MA/MFA Creative Practice: Dance Professional Practice

Designed primarily for experienced dance professionals, in association with Siobhan Davies Dance and Independent Dance, this unique pathway enables you to develop your artistic voice.

What is it?

The MA Creative Practice is a one year (full-time) or two year (part-time) taught programme, culminating in an independent research project.

The MFA Creative Practice is a two year full-time programme. It shares the first year taught programme with the MA. An extended independent project forms the second year, providing time for in-depth research and realisation of a substantial body of work.

We offer two routes of study through the MA and MFA:

  • Transdisciplinary
  • Dance Professional Practice

What is special about it?

Delivered in conjunction with our partner organisations: Siobhan

Davies Dance and Independent Dance, the Dance Professional Practice focus enables experienced practitioners to develop their artistic practice in a stimulating environment of intellectual and creative inquiry. We support mid-career artists to: reflect on their body of professional experience and its role in their ongoing learning; engage in intensive studio-based experiences with significant artists and a skilled peer group; deepen their own practice as performers/makers; develop their understanding of a range of research methodologies within the arts; and pursue their own area of artistic interest.

For MA students, the year culminates in an independent research project, allowing you to reflect on dance practice in its many forms, and the social, cultural, aesthetic and political contexts in which performance practice is located.

The MFA Extended Project is an extensive, self-directed module during which you consolidate your independent creative practice. You will create and present a substantial body of work that evidences your capacity to research, develop, realise and identify appropriate modes of presentation for your ideas.

Who is it for?

Dance Professional Practice is for experienced professionals in the fields of dance, performing arts or humanities, such as dancers, choreographers, academics, teachers and somatic practitioners.

MFA applicants should demonstrate their capacity to undertake self-directed research and propose a project that warrants the depth and breadth afforded by an extended time frame. The choice between an MA or an MFA programme of study will depend upon prior experience and future aspirations.

What can I do next?

All graduates use their creative research findings to inform their practice in whichever professional setting they enter. Some graduates go on to work freelance, creating and performing their own work. Some graduates go on to become dance industry professionals, taking roles within arts management, and others go on to further study.

What do students say?

"What the course gets you to do is figure out what is right for your've got a lot of space to try and take risks and do whatever you wanted to see if it worked or not."

Elizabeth Simeons, MA Choreography / MFA Creative Practice / 2014-16 

“The MA Creative Practice, jointly organised with Independent Dance, is such a special course in what it offers the students. It is a wonderful container to interrogate and develop your practice. The care brought to people’s needs, wherever they are in their path, is very precious and rare. I find it wonderful to be given the opportunity to explore what really interests me, in whatever shape and form, and to be supported on the journey. The two locations are brilliant places to work, each of them providing different environments to be in.”

Camille Desmarest, MA Creative Practice student 2014/15

How can I find out more?

Please contact Becka McFadden at [email protected].


  • MA Full-time: 11 months plus an independent research project (2 months).
  • MA Part-time: 22 months plus an independent research project (2 months).
  • MFA Full-time: 2 years (no part-time option).

Applicants are expected to have an appropriate first degree (or an equivalent qualification) or 5 years’ professional experience in a relevant discipline. Applicants without formal qualification are subject to the Institution’s Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) process. 

English Language requirements: IELTS Band 7 (General English Test) or above (or equivalents). Certificates will need to be provided in order for your application to be fully considered. If the panel feel that there is a lack of English Language proficiency or understanding of a subject area, then you may be asked to supply additional written material.

If you require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK, please be aware of its English language requirements, as they may differ. Secure English Language Tests and levels can be found at gov.ukIn addition, meeting external requirements of UK Visas and Immigration is essential.

View all requirements on the Dance Applications page.

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