Dance Studies BA Honours | Middlesex University London
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Dance Studies BA Honours

Learn about the course below
October 2018
EU/International - September 2018
3 years full-time
£9,250 (UK/EU) *
£12,500 (INT) *
Course leader
Dr Astrid Bernkopf

Our BA Dance Studies degree allows you to engage in a comprehensive study of dance, focused around a central core of choreography, performance and critical appreciation. On this degree you will develop performance, creative and critical skills to experience the multifaceted dimensions of dance as an art form. Our programme is distinguished by the flexibility of choice offered in Year 3 with the additional option to focus fully on choreographic processes and exit with the award title BA Honours Dance Studies (Choreography).

Why study BA Dance Studies at Middlesex University?

Middlesex University is one of the top universities in the UK for dance, recognised nationally and internationally for its high calibre of teaching, innovative research and state-of-the-art facilities. Our department's student satisfaction rating is one of the best in London at 91% (NSS, 2016).

Performing arts at Middlesex have a long established tradition of excellence in training and educating students at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Our lecturers are renowned experts in their fields, with impressive portfolios in both the dance profession and academia which have gained international recognition. Middlesex prides itself in offering a vibrant and inclusive environment, instilling in our students a sense of confidence, passion and achievement. This, together with the vicinity of London's many theatre and dance venues in this global city, makes for a unique student experience.

Course highlights

  • Our teaching staff are renowned experts in their fields, with impressive portfolios in both the dance profession and academia, which have gained international recognition
  • We teach daily practical classes with live accompaniment
  • You will have frequent performance opportunities during the course
  • Our degree integrates theory with practice
  • We have an excellent graduate employment record
  • Guest performance workshops will enhance your learning
  • Our student-led dance society offers you the opportunity to pursue your own interests in different genres (classes have included, for example, hip hop, lyrical jazz and street dance)
  • Our vibrant campus is close to central London
  • We are linked with the sport and rehabilitation clinic
  • As a student of this course you'll receive a free electronic textbook for every module.

What will you study on the BA Dance Studies?

You will engage with core of Humphrey-based, Cohan method (Graham-based), Cunningham-based and Release-based dance techniques, which are supplemented by ballet. Additional optional techniques are offered in the form of jazz dance, repertoire and improvisation. Middlesex provides a stimulating environment for you to grow as a versatile practitioner, performing and creating work in our state-of-the-art Dance Theatre, the Arts Depot, North London, and other performance venues.

Our programme is distinguished by the exit award options. The programme divides into BA Dance Studies and BA Dance Studies (Choreography) in the final year. On the BA Dance Studies pathway, you will have the option to take either Dance Technique and Performance or Choreography modules, along with an option between two Research Project strands which focus on your strengths.

On the BA Dance Studies (Choreography) programme, you will focus entirely on your creative work by taking the Choreography modules and writing a Choreographic Research Project.

Our programme also encourages students to fully engage with the London art scene and incorporates theoretical studies including dance history, science of movement and critical theory to underpin the practical work. Students are asked to connect practice and theory to become full dance practitioners, choreographers and artists. The diverse range of theory and practical components expose students to the professional field of dance today. You will develop critical, analytical skills and independent thinking to engage with the discourse of the dance profession. With such a solid foundation, many students move on to our postgraduate programmes to further their interest in dance.

Choreography, practice and performance

Choreography plays a fundamental part in years 1 and 2. As well as developing your creativity, choreography assessments provide students with regular performance opportunities. Daily practical classes in contemporary dance will enable you to develop and hone your technical skills and artistic understanding with a view to dance performance. Performance work is an important part of the curriculum; we boast a brand-new, purpose-built dance theatre, the Grove, which we use for our first and second-year dance student shows. Our final, third-year performance takes place in the Arts Depot, a thriving theatre in north London


Theory classes play a key role in enhancing students' study and practice by helping them gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of the contexts within which dance is embedded. We pride ourselves on combining practical and theoretical approaches to offer a thorough, well-rounded contemporary dance foundation. Although there is more contact time devoted to practical classes than to theory, students are expected to support this with independent study and research. Theory and practice are weighted as equally important when it comes to assessment.


