University of Bedfordshire & Dance Science

© Claudia Mayr

Dance science is becomingly increasingly popular as an area of study in Higher Education, with a range of dedicated undergraduate and postgraduate courses on offer, and dance science featuring in some form on most dance degrees. This increase in provision is a direct response to the growing interest in dance science as an area of research and practice which uses scientific methods to enhance training, performance and wellbeing in dance from psychological, biomechanical and physiological perspectives.

Traditionally, the focus of dance science in Higher Education has been on topics like injury prevention, nutrition and fitness to equip students with a better understanding of their own bodies. However, the scope and application of dance science continues to expand, with dance scientists applying their knowledge in relation to both elite performers and clinical populations. The International Association for Dance Medicine and Science (IADMS) now welcomes research in the area of dance and health to ensure that dance science research can be applied more broadly.

In recent years dance science has become an integral part of the dance provision at the University of Bedfordshire, with a comprehensive pathway from undergraduate to postgraduate level. Anatomy, physiology, and psychology feature in the Dance Technique units on the university’s BA(Hons) Dance and Professional Practice so that students can apply what they learn directly to their practice. The University of Bedfordshire’s new BA(Hons) Dance with Exercise enables students to continue refining their dance technique and performance skills while exploring clinical exercise principles and practices that can be used in a variety of fitness and wellbeing contexts.

The University of Bedfordshire has been running its MSc Dance Science since 2013 and are proud to offer the only MSc in England which includes a range of optional units covering both elite performance and public health settings. At Bedfordshire, students can tailor the course to suit their interests and career ambitions, and benefit from the combined expertise of dance, sport science, and psychology staff. This unique opportunity allows students to create a distinct study and research pathway, preparing them for a sustainable career in dance science. Through a mixture of theory and practical sessions in the university’s multi-million pound human performance laboratories, students develop their skills in dance science research, methods, and hands-on application. Various opportunities for students to enhance their employability are provided, from REPS qualifications embedded in specific optional units, to paid research internships, and seminars with leading researchers in the industry. The success of Bedfordshire MSc graduates is testament to the diverse career options available in dance science, including lecturing, research, strength and conditioning coaching, and further PhD study.

As the interest in dance science and its application continues to grow, individuals and the industry itself can only benefit from increased provision in Higher Education of this fascinating and rewarding area of study.

For more information, visit:
MSc Dance Science: www.beds.ac.uk/howtoapply/courses/postgraduate/dance-science
Or email MSc Dance Science course coordinator Dr Imogen Aujla: imogen.aujla@beds.ac.uk
IADMS: www.iadms.org