Art and Social Practice MA
Course code W210
What is special about this course?
Are you committed to a career in an art practice that creatively engages with your community? If so, the MA Art and Social Practice is ideal.
Artists in the 21st century increasingly find themselves working in participatory settings where skills in creative and social engagement are essential. This programme addresses these changing needs and facilitates a shift in thinking away from conventional ideas about where art practices are located and how work is disseminated.
The course offers focused provision enabling you to develop an appropriate level of knowledge and research to inform practical work, together with the critical and analytical processes and technical skills required to effectively deliver a project in the public domain.
- Taught by an inter-disciplinary team of artists and specialists from social anthropology, social and collaborative art practices and sculpture, who work across a range of local, national and international contexts, from urban centres to remote and small communities
- You will have the option to meet in real life during the annual Winter School located in rotating locations in the Highlands and Islands
- In the final stage of the module you will choose your own mentor from local, national or international specialists
- You will meet leading figures in the field, from Scotland, the rest of the UK and internationally, through the annual Virtual Symposium, visiting Lecturers and guest speakers
- 2:1 honours degree in a relevant subject such as art, design or new media, theatre practice and cultural studies or other closely related discipline such as community development, cultural production, arts administration or management
- Applicants with other qualifications or relevant experience are encouraged to apply and will be considered on an individual basis
- This is a Category 2 PVG course: PVG Scheme membership is required for specific optional modules/unit(s), where there is guaranteed contact with vulnerable groups in optional module/unit(s), but an alternative pathway exists to achieve target qualification. For further information visit our PVG scheme webpage PVG scheme webpage
Postgraduate Loans (SAAS) (Scotland-domiciled students)
Loans for tuition fees are available from SAAS for eligible Scotland-domiciled students, and loans for living costs for eligible Scottish students.
(see fees/funding tab for more information)
Students can access the course from a range of our undergraduate programmes including:
Modules may include:
- New social practitioner (S1)
- Communities of practice (SC)
- One optional module (20 credits) (S1)
Modules may include:
- Developing social practitioner (S2)
- Reflective and ethical practitioner (SC)
- One optional module (20 credits) (S2)
To achieve the award of MA you must complete the social practice project.
How will I study my course?
- You will study through supported online learning using the university's virtual learning environment (VLE)
- Part-time (structured)
- Part-time (unstructured)
How long will my course last?
- Full-time: 2 years
- Part-time (structured): minimum 3 years
- Part-time (unstructured): maximum 6 years
Where can I study my course?
You can study this fully online Masters from any location. You will be enrolled and receive support from the Centre for Island Creativity, which is part of Shetland UHI.
For students normally domiciled in Scotland, with a term-time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:
- EU nationals with settled or pre-settled status in the UK,
- EEA/Swiss nationals with settled status in the UK
- EEA/Swiss nationals with pre-settled status who are self-employed or migrant workers in the UK.
|Per module (20 credits)||£560||£560|
|Postgraduate certificate (3 modules, 60 credits)||£1,680||£1,680|
|Postgraduate diploma (6 modules, 120 credits)||£3,360||£3,360|
|Masters degree (6 modules + dissertation)||£5,000||£5,000|
Rest of UK students
For students normally domiciled in the rest of the UK (England, Wales and N. Ireland) or assessed as rest of the UK for fee status, the following fees apply:
|Per module (20 credits)||£650||£669|
|Postgraduate certificate (3 modules, 60 credits)||£1,950||£2,007|
|Postgraduate diploma (6 modules, 120 credits)||£3,900||£4,014|
|Masters degree (6 modules + dissertation, 180 credits)||£5,850||£6,021|
EU/EEA and Swiss nationals without settled or pre-settled status in the UK
Following the UK’s departure from the European Union, the Scottish Government confirmed that EU/EEA and Swiss nationals, who do not have settled or pre-settled status, will be considered as international for fee purposes. For 2022-23, students will get an automatic fee scholarship.
This includes EEA/Swiss nationals with pre-settled status who are not self-employed or migrant workers in the UK.
|2021-22||With scholarship||2022-23||With scholarship|
|Per module (20 credits)||£980||£730||£1,010||£760|
|Postgraduate certificate (3 modules, 60 credits)||£2940||£2,190||£3,030||£2,280|
|Postgraduate diploma (6 modules, 120 credits, 180 credits)||£5,880||£4,380||£6,060||£4,560|
|Masters degree (6 modules + dissertation, 180 credits)||£8,820||£6,570||£9,090||£6,840|
For students who do not normally reside in the UK or European Union, studying online from their home country, or assessed as international for fee status, the following fees apply:
|Per module (20 credits)||£980||£1,010|
|Postgraduate certificate (3 modules, 60 credits)||£2940||£3,030|
|Postgraduate diploma (6 modules, 120 credits, 180 credits)||£5,880||£6,060|
|Masters degree (6 modules + dissertation, 180 credits)||£8,820||£9,090|
This course is not available to international students requiring Student Route visa sponsorship to study in the UK.
A no fee increase guarantee is available for self-funding full-time and structured part-time rest of the UK, EU and international postgraduate students for continuous study for the same award, up to the permitted standard time limit for the relevant award.
Eligible Scotland-domiciled students studying full-time can access loans up to £10,000 from the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS). This comprises a tuition fee loan up to £5,500 and a non-income assessed living cost loan of £4,500.
Eligible Scotland-domiciled students studying part-time can apply for a tuition fee loan from SAAS. You must be intending to complete the course in no longer than twice the length of time it would take for a full-time student. For example, if your course is available to full-time students as a one-year programme, you will be funded for a maximum of two years' part-time study. If your course does not have a full-time option, you must complete within three years. You can apply for a tuition fee loan up to £5,500, which will be paid pro-rata for each academic year of study.
Full details can be found on the SAAS website. Applications for loans open in April.
Students from the rest of the UK who meet the eligibility requirements may be able to apply for a loan from the Student Loan Company.
There is an optional annual residential session, known as Winter School, which offers students a one-week opportunity to meet face to face and participate in local cultural events in different locations throughout the Highlands and Islands. All associated costs will be the responsibility of the student.
What can I do on completion of my course?
On successful completion of the course, you will be well placed to work freelance, develop your own social enterprise or seek employment in a range of settings such as:
- arts centres
- community development
- day centres or care homes
- museums or gallery education
- prison service
You will also be able to work with a range of individuals and participant groups including:
- young people
- older people
- people with learning disabilities
- those who might be marginalised, such as refugees
You will be able to develop, plan and deliver participatory arts projects for local authorities, voluntary sector organisations and other public sector agencies.
Can I progress into further study?
You may progress to an MRes or Creative Practice or a PhD to undertake research in the field of art and social practice in its broadest sense.
Is there more information available online?
You can use the above QR code to connect directly to the course details.
Apply for Art and Social Practice MA
We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at the University of the Highlands and Islands. We operate a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of gender, age, disability, ethnicity and socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.