VA5011 - Public Engagement

What will I learn on this module?

The learning within the module centres on bringing your studio-centred artmaking and contextual contemporary art knowledge into live work projects within professional artworld work environments through a placement and supporting workshops.

The central topics of the learning are:
• Preparing for effective live working within a professional artworld project.
• Establishing applied knowledge and understanding of the North East regional artworld, its organisations, intuitions and grass-roots ecologies.
• Applying independent artmaking and arts knowledge (developed through the programme) into live work projects within professional artworld contexts.
• Learning (externally to the teaching) through a live work within a professional artworld work context.
• Evaluating and reporting on the learning and knowledge development from a live work within a professional artworld work context.
• Building career and employment knowledge through live working within a professional artworld work context.
• Establishing networks through live working within a professional artworld work context.

Keywords and critical frameworks are:
Live project placement
Contemporary art practice
Collaboration and collective working
Mentorship and professional learning
Networking and careers enhancement
Art Education, Art Research, Contemporary Art Projects
Enhancing cultural capital
Enhancing social capital

In this module you will learn how to engage responsibly and effectively within professional working contexts. You will learn how to contribute through a small peer-group into a collective and collaborative work environment, and you will learn how to evaluate and reflect-on the range of skills and learning you are developing through that process. You will learn how to apply learning to focus-on and expand post University work opportunities and your onward careers ambitions. You will learn to evaluate and report objectively on your work and outputs within live working contexts. You will learn how to meet professional work standards, and mobilise your artmaking in ways open and enhance future work and career opportunities.

How will I learn on this module?

The learning on this module is both academic and through live working – a placement. Academic learning is centred through regular peer-centred group contact with the module team. Learning is through workshops that take a diverse range of forms such as presentation, in-conversation, exercises, discussion and case-study investigation. Sessions support your learning and ensure your readiness for effective live working within a placement. Learning also happens within your placement and is tailored within specialist interests and ambitions that you have identified through your selection of live work project.

Group: Academics will meet with you for regular peer-centred group contact through workshops. Workshops focus on the set-up preparation for your placement, ensuring you are supported in making informed employment-focussed decisions on which live project and placement partner to work with. Sessions are supported by the Graduates Futures Placement team ensuring you are placement ready and to have the correct registration through the University. Workshops also focus on evaluation and exchange whilst you are in placement, and on your wider transition to future working within the contemporary artworld.

Group (Placement): Placement hosts will meet with you regularly in peer-centred groups during your placement, supporting all aspects of the live work project you are undertaking and supporting your wider knowledge building of the professional artworld.

Blackboard: Academics and placement partners will provide extensive learning resources through the module Blackboard site.

Directed Learning: Academics and placement partners will provide formative feedback that directs you to learning approaches, resources and appropriate methods for learning through your live working project.

Indicative Partners are:

Secondary School Art Education:
Royal Grammar School:
Duke’s Secondary School:

Alternative Art Education:
Foundation Futures:
North Tyneside Arts Studio:

Art Research:
Ecologies & Networks Project, Cosmovisions Research Lab:

Contemporary Art Projects:
North East Emerging Art Prize:
Freelance Artists: Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art:

New partnerships being discussed:

The Newbridge Project
Workplace Foundation

How will I be supported academically on this module?

In this module you are supported academically through the module’s academic team, the Graduate Futures Placement team and placement partners. The academic team is led by the module tutor who will introduce you to the module and your assessment brief at the start of the semester. The module tutor and Graduate Futures Placement team are your primary points of contact. The module tutor will provide you with guidance and support throughout the semester’s teaching and assessment period and your placement. The Graduate Futures Placement team will provide you with support around all aspects of your placement, from introduction and registration to issues arising during your placement.

The module team are further points of contact and support for you through the module. Each has regular consolation contact hours during (in-person or remote access) in which they can provide additional feedback and support to you.

Core learning resources for the module are made available on Blackboard along with adaptive supplementary learning resources that support you in meeting the teaching aims of the module. Regular announcements, published through Blackboard and arriving in your email, support you in staying connected with the module, critical and important information, and with key events in its timeline.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:

1 Demonstrate an understanding of how creative skills can be applied in different professional contexts.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:

2. Evaluate and critically reflect on achievements and transferrable skills acquired through the external placement learning experience.

3. Demonstrate the ability to produce a written and visual document that meets professional levels of presentation.

4. Evidence engagement, ambition and self-management in the realisation of an external project.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA)

5. Develop a more detailed knowledge and appreciation of regional, national and global arts infrastructure and culture.

How will I be assessed?

Summative Assessment:
The 3000-word external placement report will be a focussed document that evaluates and reflects upon a live professional project. The document will demonstrate your ability to critically reflect on what you have learned. You must include 4 high quality photographic images.

Summative Assessment Feedback
Written feedback on your summative assessment will be provided within the timeframe mandated by the university, which is currently 20 working days. Feedback will be provided electronically via the module BlackBoard site.

Formative Assessment Feedback
To prepare you successfully to undertake the summative assessment(s) on this module, formative assessments will be set by the module team. These may take the form of in-class tasks or projects, developmental activities undertaken between classes, or learning exercises/activities set over a longer period. Feedback (written and/or oral) will be provided to help you learn from, reflect on, and develop in light of these formative assessments.

MLOs: The assessment tests all MLOs.





Module abstract

This 20-credit module brings your studio-centred artmaking and developing contemporary art knowledge into live work projects through a placement. It supports you to work within a live professional artworld context based on your interests and future career ambitions. Placements are through partnerships and are focussed through the North East. The module supports you in establishing pathways to future careers in the artworld and through further education pathways. It supports you in connecting to the professional artworld and its networks. It supports you in preparing for your final year of the programme and for your future beyond your University studies. Placements are centred within the region of the North-East through pathways in areas of Art Education (mainstream and alternative), Art Research, and Contemporary Art Projects.

Course info

UCAS Code W105

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years Full Time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Arts

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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