Artist Teacher Scheme - 2017/18 Entry

Course Overview

The essential course information

Course Code:
1 year
Birmingham School of Art
Margaret Street / Birmingham School of Art / The New Art Gallery Walsall / Ikon

This course runs on the following dates:

Sorry, no dates are available for this course at this time.

The Artist Teacher Scheme (ATS) is a professional development programme for art teachers and educators. Our strap line is ‘professional development that makes space for you’ and the course is based around the premise that allowing art educators time away from the pressures of work to explore contemporary issues in art and design with like-minded people is a good thing. The long-term aim of the programme is to help you as an art teacher or educator reconnect with your practice and re-energise your teaching. This is facilitated by input from academic staff at the School of Art, education specialists at our partner galleries, The New Art Gallery Walsall and Ikon, and invited guests who may be artists, teachers or curators.

Throughout the year-long programme the ATS group support each other in the development of their ideas culminating in an exhibition of work in progress at The New Art Gallery Walsall at the end of July. The programme is for art teachers and educators at any stage in their career and you can take part as many times as is appropriate for you.

For more information about the programme please contact

Key Facts

  • The course help you as an art teacher or educator to reconnect with your practice and re-energise your teaching.
  • Creates environments where the conditions that lead to learning exist and provide a unique journey for participants.

Why Choose Us?

  • We offer a learning experience which has proved life-changing for many.
  • Each course is developed to reflect the interests of the group.
  • The opportunity to be inspired by like-minded individuals.

Course Details

The Artist Teacher Scheme has two stages. Stage 1 is our summer school at the end of July and Stage 2 is a series of Saturday sessions and workshops throughout the academic year, beginning in September and working towards an exhibition at The New Art Gallery Walsall at the end of the summer term.

The ATS has no set learning objectives, no ‘In this session we will be learning to.....’ Instead, it creates environments where the conditions that lead to learning exist; we never know exactly what that learning might be. Or to put it another way, we set off on the journey each year knowing that along the way we are going to meet some interesting people (teachers, artists, researchers, educators) and encounter some amazing art, but we don’t know in advance where the journey will lead to. For some people the ATS experience is life-changing. If you are excited by the prospect of taking some time out of your busy life as a teacher/educator to explore where the ATS journey might lead you, please contact us.

For more information and to book a place please contact

Stage 1 - Summer School

An intensive week-long summer school enabling students to establish a basis for continuing practice. While the content varies slightly every year the following outlines our typical programme:

  • Two-day ‘drawing in space’ workshop led by fine art staff from the School of Art
  • Exploration of different aspects of contemporary art practice and the relationship between art practice and education facilitated by art and education academics at Birmingham City University and visiting artists. Sessions take the form of discussion groups, practical activities and informal lectures.
  • Guided tours of participating galleries with learning curators and visiting artists.

Artists and educators who have contributed to recent summer schools have included Mona Casey, Janet Hodgson, Kelly Large, Francoise Dupre, Carol Wild, Kate Self and Zoe Renilson.

For more information please contact

Stage 2 - Saturday Sessions

The Saturday sessions provide ongoing support through eight workshops, lectures and seminars over one academic year. Every year is different and reflects the interests of those involved, and current exhibitions on show. However, the commitment to offering days that are relaxing, challenging, motivating, and fun stays the same. Each session includes time for you to discuss your work in progress with your peers and at key points in the year the group presents their work more formally to invited artists and teachers for feedback.

Over the year sessions provide opportunity for discussion of themes raised by the practice of contemporary artists and the gallery space, some sessions will also include practical workshops, and others will encourage you to explore the links between your experiences on the ATS and your practice in your educational setting. Our programme is finalised in July each year; the current year's programme is shown below.

Example Saturday Programme

September – Viewing of Art Based Masters MA shows at Margaret Street and lunch time discussion.

October – Session led by Harminder Judge, performance artist and artist in residence, at the New Art Gallery Walsall.

