Arts and Place

MA | PGDip | PGCert


  • gain experience, skills and theoretical understanding of collaborative, creative practices responding to place
  • tour the UK as an artist-in-residence through our network hosts in urban and rural environments


MA: 1 year FT, 2 years PT.
Other routes are available – see ‘Learning Pathways’


start date: April

2023-24 Term dates

Welcome Week: 12-14 April 2023

Spring term: 17 April – 7 July 2023 (12 weeks)

Module 1 (On-campus residential): 17 April- 19 May
Module 2 (Off-site residential): 19 – 30 June

Summer Term: 24 July – 13 October 2023 (12 weeks)

Module 3 (Off-site residential): 7 – 18 August
Module 4 (Off-site residential): 25 September – 6 October

Autumn Term:  23 October 2023 – 2 February 2024 (13 weeks)

Module 5 (On-campus residential): 23-27 October
Major project install & presentation (On-campus residential): 15-26 January

Dissertation hand-in: 2 February 2024

2024-25 Term dates

Welcome Week: 8-12 April 2024

Spring term: 15 April – 5 July (12 weeks)

Module 1 (On-campus residential): 15 April- 17 May
Module 2 (Off-site residential): 17 – 28 June

Summer Term: 22 July – 11 October (12 weeks)

Module 3 (Off-site residential): 5- 16 August
Module 4 (Off-site residential): 23 September – 4 October

Autumn Term:  28 October 2024 – 7 February 2025 (13 weeks)

Module 5 (On-campus residential): 28 October – 1 November
Major project install & presentation (On-campus residential): 20-31 January

Dissertation hand-in: 7 February 2025

Learning pathways

Our degree programmes are designed to suit the complexities of modern life, allowing you to live where you live and work where you work, whilst studying the subject you are passionate about as a member of our wide-reaching learning community.

Some qualifications are offered part-time – these are indicated below.

To get the most out of their course and of being part of our learning community, many students choose a fully immersive experience for the residential taught periods of their course, staying on our stunning 1,200 campus on the banks of the River Dart with full board accommodation.

MAster's (ft/pt; 180 credits)

A full-time (1 year) or part-time programme (2 years) with 4 x 30 credit modules and 1 x 60 credit dissertation or major project module. The first six-week module is delivered at Dartington and the subsequent three six-week modules each involve 10 days of fieldwork with a residency network host – selected for students by course tutors. Students are supported by e-learning throughout the course.

Students will need to live onsite or nearby for the first six-week module at Dartington, spending 10 residency days at each of three other host organisations in subsequent modules (see below). Full board accommodation onsite is available (but not mandatory) throughout terms 1 and 2 for international students.

Postgraduate Diploma (ft/pt; 120 credits)

A full-time (1 year) or part-time programme (2 years) with 4 x 30 credit modules. Students taking the full-time option will study all four modules during the first two terms.  For full details on part-time pathways, please contact us.

Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits)

A full-time programme with 2 x 30 credit modules. Students will study both modules during term one.

First module only (30 credits)

Modules from this course can be studied on a standalone basis, with 30 credits allocated per module.

To apply for the accredited single module option, apply in the usual way, selecting the ‘single module’ option during the application process.

course content

This course puts forward a new master’s model for practising artists through field-research and post-studio practice. Through a series of residencies, starting here at Dartington and then at sites around the UK, we encourage students to develop an understanding of their role as an artist in relation to place, both urban and to nature and landscape.

Through the place-based nature of the course, students come away with an expanded repertoire of imagining, experiencing, knowing and representing our relationship to landscape and environment. We encourage a purposefully collaborative, socially engaged arts approach, with a flexibility that helps students refine their skills in their chosen field or medium, while also offering opportunities to experiment and trial new ideas with others.

Arts residencies are a significant part of the contemporary arts industry and of contemporary art making and play a critical role in building experience and competencies; as well as pathways for the exchange of skills and knowledge, inter-cultural learning and understanding. We are increasingly confronted with complex challenges that require new ways of knowing and forms of collaborative engagement and practice, and this Master’s is designed to help you find space for this in your work, and to develop new modes of creative fulfilment.

