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Creative Arts & Design×

Full Time MA Degrees in Creative Arts & Design, Bath, United Kingdom

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Ceramics aims to develop individual abilities within the subject, whether through practice or historical or theoretical study. Approaches range from sculpture and installation to studio ceramics and design for products. Read more
Ceramics aims to develop individual abilities within the subject, whether through practice or historical or theoretical study. Approaches range from sculpture and installation to studio ceramics and design for products. The course is distinctive in offering you the opportunity to specialise in ceramics as a medium allied to a breadth of possibilities, and establishing negotiated individual modes of practice.


We offer Ceramics full or part time, lasting one year (3 trimesters) FT, 6 trimesters PT. Your first two trimesters is made up of taught sessions and assessed projects, the Master’s Project in the final trimester is by negotiated project only. Completion of the first 2 modules on the course lead to the award of the Postgraduate Certificate, completion of the first 4 modules leads to the award of the Postgraduate Diploma. Subsequent completion of the MA double module leads to the award of MA.

In the first trimester you will undertake a module in research methodologies in conjunction with students from other design disciplines. You will be establishing and initiating your studio based creative practice through individual and group tutorials and critiques. This teaching covers issues of technique together with aesthetic and design ideas and their interpretation and context within contemporary practice. This approach to studio work will be further developed in the second trimester, alongside an individual analysis of the relevant theoretical, cultural and social context for your work. The four modules taken in the first two trimesters lead to the postgraduate diploma (PGDip).

The final trimester, leading to the MA, comprises an individually negotiated and self-initiated body of work building on knowledge and skills already acquired. You will be supervised by tutorial through to completion. The project will be selected from options giving an emphasis either to individual expression or a more design-based approach.


Students may opt to take some or all of the modules on this course by distance learning. Teaching and tutorial support will be delivered via a combination of computer-based learning and campus visits, with assessment matched to the particular interests and needs of individual students.

This route is open to all students on the course. You may pursue both practice based and/or historical approaches to the study of ceramics by this means. The route will be of particular interest to those geographically distant from Bath, or who would find attending campus regularly difficult. The technology used is simple and accessible. You will need access to a computer linked to the internet as materials are delivered through a standard web browser. We welcome enquiries from anyone interested in this option, and will be delighted to answer any questions you may have.


Research Methodologies - This module is intended to provide students with a strong sense of methodological purpose when thinking in, through and about their practice. Research Methodologies will outline established models of academic enquiry - both practical and intellectual - proposing ways to gather, analyse and communicate a wide range of data and ideas.

Initiating Creative Practice - A practice module, where students produce work based upon a programme negotiated and agreed with staff, designed to set an agenda and working plan.

Developing Creative Practice - A practice module, where students make work based on visual research on a programme negotiated and agreed with staff to develop studio work, awareness and understanding of relevant concepts.

Analysis of Contemporary Context - A module where the practitioner engages in a contextual consideration of their work by referring to cultural, critical, theoretical and historical perspectives employing advanced research methods alongside development of a proposed programme for the final MA module.

Advanced Studio Practice - You are expected to submit a comprehensive body of creative ceramic work which meets the agreed objectives, accompanied by documentation of visual and other research. It should include a written evaluation of the ‘journey’ and outcomes of your project, and aspirations for future developments.


Theoretical elements will be delivered as a concurrent contextualisation of your practical work along with study of the relevant research methodologies. In this way your practical work is firmly based in the theoretical and critical awareness of its context and potential market.

Ceramics students have workspaces in well equipped workshops, including CAD facilities. There is an excellent glaze laboratory and a range of electric and gas-fired kilns, including outdoor firing facilities for salt and raku. There is also a dedicated space and kilns for large-scale work. All students have access to workshops in photography, sound and video, etching and litho, as well as the specialist Art and Design library.


• Jane Gibson Mdes RCA (design and ceramic production and curating)
• Keith Harrison MA RCA (time-based installation)
• Nick Lees MA Cardiff (tableware, ceramic sculpture, critical writing)
• Jo Dahn MA PhD UWA (history and theory)
• Graham McLaren PhD RCA

These staff will be supported by an extensive team of part-time staff, whose wide range of expertise is available on a regular basis. There are also 3-4 visiting artists each year.

• Marion Brandis MA (public art, commissioned projects)
• Steve Brown MA (ceramic print)
• Ian Byers BA (ceramic sculpture)
• Helen Harris BA (photography)
• Simon Hulbert MA (gallerist, potter)
• Penny Grist BA (printmaking)
• Aimee Lax MA (ceramics)
• Malcolm Ross-White (drawing)
• Zeita Scott MA (tableware, studio ceramics)
• Sasha Wardell MA (tableware and giftware)
• Professor Takeshi Yasuda (tableware, studio ceramics)


Typical career destinations include exhibiting, ceramic design and museum work, arts administration, public art and research.


The four taught modules in trimesters one and two are assessed through studio exhibition of work with a supporting statement, or the presentation of a document, accompanied in both cases by evidence of appropriate research. The final module for the MA is assessed through exhibition or exposition, according to the nature of the work, of all work for the module or a record of it, addressing the issues agreed in the initial proposal. There are no written examinations.

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With an emphasis on Interdisciplinary and Screen Based Practice, the MA in Dance at Bath Spa University focuses on you as both artist and entrepreneur. Read more
With an emphasis on Interdisciplinary and Screen Based Practice, the MA in Dance at Bath Spa University focuses on you as both artist and entrepreneur. It provides the opportunity for you to mature as a ‘maker of work’ whilst gaining an increased understanding of, and an ability to respond to, trends and opportunities in the workplace. Digital technology plays a significant role in the programme both in its application to creative practice and in an e-learning context.
Dance at Bath Spa University is becoming increasingly respected for its work in both live and screen based performance practice. The master’s programme is ideal for those interested in the interface of contemporary dance, site, and digital media.

