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Trickybottom

Qualifications, Colleges, Schools & Funding

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Hi 

 

Could somebody please explain to me in simple terms the qualifications, different types of dance colleges and schools and funding options to me, its a minefield!

 

My daughter is coming up to 15 and would like to go to dance college/school at 16, I personally feel its too young. I cant seem to understand all the different courses and what qualification if any it leads too, where you need funding, where you don't, how to apply for it etc.

 

Where do I start?

 

Many thanks

 

 

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Unfortunately there is no easy answer to this!! There is a similar thread running here currently 

Maybe a mod could merge them?

 

If you search under tags Upper School or Finance you'll get similar threads.

 

Good luck!

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Actually Trickybottom the threads with the same tags appear if you just click on the tags.

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In very simple terms:

level 6 Trinity diploma - funded by DADA award (partially) depending on income or self funded as limited number of awards given. From age 16 (year 12) typically - though some allow entry at 18 also. Colleges include Royal Ballet, Elmhurst, Hammond, Northern Ballet , Bird, Laines and many of the big MT colleges.

BA Honours degree - for ballet some take 16 year olds- Central School of Ballet as an example, others take from aged 18. Funding by student loan.

 

It really is a minefield though. You need to read through threads on here . You can also visit places like MoveIt exhibition in London which some of the colleges attend and look out for events organised through CDET as they do various day events where the student gets to sample various classes from colleges taking part while parents go to sessions to help them understand application processes and what each college offers.

http://www.cdet.org.uk/

 

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2dancersmum has given a good clear answer as to the main two types of course/funding applicable to most on this forum especially going the classical route & Id echo her advice about visiting CDET etc. 

 

Ive got a slightly more in depth précis which includes the differences in the type & amount of degree funding & Level 3 option (probably talked about more on NAPM) but I’m at work so will post more fully later. 

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All very good advice.  Welcome to the forum, Trickybottom.  As well as reading through the aforementioned threads, you might also want to peruse this one, which although long, has a lot of useful information:  

 

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23 hours ago, Trickybottom said:

 

My daughter is coming up to 15 and would like to go to dance college/school at 16, I personally feel its too young.

 

 

If your daughter wants to specialise in ballet, then any older than 16 would reduce her chances quite a bit at many colleges. If she is leaning more towards contemporary or MT, 18 is fine :) 

 

As for finances - what will be better for you depends on your family income. If your combined income is above about £90k you are ineligible for a Dada and so would be better off with a degree course as they are cheaper (capped at about £9250 for UK students) and you can get a student loan. If your income is lower than £90k you are eligible to apply for a Dada, which is a means-tested award on a sliding scale depending on income. In that case it’s worth trying for one of the colleges that offer them, although not everyone who is offered a place and is financially eligible will be offered a Dada. So, for example, Central offer a BA which is £9250 per year for everyone irrespective of income, and everyone can get a student loan. Whereas Laine offer a level 6 diploma which is £17775 per year, can’t get a student loan but some applicants will be offered and eligible for a Dada to reduce the fees.

 

Good luck! 

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Just to add that unfortunately degree courses at private institutions are not subjected to the fee cap and may be significantly more than £9250. Additionally, you can only get a student loan contribution of just over £6K for private institutions so you have to make up the shortfall yourself.

The maintenance component of the student loan is means tested, so you may also need to contribute a fair amount to living costs.

Even so, a degree course is probably going to work out  significantly cheaper than a diploma without DADA funding for most people. Some schools do have bursaries etc available for some students without DADA funding which can bring the costs down quite a bit. It's worth looking carefully at all the options.

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On 20/03/2018 at 14:19, Trickybottom said:

Hi 

 

Could somebody please explain to me in simple terms the qualifications, different types of dance colleges and schools and funding options to me, its a minefield!

 

My daughter is coming up to 15 and would like to go to dance college/school at 16, I personally feel its too young. I cant seem to understand all the different courses and what qualification if any it leads too, where you need funding, where you don't, how to apply for it etc.

 

Where do I start?

 

Many thanks

 

 

Hi, First of all we are all presuming that you are UK based as other locations will affect funding. 

Having just gone through this process for my DD (currently in yr11) I feel I have read, researched, emailed and discussed this matter until I could write my own novel!! Welcome to that minefield. Unlike an A level student who selects the Degree then researches which Uni offers that course and they then select their choices via UCAS in preferred order this doesn't exist for the Performing Arts (dance) away from a University. 

Like many others have mentioned, Ballet is certainly post GCSE's at the latest, MT and other Contemporay Schools and Colleges whilst offering places at 16 many prefer 18 (post A Levels) as they offer the BA(Hons) courses and obviously affect the funding/costs

RBS - No qualification upon graduation but their reputation, training and contacts is enough for any graduates Fees are generally covered by "our very generous sponsors" as stated by the lovely staff memeber when I called them (we aren't UK based). 90% of their pupils don't pay a penny to train as many are overseas and are funded from their own country. 

