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FACULTY OF ARTS AND CREATIVE INDUSTRIES

 

 

 

 

MA Participatory Arts and Media

 

 

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MA Participatory Arts and Media: Rationale

 

Programme aims and philosophy

This post-graduate degree programme gives each student a thorough experience of participatory practice with its curriculum influenced by the university’s ArtWorks-U[1] project. The programme combines practice, theory, debate and reflection supported by a wealth of material, toolkits and online resources.

 

The programme aims to develop in artists and creatives across all areas of the creative industries a wide range of skills which will support contextual understanding of the field in terms of history, methods and practices; further theoretical understandings and evaluative skills, all of which will aid the development of their own participatory practice through a specific art form or art forms.

 

The programme aims to encourage a more holistic approach to arts practice and provide a learning structure which will facilitate dialogue. This may occur through collaborative working and peer support. In addition, the mode of study will be designed to fit the working lives of artists and creatives by operating partly on line and partly through flexible evening and weekend delivery. This approach reflects the ‘Call to Action’ from Artworks Alliance, the legacy organisation for the national ArtWorks project:

 

“All parties providing training and development opportunities (employers and commissioners, as well as further education colleges and higher education institutions) should tailor provision to suit the way artists prefer to learn. The learning approaches we have developed through ArtWorks can be adopted more widely across the sector.”

 

 http://artworksalliance.org.uk/artworks-recommendations/

 

Our market

 

There is growing evidence that significant numbers of students aim for a career in either teaching or want to work in a range of contexts such as communities; schools; youth work; prisons, care homes and other health settings. So this programme could equally apply to graduates from a range of undergraduate programmes or as a  professional development programme for those artists and creatives undertaking work wholly or partly in one or more participatory settings and who view learning as a relational process. Those artists may be skilled in their art form but new to the field of participatory practice. Our research has also shown[2] that artists who ‘fell into’ this kind of work early in their careers, and who may have been working for a number of years in the field, now wish to progress their qualifications or update their knowledge and skill levels.

 

Examples of prospective students already working in the field are those working in the Creative People Places projects such as Cultural Spring; social partners; those connected with the national ArtWorks initiatives or international students already engaging in this work. It is known that many artists in this field lack a peer group or professional network and this will be provided through the programme and through staff connections. Within this region through the three Arts Council funded Creative People Places projects we believe that a practice based MA delivered through a blend of distance learning, block teaching and work based study will attract a sufficient cohort of students to resource the programme.

 

Through the aforementioned Paul Hamlyn Foundation funded ArtWorks project with its national network, we are aware that many artists are seeking further qualifications especially where the delivery can be flexible and offer accreditation of prior learning to those artists who are experienced in the field. A few of these in the region took the opportunity to study one of two 30 credit postgraduate short courses developed in 2013/2014 as part of a pilot project. As the Artworks project built up a strong network of organisations in England, Scotland and Wales, the pathfinders and legacy organisations that have emerged in the last year will be useful contact points for groups of students in different locations

 

Evidence of consultation

 

As well as the market knowledge gained from frequent meetings, conversations and liaison with many of the Artworks north-east regional partners[3] over the three years leading up to this submission, there have been regular discussions with our ArtWorks-U Artists’ Networking and Support group (see below) about the kind of training and advanced courses that are needed for artists/creatives in the region. This included a focus group which showed a serious interest in the new programme from three main groups: current second and third year students (Photography, PR, Fine Arts, Media Production, Graphic Design and Animation); Recent graduates –especially from BA Fine Art and Animation and BA Community Music- and local artists (many of them more mature students) whose main contact with the University has been through the ArtWorks-U group and arts projects such as The Cultural Spring, Holmeside Writers, and ‘What Next Sunderland?’. The Network also has contacts with groups of professionals in the region such as the Sunderland Cultural Partnership Artist Development Group who have members who have shown interest in the new programme

 

Comments about the proposed course raised by the focus group have informed this submission. They confirmed the need for flexibility of delivery and to be relevant to ‘working artists who may be able to evaluate the work you are doing as part of the course’; and ‘the freedom to do the course as and when you can’. Most wanted ‘valuable skills’ to prepare artists for working in this sector’, including business skills, marketing skills, social media, fundraising and project management. People were positive about having a choice between a practical ‘live project’ and a written dissertation.

 

The proposed programme will be the first ‘cross faculty’ MA programme in the Faculty of Arts, Design and Media. With this in mind, and seeing internal market research as also being important because lecturers recommend MA courses to their final year and graduate students, the programme leader designate had meetings with team leaders for Fine Arts, Media Studies/Journalism and Media Production and Performing Arts and Programme Leaders for most practice based undergraduate programmes[4]. This revealed that there was a great deal of support for the programme due to increasing numbers of students realising that they needed to support their developing practice with work in community and educational settings, coupled with some students being more focussed on this kind of work as an end in itself because they had already become enthusiastic about it when coming into contact with it through undergraduate modules (particularly the case in Dance, Drama, Media and Digital Production and Community Music).

 

Finally, research was done through Artworks partners in UK regions. In particular there was enthusiasm from the national co-ordinator of ArtWorks Alliance and Co-ordinator of ArtWorks Cymru[5] –this was in the context of their interest in supporting part of the Certificate stage of the MA – that is the development of the MOOC (Massive Online Open Course) platform as a model for CPD for artists. ArtWorks Cymru has now agreed to pilot this with artist learning groups of different kinds in Wales. Whilst this won’t lead to immediate recruitment it is thought that in the longer term it may lead to higher visibility of the course with potential students outside the region.

