MA Dance (Specialist Title)

Create your own dance master's degree. Our innovative and dynamic MA Dance (Specialist Title) supports you in developing your dance practice via a series of negotiated projects that are relevant to your professional practice and area of expertise and interest. On completion, your degree title will reflect the focus of your studies.

Dance (Specialist Title)

Key information



Mode of Study:



24 months


Shockout Arts

Start date:

To be confirmed

Course Details

If you've been struggling to find a postgraduate course that exactly matches your ambition, then this 24-month part-time MA Dance (Specialist Title) delivered by Shockout Arts could be the answer. Shockout's expert team will work with you to devise a series of projects that enable you to develop your professional practice. You may focus on a single discipline, such as Hip-Hip, Commercial Dance or Choreography or an associated subject, such as Dance Education or Dancer Well-Being. When you successfully complete the master's, your degree title will be chosen to reflect the focus of your studies.

We'll support you in developing a unique body of creative work through a series of negotiated projects that will be underpinned and informed by relevant industry practice. You'll work with a supervisor who will provide support and guidance throughout the developmental process. Alongside this, you'll undertake additional modules. The first allows you to reflect upon your practice and identify areas of opportunity to enhance this. The second investigates current contexts for your specialist area and offers you the necessary skills to undertake research at an advanced level. The third allows you to plan your project and undertake a pilot study to strengthen and refine your research and professional practice skills before moving into the final major project to develop your industry profile and ensure your work reaches your desired audience.

With a solid theoretical underpinning, this MA develops your research, critique and synthesis skills. We'll guide you as you learn to work with independence, self‐direction and originality and develop your analytical and critical competencies. This combination of academic, relevant creative and professional skills development helps prepare you for a career in the dance and performing arts industry. It also provides a sound basis for doctoral-level study.

The teaching staff at Shockout Arts are professional and world-renowned practitioners and choreographers. They are keen to make your time with them as stimulating and rewarding as possible and enjoy a well-deserved reputation for being approachable and interested in your progress. Teaching often takes place in small groups, so you'll have access to individual support and guidance at every stage.

For full details about Shockout Arts, their open days and accommodation, please visit

  • Shockout Arts is a dynamic and innovative institution. It was the first in the country to offer higher-level and postgraduate qualifications in professional and commercial dance.
  • This programme actively engages you in an emerging area of research surrounding dance and its associated practices relevant to your professional practice.
  • This course offers you the chance to interact, learn and work alongside professional artists from the dance industry. These can include professional dancers, directors, producers and choreographers.
  • This postgraduate degree allows you to devise and specify your final specialist award title through a critical justification to ensure the qualification is relevant and specific to enhance your practice.
  • Shockout students have worked with some of the biggest artists in the music and performing arts industry. Credits include Dua Lipa, Janet Jackson, Kendrick Lamar, Little Mix, Stormzy, Mabel, X Factor and many more.
Key Features
  • We offer you opportunities to learn and work with industry professionals from the UK and around the world.
  • Your final master's degree title will reflect your specialist areas. For example, your title might be something like MA Dance (Education and Training) or MA Dance (Street and Hip-Hop Studies).
  • The practical elements of this course involve workshops and structured professional practice in dance, supported and underpinned by relevant academic components delivered through lectures, presentations, seminars and tutorials.
  • This programme actively engages with exciting and emerging research areas surrounding dance and its associated practices.
  • You'll have access to the University of Bolton's e-learning resources, an extensive e-library and a range of resources.

Where changes are made to material information contained in this course description or a decision is taken to suspend a course between the offer of admissions and enrolment, we will inform applicants at the earliest possible opportunity and will outline the various options available to the applicant.

Our MA Dance (Specialist Title) offers named postgraduate routes for specialist areas of dance. It aims to provide an industry-relevant specialised education that will refine and nurture your skills, knowledge and expertise in your chosen dance genre(s) to a professional level. It will also support you in developing and refining your transferable and employability skills to ensure career longevity.

As a graduate of this MA, you'll possess extensive skills in your field of dance practice and a unique body of work that demonstrates your abilities and style. The course will enable you to take charge of your personal and professional development and reflect on your progress as you work towards your goals.

Providing our students with the best possible progression route is highly important to us. As a result of their hard work, our past and present students have performed with some of the biggest names in the dance and performing arts industry.

Credits include Janet Jackson, Dua Lipa, Zara Larsson, Alexandra Burke, Tinie Tempah, Rita Ora, Kendrick Lamar, Ludacris, Mabel, Hrvy, Steff London, Jax Jones, Mariah Carey, Cheryl Cole, Pixie Lott, French Montanna, Demi Lovato, Kylie Minogue, Paloma Faith, Zayn Malik, Will.I.Am, Jess Glyne, Black Eyed Peas, Lady Leshur, Flo Rida, Bebe Rexha, Fifth Harmony, Little Mix, Spice Girls Tour, Rai Elle, Stormzy, MTV VMA's and EMA's, BRIT Awards, The MOBO's, X Factor, The Voice, Jingle Bell Ball, V Festival, Wireless, Parklife, Lovebox.

