BA Honours in Professional Practice

The BA Honours in Professional Practice (BAPP) programme is part of the ISTD’s advanced dance teacher training portfolio, offered in conjunction with Middlesex University.

We appreciate that, as a dance teacher, you are often self-employed, have families and may be unable to commit the time or resources to study full time.  BAPP has been designed to allow you to combine work and study in a manner that suits you through a work-based learning methodology.  There is a strong element of independent study, which is supported by detailed course learning guides, online tutorial support and peer help.

BAPP will provide you with the opportunity to develop your own practice and professional career and receive Higher Education (HE) acknowledgement for your prior experience and achievement.  It also provides a route to achieving Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) through a Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) programme or Graduate Teacher Programme (GTP).

Programme Highlights:

  • Accessible via distance learning.
  • Ongoing tutorial support via email, skype and telephone (optional campus based tutorials available)
  • Comprehensive distance learning handbooks for each module.
  • Full access to the University's e-resource library.
  • Access to tutoring, mentoring and peer support via social media technologies.

Why Study BA Honours in Professional Practice (BAPP) at Middlesex?

Graduates will be able to develop their professional practice through engagement with a range of learning activities, culminating in a major practice-based project referred to as the professional inquiry.

Other benefits include:                

  • Study with one of the best UK universities for dance.
  • Internationally recognised for teaching and innovative research.
  • Excellent student satisfaction rating at 96%
  • Teaching staff are renowned experts and practitioners in their fields.
  • Study in a British University while travelling, touring or working internationally

What does the programme include?

The programme is divided into two parts:

Part 1: 240 credits at Levels 4 and 5 (first and second year degree level). This is flexible and designed to give the equivalence of two years of university study.

Part 2: 120 credits at Level 6 (final year degree level) delivered by Middlesex University as part-time work-based learning modules over 15 months.

The time it will take you to complete the qualification will depend on your prior accreditation and experience.

Click here for further information

BA table diagram


Please refer to the Level 4 and 5 Credit Calculation table to find out more

Recognising professional experience and training is at the core of the relationship between the ISTD and Middlesex University. Middlesex University recognises professional training undertaken with the ISTD, and learning achieved through professional experience. If you wish to mix various ISTD and other qualifications for progression onto the BAPP programme, please discuss this with Middlesex University directly.

The Middlesex University programme consists of a work based programme focused on your professional work, with three modules: Establishing Professional Practice; Principles of Professional Inquiry; Professional Inquiry.

The content of the course is mainly based on the exploration and understanding of your professional practice, plus an introduction to the necessary relevant knowledge and skills to facilitate your own professional inquiry.

Current practice-based experience is essential and all applicants are expected to show that they will be engaged in practice either full time, part time, paid or voluntary (e.g dancing or teaching) whilst studying.

The programme is delivered using a university virtual learning environment, online social networking tools (and optional campus sessions). You will be expected to have regular access to the web and email for the distance-learning elements of the programme.

What happens next?

Once you have completed the programme, the following options are open to you:

  • You can apply to progress onto a PGCE or GTP programme as a route to achieving QTS.
  •  You can apply to progress onto the MA in Professional Practice: Dance Technique Pedagogy.  Further information on this programme can be found here.

Has anyone else done this course?

Yes, every year a significant number of ISTD members have graduated with a BA from BAPP. Read about some members’ experiences by clicking on the case study on right side of this page.

What are the entry requirements?

To start the programme, you should hold ONE of the qualifications listed below:

  • ISTD Advanced 1 (or its equivalent prior to January 2000, Intermediate)
  • ISTD Advanced 2 (or its equivalent prior to January 2000, Advanced)
  • Level 4 Certificate in Dance Education (CDE)
  • Level 4 Diploma in Dance Education (DDE)
  • ISTD Associate
  • ISTD Associate Diploma
  • ISTD Licentiate
  • ISTD Fellowship
  • ISTD Level 6 Diploma in Dance Pedagogy (DDP)

If you do not have any of the above qualifications, but have substantial prior experiential learning (3 or more years professional experience), an experienced practitioner route is available.  This route involves completion of a module in which you will be required to evidence your prior experiential learning in order to gain academic credit through assessment.

How can I achieve the required 240 credits at Levels 4 and 5?

You can gain the required credits by achieving ISTD vocational and teacher training qualifications.  Please see the Level 4 and 5 Credit Calculation Table, which details the credits for each qualification at that level.

ISTD also offers CPD courses regulated at Level 5. Click here for further information:

Can I receive credits for my ISTD Associate/Associate Diploma/Licentiate/Fellowship?

All of these are non-accredited teaching qualifications and therefore you cannot receive any credits for them.

What is the name of the final award I will receive on completion of the programme?

The award title is BA (Hons) Professional Practice (negotiated focus in parenthesis). The negotiated focus in parenthesis depends on:

a)      The major focus for the Level 4 and 5 credits, and

b)      The focus of the major project on the degree.

The full title of your award will be agreed with your tutor at Middlesex University.

Is there an upper age limit for the qualification?

No - the ISTD and Middlesex University welcome learners of all ages.

How much does the programme cost?

The cost of the programme and related assessment and certification will vary depending on your prior accreditation and experience.  Please visit Middlesex University website for the current fees -

In which languages is this programme available?

The programme is currently available in English only. Where English is not your first language, please check with Middlesex University for the language tests they might require before starting the programme. The University has some support for students who have English as a second language.

How do I apply for this programme?

Progression onto this programme is subject to normal application processes. Please apply directly to Middlesex University (the application process does not happen through UCAS). Applicants with ISTD qualifications should discuss their application with Middlesex University to ensure their full range of professional training and experience is recognised.


For further information please contact -


Middlesex University:  Dr Adesola Akinleye on


Glossary of terms

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

BAPP Case Study - Anthony Gifford