HE Exams Wiki

Dance Options


AQA Dance GCSE includes controlled assessment / coursework, and so can difficult to arrange for private candidates, depending on the area. The exam centre has to mark this coursework itself, and few schools will consider this unless you are a pupil there. Some dance schools offer GCSE dance via weekend or evening classes, and this is your most likely opportunity.

Home-educated students may take alternative dance qualifications such as dance grade exams instead, and these are usually accepted to get you onto Level 3 courses in dance at college or sixth form. Colleges tend to be more flexible about entry requirements for performance arts, where audition is important.  Often, school pupils are unable to take GCSE dance because of timetabling problems or if their school doesn't offer it, so there is always an alternative pathway to further study in this subject.

College schemes for home-educated teenagers aged 14-16 sometimes offer a Performing Arts Level 2 qualification which is a GCSE equivalent, but more often this is at Level 1. Dance is usually a component of this, along with acting and singing. What's on offer varies by area, but there is also a special 'infill' scheme for home-educated teenagers which many colleges do not know about - so do read the College page before approaching them to ask, as they may otherwise simply say they're not offering 14-16 courses without giving you a chance to find out more.

Qualifications in Dance

GCSE Dance

The only GCSE is from AQA. You can read about the exam here. It comprises performance, choreography and dance appreciation.

Where can it be taken?

Here are some places we have heard of; if you find others, please add them to the list either by clicking Edit, or pop it in the comments box at the bottom. Ask on local home education and community groups to find out if there is anything in your area, and it's worth trying a local web search just in case something new is on offer - just search 'GCSE Dance' and see what comes up in your region.

Royal Academy of Dance in London, SW11. GCSE info here. About £1,000 per year of a two year course.

Essex Dance Theatre Dorset Avenue, Great Baddow, Chelmsford, CM2 9UB (£150/term in July 2021 for a 2 year course.)

Graham School of Dance Hertfordshire / Essex

Babel School of Dance Hayes, Middx.  Can take from Yr 8 onwards.  £1,000 per year, 2-year course. GCSE Info here.

Innovation Dance Studio , Finchley, North London - approx £1500 for the entire course, can pay in instalments.  Most students take in years 9 & 10.

Norfolk - The Garage . £1800 for the two year course.

North Cheam Academy of Dance.

Evolve Dance Academy Watford / St Albans, Herts

Alternative Dance Qualifications

Dance grades from a number of organisations are OFQUAL-accredited at Level 1, 2 or 3. See for example: ISDT Grades and Royal Academy of Dance Grades - Recognition and Accreditation.

UCAS points for Dance Grades

Dance Grades 6 and higher carry UCAS points for university application and can be included on the Qualifications section of the UCAS form - see Filling out the UCAS form for how.

Adding dance grades to the UCAS form for university application.

Awarding organisations on the UCAS system include:

There may be other awarding organisations whose grades carry points - do check when you are ready to make your application.

Arts Awards

Arts Awards can be taken in Dance - here's an example of a programme from Trinity Laban Dance Arts Awards. Please see the Art page for more information on Arts Award. Online providers of Arts Awards may be found on the Distance Learning Providers page

Dance at FE College

Many colleges provide Performance courses, which include an element of dance, for those aged 16 and over. Courses exist at Levels 1, 2 and 3. College schemes for home-educated teenagers aged 14-16 sometimes offer a Performing Arts Level 2 qualification which is a GCSE equivalent.