and equivalent vocational dance training. Applicants are usually 21+ years of age.

Students with English as a second language will need a 6.5 ESOL level (with a minimum of 6.0 in reading and 5.5 in speaking and listening)

Applications for 2024 entry are now closed.

Months of entry


Course content

VERVE is the postgraduate company of Northern School of Contemporary Dance. This MA equips students with Professional performance skills as members of a touring Contemporary dance company. Each year the company commissions choreographers from all over the world to create an artistically distinct, physically daring, and engaging programme of dance work.

The programme offers emerging dance artists the opportunity to challenge and develop their skills across a varied repertoire of work, guided by teaching staff, alongside an exciting range of visiting artists. VERVE provides dancers with a safe and inspiring space to grow their individual artistry and rigorously challenge their physical skill. Dancers develop their identities as performers, whilst building an understanding of the professional working environment to support them in their future careers.

The company tours to venues and festivals across the UK. VERVE seeks connections with partner institutions, industry professionals, choreographers, and companies, to broaden and enrich the students’ experience and understanding.

Previously commissioned choreographers included:

Lea Anderson, Jamaal Burkmar, Mari Carrasco, Joan Clevillé, Maxine Doyle, Ben Duke, Akram Khan, KOR’SIA, Anton Lachky, LA(HORDE), Hannes Langolf, Sita Ostheimer, Douglas Thorpe, Faye Tan, Ben Wright, Noa Zuk

Information for international students

NSCD is proud of the diversity of the students it attracts and over recent years 30% of our total students have joined us from outside the UK from over 25 different countries. Many of our teaching staff are also from outside of the UK. The diversity of cultures at the school enhances our creativity and broadens the learning experience on offer.

NSCD is an international centre of excellence offering specialist, conservatoire-level contemporary dance training.

For more information head to https://www.nscd.ac.uk/study/overseas-students/

Fees and funding

UK students
International students
£20,000 – (Applicants can apply for a bursary of up to £3,000)

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MA
    full time
    11 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

The course operates on a modular basis. Most modules count for either 30 or 60 academic Level 7 credits, with the final major research project being worth 60 credits. Each credit taken equates to a total study time of around 10-20 hours. Total study time includes scheduled teaching, independent study, directed study and assessment activity. Students on this programme take modules worth approximately 60 credits per term. All students take a total of 180 credits at Level 7 for the MA.

Our teaching is informed by research, and module content changes periodically to reflect developments in the discipline.

Technical Practice (30 credits) Compulsory Module

Company (60 credits) Compulsory Module

Performance Practice (30 credits) Default option module

Final Major Research Project (Dissertation) (60 credits) Compulsory module

Course contact details

NSCD Admissions Team
0113 219 3050