Studying at LCDS

Welcome to London Contemporary Dance School

We’re delighted that you’re thinking of applying to study with us. What follows is a little bit of history about London Contemporary Dance School, which was first established in 1966. Then we will talk about our relationship with The Place, which has been our home for nearly 50 years. Before we go on to tell you a what student life is like here, at London Contemporary Dance School.


A Little Bit of History 1966 - Present

First and foremost, the academic year 2019-20 is a very big year for us. The School and The Place will be celebrating its 50th Birthday! Planning is already underway to mark this milestone, and to look forward to the next 50 years!

For 30 of those 50 years, the School has delivered the ‘conservatoire model’ of dance education and training to the exacting standards expected of a conservatoire and an established highest education provider. Through our long-standing relationship with the University of Kent, who are the degree awarding body for our programmes of study, we pride ourselves on the quality of the education and training which is informed by our students who actively give us regular feedback.

More recently, in 2001, the School was one of two founder members of the Conservatoire for Dance and Drama (CDD). The CDD now consists of six schools, plus two associate schools. Four of the CDD schools deliver dance education and training, three offer drama and one, circus skills. From time to time the Schools work collaboratively, drawing on the range of skills taught within each of the schools, to create a joint piece of work. You can find out more about the Schools who form the Conservatoire for Dance and Drama on their website.

Moving forward, the Schools that comprise the Conservatoire for Dance and Drama are keen to build on their achievements to date by seeking Taught Degree Awarding Powers. Preparations are well underway to achieve this ambition, and so in joining us in 2019, you might find that on successful completion of your studies, you receive your final award from the Conservatoire of Dance and Drama.


London Contemporary Dance School at The Place

The Place, a creative powerhouse for dance development, leads the way in training, creating and performing, and boasts a production house, making and touring new work which can be seen alongside the work of internationally new and emerging dance artists in its 280 seat theatre.  Just by being co-located with The Place you will become part of a much wider international family of dance, sowing the seeds of your future professional networks, with the added advantage of discounted ticket to performances in the theatre. 

The Place also offers a an impressive range of classes and courses available to the general public and is home to one of the many national Centres for Advanced Training – more commonly known as the CAT Scheme, and as if that wasn’t’ enough, it also runs two junior dance companies!

All of this lends a unique creative vibe to student life at the School. More importantly, students who are seeking part-time or casual work can often find it here in the School –perhaps teaching on CAT or some of the other classes and courses, the Library, the School Reception, the theatre, its bar and box office.


What’s it like living and studying in London?

“London’s rich creative scene is a major area of economic activity, boasting world-class talent and institutions, and is a vital ingredient in our city’s success. It is crucial that this vibrant sector continues to grow, and it is one of my core priorities to help it do so…… Culture is part of London’s DNA.”  (Justine Simons, the city’s Deputy Mayor for Education and Culture 2016)  

London has a population of 8.8 million people.  Just over 40% of the population are black or ethnic minority. Over 20,000 international higher education students every year choose to study in London.

Located in the heart of Bloomsbury, London has many iconic skylines, one of them just across the road from the School. For Harry Potter fans, the school is located close to St Pancras International Hotel – made famous in the films for its turreted roof-top. The best photographs of this skyline can be taken from the palazzo of the British Library with its amazing collection of books, from the ancient and rare to the contemporary.

The St Pancras International Hotel can be accessed from St Pancras International Railway Station, home to the Eurostar. To one side, you will find King’s Cross Railway Station and to the other side, Euston Rail and Bus Station.  All three railway stations have excellent links to London Underground networks, the UK’s Railways and the Eurostar which makes travelling around the city, the UK and Europe very easy, opening up options when you are considering you living accommodation and also travelling.   Being so well positioned also gives you plenty of opportunity to obtain the more reasonably priced accommodation which can be found outside the centre of the city. The School does not offer living accommodation but can help with advice on renting in London. Please get in touch with the Head of Registry and Student Well-Being, by emailing studentsupport@theplace.org.uk

All public transport within Greater London requires contactless payment or the purchase of Oyster Card.  As a full-time student in London you will be eligible for a Student Oyster card which will give you 30% off weekly or monthly travel cards.

You can access information about how to obtain an Oyster card and the various maps on Transport for London (tfl) website.


London Contemporary Dance School

Visit our Virtual School page to find content about student life, faculty, footage of graduation shows, alumni stories and so much more.

We are always happy to answer any question you might have and can be reached by email.

We will always respond and aim to do so within three working days of receiving your email.


