Postgraduate MA

Dance: Choreography and Professional Practices

Salford School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology




One year

Next enrolment

September 2021


In a nutshell

Move with purpose and plan the next steps in your career as a professional choreographer by studying a master’s in dance choreography at Salford.

Over the course of three semesters, you will explore the art and craft of dance choreography, as well as gain an understanding of what will be expected of you as a professional choreographer. You’ll learn how to work in a professional setting, putting together performances as a dance maker and collaborator.

You’ll focus on choreography from both an artistic and entrepreneurial perspective, exploring the creative practices involved in dance making, as well as what it’s like to work in the industry. You’ll learn how to collaborate creatively across different disciplines, as well as undertake an industry placement in your final project.

This master’s in choreography is designed to work with the rhythm of the professional field of dance, allowing you to continue to work on professional projects alongside your studies. For established choreographers, the part-time option enables you to develop a new professional project as part of your modules, allowing you to develop your professional practice alongside your studies.

You will:
  • Learn as part of a creative university with leading industry partnerships, including an artist-in-residence programme, relationships with Arts Council England and leading venues such as HOME and The Lowry.
  • Develop as  a dance professional, enabling you to pursue a sustainable career in the field
  • Work with choreographers at all stages of their careers
  • Have the opportunity to study full-time or part-time, in order to best fit with your current professional obligations
  • Graduate with a portfolio of work that you can use in your wider career

Find out more by signing up to our upcoming Open Day, or if you have any general questions please contact course enquiries.

You can also find helpful FAQs, learn more about student life at Salford or explore all our Dance courses. Continue reading to understand more about this MA Dance: Choreography and Professional Practice course.


options available


students accepted

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.

Course details

All about the course

In the first trimester of this master’s in dance choreography course, you’ll dive head-first into an intensive module that brings together key concepts, theories, and practices used in modern choreography. You’ll learn through a combination of practical sessions and seminars in which you’ll look at, and discuss, the work of professional practitioners.

In your second trimester, you’ll take your studies a step further, looking at the use of research and experimentation in your creative practice, as well as methods of teaching in a workshop environment. You’ll gain a solid understanding of how to put together a small to mid-scale production tour.

You’ll put everything you’ve learned on this choreography master’s degree into practice in your final semester. Either by working collaboratively with a guest artist or postgraduate students from another course or by applying your learning within an Industry Placement. You’ll also complete a research-as-practice project or dissertation, drawing on everything you’ve learned and experienced throughout the course.

Studying on this programme, you’ll learn valuable choreographic skills and techniques, as well as gain a solid understanding of what it takes to be a working professional in this industry.

Find out what you’ll cover in each module by taking a look at the full course breakdown below.

Semester one

Choreographic Practices

This module interrogates key concepts, theories and practices inherent in contemporary choreographic practice. It integrates a mixture of practical workshops and seminars and is delivered in an intenseive 6-week blocks. 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 and engage with basic concepts in scenography, such as lighting and costume design, and production elements.

Approaches To Dance Pedagogy

In this module, you will be introduced to the creative and physical techniques implicit in dance workshop development and delivery. This course explores the methods and practices of teaching dance, but specific to Community Dance setting, including areas such as:

  • Engagement with current issues through dance experience.
  • Inclusive Dance Practice
  • Workshop design
  • Educational aspects of dance performance and touring.
Semester two

Approaches To Dance Pedagogy

In this module, you will be introduced to the creative and physical techniques implicit in dance workshop development and delivery. This course explores the methods and practices of teaching dance, but specific to Community Dance setting, including areas such as:

  • Engagement with current issues through dance experience.
  • Inclusive Dance Practice
  • Workshop design
  • Educational aspects of dance performance and touring.

Choreographic Investigations

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
  • Audiences and strategies for engagement
  • The performance landscape, including venues and arts organisations
  • Networks and critical friends
  • Documentation and dissemination.

Producing For Small/Mid-Scale Touring

This classroom-based module digs into the knowledge, skills and professional context surrounding producing and touring. Taught by professional producers, this module deals with aspects such as 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

Semester three

Practice-As-Research Project/Dissertation

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

Industry Placement

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 timeslots for you to explore your independent research interests. Your classes will be based at our Fredrick Road (New Adelphi) campus.

