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

Year of entry

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:

  • impact of the arts
  • models of arts in education
  • arts and cultural partnerships
  • educational landscapes.

Our Arts in Education degree is ideal if you are interested in any of the arts (e.g. art and design, ceramics, dance, drama, music etc.) and in creative aspects of education. The course will include numerous opportunities for you to gain first-hand experience of the arts in education.

Practical work in the arts during university sessions will be a feature and you will undertake real workplace learning projects with organisations leadin regional and national arts organisations. You also have an opportunity to gain work experience overseas. 

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). 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 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 are 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. 

Year 0

Core modules

Applied Literacy, Numeracy and Science Skills for Education 
The aim of the module is to enable you to become more confident and competent in English, maths and science and to understand as well as use these subjects effectively to support your academic study. You will be introduced to the application of these three core subjects in education and some of the conventions and ethical issues surrounding the use of social media in education. 

Communication and Academic Skills for Higher Education 
The aim of the module is to introduce you to ways of researching and communicating ideas in higher education. You will be introduced to conventions of academic writing and ways of analysing information and presenting and evidencing your work within the context of your degree study. 

Introduction to Education 
You will discuss issues related to the study of education within a current and historical context, and develop your spoken and interpersonal skills in the context of managed and focused discussion and debate, underpinned by evidence. 

Personal and Career Development 
You will be introduced to key concepts relating to career development. Through discussion and evaluation of various presented personal narratives, you will identify the opportunities and barriers facing indviduals regarding their personal development and their career choices within social parameters. You will consider, depict and present potential positivies and issues relating to your own future. 

During, or at the end of your Foundation Year (Year 0) you are able to change to a different degree, subject to entry requirements. If you successfully complete and choose to leave after Year 0, you will receive a Transcript of Achievement.

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 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 and 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 choose two optional modules. Likely modules include:

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.  

Reflective Practice and Creativity (20 Credits) 
In this module you will be introduced to the theory and practice underpinning reflective and reflexive practice. This will be supported by an appreciation of how the creative process and the arts can be employed to support self-development, resolve inner conflict, build resilience and future growth. 

Year 2

Core Modules

Positions and Perspectives: Key Educational Thinkers (20 Credits)  Here you will look at the work of some significant educators (e.g. 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 - community work-related experience may require a DBS check)  
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 choose two optional modules. Likely modules include: 

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: ‘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?  

Practice in other Contexts - 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.  

Drama and Education (20 Credits) 
This is a highly-practical module which examines the impact of drama upon society and education, particularly in a school environment. The course engages in field work through theatre visits and observing drama lessons in school. 

Year 3

Core modules

Independent study (20 or 40 Credits) or Research in Action: Social Action, Advocacy and Participation (20 Credits)   
In year three you have the opportunity for an in-depth specialism; in both the 20 and 40 credit routes you will investigate an educational issue of your choice. Taking the 40 credit Independent Study route provides you with the opportunity to write a full dissertation on a topic that suits your interests and passions. You will have a supervisory tutor to guide you through this. 

Alternatively, for those interested in the third sector, you can choose to design and implement a research project in partnership with charities, voluntary organisations and community groups. 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, fellow students and most importantly, members of the community, to advocate and champion individual and/or community voices within a specific area of need. 

Leading and Managing the Arts in Education (20 Credits - community work-related experiencemay require a DBS check)   
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 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 - community work-related experience may require a DBS check)   
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.  

Optional Modules

You will choose two optiona modules, likely to include: 

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 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.   

Theraputic Services: Creative and Expressive Arts (20 Credits)  
This module examines and explores the benefits of using the creative and expressive arts in special needs and mental health settings, and how this can have an impact on the wellbeing of both adults and children. You will be encouraged to reflect on the growth of the use of arts within health. 

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, 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 course or join one of the University’s Master’s degrees, such as our MA Arts and Cultural Management or MA Education. 


The 2020/21 annual tuition fees for this course are:

  UK / EU Overseas
Full-time - Foundation Year 0 £7,050 £9,910
Full-time - years 1-3 * £9,250 £13,000

Tuition fees for all courses are payable on an annual basis, except where stated.

