Arts and Education Practices - MA *

Attendance:
Full Time, Part Time
Starting:
September 2018
Fees:
£6,900 per year for UK/EU Full Time 2018 entry (view all fees)

Our pioneering MA Arts and Education Practices course focuses on the exploration of educational models at the intersection of practice, teaching and pedagogic theory.

The only Arts Education MA in the UK based in a School of Art, we provide a unique platform for the art educator. This setting helps to facilitate an innovative community of experienced and aspiring art educators, welcoming those willing to critique current practices to ask not only how we should teach art, but also how art can teach us.

What's covered in the course?

Our students come from diverse phases and sectors in the field of art and design education and the expanded fields of gallery, community and self organised educational practices. Through the course individual perspectives and experiences meet with those of your peers providing you with the stimulation and challenges that different perceptions can bring. We seek to evolve a dialogue through direct experience and engagement with the arts and their value as taught subjects, both within the institution and outside of it.

Our taught modules strengthen your subject knowledge and connect you with contemporary creative and educational practice.

The course core modules are taught primarily on Tuesdays, with some lectures taking place in the evening or at weekends to allow for your work patterns. Taught sessions and tutorial contact are balanced with online content and assessment is spread throughout the year to ease workload.

MA Arts and Education students follow a core modular structure that explores the past, current and future practice of arts education. You can personalise your learning through your choice of an optional module and pursue your interests within the expanded field of arts education through research and practice.

The structure of the course enables you to focus your research within the context of your own creative field and workplace. Through this study you build independent research leading to your major project that can be focused through educational models, workshops, creative practice and encounters that inform and are responsive to art educational contexts.

The course offers opportunities to connect with and expand your knowledge of your creative field through collaboration, live projects and visits that explore educational situations and projects.

“The benefits of becoming part of a creative community outside the school challenged my thinking about my role as an artist and educator. I found the entire experience fulfilling personally and professionally. Becoming engaged in making my own art work again; thinking and contextualising my work as an artist has encouraged me to extend this into the classroom and challenge my students to do the same.” Claire Thomas (graduated 2010), has since become Head of Art, Belgrave High School, Tamworth

Why Choose Us?

  • This is a unique professional development opportunity at the intersection between art practice and educational theory.
  • The MA Arts and Education Practices has a significant international reputation with alumni in over 20 countries worldwide, with strong educational profiles and working in a range of institutions and organisations.
  • We work with each individual student to develop a route through the course to match their aspirations.
  • Our students practice as artists, gain promotion within the field of education, pursue research or take a sideways step into another arts education related context.
  • You will be supported by a highly professional staff team, doctoral researchers, technical demonstrators and artists in residence in a innovative, creative and supportive environment.
  • Birmingham School of Art is an internationally recognised centre of excellence for art-based learning and research. We have a unique art education archive relating to the Arts and Crafts Movement, and Marion Richardson, amongst others.
  • The course is based at Birmingham School of Art (Margaret Street), a fine example of Venetian Gothic architecture and an impressive purpose built Grade I listed art school.

Students outside Millennium Point

Open Days

Our next Open Day for this course will take place in Autumn 2018. Register your interest and we'll let you know details as soon as they are available.

Register your interest

This course is open to International students

School of Art facilities man

Discover Birmingham School of Art

Visit our School site for more student work and extra information.

Visit the School website

Where our students go

Our students have gone on to work with companies such as:

  • St Peters Catholic Primary School

And in jobs such as:

  • Teacher

Speak to an expert

If you’ve got any questions about the course, we’d love to hear from you. Please email the Course Director: Cathy Wade.

Email Course Director

Alternatively, you can register for our next postgraduate open day.

Subject to approval

This course is in the final stages of design and is due to be reviewed and approved to meet our quality standards.

Entry Requirements

UK students
Essential

Normally a first degree or its equivalent in an appropriate subject, and/or previous or concurrent experience in the arts and/or education.

We also welcome applications from those mature applicants who may not satisfy the normal entry requirements.

International Students

Entry requirements here

UK or EU students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
MA Sep 2018 FT 1 year £6,900 per year
PT 2 years £3,450 per year

International Students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
MA Sep 2018 FT 1 year £12,000 per year

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form and equal opportunities PDF form instead. The University reserves the right to increase fees in line with inflation based on the Retail Prices Index or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament up to a maximum of five per cent.

