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Major: Dance and Performance

Major Details

Dance and Performance


Department of Media, Music, Communication and Cultural Studies
Faculty of Arts

This major must be completed as part of an award. The general requirements for the award must be satisfied in order to graduate.

Requirements for the Major:

Completion of a minimum of 24 credit points including the following prescribed units:

Credit points

100 level

Movement and Dance in the 21st Century (3)
Performing Lives (3)

200 level

6cp from
Performance and Popular Media (3)
Theatre and Performance Practice (3)
Music Theatre (3)
Dance Practice 1 (3)
Performance and Circus Studies (3)

300 level

Creative Process (3)
Performance Research (3)
Dance Practice 2 (3)
Performance and Technology (3)


Units marked with a C are Capstone units.
Additional Information
Overview and Aims of the Program This major assumes a wide definition of dance and performance, and students are encouraged to study broadly. This program considers not just the aesthetic dimension of dance and performance, but also their social, cultural, historical, and metaphorical frameworks.

o Students will explore their own dance and performance making, combining theoretical and conceptual understandings with practical production experience.

o Students will develop confidence and work independently as artists.

o Students will acquire skill-sets and knowledge that are transferable to a range of other professional careers.

This is a unique interdisciplinary major designed for those with no prior or professional experience in performance or dance. It will also benefit those who wish to be creative practitioners in dance and performance, or those seeking career opportunities in the performing arts and associated fields.
Graduate Capabilities

The Graduate Capabilities Framework articulates the fundamentals that underpin all of Macquarie’s academic programs. It expresses these as follows:

Cognitive capabilities
(K) discipline specific knowledge and skills
(T) critical, analytical and integrative thinking
(P) problem solving and research capability
(I) creative and innovative

Interpersonal or social capabilities
(C) effective communication
(E) engaged and ethical local and global citizens
(A) socially and environmentally active and responsible

Personal capabilities
(J) capable of professional and personal judgement and initiative
(L) commitment to continuous learning

Program Learning Outcomes By the end of this program it is anticipated you should be able to:

1. identify and demonstrate disciplinary knowledge of and skills regarding dance and performance (K, L)
2. recognise and examine concepts and arguments underpinning dance and performance practice (K, T, P)
3. interpret and communicate ideas, problems, and disciplinary debates to various audiences (T, P, C)
4. employ socially appropriate and ethical conduct in dance and performance practice (E, A, J)

5. work independently and collaboratively in response to project aims and demands (P, I, C, A, J)
6. engage with dance and performance practice in ways that demonstrate respect for and awareness of diversity and international perspectives (C, E, A, J)
7. reflect on and evaluate engagement in a diverse range of dance and performance activities (K, T, C, L)

8. apply disciplinary knowledge and skills to creative and innovative work in a range of settings (K, P, I).
Learning and Teaching Methods The units within the Dance and Performance Major use a range of learning and teaching methods to enable students to achieve the program level outcomes. Unit learning outcomes are constructively aligned with the program level outcomes and graduate capabilities. Most class activities in this major are conducted at the dance studio and the drama studio in order to encourage praxis, interactions between theory and practice. Dance and performance practices are ever changing and to work within this sector mandates an ability for intellectual understanding as well as technical skills.

While these units are workshop-based, they employ a range of learning and teaching methods through which students meet outcomes. Lectures are used to introduce theoretical perspectives on dance and performance practices. Tutorials provide an opportunity for students to critically engage with theoretical materials. Production exercises within this major utilise workshops in which students develop production skills including writing a proposal or pitch, dancing, acting, choreographing, directing, and stage design. Guided workshops enable students to generate knowledge and apply it to an individual or group dance and performance production. Post-performance discussion allows students to, critically, reflect and analyse their performances.

In order to support and direct student learning, this major deploys a range of teaching materials such as lectures (face-to-face and recorded), traditional paper-based and electronic readings, audiovisual material, group task handouts/worksheets, industry speakers. The depository website (iLearn) ensures that students have access to these materials at any point during the semester.

