Applications for funded places have now closed. You can still apply for a place on the programme, should you wish to self fund your studies.

Postgraduate Taught

PgCert Applied Arts and Social Practice

With growing interest in applied arts and social practice, this PgCert will allow students to graduate with a better understanding of how artists, theatre practitioners and other creatives apply their skills in social contexts, third sector organisations, public health, social welfare, education and criminal justice, while giving them the practical and enterprise skills to develop a sustainable career in their chosen field.

The combination of modules makes this PgCert, and indeed the full MA, unique in Scotland. The flexible study options and diverse curriculum make it particularly suitable if you are already working in the sector or wish to do so while studying.

(Although applications for funded places have now closed, you can still apply for a place on the course, should you wish to self fund your studies.)

This is a new course which is still in development and subject to validation.


Why QMU?

  • You’ll be part of an international cohort of students working closely and collaboratively with staff, gaining the optimum balance of theoretical and practical learning.
  • You’ll benefit from a range of professional expertise as well as field trips to key cultural organisations and festivals across Scotland. 

Course overview

The course will provide students with necessary knowledge, skills and experience to best prepare them for applying the arts and creativity in areas such as third sector organisations, public health, social welfare, education, and criminal justice. It also aims to provide students with the enterprise skills to establish and market themselves as applied arts practitioners in a professional context.

You may find it particularly suitable if you have already worked within social practice, or wish to broaden your understanding of your professional social practice. The course also works well for people with significant workplace experience who want to gain a formal qualification in a flexible manner.

Over the past three decades within the UK, there has been a significant and sustained growth of the arts within a social context. Indeed, the proposed Cultural Strategy in Scotland currently looks at embedding artistic and creative practices across numerous sectors, inviting artists, theatre makers, musicians, and all creative practitioners to be productive within industry, business, education and social settings.

Concurrently, the arts are becoming more important within health and well-being contexts and the recent national report Creative Health: Arts for Health and Wellbeing calls for artists to play a vital role in the social health and well-being of the population to the extent that GP’s in Scotland and England can prescribe artistic activities in order to tackle social issues such as obesity, loneliness, and depression. This MA will provide qualified students to service the growing demand for this type of creative practice.


Exit awards

PgCert (60 credits)


The PgCert Applied Arts and Social Practice consists of 60 credits composed of at least two 20 credit modules from the most specialised modules (Practice as Research, Applied Arts: Theories and Histories, or Social Practice: Working With People) which have been selected as being of most interest to those seeking primarily to develop their professional skills and competencies. Students would then take one other 20-credit module from the MA programme structure that most suits their personal development objectives in order to complete the requisite credits required for a PgCert.

Teaching, learning and assessment

Teaching comprises a stimulating combination of lectures, seminars, workshops, tutorials, case studies, simulation exercises, field trips and projects, as well as a period of practice-based learning. Assessment throughout the course will take a variety of forms, including essays, reports, exams, group and individual presentations. 

Teaching hours and attendance

Your specific timetable will depend on whether you are studying full-time, part-time or an individual module. Each module involves around 25 hours of face to face teaching. This will be a mixture of weekly classes combined with a series of intensive study days, as well as the possibility of some field trips outwith of regular teaching time.

Timetables are normally available around one month before you commence your studies.

Class sizes

Normally, we would expect around 8 to 12 students enrolling on the course each year.

Links with industry/ professional bodies

Teaching staff have extensive professional experience and networks to draw from including local and national bodies. Our location in Edinburgh also means rapid access to a variety of communities and arts organisations with whom to work, as well as the opportunity to travel further afield across Scotland and the UK due to our excellent travel connections.

Teaching staff

View the profiles of the staff teaching on this course

Contact Dr Andy Henry

Contact Irvine Allan

Contact Dr Anthony Schrag


Two of the following modules:

  • Practice As Research (20 credits)
  • Applied Arts: Theories and Histories (20 credits)  
  • Social Practice: Working with People (20 credits)

Plus, one of the following modules: 

  • Planning and Marketing Cultural Projects (20 credits)
  • Fundraising, Finance and Development (20 credits)
  • Only Way is Ethics: Art Representation and Ethics (20 credits)

The modules listed here are correct at time of the last update (Feb 2020) but are subject to change following validation of the course. Please check this site for any updates.

Single modules for CPD

Register as an associate student to study single modules in areas of interest. Contact Andy Henry for more information.

You may also like to consider the block taught PgCert Arts Management.


We require students take up industry-based learning opportunities where they can put theory into practice. Although we support students to find opportunities, you are responsible to secure your own arrangements in line with your personal interests. We have numerous connections across a wide variety of organisations and we are particularly well considered by our industry peers in the cultural sector. If you are already working in the sector, you can use your existing employment as the site for your industry based learning.


This course aims can help students develop their own freelance career, but will also meet the growing needs of organisations with community based outreach departments.

Entry requirements

A UK honours degree (or equivalent) in a creative subject area OR significant work experience in arts-led community projects.

You will be required to outline your creative practice as part of the application so that we can ensure we have suitable expertise and facilities to support the type of work you wish to undertake.

International: Where your honours degree has not been studied in English, you will be required to provide evidence of English language competence at no less than IELTS 6.5 with no individual component score less than 6.0.

Application deadline


More information and contacts

Contact Admissions or contact Anthony Schrag on tel: +44(0)131 474 0000

We would be delighted for you to visit us on campus to find out more about our MA Applied Arts and Social Practice course.

Fees and transitionary scholarships for postgraduate EU students in 21/22 and 22/23

As part of our management of the Brexit transition, for many of our courses, including this one, we have introduced an EU transitional scholarship for EU full-time postgraduate students commencing their studies on campus in academic years 2021/22 and 2022/23. This provides a 40% discount on international tuition fees. The scholarship is available to EU students for whom the international fee rate applies and covers the courses marked with a # in the Postgraduate Fees – Full-Time Study section of our Fees page. This transitional scholarship is not applicable to students from the Republic of Ireland, who will continue to be eligible for the home fee rate.

Please Note:

The delivery of this course is subject to the terms and conditions set out in our 2020/21 Entry - Terms and Conditions (Postgraduate).

Course Overview

At QMU with some industry-based learning
Full-time: 1 year; Part-time: 2-7 years.
Start Date
September 2021
January 2022
Study Abroad
School of Arts, Social Sciences and Management
Subject Area
Fees & Funding

Engage with the Team