Choreography students

MA Choreography and Professional Practice

Explore choreographic research methods, learn to document live performance practice and promote your work to wider audiences while developing your own artistic voice and skills

1 year Full Time, 2 years Part Time
Bishop Otter Campus

Overview

Are you looking for a qualification to equip you for a range of careers in choreography, performing arts, dance development, arts administration, performance, teaching or dance research? Or are you interested in a postgraduate course to prepare you for further study such as a PhD or professionally-related qualification?

If you enjoy problem solving, creative thinking, independent work and group work, and engaging in debate then course is for you.

This MA Choreography and Professional Practices course explores choreography, improvisation, devising and experimentation, professional and artistic development, and portfolio working. You will have opportunities to network with industry professionals and improve your portfolio as you study.

You will be challenged to explore your practice and examine you working methods as a dance-maker. This course will introduce you to choreographic research methods and strategies for documenting live performance practice and promoting your work.

You will have opportunities to pursue live performance practices as a choreographer, consider your work in relation to the wider field of professional contemporary dance practice, develop your artistic voice and explore single discipline or interdisciplinary practice-based projects involving choreography, performance, fine art, music, and installation.

You will lead projects and focus on topics that interest you in performance making as you explore and expand on your existing choreographic practice in a dynamic research environment. You will examine innovative and experimental approaches to choreographic practice, research and scholarship and discover topics including choreographic practices and methods of research, somatic approaches, developing movement vocabularies, collaboration, devising and experimentation.

You will learn from experienced industry professionals and benefit from our close relationship with regional dance industry providers and practitioners. Staff work in a range of fields including dance theatre, new media and dance film, site-specific and installation work.

Some this course content may be delivered on campus and in off-site venues in Brighton, London and other regional venues. You need to be flexible and prepared to travel and manage your time well to make the most of this opportunity. You will need to pay your own travel costs.

On this course you will:

  • Work alongside nationally and internationally renowned arts researchers including Yael Flexer, Abi Mortimer, Carrie Whitaker, Detta Howe, Ann Nugent, Virginia Farman, Victoria Hunter and Cathy Childs.
  • Access the lively arts research culture at the University, including: regular programmes of research presentations given by staff, web-based learning, research students and visiting artists/researchers.
  • Attend performances by visiting artists/companies, theatre trips to performance events, and arts research training events and national arts conferences.
  • Have opportunities to present your work at choreographic platforms and participate in artist networking opportunities.
  • Develop your marketing, fundraising and ‘pitching’ and presentation skills.
  • Collaborate with independent researchers and students from accompanying courses including MA Performance: Dance.
  • Study twice-weekly technique classes.
  • Complete an independent research project on a topic relevant to the field of choreography.
  • Explore innovative and experimental articulations, dissemination of dance knowledge and applications of dance across a range of contexts and media.
  • Learn from experienced guest lecturers – past guest lecturers have included practitioners and curators including Gary Clarke, Kerri Nichols, Hagit Bar, Liz Aggis, Didy Veldman and dramaturge Lou Cope.
  • Be able to take part in Continuing Professional Development opportunities.

Teaching and Assessment

How you will learn

You will study through theoretical and practical workshops, lectures, seminars and rehearsals. You will be assessed through a range of assignments depending on which modes of study choose.

All modules are assessed through programme work in the form of practical choreography presentations, essays, reports, presentations, learning journals, portfolios, online tasks and group working.

During your independent research project you are supported through seminar sessions and tutorials as you develop the research skills essential for lifelong learning, career flexibility, and for personal and professional development.

The Course

What you will study

This course is made up of core and optional modules. Each module is worth a certain number of credits. To complete the course at MA level you will need to gain 180 credits at Level 7.

This list is indicative and subject to change.

Select a year

Choreographic Practices

A practical module delivered in the studio. You will develop your own compositional practice and experiment with new working methodologies and strategies for making work. You will observe professional choreographers making work with mapdance, our professional performance programme company.

Artist as Producer

You will undertake initial research into a range of contemporary dance and performance related platforms, festivals, projects and artist-development schemes both within the UK and in European or international contexts. You will develop an articulation of your work and practice through the development of a website resource that includes a distinctive artist’s ‘statement’.

Choreography and Professional Practice Dissertation

The dissertation is the culmination of your MA study. You will develop a substantial dance research project of your choice. You can choose to include a varying amount of dance practice alongside written critical commentary.

Techniques for Performance (Level 7)

This module will include daily technical training to develop your interpretive and presentational skills in preparation for performance. You will explore motion complexity, qualitative interpretation, musicality, alignment, flexibility, core strength, and stamina as you develop the technical skills you will need as a professional dancer. 

Body in Site

You will complete a self-directed choreographic exploration task in the University’s virtual learning environment. 

Performing Politics

This theory-based module explores performance in lectures on campus.

Writing and Performance

On this lecture-based module you will analyse and critique creative writing for performance and script based work.

Repertory 2

This practical module is an opportunity to work on the creation or re-staging of a repertoire work. You will engage with choreographic devising and performance as an independent group or as part of the MA company mapdance. To study this module you must also select Techniques for Performance.

Philosophy and Aesthetics

In this theoretical module you will explore how knowledge about dance is rooted in philosophical and aesthetic ideologies, from both historicised and contemporary perspectives. You will look through a wide lens at dance and its evolving beliefs, with the main focus on dance as art, and contemporary dance.

