|Duration||1 year full time|
- Learn how to encourage creativity via the arts and understand the variety of roles for the arts in education, how they can benefit other areas of the curriculum and how they can promote inclusion
- Gain a thorough grounding in education research, theory and practice
- Experience creative arts in action through visits to arts education settings such as schools and galleries and interactions with cultural organisations that collaborate with us
- Specialise in visual art, music, dance or drama, or take an interdisciplinary approach
- Network and learn new skills through workshops with performing arts companies, and craft-focused workshops
6th in the UK for world-leading and internationally excellent research in Education and influencer of national education policy
Research Excellence Framework 2014 based on the percentage of research categorised as 4* and 3*.
Top 150 in the world for Education
QS World University Rankings 2020.
Home to one of the largest Education libraries in the UK
Specialise in visual art, music, dance or drama – or take an interdisciplinary approach
For admission to the programme we would normally expect that you hold a 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent) in a relevant subject area such as social sciences, humanities or education. While we normally only accept applicants who meet this criteria, if you have a high 2:2 or equivalent, are coming from a different academic background which is equivalent to degree level, or have relevant work experience, we would welcome your application.
Applicants are expected to have some previous experience of the creative arts in education (visual arts, dance, drama, music or other). This might include simply having attended arts classes yourself or having volunteered to assist in arts education settings, or you may be experienced in some form of arts-based teaching or facilitation. We are looking for students who are actively interested in creative arts education; we aim to start with your own experience and to develop this through the course.
We welcome applications from students who hold qualifications and degrees that are not in education. These may include degrees and qualifications undertaken in the social sciences, natural sciences, humanities, arts or business studies. Please note that this list is not exhaustive and every application will be considered on a case-by-case basis. We would encourage applicants to use their personal statement to indicate their interests in creative arts education and any relevant work experience.
Some modules require Disclosure and Barring Service checks.
You must take 180 credits in total to qualify with an MA qualification. This will either consist of taught modules to the value of 120 credits and a dissertation worth 60 credits, or a combination of modules, dissertation and accredited prior learning or experience.
You are strongly encouraged to consider taking the Education Placement module (EFPM909) as your optional module, thereby giving you insight into arts education practice and gaining skills which can be helpful in finding employment following the course. Please note that this module has a limited number of places and these will be assigned on a first-come-first-served basis during module selection – early application for this programme is therefore advised for students interested in taking this module. Please see Work Placement for more information.
The modules we outline here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand.
UK fees per year:
£7,800 full-time; £3,900 part-time
International fees per year:
The University of Exeter is offering scholarships to the value of over £4 million for students starting with us in September 2021. Details of scholarships, including our Global Excellence scholarships for international fee paying students, can be found on our dedicated funding page.
Teaching and research
Teaching and learning
Learning methods vary across our wide range of modules and may include:
- Peer-led activity
- Online resources
- Studio and classroom work
- Field trips and school visits
Our Education Studies module provides a grounding in education research, theory and practice. Every other week students participate in activity sessions such as:
- A discussion and practical activity with a range of psychology practitioners
- Designing your own materials which might help to address racial inequalities in school
- Working with an expert in young people's relationships education
- Short series of pedagogy-focused sessions for students who want to work with young people in educational settings in the future
All modules are assessed through course work and there are no final examinations. Assessments are varied and include:
- Online projects
Facilities and support
You'll be assigned a personal tutor and have access to module tutors via face-to-face and/or email or Skype tutorials. You'll also have access to a range of support including lecture notes, presentations, film clips and reading materials through our online learning environment.
Campus-based modules are taught at the Graduate School of Education (GSE) at the St Luke's Campus in Exeter, which offers an excellent range of specialist facilities and the UK's largest Education library.
You will join a vibrant postgraduate community at the Graduate School of Education, studying with some of the leading scholars in their disciplines.
You will benefit from our active research culture, which promotes the sharing of ideas and knowledge to encourage innovation. Our research centres provide a focus for research and discussion for academic staff, researchers and practitioners, and organise seminar series, visiting speakers, conferences and other events.
The department runs a programme of cultural activities which help us build a strong student community in the GSE, such as:
- Our Masters students being hosted and mentored by our PhD students during induction week
- Social activities (this year we went on a trip to Killerton, a historic site owned by the National Trust)
- Community celebrations – each year a student group will host a celebration event for others in the department
- Film viewing and discussion events
- Theatre trips, with the possibility to meet the producer/actors
- A monthly craftivism group
- A dance performance and workshop
- A music performance and workshop
Our collaborators and visiting speakers
In additon to benefiting from the expertise and experience of our acacemics, on this course you will also engage with high profile local arts education providers.