 

Our resource

 

The Faculty of Arts, Design and Media has a strong track record in the field of participatory arts in some undergraduate curriculum areas, for example performing arts (including the BA in Community Music and modules in Applied Theatre and Theatre for Social Change ), fine art, glass and ceramics, animation, community radio and film making. Within these areas there is both staff expertise and opportunities for students to do projects in a wide range of contexts. There is also a good number of staff who are experienced in working within these settings themselves and who have links to a range of organisations in the region that manage or organise these type of projects. Recent faculty projects such as Cultural Spring; ArtWorks and North East Photography Network and SparkFM community radio station, coupled with research undertaken by staff such as Trish Winter, Elaine Drainville, Adelle Hulsmeier, Alex Lockwood and Caroline Mitchell bring a distinctiveness and expertise to the Faculty in this area. Many undergraduate students already engage with practical projects through large and small arts organisations and directly with communities, schools and groups. These links can be developed for postgraduate students.

 

The Faculty has developed a useful resource in the form of artworks-u.org.uk which is a fully developed website containing a wealth of learning materials/videos/links. This provides the basis for the distance elements of the programme as well as being used in the undergraduate programmes. The ArtWorks project has also provided a wide range of articles, working papers and publications linked through networks in London, Scotland, Wales as well as through the professional bodies such as Sound Sense; Foundation for Community Dance and A-N. The latter have formed an alliance to continue the ArtWorks brand and courses can be marketed through those networks.

Over the past year the ArtWorks –U in Sunderland has developed a number of projects to develop and support local artists working in or seek to work in participatory arts and media, including students from across the faculty. These are:

 

ArtWorks-U Monthly Artists’ Networking and Support lunch. Established in May 2015 members of this network consist of artists and creatives from Sunderland and wider region; undergraduate and post grad students from across the faculty who meet at the National Glass Centre on the first Tuesday of each month. This has a regular attendance of around 25 people and there is membership database of nearly two hundred people.

 

Use of Social media to direct people to support, opportunities and resources via closed Facebook group called ArtWorks-U Networking and Support for Participatory Artists. Established in August 2015, this has 160 members and is updated and contributed to by its participants on a daily basis, see: https://www.facebook.com/groups/461045017389052/members/

All the above will help the programme cohort to develop a ‘community of practice’ amongst student members and help network the group successfully to the wider arts world.

 

Local, national and international opportunities for students on MA Participatory Arts and Media

The course will benefit from the extensive local partnerships and contacts that the Faculty and its staff have with arts, media and cultural organisations in Sunderland and the wider north-east. This includes major organisations such as the National Glass Centre, Baltic centre for Contemporary Arts, Sage Gateshead, Customs House South Shields and ISIS Arts, as well as Commissioning and infrastructure organisations based at the University: Cultural Spring, Sunderland 2021 Bid for City of Culture Culture and Bridge NE. At national level the University is an active member of ArtWorks Alliance whose membership includes third tier arts organisations such as Sound Sense (National Music Educators Association) Artists Network (based in Newcastle but national in scope), Community Media Association, People Dancing, ArtWorks Cymru and Creative Scotland.

Members of the course team have extensive experience of arts projects, participatory arts  research and training as part of international collaborative projects in Europe, Middle East, Africa, Canada and Australia The programme leader has attended and given a workshop at ArtWorks Alliance has participated in the ITACS international conference for ‘Teaching Artists’ in Edinburgh.

 

Glossary of Terms

 

A-N : Networking and knowledge, advice and opportunities for visual artists.

Artworks: The name of the Paul Hamlyn Foundation (PHF) funded project to carry out research, promote and support participatory arts practice in the UK 2011-5. The project had five pathfinder projects in England, Scotland and Wales, the north-east partner was the University of Sunderland. The legacy projects, also funded by the PHF, continued working on specific projects 2015-17. The University of Sunderland’s legacy project was ArtWorks –U to develop and test a MOOC about Participatory Arts.

ArtyParti is a weekly radio programme and podcast which has been produced since August 2015 and is an on air meeting place for artists in the region to record live discussions about projects and practices.

ArtWorks Alliance was founded in 2016 as the new UK umbrella for organisations with strategic or development interests in any branch of participatory arts, including community arts, socially-engaged arts, voluntary arts, and arts in education and learning. ArtWorks Alliance was created by the six national art form organisations that worked together through ArtWorks Navigator.

 ArtWorks Cymru is a two year programme based in Wales developing practice in participatory settings, and supporting the continuing professional development of artists at different stages of their career.

ArtWorks-U: The name of the ArtWorks legacy project in the north-east UK, based at the University of Sunderland. It hosts a Facebook page called ArtWorks-U- networking and support for participatory artists

Community Media Association membership body representing community radio and tv projects in the UK

Creative People and Places (CPP): the nationwide Arts Council England (ACE) funding of arts and cultural activities in areas that traditionally have low take up of arts activities

Cultural Spring: The CPP project in Sunderland and South Tyneside which has been funded 2013-2019

Creative Scotland: Scottish Arts Council

Creative: name for people working in creative industries e.g. musicians, graphic designers, video makers

Critical Conversations: series of planned conversations between artists, commissioners and audience as part of the ArtWorks project

Engage is an Arts Council funded network of 10 Bridge organisations to connect the cultural sector and the education sector so that children & young people can have access to great arts and cultural opportunities. Engage NE

ITACS International Teaching Artists Conference –help biannually in 2016 (Edinburgh) and 2018 New York

MOOC: Massive Online Open Course is an online course aimed at unlimited participation and open access via the web

People Dancing: The UK development organisation and membership body for community and participatory dance

Sound Sense: UK development organisation and membership body for community and participatory music


Programme Specification

 

 

  1. Name of programme Participatory Arts and Media

 

  1. Award title MA

 

 

  1. Programme linkage

 

Is this part of a group of linked programmes between which students can transfer at agreed points? (Eg a group of programmes with a common set of taught modules)

 

 

 

 

  1. Is the programme a top-up only?

 

 

 

  1. Level of award: Level 7

 

  1. Awarding body: University of Sunderland

 

  1. Which department is it in? Department of Media

 

  1. Programme Studies Board: Media Postgraduate Studies Board

 

  1. Programme Leader: Dr. Caroline Mitchell

 

  1. How and where can I study the programme?

 

At Sunderland:

 

Full-time on campus

x

Part-time on campus

x

As work-based learning full-time

 

As work-based learning part-time

 

As a full-time sandwich course

 

As a part-time sandwich course

 

By distance learning

part

 

 

 

 

 

  1. How long does the programme take?

 

 

Min number of years / months

Max number of years / months

Full-time

1

3

Part-time

2

5

Distance learning

 

 

Work-based learning

 

 

 

Start Date October 2017.