Portfolio Guidance

Applicants to the practice led pathway are required to submit a digital portfolio and an artist statement. This should largely focus on your own arts practice but may also include examples of your experience within art education contexts. We expect to see approximately 10 slides. Please ensure you include details such as the date the work was produced, the title (if appropriate), scale and medium used. 

Personal statement

UK / EU students are required to submit a personal statement as part of their application for this course.*

Your postgraduate personal statement is going to shine a light on your personal experience, academic success, personal skills and any other factors that will support your application for further study.

Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:

Your passion and motivations

Studying a postgraduate course usually means you want to specialise in something. So what’s driving you?

Why this course?

Show that you’ve researched the course offering. What is it about this particular course that appeals to you? Is it the lecturers? The modules? Etc.

What makes you a good postgraduate candidate?

Tutors want to know that you can handle postgraduate study, so show them how your undergraduate experiences or work life has equipped you for a more advanced level of study. Key areas to address are research and group work but this can vary depending on your chosen course.

Relevant academic or work experience

Add anything relevant that relates back to your chosen course and shows how your skills will contribute towards your learning. What extra-curricular activities have you taken part in? What awards have you won? What employment or voluntary experience do you have that has helped you develop transferable skills? How do these specifically relate to the course you are applying for?

You should also mention your future plans and how a postgraduate qualification fits in. Try to look beyond your postgraduate study – do you plan to jump straight into a specific career or follow your studies with a research degree? Lastly, use plain, professional English and, where possible, utilise the language of your chosen industry.

Get more information on writing personal statements

.

*Non-EU students are not required to submit a personal statement when applying for this course.

Additional costs

Our courses include activities such as performance, exhibitions, field trips and production of works or artefacts which may require you to purchase specific equipment, instruments, books, materials, hire of venues and accommodation, or other items. Many of these activities are essential and compulsory parts of your learning experience.

The link below gives you an estimate of the possible costs associated with key activities on your course. Please bear in mind that these are only estimates of costs based on past student experience and feedback. The actual costs could vary considerably (either greater or lower than these estimates) depending on your choices as you progress through the course.

All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.

View additional costs for this course

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our pdf application form instead.

On receipt of your application form, your application will be considered and you may be called for interview. After interview, if you are considered suitable for the course you will receive an offer of a place.

Financial Support

We offer further information on possible postgraduate financial support. This includes the type of loans, grants and scholarships available both from the government and from Birmingham City University.

Did you know that you will soon be able to apply for a postgraduate loan of up to £10,000 for some courses and options?

Postgraduate loans

Stage 1: PgCert

For both the experienced or aspiring artists and/or educators, the course ethos is one of facilitation, mentoring and collaboration. We seek to model a critical pedagogy where dialogue and mutual enquiry are emphasised.

The Arts and Education Practices course consists of two core modules (specialist and discipline specific); two common core modules and an option module which you choose to undertake one in Stage One. The first core modules - Narratives of Art and Design Education encourage students to develop related research ideas relevant to their particular interests and aspirations. The study on this course is interdisciplinary in nature and encompasses both theory-led and practice-led study.

Narratives in Arts and Design Education – core module
40 credits

This module seeks to uncover the hidden histories of art and design education from the fifteenth century through to the complex present of the twenty-first century. These entwined narratives are examined within ideological and cultural frameworks but also explore personal and institutional stories. You will be introduced to a range of appropriate research methods drawn from theoretical, educational and arts-based perspectives. 

Option module
20 credits

You will choose one option module. Please see the option modules tab to see the full list of modules available.

Stage 2: PgDip

The second stage of the course is framed through the second core module - Global Innovations in Art and Design Education. This stage of the course sees a shift to more independent inquiry through the common core module Research in Practice. This is supported through briefing sessions, group seminars and tutorials. Our seminar series complements Research in Practice providing a balance of topics dealing with contemporary art practice and theory. Where possible they are conducted by both School of Art staff and visiting lecturers: artists, critics, curators, writers and other related professionals.

Global innovations in Art Practice Education
40 credits

This module examines the complex present of arts education, applicable to contexts across formal education, gallery settings and participatory community arts. A key concern is the implied future of government policy, institutional codes and individual practice. The content is changed every year, often in response to the interests of the current cohort and is supplemented by visiting artists and teachers.