We bring visiting speakers and organisations into our modules, as well as providing opportunities for students to go out into the local arts education community to experience practice in context via field visits and through dissertation study opportunities. In relation to this, we strongly encourage students to consider taking the optional Education Professional Placement module, which can be arranged with a local arts education provider.
Daisi’s vision is for artistic and cultural experience to be at the heart of young people's lives and learning. Daisi’s mission is to work in partnership with artists from a broad range of artistic disciplines, and educators to enable arts and culture to enrich and inspire the lives, learning and futures of children and young people in our South West of England region.
Within this remit Daisi has a close affiliation with the MA Creative Arts in Education.
Daisi believes that engagement and learning in and through the arts transforms lives, and that young people contribute to the cultural lives, futures and heritage of all of us. They aim to celebrate their achievements and to contribute intelligently to the arts education sector's evidence base of the positive impact of arts education activity on outcomes for young people. Daisi is committed to designing, supporting and sharing innovative, diverse and relevant approaches to learning in and through the arts through partnerships like the one with the MA Creative Arts in Education course and collaborations across sector boundaries.
Associate Professor Oded Ben-Horin (Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, Norway) held a “Science Opera” workshop for University of Exeter’s Creative Arts students as part of the European Commission’s CREATIONS project. During the workshop, students were introduced to pedagogical features of the CREATIONS project, which seeks to raise interest in science and scientific careers through a specific approach to creativity in science education: the inter-disciplinary meeting of science and art in the classroom. Two cases were demonstrated: Write a Science Opera (WASO) and Global Science Opera (GSO). In the former, students experienced exercises which may be used to realize science/art activities with a class of pupils. In the latter, the students were introduced to how global opera productions are realized in collaboration with international scientific institutions.
The full gallery of photos from Associate Professor Ben-Horin's workshop can be viewed here.
Dominic Jinks is the Plymouth Culture Director which gives him responsibility for driving the role of culture in the city of Plymouth. His post involves him in creating new events, attracting funding and major investment to the city and leading plans for arts and cultural activities of local, national and international significance. He has more than 15 years experience in the arts with a background in theatre and was previously Head of Arts and Culture at the University of Exeter. Prior to this he was a co-founder of Britain’s Shakespeare touring group and also worked for Arts Council England. With his previous connections to the University, Dominic has been a welcome contributor to the recently conceived our module: Issues of Policy and Practice in Arts Education. Within the module, Dominic has challenged the students to consider how to go about leadership and advocacy within arts and cultural education as well as requiring them to critically appraise some of the accompanying tensions.
The Carousel Project brings new and exciting creative learning experiences to early years children and their families. Local professional artists (including dancers, animators and visual artists), specialising in interdisciplinary early years arts, work collaboratively to engage young children and their families through highest quality creative arts sessions, based around the exploration of stories. Carousel projects aim to encourage working creatively together, so that young children and their families can set their imaginations free, unlocking a brand new world of open-ended discovery in which to thrive and achieve their full potential.
The Carousel team has a strong connection to the MA Creative Arts in Education both because some of its artists are alumni of the course’s modules and because Carousel artists have gone on to teach on the course. The Carousel Project has made a particularly strong contribution to Creative Arts at the University of Exeter, including teaching about Community, Partnership and Pedagogy, considering early years interdisciplinary arts as a future model for the arts in other educational settings. The Carousel Project has also hosted students on their field visits.
Ursula Crickmay is the Live Music Now Director for the South West of England. She has been involved in devising, developing and managing creative projects in outreach and learning environments for the past 17 years. Her main focus has been in developing the Music Learning programme for Wigmore Hall in the role of Director of Learning. There she programmed work with early years settings, schools, families, young people, hospitals, older people with dementia and in musician development, as well as curating study programmes and family events at the Hall. On a consultancy basis Ursula has contributed to organisations including the Royal Academy of Music as external examiner for their Music in the Community course, Wiltshire Music Centre, Mid Wales Chamber Orchestra, as mentor for South West Music School, and for the Dartington Hall Trust as project manager.
Drawing on this experience, Ursula was a ‘provocateur’ at the Creative Arts /Daisi seminar ‘Sustaining Arts Education Together’. She took the opportunity to challenge local artists and University of Exeter students to consider sustainability in music education and how to navigate the dilemmas around continuing strong music eductation practice.
Plymouth School of Creative Arts (PSCA) is a 4-16 mainstream, city centre, all-through free school sponsored by Plymouth College of Art. It opened its primary phase in September 2013 and its secondary phase in September 2014.
The PSCA vision grows out of an established art college ethos in response to the serious erosion of the arts and creativity in schools. The School is a place for making things – making ideas, making technology, making art – for discovering how knowledge, values and language, identity or experience is made. It is a place of performance in both senses: performance as doing; performance as achievement. PSCA is a place of creative learning in all subjects. Their goal is to secure academic excellence and learners’ ambitions through structure with a purpose – Creating Individuals, Making Futures.