 

 

SECTION B – FURTHER CORE INFORMATION

 

See Outline Programme Proposal Form for ADC (AQH-B2-2), for questions 12 to 22

 

  1. Learning and teaching strategy

 

The programme’s pedagogical roots lie in action oriented, participatory learning principles and methods. Our active involvement in the regional and national participatory arts and media field has meant that we are aware of the importance of students being able to study in a flexible way in order to combine their own practice with study and support from experienced tutors and their peers. Hence the principles for the learning and teaching on this programme are based around dialogue and reflection, with students being placed within accessible study groups to ensure peer collaboration. Flexible delivery ensures that students can study partly in their own time, space and place and can either maintain or grow connections with relevant arts organisations or community groups to support their learning through observation, shadowing and practical projects. These connections will also be beneficial to the organisations themselves. Over the past five years the University has learnt from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation ArtWorks programme which has created excellent research, case studies and resources. Good practice in Higher Education is reflected in these learning and teaching principles which encourage independent thinking, team work, use of different types of resources such as on-line and community resources and routes to employment.

 

  1. Retention strategy. Describe any particular initiatives not described elsewhere (eg in student support section) to support student retention.

 

The mixture of on-line learning and on-campus learning means the student cohort will need to work together in both arenas so if students are not engaging with the programme, the teaching staff will be aware of this at an early stage and be able to respond to the student.

 

Pastoral support is provided by the Programme Leader (as the first point of call), Module Leaders and dissertation supervisors. The online module will also have a procedure where students receive online support at specific times or arrange a 1: 1 face to face tutorial where necessary. Students are given information in the Programme Handbook about the availability of staff and their office numbers, email addresses and other means of contact, including by a closed Facebook group which has proved effective in other MA cohorts. Staff members are available to give tutorial advice – on academic matters relating to the MA – to full-time students in advertised ‘office hours’, and also to part-time students by mutual arrangement in the hour preceding an evening class. Students may, at any time, request an alternative support tutor from within the MA or wider Media/Arts Team. The students elect a Student Representative each year to air their concerns and bring these to the attention of the Programme Leader.

 

  1. Any other informationplease add anything you think may be useful to the approval panel.

This programme will include on-line learning (through a MOOC) as well as more traditional forms of group work, and will support on-line group discussion as students develop their learning and share their experiences.

 

SECTION C - TEACHING AND LEARNING

  1. What is the programme about?

 

This programme aims to meet the needs of artists and creative across all areas of the creative industries at different career stages. It aims to develop both advanced knowledge about theories and practices of working in participatory settings (in different contexts) and a wide range of skills and contextual understanding of the field in terms of methods, practices, research and evaluative skills Together this will provide a learning structure which will facilitate dialogue and support; develop students’ own participatory practice through a specific art form or art forms and encourage a more holistic approach to participatory practice in arts/media.

 

  1. Programme Learning Outcomes

What will I know or be able to do at the end of the programme?

 

Certificate Stage

By the end of this part of the programme successful students should know, understand or demonstrate:

 

Knowledge and Understanding

  1. An in depth knowledge and critical understanding of the current practices and debates within a variety of contexts for this field of work across arts and media
  2. An advanced and systematic knowledge of the issues and needs of a range of specific projects, applying theoretical perspectives

Skills

  1. An advanced ability to employ the following transferable skills: observation, organisation and planning, reflection on practice and evaluation
  2. An advanced ability to articulate their own participatory practice and share practice through engagement in critical dialogue with others

 

Diploma stage

By the end of this part of the programme successful students should know, understand or be able to demonstrate: 

 

Knowledge and Understanding

  1. A high level of critical knowledge of the specific practices within one subject area relating to the field of participatory arts
  2. A high level of knowledge and understanding of a range of relevant research methods and strategies for evaluation which can be applied to specific projects taking into account quality issues and frameworks

 

Skills

  1. An ability to employ high level transferable skills in terms of observation, research, articulation, leadership and communication.
  2. An ability to present approaches and methods in an informed and cohesive manner

 

Masters stage

 

Knowledge and Understanding

By the end of this part of the programme successful students should know, understand or be able to demonstrate: 

 

  1. A higher level of critical knowledge of the current practices and debates and theoretical perspectives which relate to own specialist area within a broader knowledge of a variety of contexts
  2. A higher knowledge of the research methods and strategies which can be applied to projects for the measurement of social gain and impact
  3. A higher knowledge and critical awareness of the full range of qualities and skills needed to work in this field and how this relates to the evaluation of own practice

 

Skills

  1. An ability to apply a range of high level transferable skills in research and planning, observation and reflection; organisation and negotiation, evaluation; presentation and communication.
  2. A high level and systematic ability to plan, develop, execute and evaluate an independent practical or written project.
  3. A high level of ability to articulate and systematically reflect on own practice, through critically engaging in dialogue with other practitioners and academics and to forward plan own continuing professional development needs.

 

  1. What will the programme consist of?

 

The programme will consist of the following modules. Although there are currently no optional modules, there is choice within the project modules in relation to subject focus or project choice.

 

Certificate Stage

Students will undertake 2 modules at certificate stage, which will provide them with an introduction to a range of participatory arts and media practices. Through on-line learning and resources, students will explore areas of the literature on participatory practice and will also provide an in depth introduction to practical aspects of working in different participatory settings and contexts.

