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Creative Arts & Design×

University of Manchester, Full Time MA Degrees in Creative Arts & Design

We have 7 University of Manchester, Full Time MA Degrees in Creative Arts & Design

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The MA in Film Studies at the University of Manchester is a flexible programme of study, providing students with opportunities to study areas of film theory, history and culture, as well as aspects of applied practice. Read more

The MA in Film Studies at the University of Manchester is a flexible programme of study, providing students with opportunities to study areas of film theory, history and culture, as well as aspects of applied practice. It caters for students wishing to enhance their artistic and professional careers as well as those seeking to prepare for doctoral study. The course provides opportunities for students who are relatively new to the subject area to establish a foundation in the discipline as well as those who wish to pursue further study. It prepares students for doctoral study and/or employment in film, screen media and creative industries, as well as those who wish to employ their knowledge of screen media and practice in educational, social and community settings.

The course thus builds on extensive links between the University of Manchester and professional contexts and communities in Manchester and the North West. It encourages the research and practice of film in academic and creative contexts, in particular with engagement in non-traditional and/or community sites, combining artistic and academic exploration with a focus on social responsibility, critique and transformation.

Programme Director: Dr Felicia Chan (  )

Teaching and learning

The MA Film Studies programme offers a solid foundation in theoretical and critical film studies, built on staff expertise and specialisms from form and theory to historical and cultural approaches to national cinemas to the politics of identity, gender and sexuality, and film music as well as practice, for students who may wish to pursue the discipline at postgraduate level for personal or professional development. It also offers opportunities for research and practice in aspects of and approaches to applied Film Studies, for students who may be interested in pursuing more practice-based and socially engaged research, for example, using film production and audio-visual methodologies for research, knowledge exchange and community engagement. This involves acquiring practical skills in addition to theoretical knowledge, such as documentary film-making, sound design, film curation and programming, that could be applied to education, community and activist contexts, as well as work placement opportunities.

Following a mandatory first semester of two core modules, students are free to construct their MA programme from a diverse range of options, including established study options within School of Arts, Languages and Cultures, a directed reading or practice option (enabling you to pursue a specific area of research with the careful supervision of specialist staff), and a work placement option. Study options vary from year to year depending on staff availability.

Students are taught in seminars, small group tutorials, workshops and surgeries, offering opportunities for lively and engaged discussions. One-to-one supervision is offered on all dissertations. Assessment is primarily by written assignment, also there will also be opportunities for those interested in practice as research.

Coursework and assessment

Written coursework in each taught 30 credit taught module is constituted by a 6,000 word essay, or its equivalent, constituted by a combination of various kinds of written work, including essays, log books, evaluation reports, project critiques and practice analysis. The dissertation is constituted by a 15,000 word project on a topic chosen in consultation with the dissertation supervisor.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: 

Career opportunities

This Masters degree teaches and develops a range of transferable skills, and thus enables students to keep open a wide range of career options. Previous MA students have continued to take up PhD study with us, and many of these have gone on to academic and teaching careers in further and higher education institutions. Others have gone on to work for the BBC, in independent television production companies, festivals, film education and other areas of the film and screen media industry.



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Art Gallery and Museum Studies (AGMS) has been taught at The University of Manchester for more than 40 years. It is one of the longest established MA degree courses in museum studies in the country, and our alumni have reached senior positions in museums and galleries throughout the UK and overseas. Read more

Art Gallery and Museum Studies (AGMS) has been taught at The University of Manchester for more than 40 years. It is one of the longest established MA degree courses in museum studies in the country, and our alumni have reached senior positions in museums and galleries throughout the UK and overseas.

Today, the AGMS course is continually being reviewed and developed in response to new research, emerging critical approaches and shifts in museum practice. Manchester's traditional focus on the art gallery remains, but is now balanced by course units which address history, theory and practice in a range of institutions.

Throughout the degree, you will examine diverse issues related to museum theory and practice, visit numerous museums, galleries and cultural organisations, and have many opportunities to discuss ideas and issues with professionals and academics in the field. The AGMS course combines both guided and independent study, and includes seminars, guest lectures and site visits.