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


Assessment on this course is through a combination of formative and summative assessment, supporting and promoting the slow and ongoing nature of your personal development. There will also be formal means to present the outcome of your learning through writing, practical presentations and performances.

You will be assessed through: performances, portfolios of creative, reflective and analytical written work, practical/creative and oral presentations, as well as essays.


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 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.

Staff Profile

Sarah Jane Lockwood, Programme Leader of MA Dance: Choreography and Professional Practices

Sarah is an experienced Independent Dance Artist from Lancashire. She graduated from Middlesex University with BA (Hons) Dance Performance and Laban Conservatoire for Contemporary Dance.In 2013 Sarah was awarded the Dean’s Scholarship for Professional Excellence at Middlesex University, which enabled her to study for her MA in Professional Practice and the Dance Technique Pedagogy.

Her research area focuses on CPD provision in the North of England, looking specifically at the technical training for professional dancers. Sarah was recently selected for Dance UK Future Leaders Teacher Mentoring Programme and is excited to work with a mentor to further develop her practice in line with her MA research.


This Dance 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 professionals shows and performances. 

Studio theatre - this classic black-box performance spaceoffers a more intimate venue than the New Adelphi Theatre. Itfeatures flexible seating and staging, so you canshape the space to meet your creative needs. 

Take a 360 tour of our New Adelphi building.

Employment and stats

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, dance instructor 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, or crossing over into a similar discipline such as yoga or fitness.

Overall, studying dance choreography at the University of Salford will give you the background knowledge and transferrable skills to move into a variety of roles, both in and out of the arts sector. The ability to research, develop and present your ideas to a professional standard is valuable to employers in any industry.


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.

A taste of what you could become

A choreographer

A dance animateur

Dance artist

A creative educator

And more...

Career Links

This programme has links with a number of industry bodies, including Joss Arnott Dance, The Lowry, HOME, Dance Manchester, and Dance.

In addition, we have an annual dance artist-in-residence scheme which has engaged with companies such as Company Chameleon, Hawk Dance Theatre, Kapow Dance Theatre, along with many independent dance artists. These schemes bring workshops, apprenticeships, performance and project opportunities, as well as mentoring opportunities to our dance students. We also hold two intensive masterclass weeks each academic year, hosting a range of national and international dance artists to work with our under- and postgraduate dance students. This recently included working with choreographers Gary Clarke and Gemma Nixon, among many others.


What you need to know


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 4000 characters), we’ll want to understand:

• what motivates 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 why the University of Salford and this degree is the right choice for your future goals.

For some applicants, you’ll be asked to provide us with a portfolio of work and potentially take part in an informal group seminar discussion/interview or audition– either live or on camera – to demonstrate your skills.

Normally we'd invite you to attend a face-to-face audition. At the moment though, we’re reducing the number of people we have on our campus. Once you’ve made your application to study with us, we’ll contact you and let you know the next steps.

Want to find out more about our MA Contemporary Performance Practice degree? Sign-up to our Open Day, or if you have any general questions please contact course enquiries.

Our supportive course enquiries team can help you with any general questions you may have. You can also explore all of our Dance courses. 

Standard entry requirements

Standard entry requirements

To join this MA you should have a second class honours degree, 2:2 or above.

The application process will also involve a practical audition and record of a piece of choreography (live or pre-recorded). In a personal statement (approximately 400 words), students will be asked to write about the ways that this specific MA programme will help them advance from their current work within dance towards specific career aspirations. Both Skype and digitally transferred materials can be considered in support of the application’s practical elements.

International applicants will be required to show a proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 6.5, with no element below 5.5, is proof of this.

Alternative 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).

How much?

Type of study Year Fees
Full-time home 2021/22 £8,100per year
Full-time international 2021/22 £15,030per year
Full-time home 2022/23 £8,280per year
Full-time international 2022/23 £15345per year
Additional costs

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.
We have a range of scholarships available for students applying for courses in 2020-2021 and 2021-2022. Our Global Gold Excellence Scholarship is worth £3,500 and our Global Silver Excellence Scholarship is worth £3,000 - both are available for students studying in our 2021/22 intakes.

We also offer the Salford International Excellence Scholarship which offers up to £5,000 discount on tuition fees. As this is a prestigious award we have a limited number of these scholarships available.

See the full range of our International Scholarships.

Apply now

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Enrolment dates

September 2021

September 2022