What can I do with this qualification?

This industry‐focused, practice‐based MA allows you to develop your creative dance practice alongside clear plans for how you will use this to progress your career in the performing arts industry or as the basis for doctoral study.

As a graduate of this MA, you'll be well prepared to take advantage of opportunities in a wide range of careers relating to performance, creative producing, education, community, and curatorial and arts administration. Opportunities exist in commercial dance for TV, cruise ships, promotion and commercial events, and popular music performances.

Alternatively, you may choose to further your studies and research at the doctoral level contributing to the knowledge of dance or train to become a dance teacher in the education sector.

Alternative career options

Graduates can also use the qualification as a stepping stone into a range of other careers. Some of these roles may require relevant experience and/or postgraduate study. Some possible jobs include:

  • Teaching and education
  • Arts administration
  • Broadcasting
  • Event management
  • Dance therapy and wellbeing
  • Marketing and PR
  • Advertising
  • Community arts
  • Musical theatre
  • Journalism and writing
  • Mental health and wellbeing
  • Dance critic
  • Choreography
  • Creative direction

Course fees

Important note regarding tuition fees for the 2023-2024 academic year: EU nationals who meet residency requirements (have settled or pre-settled status) may be eligible for 'Home' fee status. If you do not meet these residency requirements, overseas fees will apply. Irish citizens living in the UK or Ireland will be eligible for 'Home' fee status under the Common Travel Area arrangement. Please read the student finance for EU students web page on for information.

The fees for a student's course of study will be set for the normal duration of that course subject only to inflationary increases – measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) recorded in March each year to take effect for subsequent start dates.


Click here for more information about the scholarships and bursaries available to University of Bolton students.

For details of how to apply for this course, please choose your status from the options below:

Please contact Admissions by telephone on 01204 903903 or email

University of Bolton
Deane Road
Bolton, BL3 5AB
United Kingdom

Tel: 01204 903903

International applications are not possible for this course

As an international student you are not allowed to study this course because of the restrictions on your visa.

We offer a wide range of full-time courses in lots of different subjects, many of our courses start in September and January. If you would like to see what courses are available please visit our Course Search.

This programme allows you to engage and specify a specialist area of your professional practice for refinement and development. A mix of teacher-directed and student-centred approaches will develop and nurture your learning autonomy and refine your individual creative and academic identity. At the postgraduate level, independent study and guided independent learning are significant. Engaging with wider research and reading surrounding themes will be critical to your success. The course will explore issues both practically and theoretically, and independent rehearsals will support your practical development and advancement.

Various teaching and learning methods will allow for a range of learner needs. You can expect practice-based enquiry, self-directed study, lectures, seminars, critiques, tutorials, presentations, and work-based learning. We adopt a blended learning and teaching style, including online delivery and engagement where appropriate.

The assessment strategy is designed to help you achieve the overall aims of the programme, as well as the learning outcomes for individual modules. In addition to assessing your achievement, assessment helps you organise and develop your learning. Assessment feedback can help you build your skills and an understanding of your strengths and weaknesses, so we'll provide feedback to help you understand what you have done well and where you can improve. The programme's key assessment forms include in-studio technical assessments, practical skills assessments, showcase performances, practical project reports, portfolios, oral presentations, written coursework and a major research project.


The modules listed below may be a mixture of compulsory and optional. You may not have the opportunity to study all the modules shown as part of the course.

  • Critical Reflective Practice
  • Contextualising Dance
  • Researching Dance
  • Masters Project
  • Masters Dissertation
Assessment methods
LevelAssesment method
Level oneCoursework 38%, Practical exams 62%
Learning activities
LevelLearning activity
Level oneGuided independent study 90%, Scheduled learning and teaching activities 10%


The university will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver your course as described in its published material and the programme specification for the academic year in which you begin your course. The university considers changes to courses very carefully and the university will minimise any changes. Please be aware that our courses are subject to review on an ongoing basis and changes may be necessary due to legitimate staffing, financial, regulatory and academic reasons. The content of course modules and mode of associated assessments may be updated on an annual basis. This is to ensure that all modules are up-to-date and responsive to employment and sector needs. The published course material and the programme specification contain indicative ‘optional modules’ that may be subject to change due to circumstances outside of our control. For this reason, we cannot guarantee to run any specific optional module.

The academic staff detailed above teach across a range of courses in this subject area and may not teach on this course specifically.

Programme Contacts

The Admissions Team

+44 (0)161 833 9937

Yusuf Giga
Academic Partnership Manager, University of Bolton

+44 (0)1204 903211

Related courses

MA Dance (Specialist Title)

Mode of study
12 Months

Shockout Arts

Postgraduate Options

PGCE M Post Graduate Certificate in Education 14+ Dance

Mode of study
1 Years

Shockout Arts


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Help Centre

We have the answers to your questions, find all the advice and support in one place.

Part of the University of Bolton Group

Bolton college
Alliance learning
Anderton centre2
QQA Scheme Participant