Student reading a book in the library

Develop your research interests, hear from others in dance research and design your research programme

2 years Part Time, 1 year Full Time option available by special arrangement
Bishop Otter Campus


This MA Dance Research degree allows you to develop your own research interests and design a programme of dance research to address specific areas of interest with support from tutors.

This course is perfect for you want to develop your research skills as a dance or arts professional, teacher, recent graduate or a dance artist. You will learn from guest lecturers including scholars, practitioners and curators working in innovative areas of dance research.

Focusing on theoretical approaches this MA Dance Research degree aims to develop your knowledge, understanding and experience of dance research. The programme will introduce you to methodological, analytical and critical skills and you will learn to situate your interests in the context of contemporary dance discourse, devise and implement coherent research projects, and articulate your research in relation to current practices.

You will develop the conceptual understanding to critically evaluate current research and advanced scholarship, and to evaluate and critique methodologies. You will also be able to to propose new hypotheses and new approaches to thinking about dance, where appropriate, and situate your work within the UK and European ‘dance ecology’.

The MA Dance Research provides opportunities for you to:

  • Deepen your understanding of your approaches to research and scholarship and, where applicable, practice.
  • Develop reflective thinking and critical writing skills.
  • Deepen your ability to articulate your research in written and spoken form.
  • Develop your critical and analytical thinking.
  • Develop strategies for working independently.
  • Develop self–directed research skills and articulate research in written and presentational formats.
  • Continue your professional development.
  • Work with nationally and internationally established dance scholars and practitioners.
  • Develop skills in preparation for MPhil or PhD study.

The Course

What you will study

This course is made up of modules. You will study on three core modules and two optional modules. The core modules are: Philosophy and Aesthetics; Independent Research Project and Dissertation.

This module list is indicative and subject to change.

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’.

Body in Site

In this module, you will consider approaches to, and the implications of, site-dance. A range of site-specific dance, movement installation, perambulatory performance and durational approaches will be explored through practical experiments and theoretical study. the module will explore how the moving body relates to site and will explore a range of socio-political and cultural theory through which body-site relationships can be considered.

Dance Writing and Criticism

The module will be based around the in-depth viewing and analysis of selected mainly contemporary dance works live and on video. It will look at approaches to theoretically applied forms of writing for different readerships and publications, emphasising approaches that are descriptive, interpretive, analytical and evaluative, or positioned within a post-structuralist perspective.

New Media and Performance Practices

This module explores the relationship between new medias and dance performance practices. Using various software programs in tutor-facilitated sessions, you will practically explore the programs for use either as a creative medium or for documentation/dissemination purposes and will practice their skills through exercises using the software. You will also develop your practical skills with the software through the design and production of either a creative work using digital media, a documentation package suitable to the work you choose to document, or other means of disseminating research via digital interfaces such as Internet.

Pedagogical Approaches

Through a combination of lectures, seminars and practical tasks, you will analyse, deconstruct and reconstruct technical exercises and phrases in order to build a critical base of teaching material. Planning, phrase construction and giving corrections will be explored in the context of somatic development and consideration of issues relating to health and safety. You will also be expected to undertake critical analysis and evaluation of professional dance classes. You will be introduced to lesson planning, devising schemes of work appropriate to different teaching situations such as primary and secondary syllabus work, special needs and working with the elderly and community-based groups.

Performing Politics

In this module, you will analyse a wide range of dance practices: historical and contemporary, popular and ‘high art’, Western and non-Western. You will consider these in relation to twentieth- and twenty-first-century debates about the politics of the body, for example: the roll of the body in mass culture; the extent to which the body is controlled by or resistance to the state; the roll of the body in colonisation and decolonisation; the roll of the body in negotiating local, national and global identities; the roll of the body in constructing sexual and gender identities; the relationship between the body and technology.


This practical module is an opportunity to work on the creation or re-staging of a repertoire work. Dancing in the construction or reconstruction of a work of repertory provides you with opportunities to extend creative practical skills in dance performance. You will apply your choreographic knowledge and performance skills to devising and problem-solving within select frameworks linked to research processes (practical and contextual) underpinning the repertory. 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.

Techniques for Performance

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.

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.


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 course will prepare you for further study such as a PhD or other professionally-related qualifications and give you a qualification to help you secure work within educational and HE institutions.

Course Costs

Course Fees 2023/24

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.

University of Chichester alumni who have completed a full undergraduate degree at the University will receive a 15% discount on their postgraduate fees.

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


Frequently asked questions

How do I apply?

Apply for this course with our online application form.

You will need to send in a proposal of what you would like to focus on as your research project while studying for an MA. We would like at least 1,000 words written as a proposal about what you would like to do, or what you have already studied, plus a bibliography.

In your application please showcase:

  • Your theoretical and conceptual knowledge
  • Your reading
  • Any relevant reading from your undergraduate degree
  • Your academic argument and the area of research that you would follow if your application is successful

We need to see evidence of your academic ability and knowledge of how to work with theory. We want to understand more about your academic background and your ability to think, question and follow academic discussions through your application. You should focus on a research area and rationalise your exploration.

Apply with our online application form.


Full time

To apply for the full-time option of this course, please click the button below.

Part time

To apply for the part-time option of this course, please click the button below.

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