Course structure and content

The course is aimed at those with a specialist interest in screen based dance practice and/or interdisciplinary work where the texts of dance and one or more other media intersect to create new work.
Studying for the MA in Dance will mean that you will be with us for one full year, or two if you choose to study part-time. Where practical, the taught elements of the course will be undertaken in short intensive blocks and, where appropriate, tutoring may be done on-line to create flexibility and to help those who may not wish to move to the area for the full duration of the course.


Research Project.
This module gives you the opportunity to develop a sophisticated understanding of, and ability to, research at a professionally applicable level. Engaging with current scholarship and research in an area that is of relevance to your own practice

Interdisciplinary or Screen Based Performance Practice
This module concerns itself with ‘live’ interdisciplinary, or screen based, performance making. Interdisciplinary work might exist at the interface of dance and at least one other ‘media’ which might include, for instance, video, writing, painting, textiles. Screen based performance, in the context of this module, focuses on ‘screendance’ as a creative interface between the body and digital technology to design and produce work for the single screen.

Work Based Learning.
This module locates you in an individually relevant professional environment, which may be your existing workplace, a negotiated placement of your own, or with one of our placement hosts.

Site Responsive Collaborative Performance Practice
This module responds to the huge potential offered by non-theatre performance locations and draws on collaborative opportunities to work with artists and students on other Bath Spa postgraduate courses to construct cross-disciplinary performance work that responds to a ‘site’ of your own choosing.

Final Project.
Your final project will draw on skills and knowledge acquired in modules 1, 2, 3, and 4. The content is negotiated with course tutors but might for example be a work for the single screen, an interdisciplinary site specific work, or a stage performance work that draws on an area of practice that is central to your interests and aspirations.

Teaching methods and resources

A characteristic of the Master’s is that it is taught as much as possible in intensive weekend or weeklong sessions. E-learning, e-tutorials, and placements give you the opportunity to undertake some study from a distance, while studio and edit suite facilities for your creative practice will be negotiated, as much as possible, to fit in with your calendar and timetable needs.
The Dance Department has the use of three equipped dance studios, the University Theatre, a Mac editing suite, and additional rehearsal spaces for independent study. In addition to filmmaking equipment, we have access to filming and editing facilities at Corsham Court, and make full use of Minerva, the university’s virtual learning environment, and other on-line tutoring facilities. In addition, site-specific work takes advantage of our outstanding campus and the architecture and history of the City of Bath. Our greatest resource is perhaps the professionalism and experience of the tutors who teach on the course and our professional partnerships

Assessment methods

Your work will be assessed through practical projects, essays, portfolios and seminar presentations. In practical projects assessment may focus on your creative process or on the final product. All work is assessed against a generic criteria so you can compare your achievements against your previous work.

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MA Fine Art is a studio based programme dealing with the whole range of Fine Art, from painting and sculpture to video and live art, each supported by excellent facilities and taught by nationally and internationally practicing artists and including discussion of artists’ practice, exhibiting and curating. Read more
MA Fine Art is a studio based programme dealing with the whole range of Fine Art, from painting and sculpture to video and live art, each supported by excellent facilities and taught by nationally and internationally practicing artists and including discussion of artists’ practice, exhibiting and curating.

Course structure and content

This studio based programme is designed to develop your individual creative potential in a critically challenging Fine Art environment.
Through a critical understanding of your own practice and a developed knowledge of the discourses that surround your chosen idiom you will to be able to communicate effectively in your studio practice and in written and spoken presentations.
The course focuses on your own emerging practice and how it is situated in the world of contemporary art practice and the critical and changing world debates that surround artists’ practice today.
You will work with practitioners of national and international standing to establish and develop the core concerns of your practice across a whole range of Fine Art practices.
The programme runs for 45 weeks and is delivered as three 15 week trimesters – October to January, February to June and June to September and is offered in both full-time and part-time mode.

Teaching Methods and resources

An individual programme, negotiated with staff, will re-establish and then develop your work to professional, exhibiting level. Progress is guided by both scheduled and optional individual tutorials, and group critiques of work.
The context for studio work is informed and clarified by a programme of seminars and discussions which set out a wide range of practice, both in terms of individual artists’ work and contemporary museum, gallery, exhibiting and curating activity.
Study visits occur on a regular basis - there are more than five study visits to London and/or other UK cities each year between October and June as well as optional participation in overseas study visits. Recent visits have been to Rome, Istanbul, Berlin and Paris.
You will be supported by excellent workshop facilities and related technical expertise from across all departments of Bath School of Art and Design as well as the specialist Art and Design library at Sion Hill.
Academic staff and visiting lecturers
• Roger Clarke
• Professor Dexter Dalwood
• Robert Fearns
• Natasha Kidd
• Andrea Medjesi Jones
• Professor Maria Lalic
• Rosie Snell
• Ed Whittaker
• Mariele Neudecker
• Professor Mike Tooby
• Professor Gavin Turk
• Camilla Wilson
• John Wood
These staff will be supported by a team of visiting lecturers, who in recent years have included:
Tania Kovats; Philippa Lawrence; Stuart Cumberland ; Clare Woods; Joanna Bryniarska ; John Chilver; Martin Creed; Marcia Farquhar; Elpida Hadzi Vasileva; Mike Stubbs ; Katrine Hjelde ; Helen Sear ; Charles Danby; Nelson Diplexcito; Graham Dolphin; David Ward; Rob Leech; Andrew Grassie; Deirdre Nelson; Melanie Jackson; James Brooks; Sally O-Reilly; Audrey Reynolds ; Rob Holyhead; Matt Darbyshire; Lisa Lefevre; Glenn Brown; John Chilver; Mathieu Copeland; Andrew Cross; Alexis Harding; Kay Pallister; Barry Schwabsky; Xa Sturgis; Paul Winstanley; Richard Woods.

