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Professional Arts Practice MA (Distance Education)

Learn about the course below
September 2024
18 months
£9,800 (UK) *
£12,600 (INT) *
Course leader
Dr Robert Vesty

The MA programme is a unique distance education programme, centred around the development of your existing professional arts practice. Access to the programme is based on your prior professional experience and not on holding an UG degree. The course will suit any professional arts practitioner working across the fields of dance, theatre, music, and broader interdisciplinary arts practices.

Why study Professional Arts Practice MA at Middlesex University?

    A unique master's level degree focused on your own professional practice The course is designed for emerging and established arts-based practitioners, teacher, writers, curators, choreographers and performers The MA is taught by distance learning, delivered entirely online so accessible internationally The course has established links with the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD), and the Association for Somatic Movement and Dance Therapies UK and Eire

Course highlights

  • Gain recognition and academic credit for prior professional experiences*
  • Globally recognised master's level qualification, access from anywhere in the world
  • Centres you and your professional practice at the heart of your MA degree
  • Develops your practice through research

*Please note that, normally, credit towards a new qualification must have been gained no more than five years before the programme of study commences.

Find out more

Sign up now to receive more information about studying at Middlesex University London.

What will you study on Professional Arts Practice MA?

You will study in depth your own area of professional practice. Starting with engaging with theories and processes of reflection you will begin to identify key moments of learning in your professional experiences (module one). You will then consider an area within your practice that you identify as being of significant interest/having the potential for further development and engage with concepts of research design and frameworks for practice-as research (module two), to develop a proposal for an independent research project that you will undertake, guided by your supervisor in the third and final module of the MA.

You will develop skills in reflective practice, research design, practice as research methodologies, analysis, reflective writing, communication through practice and theory.

  • Modules

    • Critical Reflection on Professional Practice (RPL) (10 credits)

      Through online discussion groups, guidance from your Supervisor and your module handbook, you are encouraged to position your professional knowledges through reflecting on your prior experiences and learning, culminating in a submission of a portfolio giving context to your practice.

      RPL - alongside this module, you will also be guided through making a claim of 80 additional credits that will be awarded to you as a Recognition of Prior Learning.

    • Proposal for Independent Research (30 credits)

      In this module you will choose an area of your practice to research in depth and explore any existing work related to your chosen subject. This is a chance for you to explore your own work and to look at the work of other practitioners and researchers and explore new paths for your practice.

      By the end of this module you will have produced a detailed research proposal that relates to your own industry practice. You will have accessed key sources, gained preliminary investigative experience and critical analytical skills that will further enhance the final phase of this course, as well as your career.

    • Independent Research Project (60 credits)

      In this final module you will carry out the research proposed in the previous module and critically review the implications it has on your chosen area of industry practice. This is a chance for you to explore your chosen subject in greater depth; collect, analyse and evaluate data; articulate your research within an academic framework and through dissemination to your field of practice.

      As part of this module you will complete a critical review, give an oral presentation, and produce a professional artefact. The oral presentation and the artefact allow you to find ways other than the written word through which to articulate your research.

      On completing this module you will be able to demonstrate a high level of knowledge and skills in your chosen area of industry practice, with transferable skills in reflective study, research and critical analysis.

To find out more about this course, please download the specification for the Professional Arts Practice MA (PDF).

How is the Professional Arts Practice MA taught?

Distance learning, online via zoom, blogs and one-to-one supervisions.


One assessment point at the end of each module (x3 modules in total).

Assessments methods are multi-modal – practice-based, written, and presentation.


  • Demonstrable prior professional experience in an arts related field
  • No undergraduate degree is required where professional experience is held

Interviews, auditions and portfolios

Application online plus interview for selected candidates to ascertain prior professional experience and interest in area of arts-based research.

Additional requirement

Access to internet.

  1. UK
  2. International

How will MA Professional Arts Practice support your career?

  • Development of existing professional practice
  • Advancement/promotion in this field, access to entry onto higher level qualification (PhD/DProf)

Dr Robert Vesty
Senior Lecturer in Theatre

Robert Vesty is a Senior Lecturer in Theatre, Programme Leader for the MA in Professional Arts Practice (MAPAP) and co-chair of the LGBT+ network. They maintain a performance practice that draws on a training in acting, and a background in dance, particularly improvisatory practice. Robert's teaching practice centres around actor-training, especially movement for actors but considers the voice also as a movement practice.

Dr Mike Dines
Lecturer in Popular Music

Mike is a module Leader, Lecturer in Music and Professional Practice, founder of the Punk Scholars Network

Ms Angela Woodhouse
Senior Lecturer in Dance

Angela Woodhouse is Lecturer in Dance and teaches choreography on both the undergraduate programmes. She trained in dance and visual art at the Metropolitan University of Manchester, and has an MA (dist) from University of Surrey.

Miss Yassmin Foster Paul
Lecturer in Dance Practices

Yassmin Foster Paul's background includes creative producing, movement direction and choreography. She is also a founding member of Legs Eleven Sound System, established in 2011. She works within a broad range of contexts to create work that interrogates the social, artistic and economic value of physical expression.

Dr Helen Kindred
Director of Dance and Professional Practice Programmes

Dr. Helen Kindred is a renowned dance artist-scholar and Senior Lecturer in Dance and Professional Practice. She has toured globally as a performer and achieved international recognition for her performances and choreographic work spanning nearly three decades. Dr. Kindred earned her PhD from Middlesex University in 2021 and has made significant contributions to the field, serving as an Artistic Assessor for Arts Council England and holding key roles at Middlesex University and DanceHE. Currently, she serves as a Trustee on the Board of BEEE Creative.

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