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MA Education – Artist Teacher Practice


School of Education

The MA Education – Artist Teacher Practice provides opportunities for those working within art education in any sector to review and develop their personal creative practice in relation to the highest levels of contemporary practice. It is equally applicable for those who work in community arts, as artists in residence, gallery or museum educators, or with community or youth arts groups.

The programme is based on the central belief that educators of art, design and craft who maintain and develop their own creative practice can be significantly more effective professionally and more likely to be satisfied with their educational work. It supports ongoing enquiry into the professional artist teacher identity, balancing tensions between education and making. This is achieved by combining Master’s level research and academic study with visual arts creation and exhibiting.





This course is not available to students classed as International for fees purposes.

Available start dates

September 2019 / September 2020

Teaching location

Harcourt Hill Campus

Course length

  • Part time: Three years

For full application details, please see the 'How to apply / Entry requirements' section.

  • This programme will support you in developing your own arts-based practice.
  • You will be given support to integrate contemporary arts practices into educational settings through exposure to current debates about art education.
  • The course qualification will support your long-term professional development including career progression within educational and other professional settings.
  • The Artist Teacher Practice course provides strong partnerships with the Pitt Rivers Museum, visual practitioners and artist tutors (visual arts practitioners who are also engaged in educational practice in a range of contexts).
  • Exhibiting artworks digitally, locally, regionally and nationally are encouraged.
  • Opportunities to develop beyond the course content is available including presenting at conferences, publishing nationally, developing peer-led workshops and working alongside alumni. 


The MA Education – Artist Teacher Practice programme has two core compulsory modules (60 credits) that are outlined below. You will take a compulsory Research Methods module (20 credits) that will support your studies and prepare you for the dissertation (60 credits). You will also take two further option modules (40 credits), selected from any of the available modules in the MA Education. You need to achieve 180 credits in total.

Core compulsory modules  

Integrating Contemporary Practice into the Classroom (20 credits) 

An introductory three-day exploratory course, delivered through a series of workshops held at Oxford Brookes University and the Oxford University Museums, linking to contemporary interpretation of the Pitt Rivers Museum’s collection, followed by two days to critically evaluate ways to integrate contemporary visual arts practice into the classroom.

You will:

  • explore contemporary practice in a museum setting
  • extend theoretical and practical subject specific skills, knowledge and understanding
  • share ideas, meet and work with new colleagues
  • work with a number of art/education/museum specialists
  • experiment with and reflect critically on ways to link subject knowledge to classroom practice
  • integrate appropriate theory and practice into research
  • present supporting work as a portfolio of evidence

Developing Personal Artistic Practice (Double module: 40 credits)

This module enables artist teachers to develop their own subject knowledge through a series of workshops and seminars at Oxford Brookes University and the Oxford University Museums by:

  • providing facilities and expertise to develop practical and theoretical subject knowledge
  • providing access to contemporary interpretation and exploration of Pitt Rivers Museum’s collections and practitioners
  • debating contemporary issues related to current art theory and art education theory
  • developing a body of artwork which extends their own contemporary art practice
  • creating a reflective sketchbook or journal to demonstrate the development of ideas in a critical way
  • producing a body of work which does not need to culminate in a specific outcome presenting ideas and work to a panel

You will also select 2 option modules (40 credits) from the main MA Education pathway – a selection of possible modules may include:

Action Research (double module 40 credits) comprises a taught unit on action research methods, including managing change, leading to an action research project. The project will require students to research aspects of their own artist teacher identities and exhibit artworks.

The Inclusive Curriculum (20 credits) This module, relevant for primary, secondary, and further and higher education practitioners and students, explores key aspects of curriculum design and delivery in relation to access, equality of learning opportunity and inclusion. There will be a particular focus on the ways in which cultural values influence curriculum content and organization and students will have an opportunity to critically engage with theories of internationalising and decolonising the curriculum.  

Children’s Imaginative Worlds  (20 credits) Through this unit of study you will explore the ways in which children and young people seem to use their imaginations both to create alternative worlds to occupy and to make sense of their experiences. The development and psychological purposes of imagination will be explored and particular domains of imaginative experience examined. You will have the opportunity of studying a particular domain in depth, working together with others in a choice of reading groups (domains will include, for example: literature, visual arts, music, spirituality, imaginative play and role play).

