University of Malta Master in Performance Studies (Dance)

University of Malta Master in Performance Studies (Dance)

UoM Malta Master in Performance Studies (Dance)

Visit Admissions for Universities and Colleges in Malta for Details on Admissions to all institutions

COURSE TITLEMaster in Performance Studies (Dance)







M. PS(Dance)(Melit.)

Second Cycle

Level 7

5 Semesters

Part-time Distance Learning


The Master programme offers a unique opportunity to deepen your study of dance choreography, pedagogy and technology. Designed to accommodate the needs of dance artist practitioners working in dance academies, conservatoires, vocational schools and universities, this course integrates theoretical approaches with artistic practices, focusing on the education of concepts, theories and principles in support of creative processes. You will be expected to master the orthodoxies of your discipline and of collaborative approaches where appropriate, but at the same time challenge, through experimentation and risk taking, the established systems and conventions of performance. The transformative possibilities for dance creation that digital performance offers will be investigated and developed through practice.

The programme will attract recent graduates and/or experienced practitioners in the Performing Arts and related dance fields who are concerned to further develop their skills and knowledge within an applied and socio-analytic framework.

The course is delivered in part-time mode where intensive two-week blocks are interspersed with independent study, supported by a virtual learning environment (VLE). International staff and visiting lecturers are drawn from the UK, Belgium, Holland and Germany and other countries. The Programme Director is Prof. Jo Butterworth, formerly of the Research Centre for Dance, University of Leeds, UK and Fonty’s Dance Academy, Fontys University of Applied Sciences, Tilburg, the Netherlands.


In the first year, the Master programme interrelates theoretical and practical study. Methods, Concepts and Analysis study-unit (4 credits) introduces fundamental theoretical frameworks for analysis, whilst Craft and Choreography (5 credits) investigates current practice in dance-making in a variety of styles. These study-units are followed by Theoretical Frameworks (6 credits) which offers more complex literary and cultural theory as it is applied to Dance Performance (including appropriate training in research methods). There are two further practical study-units, Dance and Technology (5 credits) and Dance Collaboration and Devising (5 credits), which allow for advanced individual dance-making and group ensemble work. The unit Research Project Seminars (5 credits) prepares the student for the Research Project study-unit (30 credits).

In the second year students are encouraged to develop a more independent integrated approach in Craft and Choreography 2 (5 credits), Dance Education: issues, practice and application (10 credits) and Independent Dance Praxis (15 credits), guided by their tutors. Students need 90 ECTS (European Credit Transfer system) credits to complete the programme.

The purpose of the programme is to develop advanced competence in a range of methods, approaches and research techniques appropriate to the scholarly study of dance making, pedagogy and technology, to assure understanding and mastery of creative strategies and processes, and of the interrelationship of forms and languages of performance. The programme approaches the study of dance as performance in such a way as to integrate personal practice and critical reflection. Students develop critical and evaluative skills within conceptual frameworks to facilitate analysis, creation and application of practice.

The distinctive characteristics of the course are as follows:

– Praxis: engaging with a synthesis of theory and practice, i.e. understanding of the relationship between concepts, research, theoretical evidence, practical forms of knowledge, interpretation and application.

– Integration: developing understanding of overlapping and interacting theories and practices within the field of dance, providing opportunity for collaborative and applied practice.

– International contexts: the work is approached from a range of national, regional and international perspectives.


Course members attend for two years in intensive part-time two-week blocks of study offered at the University of Malta (planned for October, January and April – first year; October, January and April – second year, although schedule is subject to revision with each successive course) and are engaged in artistic activities through workshops, seminars, performances and debates designed to challenge, provoke and question personal and shared positions. Since students attend from a number of countries, valuable opportunities for intercultural, social and artistic processes are built into the programme.

Distance learning takes place between the teaching blocks. All students are expected to spend approximately 10 hours per week in practical and theoretical study outside of contact hours, with tutorial guidance offered by phone, Web site (elearning) and email. You should therefore be computer literate and have regular access to a terminal.

The Course shall be open to applicants in possession of either:

(a) a Bachelor’s degree in Dance or a Dance-related subject, with at least Second Class (Honours) or placement in Category II or

(b) a Bachelor’s degree in a subject other than Dance or a Dance-related subject, with at least Second Class (Honours) or placement in Category II, together with substantial proven Dance experience or

(c) a professional qualification/qualifications and/or experience deemed by Senate, on the recommendation of the Board, to satisfy in part, the admission requirements to the Course, provided that applicants may be required to complete a preparatory theoretical programme as specified below.

All applicants who are not in possession of a first degree in Dance shall be interviewed and auditioned by a board composed of at least three members. Applicants shall be asked to provide evidence of their professional experience in Dance by way of VHS or DVD.

Preparatory Programme

The preparatory programme shall comprise study-units to which 30 credits are assigned and shall also be governed by the Principal Regulations.

Students shall be required to successfully complete the preparatory programme of study with an average mark of 55% or better prior to their registration for the Course.

The admission requirements are applicable for courses commencing in October 2012.

For more detailed information pertaining to admission and progression requirements please refer to the bye-laws for the course available here.

See Also

University of Malta UoM Pages