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Module UXS-3123:
Professional Practice

Module Facts

Run by School of Music, Drama and Performance

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 1

Organiser: Dr Branwen Davies

Overall aims and purpose

The aim of Professional Practice is to explore the arts industry as it occurs in the professional world today. This module will examine some of the fundamental aspects of the industry including institutional structures and arts policies, arts management, marketing, funding, health and wellbeing in the arts and community practice. Using various institutions and companies as examples and models this module will focus on methods used in professional practice. During this module students gain an insight into the range of different career options there is in the arts and are prepared to engage in the profession through observation, applied research and critical analysis.

The module is suitable for anyone who is interested in a career in the arts and/or media or from the fields of psychology and education who want to explore further avenues across subject areas.

Guest lecturers from the industry will be an integrated addition to this module as well as the option to follow onto a module in 'Arts Community Placement' in Semester 2 to gain work experience.

STUDENT FEEDBACK ON MODULE: Some of the modules I found most interesting was professional practice as it gave me the foundation on how to go about creating an artistic project and all aspects surrounding that with budgeting and how to apply for the grants out there. Getting to meet industry professionals from the area gave you a true insight to the work and putting a grant application together for the assessment was brilliant.

The final assignment was incredibly helpful and brilliant for future work.

Course content

Professional practice Arts institutions Structure of Arts funding Policy and strategy of arts organisations and funding bodies Application processes for arts funding Arts management Marketing in the arts Arts project development Community practice Arts Health and Wellbeing Report writing

Assessment Criteria


D • Knowledge of key areas/principles only • Weaknesses in understanding of main areas • Limited evidence of background study • Answer only poorly focussed on question and with some irrelevant material and poor structure • Arguments presented but lack coherence • Several factual/computational errors • No original interpretation • Only major links between topics are described • Limited problem solving • Many weaknesses in presentation and accuracy


A • Comprehensive knowledge • Detailed understanding • Extensive background study • Highly focussed answer and well structured • Logically presented and defended arguments • No factual/computational errors • Original interpretation • New links between topics are developed • New approach to a problem • Excellent presentation with very accurate communication


C • Knowledge of key areas/principles • Understands main areas • Limited evidence of background study • Answer focussed on question but also with some irrelevant material and weaknesses in structure • Arguments presented but lack coherence • Has several factual/computational errors • No original interpretation • Only major links between topics are described • Limited problem solving • Some weaknesses in presentation and accuracy

B • Strong knowledge • Understands most but not all • Evidence of background study • Focussed answer with good structure • Arguments presented coherently • Mostly free of factual and computational errors • Some limited original interpretation • Well known links between topics are described • Problems addressed by existing methods/approaches • Good presentation with accurate communication

Learning outcomes

  1. Demonstrate the ability to communicate ideas clearly in oral form

  2. Demonstrate effective research and presentation skills

  3. Understand and critically engage with aspects of arts institutions and practices

  4. Efficient and effective organisation skills including strategic planning, budgeting and marketing.

  5. Demonstrate the ability to communicate ideas clearly in written form.

  6. Understand strategy and policy in arts institutions

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
REPORT Funding Application for Creative Project 40
ESSAY Essay on Community Practice 30

Teaching and Learning Strategy


Workshops: these will last 2-3 hours for 9 weeks and will range between workshops, visits form professional bodies, discussions on relevant topics and student-led learning.

Group Project

Marketing Pitch Assessment with the whole class (each group will present a 15-20 minute pitch to industry guests)


9 x 1 hour Seminar for 9 weeks


Group tutorials in the final week of term in support to final assessment.

Private study

Academic study is not only the time you attend class but also the times arranged to meet responsibly with peer-students, independent study towards assessments, weekly theoretical readings and reflections, independent research in addition to research and knowledge developed in class administration time gathered in organising work experience and attending professional activity, regular performance visits and participating in additional workshops and projects and any other suitable work. 147 hours in total.


Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Safety-Consciousness - Having an awareness of your immediate environment, and confidence in adhering to health and safety regulations
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
  • Mentoring - Able to support, help, guide, inspire and/or coach others
  • Caring - Showing concern for others; caring for children, people with disabilities and/or the elderly
  • Management - Able to utilise, coordinate and control resources (human, physical and/or financial)
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others
  • Leadership - Able to lead and manage, develop action plans and objectives, offer guidance and direction to others, and cope with the related pressures such authority can result in

Subject specific skills

  • An understanding of creative and critical processes, and of the wide range of skills inherent in creative writing. (NAWE Creative Writing Benchmark Statement 3.1).
  • Knowledge of a wide range of canonical English texts, providing a confident understanding of literary traditions as well as the confidence to experiment and challenge conventions when writing creatively. (English Benchmark Statement 3.1).
  • An awareness of writing and publishing contexts, opportunities and audiences in the wider world (NAWE Creative Writing Benchmark Statement 3.1).
  • Artistic engagement and ability to articulate complex ideas in oral and written forms. (NAWE Creative Writing Benchmark Statement 3.2).
  • Ability to connect creative and critical ideas between and among forms, techniques and types of creative and critical praxis. (NAWE Creative Writing Benchmark Statement 3.2; English Benchmark Statement 3.2).
  • Awareness of how different social and cultural contexts affect the nature of language and meaning (English Benchmark Statement 3.2).
  • Reflective practitioner skills, including awareness of the practice of others in collaborative learning (NAWE Creative Writing Benchmark Statement 3.2; English Benchmark Statement 3.2).
  • The ability to synthesize information from various sources, choosing and applying appropriate concepts and methods (English Benchmark Statement 3.3).
  • Ability to formulate and solve problems, anticipate and accommodate change, and work within contexts of ambiguity, uncertainty and unfamiliarity (NAWE Creative Writing Benchmark Statement 3.2; English Benchmark Statement 3.3).
  • Ability to engage in processes of drafting and redrafting texts to achieve clarity of expression and an appropriate style. (English Benchmark Statement 3.3; NAWE Creative Writing Benchmark Statement 3.2).
  • Ability to gather information, analyse, interpret and discuss different viewpoints (NAWE Creative Writing Benchmark Statement 3.2; English Benchmark Statement 3.3).
  • Information technology (IT) skills broadly understood and the ability to access, work with and evaluate electronic resources (NAWE Creative Writing Benchmark Statement 3.2; English Benchmark Statement 3.3).
  • Musicianship skills – recognition, classification, contextualisation, reconstruction, exploration
  • Re-creative skills – interpretation, innovation, versatility, and other skills relating to performance
  • Creative skills – conception, elaboration, adaptation, presentation, collaboration, preservation
  • Intellectual skills specific to Music – contextual knowledge, cultural awareness, critical understanding, repertoire knowledge, curiosity, analytical demonstration
  • Technological skills – digital capture, digital expression, digital innovation
  • Intellectual skills shared with other disciplines – research and exploration, reasoning and logic, understanding, critical judgement, assimilation and application
  • Skills of communication and interaction – oral and written communication, public presentation, team-working and collaboration, awareness of professional protocols, sensitivity, ICT skills, etc.
  • Skills of personal management – self-motivation, self-critical awareness, independence, entrepreneurship and employment skills, time management and reliability, organisation, etc.
  • Enhanced powers of imagination and creativity (4.17)


Resource implications for students

At times, students will need to organise presentations and tasks that will require the use of some stationary resources. This should be kept to a minimum as it will be the research applied that will be of most importance rather than the practice in this module. Performance visits: Students will be required to visit performances at Pontio's Arts and Innovation Centre during the term (be it theatre performances or Music Centred Performances). Pontio discount will be offered.

Talis Reading list

Reading list

All core texts and recommended reading should be in the library with some of the wider readings present.

Pre- and Co-requisite Modules

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses:

Optional in courses: