Students performing

MA Choreography by Independent Research

Expand your independent choreographic research as an established or mid-career artists on this flexible course 

14 months Full Time
Bishop Otter Campus


This MA Choreography by Independent Research degree offers Higher Education study to professionals wanting to compete a research focused qualification, who may not wish to engage with a taught programme. This flexible course will be of interest to established and mid-career artists regionally, nationally and internationally.

You will have the opportunity to validate your independent choreographic research through accreditation of prior standing, the completion of a Reflective practice module (which can be taught through evening and or weekend sessions), and a Dissertation project.

For further information about the course please contact Vicky Hunter on

Teaching and Assessment

How you will learn

You will study through theoretical and practical workshops, lecturers, seminars and rehearsals. You will be assessed through a range of assignments depending on which study options you 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.

The Course

What you will study

This course is made up of core and optional modules. You will study the core modules Choreographic Practices, Artist as Producer and Dissertation, and study one optional module. 

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’.

Dance Dissertation (Level 7)

On this independent dissertation project you will choose a research area to investigate which you will agree with your tutors. Your research could focus on performance practice, professional practice (i.e. teaching and community dance practices) applied critical, historical or epistemological issues.

Pedagogical Approaches in Dance

You will analyse, deconstruct and reconstruct technical exercises and phrases to build a critical base of teaching material. You will explore planning, phrase construction and giving corrections in dance teaching in the context of somatic development and consideration of issues relating to health and safety. As well as being introduced to lesson planning, devising schemes of work for different levels and abilities you are expected to undertake critical analysis and evaluation of professional dance classes. 

New Media and Performance Practices

During this practical and theoretical module you will engage in the conceptual issues of digital media in the context of choreographic works and installations. You will develop the skills required to produce creative work using digital media and documentation, and produce the dissemination of performance or performative practices on DVD, web-based or other digital formats.

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.

Body in Site

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

Developing Dance Practice

You will explore strategies for developing dance practitioner processes, working practices, and creative and organisational methods specific to a work-based context. You will explore a practice of your choice and engage with tutorials either in person or remotely.


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. 


Where this course could lead

This MA Choreography by Independent Research degree will prepare you for a range of careers in choreography, performing arts, dance development, arts administration, performance, teaching or dance research.

You could also choose to continue your studies to PhD level or pursue other professionally-related qualifications.

Course Costs

Course Fees 2022/23

UK fee
International fee

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.
with no element lower than 5.5.

You will need to audition for this course.


Frequently asked questions

How do I apply?

Click the ‘Apply now’ button to go to our postgraduate application form. We will consider your application and you may be invited to audition and interview.

You will need to provide a portfolio along with your application form and references. This should consist of the following:

  • Portfolio
  • Written essay

Your prior experience (prior standing) as a dance maker will be assessed through the submission of a portfolio and a written essay. The portfolio will be in the form of an extended curriculum vitae with supplementary materials (i.e video evidences, reviews, images, web site and or digital archive materials) to support your application.

1. The Portfolio will include:

  • Three years of professional choreographic experience.
  • Evidence of choreographic productions/presentations.
  • Evidence of funding/commissions from recognizable industry bodies (i.e. ACE, Welcome, Leverhulme, Nesta etc.).
  • Evidence of engagement with Continuing Professional Development opportunities.
  • Evidence of professional reviews/endorsements of your work.
  • Link to website and or online examples of dance works.

2. The Written essay will include:

  • A written draft proposal for a possible choreographic research project of at least 1,500 words and should include Harvard Referencing and a full bibliography.

When does this course start?

This course starts in September 2022.

Our address

I’m looking for