School of Society and Culture

ResM Dance

Are you a dance practitioner, choreographer or teacher wishing to deepen your practical knowledge and critical engagement with dance? Join a vibrant research community with opportunities for cross-disciplinary collaborations. You’ll grow in confidence as a researcher with the ability to generate new ideas, connections, approaches and critical perspectives.

We welcome proposals for research in any area of contemporary dance and dance as a cultural discourse, but we are especially interested in supervising practice-as-research projects that focus on choreographic practice, screendance practice, somatic movement and embodiment practices.

Careers with this subject

Graduate destinations include research and further postgraduate studies (for example PhD), teaching, lecturing, practice-as-research, professional choreography, independent portfolio artist careers, dance criticism and arts administration.

Key features

  • The award-winning purpose-built House Theatre provides a state-of-the-art and fully accessible 200-seater auditorium, studio theatre and rehearsal spaces..
  • Learn from highly skilled and internationally renowned practitioners and scholars. Work within the Performance, Experience and Presence (PEP) research group which greatly informs the teaching on this programme.
  • Make use of the close links we have fostered with leading dance companies and professional artists, and gain extra experience that will open up your career prospects. Plymouth has a vibrant and active dance scene, with Plymouth Dance and Dance in Devon supporting the dance ecology in Plymouth, Devon and Cornwall.
  • Benefit from training on the programme which explicitly embeds the skills identified by the Arts & Humanities Research Council, preparing you for MPhil/PhD programmes.
  • The theatre and performance department also hosts a number of master classes, workshops and performance opportunities that are open to you.
  • Engage with Plymouth’s vibrant theatre and performance scene with The Arts Institute, Theatre Royal Plymouth and Barbican Theatre Plymouth, alongside events and training workshops arranged by the department itself. In the past, our nationally and internationally acclaimed visitors have included Candoco, StopGap, Rambert, Flying Low, Jordi Cortes,
  • Yael Flexer, Rick Nodine, Kirstie Simson, Wendy Houstoun, LailioDaillo, Epic Arts, Russell Maliphant, 2 Faced Dance, Zoielogic and Liz Aggiss.
  • Choose to study full time or part time to fit in with your career plans or other commitments. 
  • Be part of a lively interdisciplinary arts and research community where you’ll mix with staff and students from across the arts faculty, creating opportunities for collaborative performance and practice-based research.

Course details
  • Taught modules

  • The ResM can be studied either full or part time. We welcome proposals for research in any area of contemporary dance, but we are especially interested in supervising practice-as-research projects that focus on choreographic practice, screen dance practice, and somatic movement and embodiment. The core modules help you to progress your individual project. You also attend individual tutorials with your supervisor alongside regular research seminars.

    After completing your taught modules, you will continue with independent research, guided by your thesis supervisor. Throughout this time spent working towards your thesis, you will be considered a full member of our research community and completely supported until you successfully complete your degree.

    Dependent upon your performance in the first year, you may apply to transfer directly into our PhD programme after 12 months (full time) or 24 months (part time), instead of submitting a ResM thesis.

    Core modules

    • Researching Dance (MAPR710)

      This module introduces the resources, practical skills, methods and issues specific to research in dance studies and dance making. It will provide an overview of the current methodologies and theoretical developments in the field of dance studies and examine recent articulations of dance operating as a critical discourse.

  • Thesis and assessment

  • Your thesis will be 25000 words in length (or the equivalent if it includes practice). It may be assessed entirely through written work, or through a substantial practical project that addresses particular research questions and is accompanied by an extended contextual essay. We’re pleased to support research that is embedded in and conducted through a professional performance practice.

    You will also participate in a viva voce, or oral examination. This will form part of your examination process and normally takes place between one and three months following submission of your thesis or its written elements.

The modules shown for this course or programme are those being studied by current students, or expected new modules. Modules are subject to change depending on year of entry.
Entry requirements

You’ll need a good 2:1 or first class honours degree in an appropriate subject (e.g. theatre and performance, dance, choreography, community dance, dance science) or equivalent (for instance, you may have studied something else as an undergraduate but have established an artistic practice since then).