As our courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, course content and module choices may change from the details given here.


Teaching and learning

Teaching is delivered through workshops, crits and seminars held at Oxford Brookes University, Harcourt Hill Campus and the participating Oxford University museums. It involves a programme of occasional whole day intensive sessions with online resource-based learning.     

Approach to assessment

All assessment tasks are designed to connect with the contexts of students, so you can draw on your own professional practice, and use your work to improve your practice. Each course module is assessed separately and is based on coursework, e.g. essays, seminar presentations, criticals, portfolios, reflective journals, exhibitions, vivas and investigative research.

For example on the two core modules:

  • Integrating Contemporary Practice into the Classroom is assessed through a 3,000 word assignment plus a 1,000 word formative essay plan. This focuses on a project run in a professional setting where students support learners to embed interpretation into a contemporary art project
  • Developing Personal Artistic Practice focuses on making one's own visual practice and is assessed partly through a portfolio of evidence, a reflective journal and an individual presentation to tutors.

Specialist facilities

Opportunities to engage with contemporary interpretations of the Pitt Rivers collection with visual practitioners is a key feature of this programme.  

The 2019-20 programme will begin with students working directly with a contemporary practitioner in the Pitt Rivers Museum focusing on aspects of the collection. Pitt Rivers education staff will also provide the opportunity to engage with interpretation of the collection. Additional opportunities to work with practitioners is embedded throughout Artist Teacher Practice, often working with new pedagogical approaches which can be utilised for artistic or educational practices.

The module Developing Personal Artistic Practice involves working consistently with artist tutor Dionne Freeman, who is a successful practising artist working in art education. Dionne will tutor you in developing a new portfolio of personal artistic practice and engage you in small group critiques to support the development of your ideas.

The art studio at the Harcourt Hill Campus includes a mac suite and access to the studio in the evenings and weekends. Students can negotiate the use of these facilities out of school/office hours.

Field trips

Opportunities are provided for you to work in partnership with Pitt Rivers Museum and across the University Museums Oxford. This involves working with visual practitioners and artist educator specialists, focusing on interpretation of contemporary art, craft and/or design.

Sample work

Sarah Hughes, artist teacher alumna, kept a reflective journal / blog throughout her three years of study (2012 - 2015):  Find The Gap. This maps Sarah’s progression across the programme.

Additional Costs

There is an additional cost on the double module Developing Personal Artistic Practice, this will be £100.00 to purchase additional materials to complete the double module.

Attendance pattern

The course start date is 19–20 August 2019. Sessions on the two core compulsory modules on the Artist Teacher Practice (see above) will take place at Oxford Brookes University and across the Oxford University Museums. It will involve a programme of occasional whole day intensive sessions with online and resource-based learning. The face-to-face sessions for these core compulsory modules will occur either in school holidays or on Saturdays.

For other modules on the programme: 

  • Part-time on campus: Artist teacher modules are taught on occasional Saturdays or during the holidays (February and August).  
  • Additional modules are usually taught over eight weeks on Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Thursdays 17:00 – 20:00 during University semesters. 


Programme changes

On rare occasions we may need to make changes to our course programmes after they have been published on the website. For more information, please visit our Changes to programmes page.

Tuition fees

Home/EU - part time fee: 2019/20: £620 per single module 2020/21: £725 per single module

Please be aware that some courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees. Specific additional costs for this course, if any, are detailed in the 'This course in detail' window above.

Questions about fees?
Contact Student Finance on:
+44 (0)1865 483088

Funding and scholarships

For general sources of financial support, see funding for Postgraduate students from the UK and EU

English language requirements

IELTS level 6.5 or above with a minimum of 6.0 in reading and writing and 5.5 in speaking and listening.

Please also see the university's standard English language requirements

This course is not available to students classed as International for fees purposes.

Preparation courses for EU students

We offer a range of courses to help you to meet the entry requirements for this course and also familiarise you with university life. You may also be able to apply for one student visa to cover both courses.

  • Take our Pre-Master's course to help you to meet both the English language and academic entry requirements for your master's course.
  • If you need to improve your English language, we have pre-sessional English language courses available to help you to meet the English language requirements of your chosen master’s.

If you are studying outside the UK, for more details about your specific country entry requirements, translated information, local contacts and programmes within your country, please have a look at our country pages.

