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Professional Practice, Arts and Creative Industries (specialisation) BA Honours

A highly flexible distance learning course that you can fit around work commitments, shape to your own creative interests and use to develop your professional experience
September 2023
1 year full time
Distance Learning
Distance Education
£9,250 (UK) *
£15,100 (INT) *
Course leader
Dr Astrid Bernkopf

Why choose a BA Professional Practice (BAPP) with a specialisation in Arts and Creative Industries at Middlesex?

Our department has strong ties to London's creative industries, making this the ideal place to enhance your existing experience and build a professional network.

What you will gain

Our course lets you develop your existing experience into a BA that will create a pathway for further study or job progression.

We’ll give you the tools to develop your professional practice, help you build your professional network, and enhance your employability through a range of practice-based activities.

Many of our students use this course as a stepping stone to advancing their careers into paths such as teaching qualifications, and seeking promotion at work.

What you will learn

This course is designed to be flexible so it can fit around your existing commitments. Taught through an innovative mix of taught online sessions and virtual learning, you'll receive personalised support to develop your creative practice and build a professional network.

The course will culminate in a major practice-based project, allowing you to showcase your work in a discipline of your choosing. You'll also be able to channel your existing experience into a BA, giving you an excellent foundation to build a career in the creative industries.

Keep informed

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This course is delivered in one year across 3 core modules.

Module one – This focuses on reflecting on your personal professional practice up to the point of starting the course. It offers time and space to think about how far you have come and helps identify where to go next.

Module two – This module helps you plan your own professional research project, learn how to craft a research proposal and literature review, as well as how to use a variety of methodologies. This will also explore key areas of practice to develop further skills and knowledge.

Module three – The final module is where you will undertake an independent professional practice research project around a topic of your choosing related to your professional practice. You will be guided through this research by a supervisor.

  • Modules

    • Establishing of Professional Practice (30 credits)

      This module aims to provide you with the requisite theory, reflective tasks, and collaborative discussion in order to stimulate the articulation of your experiential/academic learning and how you contextualise your professional practice.

      You are introduced to theories on reflective practices, modes of learning, and communication including Web 2:0, network theory and connectivism, and ethics.

      During ACI3611 you will position your emerging practice using these theories in terms of your own learning approaches and development.

      You will contextualise and articulate what your practice currently manifests as could be, and how it fits with your wider educational and professional experiences.

    • Professional Practice Inquiry (60 credits)

      This module aims to use the process of inquiry to contextualise and develop your individual professional practice. It will draw upon research and mapping skills acquired in ACI3611 and ACI3622.

    • Mapping Practices (30 credits)

      This module aims to build upon the knowledge gained in ACI3611 Establishing of Professional Practice. Having looked at articulating, positioning, defining, and contextualising your experiential learning in the wider ethical, academic, and practice-based fields during ACI3611, ACI3622 supports you in mapping the theoretical frameworks, professional artifacts, methodologies, and ethical considerations in order to identify an area within your practice suitable for a practice-based inquiry.

To find out more about this highly regarded course, please download the Professional Practice, Arts and Creative Industries (specialisation) BA Honours specification (PDF).

We review our courses regularly to improve your experience and graduate prospects so modules may be subject to change.

How we'll teach you

You'll be taught by an experienced teaching team who have a wide range of expertise and professional experience.

The team includes academics, professional practitioners, and technical staff. Graduate teaching assistants or trained postgraduate research students may also have input into your teaching under the supervision of the module leader.

The course is delivered entirely online through a series of taught sessions, discussion groups and 1-2-1 supervision.

It gives prominence to a number of core themes, which are realised through assignments and interaction between the learning community of students and tutors. There is space provided to reflect on personal practice and explore how it can develop and improve.

You can find out about our learning and teaching activities by accessing our tutor and student blogs.

For one-to-one support, you will meet with either your personal tutor or module leader. We will also share our library of online resources.

Your work will be divided into credits. Each credit is equal to 10 hours of study time. You will complete 120 credits for your year of study. Module one and two are worth 30 credits each and module three is worth 60 credits.

Where will I study?

This course is entirely online, so you can study at your place of work, or wherever you have a good internet connection.


Whether you are studying full or part-time – your course timetable will balance your study commitments on campus with time for work, life commitments and independent study.

Teaching vs independent learning

Outside of teaching hours, you’ll learn independently through self-study which will involve reading articles and books, working on projects, undertaking research, and preparing for assessments including coursework, presentations and exams.

We are experienced in professional practice and our staff are dedicated to creating a lively and useful environment for independent learning. Your independent learning is supported by the library and study hub, laptop hire, and with online materials.

