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MA Choreography by Independent Research

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Institution C58


Bishop Otter campus (Chichester)

14 months Full Time

Entry Requirements and Fees

2021/22 UK fee: £4,900

2021/22 International fee: £6,850

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 2:2 or higher in a related discipline.
  • International applicants will be required to provide evidence of IELTS 6.5 (with no element less than 5.5) or equivalent.
  • You will also be require to audition for this course

Course content

The M.A Choreography  by Independent Research degree offers Higher Education study to professionals who may not wish to engage with a taught programme of study but seek to validate their independent choreographic research through accreditation of prior standing and through the completion of a Reflective practice module (this can be taught flexible through evening and or weekend sessions) and a Dissertation project.

The programme will be of interest to established and mid-career artists both regionally, nationally and internationally for whom flexibility of study is of key importance.

For further information please contact Vicky Hunter:

A portfolio needs to be presented along with your application form and references. This should consist of the following (as an indication):

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) that evidence the following: 

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. 

Read our Postgraduate Dance brochure.


This course starts in September 


Our facilities

Campus Location: Chichester 

Our dance facilities include four superb dance studios, a fully-equipped 250-seat theatre and a 110-seat studio theatre. 

Dance Studios

Dance Studio 1         Dance Studio 2

Studio Theatre

Studio Theatre 1       Studio Theatre 2

Rehearsal Space

In addition, there is a large gymnasium space together with two new sprung-floor spaces in the Academic Building.

Rehearsal Space 1        Rehearsal Space 2



The library offers a substantial collection of books, journals and other materials to help you further your dance knowledge and research. 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. 

We use an electronic learning environment with an expanding portfolio of online library resources from anywhere at any time.  The Learning Resource is the hub of the learning environment. 

It has two upper floors of library resources, one for silent study and one for quiet study, both of which have recently been refurbished. On the ground floor, you’ll find the Support and Information Zone, Media Centre, Costa Coffee and a variety of IT resources.

There are also:

  • 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 in Choreography and Professional Practices will equip you for a range of careers in choreography, performing arts, dance development, arts administration, performance, teaching or dance research.

It will also prepare you for further study i.e. PhD or professionally-related qualifications.

Indicative modules

Choreographic Practices

Students will participate in choreographic workshops prior to undertaking initial research into self-selected/devised compositional methodologies, and implement the chosen methodologies in the creation of new performance work. They will develop a practice-led research proposal through direct investigation of selected compositional practices and performance contexts and ultimately present a performance work. 

Artist as Producer

Students will undertake initial research into a range of contemporary dance and performance related platforms, festivals, projects and artist-development schemes both within the U.K and within European / International contexts. Students will develop an articulation of their work and practice through the development of a website resource that includes a distinctive artist’s ‘statement’. 


The Dissertation emphasises independent research where students select an area of investigation in performance with the advice of tutors. This may arise from earlier modules studied in the degree. The research may focus on performance practice or on more applied critical, historical or epistemological issues.

Optional Modules - choose one from:

International English Studies

Include International English Studies: 

Teaching and assessment

Through the assessment and accreditation of professional experience assessed through portfolio presentation and the completion of a Reflective Practice (30 credits) and a Dissertation module (60 credits), the programme addresses the needs of mature learners and professional dance artists who seek to extend and develop their choreographic practice and professional learning through Masters study.

Assessment of prior standing will be achieved through the presentation of portfolio material and through a formal lecture-demonstration presentation (this can be live on BOC campus or via a video or web link). Dissertation supervision will draw on existing staff research expertise and can be delivered through a combination of face-to face tutorials, Skype, and email correspondence. 

Additional Costs

Include Additional Costs: 

How to apply

To apply, please complete our online application form.

In addition to your application form and two references please also supply the following:


1. A word document that contains the following:

a) a link to your website that includes video images

b) scanned copies of a few reviews

c) a list of your works and the funding / commissioning bodies (ACE, Dance Southwest, I.D. etc)

d) A CV that captures your professional experience

2. A choreographic research proposal / essay

It should briefly:

  • Outline a choreographic project / piece of work you would like to make.
  • Identify some research questions: i.e. How might a choreographer explore themes of intimacy and proximity in a dance installation context? What challenges might this present? What creative methods might be employed to facilitate the realisation of the work?
  • Identify some theoretical materials that might help you - i.e. Marcel Mauss's notions of the body, Robyn Longhurst's discussions of bodies and intimate spaces.
  • Identify some practical work that informs your own ideas - i.e. Punchdrunk's use of intimacy and proximity in their work
  • Discuss your approach and methodology - how might you go about making this work - will you read x and y texts - interview key artists, explore dance improvisation, work blindfolded?
  • Discuss a timeline for the project with key milestones
  • Reflect on what you hope to get out of the project and how it might develop you as a choreographer and artist


The main aim of this document is to evidence that you can do some research that demonstrates your potential to engage with academic ideas and texts that explore approaches to dance making - take a look on Google scholar as a starting point and look at some practitioner texts - Jonathan Burrow's text on choreography is always a good starting point, Simon Ellis writes well about his work and Liz Lerman and Twyla Tharp’s writings on creativity and dance making are also useful.

If you are applying from overseas, in addition to the items listed above, we also need to see two of your performances – one of them must be and they should be at least three minutes long. We can accept the audition in DVD format or by video link. 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.

We also need to know your IELTS score – We require IELTS 6.5 (with no element less than 6.0)

*International applicants - please visit our pre-sessional programme page.