The offerings of the Dance and Performance Major progress from 100 level units that introduce general knowledge of dance and performance practices to 200 units that encourage students develop critical and sophisticated analytical and production skills though independent learning. At 300 level, students become reflective practitioners poised to critically evaluate their own practices and understanding. This is especially pronounced in the capstone unit, DANC350.
Assessment The Dance and Performance Major provides a blend of critical theory and practice/production exercise resulting in a diverse assessment schema. The program uses a mixture of formative and summative assessments. Formative assessments progressively monitor the generation of knowledge and summative assessments give the students opportunities to synthesise and apply that knowledge to dance and performance making.

• Essays and analytical report: Essays and analytical reports range from 800 to 2500 words. These writing tasks are used to assess a range of outcomes from demonstrating comprehension of a particular issue to synthesizing multiple sources to evaluate a case study. Analytical reports are frequently used in production units which require students to critically articulate applied theory.
• Participation: Students are assessed on their meaningful contributions to a culture of learning. Participation is assessed through engagement with discussions, debates, tasks through learning teaching methods including lectures, tutorials, workshops and online tasks. Through participation students engage with a commitment to learning and develop reflective practices.
• Projects: students create numerous projects throughout the program depending on their chosen production path.
• Seminar presentations: students develop the ability to articulate information in a number of forms. Seminar presentations assess students’ abilities to meaningfully articulate information.
• Other assessments include reflective journals and production diaries on-line (iLearn).
Recognition of Prior Learning

Macquarie University may recognise prior formal, informal and non-formal learning for the purpose of granting credit towards, or admission into, a program. The recognition of these forms of learning is enabled by the University’s Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Policy (see and its associated Procedures and Guidelines. The RPL pages contain information on how to apply, links to registers, and the approval processes for recognising prior learning for entry or credit. 

Domestic Students
For undergraduate RPL information visit
For domestic postgraduate RPL information visit

International Students
For RPL information visit

Support for Learning

Macquarie University aspires to be an inclusive and supportive community of learners where all students are given the opportunity to meet their academic and personal goals. The University offers a comprehensive range of free and accessible student support services which include academic advice, counselling and psychological services, advocacy services and welfare advice, careers and employment, disability services and academic skills workshops amongst others. There is also a bulk billing medical service located on campus.

Further information can be found at

Campus Wellbeing contact details:
Phone: +61 2 9850 7497

Program Standards and Quality

The program is subject to an ongoing comprehensive process of quality review in accordance with a pre-determined schedule that complies with the Higher Education Standards Framework. The review is overseen by Macquarie University's peak academic governance body, the Academic Senate and takes into account feedback received from students, staff and external stakeholders.

Graduate Destinations and Employability Students are prepared for employment and further study through the disciplinary knowledge accumulated during the program as well as transferable skills in research, problem-solving and production. Students hear from industry speakers (many of whom are leaders in their field) as well as academics on the topic of further studies and research.

Career options include (but not limited to):
o dance artist / performance maker
o arts management and administration for government and/or industry
o corporate communications and publicity
o journalism
o event management
o arts director
o production manager
o cultural attaché and advisor
o Public relations and advertising
o feature writer on the arts for magazines, newspapers, online social media, etc.
o education.

For those considering a research pathway, the department offers the M.Res. and Ph.D. programs. The Dance and Performance Major scaffolds learning with an emphasis on critical enquiry and analysis giving students the opportunity to develop core academic and research skills.
Assessment Regulations

This program is subject to Macquarie University regulations, including but not limited to those specified in the Assessment Policy, Academic Honesty Policy, the Final Examination Policy and relevant University Rules. For all approved University policies, procedures, guidelines and schedules visit

2017 Unit Information

When offered:
S1 Day
Permission of Executive Dean of Faculty
HSC Chinese, CHN113, CHN148