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Dance Research Degrees

Dance student performing

Dance PhD Study

Explore dance and movement

The Dance department has gained an international reputation in PhD studies through Practice as Research, and actively encourage applicants in this area of research practice.

Dance is part of a lively research culture which includes visiting artists contributing to regular research presentations, performances, installations and exhibitions and an ongoing Research Dialogues series.

There are reading groups and opportunities to develop through paper and performance presentations.

We encourage enquiries from potential applicants in Dance and Dance-related subjects in both traditional academic and practice-based research. Opportunities for interdisciplinary research are also available.

Supervision is offered by a strong, research-active team with a wide range of expertise, and includes academics and practitioner-scholars with international reputations.

Our Supervisors

Browse our staff and research specialisms

Most of these PhD projects are being undertaken using choreography or performance as a central research strategy.

Dr Lucie Clements

BSc, MSc, PhD, CPsychol

Performance psychology, psychological interventions for enhancing dance performance, cognitive skills in dance e.g. memory and creativity.

Dr Yael Flexer


Postmodern choreography, dance analysis.

Dr Ben Francombe

BA (Hons), PhD

Solo performance, twentieth-century Irish theatre, post-colonial British theatre, politics of the British theatre system.

Dr Gemma Harman

BA (Hons), MSc, PhD

Investigating the phenomenon of dance and music performance through the experience of the performer

Ian Homsby

BA (Hons), MPhil

Critical theory and its relation to art, philosophy and politics. Investigation of 'praxis' in relation to a dialogue between artistic practice and critical theory.

Dr Vicky Hunter


Site specific choreography, place and embodiment, dance and new materialism.

Dr Louie Jenkins

BA (Hons), PGCE, MA, PhD

Autobiographical performance; affect theory; affective neuroscience; shame: mourning, class and queer shame; site, art,Thanatology (Death Studies) and memorialisation; performance writing.

Dr Jonathan Little

B.Mus (Hons), Th.A., Ph

Instrumental and vocal compositions, orchestration in 19th and 20th century Music.

Dr Sarah Needham-Beck

BSc(Hons), MSc, PhD

Areas of dance science including exercise physiology, training, fitness, and workload monitoring.

Dr Laura Ritchie


The musical self and its perception, self-efficacy beliefs in musical learning and performing.

Dr Pete Phillips


Performance and sports culture, interactive live art and duo collaboration.

Our PhD Students

Meet our research degree students

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Virginia Farman

Senior Lecturer in Choreography and Dance Research

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Natalie Rowland

Programme Leader for Dance, Aerial and Physical Theatre

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Performing Arts Research

Explore our dance, theatre and performance as we explore topics including how performing benefits performers.

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