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Programme Details 2017-2018

Dance Anthropology

MA/Postgraduate Diploma/Postgraduate Certificate
Department of Dance

PROGRAMME LEADER: Dr Ann R David, 020 8392 3658, a.david@roehampton.ac.uk

OVERALL MA/MFA DANCE CLUSTER CONVENER: Dr Tamara Tomic-Vajagic, 020 8392 3373, tamara.tomic-vajagic@roehampton.ac.uk

HEAD OF DEPARTMENT OF DANCE: Dr Ann R David, 020 8392 3658, a.david@roehampton.ac.uk

Please note that the Overall MA/MFA/MRes Dance Cluster Convener deals with general enquiries with regard to the whole MA/MFA/MRes cluster, whilst the individual Programme Convener deals with enquiries referring to individual applications.

For further information, please contact the Deputy Academic Services Manager Lisa James , 0208 392 3864, lisa.james@roehampton.ac.uk.

MA: 180 credits (90 ECTS credits) at Level 7
Postgraduate Diploma: 120 credits (60 ECTS credits) at Level 7
Postgraduate Certificate: 60 credits (30 ECTS credits) at Level 7

LOCATION: Roehampton Lane (Froebel College) campus.

PROGRAMME OUTLINE: The MA Dance Anthropology at Roehampton maintains its distinctive and leading position worldwide. It offers a unique programme in which students pursue anthropological approaches to dance in relation to other perspectives from history, sociology, folklife studies and philosophy. At the heart of its offering is a focus upon ethnographic practice in dance and scholarly interpretation of those findings in light of contemporary debates in dance anthropology.

This well-established degree continues to draw high calibre home and international students who wish to investigate dance from a non-Eurocentric perspective, placing the practices and values of the dancers into socio-cultural and comparative understanding. Students will graduate with skills suitable for pursuing careers and employment in dance anthropology, community dance, dance curation and programming, dance criticism and continued PhD research.

AIMS: This programme aims to:

  • progress understanding of dance as culturally conceptualised, realised and valued;
  • address Eurocentrism in dance practice and theory;
  • apply and critically interrogate ethnographic methodologies appropriate to the study of twenty-first century dance;
  • develop articulate dance graduates equipped to value cultural diversities of dance practice and reception within global modernities.

LEARNING OUTCOMES: These are grouped into three areas:

Knowledge and Understanding

Students who successfully complete the programme will:

  • be able to demonstrate in-depth knowledge and understanding of the diverse historical and intellectual contexts of dance anthropology and its relation to the cognate fields of ethnochoreology, dance ethnology, folklife studies, theatre anthropology and the anthropology of performance;
  • be critically aware of ethnographic issues and ethical implications in relation to dance;
  • have a comprehensive understanding of key methodologies and theoretical perspectives in the practice of dance anthropology;
  • be able to situate themselves in relation to theories and practices in dance anthropology.
Cognitive/Intellectual Skills

Students who successfully complete the programme will:
  • be able to work with theoretical and research-based knowledge located historically and at the forefront of dance anthropology and related disciplines;
  • be able to analyse, represent and value the perspectives of dancers, dance makers and dance viewers;
  • exercise critical distance and be able to articulate arguments from a dance anthropological perspective;
  • be able to identify, gather, synthesize and analyse data about dance practices from a variety of sources to support interpretation of an anthropological nature.
Key/Transferable Skills

Students who successfully complete the programme will;
  • have clear and competent oral and written communication;
  • have effective planning, time management and productivity skills;
  • be able to discuss and negotiate ideas with confidence;
  • be able to self-evaluate, as well as reflect on others’ practice and arguments, in order to reach greater understanding or improve artistic/scholarly practice;
  • be able to work effectively within a group and negotiate, debate or create responsibly and with confidence;
  • as effective collaborators in their interaction with peers;
  • competently undertake creative, analytical and evaluative research tasks autonomously ;
  • be able to effective retrieve, synthesise and evaluate relevant information.

SELECTION OF MODULES: Students will take 180 credits in total:

  • 80 credits of compulsory taught modules
  • 40 credits chosen from optional modules taught across all Dance programmes
  • 60-credit dissertation
This arrangement assures a degree of flexibility so that students with different backgrounds and interests can either consolidate their area of expertise or move into new territory.



Compulsory and Required modules
Compulsory and/or required modules may change when we review and update programmes. Below 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.


Full-time MA students take the compulsory research methods module Ways of Knowing (shared with the other MA/MFA/MRes programmes) in Autumn, along with one compulsory programme core module, which crosses from Autumn into week 6 of Spring. Two optional modules are completed in Spring. MA students have initial conversations about their dissertation in January, and their work gathers momentum from week 7 of the Spring term. The bulk of their research occurs from Easter, and the document is submitted in August.

Part-time MA students generally spread their studies over two years: one shared compulsory taught module and one optional module in Year 1; and the second compulsory taught module and one optional taught module cross-listed with the other programmes in Year 2. They join the full-time students in the Spring term of Year 2 to start their dissertations.

Students who successfully complete all of the taught modules (120 credits) are awarded a Postgraduate Diploma (PGD). Students who successfully complete 60 taught credits including the respective core (40 credit) module are awarded a Postgraduate Certificate.

Research methods module (MA and PGD students)
#DAN040L406A - Ways of Knowing

Programme core module (all students)
#DAN040L407Y - Anthropology of Dance

Optional modules
DAN020L403A or S - Project
DAN020L410S - Music and Dance
DAN020L416S - The Performance of Heritage: Dance in Museums, Galleries and Historic Sites
DAN020L419A - Choreographic Practice
DAN020L422S - Classicism and Power
DAN020L423S - Mediated Choreography
DAN020L424S - People Moving, People Dancing

Independent Research module (MA students)
+DAN060L404S - Dissertation

Module annotations:
# - compulsory module (must be passed)
+ - compulsory module for MA students only (must be passed).

a) Each module code consists of a three-letter module prefix denoting the programme it belongs to (eg JOU020L403S = Journalism Studies), the following three digits refer to its credit value (eg JOU020L403S = 20 credits), the single letter in the middle (eg JOU020L403S) denotes the module level (L = Level 7), the last three digits denote its unique number (eg JOU020L403S), and the final letter denotes its suffix (eg JOU020L403S). The suffixes indicate the following: A - Autumn term, S - Spring term, H – Summer term/Summer intensive mode, Y - All year, V - collaborative partnership (off-site).

b) Individual module details can be viewed by clicking on each module code or using the "View all modules" link below for a complete list of module assessment and descriptions.

View all modules

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