Assessment Methods

At the end of each trimester the modules completed are assessed by internal staff, moderated by an external examiner. Assessment of each stage of the studio element of the course is by exhibition and all related materials and the research modules are assessed by an oral/visual presentation made by the student of their practitioner ‘position’ at the Postgraduate Certificate and Diploma stage.

Career opportunities

Bath Fine Art graduates from BA and MA Fine Art courses have worked and exhibited widely as professional artists, had work purchased by the Tate and other institutions, represented the UK in exhibitions such as the Sao Paulo Biennale and have been nominated for the Turner Prize. Graduates work as curators and gallery professionals in public and private galleries and for arts councils and organisations, and write for journals. With the connection to the Artist Teacher Scheme there is regular recruitment from the profession and a number of graduates return to teaching or become lecturers.

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This course will help and encourage you to bring a novel, book of poems, book of short stories or work of literary non-fiction as near to publishable quality as possible. Read more
This course will help and encourage you to bring a novel, book of poems, book of short stories or work of literary non-fiction as near to publishable quality as possible. The programme, located in the School of Humanities and Cultural Industries, has become established as one of the leading courses of its kind.


The course is modular and is currently offered for full-time study only.

The MA in Creative Writing is concerned with imaginative writing, which includes novels, short stories, poetry and non-fiction. The emphasis is upon encouragement, to help you to find and pursue a direction in your writing, and to understand the process of offering a manuscript for publication.

Because of the reputation of the MA in Creative Writing, we are able to recruit excellent students who, every year, form an exciting and mutually supportive community of writers. Frequent visits by other writers, literary agents, publishers, broadcasters and other professionals connected with writing ensure that students are given plentiful advice about how to place work and make decisions about their careers as writers.

The course is not for the writer whose only interest is in their own work, but rather for the writer who can benefit from working closely with fellow students and with tutors, many of whom are practising and published writers.

In recent years, several current or former students have been awarded excellent contracts for novels; Two were long-listed for the Man Booker Prize, three for the Orange Prize, one for the Costa Prize and one for the Guardian First Book Award. One received the Betty Trask Prize; another the Manchester Book Award; another a W.H. Smith New Talent Award. One reached the best-seller lists. Student poets have had their poetry accepted for publication in numerous literary journals, including Ambit, Magma, London Magazine, Poetry Wales, PN Review and The Reader, among others, and have been placed in such competitions as the Bridport, the Frogmore, Mslexia, and Writers Inc. Janklow and Nesbit Ltd, a leading literary agency, awards an annual prize for the best novel or novel in progress by a student on the course.

It is implicit in the course philosophy that critical reading aids the development of writers. Workshops, in which you look constructively at each other’s writing, and context modules, to study the ways in which writers meet certain challenges, are integral parts of the course.


The full MA programme consists of two writing workshops, two context modules and the Manuscript (a double module):

Workshop One - You can either start with a general writing workshop in which you experiment with a range of forms, or a specialist workshop in prose fiction or poetry.

Workshop Two - This is a specialist workshop in prose fiction or poetry.

Context Modules - These modules examine genres and look at ways in which writers meet challenges from the public world. At least five of the following are offered each term:

• Writing and the Environmental Crisis
• Suspense Fiction
• Contemporary American Writing
• The Writer and Place
• Modernism and Postmodernism
• Writing and Gender
• The Short Story
• Writing and Politics
• Reviewing and Journalism
• Narrative Non-Fiction
• Genres of Television Drama
• The Love Story
• Writing for Young People

The Manuscript - For this module each student brings a manuscript as near to publishable quality as possible. You are assigned a specialist tutor.


Students take two three-hour seminars a week for the workshop and context modules. The Manuscript is completed between June and September. Students meet tutors regularly during this period. A residential writing weekend is an essential part of the course.


Tutors include prestigious, best selling and award winning writers, such as Gerard Woodward (novelist and poet); Tim Liardet (poet); Tessa Hadley (novelist); Andrew Miller (novelist); Carrie Etter (poet); Samantha Harvey (novelist); Steve May (radio dramatist, playwright and novelist); Richard Kerridge (nature writer); Paul Evans (nature writer); Lucy English (novelist and poet); Mimi Thebo (novelist); Jonathan Neale (novelist, dramatist and non-fiction writer); Tricia Wastvedt (novelist); Celia Brayfield (novelist); Jenni Mills (novelist); Neil Rollinson (poet). In addition you will have the opportunity to meet a wide range of writers, publishers and literary agents.


Readings and seminars conducted by writers are built into the programme. Visiting writers have included Moniza Alvi, John Burnside, Stevie Davies, Helen Dunmore, Roy Fisher, Peter Flannery, Nick Hornby, Michael Hulse, Emyr Humphreys, Kathleen Jamie, Mimi Khalvati, Toby Litt, Tony Lopez, Benjamin Markovits, Les A. Murray, Tim Pears, Ashley Pharoah, D.B.C. Pierre, Jem Poster, Philip Pullman, Fiona Sampson, Michael Schmidt, Matthew Sweeney and Fay Weldon. There will also be visits from publishers, literary agents and broadcasters. Every year there are opportunities to show work to agents and editors who visit.


Assessment is by coursework only. Each writing workshop is assessed on the basis of a folder of creative writing and an early draft of part of the Manuscript. Each context module is assessed on the basis of an essay and a folder of creative responses. The Manuscript is 35,000–40,000 words (or the equivalent for poetry and scriptwriting).

