BA single honours Arts in Education with Foundation Year 2020/21

Year of entry

The content of this course is currently being reviewed and is subject to change. Applicants will be informed of any changes that impact on the structure of the course.

A number of our degrees are also offered with an additional foundation year (Year 0). Whether you are a school-leaver or someone considering returning to study but don’t have the entry requirements for your chosen subject, a foundation year course may be just what you’re looking for.

A foundation year is the first year of a four year programme which:

  • provides an introduction not only to study at University but also to your chosen subject
  • offers you a highly supportive environment where you can develop the self-confidence, knowledge, skills and understanding for further study.

Following the Foundation Year you will go on to explore areas including:

  • sociology, philosophy, history and psychology
  • sustainability
  • extremism
  • the role of the arts in education.

Our Arts in Education degree will  include numerous opportunities for you to gain first-hand experience of the arts in education, learning through the involvement in the arts themselves. Practical work in the arts during university sessions will be a feature. In addition, you will have real workplace learning projects with organisations which have a leading role in the arts regionally and nationally, and you will have an opportunity to undertake work experience in an international setting.  

We have strong and well established partnerships, not only with nurseries, schools and colleges, but also with community and national arts organisations (e.g. Turner Contemporary, The Marlowe Theatre and Arts Council England). Canterbury Christ Church is very well placed geographically. As well as exploring the implications for education and community, the course will capitalise on the rich cultural, artistic and historical amenities and environments local to the University.  

The arts are shaping and influencing our daily lives through the media and the creative industries as never before. As well as enriching our understanding of culture, the arts have huge potential in improving the quality of education throughout our lifespans. It is being argued that opportunities for the arts are being side-lined in schools and other formal educational settings.  

This course gives you the opportunity not only to engage in this debate, but also to develop your understanding of what the arts are and how they pervade so much of society and of our lives as individuals.  

The BA  Arts in Education with Foundation Year, is a brand new course and is the only undergraduate degree in the country to focus specifically on the arts in education. It provides a unique opportunity for you to gain knowledge and experience in this important area and considers all aspects of the arts in education both within the UK and globally. 

In this course, as well as considering how we learn within the arts, we will look at how the arts can contribute to our education throughout our life span. When we talk about ‘The Arts’, we mean any discipline which could be considered an art (e.g. music, art, drama, creative writing, dance) and the course will include experience of working practically within any of these arts areas to help relate theory and practice.  

The course is not confined by age or stage, and includes a range of community contexts, moving way beyond the formal classroom.   

In your foundation year, you will get an introduction to university and to arts in education which will help prepare you for your degree.

In your first year of the course you will be exploring what is meant by an ‘art’, what an artist is, who can be an artist, how we learn in the arts and why the arts are important.  We will also think about why and how the arts have the power to move us and have meaning for us personally; and what all this suggests for teachers and educators.  

In your second year, you will move beyond just thinking about how the arts relate to you as an individual. You will think about why the arts are integral to all human societies, and why creativity and imagination are important within a culture. The power of the arts to persuade us, to provoke our thinking, and sometimes transform our lives will also be a focus. This year of the course will include work experience in ‘arts education settings’ such as an art gallery, theatre, school, music group, nursery, studio, play centre… and includes an opportunity for experience in an international setting.  

In your third year you will consider what it means to be a manager or leader of an arts organisation or group. This will include looking at the kinds of policies that arts practice is based on - not just policies for the organisation, but also policy at national and international level. As well as a further opportunity to explore the arts and imagination, you will be able to choose an aspect of the arts in education that really interests you, and work on that in depth.  During this year, you will focus specifically on employment skills (such as: team work; communication; planning; marketing) and career opportunities, and we will organise and support work experience in a community arts setting where you will work collaboratively with the organisation in a practical enquiry. 

The course offers a range of optional modules alongside specialist modules. These modules will enable you to acquire interdisciplinary skills and concepts to help you work across a variety of disciplines.

Year 0

You will take 5 core modules plus one optional module. Optional modules will be offered subject to cohort size and you may choose to take a module which relates to your overall degree choice.