Here is an indication of how you will split your time:

Module 1



Typical activity



Teaching, learning and assessment



Independent learning

Module 2



Typical activity



Teaching, learning and assessment



Independent learning

Module 3



Typical activity



Teaching, learning and assessment



Independent learning



Practice-based learning

Academic support

Our excellent teaching and support teams will help you develop your skills from research and practical skills to critical thinking.

We are experienced in professional practice and our staff are dedicated to creating a lively and useful environment for independent learning.

Middlesex University has a large collection of resources covering work-based learning and subject-based areas. We strongly encourage our learners to visit the library online when working at a distance to make use of the valuable resources available there.

We strongly encourage you to visit the library online when working at a distance to make use of the valuable resources available there. If you would like to come to campus, our Sheppard Library is open 24 hours a day during term time. And we offer free 24-hour laptop loans with full desktop software, free printing and Wi-Fi to use on or off campus.

Coursework and assessments

Your learning will be assessed regularly and is made up of 100% coursework.


Assessments are based on a range of stated criteria, but we value an overall commitment by you to engage in meaningful dialogue on the issues and topics covered in the course.

We'll test your understanding and progress with informal and formal tests.

The informal tests usually take place at least once per module, from which you’ll receive feedback from your tutor. The grades from these tests don’t count towards your final marks.

There are formal assessments for each module, usually at the end, which will count towards your module and your final marks.

Assessments are reviewed annually and may be updated based on student feedback or feedback from an external examiner.


To help you achieve the best results, we will provide regular feedback.

  1. UK entry
  2. International
  3. How to apply

The fees below are for the 2023/24 academic year:

UK students1

Full-time: £9,250

Part-time: £77 per taught credit

International students2

Full-time students: £15,100

Part-time students: £126 per taught credit

Additional costs

The following study tools are included in your fees:

  • Free laptop loans for up to 24 hours
  • Free e-books and e-journals for key course texts
  • Free access to everything on your reading list
  • Free specialist software for your course
  • Free printing for academic paperwork
  • Free online training with LinkedIn Learning.

Scholarships and bursaries

To help make uni affordable, we do everything we can to support you including our:

  • MDX Excellence Scholarship offers grants of up to £2,000 per year for UK students
  • Regional or International Merit Awards which reward International students with up to £2,000 towards course fees
  • Our MDX Student Starter Kit to help with up to £1,000 of goods, including a new laptop or iPad.

Find out more about undergraduate funding and all of our scholarships and bursaries.

Fees Disclaimers

1. UK Fees: The university reserves the right to increase undergraduate tuition fees in line with changes to legislation, regulation and any government guidance or decisions. The tuition fees for part-time UK study are subject to annual review and we reserve the right to increase the fees each academic year by no more than the level of inflation.

2. International Students. Tuition fees are subject to annual review and we reserve the right to increase the fees each academic year by no more than the level of inflation.

Any annual increase in tuition fees as provided for above will be notified to students at the earliest opportunity in advance of the academic year to which any applicable inflationary rise may apply.

How can the BA Professional Practice, Arts and Creative Industries (specialisation) support your career?

This course will help you develop your professional practice by:

  • Enhancing existing professional practice and career progression through personal development and self-managed learning
  • Consolidating and expanding your professional networks
  • Building confidence in managing professional experience to create a pathway for further study
  • Converting an academic or professional diploma, foundation degree or practice-based experience into a recognised honours degree.


Our Careers & Employability Service, MDXworks will launch you into the world of work from the beginning of your course, with placements, projects and networking opportunities through our 1000+ links with industry and big-name employers in London and globally.

Our dedicated lifetime career support, like our business start-up support programme and funding for entrepreneurs, has put us in the top 10 UK universities for students who want to be CEOs and entrepreneurs (Hitachi, 2021).

We offer lots of support to help you while you're studying including financial advice, wellbeing, mental health and disability support.

Additional needs

We'll support you if you have additional needs such as sensory impairment or dyslexia.  And if you want to find out whether Middlesex is the right place for you before you apply, get in touch with our Disability Advice and Support service.


Our specialist teams will support your mental health. We have free individual counselling sessions, workshops, support groups and useful guides.

Work while you study

Our Middlesex Unitemps branch will help you find work that fits around uni and your other commitments. We have hundreds of student jobs on campus that pay the London Living Wage and above.

Financial Support

You can apply for scholarships and bursaries and our MDX Student Starter Kit to help with up to £1,000 of goods, including a new laptop or iPad.

We have also reduced the costs of studying with free laptop loans, free learning resources and discounts to save money on everyday things. Check out our guide to student life on a budget.

  • Alice Sampson

    Alice Sampson is an Entertainment Host on Carnival UK P&O Cruises. She travels the world on-board ships hosting activities, dance classes and is in charge of all evening entertainment. Her ambition is to embark on a maiden voyage for one of the larger ships launching in 2020 and 2022.

