MA in Social Sculpture
This unique transdisciplinary course, open to people from all backgrounds, offers a special focus on contemporary social sculpture, ecological citizenship, connective eco-social practices, cultural activism, expanded art practices and transformative, creative action. It enables you to explore strategies of engagement, agency and the relationship between imagination and transformation. The programme also makes special reference to the proposals and legacies of Joseph Beuys, Schiller and Goethe, as well as other pedagogies of transformation such as Joanna Macy's and Paulo Freire's. It introduces theoretical and philosophical frameworks, with a special emphasis on phenomenology and experiential knowing; explores the relationship of social sculpture to ecological sustainability and offers practice-based research methodologies and creative strategies as the basis for developing individual and collaborative social sculpture processes, interdisciplinary expanded arts and reflective social practice.
The MA is Social Sculpture is, with the MA in Sound Arts, one of two taught postgraduate courses for socially-engaged artists, composers and transdisciplinary practitioners currently offered by the School of Arts at Oxford Brookes University. These MAs share two core modules in Creative Strategies and Phenomenological Methods of practice-based work. These shared modules enable cross-pollination and potential for collaboration between social sculpture and connective practice practitioners and those working in the field of sound arts. The MA in Social Sculpture is linked to the Social Sculpture Research Unit and is part of a thriving post-graduate research culture. There are opportunities to volunteer in social sculpture projects like University of the Trees: Lab for an Eco-Social Future.
Why choose this course?
The MA in Social Sculpture is an internationally renowned programme, running since 2006, linked to the Social Sculpture Research Unit at Oxford Brookes. A dedicated team of international specialists and emerging practitioners delivers innovative cross-disciplinary and socially-engaged creative practices that many students have described as 'life changing'.
- Participating in a community of dialogue and reflection: the unique 'Feedback Forum' approach which runs throughout the programme replaces the traditional art-school 'crit', offering a radical, supportive and creative form of feedback on your work. Another special feature is the regular MA Forum, in which students and staff meet to discuss creative practice in a supportive and stimulating environment. It also offers fortnightly individual tutorials and small group supervision.
- Coherent and unique teaching approach: a carefully sequenced set of modules enable you to uncover, explore and develop your own concerns within the field of contemporary social sculpture, creative cultural action and other interdisciplinary connective practices.
- Research culture and opportunities beyond the programme: MA Social Sculpture students are welcome to participate in 7 day-long 'PhD Social Sculpture Fora' per year. This is part of a stimulating environment where tutors, alumni, research fellows and student interns work closely together in the Social Sculpture Research Unit, and in projects like University of the Trees: Lab for New Knowledge and an Eco-Social Future.
- Based in the School of Arts' beautiful Richard Hamilton Building: situated very close to the city centre in a wooded landscape and arboretum, it offers excellent technical support; well-equipped workshops in video, photography, sound, artists books, printmaking and a variety of 3-D processes; a well- equipped library with materials appropriate to our programme and dedicated support for practice-based research students. There is bookable installation space, a group studio base and 24/7 studio access.
- Wider context: research and teaching programmes in the School of Arts are linked to some of Oxford’s leading cultural organisations such as Modern Art Oxford, and the annual Social Sculpture Festival of MA student work takes place in an around Oxford, using accessible local venues as a hub. You are encouraged to make links with local communities and social and ecological organisations as well as being able to design certain projects related to their home contexts. Once you graduate from the programme you have the opportunity to participate in the annual Social Sculpture Platform which is open to the public.
Teaching and learning
Our teaching methods include:
- seminars and lectures on interdisciplinary creative practice, practice-based research, phenomenological root methodologies and social sculpture
- team teaching in group seminars, involving research methodologies for practice-based research
- feedback from staff and students during group feedback sessions, in which you receive constructive feedback on your work
- staff-led group discussions arising out of practical presentations
- regular individual tutorials that address your research concerns
- introductions to creative strategies for generating and making practice-based social sculpture and other forms of connective cultural action and reflective social practice.
- introductions to the School of Arts technical facilities
- induction sessions with subject librarians.
The learning methods include:
- regular forums where staff and students formulate and articulate responses to work
- social sculpture and interdisciplinary creative practice presentations
- presentations of practical research
- the researching and writing of reflective reports, assignments and self-evaluations
- private research and study
- presentations to peers and group feedback via the 'feedback forum' approach to 'reception theory' in practice.
Approach to assessment
The approach to assessment can be described as dialogic. You interrogate your own work using a form of phenomenological analysis, and we assess and respond to this careful 'dialogue' that you have with your own work.