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Fashion and Textiles aims to develop the creative process for designers in conjunction with valuable marketing and business skills. Read more
Fashion and Textiles aims to develop the creative process for designers in conjunction with valuable marketing and business skills. The course is aimed at ambitious designers, designer-makers or textile artists who wish to develop opportunities within the profession and who may wish to set up on their own or with others in small teams.


The course is offered in both full and part-time modes. It is normally one year (3 trimesters) in duration in full-time mode or 6 trimesters in part-time mode. The first two trimesters comprise taught sessions and assessed projects, while the Master’s Project in the final part of the course is by negotiated project only. Completion of the first 2 modules on the course lead to the award of the Postgraduate Certificate, and completion of the first 4 modules leads to the award of the Postgraduate Diploma. Subsequent completion of the MA double module leads to the award of MA Design: Fashion and Textiles.

You will be introduced to research skills and methods, product development, design management and methods, with marketing and business skills. The emphasis of the course is learning how best to present ideas, and where and how to place them in the market.

The course is developed through seminars, lectures, tutorials, visiting speakers, group critiques, market research and personal research. You are encouraged to trial a product in the market. This may be through first hand experience, or through working with studios and agents for designers, shops and craft markets (for designer makers), or with galleries or public spaces (for textile artists). Students propose a route of study through the course to explore and research a chosen area of textiles in knit, print, weave, or embroidery for fashion or interiors, or in fashion design.


Research Methodologies - Part One introduces generic methodologies with Part Two considering subject specific data retrieval analysis and evaluation techniques.

The Development of Product, Market Research and Product Ideas - Developing ideas technically and aesthetically, in-depth investigation into techniques and researching to market.

Marketing Skills - Marketing and Business skills – developing an understanding of marketing requirements for textile designers and artists.

Product Sampling and Development and Research - Initial product sampling techniques and investigation. Developing and progressing ideas to enable the creation of new products. Range planning.


The first trimester (PGCert) consists of two modules. Research Methodologies consists of a taught programme of lectures, seminars, group critiques, and assignments. You will also negotiate a programme of study for the Product, Market Research and Product Ideas module. The emphasis at this level is on ideas. During the second trimester (PGDip) you will take two further modules: Marketing Skills comprises of lectures, seminars and research; the Development of Product and Product Ideas is negotiated by each student. The final trimester, leading to the MA, involves a negotiated study which you will propose. The study will be research based resulting in a body of work for assessment.

Specialist facilities include computer studios with over 70 Macs, as well as flatbed and transparency scanners. There is a recently re-equipped digital media studio. Fashion and Textiles students benefit from specialist studio spaces for both digital and screen printing, knitting, weaving, embroidery, laser cutting and pattern cutting, using the latest digital technology for CAD/CAM. All students have access to workshops in photography, sound and video, etching and litho, as well as the specialist Art and Design library.


The main aim of the course is for students to identify their own employment opportunities. Other possibilities may include textile design, product or fashion design, retail or sales and marketing opportunities, teaching, trend prediction and promotion, or further research in industry or education, and exhibiting in galleries as a textile artist.


The PGCert is assessed by studio exhibition and/or portfolio presentation with a marketing report. The PGDip involves a written report including market analysis of your chosen product field. Practical work is presented by studio work and/or portfolio. For the MA you will present a cohesive body of creative work, supported by written work.

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This specialist creative writing MA course enlists the expertise of our team of writer-lecturers, five of whom are currently published in the field of children’s writing. Read more
This specialist creative writing MA course enlists the expertise of our team of writer-lecturers, five of whom are currently published in the field of children’s writing. It is supported by visiting speakers from the children’s publishing world, including agents, editors, publishers and authors.

Leading Children's Literary Agent Jodie Marsh (United Agents) offers an annual prize for the 'most promising writer for young people'. We have an excellent track record of graduates achieving publication. Novels by Gill Lewis, Sam Gayton, Elen Caldecott, Jim Carrington, Alex Diaz, Marie-Louise Jensen, Sally Nicholls, Maudie Smith, Che Golden, C.J. Skuse and Sarah Hammond and picture books by Karen Hughes have all been published in the last five years. Ways to Live Forever by Sally Nicholls won the Waterstones Children's Book of the Year Award and the Glen Dimplex New Writers Award 2008. Marie-Louise Jensen and Elen Caldecott were both shortlisted for the 2009 Waterstones Prize, and Elen was longlisted for the Carnegie award for How Kirsty Jenkins Stole the Elephant.


The course is for writers for children of all ages, from the picture-book age through to adolescent and ‘crossover’ writing which aims at markets among adults as well as young people. Though prose fiction is likely to be the main area studied, students will have the chance to look at writing in all forms, including poetry, picture book texts and non-fiction.

The course supports students to create a significant body of writing, with practical plans for its place in the real world of publishing. It is based on the principle that most writers learn and benefit from working closely with their fellow writers, in a disciplined supportive setting, and with tutors who are practising and published writers in their field.


Writing Workshops - In the first semester’s writing workshop you will explore a variety of formats and approaches, gaining a sense of the different age- ranges and forms. This is also an introduction to the writing workshop experience which is the heart of the course. In the second semester’s workshop you will be asked to choose your area of writing, and use the workshop’s feedback and encouragement to explore it in more depth. Full-time students take one writing workshop in Semester One and one in Semester Two. Part-time students take one workshop each year.

Context Modules - Each full-time student takes one of these in the first semester and one in the second semester. The first semester’s context module, Writing for Young People: Forms, Ages and Stages, is concerned with the writer’s relationship with their audience, a sense of the history of and issues raised by children’s writing. The second semester’s module looks at Contemporary Children’s Publishing, and aims to give a realistic grasp of the choices open to new writers in the field. Part-time students take one of these context modules in each year of study.

