Level 6 Diploma in Dance Pedagogy

The Level 6 Diploma in Dance Pedagogy (DDP) is a dance teaching qualification regulated by Ofqual at Level 6 of the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF). The key objective of the qualification is to provide experienced dance teachers and former professional dancers with a programme that builds on their previous training, knowledge and experience. It will take your teaching to the next level and enhances the dance skills you already have.

The Level 6 DDP gives you the chance to further your teacher training with the ISTD through a genre-specific qualification, which is equivalent to the final year of a degree.

As per the Institute for Learning (IfL), the Level 6 DDP fully covers the current requirements of the Level 5 Diploma in Education and Training (DET).

Quick look at the benefits

On completion of this qualification, you can –

  • Apply for Licentiate membership of the ISTD
  • Apply for Qualified Teacher Learning & Skills (QTLS)
  • Progress onto the ISTD Fellowship
  • Apply for BA  and MA courses offered in conjunction with Middlesex University
  • Apply to become an Approved Tutor with an Approved Dance Centre for the ISTD DDI and DDE

Further details are provided at the end of the page. 

Click here to see what some of our past learners have to say about the qualification

What are the entry conditions for this qualification?

There are two main routes to gain entry to the programme.  

1. Experienced teacher route

The following is required:

* experience of regular dance teaching over three years (this is approximately 1,800 hours in total based on an average of 20 hours per week over 30 weeks per year);

* the Intermediate examination in the relevant genre (only Intermediate examinations from the ISTD, or other recognised dance awarding bodies (BBO – British Ballet Organization, BTDA – British Theatre Dance Association, RAD – Royal Academy of Dance or the IDTA – International Dance Teachers Association since January 2013) will be accepted.

* and hold one of the following qualifications:

  • Level 4 Diploma in Dance Education in the relevant genre, or
  • Certificate in Dance Education in the relevant genre, or
  • Associate Diploma in the relevant genre, or
  • A recognised dance teaching qualification of the same level or higher with another awarding body in the relevant genre 

2. Professional dancer route

You should have a highly developed level of technique in the relevant genre and have at least five years regular employment as a professional dancer.  Experience in coaching or teaching classes is also beneficial and a teaching placement would be required for the course.

You should also hold the Intermediate examination in the relevant genre (from the ISTD, BBO, BTDA, IDTA (since January 2013) or RAD). If you don’t meet this requirement prior to entry onto the programme, your knowledge will be assessed by the selection panel and the relevant Faculty by means of a DVD. A broad understanding of the ISTD syllabi in the relevant genre is also desirable.

To fulfil the work-based nature of this Course, where much of the learning and assessment depends on evidence drawn from practical teaching, you will be required to undertake 100 hours of teaching practice. You will need to have, therefore, a suitable work placement before the start of your programme of study.

•    If you don’t meet the requirements of either route listed above, you will have your application assessed on an individual basis to ascertain your suitability for the programme.

It should be noted that as this is an advanced teaching qualification for experienced dance teachers or former professional dancers, the minimum age for entry to the programme of study is 18.

Is there an upper age limit for the qualification?

No - the ISTD welcomes learners of all ages above 18 years.

In which genres can I study this qualification?

The Level 6 DDP can be studied in the following genres:

  • Cecchetti Classical Ballet
  • Classical Greek Dance
  • Classical Indian Dance (Bharatanatyam and Kathak)
  • Imperial Classical Ballet
  • Modern Theatre Dance
  • National Dance
  • Tap Dance

How and where is this qualification delivered?

The programme is delivered part-time over a two year period starting in January every year only at weekends from the ISTD2 Dance Studios in East London. A rough approximation would be about 14 weekend sessions over the entire two years and one entire week of genre specific training during the summer holidays. The dates for these sessions are provided to you prior to the start of the programme.

To provide a rounded learning experience, the programme includes lectures, practical workshops, group tutorials, personal mentoring, and peer learning.

What does the qualification contain?

The qualification is made up of seven units, four of which are non genre specific and three of which are contextualised within the ISTD genre studied.