The other main Vocational Schools (on the CDET list) offer the Diploma Level 6 Professional Dance and offer funding from a DaDa as well as some in-house scholarships.

Central Ballet School is part of the Conservatoire group so don't offer funding by a DaDa (not on the CDET list) Full details of schools and colleges are on the website Council for Dance Education Training.

After the funding issue there is the accommodation, some like Tring, Hammond and Elmhurst are boarding schools whilst others like Central and ENBS are both in the middle of London and their accomodation blocks require a considerable daily commute both quote maintenance at £11K pa! Both schools will be moving south of the river within the next year but living will still remain north. Challenging for the 16yr olds but it's been done like that for years and many have managed, it really boils down to your own childs abilities as no two 16yr olds are the same. Northern whilst not offering their own accommodation on site they do have links with Unitestudents who provide suitable accommodation within walking distance of the school. So it is hard to compare (I tried a spreadsheet but it didn't work). None of the Vocational Schools (ballet) offer a 3yr course at the same rate as a University, don't forget to factor in the Uniforms, Pointe shoes (loads of them), Medical Private Insurance, travel as well as the obvious fees and maintenance. The latter two can be covered with some funding/bursaries and scholarships.  When you look at the contact time (direct teacher/pupil training) at a vocational school to a University it's obvious why the fees are more. A student at University may have 8hrs of lectures a week a ballet pupil on average has 30hrs per week in the studio. Classes are smaller, the list goes on. Before you embark any further have a long conversation with your DC and discuss not just their love of dance but the genre and the career path they wish to follow upon graduation. This should streamline your list. Summerschools are also a great way to checkout some schools as well as confirm that this is really want your DC wants, reality is so far away from the idealistic image that many hold when it comes to ballet schools. 

Northern (along with some others) also offer the DDI and DDE qualification. This is shortly to be rebranded but this gives the graduate the qualifications to teach (subject to their focus, ISTD ballet,tap,modern). Tring, Hammond and Northern whilst offering ballet they also offer the Jazz (as well as MT ) along with the other obvious MT colleges. 

Birds College, London Studio Centre, Urdang produce very strong dancers whilst also promoting the MT route. Whilst Birds take pupils at 16- diploma, there are very few in the 1st yr compared to the degree- 18yr olds

Laines are very strong MT with many graduates in the Westend, a significant of recent graduates are currently appearing in 42nd Street. 

I think I had better stop. Any specific questions please just ask. I may well have the info you are after. 

Good Luck. 

 

 

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11 hours ago, balletbean said:

None of the Vocational Schools (ballet) offer a 3yr course at the same rate as a University,

 

Do you mean in terms of tuition fees, balletbean? If so, I believe Central, RCS and Rambert do (tuition fees of £9250 p/a for English/Welsh/NI students, maintenance loans available).  https://www.centralschoolofballet.co.uk/seniorschoolfeesandfinance.php

 

Ballet West and London Studio Centre are classed as "private" institutions/universities though which means tuition fee loans from SFE capped at around £6250 and parents having to make up the shortfall of around 4k for Ballet West (more for LSC). 

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43 minutes ago, Anna C said:

Ballet West and London Studio Centre are classed as "private" institutions/universities though which means tuition fee loans from SFE capped at around £6250 and parents having to make up the shortfall of around 4k for Ballet West (more for LSC). 

Unless you're Scottish and chose to attend Ballet West - in which case the maximum tuition funding you can receive is £1250(!) with the remainder having to be covered by Parents.  You would think Holyrood would want to encourage Scottish talent to remain in Scotland - but apparently not! (I'll get back off my soapbox! - sorry.)

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Thank you for this, she's not going down the ballet route more just dance. Ido t know how you e all figured it all out lol.  We went to Move It at the weekend and watched a lot of the colleges and did a lot of classes.  i think I gathered there is no set rule, she's going to phils Winstons Easter school so I'll have a look at summer schools too.  I just don't think she's "street wise" enough yet to go at 16.  Has anyone got a child at BOA in Birmingham by the way ?

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1 hour ago, ballettaxi said:

Unless you're Scottish and chose to attend Ballet West - in which case the maximum tuition funding you can receive is £1250(!) with the remainder having to be covered by Parents.  You would think Holyrood would want to encourage Scottish talent to remain in Scotland - but apparently not! (I'll get back off my soapbox! - sorry.)