Special features

Work Placement (Semesters 1 and 2)

One of the most popular aspects of the AGMS is the work placement that you undertake in a museum or gallery. Each placement involves a minimum of 20 days work on a specific project, such as exhibition development, collections management, or education programme. Many students find this such a positive experience that they carry on working in their museum when the work placement has finished, and each year a few students are offered jobs by their placement hosts. Work placements start in Semester 1 (November/December) and finish in Semester 2 (June).

You can take the work placement either as 15-credit or 30-credit course.

During the MA, students have opportunities to design and participate in live projects with cultural organisations in Manchester. These include curating a collection, developing exhibitions, producing cultural events and working on creative collaborative projects.

Teaching and learning

Most teaching takes place in small interactive seminar groups, involving, as appropriate, directed-reading, fieldwork in museums and galleries, staff and student presentations, discussion, debate, problem-solving and group-work.

Most courses run one day/week over 12 weeks and there are variations in the number of class hours per teaching day depending on the course/week (i.e. 2-5 hours). As a general rule, a 30 credit course includes 300 learning hours, which can be roughly divided as follows: a third in classes or class-related work; a third in independent study; and a third in preparation of assignments.

Students undertake also a collections management group project (as part of the 'Managing Collections and Exhibitions' and an exhibition group project (as part of the 'Professional Practice Project' course) in collaboration with a museum, gallery or related cultural organisation in Manchester or the North West of England.

Postgraduate life in the Centre for Museology

Both the Centre for Museology and the School of Arts, Histories and Cultures host a varied programme of activities and events for postgraduate students, including occasional master classes and workshops, as well as our regular calendar of:

  • Museology research seminars
  • 'Showcase' seminars at the Manchester Museum
  • Institute for Cultural Practices events
  • Research forum for PhD students

Full-time or part-time?

The AGMS MA is available as a 1 year Full-time or a 2 year Part-time course. We particularly welcome part-time students and there are many advantages in combining study with work practice, whether you already have a museum post, or are just setting out on your career. Each year, a number of mid-career professionals take the MA degree on a part-time basis and find that the University provides a valuable space for reflection as well as for further learning. Part time students have classes one day per week (usually Tuesday or Thursday; although in Semester 2 it might be a different day depending on the option course you choose). On this one should also add our Thursday 5pm research, professional practice and academic skills workshops. You should also count time for library work/fieldwork that may require you coming to Manchester and although sometimes this can be done on the day of teaching, often one needs to come in a second day (and if you do this on Thursdays then you can combine it with the 5pm workshops). When the work placement kicks off (about November/December in Year 1 or Year 2) you should also count one more day/week (on average) at the Work Placement institution (which, if appropriate or relevant, can be the organisation where you currently work; but undertaking a project different to your day-to-day work) - this is of course if you decide to take the Work Placement module.



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Application closing date. August 10, 2018.  . The only course of its kind offered by a Russell Group University, our MA in Screenwriting is an intensive one-year training programme designed to professionalise writers and present a genuine gateway into the film and television industries. Read more

Application closing date: August 10, 2018.  

The only course of its kind offered by a Russell Group University, our MA in Screenwriting is an intensive one-year training programme designed to professionalise writers and present a genuine gateway into the film and television industries. Over the course of the year, students will work with leading industry practitioners to develop their screenwriting, pitching and story-breaking skills. By the end of the programme, each student will have developed a full length feature film screenplay, a pilot TV episode and two short films. Like all courses at the Centre for New Writing, this programme is taught by practitioners and as such it is vocationally-oriented and industry-focused. Students will have access to individual career guidance and training in how to navigate entry-level work in both the television and film industries.

The course includes regular speakers from the industry which last year included Beth Pattinson BBC Films ( Brooklyn, We Need to Talk About Kevin, Philomena ), Chris Chibnall (writer and creator of Broadchurch) and Pete Czernin, producer of In Bruges and Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (1 and 2).  