Introduction to Working in participatory settings (30 credits)

This first module on participatory/reflexive practice will be studied on-line through a series of units/tasks and this will be freely available outside of the programme to prospective students. It will take the form of a MOOC (Massive Online Open Course) but students on the MA will undertake an appropriate assessments.

  • Content related to learning about key concepts, approaches and histories about artists/practitioners in different art forms
  • Understanding different work settings: Education, Youth Work, Community, Health, Criminal Justice, Cross Contextual, Therapeutic Arts.
  • Mainly delivered through online, website and viewing of online discussions. Guided readings of key texts. Case studies of different arts and media groups and key support and funding organisations,

Participatory Arts in Practice (30 credits)

This will involve the study of project management and evaluation, the practical aspects of planning, setting up and pitching for projects with critical reflection on a range of project settings and contexts.

  • Project Management and Evaluation.
  • How to sell yourself and your project idea.
  • Funding models and Business Skills
  • Working in partnerships
  • Training and presentation skills;
  • Planning for sustainability

Diploma Stage

 

At the Diploma stage, students will explore research methods that are specifically relevant to participatory practice and will also undertake and evaluate a live project reflecting their area(s) of interest.

 

Research and Praxis (30 credits)

This module starts with outlining the methods and processes of traditional academic research relating to arts and cultural life. It then moves onto approaches and methods particularly relevant to how creative work in participatory settings can be researched.

  • Defining Praxis: theoretically informed and active practice.
  • How is arts practice researched? Critical approaches to researching creative practice: Ethnographic research, participatory action research, feminist research,
  • Ethics, compliance, protection.
  • Impact studies of arts and culture, cultural value.
  • Benchmarking in the arts and cultural sector.
  • How to do collaborative evaluation and research

Participatory Arts Live Project (30 credits)

This involves the identification, research, development and evaluation of a live project. This module will involve critical engagement with a suitable arts organisation (in north-east or regional centre) where the final project will be implemented. There will also be a shadowing/mentoring element relating to said organisation.

 

Masters stage

At Master’s stage, students can select either

 

Practical Dissertation/Live Project or a written Dissertation (each one 60 credits)

In the Practical Dissertation/Live Project students will work with an Arts or Media organisation or in a specialist area of practice. In the Dissertation students will complete an extended piece of academic writing, on a relevant topic of each student's choice relating to an area of participatory arts and media.

 

Part -time route through the programme

 

Usually the following modules will be taken each year in the 2 year part-time mode. If taken over more years, students will space out modules according to the terms as outlined below:

 

Year 1

Term 1 PARM 01 and PARM 03

Term 2 PARM 05

 

Year 2

Term 1 PARM 02

Term 2/3 PARM 04 or PARM 06

 

 

  1. How will I be taught?

 

Scheduled teaching activities

x

Independent study

x

Placement

 

 

There will be a mix of teaching methods including online learning, peer learning, student led seminars, workshops, small group work, individual and collaborative project work, supervised independent learning and tutorials. Any lectures will be recorded for online use.

 

There are two specific methods that we have developed after our research with potential students from the participatory arts community and based on work developed by the ArtWorks project. These are structured online materials via a specially designed MOOC (Massive Online Open Course) platform, (funded through Paul Hamlyn Foundation and developed and tested by the start of the course in 2017), and each term students will attend an intensive workshop over a 4 day period to enable deep exploration of topics and collaborative work between students.

 

This diversity of teaching, learning and assessment methods is designed to enable students to develop as autonomous learners and researchers, encouraging the high degree of self-direction and responsibility that is the hallmark of work at Masters Level. Students are encouraged to develop their own theoretical and methodological perspectives to inform their future educational, professional and personal practices. The programme provides a learning and teaching framework within which the growth of subject-specific knowledge, analytic abilities, teamwork, time and organisational management, production, presentation and practice oriented competencies can be developed and assessed.

The Programme uses a diverse range of teaching and learning strategies that assist in the development of technical and professional skills of students. The main learning and teaching methods employed are a combination of:

      Lectures/on line learning to present and explain factual information and give a grounding in the key theories and approach to practice. 

      Seminars to allow guided group discussion as a means of clarifying and elaborating on aspects of course work and thinking.

      Independent learning or private study encourages students to become resourceful and self-reliant using their own initiative. With experience they also learn when it’s better to seek appropriate guidance. This is a core skill that employers are keen to see in any graduate. 

In the early stages of the Programme, the modules are delivered in part on line, and partly provided through staff led sessions and seminars. In each of the first two stages, there will be a mix of face to face and on-line learning with some project work in the field. By the final stage, the self-negotiated project/dissertation leads to a greater student-led emphasis within their learning with staff guidance and supervision. Each module offers a variety of individual tutorials, seminars, hand-outs, demonstrations, peer reviews, and feedback.

An aspect of the programme is the amount of available and structured learning through reflection on video case studies which were produced specifically for this field. An example (to be used at the Certificate stage) is the video material edited through a series of “Critical Conversations” between recognised participatory artists and an audience of less experienced practitioners.

 

A list of the modules in the programme can be found in the Programme Regulations. Appendix 1

 

A summary of the types of teaching, learning and assessment in each module of the programme can be found in Appendix 2 Matrix of modes of teaching, learning and assessment. Each module has been mapped against the knowledge and skills outcomes for the specific stage.

