MAS in Dance Science

Institute of Sport Science

Dance Science addresses training, lifestyle and performance of professional dancers as well as the effects of dance activities on different population groups (e.g., children, the elderly). With its origin in sport science, dance science establishes a strong link between theory and practice. Hence, the MAS Dance Science programme offers academically solid dance studies dedicated to a broad range of topics from dance science and dance research.

MAS Dance Science
Degree Master of Advanced Studies in Dance Science DS University of Bern (MAS DS Unibe)
Start 2025/07/14
Length 17.07.2023 - 20.09.2026 and 14.07.2025 - 24.09.2028
Scope 60 ECTS
Flexible entry possible No
Single module visitable No
Place Bern
Language English
Admission see tab "Admission"
Cost CHF 15'000
Special Offer In exceptional cases it is possible to pay the fees for the CAS programmes by instalment (at maximum 3 instalments).
Organising institutions Institute of Sport Science


The MAS in Dance Science programme (60 ECTS) comprises three certificates from the University of Bern that can also be completed separately. Two certificates will be given at the University of Bern (Switzerland), and one hosted by in Munich (Germany).

  1. CAS in Dance Science: Health & Performance (16 ECTS)
  2. CAS in Dance Science: Motor Learning & Training (16 ECTS)
  3. CAS in Dance Science: Psychology & Education (16 ECTS)

For the MAS diploma (60 ECTS) participants require these three certificates, an additional module in research methods and an extensive master thesis.

The programme comprises 70 course days (ca. 500 contact hours) and 60 ECTS-points (ca. 1800 working hours in total).

Teaching language is English.

Programme objectives

The MAS Dance Science will address everyday questions of dance professionals from a sport science perspective. On the one hand, this involves questions regarding the optimisation of dance training and performance as well as injury prevention of professional dancers. On the other hand, it involves the study of physiological and psychological effects of dance on people from a wide range of demographic groups.

Specifically, holders of the degree MAS Dance Science will be qualified to:

  • develop effective interventions aimed at performance enhancement and/or health optimisation of dance professionals;
  • integrate into dance training and rehearsal scientifically established physiological and psychological training principles;
  • develop dance programmes with positive psychological, physiological and general health effects for a broad range of demographic groups (e.g., children, elderly);
  • interpret and apply a broad range of research paradigms, methods and statistical techniques in the field of dance science;
  • independently design research projects that systematically address complex practical problems (related to health, training or performance) that arise in a broad range of dance contexts;
  • critically assess current research developments in the fields of sport and dance and infer their possible applications in dance practice.
  • independently plan and execute research projects, interpret their results and infer the practical implications of these results for the design of dance training and therapy programmes.

Target audience

The MAS programme in Dance Science addresses the following target audience from the field of movement, sports, and dance:

  • Dance professionals (dancers, teachers, choreographers)
  • Artistic directors of schools, dance companies and theatres
  • Human Movement Scientists/Sport Scientists
  • Physical education teachers
  • Physiotherapists, Mensendiek-therapists, Osteopaths, Alexander-, Feldenkrais-, Spiraldynamik-, Pilates- or Gyrotonic instructors
  • Experts in the area of medicine, psychology, pedagogy and education, nutrition, biology and biomechanics

Field of application

Graduates of the MAS/CAS in Dance Science are able to apply their knowledge in several ways:

  • They are able to improve the training and health of students, professional and amateur dancers through evidenced-based programmes that are both age and population specific.
  • They are able to collaborate in scientific research in the field of dance or sport science.
  • They are able to teach Dance Science principles in vocational dance programmes (e.g., dance or dance pedagogy).
  • They are able to advise directors of dance companies and schools/institutions on well-balanced and healthy training principles, as well as pedagogically responsible training for children, young adults and the elderly.
  • They are able to advise the leaders of senior care facilities on the implementation of dance training for the elderly that can improve their quality of life.
  • They are able to continue working professionally as better-informed dancers, dance teachers or therapists.


