Course specification and structure
Undergraduate Course Structures Postgraduate Course Structures

PMPUBART - MA Public Art and Performance

Course Specification

Validation status Validated
Highest award Master of Arts Level Masters
Possible interim awards Postgraduate Diploma, Postgraduate Certificate, Advanced Diploma in Professional Development
Total credits for course 180
Awarding institution London Metropolitan University
Teaching institutions London Metropolitan University
School School of Art, Architecture and Design
Subject Area Art
Attendance options
Option Minimum duration Maximum duration
Full-time 1 YEARS 2 YEARS
Part-time 2 YEARS 4 YEARS
Course leader  

About the course and its strategy towards teaching and learning and towards blended learning/e-learning

This professionally-focused MA establishes its unique vision by exploring current practices and discourses in art, performativity and public engagement. It directly benefits from partnerships and collaborations with art institutions both nationally and internationally, providing real-life case studies of work. Public engagement is at the core of current programming by art institutions worldwide. Museums and public galleries have been increasingly encouraged to explore innovative ways to make the public directly involved in their experiences, rather than as passive visitors. This MA aims to be at the forefront of this movement, identifying both its creative potentials and the professional opportunities within it.

The course utilises its central London location as a major asset. Many sessions are developed off-site, in a variety of visits to exhibitions and locations used for the development of new art experiences. This contributes to the MA being career-centred, allowing students to come face to face with the sector, making professional contacts and having a hands-on understanding of the field.

The interdisciplinary nature of the course means that it is designed for creatives from all artistic disciplines (visual art, performance, installation, digital art, music, literature), as well as those interested in the production and management of public-facing art events. Students will be encouraged to collaborate, but the core of the work will be done independently, giving the course a high degree of flexibility.

Reflecting the ethos of The Cass and LondonMet, the course is therefore career-driven, diverse in reach and championing its London position as a leading vantage point in the international cultural sector.

Course aims

The central focus of the programme is on how art engages with the public. In doing so, the course aims to:

- explore innovative models of public interaction, such as immersive practices, digital technologies, participatory activities, theatricality in contemporary art;
- frame public engagement through the perspective of performativity, as applied to a variety of artistic disciplines;
- look at the use of public spaces, thinking site-responsively and envisioning new ways for the public to experience art;
- reflect on the aesthetic, ethical and professional implications of public engagement, through direct experience of industry case studies;
- mentor students in developing their own projects of public art and performance, across artistic disciplines and curatorial needs;
- promote an industry-focused approach, responding the current professional demand in the sector.

Course learning outcomes

In completing the course, students will have gained:
• LO1 an in-depth understanding of public engagement practices in the arts, drawing on real-life models of work;
• LO2 multiple opportunities to creatively explore public engagement strategies, through both short-term activities and a sustained MA project;
• LO3 technical competences in the working sector, both in project managing and in initiating and fundraising for new work;
• LO4 academic proficiency in framing practice-based projects in art and curation, evaluating artistic, cultural and ethical issues, and drawing on relevant theories in the subject area;
• LO5 the development of a professional mindset to sustain a career in public art and performative practices, responding to the current trends of the sector;
• LO6 the ability to initiate projects of public art and performative practices, directing and managing the development and making process with others to achieve a convincing and well-worked proposal;
• LO7 the development of an individual response and approach to the creative challenges of public art and performance, defending one’s position and work in practical, conceptual and socially responsible terms;
• LO8 the construction and creation of an iterative process that communicates, tests and evaluates artistic ideas through critical, self-reflective and objective processes of analysis;
• LO9 the ability to articulate and defend clearly to clients, commissioners, peers and related professionals the intentions of an artistic project and the rationale underpinning its development and production.

Course learning outcomes / Module cross reference

Year Long (30 weeks) FA7050 Public Art and Performative Practices LO1, LO2, LO7, LO8

Year Long (30 weeks) FA7044 Research for Practice LO1, LO4, LO9

Autumn Period (15 weeks) FA7051 Professional Focus 1: Public Art, Funding and Commissions LO3, LO5, LO6, LO9

Spring Period (15 weeks) FA7052 Professional Focus 2: Project Managing Public Art LO3, LO5, LO6, LO9

Summer Period (15 weeks) FA7P48 Project as Professional Practice LO2, LO5, LO6, LO7, LO8, LO9

Principle QAA benchmark statements

Although there are no specific subject benchmarks at this level, we have aligned our course to the following subject benchmarks:
(Art and Design – February 2017
Dance, Drama and Performance - December 2019)

Assessment strategy

In the Autumn and Spring semesters, students will engage with the module Public Art and Performative Practices, which is designed to provide an overall conceptual path for their learning. Here, they will work in conjunction with associated institutional partners and explore the artistic and cultural potential as well as the inherent challenges in developing public artworks. Sessions on campus will alternate with regular visits to London art organisations as well as seminars and workshops in studio, where the ideas explored will be tested practically. A strong emphasis will be placed on the idea that all public art can be seen as performative, regardless of the disciplines entailed: the ideas of public work and performativity will therefore represent interdisciplinary stimuli for a variety of tasks and topics, which will be used to trigger a series of practical projects in response.

Alongside the above students will develop their research awareness through FA7044 Research for Practice, enabling them to understand the implications of developing methodologies and academic inquiries through the work, informing their artistic perspectives with theoretical and methodological rigour. This module therefore works side-by-side with the former, so that the two combined provide a model of practice/theory integration.