  • Year 1

    • Dance Practices 1 (60 Credits) - Compulsory


    • Dance Studies 1 (30 credits) - Compulsory

      Dance History, Anatomy for Dancers This module aims to develop knowledge of the social and historical influences on the arts and to develop understanding of anatomy in relation to the dancing body. The module also aims to raise awareness of the social construction of dance knowledge, dance practices and their historical contexts and a critical approach to source material. The module will develop your independent research, library research/source location skills and critical thinking.

    • Dance: Learning in Context (30 Credits) - Compulsory

      Arts in London, effective learning skills, seminar presentation, research strategies, written skills This module aims to equip you with the knowledge and skills to be an effective learner, with particular relevance to dance and the performing arts. It also aims to develop your awareness and experience of dance as an artistic, social and professional activity. The main emphasis is to introduce research, library, reading and writing skills through different strategies and modes of learning. The module forms the basis for both programmes and sets dance, as artistic expression, into an artistic and academic context.

  • Year 2

    • Dance Practices 2 (60 credits) - Compulsory

      Dance Technique, Choreography, Dance Analysis This module aims to extend and develop your level of knowledge and understanding in dance technique, choreography and performance acquired in the Dance Practices 1 and the Learning in Context module, enabling you to identify, contextualise, analyse and interpret key issues relating to professional repertoire in order to enhance your knowledge and appreciation of dance. The module is designed to encourage a balanced and holistic approach to the study of Dance by establishing and reiterating logical connections between practice, composition and theory.

    • Dance Studies 2 (30 credits) - Compulsory

      Critical Studies, Science of Movement This module aims to deepen the knowledge gained in both components of the Dance Studies 1 module. You will explore how issues of cultural and philosophical relevance can usefully illuminate contemporary dance theory and practice. Science of Movement allows students to develop their understanding of the moving body, introducing postural and movement analysis in relation to dance performance. It will prepare students for the Dance Science Research Project, the Independent Research Project and the Choreography Research Project modules in Year 3.

    • Jazz Dance (30 credits) - Optional

      This module aims to further develop practical dance and performance skills in relation to the specific stylistic demands, conventions, and principles within the jazz dance genre. This module works alongside dance technique, performance and choreography, developing your versatility, through focusing on the application of complementary technique and performance skills specific to diverse jazz techniques and styles.

    • Improvisation(30 credits) - Optional

      This module will explore the breadth of improvisation as a discipline both as a mode of development in creative dance making and as a principle of performance. Focus will be given to key methodologies such as Contact Improvisation, Action Theatre, and Authentic Movement. In addition, the module will highlight the creative possibilities such as task setting and the use of scores towards the development of a choreographic lexicon. This module will serve to support choreography as part of the Dance Practices 2 module, release technique, and performance practice.

    • Repertoire (30 credits) - Optional

      This module will provide, through practical experience, an artistic understanding of selected contemporary dance repertoire to allow you to form cohesive links with theoretical areas covered in dance history, critical studies and composition and the physical and stylistic aspects of dance technique. You will gain experience of learning from and rehearsing under a professional director and get the opportunity to develop your discipline with regards to self-directed practice, as this is an essential part of the learning process.

  • Year 3

    • Choreography 1 - Choreography Pathway (30 Credits) - Optional

        Dance on Screen, New Technologies, Live Practice, Research Portfolio This module aims to develop choreographic skills and depth of approach through direct and intense experience with artists in the profession. This will encompass a range of models in regard to presentation including site work, installation formats and dance for screen. The aims are to encourage dialogue with professional choreographers and to deepen understanding of the inter-relationship between dance and other elements. In addition, the purpose is to introduce concepts, practices and theories relating to varied choreographic strands and to widen knowledge and perspectives in current theory and practice of choreography.

        This module is compulsory for those wishing to exit with BA (Hons) Dance Studies (Choreography).

    • Choreography 2 - Choreography Pathway (30 Credits) - Optional

      Collaboration, Final Chorographic Presentation and Evaluation This module will enable you to develop research in collaboration with other disciplines such as music, architecture, fine art or art and design, to facilitate your autonomy in research, invention and planning of potential choreographic projects. You will further develop knowledge and understanding of the range and diversity of contemporary professional choreographic practice. This module aims to deepen choreographic investigation, foster independence in dance making and to encourage dialogue with other artists.

