Audiences, Engagement, Participation

Study mode:On campus Study type:Full-time Languages: English
Local:$ 10.9 k Foreign:$ 23.6 k Deadline: Sep 1, 2024
160 place StudyQA ranking:2891 Duration:1 year

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Examine established notions of engagement and participation in the arts and culture, and discover how to lead and manage a more audience-centred approach to arts management and cultural policy.

The arts have enormous potential to effect positive change in society. However, participation data has uncovered a lack of diversity in the age, ethnicity, education level and socioeconomic background of audiences in the cultural sector, alongside a decline in overall levels of arts engagement.

This course allows you to respond and contribute to the highly topical debate surrounding strategies to increase engagement and participation, while pursuing your own interests and career ambitions.

Through a combination of theoretical analysis and practice-led research, you’ll explore the possibility of creating a more genuinely participatory culture while developing your own skills in techniques and practices of engagement.

You’ll explore theoretical concepts such as co-creation, co-production, and participatory governance, alongside investigation into community and participatory arts practice, the implications of digital engagement, and conceptual design of audience experiences.

Leeds has a thriving cultural scene, and our local connections allow you to work closely with a range of partners including Leeds Playhouse, Phoenix Dance Theatre, the BBC, Leeds City Council, the National Science and Media Museum, East Street Arts, Transform Festival, and many other local arts and community organisations.

This course will prepare you very well for employment in areas such as cultural policy, arts management, arts marketing, audience development, and arts education.

You’ll study compulsory modules in participation, audience engagement, and research perspectives which are designed to give you a solid base of theoretical knowledge and high level research skills.

You’ll also choose from a range of optional modules from within our School and the wider University, giving you the ability to tailor your studies to suit your interests and career ambitions.

As you progress through your studies, you’ll apply what you’ve learned in an independent research project on a topic of your choice.

Compulsory modules

  • Research Project
  • Audience Engagement and Impact
  • Research Perspectives (Culture, Creativity, Entrepreneurship)

Optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

  • Engaging the Modern City: The Civic Researcher
  • Performance and Collaborative Enterprise
  • Arts Management and Cultural Leadership
  • Cultural Policy

Entry requirements

A bachelor undergraduate degree with a 2:1 (hons) or higher. We may also consider applicants without a degree if you can demonstrate significant relevant industry experience.

We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications - contact us for more information.

English language requirements

  • IELTS (International English Language Testing System) an overall band of 6.5 with no less than 6.0 in each component skill
  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) of 92 with no less than 21 in listening, 21 in reading, 23 in speaking and 22 in writing
  • Pearson (Academic) of 64 overall with no less than 60 in any component
  • Cambridge Advanced English (CAE), or C1 Advanced, of 176 overall with no less than 169 in any component
  • Trinity College Integrated Skills in English of a Pass in ISE II or above (if taken in the UK)
  • GCSE English Language or Cambridge IGCSE English as a First or Second Language at grade C

Documents and information you need

  • A copy of your degree certificate and transcripts, or partial transcripts if you're still studying (please submit an official English translation if necessary)
  • Evidence of your English language qualifications, if English is not your first language
  • A personal statement outlining your interest in and suitability for the course
  • A full up-to-date CV


Learning and teaching

This course comprises a balanced mix of teaching and learning methods, including interactive lectures, small group seminars, small group tutorials, practical workshops, industry visits and case studies.

By the end of the course you should be able to demonstrate in-depth, specialist knowledge and mastery of techniques relevant to audience engagement and cultural participation and/or to demonstrate a sophisticated understanding of concepts, information and techniques at the forefront of the disciplines.


Assessment will comprise a balanced mix of formative and summative activities, and a balanced mix of assessment modes which are likely to include the following: individual or small group presentations, written reports, academic essays and an extended individual research projects/theses.

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