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The Artist Teacher Scheme (ATS) is a national programme of continuing professional development courses for artist teachers. It is supported and managed by the National Society for Education in Art and Design. The scheme 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. 

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.

The ATS is for those who work in art education in some capacity across all sectors. Equally, the course is applicable for those who work in community arts, as artists in residence, gallery or museum educators, or with community or youth arts groups.

Why choose this course?

  • If you are an art educator this programme will support you in developing your own art 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 Scheme 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).
  • The School of Education department at Oxford Brookes provides strong partnership links with a wide range of additional organisations, including the four Oxford University museums (The Ashmolean, Pitt Rivers Museum, The University Museum and The Botanical Gardens) and regional art education network Oxford Art Teach (OAT).
  • There is an opportunity to engage with a regional group of art educators who are currently exploring the notion of a learning community, involved in current debate about art education and developed to share good practice and support art colleagues in this locality.

Professional accreditation

This programme is equivalent to 60 master's level credits. You will exit with a Postgraduate Certificate in Education, which is equivalent to one third of an MA in Education. 

This course in detail


Integrating Contemporary Practice into the Classroom (single module, 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. This is followed by two days to critically explore 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, meeting and working with new colleagues
  • Work with a number of art/education/museum specialists
  • Experiment with and reflect critically on innovative ways to link extended practical subject knowledge to classroom practice
  • Integrate appropriate theory and practice into research
  • Present work as a portfolio of evidence with writing/annotation and examples of planning, resources and artworks produced by pupils.

Developing Personal Artistic Practice (double module, 40 credits)

This module enables you to develop your 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 the Pitt Rivers Museum's collections
  • Debating contemporary issues related to current art theory and art education theory
  • Developing a body of artwork which extends your own contemporary art practice
  • Creating a reflective journal to demonstrate development of ideas in a critical way
  • Presenting ideas/work to a panel
  • Producing a body of work which does not need to culminate in specific outcomes but does include an informal group display of key artworks.

Please note: as our courses are reviewed regularly, course content module choices may change from the details given here.

Learn more about our Artist Teacher students and what they like about studying the course.

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

Module 1 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.

Module 2 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 2016-17 programme will begin with students working directly with a contemporary practitioner in the Pitt Rivers 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 the Artist Teacher Scheme, often working with new pedagogical approaches which can be utilised for artistic or educational practices.

The second module 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.

Visit the PGCert Education - Artist Teacher Scheme page on the Oxford Brookes University website for more details!




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