Research in Practice – common core module
20 credits

This module explores the relationship between theory and practice and enables you to develop your own study relevant to your pathway, professional context and aspirations.  The module facilitates you in networking with others in your interested field, interviewing key individuals, employing research methods and identifying the literature that will become your theoretical base in the final stage of the course. Some students also arrange placements and develop live projects for this module.

Stage 3: Masters

In the final stage of the course, for the Faculty wide Major Project, you will write either a dissertation of 10,000-12,000 words or you will develop work for exhibition at the end of year MA show supported by a smaller amount of text.

Major Project
60 credits

This module allows you to build on the knowledge gained so far and enables you to synthesise and resolve your artistic practice or dissertation. You will work together to organise a public exhibition, develop an equivalent presentation or submit a dissertation. You may also present both practical and written work.

Option module
20 credits

You will choose one option module. Please see the option modules tab to see the full list of modules available.

Option modules

The MA Programmes at Birmingham School of Art are structured around an integrated framework that allows you to build your own research programme. You will have an opportunity to engage with students from diverse learning and professional experiences. Optional modules are subject to availability.   

Contemporary Philosophy and Aesthetics
20 credits

This module examines why and how the fine arts can be explored when the foundations of modern and contemporary political philosophy and its relation to the social are at the forefront of scholarship. It sets the stage, epistemologically and methodologically, giving you a critical knowledge of the complexities underlying our contemporary world. 

Creative Publishing and Creative Dissemination
20 credits

This module explores publishing as a dynamic contemporary art-form, a vehicle for disseminating ideas and an exploration of radical formats for bringing your art to a wider public arena. Emphasis is placed on practical outcomes and the exploration of creative modes of dissemination whilst exploring contemporary debates surrounding artists' publishing.

Discourses in Art and Design
20 credits

This module examines key concepts in western art and design from mid-nineteenth century onwards. Through chronologically arranged presentations, topical issues are introduced from across art and design. Indicative topics include: the western canon; approaches and methodologies; design ethics; the changing role of the artist; primitivism and ethnography; postmodern fashion and gender.

Models and Methods of Curatorial Practice
20 credits

The module examines curatorial practice and exhibition making; the museum and gallery as context and framework; artist-run space; the rise of the artist/curator and alternative curatorial practices and contexts; curating for new media and technologies and craft and design. It considers issues of audience and project development for social inclusion. 

Photography as Research
20 credits

Employing theoretical and practical methods this module explores the spectrum of therapeutic photography when the image is a tool for enhanced self-awareness. A key question concerns the role of the technology of photography in framing our world. The module therefore examines the ethical and participatory concerns of therapeutic photographic practice.

Queer Strategies in Practice
20 credits

This module explores queer models of practice that examine the complex relationships between image and text, making and writing, modes of representation, performativity and queering. Indicative topics: historical representation and societal change, queer practices beyond representation, queer figures, affective reading, contemporary art, activist and interventionist strategies, film and collaborative practice.

Small Arts Business Set-up
20 credits

This module explores entrepreneurship and small business start-up within the arts and creative industries and how entrepreneurial ideas are formed. Indicative topics: arts and creative industries; cultural entrepreneurs; economic development role of entrepreneurship within the arts, creative industries and society; practicalities of business start-up and business operations within the sector. 

Social Practice in the Visual Arts
20 credits

This module examines art as social practice and models of art practice in social contexts: urban, rural and transnational contexts and places of labour, health, post-conflict and post-traumatic societies. It considers the history and development of social practice and the impact it has as a generative and transformative artistic activity. 

Technical Methods, Workshop Practice and Learning
20 credits

The module is workshop-led for example, print, plaster, lens based, digital media, 3D modelling and printing that enables you to engage in practical hands on experience.  You will demonstrate the breadth and depth of what you have learned by developing a portfolio of evidence recording your engagement with processes or skills.

Art and Transcultural Communication
20 credits

This module provides a grounding in arts and transcultural communication, using artistic practices and discursive frameworks to highlight and examine issues related to linguistic, curatorial and artistic communication. Communication, but also translation and interpretation intended from a linguistic, visual, cultural and curatorial perspective, are crucial when working internationally (and locally) with different communities. The purpose of the module is to prepare you to work effectively in a transcultural global environment.