You will also need to provide evidence that you are ready to pursue the project you propose in your application. This will take the form of a sample of critical writing and, if relevant, documentation of relevant creative or professional practice (see the How to Apply section for details).

If English is not your first language, you must have proficiency in written and spoken English (normally a minimum test score of 6.5 for IELTS, or equivalent). Given the nature of the programme, you’ll be expected to read and engage with complex theoretical texts and debates for which fluency in English is essential.

English language requirements.

Fees, costs and funding

Please visit tuition fees for postgraduate research for information about fees. ResM Dance is in Band 2 for fees purposes.

If you are a full time student, you will pay full time fees for one year. If you have not submitted your thesis by the end of this period, then you may pay for an optional six month 'writing up' period (that is, half of the 'writing up' fee indicated on this page).

If you are a part time student, you will pay part time fees for two years. If you have not submitted your thesis by the end of this period, then you may pay for an optional one year 'writing up' period.

You are responsible for meeting all of the costs related to your own research project, beyond the resources available in the department.

This programme is eligible for a postgraduate loan.

How to apply
Submitting your application
Complete your application and upload supporting documents to the Doctoral College by completing our online application form.
Questions on the application process?
We're here to help. Please contact the Doctoral College team, we'll be happy to assist you.
You can view or download our admissions policy from the student regulations, policies and procedures page. Prospective students are advised to read the policy before making an application to the University.
If you have a disability and would like further information on the support available, please visit  Disability Services.
International Student Advice (ISA) provides support for our international students.
Find more information about How to apply for a research degree.
<p>Finance illustration</p>

ResM features

  • ? World-leading expertise in practice-led performance as research methodologies as well as co-authored and collaborative performance research.
  • ? You can focus almost entirely on an individual research project of your own choice.
  • ? Largely self-directed with tutorial guidance and clear milestones and expectations.
  • ? Includes taught modules (60 credits), that must be passed to develop and evidence your research skills.
  • ? Prepares you specifically to be a researcher in performance studies or the performing arts, to do an extended research project within a professional context, or to do a PhD.
  • ? If you are making exceptional progress, you can progress directly into our PhD programme without having to complete the masters.
  • ? Flexible submission date - between 12-18 months full time or 24-36 months part time - meaning you can be examined when you feel ready.

Your own purpose built theatre:

The House

The University of Plymouth committed £7 million to building The House, a purpose built theatre on campus. 

A state-of-the art building, built to the very highest technical and sustainable specification, this award winning facility is a fully-accessible building with a 200-seater auditorium, a studio theatre and rehearsal spaces.

Come in to The House

The House
<p>The House stage</p>
The House stage
<p>The House stage viewed from above</p>
The House stage from above
<p>The House studio</p>
The House studio
<p>Roland Levinsky Building room 307</p>
Roland Levinsky Building room 307
<p>Roland Levinsky Building room 306</p>
Roland Levinsky Building room 306
<p>Roland Levinsky Building room 308</p>
Roland Levinsky Building room 308
Abbi Jackson, MRes Dance

Student insight - Abigail Jackson

My multidisciplinary project researched the use of movement as a transformative tool to aid the development of autistic participants. With support from the staff I gained the confidence to grow as a researcher and dance practitioner.
Abbi’s pursuing a PhD with the transtechnology department at Plymouth to develop her research, and continues to work with her MRes Dance supervisor.
<p>Contemporary dance performance</p>

Experience first hand the excitement of dance and physical theatre

Enrich your experience during your studies with opportunities to see some of the best contemporary dance performance touring in the Uk and internationally
Opportunities to participate in master classes and workshops and see an exciting range of contemporary performance work at the House.

Performance. Experience. Presence (P.E.P) research group

Sharing interests in embodiment, experience, training and cultural representation, our research manifests through creating and analysing performance. We encompass researchers of theatre, dance, live art and interdisciplinary performance practices.
Our PEP Talks series of research seminars is scheduled throughout the academic year and research students organise their own conferences and events.
Learn more about our diverse group of collaborative Theatre, performing arts and music researchers.
Theatre and performance work

Follow P.E.P on social media