dance science student working with respiratory equipment

MSc Dance Science

Specialise in a research discipline route and explore dance science

1 year Full Time (Part Time routes available)
Bishop Otter Campus

Overview

This MSc Dance Science course is designed for students who wish to advance their undergraduate studies by developing specialist knowledge and application in a specific discipline within dance science.

This course provides a unique selection of modules from across MA Dance and MSc Sports and Exercise Science programmes and give you the opportunity to specialise exclusively in a discipline of Dance Science and access fully equipped laboratories to gain hands-on experience.

The discipline specific routes you could study are:

  • Biomechanics
  • Nutrition
  • Physiology
  • Psychology
  • Strength and Conditioning

This course aims to:

  • Develop a systematic and critical understanding of current theory, research and debates at the forefront of Dance Science.
  • Develop a comprehensive and critical understanding of research methodologies and practical techniques used in the field of Dance Science.
  • Foster a self-directed approach to learning.

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. Class sizes vary depending on the modules you and other students select. 

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 a discipline specific route and can focus your studies on biomechanics, nutrition, physiology, psychology or strength and conditioning. Each discipline route includes three required modules in that subject area, two relevant dance electives, a research methods module. You will have pursue either an Applied Dance Science: Supervised Research Portfolio or a Dissertation

The Applied Dance Science: Supervised Research Portfolio allows you to gain insight into applied dance science and prepare for the type of reflective and academically grounded experience that is a central demand of candidates seeking membership and professional development opportunities with organisations such as the International Association for Dance Medicine and Science (IADMS), One Dance UK, British Association for Sport and Exercise Science (BASES), and National Dance Educators Organisation (NDEO).

This modules list is indicative and subject to change.

Select a year

Dance Science Research Dissertation

You will conduct and communicate independent research in an area of your own interest.

Applied Dance Science: Supervised Research Portfolio

You will gain real-world experience of the demands of applied dance science and have an opportunity to learn and develop research-informed applied skills, whilst having access to specialist support and equipment.

Biomechanical Instrumentation

You will gain an understanding of data collection, signal processing, hardware and software provision and use for the main methods of biomechanical data collection.

Developing as an Applied Practitioner in Biomechanics

This is an opportunity to develop your skills in delivering applied consultancy in the biomechanics of sport and exercise.

Strength and Conditioning Theory and Practice

You will discover the practical application of the theory and assessment of biomechanical and physiological characteristics of athlete performance.

Applied Techniques in Exercise Physiology and Nutrition

This is a hands-on module that advances the skills required to undertake physiological assessments linked to client population requirements.

Applied Sport and Exercise Nutrition

This module aims to develop the practical skills and knowledge base essential for designing, delivering and monitoring individually tailored nutritional interventions that optimise sports performance and recovery, and enhancement of athlete wellbeing.

Muscle Physiology for Sport, Exercise and Nutrition

You will advance your in-depth understanding of the structure, function and adaptability of human skeletal muscle with additional application to nutritional and training strategies to improve exercise performance.

Applied Techniques in Exercise Physiology and Nutrition

This is a hands-on module that advances the skills required to undertake physiological assessments linked to client population requirements.

Muscle Physiology for Sport, Exercise and Nutrition

You will advance your in-depth understanding of the structure, function and adaptability of human skeletal muscle with additional application to nutritional and training strategies to improve exercise performance.

Professional Skills and Practice in Sport and Exercise Physiology and Nutrition

You will learn how research and applied practice can be used to support the varied physical, physiological and nutritional challenges associated with sport and exercise performance in a range of settings and the importance of working as part of multi-disciplinary teams.

Whole Body Metabolism: Measurement and Application

In this module, you will be introduced to a variety of methodological approaches to measure whole body metabolism during exercise and critically evaluate their strengths and weaknesses. Practical work will evaluate an area of contemporary research associated with whole body metabolism.

Advanced Performance Psychology

This modules examines psychological characteristics that have been proposed as important determinants of success in sport with specific focus on mental toughness.

Cognitive Processes in Sport

This module attempts to identify the key cognitive factors responsible for the development and demonstration of expertise, and to explore the scope for the coach and the learner to enhance learning and performance through a better understanding of such processes.