In addition to the dates of the 3 CAS programmes (see document 'Course dates starting 2023 or 2025'):

  • Weekend 1:2/3 March 2024 resp. 8/9 March 2026
  • Weekend 2: 7/8 September 2024 resp. 19/20 September 2026

In addition to the three certificates in Dance Science (i.e., Health & Performance, Motor Learning & Training, and Psychology & Education) MAS candidates complete the following modules:

Research Methods/Master colloquium

2 x 2 days (2 ECTS points)

In this module candidates learn to master statistical methods often implemented in the field of Dance Science. In addition to theoretical input in the form of lectures, candidates receive practical exercises that prepare them for the research methods exam as well as their master thesis. In the course of the module, candidates will generate their own research ideas, which will be discussed and elaborated. These ideas will then form the basis of students’ Master thesis, the detailed guidelines of which will be presented in the module as well. At the end of each month candidates will provide monthly reports on work progress, problems and new insights encountered during the completion of the master thesis.

Block 1 Applying statistics to the field of Dance Science

2 days (1 ECTS point)

  • Application of parametric and non-parametric statistics
  • Practical exercises related to concepts surrounding the master thesis
  • Tutorials about project-specific methodological questions

Block 2 Master colloquium

2 days (1 ECTS point)

  • Presentation of the Master thesis proposal
  • Elaboration of a time line
  • Development and presentation of a research proposal
  • Monthly report about work progress, problems and new insights
  • Final Presentation

Master Thesis

10 ECTS points

The candidates write a master thesis in an area of dance science. The topic is either self-chosen or proposed by the thesis supervisor. This supervisor is an expert in the chosen/proposed subject area. The thesis must comply with the scientific method as well as general scientific standards.


In addition to the assessments in the three CAS programmes, the assessment of the Master of Advanced Studies in Dance Science comprises the following elements:

  • Attendance at block weekends (minimal 90% in total)
  • A written exam on research methods
  • A Master thesis
  • An oral presentation of the master thesis

Based on the assessments of the three CAS programmes, the research methods module and the master thesis, the programme management will reach a decision on granting candidates the Master of Advances Studies in Dance Science.

Organising Institution

Institute of Sport Science

Members of the programme management MAS/CAS Dance Science


  • Dr. Imogen Aujla
  • Derrick Brown
  • Oliver Dähler
  • Prof. Dr. Daniel Erlacher
  • Dr. med. Elisabeth Exner-Grave
  • Clare Guss-West
  • Dr. Jennie Hancox
  • Dr. med. Karl Hartmann
  • Prof. Dr. Hans-Heinrich Hoppeler
  • Dr. Luke Hopper
  • Prof. Dr. Ernst-Joachim Hossner
  • Dr. Patrick Kaltenrieder
  • Nico Kolokythas
  • Dr. Ralf Kredel
  • Dr. Rolf van de Langenberg
  • Julia Monning
  • Dr. Sanna Nordin-Bates
  • Edel Quin
  • Dr. Emma Redding
  • Dr. Grit Reimann
  • Dr. Andrea Schärli
  • Prof. Dr. Mirko Schmidt
  • Susanne Schneider
  • Edwin Visser
  • Prof. Dr. Mirko Wegner
  • Prof. Dr. Nicole Wenderoth
  • Prof. Dr. Paul Wylleman
  • Prof. Dr. Matthew Wyon

Candidates must have a degree from a University, ‚Fachhochschule‘, vocational education or equivalent as well as having proof of appropriate experience in the field of dance or another movement related field. This requirement may be waived if the candidate displays exceptional experience in the dance field

Study fees for the MAS in Dance Science are composed of the fees from all three CAS programmes, and a fee for the module "Research Methods" and supervision of the master thesis.




