Participatory Arts and Media MA

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Course starts: 15 October 2018Apply now

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Create art that engages audiences directly. Gain work and contacts in the creative industries. Enhance your ability to gain funding for participatory projects. Develop both advanced theoretical knowledge and practices of working in participatory settings. Earn a highly relevant Masters qualification.

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This course is led by staff who are experienced in working within innovative and prestigious projects in participatory settings themselves, such as The Arts Council funded - The Cultural Spring. Academics also have links to a range of organisations who manage and organise such events.

You’ll engage with practical projects through large and small arts organisations and directly with communities, schools and other groups. The programme also aims to encourage an holistic approach to arts practice and provide a learning structure which will facilitate dialogue, collaborative working and peer support.


Why us?

  • You’ll be based at The David Puttnam Media Centre
  • 95.8% of our graduates are in employment or further study within six months of graduating, according to DLHE 2015/16 (based on UK postgraduate students)
  • The award-winning facilities available include a 200 seater cinema, radio and TV studios

Course structure

You’ll experience a range 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.

You’ll also be encouraged to develop your own theoretical and methodological perspectives to inform your 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.

Modules include:

Certificate stage

  • Participatory Arts in Practice (30 credits)
  • Introduction to Working in Participatory Settings (30 credits)

Diploma stage

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

  • Participatory Arts Live Project (30 credits)
  • Research and Praxis (30 credits)

Masters stage

At Masters stage, you can choose a practical dissertation/live project or a written dissertation (60 credits)


Some modules have prerequisites. Read more about what this means in our Help and Advice article.

The David Puttnam Media Centre,
Sir Tom Cowie Campus,
St Peter's Way,


  • Our facilities include:

    • Workshops for wood, metal and printmaking
    • Large studio spaces
    • Project spaces
    • Digital studios with video, sound editing and screening facilities
    • Several suites of Apple Macs
    • Large format digital printing
    • Arts and design library
    • Digital sewing and embroidery facilities
    • Cameras and darkrooms
    • Photography studios
    • Risograph printing
    • Glass and ceramic kilns
    • Hot glass workshop
    • Two cold working studios for glass (sandblasting, cutting, grinding and polishing)
    • Architectural glass studio
    • Students also have access to facilities within FabLab on campus, which includes laser cutters, routers, milling machines, vinyl cutters and 3D printers
    Art and Design facilities
  • The University Library subscribes to a comprehensive range of academic journals and databases so you can access reliable and up-to-date information.

    Our experienced Library team provide a high-quality service and are sensitive to the requirements and working methods of our students. A dedicated Academic Liaison Librarian supports students and staff in the arts, design and performing arts disciplines.

    Students are encouraged to develop their research skills, working with lecturers and library staff to cultivate their knowledge of contemporary and historical perspectives of art and design, as well as the wider contexts of their subject.

    The key resources for your course include:

    Discover: The Library’s multi-disciplinary search tool

    Art Full Text: A major resource for media and arts information

    JSTOR (short for ‘Journal Storage’): Giving access to important journals across the humanities, social sciences and sciences

    Lexis: A major resource on full-text newspaper articles and legal information

    Library Services - arts and design
  • We have four journalism suites, each with Apple Mac workstations with industry-standard software including NewsCutter, Burli and ENPS.

    Our mediaHUB, a bustling newsroom and home to a team of BBC Newcastle journalists, is responsible for our suite of websites and provides a variety of experiences. Made in Tyne & Wear are just downstairs, offering placements to students and jobs to several of our graduates. 

    Learn in our 203-seat cinema and 7.1 surround sound facility. Access two broadcast-quality production studios complete with green room and changing facilities and equipment such as Steadicam rigs, track and mini crane.

    Go on-air in one of five radio studios, including a larger radio drama studio and a transmission suite for Spark, our award winning student-run community radio station.

    Media facilities
  • The mediaHUB is a bustling multimedia newsroom on the top floor of our David Puttnam Media Centre where you will get a real taste of life as a working journalist.

    BBC Newcastle have a team of journalists based here, and they are joined by visiting journalists from organisations such as Trinity Mirror (Newcastle Chronicle, Journal) and Johnston Press (Sunderland Echo).

    The mediaHUB runs websites covering sport, news, entertainments and fashion, provides the content for news bulletins on our award-winning radio station Spark, and is responsible for writing and editing Spark magazine.

    The ground-breaking workspace is designed to be a professional environment and even has a cloud filled sky line, funky colour scheme and a shed for a meeting room. It includes plenty of workstations each with industry-standard software including NewsCutter, Burli and ENPS, and a Sky feed with two 40” plasma screens. The whole space is managed by an ex-Sky Journalist, who is on hand, with her team to point you in the right direction.

    The mediaHUB


Our David Puttnam Media Centre is thriving place to study and experience media. Rub shoulders with BBC Newcastle and Made in Tyne & Wear, who are both based in the building. Volunteer with award winning Spark Sunderland, write for one of our suite of websites or edit Spark Magazine in our mediaHUB. Get hands on in TV and Radio Studios, Journalism and Digital editing suites. Learn from experts in this centre of excellence for training. Its close proximity to National Glass Centre makes it an ideal place for Participatory Arts.

Entry requirements

We usually require applicants to hold a good honours degree (2:1 or above) in a related discipline. We will consider applicants with professional and vocational experience.

If English is not your first language, please see our English language requirements.


Fees and finance

The full-time fee for this course is tbc.

The part-time fee is £344 per 10 credits.

If you are not sure whether you qualify as a UK, EU or international student, find out more in our Help and Advice article.

Take a look at the Your Finances section to find out about the scholarships and bursaries that may be available to you.


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This information was correct at the time of publication.

A group of students working together


The programme gives you the opportunity to develop advanced skills and knowledge to support your career in participatory practice, providing a higher quality experience to the participants. You will develop transferable techniques and networks that will enable you to work in a range of community settings including: schools, youth work, prisons, care homes and other help settings.

Transferable skills

The skills gained through this course are highly transferable. You will develop skills in:

  • Communication and presentation
  • Confidence, for example, in articulating ideas
  • Leadership
  • Delivering workshops in different styles
  • Writing a successful project proposal
  • Project management
  • Planning quality experiences
  • Research and evaluation
  • Reflective thinking
  • Working with people

Networks and support

This course will open doors for you to work with organisations and projects such as: Creative People and Places, The Cultural Spring, social partners, national ArtWorks initiatives. Within the North East, three Arts Council funded Creative People and Places projects are employers of participatory artists such as Sage Gateshead and the National Glass Centre. 

Throughout the programme your will have access to the ArtWorks U Support Network, providing a professional network and enabling the sharing of practice in the field.

Meet our academics

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