 Optional module choices are made in the second semester and become the last module taken.

 However, you are not locked into the choice of overall course but may choose to change pathways at the end of the Foundation Year (Year 0). Alternatively, you may choose to take a Certificate of Completion and apply to another degree course, subject to entry criteria.

Core modules

  • Introduction to Education
  • Applied Literacy, Numeracy and Science Skills for Education
  • Communication and Academic Skills for Higher Education
  • Personal and Career Development
  • Introduction to Human development through the Lifespan

Optional module 

Year 1

Core Modules

What are the Arts? (20 Credits)
In this introductory module you will be looking at what the arts are. What do they have in common as a group of subjects and how are they different? What does it mean to work artistically? We will be keen to hear about your own experiences in the arts and think about how these relate to ways of working in the arts. 

Being Human: The Role of the Arts in Human Development (20 Credits) 
In this module you will think about how the arts develop intellectual, social, emotional, physical and spiritual aspects of being human, as well as the role of the arts in therapy and promoting wellbeing & health.  

Professional Identities in the Arts and Education (20 Credits)   
Here, you will explore what it means to be an artist. Questions such as: ‘Who can be an artist?’; ‘Can children be artists?’; ‘What does it mean to be a teacher of the arts?’ will be considered. You will also look at the role the artist can play in helping to educate others, and how artists can work with teachers and members of the public. Developing your own identity as an artist, in however basic a way, and as an arts educator will be an important part of this module and you will participate in practical arts making activities to support this. 

Orientation to Higher Education and Research (20 Credits) 
In this module, you will be introduced to important study and research skills. You will be involved in activities that enable you to debate, discover and analyse what we know and how we can know, including an awareness of elements of the research process such as defining a research question, data collection methods, data analysis, presentation of findings and drawing theories and conclusions from research.  

Optional Modules

You will undertake two option modules 

You can choose one or two optional modules that are offered within the following courses: 

  • Counselling, Coaching and Mentoring 

  • Early Childhood Studies 

  • Education Studies 

  • Human Development 

  • Special Educational Needs and Inclusion Studies 

Examples of option modules: 

Valuing the Arts (20 Credits) 
Why are the arts important? Are the arts a mere luxury in a society that appears to value only what is ‘useful’, or are they an essential part of engaging with the world? Should the arts be an intrinsic part of any curriculum? This module gives you an opportunity to debate such questions and other issues, and will help you to build a sound rationale for the arts in education.  

Meaning and Feeling in the Arts (20 Credits) 
It is  sometimes hard to make judgements about a piece of art. We might know whether we like it or not, (“I know what I like”) but can’t explain why. Sometimes we struggle to interpret a piece of art – to know what it’s supposed to mean. Are we perceiving what the artist tried to communicate? Does it matter? As to the artistic value of a piece of art, who’s to decide? This module will explore feeling and meaning in the arts, and how and what the arts communicate,  developing your understanding of the power of the arts.  

Year 2

Core Modules

Positions and Perspectives: Key educational thinkers (20 Credits)  Here you will look at the work of some significant educators (Eg Froebel, Pestalozzi, Steiner) and consider what their thinking suggests about the role of the arts in education. You will also look at recent and current policy in the light of these thinkers.   

Arts, Community and the Third Sector (20 Credits)  
In this module you will be thinking about the arts and the community including the voluntary non-profitmaking sector of the arts industries known as ‘the third sector’.  This will include looking at the dynamic relationship between the arts and community engagement. You will be involved in 25 hours (minimum) work experience in the community, organised by the university, as part of this module.  

The Arts as Transformation and Provocation (20 Credits)   
This is an exciting module which is designed to make you think! You experience the power of the arts first hand, and consider the potential of such experiences to transform and challenge existing ideas and social structures. Famous examples will be analysed such as: Banksy and street art; Billy Elliot; Picasso’s Guernica; Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring… you will undertake a public-facing project which may take the form of a performance, exhibition or intervention. 