Course structure

For both the experienced or aspiring artists an/or educators the course ethos is one of facilitation, mentoring and collaboration. We seek to model a critical pedagogy where dialogue and mutual enquiry are emphasised.

The Arts and Education Practices course consists of two core modules (specialist and discipline specific); two common core modules and an option module which you chose to undertake one in Stage One. The first core modules- Narratives of Art & Design Education encourage students to develop related research ideas relevant to their particular interests and aspirations. The study on this course is interdisciplinary in nature and encompasses both theory-led and practice-led study. 

The second stage of the course is framed through the second core module- Global Innovations in Art and Design Education and this stage of the course sees a shift to more independent inquiry through the common core module Research in Practice. This is supported through briefing sessions, group seminars and tutorials. Our seminar series complements Research in Practice providing a balance of topics dealing with contemporary art practice and theory. Where possible they are conducted by both School of Art staff and visiting lecturers: artists, critics, curators, writers and other related professionals.

In the final stage of the course, for the Faculty wide Major Project, you will write either a dissertation of 10,000-12,000 words or you will develop work for exhibition at the end of year MA show supported by a smaller amount of text.  


Hours in the classroom

Your workload and attendance commitment will depend on whether you are a full-time or part-time student and will vary through the year.

Outside of these contact hours, the School of Art workshops, technical support and library are available for you to work independently. Full-time students are expected to be working full-time on the course. Part-time students should expect to devote at least twelve hours a week to their studies, although this will vary throughout the year. The course is supplemented by group tutorials, visits to schools and museums, and reading seminars.

Overseas opportunities

As an Art Based Master’s student you can study abroad through the Erasmus + scheme. This enables you to work abroad in an institution or professional organisation or one of our many international academic institutional partners for example Rotterdam, Gent, Dublin and Rome.

You’ll be expected to research your proposed destination before making an application in consultation with your Course Director. The study period may be organised during or upon completion of your course and can last for up to 18 months. It offers a unique opportunity to network, make friends, enhance your CV and experience new cultures. 

Further Study

Many of our graduates have been highly successful as doctoral researchers receiving fully funded scholarships from Birmingham City University, the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the Gertrude Aston Bowater Bequest.

MA Arts and Education Practices graduates have also been supported in other universities, including Jonnet Middleton and Okhee Joeong who have both successfully completed PhDs.

Enhancing your employability skills

Studying an MA will help you to pursue or develop your career in a range of related professions across the educational sector and creative industries. This course will help to enhance your skillset and employability and either progress in your existing role or achieve your career ambitions in a new direction.

Many of our graduates have achieved regional, national and international recognition as professional artist educators and professionals in the creative industries sector.

Several modules on this course have been specifically designed to equip you with valuable transferable skills, for example Contemporary Curatorial Practice; Small Arts Business Set Up and Creative Publishing and Public Dissemination. These transferable skills include:

  • Thinking in a creative, imaginative and speculative manner
  • Demonstrating communication and presentation skills in practical, written and verbal forms
  • Demonstrating adaptability and flexibility in a range of contexts
  • Reflecting and communicating in an articulate, informed, confident and effective manner
  • Working independently while demonstrating initiative and self-reliance
  • Demonstrating motivation, organisation, planning and effective strategising skills
  • Showing a capacity for good time management
  • Actively linked with up-to-date local and regional opportunities.

We maintain excellent connections with major city centre institutions such as Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery (BMAG), Selfridges, Birmingham City Council, New Art West Midlands and Digbeth First Friday to name but a few.

The School works with Savills, Capsticks, Associated Architects and Deutsche Bank, which also sponsors an annual award of £10,000 to support artists’ career development.  

Placements

Placements are one of the possible ways of fulfilling your modules and many of our students have chosen this route. There is scope for placements with a number of organisations in the city and beyond, however it is your responsibility to plan and organise your placement with the organisation you wish to work with.

Placements are a great opportunity to gain insight into how an organisation works and your reflection on their activities can be useful to them as you develop your research. Placements also give you the chance to meet and network with people in the education sector and creative industries. Our tutors are available to guide you through this process. 


Student stories

Jen Scott profile picture

Jen Scott

A graduate of the MA Arts and Education Practices theory pathway. 

OpportUNIty

OpportUNIty Student Ambassador

OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.

It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.

OpportUNIty ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University.

This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. 