The issue of differing fees for English students wanting to attend Scottish universities or this alternative fee nonsense of discouraging Scottish students from attending Ballet West makes me very cross. I shall now keep quiet as otherwise my level of incredulity could easily derail this thread ;)

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Yes, IIRC the opposite is true for English/Welsh/Northern Irish students attending Royal Conservatoire of Scotland - free (negligible fees paid by SAAS) for eligible Scottish or EU students but the full £9250 per annum for Non-Scottish Brits! 

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I apologise this post is going to be very long

 

POst 16 Dance & Musical Theatre Training

 

The aim of most professional dance and musical theatre training is to prepare students to enter the industry as performers but there are many different routes you can take to achieve this.  Many of the colleges offer various qualifications which not only gives access to funding but can also be useful for back up careers in teaching or a variety other arts and non arts related jobs. I have attempted to summarise the main options as below:

 

Qualification: Level 3 Btec in Dance/Musical Theatre or Cambridge Technical etc

Offered By: Local FE Colleges, Dance Schools in conjunction with government designated training organisations, Private Dance Colleges

Aim: To prepare students aged 16-19 to audition for Level 6 diploma or degree courses or provide a general Level 3 qualification

Funding: Local FE colleges & dance schools in conjunction with government training providers may be fully funded. Others may charge a top up in order to provide extra classes.  Private colleges may offer scholarships but are mostly fee paying

example of funded courses: BOA, The Academy for Performing Arts (Stoke), Preston College, Urdang,

example of courses needing a top up: Emil Dale

example of fee paying courses: Arts Ed 6th Form, Abbotts Bromley School, Tring Park School

Things to be aware of: Courses offered by some local schools and local FE colleges (not those mentioned above) are unlikely to offer the contact hours and level of training needed.  You may be better off staying and get a higher standard of teaching at your local dance school alongside staying at "normal school".  There are a lot of places jumping on the bandwagon of dance & musical theatre training.  You cannot enrol on a funded Level 3 btec course if you already have a Level 3 qualification such as A levels.

 

Qualification: None. Foundation Course

Offered By: Most major Dance & Musical Theatre Colleges.

Aim: For students who show the potential for professional musical theatre training but who are not quite ready for whatever reason.

Funding: None.  Occasionally scholarships may be offered. You may be entitled to Housing Benefit.

Things to be aware of: There is no guarantee that a Foundation Course will lead to acceptance on a full 3 year course.

 

Qualification: Level 6 Trinity Diploma in Professional Dance or Musical Theatre

Offered By:  Various Private Dance & Musical Theatre Schools & Colleges including Elmhurst, Hammond, Bird, Laines, Urdang, SLP, Performers etc

Aim: To prepare students aged 16-22 for a career as a performer

Funding: Dance and Drama Awards (DaDA) Government funded means tested awards covering tuition fees on a sliding scale & for low income families an element towards maintenance.  See here for the scale https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/dance-and-drama-awards-income-scales/dance-and-drama-awards-income-scales-2018-to-2019-academic-year

Things to be aware of: Some schools (mostly ballet based ones) may only accept 16/17 year olds for entry.  Most schools and colleges have more places than funding available so you may be offered an unfunded place although there may be school scholarships available.  Some institutions may offer the Trinity Diploma but not be part of the Dance and Drama Awards scheme eg MADD, Tring Park.  Thery may have scholarships available or you can apply for a Career Development loan but these are only available to 18 year olds for two years and repayments start as soon as you graduate.

 

Qualification: BA (hons) Degree

Offered By: Universities

Aim: An academic and perfomance based qualification for students aged 18 plus with relevant Level 3 qualifications, not usually designed to train professional performers the notable exeption being Chichester who advertise as as triple threat performers course.

Funding: Student Finance - A loan covering tuition fees and maintenance

Things to be aware of: Contact hours may be low and class sizes large.  Graduates usually but not always go into professions such as teaching, arts managment etc

 

Qualification: BA (Hons) Degree

Offered By: Specialist Dance/MT Colleges on behalf of a University eg Hammond (Chester), Bird (Greenwich) or via CUCAS (Central)

Aim: Most aim to mirror the professional training offered by diploma courses.  Mostly for post 18 year olds with Level 3 qualifications except a few ballet based courses eg. Central, Rambert, RCS

Funding: Full student finance is available.

Things to be aware of: Contact hours may be lower.  Check if there are any extras.

 

Qualification: BA (Hons) Degree

Offered By: Specialist Dance/MT Colleges who have their degree validated by a University eg Arts Ed, Ballet West

Aim: Most aim to mirror the professional training & contact hours offered by diploma courses.  Most courses are for post 18 year olds except ballet based courses eg.  Ballet West

Funding: Student Finance up to a maximum of £6,165

Things to be aware of: Tuition fee are likely to be considerably more than the maximum loan available. Many institutions are very well established with a good track record, others may be jumping on the bandwagon of the popularity of performing arts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Picturesinthefirelight
correct typing errors
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Don't apologise for the length of your post Pictures, it is a really useful summary of what is available.

