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Introduction to Participatory Arts and Media is a Course

Introduction to Participatory Arts and Media

Ended Sep 10, 2018

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Full course description

Course Date:

Jul 9 - Sep 10, 2018


6 weeks


7+ hrs/week



Course Type:



Certificate (free)


This course is designed to introduce you to the passion, practices and artistic achievements of the participatory arts sector in the Britain and beyond. It contains activities and case studies created by inspirational practitioners from a variety of artistic disciplines who work in a wide range of settings including youth work, education, health and community arts. You can engage with key concepts, histories and conversations in the field and use accessible materials relating to practical skills, regulations and ethical aspects of this work. You will be helped to reflect on participatory arts whether you are a practitioner or a professional working in a partnership.


Upon successful completion of this module, students will have demonstrated the following:

  • An understanding of key practices and approaches in participatory arts and media, and how to apply to their own work and art form.
  • An understanding of the main contexts and settings where participatory practice takes place.
  • An understanding of the role of key stakeholders in research, planning and execution of a participatory arts project.
  • An ability to engage with key concepts, histories and theories in the participatory arts field.
  • An ability to research and produce case studies about participatory practices.
  • An ability to reflect on their own practice, and on the work of their peers.

Target Audience: Those looking for professional development as artists and commissioners working in participatory settings. People working in educational, community and social settings who want to learn more about the potential of socially engaged arts and media. Life-long learners interested in the power of arts as a means of expression, inclusion and social change.

"The Participatory Arts MOOC was one of the most detailed and in-depth courses I have studied on Canvas Network. I thought the quality of the course materials was incredibly high."

"It was SO relevant to where I am in my life right now so came at just the right time. It has really helped me work towards my goals and informed my practice and development."

"The variety of materials, all these fresh ideas to use as a participatory artist."

"It has really alerted me to what is happening in my field of interest, particularly in terms of policy, support networks and debates about the role of participatory arts and media work."

"Participatory Arts was a brilliant course and I have been pleasantly surprised by just how much I have enjoyed it throughout."

Course is offered by the University of Sunderland and supported by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation.

Course Instructors

Dr. Caroline Mitchell

Dr. Caroline Mitchell

Lead Instructor

Dr. Caroline Mitchell is Senior Lecturer in Radio at the University of Sunderland and programme leader for its Masters programme in Participatory Arts and Media. Read More.

She’s worked in community arts/media production, research, evaluation and training since 1980, specialising in participatory methods and research for involving minorities in radio. She’s a member of ArtWorks Alliance, UK national body for participatory arts and is exec. producer for ArtyParti, a podcast about arts and participation.

Marcia Ley

Marcia Ley


Marcia Ley is senior lecturer in Fine Arts at the University of Sunderland, UK. In her studio she uses everyday objects and activities to create paintings, prints, videos, photographs and collages. Read More.

She specialises in arts and health and has long experience of working with people facing life-limiting illness. The link between encouraging people to find their own creativity, and that of her own practice, has had a profound effect on her work. She is a Trustee for Helix Arts, Newcastle.