 

 

 

 

 

  1. How will I be assessed and given feedback?

 

Written examinations

 

Coursework

x

Practical assessments

x

 

A summary of the types of teaching, learning and assessment in each module of the programme can be found in the matrix above

 

The generic assessment criteria which we use can be found in Appendix 2

 

This programme uses the Generic University Assessment Criteria

YES

NO

This programme uses the Subject Specific Assessment Criteria

YES

NO

 

Students will encounter a range of written and practical assessments including project proposals, reflective journals, essays and evaluative reports. Across the three stages, students will increase their knowledge about participatory practices and test out their ideas and skills through the live projects. Assessment takes place at the end of each programme stage (Postgraduate Certificate; Postgraduate Diploma and Masters Degree). There are no formal examinations

 

At Certificate stage, students will evidence their learning through on-line tasks, written and visual case studies, through an interactive presentation or workshop and an essay. To give an example, for PARM 001 students will produce a critical, original case study of an organisation or project in the field of participatory art and media

 

At Diploma stage, students will evidence their learning through giving a presentation, a collaborative project, a practical project, reflective narrative report and an evaluation. An example here is students will be assessed on their ability to plan, execute and apply knowledge about group -work techniques. This is assessed through doing PARM 002’s assignment to plan and deliver an interactive presentation or workshop.

 

At Masters’ stage, students will evidence their learning in either a practical project or dissertation. This is the culmination of students’ work on the programme and it will demonstrate their systematic ability to plan, develop, execute and evaluate an independent practical project and articulate and systematically reflect on their own practice. In PARM 006 they will work through a three part assignment to evidence each stage of their practical project through the research stage, the outcomes of the project and through writing a critical evaluation. In the PARM 04 Dissertation the assessment is in two parts - a proposal which will be presented and discussed with tutors and peers and the written dissertation.

 

The Learning Outcomes for each module are linked to the Learning Outcomes for each stage of the award, and it is these modular learning outcomes that are assessed, in a manner appropriate to the work produced. The grading system is in line with the University’s regulations for postgraduate programmes. The grading scheme is as follows:

 

  •                                          0-39%              Fail
  •                                          40-100%              Pass
  •                                          60-69%              Merit
  •                                          70-100%              Distinction

 

In general terms, assessment of written work will be based on a judgement about the ability of students to: identify key themes and issues; construct arguments that are coherent yet complex; cover relevant material and draw on appropriate sources; present arguments in a sophisticated academic style. The assessment of practical work will be based on judgement about the ability of students to develop their practice with a high level of competency, demonstrating creativity, originality and a sensitivity to working with the partner organisations and participants.

 

Feedback Sheets will be produced for each assessment with useful information demonstrating how and where a student can improve their performance.

 

Assessments will be moderated and examined at all stages in line with University and Faculty procedures at all three stages, in order to ensure consistency across the subject areas.

 

  1. How does research influence the programme? 

 

The Faculty of Arts, Design and Media has a strong track record in the field of participatory arts in some undergraduate curriculum areas, for example performing arts, fine art, glass and ceramics, animation, community radio, community music, film making, participatory action, cultural mapping and ethnographic research within media  and cultural studies. Within these areas there is both staff expertise and opportunities for students to do projects in a wide range of contexts such as large and small arts organisations and directly with communities, schools and groups. These links will be developed for postgraduate students.

 

There is a number of staff who are experienced in working within these settings themselves and who have links to a range of organisations in the region who manage or organise these type of projects. CV’s for those staff have been provided. Recent faculty projects such as Cultural Spring; ArtWorks and North East Photography Network coupled with research undertaken by staff such as Trish Winter, Elaine Drainville, Adelle Hulsmeier and Caroline Mitchell bring a distinctiveness and expertise to the Faculty in this area.

 

In terms of applied practice Marcia Ley works as an Artist in residence 1 day a week for, ‘Room for You Arts in Health’, an organization that works with people living with life limiting, long term, illnesses in hospitals and community settings. She is a trustee for Helix Arts, Room for you Arts in Health and The Friendly development charity. As director of HEART (Healing Education Animation Research Therapy)North East. Elaine Drainville currently collaborates with Melanie Hani, (founder of HEART), on projects supported by Barnardo’s and the NHS. Their research examines the effectiveness of animation and filmmaking processes, as a therapeutic, remedial and educational device for service users from statutory (health, education, social care) and voluntary sector organisations.

 

The Faculty has developed a useful resource which students can use for research in the form of artworks-u.org.uk which is a fully developed website containing a wealth of learning materials/videos/links. This will provide a basis for the distance elements of the programme as well as being used in other parts of the programme.

 

The ArtWorks project in which University of Sunderland was one of the pathfinder leads has provided a  wide range of current research material in the form of articles, working papers and publications linked through networks in London, Scotland, Wales as well as through the professional bodies such as Sound Sense; Foundation for Community Dance and A-N. Those bodies have formed an Alliance to continue the ArtWorks brand and artists and further resources can be reached through that network.

 

 

SECTION D EMPLOYABILITY

 

  1. How will the programme prepare me for employment?

 

The programme gives you the opportunity to develop advanced skills and knowledge which you can use in the future. Some postgraduate programmes are associated with a particular career path but most skills can be applied to a range of employment situations. The skills which this programme is designed to develop are listed below.

 

Communication and presentation

Confidence in for example, articulating ideas

Leadership

Delivering workshops in different styles

Writing an successful project proposal

Project management

Planning quality experiences

Research and evaluation

Reflective thinking

Working with people

 

There is growing evidence that significant numbers of students aim for a career in either teaching or a range of contexts such as communities; schools; youth work; prisons, care homes and other health settings and therefore this programme could equally apply to graduates from a range of undergraduate programmes or as a  professional development programme for those artists and creatives undertaking work wholly or partly in one or more participatory settings and who view learning as a relational process. Those artists may be skilled in their art form but new to the field of participatory practice or they may have been working for a number of years in the field and wish to progress their qualifications or skill level.

 

Examples of prospective students already working in the field are those working in the Creative People Places projects such as Cultural Spring; social partners; those connected with the national ArtWorks initiatives, international students already engaging in this work and artists associated with large and small arts venues. It is known that many artists in this field lack a peer group or professional network and this will be provided through the programme and through staff connections and the ArtWorks U Support Network.