Exploring Research: Methods, Methodologies, and Implications for Practice (20 Credits)   
Here, you will negotiate an area of study within the arts in education, around children, childhood, young adulthood, family, community, or adulthood. The module aims to ensure you have a basic understanding of how to go about carrying out an enquiry or piece of research. You will explore research as a process including; planning your methods; thinking about the ethics of what you plan to do; how to gather data; analysing and presenting your findings. 

Optional Modules:

You will undertake two option modules 

You can choose one or two optional modules that are offered within the following courses: 

  • Counselling, Coaching and Mentoring 

  • Early Childhood Studies 

  • Education Studies 

  • Human Development 

  • Special Educational Needs and Inclusion Studies 

Examples of option modules: 

Arts in Education: The Challenges (20 Credits) 
In this module, you will examine key challenges and issues that affect the provision of arts in education. Examples could include questions around gender eg: ‘Why are most of the well-known artists male?’; ‘Why do many boys think dance is not for them?’. Other questions could include: ‘Should we always teach ‘high’ arts rather than ‘low’ arts (eg classical rather than  pop music)?’; ‘Why do the arts have low status?’ ; Why not promote STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Arts and Maths) rather than just STEM?  

Arts in Education - A Comparative Study (20 Credits) 
How does arts education differ across the world?  To what extent and in what ways are the arts and arts education valued in other countries?  What are the main influences on the arts and arts education in other cultures?  To what extent is it possible to make valid comparisons of the arts and arts education across cultures?  You will have the opportunity to undertake work experience in another country and will reflect on the impact of this experience upon your values, beliefs, and competences.  

Year 3

Core Modules

Leading and Managing the Arts in Education (20 Credits)   
In this module, you will think about the creative industries and the kinds of careers that the course might lead to. You will explore ideas of how to be an effective leader and manager and also what it means to be innovative and creative in these industries. As well as introducing you to the wealth of knowledge and research there is in this area, you will develop transferable skills in strategic planning and management of arts projects and events so important in a changing vibrant and creative employment market.  

Arts in Education Policy: Issues and Implications (20 Credits)  
This module will raise your awareness of current policies relating to the arts in education in this country and beyond. We will think about what we mean by a policy, how we create one, and how we ‘read’ a policy to discover what is seen as important – i.e. the values. You will critically examine the values and ideologies - both implicit and explicit - that underpin key policies related to the Arts in educational contexts. 

Investigating the Arts in Education (20 Credits)   
This will be your opportunity to look in greater depth at an area which you are particularly interested in. You will be able to negotiate your focus for the module with your tutor who will support you in your study. Much of this module will involve independent work with opportunities to come together with your tutors and fellow students to talk about your progress, and ultimately to share your findings.  

Community Research Project (20 Credits)   
This module will involve a project in which you will work collaboratively with a specific arts or third sector organisation.  You will research and investigate how to explore and address a question related to the arts in education within your organisation. You will work collaboratively with a lead academic, your fellow students and, most importantly, members of the community, to advocate and champion individual and/or community voices within a specific area of need.  

Optional Modules

You will undertake two option modules 

You can choose one or two optional modules that are offered within the following courses: 

  • Counselling, Coaching and Mentoring 

  • Early Childhood Studies 

  • Education Studies 

  • Human Development 

  • Special Educational Needs and Inclusion Studies 

Examples of option modules: 

Arts, Myth and Imagination (20 Credits) 
This module will centre round the study of mythical stories, exploring their artistic potential. You will study how myths are depicted in art, music, theatre and literature, and also learn about their historical and cultural perspectives. You will engage with a chosen myth to produce a creative project (writing, poetry, artwork, music or multimedia), in which you will situate your own personal theme or story. You will then think about the value of such an approach for arts education in particular, and human wellbeing in general.  

The Arts, Power and Emancipation (20 Credits)  
Can the arts be used as a way of controlling society? Can they be used as a way of freeing society? In this module, you will be looking at the relationship between the arts and the state.  You will be encouraged to share your own examples through developing a portfolio. The module may also involve visits to galleries and performances to enhance a critical appreciation of how the arts can be used to inhibit or free society.   