Scientific Principles of Dance Practice

You will use a combination of lectures, seminars, practical workshops and independent exploratory tasks to examine interrelated theories from motor learning and control, physiological training principles, psychological approaches to dance practice and embodied perception. You will consider how to apply these principles to advance and enhance dance practice.

Pedagogical Skills in Dance

Studio based module exploring how to tech and deliver dance technique classes.

Facilities

Rehearse and perform in practical spaces

You will perform in an Arts Council funded Dance Theatre Space and rehearse in four superb dance studios, the large gymnasium and two sprung-floor spaces. You will also be able to take advantage of a programme of dance company performances, workshops and events supported by Arts Council funding. 

Careers

Where this course could lead

This MA Choreography and Professional Practices degree will prepare you for a range of careers in industry or you may choose to continue your studies and apply for a PhD or other professionally-related qualifications.

You could pursue a career in:

  • Choreography
  • Performing arts
  • Dance development
  • Arts administration
  • Performance
  • Teaching
  • Dance research

Anna Des Clayes

MA Choreography and Professional Practices
"My route into becoming an aspiring choreographer is somewhat dissimilar from the norm. After completing a science degree and working as a secondary school teacher for four years, I decided to have a career change and focus on another passion: dance and choreography. I applied for the University of Chichester due to its wide range of module choices and scope for interdisciplinary research projects. The quality of the course has exceeded my expectations, finding it both intellectually challenging and a nurturing environment to develop my artistic vision. The lecturers and teachers within the dance department provide bespoke guidance and are always willing to connect you with like-minded artists. Now having completed the Masters degree, I feel equipped with the skills and mindset necessary to embark on a new career pathway."

Course Costs

Course Fees 2022/23

UK fee
£9,684
International fee
£14,724

For further details about fees, please see our Tuition Fee page.

For further details about international scholarships, please see our Scholarships page.

Entry Requirements

Typical offers (individual offers may vary):

Honours degree
2:2 or higher
in a related discipline.
IELTS
6.5
with no element lower than 5.5.

You will also be required to audition for this course and provide a research proposal.

 

Your Research Proposal

Your research proposal should be a brief document (one side of A4 max) that outlines how you wish to develop your compositional practice through the Choreography and Professional Practices programme and will be used as a basis for discussion at your interview. Your proposal should be supported by an example of your work on DVD or via a web link (i.e. vimeo/ youtube or website). Please do label DVD material clearly.

Here are some ideas that might be helpful to consider when writing your proposal, these are intended to help you focus, you do not need to have answers for all of them.

  • What concept would you like to explore in a work for performance? Which aspect of your choreographic practice do you wish to develop and how might you do this? What are your strengths as an artist and how can you critique your work at the moment?
  • What is the ‘next step’ for your choreographic work, where do you want to take your work in the future? Are you interested in developing your practice further as an artist or applying your choreographic skills and understanding as a teacher, administrator, arts promoter?
  • What would the most appropriate context be for your exploration – Studio or Theatre performance, Site Specific or durational work, Performance installation, Dance film or digital media? (If working in dance for the screen or new media, you will need a good working knowledge of appropriate software programmes.)
  • Where do you see your studio and performance practice in relation to current professional performance practice? Which artists and/or theorists work might usefully inform your exploration and why?
  • You may wish to work in collaboration with another artist – how would you set this up? Do you want to cast from inside the university or bring your own performers? Depending on your practice it might be useful to include a short bibliography and examples of works/projects relevant to your research area.

FAQs

Frequently asked questions

How do I apply?

Apply for this course with our online application form.

Please submit your you application to:

When submitting your application please also include the following items:

  • 2 references
  • Curriculum vita
  • A 500 word choreographic proposal (see Guidelines below)
  • A link to an example of recent work (i.e. website or vimeo/youtube)

If you are applying from overseas we also need to see two of your choreographic works. These should be in a contemporary style and they should be at least three minutes long.

We also require an academic essay written in English as we need to see the standard of your written work in lieu of an audition and need to know your IELTS score. Please see our entry requirements pages for details.

When does this course start?

This course starts in September 2022.

Who can I contact for more information?

For further information please contact Administrator Sue Francis (s.francis@chi.ac.uk) or Course Leader Vicky Hunter (v.hunter@chi.ac.uk).

Guidelines for submitting a proposal for MA Choreography and Professional Practice

This should be a brief document (one side of A4 max) that outlines how you wish to develop your compositional practice through the Choreography and Professional Practices programme and will be used as a basis for discussion at your interview. Your proposal should be supported by an example of your work via a web link (i.e. vimeo/ youtube or website).

Here are some ideas that might be helpful to consider when writing your proposal, these are intended to help you focus, you do not need to have answers for all of them.

  • What concept would you like to explore in a work for performance? Which aspect of your choreographic practice do you wish to develop and how might you do this? What are your strengths as an artist and how can you critique your work at the moment?
  • What is the ‘next step’ for your choreographic work, where do you want to take your work in the future? Are you interested in developing your practice further as an artist or applying your choreographic skills and understanding as a teacher, administrator, arts promoter?
  • What would the most appropriate context be for your exploration – Studio or Theatre performance, Site Specific or durational work, Performance installation, Dance film or digital media? (If working in dance for the screen or new media, you will need a good working knowledge of appropriate software programmes.)
  • Where do you see your studio and performance practice in relation to current professional performance practice? Which artists and/or theorists work might usefully inform your exploration and why?
  • You may wish to work in collaboration with another artist – how would you set this up? Do you want to cast from inside the university or bring your own performers? Depending on your practice it might be useful to include a short bibliography and examples of works/projects relevant to your research area.

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