 

Within this region, three Arts Council funded Creative People Places projects are employers of participatory artists as are organisations such as Sage Gateshead. They believe that a practice based MA delivered through a blend of distance learning, block teaching and work based study will be attractive to artists across all stages of their careers who can then gain employment in these kinds of projects and organisations. The aim will be that those artists then provide a higher quality experience to the participants.

 

Through the aforementioned Paul Hamlyn funded ArtWorks project with its national network, we are aware that many artists are seeking further qualifications especially where the delivery can be flexible and offer accreditation of prior learning to those artists who are experienced in the field. A few of these in the region took the opportunity to study one of two 30 credit postgraduate short courses developed in 2013/2014 as part of a pilot project. As the Artworks project built up a strong network of organisations in England, Scotland and Wales, the pathfinders and legacy organisations that have emerged in the last year could be useful contact points for groups of students in different locations.

 

Opportunities external to the programme

 

ArtyParti is a weekly radio programme and podcast which has been produced since August 2015 and is an on air meeting place for artists in the region to record live discussions about projects and practices. See http://artworks-u.org.uk/?p=2150 for podcasts. In the eight months that it has been on air it has had interviews with over a hundred and fifty students and professional artists, performers, writers and academics working in participatory settings from Sunderland, Newcastle and beyond. Many arts organisations and performers have had their first radio appearances on the programme. The programme has occasional ‘specials’; to focus on a particular topic, for instance poet Kate Fox conducted a spoken word workshop the University-the result of which were then performed and discussed on the programme. Media production and drama students discussed a series of videos they had produced in partnership with ‘Changing Lives’ project and Northumbria Police which raised important issues about sexual exploitation and abuse.

 

Involvement with ‘ArtyParti’ or Spark FM is not compulsory but it is likely that MA programme members will want to take up this opportunity to engage with the programme, its guests and activities on a regular basis.

 

University and Faculty Employability Resources

 

Sunderland Futures is the University Careers Service. It offers the following opportunities to Current students and graduates who have completed their studies within the last 3 years. http://sls.sunderland.ac.uk/ces/ It offers:

  • Careers advice to help you decide what to do next
  • Student and graduate jobs advertised on-line
  • Paid projects and volunteering opportunities
  • Career skills workshops
  • CV and application coaching
  • Interview coaching
  • Free online practice aptitude tests
  • Career information resources

In addition the Faculty has a service aimed at its students that has specialist knowledge, resources and contacts in the Creative Industries, including the field of Participatory Arts and Media. The Programme Leader has worked closely with the three members of this team (Talent Manager, Employability Officer and Careers advisor) to develop their links with arts organisations, including the Cultural Spring and Cultural Partnerships team. As an example of the commitment of this team to the participatory arts field, the Rob Hunt the Careers Advisor has a specialist session about this work for his annual Careers Advisors north-east Convention in June 2016 and has also featured entries about student undergraduate work in the area in the Creative Futures Careers Blog for Arts, Design and Media students and recent graduates of the University of Sunderland. The blog http://wp.sunderland.ac.uk/creativefutures/about/

Includes:

  • Hints and tips about getting into creative jobs
  • Interviews with graduates
  • Useful careers resources
  1. Professional statutory or regulatory body (PSRB) accreditation. Choose one of the following.

 

PSRB accreditation is not relevant to this programme 

x

PSRB accreditation is currently being sought for this programme

 

This programme currently has PSRB accreditation

 

SECTION E PROGRAMME STRUCTURE AND REGULATIONS

 

Use Programme Regulations Form, for questions 36 and 37 Appendix 1

 

 

SECTION F ADMISSIONS, LEARNING ENVIRONMENT AND SUPPORT

 

  1. What are the admissions requirements?

 

The University’s standard admissions requirements can be found in the university regulations.

 

Programme-specific requirements which are in addition to those regulations are given below.

 

Applicants are normally required to have a good honours degree in an appropriate field or discipline (2.1 or above), and those with a 2.2 are considered on a case-by-case basis. They should show an enthusiasm for their practice and an interest in the field of participatory arts and media and ideally some experience of work (voluntary or paid) in the field. As part of the University’s widening participation policy, applicants with no formal academic qualifications will be considered if they have an appropriate professional background or experience. All such applicants are required to demonstrate, through interview, or letter of intent and an essay that they have the ability, motivation and commitment to cope with the demands of postgraduate studies.

Where the candidate’s first language is not English, evidence of Level 7 attainment in the International English Language Testing Scheme and/or a pass in the University’s own English Language Proficiency Test is required.

 

Can students enter with advanced standing?

Yes

No

 

The University has a process by which applicants whose experience to date already covers one or more modules of the programme they are applying for may seek Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL).

 

  1. What kind of support and help will there be?

The Programme Handbook provides important information about the programme, the modules, the working of the Academic Area and the School and contact information for academic, technical and administrative staff.

 

The first programme teaching workshop will include an induction to university and faculty facilities, a library visit and tutor allocation. All students will be allocated an academic tutor from the department. The role of the academic tutor is to provide advice and support to the student in respect of academic matters and to help when personal problems affect  academic work (e.g. where the student may need an extension to a deadline or to submit mitigating circumstances to an assessment board). They should be able to direct students to the most appropriate form of specialist help (eg the Health and Well-being team and careers and employability support). Personal tutorials (on line or face to face) will be organised once each term and on request where necessary. Attendance at module workshops and engagement with online learning materials  will be monitored in line with University policy AQH-F13 Attendance Monitoring Policy

Module guides provide students with a module descriptor including a statement of learning outcomes; a week-by-week schedule; assessment topics and assessment criteria; hand-in dates; and reading lists.

