Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Engaging Publics
Academic Year
Semester 2
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 10 x 2 Hour Lectures
Seminar 5 x 1 Hour Seminars


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Assessment 1: Written essay (3,000 words)  50%
Semester Exam 7 Hours   Assessment 2: Performed Lecture (15-20 minutes)  (Note: This presentation will be videoed for scrutiny by the external examiner and departmental records.)  50%
Supplementary Assessment Resit Assessment 1:  Resit as written essay with alternative title  50%
Supplementary Exam 7 Hours   Resit Assessment 2:  Resit as performed lecture with alternative title (to be taken at next opportunity)  50%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. to demonstrate an advanced awareness and understanding of the role of public engagement in creative arts research and professional practice
2. to critically evaluate the relationship between the aesthetics and politics of engaging public audiences, situating creative arts strategies within a wider institutional and discursive frame
3. to develop and deploy appropriate methodologies for practising public engagement as part of their research and/or professional practice
4. to demonstrate an advanced understanding of the specificity and potential of various media as both modes of enquiry and as platforms for the delivery of research and creative practice
5. to integrate a critical awareness of enterprise and engagement, impact and value, into the development and delivery of creative arts practice and research


Aims of the module:

(a) to develop skills in creative entrepreneurship, encouraging students to think expansively about themselves as their own project, and their work as a creative product;
(b) to identify and examine the impact of creative practices on public policy and public life, ensuring the development of relevant, responsive and engaged student work;
(c) to examine public funding and support for creative arts and exploring a changing landscape of debates about public participation and engagement;
(d) to enable dialogue with artists, audiences and funders, and the co-design and co-construction of creative research projects;
(e) to interrogate the political and aesthetic dynamics of engaging publics, in particular the practices of relational aesthetics and the discourse of participatory democracy;
(f) to facilitate and develop creative strategies for public engagement with research, providing a firm grounding in current debates about research impact and engagement.

Brief description

The module introduces a range of contemporary theories, creative approaches and practical methodologies in order to examine the relationship between professional practice and research in the creative arts and the audiences they address. It examines a range of conceptual frameworks and material practices, from analyses of 'post-democratic' and 'post-dramatic' discourse to the participatory practices of 'relational aesthetics', alongside the development of concrete public engagement strategies to support creative enterprise and sustainable research. The latter will be facilitated by a series of workshops and talks with professional artists, curators, and entrepreneurs.


Course delivery:
Lecture-seminar-workshops (mixed mode interrogative lectures, with some action-research participation): 10x2 hrs
‘Methods of Practice Seminars’: 5x1 hrs

The module will be organized through thematically focused blocks of study, inter-relating practical and theoretical topics and areas of inquiry:


1. Economies
1.1 Contexts of production and reception: from industrial to networked practices
1.2 Creative entrepreneurship

2. Ecologies
2.1 Creating sustainable practice: location, innovation and renewal
2.2 Site-specifics

3 Politics
3.1 Democratic participation and citizenship: aesthetic modes of engagement with the political
3. 2 Relational aesthetics

4. Institutions
4.1 Public funding and public service: instrumentality and effectiveness
4.2 Situated investigative enquiry and the logic of dissemination and impact

5. Audiences
5.1 Creative 'uses' of arts practices: creative labour and the aesthetic-politics of co-production
5.2 Reception, response and responsibility

The module will be taught through seminar-workshops with a focus on learning through action-research and critical exploration. Contents may be adjusted to capitalize on the expertise available, both of research staff and visiting lecturers.
A fortnightly 'Methods of Practice Seminar' will accompany the module, offering support for the precise requirements of the modular assessment assignments and examining the ways in which the issues and materials examined might open up questions of public engagement that can be made operational through specific strategies. This will support and help inform the final research project/dissertation as well as ensure adequate preparation for public engagement post-graduation.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number This element is not assessed.
Communication The ability to communicate ideas effectively is developed and assessed.
Improving own Learning and Performance Self-regulation, motivation and time-management skills are developed through the module and are demanded for the successful completion of its assignments.
Information Technology The ability to utilize information technology both in the research for and delivery of assignments is assessed directly.
Personal Development and Career planning Transferable skills (managing personal workloads and meeting deadlines, designing and realizing assessment projects) are developed and assessed directly
Problem solving Analytical problem solving, outcome recognition and the identification of appropriate strategies and procedures are encouraged and assessed.
Research skills Independent research and the development of effective personal research practices are encouraged and assessed.
Subject Specific Skills The ability to employ mediated means in the exposition of intellectual material within an academic context. The ability to employ a range of theoretical and methodological approaches to the analysis of work and practice in the public domain
Team work Seminar discussions demand the application of skills necessary to conduct collaborative activity, such as negotiating ideas and opinions. Students work in collaboration with others on the formulation and implementation of practical research.


This module is at CQFW Level 7