The course runs across two twelve week long semesters, during which students will attend weekly writing workshops in which they will study the very best of contemporary screenwriting, including shows such as Breaking Bad, True Detective, The Killing, Broadchurch, This is England, Rev, Transparency and The Sopranos. They will also cover British and American examples of charismatic film screenwriting from Goodfellas to The King's Speech via Alien .

In the second semester there will be a London industry day based at BAFTA with talks from agents, producers, and writers as well as a meeting with the BFI.

Students will study story design, visual story-telling and character arcs in both long-running television series and feature films. They will develop the tools to be able to analyse and critique screenwriting craft, and learn how to disseminate their own work. There will be weekly film screenings, and students will have access to an excellent lending library of films to watch at home. Through the duration of the course students will develop a broad and eclectic knowledge of cinema and television.

We intend to keep learning as specific to individual study as possible and study groups will be intentionally small in scale. The course capacity is limited to twelve students each year and you will be taught through a mixture of screenings, lectures and group discussion. Our `writers' room' ethos ensures an environment that encourages collaboration, sharing and creative risk-taking.

Importantly, each summer, we offer students a two week `hands-on' industry placement at a renowned film or TV production company either in London or the North West. Current partners include Film4 ( Room. Ex_Machina, The Lobster) , Wildgaze (Brooklyn) , Number 9 Films (Carol) , Left Bank (The Crown), Warp (This is England) , Red Productions ( Happy Valley, Scott and Bailey ), and Hammer Films ( The Woman in Black , Let Me In ). These placements are an excellent opportunity for students to make useful contacts, and to develop a practical and direct understanding of the professional context within which screenwriters ply their trade.

Coursework and assessment

To complete the MA, students are required to take 180 credits in total. They will take two semesters of courses consisting of workshops/tutorials and seminars. There are 60 credits in the first semester and 30 in the second with 90 for the dissertation.

  • All writing workshops meet for three hours per week.
  • Workshops will help students add to their portfolio by including adaptations, scenes, draft scripts, script reports, and genre presentations. 
  • Each workshop is assessed by a portfolio which will include pitches, treatments, scenes, draft scripts, script reports and notes on how to progress a draft.
  • Seminars also meet for three hours per week.
  • Students will also be offered two individual half- to one-hour tutorials per semester in order to discuss the progress of their writing.

Over the summer students complete a 'dissertation' which consists of a final revised version of a full-length screenplay. This is worth 60 credits.

Course unit details

In both semesters all students take a weekly writing workshop and a parallel seminar on craft. Both are 3 hours long. All teaching takes place on Monday or Tuesday.

Career opportunities

This programme is designed to train its graduates to work in the UK film and television industries. Some will work as professional screenwriters, others may take up other, related, positions.



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The MA in Creative Writing offers aspiring fiction writers and poets a one-year apprenticeship (or two years part-time) during which time they will study literary technique through reading and discussing the work of other contemporary writers in seminars, and will have the opportunity to develop their own work via regular workshops and individual tutorials. Read more

The MA in Creative Writing offers aspiring fiction writers and poets a one-year apprenticeship (or two years part-time) during which time they will study literary technique through reading and discussing the work of other contemporary writers in seminars, and will have the opportunity to develop their own work via regular workshops and individual tutorials.

Writers may choose to work on writing a novel and/or short stories and/or poems.

All students will have the opportunity to attend weekly workshops and masterclasses taught by Professor Jeanette Winterson.

More information about this programme can be found on the Centre for New Writing website .

Please note that both the full and part-time options are taught between 9am to 5pm. We do not offer evening classes. 

Coursework and assessment

Students take 60 credits worth of courses in semester one and 60 credits worth of courses in semester two. To complete the MA, students are required to take 180 credits in total;

  • All poetry and fiction writing workshops meet for two hours per week, and are worth 30 credits. Students will also be offered three individual half-hour tutorials per semester in order to discuss the progress of their writing. Each workshop is assessed by a portfolio of poetry or fiction.
  • Seminars also meet for two hours per week and are also worth 30 credits. They will usually be assessed by one 6,000 word essay or the equivalent.
  • Over the summer students complete a 15,000 word 'dissertation' which consists of a group of poems, a selection or short stories, or an extract from a novel. This is worth 60 credits.

