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

Extend your existing academic, professional or practice-based experience to BA level with our flexible distance learning course that you can study alongside your current work.
September 2023
18 months part-time
Distance Education
£9,250 (UK) *
£15,100 (EU/INT) *
Course leader
Sam Murray

Why study professional practice, arts and creative industries with us

Build a course that suits you and study around your existing professional activities. Our creative industries course gives you the chance to develop your experience through a range of online learning activities, culminating in a major practice-based project that we refer to as the professional enquiry.

Ideal for enhancing your existing experience in the creative industry, you’ll learn through a mix of the latest virtual learning techniques, online social networking tools, and campus sessions that will let you interact with other students in our network throughout your course.

Develop your professional experience

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

You’ll get plenty of individual support from our academic team, who are on hand to help you achieve success in both your studies and your career.

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.

Get the support you need to succeed

We ensure that you get the support you need throughout your time with us. That’s why you’ll get matched with a Personal Tutor as well as a Student Learning Assistant and a Graduate Academic Assistant. They’ll have experience in your subject area and will be able to help whenever you need.

With plenty of opportunities for professional development, our course will also develop your professional acumen and help you develop the skills to self-manage your learning experience.

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What will you study on the BA Professional Practice, Arts and Creative Industries (specialisation)?

This course is delivered using online tools, with individual academic advisers provided for students on the course. You will be expected to have regular access to the web and email.

The content of the course is mainly based on the exploration and understanding of professional practice with the introduction of relevant knowledge and skills to facilitate professional inquiry. Current practice-based experience is essential and all applicants are expected to show that they will be engaged in practice either full time, part time, paid or voluntary, or through professional engagements.

You will be assigned tasks that involve: creating blogs and wikis; reflective reports; written reports; audio-visual resources, professional artefacts, inquiry projects, and oral presentations. Students will engage in reflection upon their practice, and be expected to communicate with other students and other professionals about their studies, work and ideas. The focus is on the establishing practice of the student rather than content 'owned' or 'held' by the University. The programme introduces higher education capabilities and skills and develops professional practice. This builds in complexity, leading to a major project based upon and designed to benefit professional practice.


  • 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.

You can find more information about this course in the programme specification.

Optional modules are usually available at levels 5 and 6, although optional modules are not offered on every course. Where optional modules are available, you will be asked to make your choice during the previous academic year. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, or there are staffing changes which affect the teaching, it may not be offered. If an optional module will not run, we will advise you after the module selection period when numbers are confirmed, or at the earliest time that the programme team make the decision not to run the module, and help you choose an alternative module.

How is the BA Professional Practice, Arts and Creative Industries (specialisation) taught?

The course is delivered entirely online thought 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. Below are links to our tutors' blogs and from these you can access our students' blogs (they appear as followers).


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 programme.

  1. Standard entry requirements
  2. International (inc. EU)
  3. How to apply
  1. UK
  2. EU / International

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 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

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.

  • 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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