Manuscript - This is the development of a manuscript as near to publishable quality as possible. It is supported by tutorials with a manuscript supervisor. It may be a novel, a book of stories, a collection of poems or picture book texts.


The course is modular and offered for full and part-time study. Part-time students take the same course over a two-year period, taking one module each semester. Students complete four taught modules (two writing workshops and two context modules) plus a manuscript (double module).

Modules are normally taught via tutor-led writing workshops, organised in 11 weekly three-hour sessions on the Corsham Court campus. The manuscript is taught via one-to-one tutorials, working with a tutor with particular knowledge of your field of work. Throughout the course, there will be special events to bring in writers to discuss their work, plus literary agents and editors with practical advice on the publishing process. Our current writer in residence is Marcus Sedgwick.


This course is taught by publishing writers and depending on timetables will include:

• Julia Green: her novels for young adults include Blue Moon, Baby Blue and Hunter’s Heart (Puffin), Breathing Underwater, Drawing with Light and Bringing the Summer (Bloomsbury)and her most recent novel for younger children is Tilly’s Moonlight Fox (Oxford University Press).
• Steve May: author of Dazzer Plays On and One Chance (Egmont).
• Jonathan Neale: his novels for children are Lost at Sea and Himalaya.
• Mimi Thebo: author of Wipe Out, Hit the Road Jack, Get Real (Harper Collins); Drawing Together (Walker).
• Steve Voake: his novels include The Dreamwalker’s Child, The Web of Fire, The Starlight Conspiracy, Blood Hunters, Fightback and Dark Woods (Faber & Faber), plus his Daisy Dawson and Hooey Higgins series for younger readers (Walker Books).
• Children’s publishing industry specialists John Mclay and Janine Amos


The assessed coursework for each Writing Workshop is a folder of creative writing. For the first Context Module the coursework is an essay of approximately 2,500 words and a folder of creative responses. The second context module is assessed by a portfolio of writing tasks connected to the children’s publishing industry, including two book proposals. The manuscript is 35,000-40,000 words, or the equivalent in poetry or picture book texts.


Most of our students want a career as a published children’s author, and many have gone on to achieve this. Others have found work in the children’s publishing industry, or in libraries, bookshops and teaching or other work with young people.

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This is a professional training course for working writers. Most scriptwriters work across several media, and the course reflects this. Read more
This is a professional training course for working writers. Most scriptwriters work across several media, and the course reflects this. All our tutors are award winning writers with an insight into what it takes to make it in the industry. We aim to turn out writers who understand the structure and craft of drama, have a finished script they can use as a calling card, know the industry in all its variety, and can pitch and sell their work.

The MA is taught in seventeen weekends of intensive workshops. It is not, however, ‘low residency’. There are as many hours of teaching as on Bath Spa University’s established MA in Creative Writing.

The course is taught at our beautiful Corsham Court campus where we have state of the art performance, capture and editing facilities. Our students also have opportunities to see their work for the stage performed and to shoot excerpts from their screenplays. We work closely with the School of Music and Performing Arts, and their students will have the opportunity to help act in and produce our work.

Although this is an intellectually challenging postgraduate course, there is no ‘academic’ side detached from the working side. Everything theoretical is geared to help the students as writers.

The MA in Scriptwriting also offers each of its students a free copy of Final Draft scriptwriting software, a must for professional Scriptwriters.


The course is full-time from October to September, or part-time over two years, and is taught in modules. The first trimester runs from October to January and there are two modules, each delivered in three intensive weekends.

One is the module on Dramatic Structure. This aims to give you an understanding of the full range of ways that plays and scripts can work. You are introduced to dialogue, character, genre, and the different media. But the emphasis is on how to tell a story - a well made plot. Students will read and view widely, but the academic side is not separate from the working side. This module is to help you write.

The other module in the first trimester is a workshop in Writing Theatre and Radio. This is delivered in three intensive weekends. All of the time is devoted to the students’ own work, and much of the time we work on our feet. At the end of the trimester each student finishes a 45 to 60 minute play or radio script, and a 3,000 word essay that explains the structure of that script.

The second trimester, from February to June, also has two modules. One is Professional Skills, again over three intensive weekends. All our experience is that the ability to write alone is not enough to make your way in the various industries of theatre, television, film and radio. You also need to be able to pitch, and to talk intelligently and flexibly about your own work and others’. One of our tutors facilitates this module, and various industry professionals come in for a day each to inform, rehearse and challenge you.

The other module this trimester is Workshop in Screenwriting, also over three weekends. Here you write a script for film or television. We pay particular attention to genre, to the visual and time requirements of the screen, and to writing for particular markets. At the end of this trimester each student finishes 50 to 60 minutes of TV, or a short film script, or a treatment for a full-length film plus at least 45 minutes of polished script.

The third trimester runs from June to the end of September. Here there is only one double module, the Final Script Workshop. The workshops meet over five intensive Saturdays.

In this module each student writes a full length play, a full length film script, or the equivalent in television or radio. This script can be a development and reworking of earlier pieces, but will often be completely new work. At the end of September students submit this script.

The final assessment is based on four things. The most important is this script. The second is a 1,500 word essay explaining exactly where in the market it is aimed and how it is shaped to fit that niche. The third is a cold pitch for this script. When we speak of the market, we are thinking quite broadly. Some students will want to write for Hollywood, British independent films, soap operas, or theatre. Others will want to write radio plays, documentaries, puppet shows, theatre in education, training videos or school plays. The emphasis is, however, always on getting your work to a stage where it is ready to be produced. The fourth is a practical realisation of a short excerpt of an original work stage, screen or radio play. Students are expected to co ordinate this realisation themselves with advice and support from their tutor and using the University’s resources.