Course unit details

In semester one, students may choose to take two workshops - one in fiction writing and one in poetry -- or they may take one workshop and one seminar - typical seminars will be 'The Art of Short Fiction' and 'Poetics'.

In semester two students wishing to focus on poetry writing will take a poetry workshop and a seminar on Contemporary Poetry; students wishing to focus on fiction writing will take a fiction writing workshop and a seminar in Contemporary Fiction.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: 

Career opportunities

Some of our students will go on (sometimes several years after completing their studies) to become published writers but most will not. The primary purpose of the Creative Writing MA in Manchester is therefore not to produce published writers but to help writers fulfil their potential and to help them understand and enjoy the literary traditions within which they are working. Graduates may go on to work in publishing, journalism, Arts administration, or (perhaps via a PhD programme) into university teaching.



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The MA in Arts Management, Policy and Practice enables students to develop their knowledge and understanding of the history, theory and practice of arts management; to gain an insight into the range of professional opportunities in the creative and cultural sector; and to acquire direct experience of the many areas of arts management. Read more

The MA in Arts Management, Policy and Practice enables students to develop their knowledge and understanding of the history, theory and practice of arts management; to gain an insight into the range of professional opportunities in the creative and cultural sector; and to acquire direct experience of the many areas of arts management. The programme has a strong practical, hands-on element. At the same time it offers a solid theoretical grounding, exploring cultural policy in its historical context and encouraging critical engagement with the philosophical, political, social and economic imperatives informing contemporary practice. Above all, we aim to produce pioneers rather than bureaucrats.

Lecturers from the Centre for Arts Management teach the MA with considerable input from arts professionals including staff from the Martin Harris Centre, Contact Theatre, the Royal Exchange, Whitworth Art Gallery and many other local cultural organisations. We also work closely with our sister programme, the highly regarded MA in Art Gallery and Museum Studies.

Aims

The programme is designed to serve as an entry-level qualification for recent graduates as well as offering professional development for mid-career practitioners. It offers flexibility and opportunities for specialisation, while ensuring a thorough grounding in essential principles and methodology. It provides a solid foundation for careers in different areas of the arts and creative industries, and caters for arts practitioners as well as aspiring managers.

Special features

The siting of the programme close to a range of leading arts venues offers a unique opportunity for students to engage with the practical considerations of arts management. The Martin Harris Centre is a hub of cutting edge research and interdisciplinary investigation: in addition to the Cosmo Rodewald Concert Hall and John Thaw Theatre, it is home to the Tipp Centre (Theatre in Prisons and Probation), the Centre for Screen Studies, Centre for Applied Theatre Research, Manchester Theatre in Sound (MANTIS), Manchester Centre for Music in Culture (MC2), and the NOVARS Research Centre for Electroacoustic Composition, Performance and Sound-Art. Other cultural organisations based at the university - Manchester Academy, Contact Theatre, Manchester Museum and the Whitworth Art Gallery - are only a few minutes' walk away.

The programme also benefits from the exceptionally rich grouping of arts-based institutions and agencies in Manchester and the North West - an area celebrated for containing more theatres than any other region outside London and now hosting the BBC at the new Media City at Salford Quays. Liverpool (European Capital of Culture 2008), Leeds and Sheffield are all within easy reach. A wide range of regional arts venues and organisations contribute to the programme by providing guest lecturers, site visits and work placements.

The programme is based within the School or Arts, Languages and Cultures. The core of the School's interest is the field of human cultures, beliefs and institutions. Its work embraces the material, visual, creative and performative dimensions of culture, and as such fosters a rich interdisciplinary culture led by world-renowned scholars with a diversity of expertise, from analysts to creative artists, from historians of ideas to cultural theorists. We work particularly closely with staff from the highly-rated departments of Music and Drama.

