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Level 4 Diploma in Dance Education (DDE) - New


Inside the EU from 1st September 2018; eventually worldwide


Theatre Dance

Qualifications Type


The ISTD’s new Level 4 Diploma in Dance Education (DDE) has been approved by the Council in March 2018 and will replace the current DDI and DDE route and once delivered worldwide also the current Theatre Associate and Associate Diplomas.

What does this mean for current DDI/DDE Student Teachers, Approved Dance Centres and Approved Tutors? Find out in our FAQs.

Overview and Objectives

Part of the ISTD’s portfolio of initial teaching qualifications, the Level 4 DDE is an achievable and streamlined teaching qualification which provides student teachers with a clear progression pathway to becoming an ISTD qualified teacher (either Licentiate or Level 6 Diploma in Dance Pedagogy), and an overall excellent introduction to a career in teaching dance. The contextual nature of assessment will moreover ensure that student teachers develop the practical skills and knowledge required to enter the teaching profession and to develop a sustainable career.

Duration and Units

Dependent on individual experience, the Level 4 DDE can be achieved over two year's part time, or as part of full time vocational training.

It consists of 5 units (120 credits), which can be taken individually, although they all link to one another ensuring a depth of knowledge which prepares the student teachers thoroughly for the studio and the start of their teaching journey.

  • Unit 1: Preparing for Safe Teaching (15 credits at Level 3)
  • Unit 2: Observing, Assisting and Teaching Practice (30 credits at Level 4)
  • Unit 3: Vocational Graded Examination in Dance: Intermediate (28 credits at Level 3)
  • Unit 4: Dance Practice (30 credits at Level 4)
  • Unit 5: Social, Emotional and Cognitive Development (17 credits at Level 4)

Delivery and Support

Initially via traditional tutor and student handbooks. In future a new online system will be developed, giving students, Approved Dance Centres and Approved Tutors 24/7 access and lots of functionalities to manage their respective learner journeys and tasks.

Link to any documents?


Info? Link to bursaries?


Student teachers with significant prior teaching experience may be able to apply for an exemption for some areas of the qualification or perhaps a unit itself. Find out more about the ISTD's Accreditation of Prior Learning Scheme (APEL).

Progression Routes

Copied paragraph from old DDI/DDE?

The DDI and DDE are both on the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) and award 68 and 92 QCF credits accordingly. This means that as well as standalone respected dance teaching qualifications they can also contribute towards other higher level qualifications such as the ISTD’s regulated higher teaching qualifications, the Level 6 Diploma in Dance Pedagogy, the BA (Hons) in Professional Practice: Dance Education or the MA in Professional Practice: Dance Technique. Or, for an unregulated progression route, there are the ISTD’s Licentiate and Fellowship examinations.

ISTD Membership

Completion of the DDI/DDE allows graduates to upgrade their ISTD membership to Full Membership, which amongst other benefits includes full voting rights on Society business. For a full overview of all of the ISTD’s membership categories and benefits, please visit the Membership section.


Registration and Contacts

If you would like to take the new DDE, please contact our Initial Qualifications Co-ordinator Gemma Bridge at gbridge@istd.org. Or, if you are interested in becoming an Approved Dance Centre or Tutor, please contact Cynthia Pease at customerservices@istd.org.