Graduate jobs

A significant number of our graduates have been highly successful professionals, including:

  • Jane Alred - appointed Head of Student Services for Stratford Upon Avon College.
  • Nicoleta Demetriou employed as lecturer at the Frederick Institute, Cyprus.
  • Amy Denton - Lecturer, Solihull College, Fine Art, Visual Studies, Contextual Studies and Photography.
  • Valentina Erakleous employed as an art education specialist at the Ministry of Education and Culture, Cyprus.
  • Sue Gibbons employed as Head of Art at Ribston Hall High School, Gloucester.
  • Darren Martindale - appointed as Corporate Parenting Team Manager and Virtual School Head for Looked after Children for Wolverhampton Local Authority.
  • Laura Onions - appointed as a Fine Art lecturer at Wolverhampton University.
  • Elena Thomas - invited to join the Department for Education Expert Advisory group for art and design education.

Trips and visits

Master’s students are encouraged to operate independently and visit regional and national cultural centres such as Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Ikon, Eastside Projects, the New Art Gallery Walsall, Nottingham Contemporary, Tate Modern, ICA, Tate Liverpool and projects and spaces in Birmingham and beyond.

Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.

The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.

Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:

Our international students

The Art Based Master’s Programme is an international community of aspiring researchers and professionals and the programme attracts candidates from all over the world including: Africa, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Cyprus, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Italy, India, Iran, Israel, Japan, Lithuania, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Nigeria, Norway, Poland, Romania, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Taiwan and the USA.

This diversity provides you with an opportunity to study with people from diverse social, cultural and ethnic backgrounds and who bring a wealth of experience to the programme. This gives the ABM programme a dynamic energy that enriches everyone’s educational experience.

Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC)

International students who have a serious interest in studying with us but who perhaps cannot meet the direct entry requirements, academic or English, or who have been out of education for some time, can enter Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC) and begin their degree studies.

BCUIC

BCUIC is part of the global Navitas Group, an internationally recognised education provider, and the partnership allows students to access the University’s facilities and services and move seamlessly through to achieving a Bachelor’s degree from Birmingham City University.

Learn more about BCUIC

Popular home countries

Our students come from around the world but our arts practice and education course is most popular with international students from:  

Norway Flag

Norway

Our Facilities

We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £260 million on new learning facilities.

Birmingham School of Art (an impressive purpose built Grade 1 listed example of Venetian Gothic architecture) was the first major renovation project undertaken by the university (£5.5m refurbishment). The School provides an incredible resource for the production of art and its associated fields of study. The building has a range of facilities available including studios, workshops, specialist art and design library, bookable spaces and lecture/seminar rooms.

Albion Press - Art
Etching Press - Art
Screen Printing 1 - Art
Stone Litho - Art
Woodwork 1 - Art
Metalwork 1 - Art
Ceramics 2 - Art
Comp Lab - Art
Photography Lab 1 - Art
Photography Lab 2 - Art
Editing suite 1 - Art
Editing suite 2 - Art
Studio Space 1 - Art
Studio Space 2 - Art
Studio Space 5 - Art
Studio Space 4 - Art
Library 2 - Art
Common Area - Art

Meet our staff

Our academic team is a highly professional and dedicated group of artists and art educationalists, historians, philosophers and theoreticians with extensive expertise within their specialist fields of research (see the CFAR website). As an MA Arts and Education Practices student you will encounter a diverse range of staff members depending on which choices you make and you will be able to request tutorial support from other academic and technical members of staff and the PhD student group.

The course director is Carol Wild, an arts educator/author (Who Owns the Classroom? Profit, Pedagogy, Belonging, Power, IJADE, vol. 32). Other staff include:

Dr Susan May

Senior Lecturer, History of Art and Design

Based at Birmingham School of Art, Dr May currently teaches on BA (Hons) Fine Art, MA Fine Art, MA Art and Design: Interdisciplinary Practices, MA Arts and Education Practices, MA Arts and Project Management, MA Contemporary Arts China, and supervise doctoral research. Susan leads History and Education in Art and Design (HEAD), a sub-group of the research cluster Art Activisms. 

Read Susan's full profile

Beth Derbyshire

Beth Derbyshire

Researcher, Centre for Fine Art Research

Beth Derbyshire is a multi-disciplinary visual artist working in innovative ways in the public realm, embracing subjects such as war, remembrance, nationality and environment.