    Alice started her career working for Warner Leisure Hotels as a dancer. After 6 months of working for Warner Alice was promoted to a Dance Captain.

    Alice studied for 3 years at a Performing Arts College in Leeds where she gained a Level 6 Diploma in musical theatre. It was here that she was first introduced to Middlesex University’s BA in Professional Practice Creative Industries (specialism). Deciding that she would eventually like to embark on a teaching career Alice applied for a job as an Entertainment Host with Carnival UK P&O cruises and took a year out to settle into her new role before making the decision to enrol onto the BA in Professional Practice Creative Industries (specialism) with Middlesex University. Taking on the programme was a big decision for Alice but long term would enable her to follow her teaching dream and on completion enrol onto a PGCE, something that would not have been a possibility before.

    Speaking about how the BAPP programme has helped her develop Alice states:

    “The BAPP programme has helped me to develop my time keeping, maturity, computer literacy and organisation skills. I matured a lot during my studies in professional practice, I have learnt how to communicate better with professional agents and cabaret acts. When looking for my job on ships I was able to use all of my research I had got on transferring skills from one profession to another and put it into practice. I also learnt huge amounts of timekeeping and organisation skills as being on a ship with skype sessions etc. I had to be organised.”

    Alice’s research project was about people in one career using their skills to transfer to something completely different. Alice said “In terms of myself I was a dancer who wanted to become a primary school teacher and the role I have at the moment is a stepping stone out of the performing side of life that I am so used to, in order for me to be able to gain experience elsewhere in another profession.”

    Her advice for students that are starting out on BAPP is that it's definitely worth it. “Don’t stress, take your time and never stop finding literature. You can never have enough! Use all the resources that are available to you, including the library. Finally blog, blog, blog, without blogging I wouldn’t have been able to talk about half the things I did in my essay. Blogging ensured I got other people’s opinions and ensured I also didn’t forget about what I had looked at and what I thought about certain things. At the start you may think that blogging isn’t necessary but towards the end you will wish you had. I feel that I wouldn’t have got this new career on ships if I hadn’t experienced the BA Professional Practice, undertaking the programme has matured me as a person and made me ask myself the questions of what I really want to do for a future career."

  • Anthony Gifford

    Anthony Gifford is a Dance Captain on the Royal Caribbean International. With over four years’ experience of working on cruise lines he is in charge of maintaining high quality Broadway style production shows, ensuring that the Entertainment team deliver an excellent vacation experience to all guests aboard.

    Anthony started his training at the Northern Ballet School where he achieved an NVQ Level 6 National Diploma in Professional Dance. His college then recommended Middlesex University’s Professional Practice degree as a way for Anthony to extend his diploma to a BA Honours degree whilst developing his professional practice and exploring issues that were important to him and his workplace through professional inquiry.

    Anthony took his college’s advice and embarked on the programme, graduating from Middlesex University with a BA Hons Professional Practice in Dance in January 2016.

    Reflecting on the impact and changes the programme had on his professional skills and role Anthony says “The programme changed the way I reflected upon my professional career, and was a way to channel my focus not only on the practical side of my job but my career as a whole and my professional life. A lot of people are shocked that I manage to juggle full-time work and part-time study all whilst being abroad and in the middle of an ocean but undertaking the programme has allowed me to develop my leadership skills and given me a solid foundation of organisational behaviour, emotional understanding and time management deadlines.”

    As part of his research project Anthony chose to explore the impact cruise ship life had on the behaviour of its workers, specifically dancers, which helped him to understand the team he was working with better.

    Discussing the impact that the qualification had on his organisation Anthony says “The qualification has given me the skills that are hard to develop when doing just a practical course, giving me the edge over people in my team. Skills such as; leadership, reflection, formal writing, communication, time management, emotional understanding and research ability has helped me develop and manage my team better, which in turn provides the company with an unstoppable workforce.

    "My superiors are very impressed and it again gives me the advantage that I am a lot more qualified than the majority of their workforce, demonstrating aforementioned skills in my day to day work which is not common.”

    His advice for students starting out on the programme is to never give in.

    “I still reflect on the work I did with BA Professional Practice and the enlightenment that I feel even after graduating. It opens your eyes to the industry and allows you to model your own career, focus your research cleverly on something that you're passionate about as it makes the added work ten times easier.”

We’ll carefully manage any future changes to courses, or the support and other services available to you, if these are necessary because of things like changes to government health and safety advice, or any changes to the law.

Any decisions will be taken in line with both external advice and the University’s Regulations which include information on this.

Our priority will always be to maintain academic standards and quality so that your learning outcomes are not affected by any adjustments that we may have to make.

At all times we’ll aim to keep you well informed of how we may need to respond to changing circumstances, and about support that we’ll provide to you.

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