Dance BA module descriptions

First year | Second year | Third year


First year

Block 1: The Responsive Dancer

This module introduces you to a range of approaches for understanding, practising, creating and writing about dance. You will take part in practical studio-based sessions in dance technique classes, choreography for live performance dance contexts and academic skills. Dance technique classes in a diverse range of styles cover improvisation, anatomy, physiology and approaches to safe practice. Choreography workshops will introduce you to a variety of creative processes that support the making of your own live performances. This is contextualised by seminars that address diverse UK and global choreographic practices and an introduction to academic/research skills. You will also begin to develop an understanding of the current UK dance sector by examining some key support, development and funding organisations.


Choreography, 70%. Study Skills Portfolio 30%.

Block 2: Rethinking Dance

You will take part in practical studio-based sessions in making and presenting choreography for Screen Dance, dance technique classes, the study of national and international dance in screen contexts, and academic skills development. Dance classes in a diverse range of styles will begin to develop your ensemble skills. In practical choreographic workshops you will explore approaches that support making work for a screen dance presentational form. You will gain skills in both practical and creative uses of digital equipment and editing software to explore your choreographic craft. You will continue to develop an understanding of the current UK dance sector extending and start to build project management and team skills.


Screen Choreography 50%, Classwork 50%.

Block 3: Space, Place and Connections

This module focuses on locating your choreographic work in spaces beyond the studio. You will be introduced to choreographing collaboratively and presenting performance work in spaces that might include gallery settings, outdoor locations and spaces on/off campus. Working in response to the demands of your chosen space, you will build upon choreographic methods and approaches developed in Blocks 1 and 2. Alongside dance classes in a diverse range of styles, you will continue to learn about Dance in relation to wider social and cultural agendas such as creative and cultural learning, community development and health and wellbeing.


Choreography 50%, Group presentation and Viva 50%.

Block 4: Ensemble Performance and Production

This module focuses on the creation and presentation of an ensemble performance, co-created by all students with directorial input from a tutor. Ensemble, performance and artistic skills are embedded into dance technique classes and you will explore the skills and impact of the ensemble as it operates in a range of contexts such as duet, chorus, unison and contact improvisation. In making performance work you will gain experience of being directed, directing others and collaboration. The module also introduces skills in dance promotion and management that you will apply in the production of the performance for a public audience.


Performance and production, 60%. Critical review 40%.


Second year

Block 1: Style, Production and Artistry

This module continues to develop your skills and understanding of making and presenting choreography for live performance contexts and introduces production, artistic and stylistic values into the creative process. Workshops focus on the creative potential of embedding production values such costume, sound, lighting and the use of sets/props into your choreographic work. There is an emphasis on taking ownership of your artistic voice. You will explore a range of choreographic and performance contexts, that focus on how style, production and artistry are important in generating meaning in choreographic work.


Choreography, 60%. Critical Reflection and Context, 40%.

Block 2: Applying Your Practice: Dance Artists, Communities and Education

This module introduces the practice of dance artists working in community and educational settings. You will explore the role of dance artists as contributors to education in both formal and informal contexts, as dance leaders in a range of community settings and as artists making work with a range of participants. The module considers the contribution dance can make to physical, social and psychological wellbeing, creative and cultural education, the enhancement of health of the individual and to community development. There is an emphasis on using dance as an empowering tool for participants and audiences and employing practices that are inclusive. You will work collaboratively with their peers to create and realise a dance performance led by a commission and related to the needs of a particular community or educational group. Individual dance performance practice will continue to develop with a focus on diverse styles and theatrical and storytelling approaches.


Performance Project 60%, Critical Essay 40%.

Block 3: The Healthy Practitioner: Wellbeing and Self-management

In this module you will explore how to develop and maintain good health as a practitioner. Dance technique classes cover movement practices currently used by professional practitioners, such as yoga and pilates. You will develop your understanding of the contexts for these movement practices and their relevance to dance artists, developing your understanding of how to manage your own health and wellbeing, and that of others.  Topics also include a basic general scientific background of anatomy and physiology, nutrition and prevention of, and recovery from injury.


