Choreography MA

MA Choreography places you and your work at the centre of the programme.  Along with our partner organisation, FABRIC, we offer you numerous opportunities to build relationships in the professional world of dance as you develop your own practice and research.

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On this course, you will place your own practice (whether emerging or established) at the heart of your studies. Using a range of artistic and scholarly contexts from dance and other artistic disciplines, you will explore new approaches to the research and realisation of choreography in professional and academic contexts. The curriculum allows you to explore and develop your own interests in the context of practice research and current industry perspectives.  

Balancing taught with independent study, the course is highly practical in its delivery with largely studio-based activity alongside some classroom-based seminars and lectures. You will explore practice-research methods, artistic perspectives, collaboration and your relationship with your audience. You are encouraged to personalise your studies by drawing directly upon your own background, identity, culture and specialist movement practices. Teaching is delivered by acclaimed artist practitioners and academics in the fields of dance and wider creative practices.

Embedded within the course are opportunities to engage with the work of industry partner FABRIC and to make connections with artists in residence at the International Centre for Choreography (iC4C). 

The course is designed for those wishing to further their skills to develop themselves as independent professional artists working across a range of contexts, and as artist-academics. It is ideal for recent graduates, established artists and education and community practitioners who wish to reinvigorate their practices and deepen their engagement in choreographic processes.

Key features

  • Work alongside the highly acclaimed FABRIC and its iC4C who have an international reputation for supporting and promoting cutting-edge choreographic work.
  • Learn from current practicing artists and internationally recognised academics at DMU, complemented by FABRIC's visiting artists and engagement with industry partners.
  • Learning is embedded in your own artistic practice and you will discover how to place your work in the context of practice-research.
  • Study choreography as an ever-changing artistic practice and discover new ways of thinking that will challenge and develop your own practice.
  • Gain real-world experience of engagement with a professional organisation and benefit from mentoring and industry connectivity to support your professional development.
  • DMU is recognised as a Centre for Excellence in Performance Arts with great facilities providing specialist studios and rehearsal spaces designed specifically for learning activities in dance.

Talk to our course team

If you would like to find out more about how this course can help you achieve your career ambitions, send a message to our course team [Pete Shenton] who would be happy to chat to you. Alternatively, you can register for our next postgraduate event or call our course enquirers team on +44 (0)116 2 50 60 70  / WhatsApp: 0797 0655 800.



DMU offers a range of undergraduate and postgraduate scholarships and bursaries to help you realise your academic ambitions.

International Scholarships

Find out about available scholarships and country specific fee discounts for international students. 


More courses like this:

Performance Practices MA

DMU has been shortlisted for the Postgraduate Award in the 2024 Whatuni Student Choice Awards (WUSCAs), as voted for by students.

  • UK
  • EU/International

Duration: One year full-time. Two years part-time.

Start date: September 2024

Fees and funding: 

2024/25 tuition fees for UK students: £9,435 (full-time) per year, part-time fees will be £715 per 15 credits.

Find out more about course fees and available funding.

Additional costs: Here at DMU we provide excellent learning resources, including the Kimberlin Library and specialist workshops and studios. However, you should be aware that sometimes you may incur additional costs for this programme.

Duration: One year full-time

Start date: September 2024

Fees and funding: 2024/25 tuition fees for EU and international students: £15,800

Additional costs: Here at DMU we provide excellent learning resources, including the Kimberlin Library and specialist workshops and studios. However, you should be aware that sometimes you may incur additional costs for this programme.

Entry criteria

Typical entry requirements 

You should have the equivalent or above of a 2:2 UK bachelor’s honours degree in a related subject, such as Dance, Drama or Performing Arts.

If you have other professional qualifications and industry experience we will consider your application on an individual basis.


Interview and portfolio

Evidence of previous performance practice material (statements, images or online links) is required.

Non-standard applicants will be invited to attend an interview.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language an IELTS score of 6.0 overall with 5.5 in each band (or equivalent) when you start the course is essential.

English language tuition, delivered by our British Council-accredited Centre for English Language Learning, is available both before and throughout the course if you need it.

Structure and assessment


Course modules

Teaching and assessments


Core modules

For more information about the part-time course structure, please contact the Admissions Team.

Choreographing the Self

This module will introduce you to current practices and concerns in contemporary choreography. Through practical studio-based learning alongside reading and discussion you will be introduced to a variety of artistic perspectives. You will explore ways to embed this new knowledge in the context of your own developing artistic practice through the creation of solo work. 

Practice-Research Methods

This module asks what is ‘practice-research’? Current literature and practices are explored, including topics such as:

  • Terminology
  • Triangulation frameworks
  • Outputs
  • Documentation
  • The role of dramaturgy and artist as agent
  • What makes practice ‘practice-research’?
  • What can practice offer research?

You will design and trial a practice-research methodology relating to your own research interests.  

Audiences and Documentation

In this module, students will investigate and analyse different models of engaging with audiences of theatre and performance and documenting experiences, processes, and practices. Students will be introduced to different approaches to and critical considerations of audience engagement, which might include: participant-spectatorship and immersive theatre; technologically-engaged performance and audience experience; community engagement and performance co-creation; theatre historiography and archives; and popular or contemporary performance and its audiences. The module will invite students to consider who the audiences for their own work might be and will participate in ‘artist survival’ activities around identifying and reaching their audience(s), documenting their practice, pitching for funding, and preparing grant applications.

Creativity and Collaboration

Students on the module will be introduced to a number of different models of creative partnership and practices of collaboration/co-creation. A wide-ranging and interdisciplinary context for this work will be provided in order to enable students to contextualise their own work in a critically-informed manner. At the core of the module will be the placement or negotiated project. Students will devise a creative portfolio plan in negotiation with the module leader to ensure that their chosen practical activity satisfies the module’s learning outcomes. The creative portfolio plan will also require that they have chosen a structure which will allow them to demonstrate reflective engagement with the experience.