We continually review and where appropriate, revise the range of modules on offer to reflect changes in the subject and ensure the best student experience. We will inform applicants of any changes to the course structure before enrolment.

On successful completion of the course you will have a wide variety of roles open to you, including education coordinator, museums and galleries officer, or positions within television, radio and film and other media industries, creative businesses and third sector organisations. It could also lead to marketing, communication and management and leadership roles as well as arts administration.  

You could also choose to take a route towards Qualified Teachers Status (QTS) with a PGCE or School Direct programme. There are also opportunities to join one of the University’s Master’s courses, such as the MA Arts and Cultural Management, MA Education or MA Transformational Leadership. 


Tuition Fees for 2020/21 have not yet been finalised. Course webpages will be updated with Tuition Fee information once these have been agreed.

Additional course costs

Although we aim to minimise any additional costs to students over and above the course tuition fee, there will be some additional costs which students are expected to meet.

Costs applicable to all students

Text books Own purchase text books
Travel to other sites Where travel to other sites is required, this will be payable by the student
Library Fees and Fines Where students fail to return loaned items within the required time they will be responsible for the cost of any Library Fees and Fines applicable
Printing & Photocopying The cost of printing and photocopying undertaken by students to support their individual learning are payable by the student
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire / photography are additional costs payable by the student

Course specific costs

Specialist materials Most standard art materials or equipment will be supplied as part of the course; additional specialist materials may need to be provided by you.
Standard DBS Check £26
Optional Educational Experience The experience in an international setting is an optional module available in Year 2, which you will have to fund themselves if they choose it. All settings for experiences of this nature offered by the Faculty of Education, have all been carefully vetted to ensure safety and security. Comprehensive risk assessments are conducted and students will be fully briefed about these. The University provides comprehensive travel and medical insurance. (All the placements are non-profit-making.) We arrange and facilitate the placements, but do not charge anything for this. You will be guided and supported in arranging your experience. You will pay cost prices for every aspect, which means that they are relatively low cost once the price of flights has been taken into account.

General principle policy

The University’s general principles policy for additional course fees are set out here

CategoryIncluded in the tuition feeAdditional cost to student
Field trips (including trips abroad and trips to museums, theatres, workshops etc) No, if the trip contributes to the course as an optional module. Yes if the trip is optional.
Travel and accommodation costs for placements  No

Travel and accommodation costs for professional placements within the Education and Health & Wellbeing Faculties.

Travel and accommodation costs for other work placements. 
Text books No Own purchase text books.
DBS / Health checks No Yes
Professional Body registration No Yes
Travel to other sites (e.g. travel to swimming pool for lessons) No Yes
Clothing / Kit Yes, where the clothing / kit is essential for Health & Safety reasons. Yes, where the clothing is kept by the student and not essential for health and safety reasons.
Learning materials Essential learning materials (excluding text books) in connection with the course. Additional materials beyond the standard provision essential for the course or where the costs are determined by the student’s area of interest and the outputs are retained by the student.
Library fees and fines No Yes
Printing and photocopying No Yes
Social events No, unless the event forms an essential part of the course. Yes, unless the event forms an essential part of the course.
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire/ photography are additional costs payable by the student.

You will be taught through a combination of lectures, seminars and practical workshops. You will typically have around 12 contact hours per week. Your actual contact hours depend on the option modules you select.

For each module you can expect around 50 hours of contact time. This includes lectures, seminars, workshops and tutorials. For each module you can expect around 200 hours of self-study time.

Practical work, allowing you to engage artistically within a range of arts disciplines will be a consistent feature allowing you to develop a range of skills that are both specific to the arts and transferable to all aspects of teaching and learning. Transferable skills might include:

  • coordination and dexterity
  • perceptual, verbal skills
  • reflection, self-awareness (affective as well as cognitive), criticality, metacognition
  • semiotics (visual literacy, metaphors, seeing the world symbolically)
  • digital literacy (esp. those arts specific skills in supportive technology that relate to the visual, audio, kinaesthetic).

Seminars in smaller groups will enable you to discuss and develop your understanding of topics covered in lectures. You will also have opportunities to meet and work with practising artists and arts educators, and gain work experience in local arts organisations.

In Year 2 there is an opportunity to be placed in a setting outside working with those involved in arts in education in different cultural contexts.

In your final year you will engage collaboratively in a practical project, based on a live ‘brief’ from a specific, relevant arts organisation.

In addition, you will meet with your personal academic tutor through the three years of the course.

Independent learning

When not attending lectures, seminars, workshops or other timetabled sessions you will continue learning through self-study. Typically, this involves reading journal articles and books, undertaking research in the library, working on projects, and preparing for coursework assignments/examinations, workshops and seminars. You will also be encouraged to engage artistically and take advantage of extra-curricular arts opportunities to enrich your understanding and experience.

Your module tutor will direct you towards specific readings and/or activities to complete before class.

For the investigation and research in Year 3 in particular, you will undertake independent research. You will work under the supervision of a member of the course team. You will meet with your supervisor regularly.

Overall workload

Your overall workload typically consists of 12 contact hours. You will undertake 15 hours independent learning and assessment activity. In addition, there will be field trips. For each 20-credit module, your study time is about 10 hours a week.

Academic input

The team consists of highly qualified academics who are passionate about the arts in education. They have a range of expertise and experience within the arts and education. All have extensive experience in schools and other educational organisations; some are practising artists in their own right. Most of our team members are research-active and have experience in delivering research-informed teaching.

The course includes a wide range of assessment modes – not just written, but also oral and visual.  

It’s important to know that the purpose is to assess your understanding of the arts in education rather than your artistic ability or talent in individual arts. The course provides you with opportunities for formative feedback that will support your development and understanding informally before you complete the formal assessments that count towards your final mark.  

Practice assessments are developmental and any grades you receive for them do not count towards your module mark. There is a formal or 'summative' assessment at the end of each module. Assessment methods include a range of coursework assessments such as reflections, essays, reports, portfolios, performance, presentations and reports on projects.   

The grades from formal assessments count towards your module mark. You must achieve a pass mark of 50 and above in all Year 1 compulsory modules as a prerequisite, before progression to Year 2 optional modules. Year 

Percentage of the course assessed by coursework 

All modules are assessed by coursework. There are either one or two components to an assignment for each module (amounting to 100% of the whole module assignment). The overall assignment is worth 4000 words or equivalent  


You will receive oral feedback on any informal assessments and written feedback on all formal assessments undertaken. Feedback is intended to help you learn and you are encouraged to discuss it with your module tutor. We aim to provide you with feedback within 15 working days of hand-in (formal coursework assessment)

You will have access to digital equipment and software and also specialist facilities where relevant during your course. 

The course will include numerous opportunities to gain practical experiences in arts education, working with arts personnel and arts organisations which have a leading role in the arts regionally, nationally and internationally. 


Full-time study

Apply via UCAS


Full-time study

Need some help?


For advice on completing your application please contact the Course Enquiry Team:

Tel: +44 (0)1227 928000
Tel:+44 (0)1227 928000  (0)1227 928000


Contact our International Team

Fact file

UCAS course code

  • L43F Arts in Education with Foundation Year

UCAS institution code

  • C10


  • 4 years full-time including a Foundation Year


  • September 2020

Entry requirements

  • One GCE AS Level pass or a pass in a Level 3 vocational study programme e.g. BTEC
  • Candidates without formal qualifications will be considered following an interview and should demonstrate an interest in Education
  • Candidates must be motivated to benefit from study at this level
  • You are not required to have a formal qualifications in the arts, though these would be advantageous. Experience within the arts disciplines in school and/or as extra-curricular activity would be desirable. You will need to gain a DBS certificate prior to starting the course.



Last edited 18/07/2019 13:34:00

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Last edited: 18/07/2019 13:34:00