 

Thank you

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Thank you Pictures that is a remarkably thorough analysis.  The only thing I would like to add, under BA (Hons) degrees are the specialist Contemporary courses at Laban, London Contemporary Dance School and Northern Contemporary Dance School.  Many dancers who start off classical then move on to Contemporary for post 18 training.

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Are they for 18 plus or 16 plus entry pas de quatre and are they fully covered by student loans (CUCAS/on behalf of a univesity) or are they subject to the cap.  There are far, far too many courses to list each one individually, I just tried to pick a selection of well known institutions for each category taking into account the fact there are a few courses that alloow dncers to study for a degree at 16.

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They are for 18+ and they are proper degrees, so fully covered by student loans.  Entry is by audition, and you need two A levels or equivalent academic qualifications.  As they are the top level of Contemporary training, they are just as hard to get into as the top classical schools are at age 16 i.e. RBS, ENBS, Elmhurst.  I am not sure which are currently applied for via Cucas and which you apply for direct.  All the information will be on their websites.  All of them also run contemporary based CAT schemes.

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They are through CUKAS so come under the same category as Central in that respect.  Sorry I couldn't remember them all, there are 8 member institutions in total.

 

For a degree to be fully funded it either has to be offered by a university or delivered by a satellite school on behalf of a university or be from a member of the Conservatoire of Dance & Drama.

 

For clarity to posters who havn't come across the vagaries of HEFCE before the non fully funded degrees are still "proper degrees" but they are simply validated by a university rather than being their own degree.  These are the degrees that have the maximum of loan available of £6,165.

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I think Pictures explanation should be pinned at the top of the forum- so useful.

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Thank you pictures this is incredibly useful. I've written a guide for students at our school about post 16/18 training which I thought was pretty detailed but this has taught me a couple if things I didn't know!

 

One question...I had always assumed that where a college e.g. urdang offer both a degree and a diploma course that students would essentially get all the same lessons i.e. degree and diploma students in the same ballet, jazz classes etc. And that the only difference would be the degree students would have a bit more theory work to do. Having read what you've put though I'm thinking that this isn't always the case. So Bird deliver a degree on behalf of Greenwich which is completely funded by student loan of £9K which is great but a lot less than their diploma fees so presumably you get more contact hours on the diploma??? Whereas urdang ask for a top up contribution on top of their degree fees to make them the same as their diploma so presumably students on both courses get the same treatment???

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On 22/03/2018 at 08:28, Anna C said:

 

Do you mean in terms of tuition fees, balletbean? If so, I believe Central, RCS and Rambert do (tuition fees of £9250 p/a for English/Welsh/NI students, maintenance loans available).  https://www.centralschoolofballet.co.uk/seniorschoolfeesandfinance.php

 

Ballet West and London Studio Centre are classed as "private" institutions/universities though which means tuition fee loans from SFE capped at around £6250 and parents having to make up the shortfall of around 4k for Ballet West (more for LSC). 

Hi. My reference for fees was based on Vocational Schools that are on the CDET list. I understand the Conservatoires offer courses at the same rate as a Uni not covered by a DaDa. Rambert I believe now offer places for 16yr olds having previously been for 18yr olds only. I’m unsure on fees for the younger ones. Birds are the same, 16yr olds can only take the Diploma at £12k+ but if a teenager waits and apply at 18 and the course changes to a BA(Hons) and a fee of £9,250. Even though pupils share the same lesson/studio space. Strange and I wouldn’t even like to try to decipher that one!  

All I can say to anyone is research research research. Oh and speak nicely to your bank manager! 😂

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Birds have recently gone more ‘ ‘Commercial’  based dancing shifting slightly away from Jazz/MT.

However, they Grade their pupils for ‘sets’ based on their Tap standard. Especially in their 1st yr. 

Amazing performances displayed at MoveIt last week. 

Ballet West have recently transferred into the Open University provider for their Degree which may affect funding for some. 

Laines is definietly pure MT/Triple Threat. 

It’s not just about funding and qualifications that all pupils have to consider but it’s the Graduates opportunities and contacts that the school/college can offer. Closed auditions (organised by the schools) as opposed to open (to everyone). Visits by agents to the schools. Performance opportunities and showcases. These full on shows are well worth a visit if you can manage it. Easter and year end (summer).   

Not forgetting the various summer schools on offer. 

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Both Rambert and Central have always accepted 16+ for their degree courses, and the younger entrants are in the same classes and on the same course as 18+. 

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