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Honours in dance offers an opportunity to deepen your dance and/or choreographic practice through a research project that is studio-based, and supported through research training in the arts. Honours year provides practice-based research training with pathways to MA and PhD in dance, and space and time to work intensively on particular areas of artistic focus.
Projects can be developed in a range of areas, including choreographic processes and specialized forms of dance performance (e.g. improvisation, physical theatre, interactive technology), as well as the newly developed area of motion capture, making use of Deakin's new world-class motion capture studio, the Deakin Motion Lab.
Many students undertake practice-based research projects in which they develop an original dance performance project that is supported by a written thesis component. Students can also undertake a 'traditional' research project in dance resulting in a written thesis.
Students who do Honours in Dance sometimes have postgraduate study in their sights and ultimately perhaps a job as an academic. Many, though, have their sights set on professional work in the field of dance, performance and arts bureaucracies.
An Honours degree can enhance students' career prospects not only in various practical fields of media production, but also in the wider arenas of the cultural and communication 'industries', entertainment policy analysis, professional and community arts practice. Demand for advanced communication and collaborative skills, and research and report-writing skills, the kinds of which our Honours graduates possess, are increasing in the twenty-first century.
Many Honours students in dance find that the year clarifies and refines their dance practice. In many cases, the confidence Honours students gain about their direction and ability as dance artists leads them to develop niche areas of employment. Recent examples include devising physical theatre shows for community and government organizations and directing and facilitating community arts events.
Successful completion of an Honours degree also positions students for postgraduate study, whether immediately following or after settling into a career and wishing to develop further their expertise and prospects for professional advancement. Honours students have gone on to further study through Masters Degrees by Coursework, Masters Degrees by research, and PhD.
The normal pattern is to complete two core units comprising AAR410 (Research Methods in the Arts) and AAR411 (Art and Text), and 2 studio units which serve as pre-production units for the 4 credit points of thesis units, which are completed in second semester.
In Dance, students will produce creative work (e.g., choreography, a performance or experimental dance workshop) which will constitute the major component (up to 70%) of the research. However, this creative component must be accompanied by a scholarly written component (an exegesis) which should be in the range of 4000 to 6,000 words.
The exegesis should demonstrate the student's analytical understanding of the discipline and sets the creative work within a disciplinary and developmental framework. Creative works can not have been submitted for credit in other units, courses or awards.
Course summary details including units of study.
Coordinator for Honours in
Animation and Motion Capture, Dance, Drama, Film and Television, Photography, Visual Arts and Visual Communication Design
Associate Professor Rob Haysom
Discipline Honours Course Adviser (Dance)
Dr Sally Gardner