Enhancing Physical Activity, Participation and Wellbeing

Contemporary research and theory relating to the adoption and maintenance of physical activity participation for health and wellbeing will be explored.

Applied Measurement Techniques

You will learn how to develop and implement an effective performance testing battery to athletes from a range of sports.

Planning, Programming and Application

You will be taught how to perform and coach the core resistance exercises assessed during UKSCA accreditation as well as how to perform the athlete needs analysis and develop an appropriate strength and conditioning programme.

Strength and Conditioning Theory and Practice

You will discover the practical application of the theory and assessment of biomechanical and physiological characteristics of athlete performance.

Technical Dance Practice (Level 7)

This module aims to develop and strengthen contemporary dance understanding and performance through regular attendance and practice in a variety of dance technique classes. Daily classes allow you to develop and refine technical skills through reflective practice directed toward performance artistry. Motional complexity, qualitative interpretation, musicality, alignment, flexibility, core strength and stamina will be priorities in developing technical skills. Alongside this, classes will emphasis experiential learning, developing sensory awareness, physical efficiency, anatomical knowledge and skeletal imagery through taught material, improvisation and partner work. The variety of techniques taught are designed to challenge your movement memory and problem-solving skills as well as develop an athletic and more technically tuned body.

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. 

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.

Awareness in Motion

This module will give you the opportunity to discover more about your own movement potential through a somatic practice, focussing particularly one somatic practice, such as the Feldenkrais Method. By drawing attention to functional anatomy of the skeleton, you will discover more about efficiency and ease of motion through somatic practice lessons and become more aware of your potential as a mover. You will explore the philosophy and principals of the method to support and inform your practice. This learning and enriched body knowledge will provide you with more awareness, understanding and potential as a mover and will also challenge the way you think, learn and experience movement. This module will provide a foundation of understanding and practice to enable you to choose Awareness in Performance as an elective in semester 2, where the learning is taken a step further with the aim to enhance and heighten the experience of performance for the dancer.

Applied Dance Science: Case Study

The aim of this module is to provide you with the opportunity to plan, implement and evaluate dance-specific monitoring and observation of an individual dancer within a real-life setting, over a specified period of time.

Examining Practice: Subjective Perspectives in Dance

This module examines and explores subjective perspectives as a way of examining practice. You will use a range of theoretical principles, embodied and methodological approaches and qualitative methods to place knowledge in the context of your existing practice. The module encourages you to interrogate an area of your own dance practice and will challenge you to consider relevant frameworks of research across a range of contexts. Through subjective-led enquiry, you will research your practice in relation to developments in research and will be challenged to question (and explore) how methodological approaches relate to your own practice.

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.

You will also access our sports facilities and labs including:

  • Five dedicated physiology labs
  • Four dedicated psychology labs
  • Two dedicated biomechanics labs
  • An environmental chamber to simulate heat, altitude, etc
  • A sports injury clinic and adjoining rehabilitation space
  • Modern fitness suite
  • Strength and conditioning room
  • Two multi-purpose gymnasiums
  • Indoor and outdoor climbing walls and climbing boulder
  • A range of grass and astro turf pitches
  • Outdoor and indoor netball and tennis courts
  • 110m synthetic athletics track

Careers

Where this course could lead

Within the past decade there has been a marked growth in the career opportunities available for dance science, such as teaching in further and higher education, working in professional companies and in health and well-being. There is also an increased need for appropriately qualified and accredited individuals to fill these positions.

Course Costs

Course Fees 2022/23

UK fee
£8,100
International fee
£15,300

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 need to attend an interview for this course.

You will need prior experience in the scientific discipline you want to pursue, such as biomechanics, physiology, nutrition, psychology, or strength and conditioning.

Applicants who want to take the Technical Dance Practice optional module will be required to demonstrate practical dance competency to a sufficient postgraduate level.

Applicants who want to take the Awareness in Motion optional module will need to demonstrate prior experience of somatic practices.

 

FAQs

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.

When does this course start?

This course starts in September 2022.

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