Module code: MUTM028

Module Overview

This Dance module seeks to develop and refine a secure and consistent technique in Dance and Physical skills. Central to the module are core classes in Jazz, Ballet and Tap, with the addition of Commercial Dance in Term Two. 

These classes are streamed by ability to ensure appropriate learning contexts for all levels of competence by a streaming system, focused on prior learning and initial assessment – apart from Commercial Dance which is taught as a cohort of Level 7 Musical Theatre students. In addition, Pilates is studied to ensure a thorough overview of the body and understanding of the needs of movement, health, and precision in performance. 

The module aims to improve posture and placing, and to develop the requisite strength, flexibility, stamina and personal resilience necessary to sustain a career in Musical Theatre. All classes will concentrate on the development of technique, presentation, style, and the dance vocabulary required in the study and performance of Musical Theatre. 

As the module develops over three teaching blocks, knowledge is developed and extended to secure a consistent fundamental technique. Not only will it focus on the physical requirements of the individual dance disciplines but also on the comprehension and application of terminology and the ability to incorporate a sense of performance to dance and physical work

Module provider

Guildford School of Acting

Module Leader


Number of Credits: 30

ECTS Credits: 15

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 78

Practical/Performance Hours: 222

Module Availability

Year long

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:
•    Classes in Tap, Ballet, Jazz and Commercial Dance styles. Training and building on fundamental core dance skills, as well as imparting terminology required to comprehend and implement these dance styles
•    Pilates classes, for core body strength, body awareness, and awareness of physicality which support all movement work across the MA Musical Theatre programme and embraces a healthy approach to dance/movement technique. 
•    All content is reflective of and demonstrates an awareness of how each discipline has developed through a diverse range of cultures. 

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Practical based assessment Jazz Continuous Assessment (TB2) 10
Practical based assessment Ballet Continuous Assessment (TB2) 10
Practical based assessment Tap Continuous Assessment (TB2) 10
Practical based assessment Pilates & Commercial Continuous Assessment (TB2) 10
Practical based assessment Jazz Practical Assessment (TB3) 20
Practical based assessment Ballet Practical Assessment (TB3) 20
Practical based assessment Tap Practical Assessment (TB3) 20

Alternative Assessment

In the event of a student being unable to complete any of the above assessments, a re-sit opportunity will be arranged where they will be required to attend a viva voce to present a critical analysis of their work which has been previously documented as part of their process through the module. To be determined by the unit/module that is incomplete.  

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate practically their comprehension and progression in dance technique. Focusing on the skills needed for a career as a Musical Theatre performer. 

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

In Class Continual Assessment of Jazz Dance 
In Class Continual Assessment of Ballet Dance 
In Class Continual Assessment of Tap Dance 
In Class Continual Assessment of Commercial Dance 

All of the elements above are assessed in a continual assessment cycle. By attending and participating in weekly dance classes the student will receive verbal feedback and then students will receive written feedback on individual assessments. 

All classes are practical and cover techniques that are specific to the element (e.g., Tap or Ballet). The written element of the feedback is delivered in Teaching Block 2. Ensuring there is time for reflection and analysis before the Practical Assessment in Teaching Block 3. 
And practical class-based assessments of demonstrable technique and progress in the following… 

Jazz Practical Assessment
Ballet Practical Assessment 
Tap Practical Assessment 

As a culmination of the module students will participate in an in-class assessment of practical skills. These will be tailored to the specific skills of each class (e.g., Tap or Jazz) where practical dance can be presented to a panel of dance teachers. This will take place in Teaching Block 3 in class time.  
Formative assessment.
Formative assessment and continuous verbal feedback in the form of teaching interaction, corrections and notes are crucial to the module. Students are given detailed verbal feedback during classes. Students are also encouraged to reflect on these in their reflective journal which encourages a deep analysis of the learning sequentially. 

Summative Assessment & Feedback
Students receive written and individual rubric-based feedback on the summative aspects of the module. The first in response to their work throughout term one, generally verbally,  then with more formalized written feedback in term two. 

A class based practical assessment is scheduled for Teaching Block 3 and feedback is made available to students on Surrey Learn and is due no later than three working weeks after the assessment has taken place. 

Module aims

  • Build on existing dance and/or movement technique and knowledge and to extend and develop individual progress in dance and movement for Musical Theatre.
  • Enable students to take responsibility for the preparation need for and the demands made on their own bodies in the study and performance of Musical Theatre.
  • Enable students to have a comprehensive understanding of the anatomical mechanisms required for effective and healthy practice in dance technique in Musical Theatre.
  • Develop an advanced understanding of different dance styles and genres when studying, rehearsing, and performing in Musical Theatre.
  • Apply appropriate style and technique to develop an ease of performance appropriate to Musical Theatre practice.
  • Demonstrate a consistent and focused approach to personal progress, engagement, and responsibility in classwork.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Demonstrate a sophisticated range of technical ability and understanding of dance. KP RESILIENCE & RESOURCEFULNESS EMPLOYABILITY.
002 Demonstrate a clear progression in technique and across all dance elements of the module. KPT RESILIENCE & RESOURCEFULNESS EMPLOYABILITY.
003 Demonstrate a strong commitment to sustained professional level practice in dance. KP RESILIENCE & RESOURCEFULNESS EMPLOYABILITY. SUSTAINABILITY.
004 Demonstrate a sophisticated range of style and performance and understanding of dance in performance. KP RESILIENCE & RESOURCEFULNESS EMPLOYABILITY. SUSTAINABILITY.