The programme team recognise that students come from diverse academic, professional and cultural backgrounds and their levels of knowledge, linguistic expertise, experience and attainment may vary. The Programme Leader and Programme Team endeavour to ensure that students in need of additional support are identified and that appropriate assistance is made available. Accordingly, where appropriate, students are referred to

  •              the University’s Learning Development Services;
  •              the University’s Disability Support Unit;
  •              English for Academic Purposes classes;
  •              Information Services who can arrange specialised study skills sessions in the Library.

The University provides a range of services that support the students including careers advice, housing and financial advice, opportunities for further study, disability support etc. Information about all these services is provided at registration.

Students with personal or financial problems are encouraged to seek help from an appropriate advisor or counsellor within the Student Services department.

The University’s Disability Support Unit provides support and equipment for learning difficulties beyond the scope of the programme team. Support is readily available for students who have specific learning difficulties (dyslexia for example). The Disability Support Team provides information and support on a range of issues, including access, learning support, assistive technology and the Disabled Students Allowance. Recent additions to the Team include a Mental Health Advisor and Dyslexia Tutors. Additionally each of the University’s five schools has a member of staff responsible for supporting disabled students and those with SpLDs. Students are requested to identify any known special needs on the University application form so that the appropriate support can be put in place.

The University provides a range of professional support services including health and well-being, counselling, disability support, and a Chaplaincy. Click on the links for further information.

 

  1. What resources will I have access to?

 

On campus

x

In a partner college

 

By distance learning

x

 

On campus

Tick all that apply

General Teaching and Learning Space

x

IT

x

Library

x

VLE

x

Laboratory

 

Studio

x

Performance space

x

Other specialist

x

Technical resources 

x

 

Most teaching takes place within the David Puttnam Media Centre on St Peter’s Campus where all rooms are equipped with state-of-the-art teaching equipment. Technical staff are on hand when required. There will be negotiated access to specialist facilities where it is needed, including to Performing Arts, The Northern Centre for Photography and The National Glass Centre. The Media Centre’s Radio Studios and Editing Suites are sited together in a single section of the building to resemble a radio station environment. Students also have access to the The Media Hub – a multi-media production and journalism zone Studios, facilities and recording equipment are bookable.

 

Performing Arts teaching facilities include a theatre, a dance studio, a drama studio, rehearsal rooms, music rooms and sound editing suites. The subject areas technical equipment includes, recording facilities, light and sound mixing desks, data projectors, televisions and DVD-video. Students have access to all facilities and equipment, following a health and safety induction, and are able to book facilities and equipment during evenings and at times when they are not in use for teaching.

The University has two libraries, Murray (24 Hours) and St Peters (24 Hours), all of which are equipped with IT facilities including computers (Mac and PC) with internet and word processing facilities, and scanning and photocopying equipment. The main performing arts learning resources are held at Murray Library and include a large stock of performing arts books and a developing stock of video and CD-ROM. An interlibrary loan service is also available. Media and Cultural Studies and stock relating to community and youth work and community education is based at St Peter’s.

All new students receive an introduction to the library and further skills sessions are offered, either as timetabled groups or on an individual ‘time of need’ basis by appointment.

 

Access to the main libraries is offered 24/7 during term-time, where electronic access to research databases networked computing facilities and study spaces are available. Students with internet connections at home can also access these facilities off-campus via Athens access. The library also provides a well-used and free interlibrary loans service.

 

Students with a disability or specific learning disability who are registered with the University’s Disability team may use specialist assistive technology provided at each library and may be eligible for a range of special services aimed to help them use the libraries more effectively.

 

VLE:  Students have full access to the University’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) and this contains all Programme and Module information including copies of PowerPoint presentations/Handouts on sessions.

 

 

Information about the University’s academic support facilities can be found here http://services.sunderland.ac.uk/academic-services/qae/furtherinformationaboutstudyingatsunderland/

 

  1. Are there any additional costs on top of the fees?

 

No, but all students buy some study materials such as books and provide their own basic study materials.

 

Yes (optional) All students buy some study materials such as books and provide their own basic study materials. In addition there are some are additional costs for optional activities associated with the programme (see below)

x

Yes (essential) All students buy some study materials such as books and provide their own basic study materials. In addition there are some are essential additional costs associated with the programme (see below)

 

 

Due to the nature of participatory arts and media field and the emerging, some would say thriving, arts scene in Sunderland and the wider north-east, it is highly likely that students will want to go to range of events, performances and seminars during their Master’s programme. They will be encourage go to events that are of specialist interest to their practice but these will not be compulsory. When group visits are planned (once or twice a year) or students win awards, low cost events will be prioritised and subsidised travel sought from Faculty, Creative Futures Fund and other sources.

 

  1. How are student views represented?

All taught programmes in the University have student representatives for each programme who meet in a Student-Staff Liaison Committee (SSLC) where they can raise students’ views and concerns. The Students’ Union and the faculties together provide training for student representatives. SSLCs and focus groups are also used to obtain student feedback on plans for developing existing programmes and designing new ones. Feedback on your programme is obtained every year through module questionnaires and informs the annual review of your programme. Student representatives are also invited to attend Programme and Module Studies Boards which manage the delivery and development of programmes and modules.  Various Faculty committees, particularly Faculty Student Success Committee, Academic Development Committee and Quality Management Sub-Committee also have student representation. This allows students to be involved in higher-level plans for teaching and learning. There is a parallel structure at university level on which students are represented by sabbatical officers who are the elected leaders of the Students’ Union.

 

The University’s student representation and feedback policy can be found here.

 

Every two years we participate in the national Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES) which is run by the Higher Education Academy.

 

For distance learning operated from Sunderland: if you are studying by distance learning you will have slightly different arrangements from those used on campus. In particular you are likely to have virtual rather than physical meetings and discussions. However these arrangements should provide comparable opportunities for you to give feedback.

 

 

SECTION G QUALITY MANAGEMENT 

 

  1. National subject benchmarks

 

 

Are there any benchmark statements for this programme?