    • Dance Technique - Performance Pathway (30 credits) - Optional

      Dance techniques and technique evaluation This module will provide, through study and practice, a depth of knowledge of dance techniques. You will acquire increased technical, stylistic and interpretative abilities through further development of the dance techniques encountered in Year 2.

    • Dance Performance - Performance Pathway (30 credits) - Optional

      Dance Performance: repertoire/new work, performance evaluation This module will provide through study and practice a depth of knowledge of choreographic works from the modern/contemporary dance genre. You will acquire increased technical, stylistic and interpretative abilities through participation in either new or recreated dance works. You will have the opportunity to investigate, develop and apply varying rehearsal techniques. The module draws upon tutors' professional performance, directional and/or choreographic experience.

    • Applied Professional Practice (30 credits) - Compulsory

      Overview of subfields within the dance profession, with optional choice of components. On this module, you will gain an awareness of career paths in dance, especially those outside the routes of choreography and performance. The module will cover a range of professional areas, providing information on opportunities for employment and skills required for navigating a journey through the dance profession in the UK. You will also gain a grasp of funding structures and an overview of the dance ecology that supports dance and the performing arts in the UK. This module allows students to step outside of the safety of university life and make vital links both in research and practice with the wider dance profession. Students will then have a choice of one component out of three possible strands: a) The Teaching Dance Technique component aims to provide experiential understanding of the teaching of contemporary dance technique through study and practice. b) The Work Placement component will provide first-hand experience of a UK dance/arts organisation along with an opportunity to reflect on that experience: c) Dance Criticism aims to develop the journalistic side of theatre practices in giving students the opportunity to foster their written skills.

    • Independent Research Project (30 credits) - Optional

      The module aims to equip you with the skills, methods and procedures to enable you to research and present a major, individually chosen, designed and managed research project. It will draw upon the research and study skills acquired in previous modules such as include library searches, data analysis, academic writing, argumentation, critical thinking, discussion skills, analysis and scholarly presentation as appropriate for the chosen topic.

    • Dance Science Research Project (30 credits) - Optional

      This module aims to equip you with the knowledge, skills, and methods required to research and present an individually chosen, designed and managed dance science related research project. It will extend and develop knowledge gained from anatomy and science of movement components, and build upon the research and study skills acquired in previous modules such as library searches, observational analysis, data collection, critical thinking, discussion skills, and scholarly presentation, as appropriate for the chosen topic.

    • Choreography Research Project (30 credits) - Compulsory for exit award BA (Hons) Dance Studies (Choreography)

      The module aims to equip you with the skills, methods and procedures to enable you to research and present a major, individually chosen, designed and managed choreography research project. It will draw upon the research and study skills acquired in previous modules such as library searches, data analysis, academic writing, argumentation, critical thinking, discussion skills, analysis and scholarly presentation as appropriate for the chosen topic.

You can find more information about this course in the programme specification. Module and programme information is indicative and may be subject to change.

  1. Overview
  2. Teaching and learning
  3. Assessment and feedback
  1. UK & EU
  2. International
  3. Interviews and auditions
  4. How to apply
  1. UK & EU
  2. International

How can the BA Dance Studies support your career?

A degree in Dance from Middlesex opens up a wide range of careers:

The performing industry

Middlesex graduates have worked as choreographers or dancers for:

Flawless, C-12 Dance Theatre, New Adventures (Matthew Bourne), 2012 Olympic opening and closing ceremonies (as choreographer and dancers), Zoo Nation, Alter Ego, CandoCo Dance Company, Uchenna Dance Company, Mavin Khoo Dance, Vocab Dance Company, Loop Dance Company, Royal Opera House (Covent Garden), Attik Dance Company, Shaded Voice, Earthfall Dance Theatre Company, Amici Dance Theatre Company, Delve Dance Company, Shobana Jeyasingh, Scottish Dance Theatre, Akram Khan Company

The arts administration/management industry

Middlesex graduates have worked for:

English National Ballet, Arts Depot, The Place, Dance UK, Jackson's Lane Theatre, London Studio Centre, Richard Alston Dance Company, DanceDigital, Regional Dance Agency, Dance4 National Dance Agency, Laban (Education/Outreach), Big Dance, 2012 Olympics, The Royal Ballet School, Northern School of Contemporary Dance, National Dance Teachers Association (NDTA)

The education industry

Middlesex graduates have worked as teachers in schools, further education colleges, universities and other higher education institutions, community settings, and studios including London's world famous Pineapple dance studios. Many of our graduates have been successful in gaining sought-after PGCE places, and a high percentage of our graduates now hold Head of Dance positions in secondary schools.