Practical Demonstration 50%. Reflective Portfolio 50%.

Block 4: Digitising Your Artistic Voice

On this module you will develop approaches for interrogating, interpreting, and re-presenting choreographic content in digital form. You will take part in workshops in the creative use of the camera and editing software and consider how location, viewing points, design elements and sound inform and integrate content. In technique classes, you will develop skills in duet and small ensemble work and also explore the artistry of teacher led and self-directed movement. 


Integrated Choreography 50%, Classwork 50%.

Third year

Blocks 1 and 2: Select two from the list below:

Facilitating Practice: Teaching and Leading Dance  

This module provides opportunities to gain practical experience in teaching and leading participatory dance activities. Students are introduced to a range of teaching and learning styles, strategies and activities for facilitating dance for children, young people and adults in educational and community settings. You will consider key issues and practices including features of effective practice, fostering participation, creativity and inclusion, planning and evaluating dance sessions and designing and implementing a duty of care strategy. You will gain practical experience in planning, delivering, and evaluating dance workshops and/or events with tutor guidance and supervision.Students reflect on and critically evaluate their own practice in relation to professional occupational standards of facilitating dance. 


Critical portfolio, 50%.

Teaching practice portfolio, 50%: 1 workshop, 15 minute viva and supporting documents.

Industry practice: Choreography, Performance and Producing 

This module emphasises individual authorship, technical execution, artistic interpretation, choreography and performance, informed by current industry practices. Practical sessions will enable you to develop your practice to a highly sophisticated level. Taught choreographic sessions deal with topics such as rehearsal and production planning and management, creative research and documentation and strategies for directing. You will also explore self-promotion, producing and entrepreneurialism to help prepare you for employment in a range of contexts. You will apply these skills in the marketing and promotion of your choreographic work for public performance.


Solo choreography, 30%. Group choreography, 40%. Marketing Pack with Rationale, 30%.

Personal Research Project

This module enables you to lead an individual research project in order to explore an aspect of the dance course content and your personal interests in further depth. The module encourages the development of autonomous learning, research skills, preparation, planning and the communication of process and product. You will work independently with support from tutorials and group sessions. You can choose either a written or practice-based project.


Progress Report 10%, Coursework 90%.

Block 3: Professional Practice: Moving into Industry

This module is designed to prepare you for transition from study into employment with a project that develops and supports your skills and career aspirations. You will identify a topical issue or debate within the current creative arts sector and deepen your understanding of it through appreciating and evaluating the activities of those working in it. You will engage with, for example, graduates, alumni, professional practitioners and/or creative organisations in the city, regionally and nationally from fields such as community arts, education, health and well-being, performance, choreography, marketing and administration. Activities may involve a brief placement, shadowing, observing and interviewing professionals, engaging in practical activity such as teaching, making and presenting work.


100% Negotiated Project




Block 3: Creative Media in Performance

You will learn a range of techniques and creative approaches for cutting-edge use of media and technology within performing arts, considering what the future of performance might look like. The ethos of the module is creativity and innovation aligned to emerging and cutting-edge creative industry practices. You will explore topics including technology as a creative agent, theoretical and philosophical approaches in the use of technology in creative practice and the aesthetics of composition and 'liveness' of performance. You will gain practical experience in planning, creating and evaluating the use of creative media in performance through exploring real-world prototypes such as Interactive Sound Design, Telematics and Networked Video-based Performance, Virtual and Augmented Reality, Projection Mapping and VJ’ing, Social Media and Gamification. 


Practical, 100%: presented in a format of your choosing for example a power point, walking tour or installation.


Block 4: Dance Festival

This module builds on skills and knowledge developed throughout the course to experience the process of realising dance work for public performance, working alongside a practitioner or company. You will take on a particular role that might include performing, leading outreach workshops, marketing and administration, documenting, videoing/editing, lighting design and operation, costumes and stage management. The module is designed to enable you to develop your skills towards your career aspirations, supporting your transition into the industry.


Individual contribution to preparation, process and production, 70%. Critical reflection and evaluation, 30%.