All courses will be taught by intensive workshops. Over the years we have found this is far and away the most productive way of teaching writing. It is particularly suited to scriptwriting, which is very much a social and collective art.

Tutors and visiting professionals:
All of our tutors are writers working in the industry. Among those working on the course will be:

• Ursula Rani Sarma (Course Director) writer for theatre, radio and screen
• Steve May who writes radio and novels
• Lucy Catherine who writes theatre, television and film
• Robin Mukherjee who writes theatre, television and film
• Hattie Naylor who writes film, theatre, radio and opera libretti
• Jonathan Neale who writes theatre, radio and novels

In the second semester we have visits from several professionals in the industry. Each conducts a one-day workshop with students, outlining the industry and giving them rigorous practice in pitching their work. Typically, we will have an agent, a TV producer, a radio producer, a theatre director or literary manager, and a film script editor.

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The Master of Arts in Travel and Nature Writing is designed for writers seeking advanced skills in the growing field of creative non-fiction inspired by the natural world and contemporary journeying. Read more
The Master of Arts in Travel and Nature Writing is designed for writers seeking advanced skills in the growing field of creative non-fiction inspired by the natural world and contemporary journeying. The course focuses on the application of writing skills to match the requirements of the travel and nature writing sector. To this end, students will learn from engagement, encounter, workshop, tuition and mentoring; they will develop their professional practice and produce a portfolio of work to help establish their careers in this highly competitive field.


This is a low residency course over three semesters. It will normally consist of three week-long residential sessions, meeting visiting writers and industry specialists; distance learning modules designed to familiarise participants with the standards, interests and publishing requirements of the sector; one-to-one tutorials and mentoring providing the opportunity to turn experience into well-crafted writing of publication standard.


The course begins with an intense six-day residential session for induction, introduction to distance learning, taught modules and mentoring sessions. The first two semesters involves writing regular pieces which are critiqued by tutors and peers. Through a business and context module, students can explore the ethics, history and development of a particular area of travel or nature writing. The second residency takes place in January or February. Throughout the course students will develop a portfolio of their best work and a journal tracking their submissions to publications; in this they will be supported by a mentor. The third residency will involve fieldwork, normally outside the UK.


Face-to-face seminars during intensive residency weeks, individual tutorials, directed study in writing and rewriting, online tutorials, Wikis, discussion boards, tutorial and peer critiques. Students will read extensively and are expected to be familiar with the subject and its contextual literature.


Bath Spa University can draw on the experience of professional writers, tutors and industry professionals of the highest standard.


The course totals 180 credits: modules in the first semester account for 30 credits, the second semester also accounts for 30 credits, professional practice develops through semesters one and two accounting for 30 credits and the portfolio amassed throughout all three semesters accounts for 90 credits.


The course is designed to introduce students to the workings of various travel and nature writing publishing opportunities and prepare them for the submission of their own work. It will also equip them with the practical and business skills to operate as freelance writers.

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The course teaches you how modern filmmakers make feature length projects and offers practical experience of making such projects. Read more


The course teaches you how modern filmmakers make feature length projects and offers practical experience of making such projects. We cannot guarantee that your project will get made and your success in academic terms will not depend upon you having completed a feature (although we are confident that many students will achieve this).

All students will graduate with a wealth of professional contacts, a stunning showreel, a fully developed feature film project and the knowledge and contacts for how to get ahead in the film business.

The aim is that at the end of the MA in Feature Filmmaking you will have received a through education in the needs and techniques of the micro -budget film business and have the skills to be able to negotiate favourable terms for your current (and future) feature projects to be distributed.


This MA is taught in an executive format of intensive workshops and seminars. You will be based at Bath Spa premises in Bristol and at the University’s Corsham Court Centre in Wiltshire. These offer studio facilities and the latest editing software, lights and video cameras including Sony F3 and Canon DSLR 5D and 7D, together with first class tutorial and lecture rooms.

You should expect to work 12-14 hour days for six days a week when filming and editing. It is expected that most productions will involve 4-6 weeks for principal photography. The projects will then go into a period of editing of 10-12 weeks to arrive at a version of the film that is suitable for screening to distributors and agencies to seek further completion funding.


Workshop modules: These are practical and creative filmmaking workshops, which will give students the techniques for feature film production for low budget film production. In workshop modules students will be taught by BSU academic staff, with experience in documentary or drama production, and/or by industry professionals.

Context modules: Context modules are offered in the belief that filmmakers will only reap the rewards of their creative skills if they have an adequate understanding of the industry, the financial and legal frameworks and the operation of these systems. These are not modules that would be covered in an MA in Film Studies as they relate entirely to the business functions of the industry although you will investigate the power and dominance of the Hollywood studio system and its impact on narrative, for example. However you will then apply this knowledge to alternative funding models and tax regimes that European countries have adopted to combat Hollywood’s dominance.

Feature development workshops: There will be two script/development workshops and up to 4 hours 1.1 mentoring during this period. Students on the part-time route will have the opportunity to collaborate on productions being filmed by full-time students during this period.

Practicum: This double module is where theory and practice come together in the production and postproduction of a feature length project.