The health industry

Middlesex graduates have worked as massage therapists, personal trainers, Pilates teachers, and fitness professionals. Some of those with an interest in dancers' health have continued their studies by taking an MSc in Dance Science.

The journalism industry

Middlesex graduates have worked as dance writers or critics. Jennifer Teale, a 2010 Dance graduate, was the recipient of the Chris De Marigny Dance Writers Award. Other graduates have written for: Resolution, Dance UK, Dance Direct Blog, Cloud Dance Festival

What support is available?

Our Employability Service can help you to develop your employability skills and get some valuable work experience. We provide workshops, events and one to one support with job hunting, CVs, covering letters, interviews, networking and so on. We also support you in securing part-time work, placements, internships, and volunteering opportunities, and offer an enterprise support service for those looking to start their own business.

  • Jasmine Middleton

    Dance Studies graduate

    When you're studying dance, it is really beneficial to live somewhere with opportunities outside of university. Middlesex offers this and promotes partnerships prior to graduation. Also, the lecturers at Middlesex are inspiring and well connected. The support that I've had throughout my studies is outstanding, from in-house productions and modules, to introductions to other artists.

    I loved the flexibility of the course, particularly in my third year. I could really focus on the theoretical modules that took my interest. Having an interest in dance science, I feel very lucky to have had the chance to work alongside Kate Rogan and Judy Difiore and feel that their knowledge, passion and enthusiasm has supported my decision to continue studying at postgraduate level.

    I recently confirmed my place on the MSc Dance Science at Trinity Laban. Until then I'm in rehearsals for a piece by choreographer Reanne Harris which is to be shown at Emerge 2013, a platform hosted by dance theatre company C12. I am also going on a three week residency with National Youth Dance Wales where as a company we will create a new work with Theo Clinkard, resident artist at Greenwich Dance.

  • Hakan Redjep

    Dance Studies graduate

    Since graduating from Middlesex in 2007, Hakan has been working as a freelance dance artist in the UK. He founded a small multi-disciplinary art company called "HR Artworks" in January 2009, and produced and choreographed a two night showcase in March 2009 called 'Vines of Duty' at the Cockpit Theatre, London. The European Turkish press were at the performances which along with interviews were featured on CNN Turk as part of the Evening News throughout Europe.

    During 2009, Hakan has also worked as resident Movement Director for London-based theatre company, Roberts, Pryce and Co., on a production of 'Who Will Carry the Word?' by French playwright Charlotte Delbo (Directed by Natasha Pryce- a fellow Middlesex Graduate of theatre arts). In addition to these shows, Hakan has been working with others on a community dance initiative called 'Residance' in Detmold, Germany.

  • Chirague Armachande

    Dance Studies graduate

    Chirague has been working as a dancer, teacher and choreographer since graduating in 2010. He has been invited to present his work and perform at events such as Outspoken Dance, Cultural Explosion (Uchenna), Leicester's International Dance Festival (part of the Cultural Olympiad) and ADAD's Bloom Festival. He has worked with Kweku Aatch (Deep Black/ Kindred Tribe) and recently became a member of EIC Dance Theatre, a contemporary jazz company led by choreographer and director Sara Dos Santos.

    Speaking about his time at Middlesex, Chirague said "I chose the Dance Studies programme as I had the option of doing choreography for my final year. Middlesex University has definitely made me a better and more diverse dancer and choreographer, or should I say an overall dance artist; that not only prepared me physically but gave me an understanding of the dance industry as a whole.

Other courses

Dance Performance BA Honours

Start: October 2018, EU/International induction: September 2018

Duration: 3 years full-time

Code: W500

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