Optional modules (you will choose one)

Final Choreographic Research Project

In this module you will work with your individual supervisor and the Programme Leader to produce an independent choreographic research project with a public facing final performance outcome. The Practice Research Methods module is designed to prepare you for this final project and the Negotiated Study and Performance Making modules will have given you further opportunities to develop your understanding of your practice as research.  


This module is a final written dissertation. It is an opportunity for you to focus on an area of research interest of your choice. You will be supported by your individual supervisor to demonstrate a systematic and comprehensive understanding of the techniques applicable to your own research and advanced scholarship in choreography. 

Note: All modules are indicative and based on the current academic session. Course information is correct at the time of publication and is subject to review. Exact modules may, therefore, vary for your intake in order to keep content current. If there are changes to your course we will, where reasonable, take steps to inform you as appropriate.


The course is delivered from both scholarly and practical perspectives to ensure that you develop an advanced understanding of current research across a range of theoretical and practical fields. You will be taught through a range of teaching, learning and assessment modes by an energetic team of practicing artists and active researchers with international profiles in their specialist field. You will engage in independent study that involves practical research and rehearsals, viewing, reading and writing. The diversity of assessment includes practice-based work, written assignments, oral presentations and portfolio. There is an increasing emphasis upon autonomous learning throughout the modules.

Contact hours

In your first term you will study two modules and on average attend 9 hours of timetabled taught sessions each week (including lectures, tutorials and studio sessions) and be expected to undertake at least 27-32 hours of independent study each week. Your second term will combine a taught module, with a similar amount of taught and independent study hours as above, and a negotiated independent module that will require 35 hours of independent study supported by supervisory and tutorial hours.  Your third term will be pre-dominantly self-directed (including meetings with your supervisor), during which you can expect to undertake 35 hours of independent study each week. 

Part-time study is normally undertaken on a half-time basis.



Facilities and features

Performance facilities

Recognised nationally as a centre for excellence in performance arts, DMU has outstanding courses, teaching and facilities. Our Performing Arts Centre for Excellence  (PACE) building provides sector-leading spacious studios, rehearsal rooms and fully equipped  performance spaces. There are further performance spaces in our Campus Centre and The Venue@DMU, a purpose-built space created to host events, performances and celebrations.

All of our spaces can be transformed to turn your ideas into a reality. Your creative work is supported by expert technicians and you can book rehearsal space and equipment such as digital video cameras, sound recording equipment and editing suites.

Take a look at our stunning showcase of the PACE building and facilities at

More flexible ways to learn

We offer an equitable and inclusive approach to learning and teaching for all our students. Known as the Universal Design for Learning (UDL), our teaching approach has been recognised as sector leading. UDL means we offer a wide variety of support, facilities and technology to all students, including those with disabilities and specific learning differences.

Just one of the ways we do this is by using ‘DMU Replay’ – a technology providing all students with anytime access to audio and/or visual material of lectures. This means students can revise taught material in a way that suits them best, whether it's replaying a recording of a class or adapting written material shared in class using specialist software.


Library and learning zones

On campus, the main Kimberlin Library offers a space where you can work, study and access a vast range of print materials, with computer stations, laptops, plasma screens and assistive technology also available. 

As well as providing a physical space in which to work, we offer online tools to support your studies, and our extensive online collection of resources accessible from our Library website, e-books, specialised databases and electronic journals and films which can be remotely accessed from anywhere you choose. 

We will support you to confidently use a huge range of learning technologies, including the Virtual Learning Environment, Collaborate Ultra, DMU Replay, MS Teams, Turnitin and more. Alongside this, you can access LinkedIn Learning and learn how to use Microsoft 365, and study support software such as mind mapping and note-taking through our new Digital Student Skills Hub. 

The library staff offer additional support to students, including help with academic writing, research strategies, literature searching, reference management and assistive technology. There is also a ‘Just Ask’ service for help and advice, live LibChat, online workshops, tutorials and drop-ins available from our Learning Services, and weekly library live chat sessions that give you the chance to ask the library teams for help.

Opportunities and careers

Find the people who will open doors for you

DMU's award-winning careers service provides guaranteed work experience opportunities DMU Careers Team

Partnership with FABRIC

DMU have joined up with industry partner FABRIC to design and develop this course in response to the needs of the current independent dance industry. 

You will have opportunities to engage with artists working at iC4C and with FABRIC's wider programme. There will be opportunities to meet and connect with the production team both informally and formally and to present your final piece of choreographic work in a professional public facing context.


DMU Global

This is our innovative international experience programme which aims to enrich your studies and expand your cultural horizons – helping you to become a global graduate, equipped to meet the needs of employers across the world.

Through DMU Global, we offer a wide range of opportunities including on-campus and UK activities, overseas study, internships, faculty-led field trips and volunteering, as well as Erasmus+ and international exchanges.

Previously, students have participated in an exchange with Sapienza University in Rome, Italy, sharing research and experiences with other postgraduate students in dance and drama. Students have also engaged with international artistic practices at the Utrecht Spring Dance and Theatre Festival where they worked collaboratively with students from the University of Utrecht and took workshops with professional international artists.



Graduate careers

The skills, knowledge, and industry-facing experiences on the course will equip you to develop successful careers in the independent dance sector, as well as broadening the scope of opportunities available to you as a choreographer in related disciplines such as theatre, media and new technologies, and in the education sector.

The strong focus that we place on research means that this course also provides  an excellent stepping stone to study at PhD level.

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