• FM7001 From Script to Screen – low budget production techniques (Workshop): This module will introduce and explore practical and creative techniques, approaches and strategies of low budget feature documentary and fiction production. This gives an over view where key skills are developed building on students’ previous knowledge. Each student will refine their personal project during this module by learning advanced editorial, scripting, stylistic approaches to feature film production.
• FM7002 From Pitch to Production - the international film business (Context): To compete in the global film business low budget practitioners will be required to understand the historical development business systems, procedures and models that influence the contemporary global film business. This model will allow filmmakers to understand how and why the Hollywood model still dominates feature film production.
• FM7003 Planning for Success – pre-production (Workshop): This module builds on the first two modules to give students the ability to further develop/rework/alter their main project in the light of the insights into low budget cinema techniques and how the international film business operates.
• FM7004 Finding an Audience – distribution techniques (Context): This module will give the students a thorough grounding in the theory and practice of contemporary marketing theory and practice as applied to film. The module will introduce traditional marketing theories and strategies on marketing communications, consumer behaviour, direct marketing and customer relationship marketing. It will then update these approaches with a focus on digital marketing techniques that use social networks to build networks of advocates prior to release that can produce a marketing momentum that allows low budget films to compete against Hollywood’s blockbuster marketing clout.
• FM7005 Production & Postproduction (Practicum): This module is the culmination of the previous four modules. In this 16 week module students will turn their projects into a feature length production, building on the insights they have learnt over the course. The projects will normally need to be completed to an ‘off-line’ standard with a stereo mix.


Students will be assessed through continuous assessment. Assessment tasks will be varied , including group presentations, script development evaluations, industry reports, production folders, marketing reports and feature film project.
Your final mark for the production module will reflect the quality of the final submission and amount of input you have put into the combined project either as a producer or director. Your tutors will evaluate your creative and physical input to the project and your course based on your journals, tutorials, other students’ submissions and any other submissions. In this sense a well-produced project can be awarded a distinction to the producer even if the director achieves a pass for his or her work.

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The MA in Performing Shakespeare is designed for students interested in the performance of Shakespeare and who want to study both original and contemporary practices of Shakespeare’s theatre. Read more
The MA in Performing Shakespeare is designed for students interested in the performance of Shakespeare and who want to study both original and contemporary practices of Shakespeare’s theatre. The course uses traditional and practice-based research methods for learning and offers an MA degree with choice of thesis project; written or practice-based.

The MA in Performing Shakespeare offers postgraduate students an opportunity to combine practical and contextual study to develop their expertise as artists and educators of Shakespeare. It draws upon:

• Practice-based learning
• Staff who are highly regarded specialists
• Unique flexible delivery model
• Excellent links with industry

Course structure and content

The MA in Performing Shakespeare introduces you to the historic and contemporary practices of performing Shakespeare. The course uses traditional and practice-based research methods and offers the choice of thesis project, written or practical. Regardless of which thesis project you choose, you will benefit from our links with industry specialists, resident scholars and educational opportunities with professional companies like Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company.

This course gives you the opportunity to creatively apply Shakespeare performance practices to your own work and ideas, and will aid in developing your autonomous and collaborative learning and performance skills. You are also able to explore Shakespeare in-depth through a variety of research methods and are given the support and freedom to build upon your practice and research profile by completing a written dissertation or developing a Shakespeare project from start to finish. These experiences are valuable for developing actors, directors, educators, scholars and Shakespeare enthusiasts. The course will equip you with the knowledge, skills and experience to pursue a professional career in the study and/or practice of performing Shakespeare.

Most of the contact hours and foundational skills classes, workshops, seminars, and lectures take place in the first trimester (usually October – February) and these classes are likely to be scheduled in afternoon-late evening hour slots (depending on each specialist’s availability). The Second trimester (beginning about mid February) usually begins with a visit to Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and the RSC in Stratford Upon Avon (both visits could be up to a week or more depending on each company’s schedule). You will find that after these off-site visits (at about March) that most of your work will be primarily independent and via the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), leading into your final dissertation work; which can be produced independently and remotely should you wish. It is suggested that you prepare to be resident in Bath from October until March (depending on course scheduling) but that there will be more flexibility in your schedules as the course moves through each trimester leading to your dissertation.


Research Methods and Shakespeare Studies (30 Credits AT7000)
This module introduces you to key study skills and current historical/critical considerations of Shakespeare’s canon. The module offers a broad overview of research methodology and postgraduate research skills as a step towards either your thesis dissertation or practical dissertation project. It also functions as a key Masters level module, enabling further postgraduate research and opportunities to collaborate with postgraduate students also studying in the area of Performing Arts. The module will also explore and reflect upon a critical analysis of existing works, ideas and trends in the study of Shakespeare in a written research submission you will prepare and present for dissemination.

Shakespeare in Play and Practice 1 (30 Credits AT7001)
This is a highly practical module in which you will learn a range of foundational performance skills from BSU and external specialists in the industry and study how such skills relate to the performing of Shakespeare’s plays. Foundational performance skills will be taught such as acting, voice and movement (including stage combat). In addition, other skills and specialisms may be studied including comedy and music. You will also study and perform extracts (monologues and scenes) from Shakespeare’s plays in order to demonstrate your skills through practice and knowledge sharing.

Shakespeare in Play and Practice 2 (30 Credits AT7002)
This module is a highly practical module in which you will learn a wide range of performance skills taught by Bath Spa and external specialists in the industry. Foundational performance skills will be taught such as acting, directing, staging and voice. In addition, other technical skills may be taught including Clowning and Fooling, Stage Combat, Movement and Music. The module is taught through mostly workshops and seminars, and assessments may include presentations, performances and productions (directed and self-directed).

Shakespeare and the Globe (30 Credits AT7003)
This module covers the theoretical, historical and practical research of Shakespeare’s Theatre in classic and contemporary contexts. The module includes specialist lectures and off-site visits with Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and the RSC. You will engage in independent study on topics introduced through the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) and assessments may include performance projects, research assignments, literature reviews, performance reviews, and other assignments tied to your learning experience.

