Postgraduate study

Dance Science & Education

Awards: MSc, PgDip (ICL), PgDip

Study modes: Part-time Intermittent Study, Full-time, Part-time


Programme website: Dance Science & Education

If you are interested in the development of dance education, a comprehensive understanding of the science underpinning the art form is a must. This innovative programme - the only one of its kind in Scotland - offers just that, giving you the scientific theory and specialist skills that will inspire you to push the frontiers of dance and dance education.

As you study the science relevant to dance performance and education, you will have access to resources at:

Through a multi-disciplinary blend of theory and practice, you will learn to prepare dancers to improve performance, explore the physiological and developmental issues that relate to dance education and training, and develop awareness of changing trends.

The programme is offered as:

  • Master of Science, which can be completed over 12 months (full time) or 24-72 months (part time)
  • Master of Science with TQs, which can be completed over 15 months (full time) or 24 months (part time)
  • Postgraduate Diploma, which can be completed over 9 months (full time) or 12-48 months (part time)
Dance Science & Education with Teaching Qualification (TQs) pathway

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

The MSc Dance Science and Education with TQs is a teaching pathway to registration with the GTCS. On successful completion of this degree you are recommended by the University to the GTCS for provisional registration. Upon completion of the required probationary period of teaching graduates from this degree 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.

The pathway is offered as a Master of Science and can be completed over 15 months (full time) or 24 months (part time). It is not available as a Postgraduate diploma.

Your learning will incorporate a variety of approaches including lectures, student-led seminars, presentations, practical skills training and project work.

Compulsory courses:

  • Dance Pedagogy (40 credits)
  • Preventive Dance Medicine (20 credits)
  • Research Methods (1) Sources of Knowledge (10 credits)
  • Research Methods (2) Conceptualising Research: Foundations, Assumptions And Praxis (10 credits)

Option courses:

You will also choose 40 credits of optional courses from a range that are offered at Moray House School of Education and may include for example:

  • Coaching and performance
  • Psychology for physical activity
  • Nutritional factors and ergogenic aids
  • Physical activity for health
  • Paediatric factors in sport
  • Assessment of physical activity and body composition
  • Peak performance
  • Stress and coping in performance
  • Planning and instruction for performance
  • Physio-mechanical aspects of resistance training
  • Conditioning physiology

Additional options may be chosen from courses offered by relevant schools within the University, subject to approval by your Personal Tutor and Course Organiser.

The core courses are designed to be delivered in intensive blocks of study, this enables students who cannot be in Edinburgh full time due to teaching or performance commitments to complete the degree by combining the intensive blocks with online optional courses. For further details please contact the Programme Director or

To earn an MSc, on completion of your course credits, you will also produce an independently researched dissertation.

Dance Science & Education with Teaching Qualification (TQs) pathway

To earn the Masters with TQs, there are no additional optional courses, but you will complete an additional compulsory course:

  • The Professional Development and Leadership in Dance Teaching (PDLDT)

Please note that the MSc Dance Science and Education with TQs starts earlier in the academic year (August) than the regular MSc Dance Science and Education.

This course includes 18 weeks of placement experience in schools and community settings.

Whether you are a recent graduate or a mid-career professional, this programme will prepare you for further research, which can be channelled into an academic career or used to advance your performing, teaching or educational career. The transferable skills you gain, such as communication and project management, will also be valuable in enhancing any career options.

If you choose the GTCS-accredited teaching pathway, this degree will enable you to apply for GTCS registration and teach in schools with a subject specialism of dance across 3-18 years.

Recent graduate destinations include lecturing and teaching positions in Higher Education, teaching positions in schools, dance development officers for local authorities, research positions, further study at PhD level and physiotherapy programmes.

A UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in a relevant discipline.

We may also consider your application if you have relevant employment or professional experience; please contact us to check before you apply.

With your application you will be required to submit a digital portfolio evidencing your professional dance related practice. This should include, for example, footage of your own performance, your own original choreography performed by your students/dancers, or you in a teaching context.

If you are applying for the MSc Dance Science and Education with TQs, in order to be eligible for provisional registration as a teacher, you must have achieved a level of competence in English and Mathematics which is approved by the GTCS upon completion of your degree. This would normally be:

  • SQA Higher Grade pass at levels A, B, C (or equivalent) in English

  • SQA Standard Grade (Credit Level 1 or 2) pass in Mathematics or its equivalent

If you are not sure of your eligibility, please contact the Programme Director or to find out more about these requirements.

Protecting Vulnerable Groups

All successful applicants will be required to join Disclosure Scotland's Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme before starting the programme. In addition, all applicants who don't live in the UK, or who have spent more than a year abroad, will need to provide equivalent verification from the relevant national authority.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

All applicants must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of their English language ability:

  • an undergraduate or masters degree, that was taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country as defined by UK Visas and Immigration

  • IELTS: total 6.5 (at least 6.0 in each module)

  • TOEFL-iBT: total 92 (at least 20 in each module)

  • PTE(A): total 61 (at least 56 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections)

  • CAE and CPE: total 176 (at least 169 in each module)

  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with a distinction in all four components

Degrees taught and assessed in English must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your degree programme. IELTS, TOEFL, Pearson Test of English and Trinity ISE must be no more than two years old at the beginning of your degree programme.*

(*Revised 8/11/2018 to provide more accurate information on English language qualifications expiry dates.)

Find out more about our language requirements:

  • Programme Director, Wendy Timmons
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 651 6596
  • Email:
  • Moray House School of Education
  • Old Moray House
  • Holyrood Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 8AQ
Programme start date Application deadline
13 January 2020 30 November 2019

We strongly recommend you submit your completed application as early as possible, particularly if you are also applying for funding or will require a visa. We may consider late applications if we have places available.

You must submit a reference with your application.

You must submit a portfolio, which should include evidence of a required level of professional dance practice (teaching and performance). This can be evidence through digital footage of yourself and any additional evidence you wish to provide.

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • Programme Director, Wendy Timmons
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 651 6596
  • Email:
  • Moray House School of Education
  • Old Moray House
  • Holyrood Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 8AQ