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

Across the three teaching blocks of practical provision in Dance, the learning and teaching strategy is designed to ensure that all students can build on previous skills in dance (if any) and acquire new skills that are key to employability in the Creative Industries – specific to Dance and Musical Theatre. 

To ensure that we deliver the best experience for students the core dance elements of Jazz, Ballet and Tap are delivered in a stream system. This ensures that students can learn with others who have a similar experience level in dance and the pace of the class can be tailored to specific prior learning. For example, someone with extensive experience in Ballet may find themselves in a different stream of students to those who may be experiencing ballet for the first time. All of the content across all streams is focused on delivering the same skills and encouraging students to progress and increase their sense of artistry and technique. 

All classes take place as practical classes – generally of 1hr 45-minute duration and are delivered by a blend of GSA Dance Teachers and Associate Teachers who are working in the Creative Industries in Musical Theatre and/or Dance. 

It is important that dance is a regular activity, building up stamina and personal technique in a healthy and sustainable way. To that end the class are delivered across three teaching blocks as outlined below. 

Tap Class
Practical dance classes take place in Teaching Blocks 1, 2  and 3. 

Ballet Class
Practical dance classes take place in Teaching Blocks 1, 2 and 3

Jazz Class
Practical dance classes take place in Teaching Blocks 1, 2 and 3

Commercial Class
Practical dance classes take place in Teaching Block 2.

Pilates Class
Practical classes take place in Teaching Blocks 1, 2

This structure enables students to explore, and progress aided by continual verbal feedback from Dance Teachers and embed skills that will culminate in a practical assessment at the end of Teaching Block 3 in a class based assessment. 

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: MUTM028

Other information

Digital Capability 
Students are encouraged to use current media such as email, virtual meeting and communications software, for appropriate use in communication, recording and team working.  Students will utilize the University’s VLE (Surrey Learn), and a range of Digital media platforms for appropriate use in communication, administration, scheduling, and reporting.  Students will also engage in creating Digital Content to record and reflect on dance class tasks and utilize digital technologies to reflect and personally rehearse dance content. 
Employability is at the core of this dance module. Employability is embedded in teaching, learning and assessment. The skill base embedded in the module enables students to acquire the technical skills needed to gain employment as a Musical Theatre performer as dance forms a key skill for the contemporary Musical Theatre performer. 
Global & Cultural Capabilities 
Students are expected to commence the programme with an open mind and a willingness to learn, engage in discussion, and to broaden their understanding of the lived experiences of the varying characters and communities they will be portraying as a professional actors-in-training.  All modules benefit from an inclusivity ethos and students across their course of study benefit from the oversight of the Director of Equality and Diversity at GSA.  Every effort is made to make a range of performances accessible, and students are also encouraged to reach out to the Disability and Neuro-Diversity service within the University of Surrey if they are experiencing barriers to individual learning. Dance is highly personal and as with any class that involves practical work, feedback on and use of the body staff are trained to adhere to intimacy guidelines (as set out in the student handbook) and have a keen awareness of different global approaches and cultural approaches to dance and the history of dance. 

Resourcefulness & Resilience 
Classes, rehearsals, and performances adopt independent and collaborative learning, peer support, problem-solving, communication, independence, perseverance, stamina self-value and critical thinking, all of which promote resilience and resourcefulness.  The classes and the structure of the verbal and written feedback enable students to build a rounded holistic view of their individual process. Students are supported throughout, and beyond, their training by expert staff with practitioner backgrounds, most full-time staff are Mental Health First Aid trained and can give advice and guidance on where to seek further help – again, enabling students to take control of their learning and any barriers to learning. Dance staff should be made aware of any pre-existing conditions or injuries before the commencement of any class. GSA has a large cohort of first aid trained staff. 

Students are encouraged to contextualize their learning and reflect on their current and future social, cultural, ethical, political, economic, and environmental impact from a personal, professional and global perspective, and to recognize a sense of shared responsibility.   Students are encouraged to reflect on the values, perceptions, and actions of their own, of others and of characters they are portraying in rehearsal and performance, and the impact this has on audiences. Sustainability in dance is also a collective institutional and personal approach, students are advised regularly that any issues in terms of their own practice can be shared individually with their teachers and students are encouraged to ethically source dancewear and at the end of their use-cycle dispose of sustainably. 


Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Musical Theatre MFA(YEAR LONG) Year-long Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Musical Theatre MA(YEAR LONG) Year-long Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2025/6 academic year.