Dance: Choreography and Professional Practices
Salford School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology
In a nutshell
Dive deep into your creative practice and refine your choreographic voice on our MA Dance Choreography and Professional Practices. Explore the art and craft of dance making and entrepreneurial perspectives, to support the development of work for a range of contexts and audiences. You'll study producing for small/mid-scale touring and dance pedagogy, ensuring you have all the tools to realise your creative projects and grow new audiences for your work.
Industry collaboration and real-world learning are central to our courses. Whilst studying you'll take part in masterclasses, participate in work-based learning and observe professional commissions led by establishing professionals, providing you with invaluable industry experience whilst developing your professional networks.
Dance at Salford is a community of lecturers, students, artists in residence, alumni artists and visiting professionals that work together to provide a professional training and education to support your career aspirations. As a postgraduate dance student studying at Salford, you'll have access to a vibrant local dance scene with links to local venues and dance organisations. We'll create collaboration and networking opportunities through live dance and music events, as well as access to discounted supplementary training and live performances, creating space to engage with like-minded creative artists.
Our MA programmes are well respected in the industry, with graduates going on to work with Fallen Angels Dance Theatre, Ruth Jones (Manchester Pride, Manchester Day Parade), Walk the Plank (Green Spaces Dark Skies), The Lowry Creative Education Team, Die Cast Mcr and Coalesce Dance Theatre.
Find out more by signing up for an upcoming Open Day.
International applicants: Please check the international intakes page for the latest information and application dates.
- Be taught by practising dance professionals on a course with a reputation for supporting successful dance artists and graduates
- Be given the opportunity to immerse yourself in the vibrant arts and performance scene in Salford and Manchester
- Learn as part of a creative university with leading industry partnerships; with organisations such as Arts Council England, Joss Arnott Dance, Company Chameleon and The Lowry Theatre Manchester
- Explore your creative ideas and passions through specialist portfolio work/research that you can use in your wider career
- Evaluate your skills and knowledge; opening up wider career possibilities and supporting sustainable careers in dance
- Study full-time or part-time to fit with your current professional obligations
This is for you if...
You want to engage with creative trends and current issues within the field of professional dance and performance.
You are keen to explore, experiment and take risks in your current choreographic practices.
You have a desire to expand your professional skillset in producing, touring, workshop development and delivery.
All about the course
In the first trimester of this MA in Choreography you'll immerse yourself in an intensive creative module, exploring a range of practical and theoretical perspectives on dance making, both in industry and academia. You'll learn through a combination of practical sessions and seminars in which you'll experience, explore and discuss the work of professional practitioners. You'll reflect on creative influences, values and explore your own position within the field.
In trimester two, you'll take your studies further, looking at the use of practice based research and experimentation. A dance pedagogy module explores creative and inclusive strategies for teaching and learning. You'll gain a solid understanding of how to plan and apply for funding to support a mid-scale production tour.
You'll draw together all your learning into your final semester, applying practical skills and case study research techniques within an Industry Placement. The final module is a practice-as-research project or dissertation, an opportunity to develop your own area or research, you'll work with a supervisor or develop and interrogate a line of enquiry and share your practice.
Studying on this programme, you'll learn a range of valuable choreographic practices and gain a solid understanding of industry practices, to both inform and develop your own work in a range of contexts.
Find out what you’ll cover in each module by taking a look at the full course breakdown below.
This module interrogates key concepts, theories and practices inherent in contemporary choreographic practice. It integrates a mixture of practical workshops and seminars over 12 weeks. The practical workshops will introduce a range of approaches to dance-making. The seminar series will include both screening and discussions of professional practitioners and their work.
Key areas of learning may include:
- Creating for non-conventional performance spaces
- Making work for children and young people
- Creating socially engaged work
- Responsible anarchy
- Socio-political choreography and activism
- Cultural voices and discourse in dance
Approaches To Dance Pedagogy
In this module, you will be introduced to the modern perspectives on dance teaching and learning. You'll expand your knowledge of creative and physical techniques implicit in dance workshop development and delivery.
This module builds on your creative practices established in the first trimester, focusing more on the dance studio as a laboratory space: testing conventions, trying new approaches, challenging and re-thinking your own modes of dance making. Weekly practical workshops will be accompanied by a seminar series, addressing some broad strategies in creating performance, including:
- Practice as Research approaches
- Research and development
- Networks and critical friends
Producing For Small and Mid-scale Touring
This module digs into the knowledge, skills and professional context surrounding producing and touring. Taught by professional producers, this module deals with funding, programming, liaising with venues, programmers and technical teams, marketing and audience development. The content is designed to support skills in self-producing as a part of your portfolio career development.