To further expand the meaning and context for place and site responsive art, the Arts and Place programme invites guests, including scholars, writers, curators, artists, activists, filmmakers, to share their practice in relation to each module and focus of study. These include:

Arts & Place guests include:

Lisa Le Feuvre, Executive Director of the Holt/Smithson Foundation; Aurora Tang, Curator and Program Manager at CLUI; Angela Burdon and Sheyda A. Khaymaz, Co-directors of Lungs Project; Lucinda Guy, Director of Soundart Radio; Irini Papadimitriou, Creative Director of Future Everything; Rod Dickinson; Martha King, Becca Rose Co-Curators of Control Shift; Cristóbal Martínez and Kade L. Twist, Artists, Co-founders of Postcommodity; Chris Taylor, Director Land Arts of the American West; Elizabeth Fisher, Curator, Writer; Ella Mills, Art Historian, Curator; Cara Courage, Curator, Writer; Tim Edensor, Author


Heather Ackroyd (Ackroyd/Harvey); Rana Begum; Jeremy Dennis; Jessica Auer; Laura Harrington; Maria Arceo; Emma Bush; Mita VaghelaBarton Hargreaves; Oswaldo Macia; Ruth Maclennan; Claire Macleod and Dave MacleodSusan Stockwell; Deborah Stratman

The programme includes a five-week residency at Dartington for a 30 credit introduction to fieldwork methodologies and post-studio practice with seminars, screenings and workshops and group crits. This is followed by three 30 credit residency modules (Urban Places, Contemporary Remote and Themes in Residency). Each 10-day residency is hosted by one of our partner organisations. The programme concludes with a 60-credit dissertation or practical major project module which begins with a week onsite at Dartington followed by a group exhibition.

The part-time pathway divides the four 30 credit modules over 2 years, concluding with the final major project.

Q&A with Programme Lead: See answers to our frequently asked questions about this course in this blog post >

To see content from the arts and place programme and work by arts and place students please visit the course Instagram @arts_and_place >

“Going on residencies and finding that life force coming back in has been a transformation for me – I mean, I feel quite emotional about it because I feel like I’ve come alive again.” – Stephanie Gray, MA student 2022/23 

programme structure & modules

During MA Arts and Place, there is one six-week timetabled teaching period at Dartington when you must live on site (or nearby in Totnes or the vicinity) and participate in the learning community, unless you choose an online-only pathway. From March to June 2021 there are three 10-day fieldtrips when you will be in residence at three other locations in the UK.

Outside of the six-week period at Dartington and the three 10-day fieldtrips, international students (only) can request accommodation and full board onsite for terms 1 and 2 and this would require you to participate in the learning community activities. Alternatively, you can opt to live nearby or anywhere in the UK and travel to and from Dartington for the six-week taught period and to and from the three fieldtrip locations.

We have a limited number of residential places available for international students. Apply as early as possible.

Module One: Approaching Residencies (30 credits)

A grounding in methods and concepts to support collaborative practice and inter-transdisciplinary engagement with complexity. Using the Dartington estate as a residency focus, this module is an introduction to the history, theory and practice of making artworks in residency contexts. Techniques for engaging with site and community in relation to your own practice are developed.

Module Two: Urban Places (30 credits)

This module explores the development of arts practice in an urban residency context through fieldwork with a residency host and the development of a project. Students extend their understanding and creative engagement with the complexity of place into urban contexts.

Module Three: Contemporary Remote (30 credits)

This module explores the development of arts practice in a rural or digital residency context through fieldwork with a residency host and the development of a project. It further develops students’ creative engagements with the complexities of place.

Module Four: Themes in Residency (30 credits)

This module explores the development of arts practice in response to themed residency contexts through fieldwork with a residency host and the development of a project. It allows students to make work in response to key issues such as social justice, climate change, the role of cultural workers in contemporary society and well-being.

Module Five: Final Major Project (60 credits)

The final major project enables students to pursue a creative project of their own interest, or an academic essay interrogating arts and place, arts practice in residency theory and practice, or a combination of project and essay (50/50). The outcome is presented in the public domain at Dartington or at one of the host residency locations.

residency network hosts

OVADA, Oxford

OVADA, the Oxford Visual Art Development Agency, is an artist-led organisation – a contemporary art gallery and development space that provides opportunities for both artists and audiences. OVADA presents a dynamic programme of exhibitions and events and a range of learning opportunities from their city centre venue and other off-site locations.

Hauser & Wirth, Somerset

A pioneering world-class gallery and multi-purpose arts center which acts as a destination for experiencing art, architecture, and the remarkable Somerset landscape through new and innovative exhibitions.

Peacock and the Worm, Aberdeen

Peacock: a workshop for art is an open-access printmaking studio in Aberdeen, Scotland. We invite artists to make prints using relief, intaglio, screen, lithography, and riso. Our approach to learning invites people from different backgrounds, ages and levels of experience to learn from each other.  We look after buildings, printmaking machinery, and art materials to ensure our skills are preserved for future generations.

the worm: a space for art is a contemporary visual art gallery in Aberdeen, Scotland. We focus on printing and publishing, showing the work of contemporary artists, fine art prints from our archives, as well as objects related to Aberdeen’s rich print history. We showcase artworks from all over the world and our exhibitions are free.