Practical industry skills will be delivered through the Professional Focus strand of the course: Professional Focus 1: Public Art, Funding and Commissions (Autumn) and Professional Focus 2: Project Managing Public Art (Spring). The former looks at the business and management implications of public art projects, such as fundraising, searching for commissions, planning, producing and managing existing projects. The latter looks at the logistic implications of public art experiences, exploring best practice in project planning, risk assessing, public liability, access and ethical implications.

All four Autumn and Spring modules will then directly inform the students’ independent project in the Summer Studies Period, in which they will bring to completion their own working concept in collaboration with related industry organisations.

The range of assessment tasks on this course reflects the interdisciplinary combination of the above modules, in both practical and written projects. Feedback to these places emphases, accordingly, on artistic practice, professional skills and scholarly competence.

Organised work experience, work based learning, sandwich year or year abroad

The course is based on the direct observation of professional case studies. This will entail a range of collaborations, from one-off visits to sustained collaborations, with relevant art institutions and projects. Rather than a single placement, the course will encourage multiple opportunities to foster contacts in the industry.

The final project of the MA is designed to provide students with a sustained experience in delivering a work or experience of public art to professional standards, thus contributing to the student’s career development. Moreover, the Professional Focus 1 and 2 modules are aimed at equipping students with the technical and professional skills necessary to sustain a career in the sector.

Depending on the specificities of their own disciplines and on the nature of the projects they will want to carry out during the course, students will need to budget for possible expenses incurred in terms of materials and equipment needed. The academic team will endeavour to reduce the possibility of additional costs with regards to off-site visits, largely by focusing on London public venues with free admission. In some cases, international trips may be proposed, which may involve students covering their own travel/accommodation costs. These will either be optional extra-curricular opportunities or, if integral to curricular activities, suitable alternatives at no extra cost will be provided locally.
Students must be prepared to travel within London (between campuses and to other sites) as standard practice on the course.

Course specific regulations

The course shall conform to both framework and University Academic Regulations. Please note that Project as Professional Practice may only be undertaken once FA7044 and FA7050 have been passed, and FA7051 and FA7052 have been completed.

Part-time structure: TWO OPTIONS, to be discussed with the student by the CL



FA7050 Public Art & Performative Practices

FA7051 Professional Focus 1: Public Art Funding and Commissions


FA7044 Research for Practice

FA7052 Professional Focus 2: Project Managing Public Art

FA7P48 Project as Professional Practice



FA7050 Public Art and Performative Practices

FA7044 Research for Practice


FA7051 Professional Focus 1: Public Art, Funding and Commissions

FA7052 Professional Focus 2: Project Managing Public Art

FA7P48 Project as Professional Practice

Modules required for interim awards


Arrangements for promoting reflective learning and personal development

Across the course, there will be multiple opportunities for self-reflection and PDP. The practical nature of the course and its career-centred focus ensure that the student is consistently assessing their progress in relation to given tasks and in collaborative situations.

Each module is progressively tailored to the student’s own projects and this process is continuously aided by self-reflection, in both structured assessment activities as well as in formative experiences throughout the course. PDP strategies are also inherent to the professional practices and competences taught within the course, as quintessential aspects of project initiation and management in the art sector.

Other external links providing expertise and experience

FHEQ level descriptors and characteristics

Career, employability and opportunities for continuing professional development

The interdisciplinary nature of this course encourages the development of skills that are transferable beyond the public art-specific context, into the broader art sector.
Career opportunities include:
1) professional artists, whose work explores idea of public engagement, communicated in any medium;
2) performance practitioners, exploring audience interaction and participation;
3) project leaders and curators in the field of public art, working creatively with teams and partners;
4) event producers and managers in the area of public art projects;
5) managers and administrators in public art, outreach and participation.

Furthermore, the course provides professional skills in setting up both self-employed careers as well as working within existing institutions. The existing institutional links embedded in the course are designed to facilitate professional contacts for the students.

Career opportunities

Build your knowledge of the art world and discover careers in a growing field within the industry. Career opportunities include:

  1. professional artists, whose work explores the idea of public engagement, communicated in any medium, including visual art and performance
  2. performance practitioners, exploring audience interaction and participation
  3. project leaders and facilitators in the field of public engagement, working creatively with teams and partners
  4. managers and administrators in public art, outreach and participation
  5. curators of public programmes and events
  6. academics and communicators in the field of public art and public engagement

Entry requirements

You will be required to have:

  • a minimum of a 2.2 honours degree (or equivalent) in any subject discipline

A full university application form will need to be submitted, which includes a detailed statement to support your application to the course. You should also submit an up-to-date CV and copies of award certificates.

You will be invited for an interview, for which you need to prepare either a portfolio of work or a detailed example of a subject-related project. Should you want to, you can also choose to have a portfolio/project review session prior to the interview stage.To find out more please contact Dr Scarso.

Official use and codes

Approved to run from 2020/21 Specification version 1 Specification status Validated
Original validation date 20 Mar 2020 Last validation date 20 Mar 2020  
JACS codes
Route code PUBART

Course Structure

Stage 1 Level 07 September start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
FA7044 Research for Practice Core 40 CITY AUT+SPR MON AM
FA7050 Public Art and Performative Practices Core 40 CITY SPR THU PM
          CITY AUT THU PM
FA7051 Professional Focus 1: Public Art, Funding and C... Core 20 CITY AUT MON PM
          CITY AUT MON PM
          CITY AUT MON PM
FA7052 Professional Focus 2: Project Managing Public Art Core 20 CITY SPR MON PM
          CITY SPR MON PM
          CITY SPR MON PM
FA7P48 Project as Professional Practice Core 60 CITY SUM THU AM
          CITY SUM THU PM