PostgraduateDance Philosophy and History

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Postgraduate Open Evening
Wednesday 6 November 2019, 5–7.30pm
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  • An impressive, national and global reputation which attracts students and dance artists from all over the world.
  • Learn how to work effectively within philosophical and historical approaches for the advanced study of dance.
  • Develop a sophisticated and knowledgeable approach to dance analysis thinking and praxis.
  • Gain an in-depth understanding of dance as a philosophical and historical construct.
  • Roehampton is rated No. 1 for dance research in the UK (Research Excellence Framework 2014).


This new postgraduate programme is the only one in the UK to investigate the interconnections between philosophy, history and dance.

Recognising the renewed interest in historical and philosophical enquiry by current dance scholarship and practice, this programme helps emerging and experienced dance practitioners and scholars locate their work effectively within philosophical and historical approaches for the advanced study of dance.

Our programme offers an in-depth, critical exploration of concepts, assumptions and theories underlying dance practice. You will gain an understanding of dance in the context of philosophy and history. You will learn to debate issues of concern within dance and movement analysis with critical insight. You will also develop your critical thinking on dance practices and issues from philosophical and historical perspectives. The programme incorporates Anglo-American Analytic as well as Continental schools of Philosophy; and Realist-Empiricist as well as Poststructuralist approaches to History.

The Department is home to the internationally-recognised Centre for Dance Research, which foregrounds the research of dance as cultural and artistic expression as theatre performance and beyond. Through seminars, forums and conferences involving staff and international invited guests, the Centre supports a compelling research culture.

We also have excellent links with dance companies and creative organisations. In easy reach of London’s vibrant dance scene, the campus has superb studios and a state-of-the-art theatre for dance students.

In this programme, you will take a compulsory research methods module, the programme core module Philosophy and History of Dance, and your Dissertation module. Flexibility is built into the programme, so you can also choose modules to suit your interests and needs.

In the module Ways of Knowing, which is shared by all dance postgraduate taught programmes, you will be introduced to research methods including ethnography, analysis and practice-as-research.

The module Philosophy and History of Dance explores different methodological approaches, with a particular emphasis on the nature and value of historical and philosophical enquiry in dance.

The Dissertation module is an individually tutored module that allows you to delve deeply into a research project that reflects your interests and experience in dance.

Research methods module
Ways of Knowing

Programme core module
History, Philosophy and Dance

Optional modules
Music and Dance
The Performance of Heritage: Dance in Museums, Galleries and Historic Sites
Choreographic Practice
Classicism and Power
Mediated Choreography
People Moving, People Dancing
Dance Practice

Independent Research module (MA students)


Compulsory and Required modules
Compulsory and/or required modules may change when we review and update programmes. Above is a list of modules offered this academic year.

Optional modules
Optional modules, when offered as part of a programme, may vary from year to year and are subject to viability.

Graduates’ career options include roles such as community dance practitioner, producer and curator of arts projects, teacher, or continue into further study as an MPhil or PhD student.

Life at Roehampton

At Roehampton, we can offer all new students the opportunity to live in accommodation on our beautiful parkland campus, including affordable and high-end options.

We offer scholarships, provide hardship funding and help you find advice on managing your finances while you study.

We provide plenty of opportunities for you to get involved, through volunteering, playing sport or music, or joining one of our many active student societies.

Chat to one of our advisers online