module specification

DN6025 - Community Engagement (2018/19)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2018/19
Module title Community Engagement
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 30
School The Sir John Cass School of Art, Architecture and Design (The Cass)
Total study hours 300
81 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
219 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 40%   Practical workshop delivery
Coursework 30%   Resource materials
Coursework 30%   Reflective portfolio
Running in 2018/19 No instances running in the year

Module summary

 Alongside the companies whose raison d'être it is to engage with the community, all theatre productions, museums and galleries in receipt of public funding expend considerable resource on community engagement. This is a significant entry route into the professions. Community Engagement is a year-long module introducing and exploring the utilisation of theatre and film production design skills within a community context.

The module will initially engage with a syllabus covering all aspects of community workshop leading and design, it will then progress to cover the emergent industry agenda of widening participation in the theatrical arts.  The module affords students the opportunity to use community engagement as active research method for production design. The module will address the academic stimuli of art, design and drama as teaching media and address the concerns and practical implications of professional and client group communication.  This will culminate in a work placement where skills and learning can be translated into experience and practice in workshop creating and leading. 

Students will benefit from the University’s links to professional theatrical groups and bodies such as The Victoria and Albert Museum, Make Believe Arts, Spare Tyre, Graeae, Islington Shed, Phakama, Clean Break, International Rainbows, Lewisham Youth Theatre, as well as various schools and colleges engaged with theatre, film and performance.  There will also be opportunities for forging new links and collaborating with various community groups.

The module demands a disciplined approach to collaboration with relevant stakeholders and external partners. Through the module, students will experience work-related learning through a live project set-up and realisation or placement. Students will refine a range of transferable skills in communication, management, research and analysis and are encouraged to reflect and report on the work-relevant skills that they develop throughout. These skills are both desirable and advantageous for all graduates and include (for example): action planning, contribution to professional meetings, entrepreneurship, goal setting, negotiating, networking, project management, self-appraisal and team working. Students will use a wide spectrum of skills necessary for providing rigorous, thorough and stimulating projects for diverse individuals and groups to industry standards. Students will develop a flexible approach to leading groups based on the aspirations and experience levels of project participants. Students will be asked to employ relevant and appropriate documentation and follow up materials for community workshops and  continuously reflect on and apply their own knowledge, skills and awareness that support engagement and practice in a community context.


Prior learning requirements

 Pass and completion (120 credits) of prior level

Module aims




Introduction to the concept of engagement and participation in all its forms with case studies and practical sessions: this will lead onto the examination and exploration of workshop leading skills. LO1, LO2

Observing and participating in practical sessions and lectures led by professionals and working with a variety of client groups in a supported environment. LO4

Through student and tutor-led sessions, students will be encouraged to examine existing and emerging practice and to create their own work with regard for methodology, relevant theory and health and safety.  LO2, LO3

Undertake a placement or invent and deliver a community project with social engagement and participation at its heart. LO4

Time will be allocated for debriefing sessions at the end of each work placement session and the students will be responsible for providing video evidence for their session. Recorded material will be made available for students’ evaluations of the processes involved. LO3

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Scheduled teaching ensures that independent study is effective and addresses the learning outcomes and assessment tasks. Students are expected to, and have the opportunity to, continue with their studies outside of scheduled classes. There will be a range of learning strategies deployed and individual learning styles will be accommodated. The module’s learning outcomes, its contents and delivery, have been scrutinised and will be regularly reviewed to ensure an inclusive approach to pedagogic practice.

The module and course utilise the University’s blended learning platform to support and reinforce learning, to foster peer-to-peer communication and to facilitate tutorial support for students. Reflective learning is promoted through assessment items and interim formative feedback points that ask students to reflect on their progress, seek help where they identify the opportunity for improvement in learning strategies and outcomes, and make recommendations to themselves for future development. Throughout the module, students build a body of work, including reflections on progress and achievement.

The School’s programme of employability events and embedded work-related learning within the curriculum supports students’ personal development planning. Through these initiatives, students are increasingly able, as they progress from year to year, to understand the professional environment of their disciplines, the various opportunities available to them, and how to shape their learning according to their ambitions.

Learning outcomes

 On successful completion of the module students will be able to:

Knowledge and Understanding
LO1 analyse and evaluate the work of others, in the contexts of industry standards and their  own practice, and apply methods and techniques that demonstrate best practice;

Cognitive Intellectual Abilities
LO2 create and plan industry standard theatre and/or film workshop activities (project programme, rehearse and deliver creative projects involving a range of members of the community/client groups) and use community engagement as an active research method for production design;

Transferable Skills
LO3 locate and demonstrate the use of personal attributes such as initiative, decision-making and responsibility within complex and unpredictable professional contexts and produce appropriate documentation presenting including lesson plans and follow up resources;

Subject Specific Skills
LO4 apply the methods and techniques learned to review, consolidate, extend and apply  knowledge and understanding to initiate and carry out cultural community projects.

Assessment strategy

Coursework for submission will consist of three components.

1 The development, organization and execution of a bespoke art and design workshop for a clearly identified community client group. Clear communication of the aims of the project to that client group. Management and utilisation of both the student’s and the participants’ strengths and abilities.
2 A structured documentation and resource pack including a project outline, scheme of work, session plan, client group analysis and follow-up activities.
3. Reflective and analytical communication of the student’s responses to the module, using appropriate critical language, reflecting on their own contribution and their working relationships with other participants drawing on relevant theory and critical practice. This will be presented in the form of an academic portfolio.
Work must be carefully organised and presented to indicate the development of work and the content clearly labeled. Students must attend timetabled sessions.


 Bowkett S., Lee T., Harding T. and Leighton R., (2007) Success in the Creative Classroom: Using Enjoyment to Promote Excellence, Network Continuum Education
Jackson, T., (1980) Learning through Theatre, Routledge
Jackson, A. and Vine, C. (eds), (2013) Learning Through Theatre : The Changing Face of Theatre in Education, Taylor & Francis Group
Available from: ProQuest Ebook Central. [6 April 2018]
Lee., T., (2015) Princesses, Dragons and Helicopter Stories, Routledge
Prentki, T. and Preston, S., (2009) The applied theatre reader, Routledge