A summary of the programmes of study is given below:

  • BA (Hons) in Contemporary Dance: 3 years full-time undergraduate study*
  • MA in Screendance: 1 year 1 term full- time (15 months) full-time postgraduate study**
  • MA in Contemporary Dance (EDGE, Apprenticeship, Developing Artistic Practice): 1 year 1 term full- time (15 months)**
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Contemporary Dance (EDGE Company, Apprenticeship or Developing Artistic Practice)

*Tuition fee loans are available to students who are UK or EU residents and repayable at the rate set by the UK Government.  The School sets the tuition fees for all non UK / EU students.
**Tuition fees are set by the School and UK Students may apply for the postgraduate Maintenance Loan, currently £10,000.

To apply for a place on either our undergraduate programme or one of our postgraduate programmes you must use the online application form on our website by clicking the APPLY NOW button


Before you apply

Before completing the online application form we encourage you to read the following documents:

Recruitment and Selection

Provided you meet the minimum Entry Requirements as set out in the Admissions Policy, you will be invited to audition for a place at the School.

The Recruitment and Selection process is described in detail in the Auditions Handbook which you will receive with your invitation to a first audition.

If you are not able to attend the audition and wish to submit a video instead please follow these instructions.

If you are applying from the USA, please check this page for audition dates:

If you are recalled to audition, you may also be required to interview on the same day. From the medical information you provide in the application form, we may wish to discuss with you aspects of your health such as repeated injury, to determine the extent to which you may require support from time to time through reasonable adjustments, or the alternative option, to develop an Individual Learning Plan to support you throughout your studies.

As a School of the Conservatoire for Dance and Drama, applicants can apply to the Conservatoire for an Audition Fee Waiver.  Click here to find out more.


Tuition Fees and Tuition Fee Deposits

For more detailed information please refer to our LCDS Fees Policy and to information about our Tuition Fee Deposit Scheme. The important thing to note is that the payment of the Tuition Fee Deposit allows us to reserve your place on the programme and is subject to the 14-day cooling off period should you change your mind.

In all other circumstances the Tuition Fee Deposit is not normally returnable but is applied to your tuition fee account on completion of the first year of the undergraduate programme and on entering the final term of your postgraduate/ Masters studies. The Fees Policy and the Tuition Fee Deposit Scheme documents form part of the Terms and Conditions which govern your contract with the School. 

The Terms and Conditions extant at the time you register with the School will remain the same throughout your period of study with us, however London Contemporary Dance School does reserve the right to apply a modest fee increase in subsequent years of you study. This is explained in more detail in the Terms and Conditions.

The Tuition Fee Deposit Scheme is particularly important if you are an international student who requires a Tier 4 Visa to study in the UK, as payment of your tuition fee deposit is a necessary part of the assessment process undertaken by UK Visa and Immigration, together with your written formal acceptance of a place on one of our programmes of study.


Financial Support

Information about current fees, tuition fee loans and the recently introduced maintenance loans for students new to higher education, can be found in the links below on the CDD Fees and Financial Support pages of their website.

Please note that the fees indicated are for the academic year 2018-19 and may be subject to change. Please keep checking the web link for any updated financial information for 2019 -20.

London Contemporary Dance School is able to offer financial assistance to just over 50% of its student body and plans to increase this incrementally to 62% by 2022.

You will find more information about this on our Fees and Financial Assistance page


International Students

It is estimated that of all the students in higher education in London, one in four is from outside the UK. This is reflected in our student body and within our teaching team.  The School thrives in the melting pot of cultures and if you are reading this from another country, we are sure that you will quickly find your place here to make your own unique contribution to our artistic community.

Our programmes are taught in English and so if English is not your first language you will be required to obtain an approved English language qualification such as the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), at the level required for your level of study as detail in the Admission Policy. This is also a requirement for Visa purposes and below is a link to the list of Approved Secure English Language Tests and Test Centres  effective from September 2018, for academic year 2018-19.

However, it is expected that the level of English language proficiency you have on entry into one of our programmes will improve throughout the duration of your study to allow you to meet the language requirements for postgraduate study and / or increase employment opportunities. The School provides specialist English Language support that you can draw upon as you progress through your programme.

If your English Language test is not on the approve list, or you are not sure how your highest educational qualification meets the entry requirements for the programme you wish to study, you can apply for a Statement of Comparability from the National Recognition Information Centre (NARIC).

NARIC offer a range of services to people wishing to study and/or work in the UK.

The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) also provide helpful advice and guidance to help International Students plan for their arrival in the UK, as well as ongoing advice for International students studying the UK.

But we know that sometimes it is better just to speak to someone and so our Admissions team are on hand to support and help you manage the transition towards becoming a successful student here in the UK.  Please use the email address below to make initial contact, especially if there is a significant time difference to consider:

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.