How to apply

Terms and Conditions of Enrolment

When you accept our offer, you agree to the Terms and Conditions of Enrolment. You should therefore read those conditions before accepting the offer.

How this course helps you develop

A Masters in Artist Teachers Practice can support career progression in the following ways:

  • Additional management responsibility within the school/department, such as head of department.
  • Progression from learning support assistant to arts coordinator in primary education.
  • Progression from school-based educator to university lecturer/ associate lecturer.
  • Opportunity to contribute significantly to arts based-awards developed within educational settings, such as Arts Award and Arts Mark.
  • Artist in residence opportunities.
  • Develop to doctoral study.
  • Opportunity to develop and run subject specific CPD to colleagues within school federations or across multi-academy trusts. 
  • Opportunity to present artist teacher projects within school federations or across multi-academy trusts.
  • Opportunity to publish research projects in NSEAD publications.
  • Opportunity to present visual arts research at national conferences.
  • Opportunity to exhibit artwork in public spaces.
  • Employment as research associates on research projects. 


How Brookes supports postgraduate students



Supporting your learning

From academic advisers and support co-ordinators to specialist subject librarians and other learning support staff, we want to ensure that you get the best out of your studies.

Research highlights

Programme Lead: Rachel Payne is a Senior Lecturer in Education at Oxford Brookes University. Currently undertaking an Educational Doctorate her research interest is in exploring how learners make meaning when working with creative practitioners and in cultural contexts such as museums and galleries. Rachel is also the President of the NSEAD and is actively involved in championing arts based education nationally.

Artist Tutor: Dionne Freeman is a freelance artist from Oxford. Her practice focuses on working with others, sharing skills and facilitating projects for people to express themselves through the visual arts. Specialising in spatial and self-awareness, Dionne uses her expressive approaches to deliver learning and self-awareness, as well as teaching to inspire, engage and enthuse others.

Dionne currently delivers training and specialised consultancy work on how to use the arts to reach more vulnerable groups and transform attitudes and spaces. She has exhibited her work in London, Amsterdam, The Pitt Rivers Museum and Oxford Botanic Gardens. She has also project managed various group shows including The John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford University of Natural History and the Harcourt Arboretum. Dionne has worked on the Artist Teacher Scheme since August 2008.

Sustained excellence in research and publication has ensured that a significant proportion of our School of Education staff were entered for the Research Excellence Framework (REF) in 2014 (UoA 25). Almost 90% of our research was deemed to be of international merit, with around one half either ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. Contributions to the REF were spread across all of our research groups.

Our research aims to create impact on contemporary educational issues - supporting knowledge creation and developing innovative approaches to researching pedagogic practices. The School’s research strategy functions at all spatial scales, from local to global. We publish our highest quality research in leading peer-reviewed journals. Emeritus, Honorary and Visiting Research Fellows contribute to our research programmes and outputs.

The School holds two major research conferences each year - the School of Education Research Conference and the EdD Colloquium. Our Research Seminar Series (which attracts both internal and external speakers) runs annually - all students are invited to attend. We also organise a number of conferences, lectures, seminars and debates, some of which have an international reach.

Members of the School are engaged in a variety of funded and unfunded research projects; we have previously enjoyed prestigious funded scholarships (such as the Fulbright – Peabody scholarship) and, when feasible, offer funded Research Studentships to doctoral applicants. Our Centre for Educational Consultancy and Development (CECD) regularly secures consultancy and research money.

As might be expected in such a research active school, many staff are engaged as editors, editorial board members, or reviewers for various peer reviewed academic and professional journals, as well as online journals.

View all staff profiles for School of Education

Research areas and clusters

The School of Education at Oxford Brookes University is a thriving centre for educational research and teacher professional development. Students on master's level programmes therefore join a large research community comprising researchers at all levels of higher education study.

The School’s six research groups reflect a thriving research community of academics, scholars and students. They exist to encourage engagement in research, publication, conference presentations, seminars and workshops. The foci for these groups are:

  • Inclusion and Wellbeing
  • Policy, Partnership and Leadership
  • STEAM pedagogy and learning
  • Humanistic Perspectives on Education
  • Early Years
  • Applied Linguistics

View all staff profiles for School of Education

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