November – Session responding to paintings, posters and sound pieces on show. Work by Kitagawa Utamaro, Stephen Earl and Oliver Beer.

December – Day workshop with artist and teacher Kirsten Adkins who works with film in both her art practice and her classroom, a chance to experiment with and developing editing skills.

January – Exploring film and photography by Stuart Whipps, John Myers and Dean Kelland. An afternoon session with Emily Pringle, head of learning at Tate Modern, Anita Reardon from Birmingham City University and Kate Self from Ikon exploring different approaches to learning in art taken by artists, teachers and learning curators.

February – A day spent with artist teachers Sheri Horn, Elena Thomas and Sue Gibbons.

April – Practical workshop at Ikon responding to the work of Hamish Fulton and Annie Pootoogook.

May – ‘What’s the point of drawing?’ day at Margaret Street presentations and workshop given by artists who work with drawing as a medium, including Jeremy Wood.

June – Preparation for exhibition meeting at The New Art Gallery Walsall

July – Exhibition at The New Art Gallery Walsall.

For further information about the course and to book a place please contact:

Assessment Methods

An intensive week-long summer school is followed by Saturday sessions throughout the year. Sessions take the form of discussion groups, practical activities and informal lectures. Each session includes time for you to discuss your work in progress with your peers and at key points in the year the group presents their work more formally to invited artists and teachers for feedback.

Employment Opportunities

The professional and personal benefits inspire some individuals to repeat the ATS two or three times. The supportive relationships you build with peers on the scheme can continue beyond the end of the course and often participants get together to organise exhibitions of their continuing work.

The ATS forms an introduction to study on the MA Art Practice and Education, with 15 credits towards the award.

Acceptance onto the course is through presentation of a portfolio of your work. The two-year, part-time MA Arts Practice and Education is supported by lectures from invited professional artists and contemporary cultural theorists, by personal and group tutorials with Fine Art lecturers and by specialist seminar modules in the contemporary and historical concerns of art education. For further information about all art-based MA courses contact:

Application Details

Who Can Apply?

Educators, with a graduate qualification in art and design, who work in schools, museum and gallery education or other contexts where art and education are a central concern.

It is not essential for those applying for the course to have maintained their individual art practice.

To book a place please contact

Comments from previous participants

"Very enjoyable again. I want to go and make things. I’m feeling inspired."

"I have really loved the Saturdays – just time to look at art, find ways into work not familiar to me or initially easily accessible to me - also experimenting and meeting other people. ‘Me’ time."

"A very positive experience – I have really enjoyed it and the exhibition at the end feels like a perfect end to celebrate and wrap up the experience. Great!"

"The course has provided me with the opportunity to put time aside from my busy life schedule and focus on my own development."

"Education can be a narrow field – the course has expanded my horizons (and therefore my students)."

"I have shared a lot of my work with KS4 and 5 students. I can empathise with them so much more in terms of going through the process of developing ideas and all the trials and tribulations that go with that."

"It led to me applying and gaining a place on the MA Arts Practice and Education course."

"I have found a new lease of life with the Artist Teacher Scheme having reconnected with my own art practice. I have thrived on discussions with artists, engaging with exhibitions and sharing with peers. I am looking forward to exhibiting work which I feel, thanks to the input of the scheme, has taken a new and exciting direction. Overall, the course has been a fascinating experience for me, allowing me to build on knowledge and skills and develop further as an artist and an educator. More importantly it has fuelled my interest and inspired me to take it further."
Emma Lacken – Artist Teacher Scheme 2010/11


Prospective students from the UK
  • Take a look at our Frequently Asked Questions for answers to a range of questions about our courses and studying here.
  • If you need further help, you can contact the Course Enquiries Team online by using the Course Enquiry Form.
  • Alternatively, call us on +44 (0)121 331 5595.
Prospective students from outside the UK

Further Information

For informal enquiries about the programme please contact