The Learning and Teaching Environment at LCDS

We enjoy the benefit of access to a number of dance studios, a lecture room, a well-stocked library, body conditioning facilities, male and female changing rooms, a café, and access to the theatre, not forgetting the theatre bar.

Teaching styles will vary depending on the subject being taught. Not all taught aspects of the programme are assessed.  Some elements of technique are not individually assessed for example, but are taken into account when considering your overall mark. Teaching is also regularly supplemented by visiting guest artists. These sessions are not assessed, as they are extra-curricular, not compulsory, but offer a valuable opportunity to work with practicing dance artists.

The School is continually striving to be more inclusive in the teaching learning and assessment methods it employs, aiming to support and coach students to reach their own unique potential as an emerging dance artist regardless of difference. The teaching team work cooperatively to find solutions to support students through injury, health issues and disability.



The School promotes assessment as a valuable learning experience in its own right.  To help you make the most of assessment opportunities, please refer to our Student Guide to Assessment 


Students and protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010

We encourage all prospective UK students who have an existing disability to apply for Disabled Student Allowance (DSA) through the Student Loans Company.  You can do this a soon as you receive confirmation from your UK funding body that you are approved for funding, you can begin the process of apply for DSA.

If you have a Specific Learning Difficulty, we urge you to have a Post-16 Diagnostic Test well in advance the start of term.  The earlier you obtain a post-16 diagnostic test, the sooner you can apply for DSA and if successful, funds can be issued to you at the beginning of your studies.

If you have long term limiting condition for which you have doctor’s diagnosis, you application for DSA will need to be accompanied by a letter from your doctor confirming your condition.

DSA is a non-repayable sum of money to help you to overcome any disadvantage you may experience as a result of your disability.

The link below provides important information about how to make your application for DSA, which includes a search facility to help you find your nearest diagnostic test centre.


Student Support

When you move into your accommodation in London we recommend that you register with a doctor in your area.  Should you become unwell, you are required to notify the School Office and may also need to provide us with medical evidence if your illness is prolonged or if you miss an assessment or submission deadline as a result. 

We provide a student counselling service on School premises, and it can sometimes be helpful, with your consent, for the counsellor to have a discussion with your doctor to decide how they can work together to support you so that you can continue with your studies. 

Our Academic Tutor system is there to offer help and advice if needed.  You will be allocated an Academic Tutor who is required to meet with you once a term to discuss academic progress, issues and attendance for example.

We offer an excellent injury prevention and injury management service supported by an osteopath, to ensure your return to training is well-managed and successful.

Our Learning Resources Manager is based in the Library and can provide support and guidance on a range of academic related issues as you progress through your chosen programme. In addition to individual support, short workshops will be offered to groups of students, designed to be relevant to your needs, and providing a framework within which you can develop good academic practice, develop your academic writing and research abilities in preparation for the world of work or further postgraduate study.


Student Engagement

London Contemporary Dance School values the role that our students play in helping us to improve their student experience.  Each year group elects its student representatives who sit on all of our internal committees.  Student Representatives also manage the Student Staff Liaison Committee, where they can present matters raised by their cohort for discussion and decision. The Student Representatives also meet regularly with the Principal of the School, our Communications Teams and representative from the Theatre to lend their voice to the wider organisation.  We rely heavily on our Student Representatives to give us early warning of issues with in the student body so that we can act immediately rather than wait for it to be reported in committee. We have recently increased the number of representatives that can be elected form each cohort to help spread the load, and we continually review the timings of meeting s with the attendance of student reps in mind.

We also have a team of Student Ambassadors who help out with audition days and when we have visitors to the School.

Given the long hours associated with the conservatoire model of dance education we are always grateful that our students somehow manage to make time for a range of activities and opportunities to represent the School.



Equality of Opportunity

We are committed to ensuring that people from all backgrounds have access to dance education and training of the highest standard at the London Contemporary Dance School. Please refer to our Equality and Diversity policy for more information.


General Data Protection Regulation

London Contemporary Dance School complies with the GDPR 2018.

Please see our Privacy notice here.


Office for Students Registration

For students to be eligible for funding from Student Finance England, they must be studying on an eligible course at a provider registered with the Office for Students (OfS).The OfS is the new independent regulator for higher education in England and all higher education providers need to register with the OfS for their students to be eligible for student support in the 2019-20 academic year. Conservatoire of Dance and Drama (of which LCDS is a member of), is listed as a registered provider in the Office for Students (OfS) register of English higher education providers.

How to Apply

Apply now for MA Screendance course (September 2021 entry) - the only MA in dance filmmaking in the world!