Bachelor of Performing and Screen Arts (Contemporary Dance)

Programme summary  Career opportunities  Courses & timetables  Admission requirements

7, 360 3.0
Full-time for three years
Starts February
30 places
Applications for 2014 by 18 October 2013. Auditions will be held in October 2013.
Mt Albert campus
Semester dates for 2014:
Semester 1: 24 February - 27 June; Semester 2: 21 July - 21 November

Applications for this programme are now closed for 2014

NZ$8586 (Approximate fee only, find out more about the costs of study)

International fees

Programme summary

Learn to choreograph and perform at a professional level by becoming part of the largest full-time contemporary dance programme in New Zealand. Participate in a diverse array of performances, ranging from solo and group work to commissioned works by guest choreographers.

The Contemporary Dance major is the most established, full-time contemporary dance programme in New Zealand, and continues to develop a community of dance artists who contribute innovative choreography and performance excellence to the industry. Unitec's dance graduates are seen in all major productions throughout New Zealand.

With a comprehensive programme covering technique, choreography, dance studies and digital dance, you'll gain the knowledge, tools and abilities to pursue the range of opportunities available to you as a contemporary dance artist.


  • A rewarding and challenging experience that introduces you to an exciting and varied professional career in dance. Whether you create your own live work or dance on stage or screen, you'll be joining an artistic community that includes many of our graduates.
  • A focus on live performance, including opportunities to both dance and choreograph. Daily studio practice under the guidance of experienced national and international industry practitioners.
  • A close relationship with the dance industry and community.
  • A chance to collaborate with other performing arts students; you'll share classes with actors, directors, writers, production design management and film and television students.

Technique and choreography for stage and screen

With the emphasis on practicality, you'll spend up to six hours a day in the studio, developing your craft in a range of dance techniques including contemporary, ballet, muscle and bone, pilates, yoga, choreography, partnering work and improvisation. You'll also develop skills in dance and multimedia through creating and performing in dance for film.


Live performance will be an integral part of your studies where you'll get to explore your technique and choreographic craft as an emerging practitioner. Taught by leading contemporary dance artists and choreographers, you'll develop numerous dance projects of your own. You'll choreograph and perform in dance works for theatre, events, festivals and film as well as gaining a hands-on understanding of funding and promotion activities. Technology plays a key role in our learning environment. You'll gain practical experience in sound and music design, video editing, costume, lighting, props and scenery.

Dance studies and critical practices

Throughout your studies, you'll develop an understanding of dance histories and associated theories in our unique culture of critical studies. Alongside your future industry peers, you'll explore in-depth theoretical and critical thought, integrating theory and professional practice in an exciting cross-discipline environment.


Around 100 people apply each year for the 30 places offered in Year One. All auditions will be held over Labour Weekend. You'll be given clear information at the time of your application about how to prepare. From this workshop, the final selection of trainee dancers is made for the following year.

Please note: If you're not sure that you're ready to audition for this highly competitive programme yet please look at the Certificate in Communication and Media Arts.


Last edited: 11 September 2013