Course details

Study options


UK/EU fee

£6,995 for the full programme (2019/20)

International fee

£13,500 for the full programme (2019/20)

Course level






Course description

The MA is the first of its kind in the UK. Key areas that will be covered:

The MA has come out of Déda’s and the University of Derby’s recognition of the need to create a postgraduate course which reflects the growing trend within the Dance and Contemporary Circus Sectors of artists exploring and blending each other’s practice. Artists are naturally fusing the two forms and there is a need in the UK to create academic resources as is happening in mainland Europe including Sweden and Netherlands.

There are currently no institutions in the UK offering artists a place to research and develop this growing hybrid work - Déda feels like a natural home given its focus on Dance, Contemporary Circus and Outdoor Performance. The MA will build on the success of the BA (Hons) Dance which launched in 2014 based at Déda. As part of the undergraduate programme a foundation is offered in aerial and acrobatic practice.

Two students taking part in a dance performance

What you will study

Creative Skills (40 credits) – Practical module to hone your skills in Dance and Contemporary Circus creation.

Advanced Research Methods (20 credits) – Theory module designed to enhance your academic research skills to support your practical research.

Creation Lab (40 credits) – A practical research and development period in which to explore deeply into an idea or concept. Seminars will be tutorials and guidance in how best to utilise intensive research-and-development sessions.

Working as an Entrepreneur (20 credits) – Lectures and seminars to enhance your skills in applying for funding, creating your own company, responding to briefs and commissions, and health and safety regulations.

Major Project (60 credits) – A student-led negotiated project that continues in your key area of practice and research. Outcomes can include performances, exhibitions, papers, lecture demonstrations.

How you will learn

Students will learn in the working environment of Déda, a sector leading organisation for Dance, Contemporary Circus and Outdoor work. They will learn through Creative lab sessions in our Dance and Contemporary Circus studios, where they will be able to try out new ideas on their peers, themselves and others that they choose to work with. They will be supported by the MA Programme Leader, as well as specialist guest lecturers from the Dance and Circus sectors. Déda will be central to the design and delivery of the learning experience, with input from sector professionals Stephen Munn, Clare Limb and Phil Hargreaves. There will be opportunity to conduct practice-based research at Tuyo Circus in Nottingham, where there are further Contemporary Circus facilities in addition to those at Déda.

Students will be able to create work to be professionally presented by Déda’s Technical Stage Management Team in the Déda Theatre or at an alternative venue/location as required.

How you are assessed

You will be assessed through a mixture of papers, practical demonstrations, performances and vive voce (oral examination).

Entry requirements

Relevant BA degree at 2.1 or 1st level, or comparable professional work in the field of Dance and/or Contemporary Circus.

Fees and funding

2019/20 Fees (August 2019 - July 2020)


£6,995 for the full programme



£13,500 for the full programme


Please note that all fees may be subject to annual increase.

Additional costs and optional extras

How to apply

UK/EU students

Students should apply directly to the University.

Apply directly to the University

International students

Students should apply directly to the University.

Apply directly to the University

Information for international applicants

Applying for an postgraduate degree


Students who complete this programme will be able to produce their own work which is ground breaking in the crossing over of Dance and Contemporary Circus. They will be pioneers in this field and it is therefore anticipated that they will either have their own companies or undertake commissions for work from other parties.

Contact us

If you need any more information from us, eg on courses, accommodation, applying, car parking, fees or funding, please contact us and we will do everything we can to help you.

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† Additional information about your studies

Teaching hours

Like most universities, we operate extended teaching hours at the University of Derby, so contact time with your lecturers and tutors could be anytime between 9am and 9pm. Your timetable will usually be available on the website 24 hours after enrolment on to your course.

Additional costs and optional extras

We’re committed to providing you with an outstanding learning experience. Our expert teaching, state-of-the-art facilities and great employability prepare you for your future career. As part of our commitment to you we aim to keep any additional study costs to a minimum. However, there are occasions where students may incur some additional costs.

Included in your fees

Mandatory costs not included in your fees

Optional costs not included in your fees

Please note: Our courses are refreshed and updated on a regular basis. If you are thinking about transferring onto this course (into the second year for example), you should contact the programme leader for the relevant course information as modules may vary from those shown on this page.

* This course is subject to validation.