Hopsital Rooms, settings in Cornwall

Hospital Rooms is an arts and mental health charity that commissions extraordinary artworks for mental health inpatient units across the UK. The charity helps turn clinical, cold and sometimes frightening environments into welcoming, soothing and beautiful spaces. We commission acclaimed regional, national and international artists, who in turn carry out workshops with staff and patients to come up with radically new visuals for each space.

Cornubian Arts & Science Trust (CAST), Cornwall

CAST aims to promote participation, appreciation and learning in the visual arts and to encourage interdisciplinary dialogue and collaboration across the arts and sciences. It works with artists, curators, writers and specialists from other fields, locally, regionally, nationally and internationally, to develop professional expertise and exchange, and to create opportunities for audiences of all ages to experience groundbreaking cultural activity.

Outlandia, Glen Nevis, Scotland

Outlandia is an off-grid treehouse, imagined by artists Bruce Gilchrist and Jo Joelson, who work together as London Fieldworks. A flexible meeting space in the forest for creative collaboration and research, Outlandia is inspired by wildlife hides and bothies, forest outlaws and Japanese poetry platforms.

With thanks to all our previous residency hosts (Allenheads Contemporary Arts, Delfina Foundation, Additional residency hosts to be confirmed shortly.

entry requirements

Qualification(s) required for entry to the MA

BA (Honours) Degree: A first degree in an arts or humanities subject. All applicants will be required to present a portfolio of work. Where the first degree is not arts or humanities-related, a portfolio of work in support of the application or experience that is equivalent.

Other non-standard awards or experience: A willingness to engage with the field of Arts & Place. Candidates will be considered with prior credited learning and prior experiences subject to interview.*

Interview requirements: All applicants are required to attend an interview, either at the School or online.

*For further information please contact our admissions team at


For full details on our fees, click here. Please note that for this course, the following also applies:

  • As this programme contains residencies, you will also need to budget for travel, accommodation and material costs.
  • The first six weeks module is delivered at Dartington and is a full timetable over at least four days of each week. You will need to either live on site with full board, participating in the learning community @ £299 per week or live nearby and travel in and out.
  • The programme also includes three x 10 day fieldtrips where you will need to pay for your accommodation and travel.
  • Depending on the type of work you develop, you are also likely to have some material costs during the course and for your final project. Please bear this in mind when considering the total costs you need to budget for.

There is also a fully funded Scholarship to be awarded to a candidate with refugee status or who has an application for asylum in the UK to study on MA Arts and Place for 2022/23. Find out more and apply here >


Jo Joelson

Jo Joelson

Dr Jo Joelson is Programme Lead for MA Arts and Place. She is a London based artist, researcher and writer.

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Tracey Warr

Tracey Warr

Tracey is a fiction and non-fiction writer and also works with text in the vicinity of art. She is an Associate Lecturer on our Poetics of Imagination programme.

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Mohini Chandra

Mohini Chandra

Mohini is Associate Lecturer on the Arts and Place programme.

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adam chodzko

Adam Chodzko

Adam Chodzko is an artist based in Whitstable, Kent. He is a Visiting Lecturer on the Arts and Place programme.

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past lecturers for this course have included:


Jessica Auer


Read more >


Angela Burdon and Sheyda A. Khaymaz

Lungs Project

Read more >


Rod Dickinson


Read more >


Barton Hargreaves


Read more >


Lisa Le Feuvre

Executive Director, Holt/Smithson Foundation

Read more >


Oswaldo Maciá


Read more >


Ruth Maclennan


Read more >


Dave Macleod and Claire Macleod


Read more >


Irini Papadimitriou

Creative Director, Future Everything

Read more >


Susan Stockwell


Read more >


Deborah Stratman


Read more >


Aurora Tang


Read more >


Info coming soon.

live chats & open days

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latest news & blogs

New appointments for Arts & Place MA

New appointments for Arts & Place MA

It’s an exciting time on campus as the new cohort for our Arts & Place MA have just started and we have two new incredible artists who have joined the teaching staff. Dr Mohini Chandra is the new Associate Lecturer and Adam Chodzko is a visiting lecturer who will...

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Top image credit: London Fieldworks, Outlandia fieldstation, Glen Nevis, Scotland. Photograph courtesy London Fieldworks.