Coursework and assessment

All students take two core modules (Arts Management: Principles and Practice, and Cultural Policy) and write a dissertation (15,000 words, or for a practice-based dissertation 8,000-10,000 words plus project documentation). The remaining credits (two or three additional modules) are taken from a range of options including:

  • Work Placement in an arts organisation
  • Business Strategies for the Arts (Marketing, Finance and Business Planning)
  • Creative Learning: Arts, Heritage and Education
  • Professional Practice Live Project
  • Subject to availability, modules may also be selected from the MA in Art Gallery and Museum Studies or from elsewhere in the school.

All modules include a programme of guest lectures and/or practical seminars by experienced professionals based in cultural institutions in and around Manchester. The programme also features visits to a selection of key sites and venues in the North West.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: 

Career opportunities

This programme prepares graduates for a diverse range of career opportunities as managers, administrators, policy-makers or practitioners in various branches of the arts and cultural and creative industries. Opportunities exist in the public, private, and voluntary sectors; in theatres, opera houses, concert halls, arts centres, museums and galleries, and the media; with orchestras, theatre companies, dance companies, etc.; or with the Arts Council, British Council, Local Authority, Tourist Board and various funding bodies. Discrete posts include: programming manager; marketing director; education director; development or outreach officer; tour organiser; promoter, agent or artist's manager; website, database or IT manager; producer; consultant or market researcher; fundraiser; community artist; freelance workshop leader. Graduates may also find work in related areas such as teaching, social and educational work. Some students go on to pursue further study and research at doctoral level.



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This flexible pathway provides a solid masters-level foundation in musicology. With a strong focus on theory, methodology and current debates in the discipline, together with appropriate research techniques and presentational styles, it offers excellent preparation for doctoral study and also for applied work. Read more

This flexible pathway provides a solid masters-level foundation in musicology. With a strong focus on theory, methodology and current debates in the discipline, together with appropriate research techniques and presentational styles, it offers excellent preparation for doctoral study and also for applied work. The programme of study consists of four taught course units (each 30 credits) plus a dissertation or critical edition (60 credits). The combination of core and optional course units allows each student to plot a path that best matches his or her special interests and aspirations. Together, the taught units encompass a wide range of topics and approaches - from musicology as cultural history, through musicology and the body, source studies and performance practice, to postcolonial theory and postmodernism. Seminars allow for close collaboration between lecturers and students, with ample opportunity for students to present their own work and receive individual feedback. Discussion and debate forms an important part of most course units.

All students on the MusM Music programme take Advanced Music Studies: Skills and Methodologies as their core unit. Students on the Musicology pathway also take Case Studies in Musicology: Texts and Histories . Optional course units normally include Contemporary Music Studies ; Historical and Editorial Skills ; Studying World Music Cultures: Themes and Debates  Historical or Contemporary Performance(subject to audition); Advanced Orchestration ; and Ethno/Musicology in Action: Fieldwork and Ethnography . A maximum of 30 credits may be chosen from another MA programme in the arts or social sciences (subject to availability and approval by the course tutor): possible options include From Papyrus to Print: The History of the Book; Perspectives on Medieval and Renaissance Studies ; andGender, Sexuality and the Bod y.

SALC Placement offers students the opportunity to spend a minimum of 20 days over a period of up to 12 weeks with an arts and cultural organisation, business or service provider. Placements will be established in Semester 1 to take place early in semester 2; they will be supervised by a work-based mentor and overseen by an academic staff member. The placement may take the form of an investigation of a specific business idea, development strategy or management proposition to resolve a problem or particular issue, and will result in a placement report, proposal or essay.

Aims

This programme aims to:

  • —Build on undergraduate studies of music and society and the cultural study of music, introducing students to a wide range of advanced methodologies, theories, discourses and practices.
  • —Enable students to refine and develop their individual skills, talents and interests.
  • —Prepare students for a career, either inside or outside music, where critical judgement and developed powers of communication are needed.
  • —Foster the skills in critical thinking, argumentation, and effective written and oral communication necessary for further postgraduate study.
  • —Enable students to gain an expert and detailed knowledge of a specialist topic, and to formulate ideas that can later be pursued within further research programmes.