YES

XNO

 

There are no current specific benchmark statements for participatory arts and media at Masters or undergraduate level although under graduate benchmark statements for Dance, Drama, Performing Arts and Media Studies do include narratives about participation, inclusive practices and community based work. The most recent ArtWorks bulletin contains this recommendation:

 

Everyone should respond to the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education’s regular consultations on relevant subject benchmark statements to ensure the inclusion of participatory arts. This will encourage the inclusion of participatory arts within higher education course design” http://artworksalliance.org.uk/artworks-recommendations/

 

The QAA also publishes a Framework for Higher Education Qualifications (FHEQ) which defines the generic skills and abilities expected of students who have achieved awards at a given level and with which our programmes align. The FHEQ can be found here.

 

  1. How are the quality and standards of the programme assured?

 

The programme is managed and quality assured through the University’s standard processes. Programmes are overseen by Module and Programme Studies Boards which include student representatives. Each year each module leader provides a brief report on the delivery of the module, identifying strengths and areas for development, and the programme team reviews the programme as a whole.  The purpose of this is to ensure that the programme is coherent and up-to-date, with suitable progression through the programme, and a good fit (alignment) ‘between what is taught and how students learn and are assessed - the learning outcomes, content and types of teaching, learning and assessment. Student achievement, including progress through the programme and the way in which the final award is made, is kept under review. The programme review report is sent to the Faculty Quality Management Sub-Committee which in turn reports issues to the University’s Quality Management Sub-Committee (QMSC) and Academic Development Committee (ADC).

 

External examiners are appointed to oversee and advise on the assessment of the programme. They ensure that the standards of the programme are comparable with those of similar programmes elsewhere in the UK and are also involved in the assessment process to make sure that it is fair. They are invited to comment on proposed developments to the programme. Their reports are sent to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) as well as to the Faculty so that issues of concern can be addressed.

 

All programmes are reviewed by the University on a six-yearly cycle to identify good practice and areas for enhancement. Programmes are revalidated through this review process. These reviews include at least one academic specialist in the subject area concerned from another UK university. The University is subject to external review by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education on a six-year cycle. Their review reports for Sunderland can be found at here.

 

Further information about our quality processes can be found at http://www.qaa.ac.uk/reviews-and-reports

 


appendix 1

 

PART B   -  Programme  Regulation/s

 

Name of programme: Participatory Arts and Media

Title of final award: MA

Interim awards[6]: Certificate in Participatory Arts and Media; Diploma in Participatory Arts and Media. 

Accreditation: None

 

University Regulation (please state the relevant University Regulation): 4.2.1

 

Regulations apply to students commencing their studies from (please state the date / intake that these regulations will apply to students for each Stage):

 

Regulations apply to students

Date the regulations apply

Intakes affected

Stage 1

 

 

Stage 2

 

 

Stage 3

 

 

Stage 4

January 2017

January 2017

 

 

Stage 1

 

Core modules:

 

Code

Title

Credits

PARM01

Participatory Arts in Practice

30

PARM03

Introduction to Working in Participatory Settings

30

PARM02

Participatory Arts Live Project

30

PARM05

Research and Praxis

30

 

Optional Modules

 

Choose one of the following;

 

Code

Title

Credits

PARM04

Dissertation

60

PARM06

Practical Dissertation/Live Project

60

 

Progression Regulations

 

There are no programme-specific progression regulations[7]

APPENDIX 2 Teaching, Learning and Assessment Grid

Module

Code

Core / optional

Modes of T&L

Modes of Assessment

L

O

S

1

L

O

K

1

L

O

S

2

LO K2

LO S3

LOK3

LOS4

LO K4

LOS5

LOK5

LOS6

LOK6/7

Participatory Arts in Practice

PARM01

Core

Online materials

Workshops tutorials

Coursework; presentation and essay

x

x

x

x

x

 

x

 

 

 

 

 

Introduction to Working in Participatory settings

PARM03

Core

On line learning Workshop

tutorials

Learning diary and case study

x

x

x

x

x

x

 

 

 

 

 

 

Participatory Arts Live project

PARM02

Core

Workshops, seminars, tutorials, journal

Presentation

Project plan

Practical project

Evaluation

 

 

 

 

x

x

x

x

x

 

 

 

Research and Praxis

PARM05

Core

Lectures, seminars, workshops, tutorials

Presentation

Collaborative project

Reflective report

 

 

 

 

x

x

x

x

x

x

 

 

Dissertation

PARM04

Option

Workshop

Tutorials

Dissertation proposal

Dissertation

 

 

 

 

 

 

x

x

x

x

x

x

Practical dissertation/Live Project

PARM06

Option

Tutorials

Group seminars

Project proposal

Presentation of Project

Report

 

 

 

 

 

 

x

x

x

x

x

x

 

 

Part Time route through the programme

 

Usually the following modules will be taken each year in the part- time route:

 

Year 1

Term 1 PARM 01 and PARM 03

Term 2 PARM 05

 

Year 2

Term 1 PARM 02

Term 2/3 PARM 04 or PARM 06

 

 


[1] For glossary of specialist terms in this document please go to page

[2] Mitchell, C., Spencer, S. and Lockwood, A. (2012) Academics' perceptions of arts work in participatory settings. ArtWorks North East/University of Sunderland for Paul Hamlyn Foundation.

 

[3] Including Baltic Arts Gallery, Sage Gateshead Education and Participation Programme, Helix Arts, New Writing North, National Glass Centre, Tyneside Cinema and Equal Arts

[4] This took place between September 2015 and March 2016

[5] Rhian Hutchins (ArtWorks Cymru)and Melaneia Warwick (ArtWorks Alliance) meeting July 2015

[6] Same as main award unless agreed otherwise at validation – eg to meet PSRB requirements

[7] This will be the norm – university regulations apply