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MA Dance, Somatics and Dance Science

*This course is open for 2022 entry only 

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Bishop Otter campus (Chichester)

Full Time

Entry Requirements and Fees

2021/22 UK fee: £8,460

2021/22 International fee: £14,900 

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

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

Entry Requirements

  • An honours degree at 2:1 or higher in a related discipline from a recognised university.
  • Applicants will also be required to complete an interview, submit a brief written task, and evidence their movement capacity via submission of recorded material (see details below). 
  • International applicants will be required to provide evidence of IELTS 6.5 (with no element less than 5.5) or equivalent.
  • Applicants who have met the general entrance requirements of their programme but who have an IELTS score 0.5 below that required (or equivalent other qualification) may be admitted to the University’s Pre-Sessional Programme.

Application Requirements

1. Written element:

An essay providing a critical and reflective discussion on the potential for an integration between somatic and dance science within your practice. Within your essay you should identify existing theories and / or practitioners who work in this way. Please include refences to any external sources supporting your content (a specific referencing format is not required). (approx. 800 words).

2. Practical submission

  • Required: 2-3 minute showreel which demonstrates your movement capacity and illustrates an improvisatory and/or somatic movement approach. You can share existing recorded content which illustrates this or you can generate something new working with the theme of folding and unfolding.
  • Subsequent, if relevant: If accepted onto the programme and you wish to opt for the dance techniques elective module, further evidence of technical competencies may be required. Information on this will be provided in due course, if relevant.

3. Interview: 1 to 1 interview 20-30 minutes online.

4. Reference: 1 reference for external candidates who can comment on physical and academic skills.

Course content

*This course is open for 2022 entry only 

The MA Dance, Somatics and Dance Science is an immersive 12-month full-time programme designed for students with an undergraduate degree in dance or dance science with a particular interest in somatic approaches to dance practice. The interdisciplinary perspective explores the confluence (and potential divergence) of a somatic and scientific approach to dance practice. The programme is aimed at dancers and graduates who have had some experience of dance science and/or somatics but who want to extend their knowledge and studio/applied/experiential practice to gain the necessary skills to pursue a career which may fall within or use expertise in either or both of these disciplines.

On the MA Dance, Somatics and Dance Science you will develop an awareness of your own movement potential in terms of structure, function and efficiency from both a somatic and movement science perspective as well as develop the experiential and scholarly language required to reflect and critically document your practice. These specialist skills can be applied in professional, community and educational dance contexts, as a dance artist, pedagogue, practitioner and/or researcher, for example.  Creative, critical and reflective skills, which are integral to this programme, also afford transferability to a range of employment contexts as valued attributes in a dynamic and ever-changing world.

The programme is immersive and demanding in nature, requiring both practical and theoretical enquiry while interrogating first and third person perspectives within dance practice. This approach necessitates a certain maturity, a willingness to delve into complex phenomena, and an acceptance of periods of uncertainty and ‘not-knowing/unknowing’. Specialist tutors delivering across the modules will guide you through this experience via your weekly sessions and with one-to-one tutorial support, as required. Alongside the module-specific tutors, a range of departmental and University-wide academic and pastoral support is also available.

The core modules offer focussed learning in Scientific Principles of Practice, Awareness in Motion, Examining Practice: Subjective Perspectives, along with Dissertation.  In addition to the core modules, you may select three optional modules to support and complement your studies.  Optional modules include Technical Dance Practice, Improvisation in Professional Contexts, Pedagogical Approaches, Awareness in Performance, Applied Dance Science: Case Study and Principles of Motor Learning for Dance.

Read our Postgradaute Dance brochure. 

Dance brochure

Our facilities

Campus Location: Chichester 

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Our Programme is delivered in purpose-built dance studios and fully equipped scientific laboratories. Our students can access equipment and support from our dance technical team, and our sports and exercise science laboratory technicians, along with a range of AV recording and editing equipment accessible from the Learning Resource Centre. 

Dance Facilities

  • Four purpose built dance studios
  • A fully-equipped 250-seat theatre
  • A 110-seat studio theatre
  • A newly refurbished large gymnasium space
  • Two workshop spaces in the new Academic Building  

Sports and Exercise Science Facilities

  • 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

Our Library offers a substantial collection of books, journals and other materials to help you further your knowledge and research. In the upper two floors there are a number of study areas for group and quiet study including Wi-Fi areas for laptop use are available, or you can use our open access PC and Mac areas. On the ground floor, you’ll find the Support and Information Zone, Media Centre, Costa Coffee and a variety of IT resources.

Learning Resource Centre Facilities (Bishop Otter Campus)

  • 130 open access PC workstations
  • 45 Apple iMacs
  • Ample printing facilities
  • Netbooks available on loan
  • Professional editing suites
  • Media and equipment loans
  • Wi-Fi and plug points throughout

Where this can take you

The MA Dance, Somatics and Dance Science programme will provide you with skills and values that can be applied within the dance sector, where you can share your knowledge and learning in a variety of ways, as an artist/performer, pedagogue, choreographer, community practitioner or researcher. You will also gain skills and perspectives that support your continued trajectory in the wider field of employment, offering the potential for a fulfilling and flexible career pathway where you can be creative and inspiring whilst continuing to nurture the key dance/somatic/science skills.

The MA also serves as a foundation preparation for those hoping to pursue practical and/or theoretical research at M.Phil or Ph.D level. 

Whether you know exactly what you would like to do after your programme, or do not know where to start, the University’s Careers Service helps with finding work or further study options, developing connections and skills, going freelance or starting a business.  They offer guidance in searching for jobs, choosing a career, completing and sharpening an application form or CV all of which supports the student in preparing for employment options post university. 

Indicative modules


  • Dance Dissertation
  • Awareness in Motion
  • Scientific Principles of Practice
  • Examining Practice: Subjective Perspectives in Dance


  • Principles of Motor Learning for Dance
  • Technical Dance Practice
  • Applied Dance Science: Case Study
  • Awareness in Performance
  • Pedagogical Approaches
  • Improvisation in Professional Contexts

International English Studies

Include International English Studies: 

Teaching and assessment

Progression through the programme MA Dance, Somatics and Dance Science will be awarded upon successful completion of a ‘dissertation’ of between 18,000 words or its equivalent worth a further 60 credit points, bringing the total for the award to 180 signifying 1800 hours for an award at this level. To achieve this award, candidates will have had to demonstrate considerable skills in carrying out and presenting the fruits of independent research.

All modules include a formative assessment usually at a midway point, which is designed to be an indicator of students’ progress.  Students will be given tutorial advice concerning their strengths and weaknesses and support in order to prepare for the final assessments. Assessment criteria are published for each module, which derive from the module objectives/learning outcomes, which are in turn derived from the degree objectives/learning outcomes, which have been designed with reference to Level 7 descriptors.

Additional Costs

Include Additional Costs: