BA (Hons) Dance Performance*

Course accredited by the CDMT

Qualification validated by Bath Spa University
 * subject to final approval

Duration 3 years full time (5 days a week)
Year 1 and 2: HNC and HND
Year 3: BA (Hons) top-up year

Scheduled teaching per week 30 hours (average)

Location The MGA Academy of Performing Arts, 207 Balgreen Road, Edinburgh, EH11 2RZ

Our three-year course culminating in a BA (Hons) Degree in Dance Performance is designed to take you from student-in-training right the way through to professional dancer, prepared for everything the industry expects of you as a performer.

Why choose this course?

On this course you will develop core technique and build up a portfolio of dance styles and genres – as solo performer, in duet and in ensemble. You will explore the range of opportunities in the dance industry, learning how to recognise and develop your strengths, and how best to represent yourself as a unique performer.

Studio-based classes develop dance technique and understanding, unlocking the potential of your body and teaching you to maintain it and promote it. Regular core classes in ballet, jazz and contemporary are supplemented by a wide range of styles and skills, from tap and commerical to aerial and gymnastics, taught by an exceptionally experienced faculty of dance tutors and guest performers and choreographers from across the industry. Alongside productions, presentations and film projects, you will have opportunity to apply your skills in the wider world of performing arts by participating in musical theatre productions, concerts and special events.

Course content

This course consists of three years of extensive training in the core dance disciplines, structured around the transition from technique-based classes to performance-based work. The third year includes extra personal and professional development sessions. Additional specialist workshops led by visiting professionals feature throughout the training.

Year 1:
Incorporating the SQA Higher National Diploma in Dance

Year 2:
Incorporating the SQA Higher National Diploma in Dance

Year 3:
BA (Hons) top-up year – Dance Independent Study (20 credits); Professional Dance Performance Projects (60 credits); The Professional Dancer (40 credits)

Learning enrichment

MGA’s training is delivered with the highest possible standards expected from students in each discipline. MGA operates on the belief that more can be learned about these disciplines in a few minutes of rehearsal or on stage in front of an audience than can be achieved in hours of classroom-based tuition. Our students are therefore given as many opportunities as possible to get into a rehearsal room or in front of a live audience to perform. These include: an annual festive concert at Edinburgh’s Usher Hall to audiences of over 1,700, original dance productions, straight plays and musical theatre productions. In addition, throughout the year there are one-off concerts, appearances, workshops and small-scale performance opportunities, alongside ongoing studio-based productions directly connected to course topics.

The MGA Academy of Performing Arts adopts a policy of student feedback that follows an ‘always honest, always constructive’ philosophy rather than the often-used ‘always positive, almost pointless’ approach. MGA aims to encourage a sense of respect, direction and dedication within the practice and study of performing arts, and the courses on offer require a huge commitment from students – but with the potential for huge rewards.

Attracting tutors from across the UK and internationally, MGA prides itself on the high standards of the core teaching staff and their abilities to bring their experiences and unique skills into the classroom and studio. They can actually do what they are teaching you to do! The tutors are complemented by a whole host of well-respected and talented industry professionals and consultants who take time out of their busy schedule to share their skills, lead workshops and shape productions.

MGA also has a long list of consultants who are on hand to offer advice and support for projects and performances, maintaining strong links to the professional world of performing arts. Students get to learn all about the ups and downs of a career in the industry from the people who know it best.

Dancer, choreographer, musical theatre performer, singer, actor, director… no matter what you want to do on the stage, MGA wants to help you do it successfully, professionally and lucratively. With the support of a network of casting, management and production contacts, you really will be hard pressed not to make a success of your career after graduating.

Entry requirements

Applicants should be aged 16 years or over.

Entry onto all our courses is by online registration, written application and audition (details of audition process and application provided on registration). Auditions are held throughout the year and applicants will be contacted within two weeks of receipt of application form.

Natural aptitude, potential and attitude will be key considerations throughout the application process.

Students applying from overseas should apply in exactly the same way. However if attending an audition in the UK is not possible, applicants may apply by video/DVD with supporting documentation from both professional and character referees.

Academic progression

Students who pass the BA (Hons) Degree course are eligible to apply for postgraduate study, such as a Master’s Degree.

Tuition fees

The MGA Academy of Performing Arts is the only accredited Council for Dance and Drama Education and Training college in Scotland. We are also the largest independent SQA Approved Centre running professional training courses in Scotland. All tuition fees are kept to an absolute minimum but do reflect the expertise of the teaching staff, quality of facilities, small class sizes and sheer number of contact teaching hours offered.

Please visit our fees and funding page for more information and read the fee notes carefully or contact us to arrange a consultation.

Equipment checklist

MGA students are expected to have the following – a definitive list is discussed at audition stage.

  • MGA Full-Time uniform
  • Jazz trainers/shoes
  • Tap shoes
  • Ballet tights, leotard and shoes
  • Knee pads
  • Dictaphone, notepad and pencil
  • Boys will also need a pair of dress shoes and a black suit
  • Girls must have a pair of character shoes and character skirt, and a black cocktail dress

Are there any other course costs?

There is a reading list and a kit list of important items that students need to purchase before the first day of term. This can be discussed during the interview at the audition stage and will be issued on acceptance of a place. Advanced and third-year students must also pay to join the Spotlight Casting Directory and become a member of Equity before their second term.

We run a Professional Expenses Account on behalf of our student and the costs of this are communicated during the audition process.

Is there any funding available?

SAAS funding may be available to Scottish and European students and you should contact your Local Education Authority for advice on other sources of funding for full-time training for which you may be eligible.

Several charitable trusts exist that help finance performing arts students and a directory listing these grant-making trusts and charities should be available at your local library.

Full-Time Audition Dates

Our main audition sessions for entry in September 2018 are:

  • 10th June
  • 19th August

All at MGA in Edinburgh except where stated otherwise.

If you are interested in applying for full-time courses at MGA fill in our application form and we will contact you with information on the application process and audition requirements. (You can also book on to the Open Day with this form.)

Published 13/3/18   11:27PM

Degree courses start Sept 2018

We are thrilled to be bringing to MGA – and to Edinburgh – three fully-comprehensive BA (Hons) degrees* in Musical Theatre, Acting and Dance Performance from September 2018! In collaboration with Bath Spa University, MGA undergraduate courses will be offered in the form of three degrees. Last year, MGA became… » Read more

Published 23/2/18   5:20PM

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As we head into spring, MGA’s third-year Musical Theatre students can be found (as usual at this time of year) busy rehearsing and planning their sets for this year’s cabaret performances. MGA is proud to present our third-year Musical Theatre students in three unique evenings of first-class Cabaret entertainment at… » Read more

Published 20/12/17   5:49PM

Merry Christmas from MGA

MGA would like to wish you all a very merry Christmas, and a magical New Year!

We had a wonderful night on Monday at the Usher Hall, with over 200 students from both Full-time and Junior Schools bringing in enough Christmas cheer to keep us going through the holidays.

Professional standard performance opportunities are what The MGA Academy of Performing Arts is all about. Treating our students like professional performers means that by the time they graduate they are ready for anything.» Read more

Published 3/11/17   3:03PM

Lighting up the winter evenings!

MGA students have had a fabulous start to the new year here at MGA, and it only gets better as next week our students take to the stage to begin MGA’s Winter Season of productions. Full details of each show in production can be found on the Production pages. MGA’s… » Read more