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MA Academic Practice

The MA Academic Practice in Art, Design and Communication is designed for staff who have completed the PgCert Academic Practice (or equivalent) and who wish to pursue academic practice themes in more depth. Investigate further into one of the same 3 areas of academic interest: education, academic leadership or researcher development.

You can engage flexibly and and spread units over 2 or 3 years. Begin by taking one of 2 research skills units, depending on whether you intend to pursue practice-based or text-based approaches to your learning.  Complete an elective unit alongside this before progressing to an independent or collaborative dissertation.

Download the Study Pathways Diagram (PDF 279KB) to review possible routes through the course, and take a look at the full list of unit descriptions.

Please note: the Academic Practice programme is undergoing reapproval in 2020/21. From January 2022 the course structure and content of this MA Academic Practice will change from that outlined below. Check back in the summer term 2021 to find all the updated details and information.

What are the benefits of the MA Academic Practice?

  • Develop a chosen area of academic practice further.
  • Learn in a specialist arts university context.
  • Refine practice-based or text-based approaches to research.
  • Benefit from the flexible and blended modes of learning.
  • Learn alongside a committed group of professionals.
  • Enhance your professional practice.

What does the course involve?

Develop your selected interests by enrolling onto one of 2 40-credit research methods units.  Join the Research through Practice unit to formulate and develop a research idea through practice and a written proposal, or the Research Methods for Arts Higher Education unit to do the same via text-based approaches only.

Complete a second elective unit from the following list (shared with the PgCert ):

Finally, complete an independent study in the form of a dissertation.

As well as unit seminars, tutorials and independent study, you’ll attend a specified number of Teaching, Learning and Employability Exchange open research methods seminars, which include topics such as narrative inquiry, visual research methods, and ethnography.

How much work is involved?


Each 20 credits equals 200 notional learning hours. This includes between 15 and 30 hours of taught time per 20 credit unit alongside independent, collaborative or work-based study.

Download the timetable to look at all the scheduled teaching time for units and plan your diary.

Entry requirements

To apply for a place on the MA Academic Practice you must meet the following entry requirements:

  • PgCert Academic Practice Art, Design and Communication, or comparable academic credit accrued within the last 5 years (AAC) or prior experiential learning (APEL).
  • IELTS 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 on each element or equivalent (if you have not completed your secondary or higher education in English).

Find out more about AAC or APEL

Speak to your College or department coordinators

If you are applying from UAL, get in touch with your College or department coordinator to discuss the course in more detail.

If you are an external applicant, contact the Teaching and Learning team at academicpractice@arts.ac.uk.

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