Approaches to Dance Pedagogy
In this module, you will be introduced to the modern perspectives on dance teaching and learning. You'll expand your knowledge of creative and physical techniques implicit in dance workshop and delivery.
In this final project, you will be asked to propose an area of exploration, arising from your experiences in the previous modules and focused on future work within profession. Upon submitting a proposal, you will be assigned a supervisor to support you on this journey of enquiry. Either individually or in collaboration with others, the results of these investigations will be presented at New Adelphi alongside a wider programme of dance performances and events.
Collaborative Practices In Dance
This practical project based model delves into the creative possibilities and challenges inherent in interdisciplinary collaboration. You will work with guest artists and/or post graduate students from another discipline in developing a creative, interdisciplinary project. The creative projects will respond to opportunities emergent through the University of Salford’s industry partnerships and may include creative interrogation and exchange concerning:
- Site, space, and place
- Technology, Computing or Gaming
- Community and Pedagogy
- Architecture and Environment
This module embeds the student in professional placement. You will reflect on the culture and working practices experienced within your placement, utilising case study research design to interrogate practice and formulate creative responses to challenges and opportunities experienced during your period of study. Your staff supervisor will continue to support you in connecting the placement to your own learning experiences and creative practice.
Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.
What will I be doing?
You’ll be provided with a timetable that’ll include a breakdown of your scheduled lessons with time-slots for you to explore your independent research interests. Your classes will be based at our New Adelphi and Lower Maxwell Hall facilities.
As the course is highly practical in nature, students will be taught in a mixture of physical and practical methods. This includes practical demonstration in technique classes and workshops, with a mixture of verbal and embodied feedback given throughout.
Modules are also supported by practical workshops, lectures, seminars and facilitated student discussion/debate. In many areas, theoretical or screened content is related directly to the students’ practical experiences to underpin their holistic development as choreographers.
Students will also be supported by staff supervision in their industry placements and independent research projects. In these projects, student-centred approaches consider the individual’s chosen area of enquiry and combines instruction with guidance and feedback to support their personal development and exploration
Through a combination of formal and informal assessments, you'll gain a better understanding of your personal and professional development.
You'll be assessed on teaching observations, through presentations, portfolios of creative, reflective and analytical work and creative and practical workshop delivery.
BE A PART OF A CREATIVE, SUPPORTIVE COMMUNITY
All our Dance courses are delivered by the Salford School of Arts, Media, and Creative Technology. Our focus is to ensure that you have the skills you need to pursue your dreams, and we encourage our students, past and present, to collaborate with each other and achieve great things.
Each year - through the Create Student Awards – our School rewards the incredible achievements and successes of our final year and postgraduate students.
Whatever you choose to study with us, you’ll be mentored and supported by experts. And once you graduate, it won’t end there. You’ll join a thriving alumni network across Greater Manchester and beyond, meaning you’ll be supported professionally and personally whenever you need it.
Meet the dance teaching staff
Sarah Jane Lockwood, Programme Leader of MA Dance: Choreography and Professional Practices
Sarah is an experienced dance artist with a background in community arts and performance, dance pedagogy and socially engaged practice. When not lecturing at Salford, she works as a professional dance artist and project evaluator, delivering activity for a range of education and community arts providers across the North of England. In her previous post with Ludus Dance, Sarah worked as a Creative Programme Manager, delivering/managing a range of projects in grassroots, community performance, inclusive dance and talent development contexts. In recent years she has delivered projects in collaboration with Grand Theatre Blackpool, Ludus Dance, The Electric Sunshine Project and Maelstrom Theatre.
This MA Dance: Choreography and Professional Practice degree course is based at our £55 million New Adelphi building, the home of performance and creativity on campus.
Our range of performance facilities include:
Dance studios – our industry-standard studios are where you’ll spend much of your time, honing your skills in a professional environment to best prepare you to enter the world of dance.
New Adelphi Theatre – this 350-seat venue provides opportunity for you to stage performances in front of live audiences. It also regularly hosts of professional shows and performances.
Studio theatre - this classic black-box performance space offers a more intimate venue than the New Adelphi Theatre. It features flexible seating and staging, so you can shape the space to meet your creative needs.
What about after uni?
Completing a master’s in dance choreography will equip you with the skills to succeed in a range of environments in the cultural sector.
You’ll be set to move into a variety of careers, such as becoming a professional dancer, choreographer or dance teacher. You may also choose to move into a related role such as working in arts administration for a theatre or dance company.
You’ll have a deep understanding of choreographic approaches, understanding of current practice and production, policy and legislation in the arts, as well as transferrable skills preparing you for wide range of careers across the sector. Your ability to research, develop and deliver ideas in a creative and professional way will be highly valued by many employers.
Graduates showing strong academic and research skills can pursue a further academic research path through our doctoral (PhD) programmes on a full-time or part-time basis subject to a satisfactory proposal.
Completing an MA in Choreography will open many doors for a career in the dance industry, with many of our graduates establishing successful careers in roles as diverse as dance makers, producers, educators, dance administrators, dance photographers, project managers and freelance dance artists.
Studying on this course will equip you with a wide range of transferable skills that can be used in a variety of roles and industries. You'll be able to generate, develop and present your ideas to a professional standard, as well as have strong research and evaluation skills, all of which are highly values by employers.
Our annual dance artist-in-residence scheme which has included companies such as Company Chameleon, Hawk Dance Theatre, Kapow Dance Theatre, as well as independent dance artists. As part of this scheme, our dance students benefit from workshops, apprenticeships, performance and project opportunities, mentoring opportunities. Each academic year, we run a range of Masterclasses to develop you knowledge of the wider dance ecology and to assist you in developing your personal career trajectory.
Our faculty and extended dance team are all active and influential members of the UK's professional dance community. We are committed to keeping our alumni community connected, advocating for our Dance@Salford graduates through signposting and linking students to professional opportunities and collaborations.
What you need to know
Are you an enthusiastic and inquisitive dance maker? Would you like to develop your creative practice and enhance your career prospects?
If so, we'd love to hear from you. Our MA in Dance Choreography and Professional Practices is designed for dances at all stages in their career. We're looking for applicants who have either been working professionally or have studied on a related undergraduate course.
You should be dedicated to pursuing a career as a dance creative. You'll need to be open to investigating, interrogating different processes for making and creating, as well as rigorous independent research.
To gain a place on this MA Dance Choreography and Professional Practice degree, you'll have to submit a personal statement and meet our entry requirements when you apply.
Within your personal statement (up to 500 words), we'll want to understand:
- What motivated you and what current experiences do you have in terms of choreography?
- How have you been involved and what did you do?
- Which choreography performances inspire you?
- Why do you want to work in the performance and dance sector?
- And in what ways will this specific MA programme help you advance from your current work within dance towards specific career aspirations.
Applicants will then be asked to provide us with a portfolio of work and potentially take part in an informal group interview either live or on camera. You will need to supply us with:
3-5 minutes of digital footage links of relevant examples of working practice and/or the dancer moving including a recorded introduction- self-tape- to your digital portfolio.
Please Introduce yourself and offer an insight into the work that will be viewed articulate your role in the work shown (dancer, choreographer, teacher), the theme or focus of the practice, commentary about the context of the work.
Examples of footage links may include:
o Showreel- with examples of multiple aspects of your work.
o Technique class footage- All dance training styles accepted
o Teaching footage – With a group or an example of you teaching practice to camera.
o Solo or group Choreography
o Digital performance work.
An up-to-date CV outlining your dance education, training, and professional experiences to date / link to professional website include relevant links examples of working practice/digital footage of work.
Where applicants have professional accounts, we encourage applicants to include links to social media such as Instagram, Vimeo, YouTube.
Once you've made your application to study with us, we'll contact and let you know the next steps.
Standard entry requirements
To join this MA you should have a second class honours degree, 2:2 or above.
If you are an international student and not from a majority English speaking country, you will need IELTS 6.0 with no element below 5.5. We accept qualifications from all around the world. Find your country to see a full list of entry requirements.
Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL)
We welcome applications from students who may not have formal/traditional entry criteria but who have relevant experience or the ability to pursue the course successfully.
The Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) process could help you to make your work and life experience count. The APL process can be used for entry onto courses or to give you exemptions from parts of your course.
Two forms of APL may be used for entry: the Accreditation of Prior Certificated Learning (APCL) or the Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL).
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You should also consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.
Scholarships for International Students
If you are a high-achieving international student, you may be eligible for one of our scholarships. Explore our international scholarships.