Unit 1: Planning and Evaluating Programmes of Learning

•    How to structure and plan dance learning within a curriculum
•    The concept of inclusion by planning effectively
•    Skills to improve and advance your teaching and learning strategies

Unit 2: The Practice of Dance Teaching and Learning in a Chosen Genre (Genre specific)

•    The generic and genre-specific knowledge and skills required for excellence in teaching
•    How to implement teaching and learning strategies
•    An understanding of how to apply a broad range of teaching methods

Unit 3: Vocational Graded Examination in Dance: Advanced 1 (Genre specific)

•    The ability to demonstrate an extensive vocabulary of movement, musicality and artistry as          part of the progressive mastery of a particular dance genre as per ISTD syllabus

Unit 4: Principles and Practice of Dance and Choreography in a Chosen Genre (Genre specific)

•    An in depth knowledge and critical understanding of the principles and approaches to the            teaching of the chosen dance genre and ISTD syllabus 
•    The contextualization of the genre in performance and through choreography
•    The understanding of choreographic processes appropriate to the particular genre

Unit 5: Health and Safety in Dance

•    Ways to manage Health & Safety issues within your classroom and lesson planning
•    Teaching strategies for promoting psychological health of your students during training
•    A greater awareness of clinical conditions encountered in your dance studio

Unit 6: Lifespan Development and Learning in Dance

•    The importance of understanding social and emotional features in development and how this      affects your pupils
•    The skills to motivate pupils and understanding difference within learning
•    How physical and cognitive development relates to growth of the brain                                            

Unit 7: Reflective Practice and Continuing Personal and Professional Development

•    To improve and develop your professional practice through reflection
•    An increased awareness of current trends in education and in your own specialism
•    The role of teacher as researcher, exploring issues relating to your own teaching through               Action Research

For further information on the unit credits and content, please download the Level 6 Diploma in Dance Pedagogy Syllabus here.


How many credits do I earn?

The Level 6 DDP is regulated at Level 6 of the QCF. Total credit value of The Level 6 DDP is 213 and its qualification number on the Register of Regulated Qualifications is 600/4269/2. Please click here to see the detailed information available on the Register. 

How do I study for this qualification?

Each unit has its own learner study guide to give additional support and guidance. These are essential reading to complete the unit. Part of the guide may also include recommended or suggested reading to allow for a more rounded study of the subject. In addition, you are expected to complete a significant amount of private study and research supported by your personal mentor.

What happens next?

Once you have completed the qualification in one genre, the following options are open to you -.

  • Access to teaching positions in the Further Education and state-maintained sector - Provided you meet the Level 2 Numeracy and Literacy skill requirements, you can apply for Professional Formation with the IfL leading to the award of Qualified Teacher in Learning and Skills (QTLS). QTLS will enable you to access teaching positions in the Further Education and state-maintained sector.
  • You can apply for Licentiate membership of the ISTD in your chosen genre. After becoming a member, you will be eligible to enter candidates for any ISTD examinations. This will enable you to use the abbreviation ‘LISTD’ after your name.
  • As this qualification is equivalent to a Licentiate, you can progress onto the Fellowship qualification in your chosen genre, which is the highest teaching qualification offered by the ISTD.
  • You can apply for the BA in Professional Practice programme offered in conjunction with Middlesex University.
  • You can apply for the MA in Professional Practice: Dance Technique Pedagogy programme offered in conjunction with Middlesex University.
  • You can consider becoming an Approved Tutor and teach learners on the ISTD’s initial teacher training qualifications [the Level 3 Diploma in Dance Instruction (DDI) and the Level 4 Diploma in Dance Education (DDE)]. Please note that it is a requirement that all Approved Tutors are appointed by, and must work at, an Approved Dance Centre (schools approved to deliver the DDI and DDE). To pursue this, please contact centres in your area.

What is the cost of this qualification?

Tuition fees vary according to the individual needs of the candidate, their recognised prior learning, and the entry route for which they are accepted onto the programme.  The fees range between £5000 to £6500 and the exact fees for each candidate are decided as part of the programme interview process.

Payment plans are available for payment of fees. This will allow you to spread the cost of their tuition over the 2 year period.  Discounts will apply for upfront payments.

How do I apply and when can I start?

Applications for the next intake of learners on the Level 6 DDP programme are currently closed.

In case you have any queries or questions, please email higherqualifications@istd.org.

Glossary of terms

Are you baffled by all the acronyms used?  Please click here for more information.