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MA Applied and Community Arts (with Specialism)



What will I learn?

Working in partnership with a range of arts and cultural organisations, the University of Bolton’s MA Applied and Community Arts degree focuses on preparing you to undertake projects with tangible social, educational and cultural benefits. Our experienced team will support you to develop the real-world, essential skills needed for success as a professional arts practitioner in areas such as community arts, youth work, prisons and the probation service, and health and wellbeing.

Course Details

The power of arts and culture to effect positive change to communities, social regeneration, and health and wellbeing is increasingly being recognised by central and local government agencies. If you have a passion for helping arts and cultural organisations to engage their communities more effectively, this master’s degree offers you a route into a rewarding career in applied and community arts. Whether you are progressing straight from undergraduate study, or are already working in the sector, this programme aims to prepare you to work in partnership with a range of arts and cultural organisations to undertake projects that have tangible social, educational and cultural benefits.

Our dedicated team will support you as you investigate the current arts landscape to develop your understanding of the social, political and cultural contexts for the arts, examining growth areas such as arts and wellbeing, social prescribing, social engagement and regeneration. The applications for arts in the community are varied and you’ll have the opportunity to explore areas such as youth work, arts in prisons and the probation service, and arts for health and wellbeing.

Your studies will focus on key aspects of applied and community arts practice, including facilitation, project management and leadership. Audience engagement and impact evaluation will also form key cornerstones of your learning. You’ll have the opportunity to work with a number of arts and cultural organisations via live briefs and work-based learning, as well as gain additional qualifications such as safeguarding, health and safety in the workplace, and first aid to further strengthen your professional profile. Our aim is to support you to develop the real-world skills that will enable you to work freelance, on contracted roles within existing organisations, or to set up your own company.

Career opportunities

Our industry-focused MA Applied and Community Arts is designed to appeal if you hold a degree in an Art and Design, Theatre, Dance, Creative Writing or associated subject, and are looking to forge a career supporting arts and cultural organisations to effect positive change to communities, enable social regeneration, and enhance health and wellbeing. The University of Bolton’s strong and growing links with arts and cultural organisations across the North West means we can offer you relevant practical work experience that complements your on-campus studies of the theories and principles that underpin the practice in applied and community arts.

As a graduate of this MA, you’ll possess valuable skills in collaborative working with other practitioners and industry professionals, as well as community members and participants in a host of applied and community settings. You’ll be able to act autonomously, and use your initiative, problem-solving and leadership skills to manage complex situations. You should also have the skills to take charge of your personal and professional development and be able to reflect on your progress as you work towards your goals.

Which department am I in?

Animation and Illustration

Study options

Full Time (1 year)

Tuition fees
£12,950.00 (US$ 15,622) per year
This is a fixed fee
Start date

Expected September 2023


University of Bolton

Deane Road,


BL3 5AB, England

Entry requirements

For international students

You should have at least an upper second class (2.1) honours degree in a relevant subject. Relevant subjects include Theatre, Performance, Drama, Dance, Creative Writing, Animation, Illustration, Art and Design, Fine Art, Graphic Design, Photography, Textiles and Surface Design and Fashion. If English isn’t your first language you’ll also need IELTS 6.0 with no less than 5.5 in any band (or equivalent). TOEFL with an overall score of 79 for Postgraduate including 17 in Listening, 20 in Writing, 18 in Reading and 18 in Speaking.

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.


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