Module ‚Research Methods‘ and supervision of the master thesis: CHF 1'500


Fees have to be paid at the beginning of each programme, i.e. for the CAS DSHP by the latest by the end of July 2023/25, for the CAS DSMLT by the latest by the end of January 2024/26, for the CAS DSPE by the latest by the end of January 2023/25 and for the master thesis term by the latest by the end of January 2024/26.

In exceptional cases it is possible to pay the fees for the CAS programmes by instalment (at maximum 3 instalments).


Application for the MAS in Dance Science (2023-2026) by the latest by 30 May 2023. (Application for the MAS includes all three CAS programmes).

Application for each CAS programme separately is possible.

Expierence report

MAS Dance Science from the Perspective of a Student

Survival Kit for Future Students

When I started my 3 years trip down the Dance Science road, I had a lot of anxiety. What am I getting into? Will I be able to follow? How will this MAS change my career? Will it change my career? I can tell you now, there is no need to know all of that! Your background will be good enough to allow you to fill the gaps. Your journey will last a good while and your mind will be enlarged by triggering ideas. So, here is what I actually think you should pack before starting this adventure:

  • Curiosity: pack as much as you own, it will help you dig deeper and take your experience further
  • Receptivity: it is light weighted and easy to bring along, make sure you use it to draw the line between theory and practice
  • Interest: essential for survival, it’s the perfect tool to get you out of sticky situations.

The journey will start with the Intensive Week. Do not be scared! For some of you it could be a rough beginning, but everybody will survive it, and it will tame and test you and your beliefs. Most of the people you will meet, will become your trip companions: they will experience the same ups and downs, excitement and deceptions, and you will share many A-­HA moments together! Eventually you will get out of there changed and ready for what will come next. After this first intense overview on the broadness of Dance Science, you will continue your journey with the module Health and Performance. You’ll have a taste of what lies behind the mysterious world of scientific research. You will wake up your critical mind and you will never be able to believe mind-­blowing articles again, no matter what renown university published them! You will also deal with this hybrid instrument called the Dancing Body. You’ll learn how to feed it, train it, rest it, empower it and preserve it. You’ll hopefully learn to understand it and to love it!

Next, you’ll enter the magic world of Motor Control and Learning. Like probably many of you, to me these words were closer to mechanical engineering than dance. As I later learned, it is an essential part of the curricula. Not only will you be very busy with understanding the theory of how movement works in our body, but you will also discover how theory can be applied to everyday practice. Moreover, you will be able to see, question and develop innovation in the world of dance practice. You will get to meet some Dance Science Gurus, those who changed the perception of dance training, and enhanced dancers’ quality of life. You will also get the opportunity to play around in a laboratory, get covered with avant-­garde gears like 3D goggles and light sensors, and discover what happens to the body when it moves.

The last and probably for me the most exciting part of your journey, will be Dance Psychology & Education. You will be talking about Motivation, Self-­esteem, Perfectionism, Imagery. All themes that really talk to the artistic side of your mind. But this part will also broaden your definition of dance. It will enlarge your point of view, it will make you see what and how you can put your knowledge at the service of others. It will make you smooth some edges and teach you how to adapt, adjust, vary and transform.

Once you made it this far, you might think of walking the last mile and write your Master Thesis. This very last bit of the trip might be time consuming, nerve wracking, probably bumpy and possibly strenuous. But don’t let this hold you back! It will also be the part where you take the wheel. You will draw your own challenge and re-­test your whole experience. You will have the chance to get into action, to try to be a real scientist for a while and to create something you would have never even thought of before. You will open your background box and try to connect the dots between all that you have heard, learned, lived in the past years. If this isn’t enough, it will also open the doors of possibly new life directions, whose existence you were not even aware of!

I am grateful of the day I decided to start this journey. Not only it improved me, my practice and my selfy awareness and the one of the people around me. It also filled my mind with ideas, triggers, colours, people, understanding and maturity. For those involved in the dance world, it is not only an extra point on the curriculum, it is also a life experience, an experience of growth and progression.

From a student of the first MAS round