Performing Shakespeare Thesis (60 Credits AT7004)
In this module you will choose one of two thesis projects leading to an MA degree. If you choose the written MA project you will identify and undertake a research thesis topic that will culminate in a 13,000 word dissertation. If you choose the practice-based project you will undertake a major professional quality performance project and submit a supporting research portfolio. Tutorials to prepare for this thesis module may be conducted in the second trimester or early in the third. In this module you will engage in independent study/practice in order to develop your autonomous research and/or professional practice. You will be further supported through tutorials, meetings and the VLE.


• Dr Terri Power (Course Director) – Performing and Staging Shakespeare
• Dr. Matthew Spring – Elizabethan Music
• Mark Langley – Voice Specialist
• Gordon Kemp – Stage Combat
• Pat Welsh – Comedy Specialist
• Dr Laura Purcell Gates – Movement Specialist
• And guest lecturers and artists

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The MA in Arts Management has been developed to take account of the significant changes taking place in the arts and across the creative industries. Read more
The MA in Arts Management has been developed to take account of the significant changes taking place in the arts and across the creative industries. Working in close collaboration with sector partners the course is appropriate and adaptive to this changing and challenging environment. Their direct input will help expand your theoretical understanding and professional knowledge through hands-on experience and work-based learning.

The course offers a unique opportunity to engage with an extensive range of regional, national and international arts and cultural organization covering the full range of the creative industries from dance, theatre and music to digital creativity, the fine arts and fashion to heritage, museums and cultural tourism.

"The arts stimulate us, educate us, challenge and amuse us. They are of instrumental, as well as intrinsic, value and their social benefits are numerous and beyond doubt." [Maria Miller, Culture Sector Minister, April 2013]

Culture, the arts and the creative industries in the UK are estimated to be worth around £36 billion to our economy – our creative and cultural excellence plays a crucial role in our national identity, and is recognized globally.

In the 21st century, culture and arts policy and practice are being shaped against a background of enormous change and challenge across the creative sectors. Arts managers and administrators are instrumental in the governance and sustainability of the creative sectors. From policy makers to caretakers of arts buildings and infrastructure, from pioneers of economic innovation to leaders of excellence in creative practice, cultural leaders and managers of the arts will increasingly need to be flexible, responsive and imaginative practitioners, equally comfortable in a variety of settings, and adept at working in partnership with a wide range of organisations. They will need to be people who see the arts and culture as a vital part of the wider economy.

Bath, a relatively small city with a resident population of about 80,000, attracts over 4 million visitors every year. It hosts an annual series of internationally renowned arts and cultural festivals, has been a fashionable spa for leisure and pleasure since the 18th century, and is a World Heritage Site with a rich offering of museums and galleries. It is also a city at the heart of the South West, ideally situated between Bristol and London on the M4 high tech and creative industries ‘corridor’.


The course builds on your previous experience and background, expanding your professional arts knowledge, management skills, entrepreneurial thinking, and creative leadership skills. Designed and delivered in close collaboration with leading arts organisations, the course will provide you with the theoretical framework, appropriate skills and practical experience to meet the challenges of working in your chosen field.

The modules cover theory, critical thinking, skills development and practical experience; they have been designed to allow you to demonstrate an ability to analyse historic and current debates in and about culture and the arts; to apply this analysis to contemporary practice, structures, funding and participation; and to relate both to the complex range of activities involved in ‘managing the arts’.

The programme is offered in a modular format. You will take a mix of taught modules in the first two trimesters (120 credits), including a compulsory work-placement and complete a dissertation or placement-based project in the third trimester (60 credits). To achieve the MA you will need to complete 180 credits in total.


Trimester 1
• Arts Management in the 21st Century (core module, 30 credits)
• Management in Practice (core module, 30 credits)

Trimester 2
• Research and Writing for the Arts, Heritage and Culture (core module, 30 credits)
• Supported Placement (core module, 30 credits)

Trimester 3 (75 words per section)
• Placement Project or Research Project (option module, 60 credits)
• Heritage, Museums and Arts Management: an international perspective* (option module, 60 credits)


The course will enable you to combine academic study with placements and practical work, and to accommodate the needs of those in paid employment. Learning is encouraged through participation in a wide variety of activities including lectures, seminars, workshops, tutorials, online activity and discussion, work-based learning, and research projects. Each module will include contributions from leaders in their field, whether for short lectures or longer workshops; a number of them will continue to act as mentors and help guide you through your placement project or final dissertation. The subject for this will be developed in consultation with the course leader and, where relevant, with your placement host.

Access to key thinkers and doers is an integral part of the course. As well as reflecting on the uncertainties of the moment, the course is intended to introduce you to people who are dealing with them for real.

Face-to-face contact during tutorials and workshops is intended to encourage and facilitate peer-support and shared learning; there will be opportunities for joint and group working.


Staff on this course offer you access to a wide range of academic and practical expertise in Arts Management. We are committed to delivering the highest quality teaching and learning and the application of that learning to deliver effective practice in the workplace. There will also be a range of professional arts management practitioners from across the arts and cultural sectors who will deliver lectures and workshops, mentor students on placements and research projects, and work professionally with students on collaborative public projects.


Careers in arts management are varied and cover every cultural and artistic area. They include roles in:
• Events and venue management
• Programming events and seasons
• Audience development
• Community engagement and social inclusion
• Education and learning
• Marketing, press and communications
• Production management
• Fundraising
• Visitor services, ‘front-of-house’ management, retail services
• Managing artists and performers

The course includes a range of generic skills and opportunities that are aimed at increasing employability for our postgraduates in the voluntary sector, social enterprises, fundraising, and a wide range of administrative and management roles.

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