Inclusive Arts Practice MA/PGCert


Inclusive arts practice project work, MA, University of Brighton

  • Our Inclusive Arts Practice MA and PGCert at the University of Brighton is aimed at artists or individuals with an arts background who are working in the arts, health, education or community sector.
  • The course aims to equip students with the necessary skills to initiate and manage truly inclusive arts projects with diverse and marginalised groups.
  • Students can choose to study for either an MA award over two years or a PGCert award over one year, part-time.
  • Inclusive Arts Practice at Brighon aims to explore key issues in the inclusive arts debate by collaborating artistically with marginalised community groups such as the learning disabled Rocket Artists or those experiencing exclusion due to economic or health reasons.
  • Past students have worked with a diverse range of individuals and participant groups including people with learning disabilities, children, young people, elders, those experiencing homelessness, asylum seekers and the youth offending teams.
  • There are opportunities to work in a diversity of settings that have, to date, included schools, galleries, artist studios, design studios, day centres, photographic studios, FE colleges.
  • Students have made partnerships locally in and around Brighton as well as international projects taking place in countries including Romania and Ukraine.
  • We value and encourage work across a range of art-forms including and not exclusively visual art but, for example, design, illustration, performance, film and photography.




Key facts

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individual offers may vary

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The fees listed here are for full-time courses for the upcoming academic year only. Further fees are payable for subsequent years of study.

The tuition fee you have to pay depends on a number of factors including the kind of course you take, whether you study full- or part-time and whether or not you already have a higher education qualification. If you are studying part-time you will normally be charged on a pro rata basis depending on the number of modules you take. Different rules apply to research degrees - contact the course team for up-to-date information.

Visit for more information, including advice on international and island fee paying status, and the government's Equivalent or Lower Qualification (ELQ) policy.



Inclusive arts in schools, University of BrightonImage: 'Inclusive Schools' project, a Brighton and Hove City Council funded project enabling inclusive learning workshops with schools 

The MA course is delivered through a series of seven units of study over two years: PGCert students study the Working Together and Issues and Debates units only.

Working together: introducing practical collaboration

This unit is a practical introduction to Inclusive Arts Practice to explore processes of collaborative working and art facilitation skills. Students undertake a series of supported arts workshops in local artists studios working alongside the learning disabled Rocket Artist Group. Students establish key philosophies and practices of inclusive practice suitable for transference to other community groups later in the course and their future practice.

Issues and debates: introduction to inclusive arts practice

This unit introduces and interrogates the ideas and practices of inclusive arts practice through key readings, tutor-facilitated workshops and peer discussion. Including issues and debates around the similarities and differences between Disability Arts, Art Therapy, Occupational Therapy and Inclusive Arts Practice, and other approaches to collaboration and inclusion.

Developing and Documenting Inclusive Arts Practice.

This unit is an opportunity to further develop the artistic and technical skills needed to ethically plan, participate and document examples of collaborative inclusive practice through still and moving image.

Research in progress

This unit is designed to support students in the development, implementation and completion of their individual research projects. A series of work-in-progress seminars and workshops run alongside the delivery of students’ ongoing practical art projects.

Action research: making it visible

This is the main unit of the second year and runs in parallel with the Research in Progress unit, whereby students capture and present their research findings through to public exhibition, performance or otherwise to demonstrate good practice and impacts of Inclusive Arts Practice.

Looking ahead: continuing professional development

This unit is designed to enhance the professional practice of arts practitioners and equip students with the skills and contacts to manage their future career paths. Covering areas such as working with museums and galleries, funding, public programming, Health and Safety, budget management, partnership development and marketing.

Option unit

Students can choose one option unit of study from across the wider Arts and Media masters programme. To be negotiated with the course leader.


Units are usually assessed by presentations, seminar discussions, practical work and workbooks. The final research is assessed through exhibition, being a practice based course there is no dissertation.



Inclusive arts practice, University of Brighton Image: 'Consequences' drawing project

The course provides a progression route for students completing programmes in Art, Photography and Design. It may also provide opportunities for students in related fields such as health and Social Care or Historical and Critical Studies. It is also suitable for those who are currently employed as arts workers in disability, social care and educational settings and whose employers are seeking to support relevant training and development opportunities for their staff.

On completion of the course, students are ideally placed to seek employment in a range of visual art/disability/community/health/education settings. Recent graduates have gone on to work for various organisations including Project Art Works, The Royal Academy and Kings College Hospital Trust. The course would also make a significant contribution to an artist's independent studio practice and recent alumni have exhibited work at various locations including Phoenix Arts, Brighton Dome and Pallant House.

Past students have founded projects such as Red Octopus Theatre and have contributed to a wide range of projects and events including:

Students and alumni have successfully secured funding for Inclusive Arts projects and research through the Springboard Grant scheme, the Santander/Beepurple Social Enterprise Award, Arts Council England and the Winston Churchill Award and have progressed to PHD research through scholarship funding.


Student research

Inclusive arts on the South Downs project Image: 'Art on the Downs' project in which University of Brighton art students collaborated with a women's art group from a local council estate

A key feature of Inclusive arts practice research is that it is mutually beneficial, supporting knowledge creation and exchange rather than knowledge transfer. This places the artist practitioner in the more radical role of collaborator or framework holder/facilitator and proposes a shift away from the more traditional notion of ‘worthy works’.   

"Arts-based inquiry is uniquely positioned as a methodology for radical, ethical and revolutionary research that is futuristic, socially responsible, and useful in addressing social inequities." (Finley, 2009)

In Year Two of the course, students undertake their own research project through to public exhibition. Student research projects include working in a diverse range of art-forms, contexts and participant groups.  

Here are some examples of research undertaken by students on the course:

  • ‘How can the researcher facilitate a process, which enables a balanced artistic collaboration to transpire between an artist with a learning disability and herself, using a combination of photography and text as the stimuli?’   
  • ‘What strategies need to be in place in order for an artist with a learning disability to participate in the creative industries?’  
  • ‘Exploration of how a visual arts programme might bolster and build resilience in young people with complex learning disabilities. Developed over a series of 10 art workshops applying a Resilient Therapy (RT) framework, focusing on three of the 'compartments' of RT:  Belonging, Learning and Core Self.’   
  • ‘How can two people communicate what collaboration means to them within creative environments through an exploration of non-verbal communication?   ‘How can photographic and new media practices support a group of young people reflect on their own lives in a rural, Ukranian village in 2010?’


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