Moray House School of Education and Sport

Programme structure: Dance Science and Education

Whether studying this programme full-time or part-time over a number of years, both theoretical and practical work are combined to promote learning and understanding of the key concepts required to become an effective dance scientist.

This programme can be studied full-time or part-time, with students taking a number of compulsory and option courses and completing a dissertation.

Master's degrees at the University of Edinburgh comprise 180 credits. The first 120 credits make up a Postgraduate Diploma and assuming an average mark of 50% or more is achieved, then students can continue to the final 60 credits of the programme which is known as the dissertation component. Successful completion of the 180 credits leads to the award of MSc.


You will be required to complete four compulsory courses and a further 40 credits worth of option courses.

Compulsory courses

The core courses are designed to be delivered in intensive blocks of study. This enables students with other commitments some flexibility to complete the degree by combining the intensive blocks with online optional courses.

Option courses

You will choose 40 credits of option courses from a range on offer in the School. These may include, for example:

Additional options may be chosen from courses offered by other relevant schools within the University, subject to approval.

Please note that courses and course content may change each year.

Course descriptions (2024-25) 

This course gave me an opportunity to think critically and engage with concepts that were valuable to other courses. [The course organiser's] detailed responses to final course assessment was very helpful; I will be able to employ the recommendations to improve performance in future assessments.

Sources of Knowledge: Understanding and analysing research literature - nominated for Outstanding Course in the EUSA Teaching Awards 2021


On successful completion of your courses, you may progress to the MSc, which will include the production of an independently researched dissertation.

Part-time study

Please contact the Programme Director to discuss the structure and courses should you wish to study part-time.

I very much enjoyed the opportunities for interdisciplinary study as part of the MSc Dance Science and Education. Opportunities to study sport science, for example, were a useful supplement to my MSc and made my work far more accomplished than it would otherwise have been.

Holly Byron-StaplesMSc Dance Science and Education

Dance Science and Education with Teaching Qualification pathway

The Dance Science and Education with TQs pathway, accredited by the General Teaching Council of Scotland (GTCS), is a specialist pathway within the programme that enables graduates to register with the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) and upon completion of this Master’s level qualification, will allow graduates to teach in schools across 3-18 (primary and secondary) with dance as their subject specialism.

Many dance teachers work in school and community contexts, however, it is a legal requirement for anyone teaching in the Scottish state school system to be registered with the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS). Registration not only allows you to teach but also provides assurances to employers, parents and children that you meet a national standard of teaching.

On successful completion of the Master's degree, you are recommended to the GTCS for provisional registration. Upon completion of the required probationary period of teaching, you will further register with the GTCS as a teacher with a subject specialism in dance. This is currently the only route to GTCS registration as a teacher for dance specialists qualified to teach learners aged 3-18 years in schools.

Programme Structure

This pathway is offered as a Master of Science (SCQF level 11) and can be completed over 15 months (full-time) or 24 months (part-time). It is not available as a Postgraduate Diploma. 

The Teaching Qualification pathway starts in mid to late August, ahead of typical Masters programmes; the exact date is to be confirmed. 

You will be required to complete the following courses:

Course descriptions for Teaching Qualification pathway (2024-25)

Professional Placement

Professional Placement courses comprise Practicum Strands that address classroom knowledge and skills; and experience of planning, managing, organising, assessing and evaluating pupil learning and taking on the role of a dance specialist teacher for increasing periods of time.

School-based learning takes place in placement schools. All school-based placements are allocated via the national Student Placement System (SPS) that is hosted and maintained by GTC Scotland. Student teachers are not permitted to arrange their own placements independently.  Placements in Scotland are matched via SPS using an automated process.  Schools, Local Authorities and Universities work together to complete this process successfully. 

More information about SPS and the allocation process

Moray House School of Education and Sport has established partnerships with six Local Authorities:

Whilst the majority of placements are usually located within the partnership authorities, students may be placed in independent schools and other local authorities across Scotland. You should not normally be required to travel more than 90 minutes each way for your School placement from your stated term-time address.  This means that all student teachers at all ITE institutions must be prepared to travel up to 90 minutes to their placement school, although students will be placed closer wherever possible.    

Key local authorities

Expertise, excellent facilities and rare resources

The MSc Dance Science and Education is unique to Scotland. The University of Edinburgh and the Institute for Sport, Physical Education and Health Sciences have a long history in the education of physical activity including Dance and have more recently developed to incorporate research in sports science and medicine.

The Institute for Sport, Physical Education and Health Sciences has a body of staff with expertise in dance and all the related movement sciences, and excellent facilities that include dance studios, a dance research room with an extensive archive, and BASES-accredited scientific research laboratories. Because of the University's historic and well-founded reputation in Dance Education, students can access extensive and rare resources related to the field of dance practice and medical practice in the University's libraries.

Institute for Sport, Physical Education and Health Sciences