Teaching and learning

Most taught course units are delivered via weekly seminars and/or tutorials. Full-time students take two 30-credit course units per semester; part-time students take one. The dissertation or critical edition is supported by one-to-one supervision and is submitted at the beginning of September. (Part-time students may submit in either September or December following their second year of study.)

Seminars feature a range of presentation formats and activities, including presentations by course tutors, student presentations, discussion and debate based on prepared reading or coursework tasks, and workshop-style activities. Members of the academic staff are also available for individual consultations during designated office hours.

Alongside their taught units, students have access to a range of non-assessed seminars, workshops and training sessions offered by the Graduate School of the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures. All postgraduate students are expected to undertake their own programme of self-directed learning and skills acquisition. This may also involve wider reading, language work, computer training and attendance at research seminars in other parts of the university.

Coursework and assessment

There are no formal examinations. Taught course units are assessed by coursework essays or other tasks, normally submitted at the end of each semester (January and May). The precise nature of the assessment varies according to what is appropriate to the course unit in question. In most cases, a choice of questions or topics is offered. All taught units must be satisfactorily completed. The dissertation or critical edition (12,000-15,000 words or equivalent) is based on independent research into a topic agreed in consultation with the supervisor. A Research Outline needs to be presented and approved (usually in February) before students proceed with their dissertation. All coursework is double-marked internally and moderated by the External Examiner. Recitals are heard by at least two internal examiners.

Career opportunities

Graduates of this programme have pursued successful careers in musical and non-musical fields. Some continue to further study via a PhD before securing an academic position. Some go on to teach in schools or further education, both in the UK and overseas. Other areas of work for which advanced musical training has been directly relevant include arts management and the culture industries, music publishing, music journalism, librarianship, music therapy and performance. Careers outside of music have included accountancy, law, social work and human resources.  One of our graduates writes of how the skills she honed at Manchester helped prepare her for her first job as an Editorial Assistant at Oxford University Press: `I use my written/essay skills in text editing (prefaces, composer notes, biographies etc.) and in preparing sales copy; analytical skills are continually employed during the editing process; the discipline of editing and proofing your own work is as important in my job as it was in my studies; the research skills that I developed during my time at Manchester have been useful in source research and in checking the factual accuracy of texts; and general skills such as planning and time management have been helpful preparation for the world of work.'



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The MA in Modern and Contemporary Literature prepares students to undertake research the post-1900 literature and its contexts, and is also popular with those wish to broaden and deepen their critical engagement with the period. Read more

The MA in Modern and Contemporary Literature prepares students to undertake research the post-1900 literature and its contexts, and is also popular with those wish to broaden and deepen their critical engagement with the period. It draws on a critical mass of members of academic staff and institutional resources at The University of Manchester in twentieth and twenty-first century literature, culture and theory. The modules have been designed to introduce you to cutting-edge approaches to modern and contemporary writing. You will study four units, including at least one of a small group of possible core courses. (You can also take two or all three of these courses if you wish.)

There are also further optional courses to choose from including the modules Contemporary Fiction, and Postcolonial Literatures, Genres, and Theories. After your modules are complete you will undertake a dissertation, supervised by a member of academic staff.

Please note that the department also offers the MA English and American Studies .

Teaching and learning

Modern and Contemporary Literature students take 4 modules, including at least 1 of the 3 possible core courses:

  • Key Issues in Twentieth-Century Cultural Theory and Literary Criticism
  • Modernism and its Margins
  • Reading the Contemporary

Finally, students will write a 15,000-word dissertation, worth 60 credits, supervised by an academic member of staff.

Coursework and assessment

Students are required to take 180 credits of units as listed below.

The list of units on offer will be updated annually. Students may also choose up to 30 credits worth of units from another MA programme in place of one of their optional units, subject to the approval of the Programme Director.

Students will also attend seminars on such topics as how to study at MA level, how to research and write a Master's thesis, and career options.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: 



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