The MA Creative Arts in Education staff have had connections with PSCA since it opened. Most recently this has involved MA students visiting PSCA to see creativity and the arts at the heart of a school curriculum. PSCA has also hosted MA students on their field visits. In many ways, PSCA could be described as a ‘learning village’, which requires systems and processes that are different from typical mainstream schools and are distinctive to that school. This village ethos extends into collaborations with the local educational community including the University and the MA Creative Arts in Education.
The MA Creative Arts in Education staff are also involved in research relevant to the course. One such project is the EU-Horizon 2020-funded CREATIONs project which aims to engage young people in science education through creativity and the arts. Creative Arts students assisted at the CREATIONs Masterclass where the secrets of light and colour in butterflies and photography were revealed to school children in Years 7 and 8. The day involved seminars and hands on activities including looking at photography via a Camera Obscura. The event, held at the University’s Streatham campus, was led by Professor Pete Vukusic and Sam White.
Professor Vukusic’s research explores how light is manipulated in the natural world, and Sam is a specialist in photography who works in schools with his Camera Obscura. The event was a collaboration between the University of Exeter's Graduate School of Education and College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences and run with the help of PhD Physics students and the Creative Arts students. This Masterclass was also run in association with the Science and Technology Facilities Council’s Physics Masterclass Programme.
What I enjoy the most about my course is that I not only feel empowered to integrate the arts and creativity into my teaching but I also feel capable to support other teachers with how to do it. Visits to creative schools, galleries and school placement have given me interesting ideas on making the arts a part of my curriculum.
Student (MA Creative Arts in Education)
The flexibility of this programme means it is ideal for students from a range of subject, professional and career backgrounds including teachers, lecturers, administrators, education advisors, or other related professions.
Students considering an academic career and progression to PhD are advised to undertake the MSc Educational Research.
The University has an excellent reputation with graduate recruiters and our students compete very successfully in the employment market. Our graduates have gone on to a range of careers in the UK and overseas with examples given below.
Please note that, due to data protection, the job titles and organisations listed below are independent and do not correspond.
- Subject Specialist Teacher (including music, arts, drama)
- Special Needs Teacher
- Head of Department
- Arts Manager
- Educational Therapist
- Education Officer
- Dyslexia Assessor
- Education Consultant
- Dean, Faculty of Arts
- Devon Education Authority
- Jersey States Education Department
- Plymouth City Council
- FEA Training and Development Centre
- Camden LEA
- Exeter College
- Hong Kong SAR Government
- Danish National School of Contemporary Dance
- Ministry of Education, Cyprus
- Saltash Community School
- University of Reading
Careers support including skills training, internships, jobs vacancies, employment fairs and other events is available through the Career Zone.
You are strongly encouraged to consider taking the Education Placement module (EFPM909) as your optional module, thereby gaining skills which can be helpful in finding employment following the course.
Please note that this module has a limited number of places and these will be assigned on a first-come-first-served basis during module selection. We therefore recommend that if you are interested in this module, you should:
- apply early for this course
- if you are offered a place, accept it as soon as you can
- provide the information to meet your offer conditions as soon as possible
This will enable you to make your module selection as early as possible. Once the module cap is reached, any remaining students will be able to choose from our wide range of other modules but these will not include a work placement.
Education Placement module (EFPM909)
If you undertake this module you will work with the University placement team to secure a placement of 5 days or 30 hours (or equivalent) in an arts education setting that relates to your creative arts interests. On your placement you will shadow and learn from experienced arts education practitioners. If possible, and if you are ready, you may also be able to undertake a teaching assistant role as part of your placement.
Your placement will be sourced through the Creative Arts team's dance, drama, music and visual arts networks. The location will depend on your arts specialism (or interests if non-specific) and preferred age group. It may be in:
- a school (mainstream or special)
- an early years setting
- an FE college
- a community arts practice
– you will be encouraged to consider the variety of potential possibilties. While tutors cannot guarantee to place students in their exact site of choice, they will do their best to help you find a placement as close to your educational interests as possible. Placements tend to take place in locations accessible by public transport in Exeter and the surrounding area.
The placement will be for a minimum of five working days. The working pattern must be arranged by you (with support of the placment officer) in agreement with the placement site. It may be arranged as:
- a single week when there are no taught sessions at the University (perhaps reading week, or in the break between the spring and summer term)
- one day a week for five weeks
- half a day a week for ten weeks
- another equivalent pattern that works for your particular placement
After your placement
In the past, students have sometimes continued to volunteer at their site after their placement has completed, strengthening their CV in terms of experience. Additionally some students, who possess the appropriate right-to-work documents, have secured employment at their site – a number of students have found jobs as teaching assistants at the primary schools where they did their placements, for example.
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