The assessment forms and methods include:
- practical presentations of resolved social sculpture, interdisciplinary creative actions and reflective social practice
- written self-evaluations on the evolution, development and resolution of all creative practices and projects
- written case-studies
- a final presentation of practical work as part of the MA Social Sculpture and Connective Practice Festival which includes projects in specific contents and related documentation, interventions, exhibitions and events.
The general entry requirements are:
- a good honours degree, minimum 2.1, in any subject
- an internationally recognised qualification equivalent to a good British honours degree.
Applicants without a first degree, but with extensive experience in the arts or other disciplines relevant to this programme may also be considered Please contact the Admissions Tutor, Liming Chen on firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss this.
Please also see the university's general entry requirements.
English language requirements
Please see the university's standard English language requirements
English requirements for visas
If you need a student visa to enter the UK you will need to meet the UK Visas and Immigration minimum language requirements as well as the university's requirements.Find out more about English language requirements.
Preparation courses for International and EU students
We offer a range of courses to help you to meet the entry requirements for this course and also familiarise you with university life. You may also be able to apply for one student visa to cover both courses.
- Take our Pre-Master's course to help you to meet both the English language and academic entry requirements for your master's course.
- If you need to improve your English language, we have pre-sessional English language courses available to help you to meet the English language requirements of your chosen master’s.
If you are studying outside the UK, for more details about your specific country entry requirements, translated information, local contacts and programmes within your country, please have a look at our country pages.
How to apply
You apply for this course through UCAS Postgraduate.
Through UCAS Postgraduate, you should use the UKPASS portal to make your application, which will then be forwarded directly to our Admissions Office. You should send supporting documentation to us directly using the email addresses on the UKPASS application form. Once we have received your UK Pass application we will contact you to set up an interview, in person, or by Skype if you are not near Oxford.
The interview is a two-way process.
At this point we will discuss further why you want to do this programme and will request to see previous practice. You will also have an opportunity to ask us questions and discuss the programme.
If you are not an arts practitioner we will need to hear about other work and experience, and understand how it equips you for this programme.
Conditions of acceptance
When you accept our offer, you agree to the conditions of acceptance. You should therefore read those conditions before accepting the offer.
Careers and professional development
How this course helps you develop
This course helps you develop new ways of thinking and engaging and a set of social sculpture root methodologies. The exceptional transferable skills that students develop on the programme have been described by many participants as 'life changing'. This new knowledge and skill also enhances and supports the development of new forms of reflective social practice and interdisciplinary social sculpture.
The knowledge and skill gained can be taken into your original discipline or area of work or help you to develop new areas of work in the transdisciplinary arts, in academia, in integrative activism, education, creative cultural action and reflective social practice.
Social Sculpture 'root methodologies' in mapping, active listening, dialogue processes, journaling and other practices for connecting inner work and outer action enable a powerful sense of agency and generate much confidence and energy for becoming 'agents of alternatives' in an extremely challenging world.
In this unique programme graduates develop excellent creative capacities and new ways of thinking that enable them to identify and develop interdisciplinary arenas and contexts for public engagement with specific communities, organisations and other constituencies.
A strong aspect of the programme is the way it enables graduates to return to existing professions and contexts in new ways: as interdisciplinary practitioners with insightful understandings, greatly enhanced imaginal capacities and knowledge of new forms of reflective and interdisciplinary connective practice.
Many Social Sculpture graduates continue as social sculpture practitioners or eco-cultural activists, whilst others develop careers related to their knowledge, expertise or interests, for example within organisational change, social enterprise programmes, festival management, tertiary education, agro-ecology, arts administration; arts and music teaching, medical humanities, educators and practitioners in arts for health, promoting ecological citizenship, community cross artform work and as sustainability activists.
These diverse career possibilities have much to do with the close relationship between the content and the pedagogic approaches offered on the MA Social Sculpture programme with its focus on experiential knowing, active citizenship and connective practices.
Combining the rigour of a traditional academic programme with innovative practical and vocational components makes graduates well placed for roles as practitioners as well as for further research in territory that includes the arts and sustainability, ecological citizenship, individual and community change processes, cultural and ecological activism and the field of contemporary social sculpture and connective aesthetics.
The methodologies taught also enable new forms of interdisciplinary and postdisciplinary practice and research.
Free language courses for students - the Open Module
Free language courses are available to full-time undergraduate and postgraduate students on many of our courses, and can be taken as a credit on some courses.
Please note that the free language courses are not available if you are:
- studying at a Brookes partner college
- studying on any of our teacher education courses or postgraduate education courses.
This school offers programs in:
Cost & Fees
Home / EU full-time on-campus fee: £5,310
Home / EU part-time on-campus fee: £2,710
International full-time on-campus fee: £12,870
Where part time fees are quoted this is for the first year only. Fees will increase by approximately 2% each year.
Last updated August 18, 2016