* The tuition fee of £9,250  / £13,000 relates to 2020/21 only. Please read the 2020/21 Tuition Fee Statement for further information regarding 2020/21 tuition fees and mid-course year on year fee increases.

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.
DBS Check You will need to pay for a Disclosure and Barring Service check if you undertake an activity that requires one. 
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

CategoryIs the cost Included in the tuition fee?Is the cost an additional cost to students?
Field trips (including trips abroad and trips to museums, theatres, workshops etc) The costs of Field trips are not included in the Tuition fee unless the trip is a compulsory element of the module. Yes, unless the Field trip is a compulsory element of the module.
Travel and accommodation costs for placements  This varies depending on the Course - please refer to individual course webpages for further information about additional costs of travel and accommodation for placements.

This varies depending on the Course - please refer to individual course webpages for further information about additional costs of travel and accommodation for placements.

Purchase of own text books

No – students are expected to purchase their own text books. Yes – students are expected to purchase their own text books.

Data & Barring Service (DBS) Checks

This varies depending on the Course - please refer to individual course webpages for further information. This varies depending on the Course - please refer to individual course webpages for further information.

Occupational Health Checks

This varies depending on the Course - please refer to individual course webpages for further information. This varies depending on the Course - please refer to individual course webpages for further information.
Professional Body registration No - students are expected to pay for their own Professional Body registration, if applicable. Yes - students are expected to pay for their own Professional Body registration, if applicable.
Travel to other sites No – students are expected to pay for the cost of any travel to other University sites, however a mini bus service is provided free of charge between Old Sessions House and Polo Farm / Hall Place in Canterbury. Visit the shuttlebus webpage for more information. Yes - students are expected to pay for the cost of any travel to other University sites, however a mini bus service is provided free of charge between Old Sessions House and Polo Farm / Hall Place in Canterbury. Visit the shuttlebus webpage for more information.
Clothing / Kit Yes, where the clothing / kit is essential for Health & Safety reasons the cost is included in the tuition fee (a maximum of one set of clothing provided per student). Further information can be found on course webpages. Yes, where the clothing / kit is essential for Health & Safety reasons the cost is included in the tuition fee (a maximum of one set of clothing provided per student). Further information can be found on course webpages.
Learning materials Essential learning materials (excluding text books) in connection with the course are included in the Tuition Fee. Specific course related information can be found on course webpages. Students must pay for 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. Specific course related information can be found on course webpages.
Library fees and fines Yes – all Library fees and fines are an additional cost payable by the student. Yes – all Library fees and fines are an additional cost payable by the student.
Printing and photocopying A £15 print / photocopying credit is provided to all students each academic year on their University Smartcard. Any additional print / photocopying costs must be paid for by the student. A £15 print / photocopying credit is provided to all students each academic year on their University Smartcard. Any additional print / photocopying costs must be paid for by the student.
Social events The tuition fee does not include the cost of any social events, unless the event forms an essential part of the course. Yes, the costs of social events are an additional cost payable by the student unless the event forms an essential part of the course.
Graduation ceremonies IThe cost of the Graduation ceremony itself is included in the tuition fee for the student to attend the ceremony. However, guest tickets and robe hire/ photography are additional costs payable by the student or their guests. The cost of the Graduation ceremony itself is included in the tuition fee for the student to attend the ceremony. However, guest tickets and robe hire/ photography are additional costs payable by the student or their guests.

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

  • Applicants should normally have 32 UCAS Tariff points. We will also welcome applications from students with few or no formal Level 3 qualifications who wish to return to education and applicants may be asked to attend an interview.

    Candidates must show sufficient motivation 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.
  • A Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check is not an entry requirement, however if you take part in work-related experience, visits or placements to settings where you are undertaking regulated activity, the setting may determine that a DBS check is required. You will be required to undergo a DBS check and arrange this through the university before undertaking the activity.



Last edited 16/12/2019 11:41:00

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Last edited: 16/12/2019 11:41:00