The course aims to equip students with the practical and theoretical skills required for a career in art practices that include collaborative participation and community engagement. The MA Art and Social Practice sits within the university’s Centre for Rural Creativity, an interdisciplinary research centre based at our Shetland College UHI campus.

The course is the first award of this nature to be delivered virtually within a rural setting, reducing barriers to education and allowing students to participate from elsewhere in the UK or internationally. The current student cohort includes students from Scotland, the rest of the UK, Europe and North America.

Video conferencing is used for live seminars and guest speakers. Guests speakers represent a range of approaches to socially engaged art and work in Scotland and the rest of the UK as well as India, Ireland, the USA and Australia. in the first two years of the programme, guests have included Bromwich & Walker, Cara Courage, Davina Drummond, Neville Gabie, Loraine Leeson, Glenn Loughran, Albha Murphy, Nicola Naismith, Sreejata Roy, Niambh Webster and Claudia Zeiske. The course features an optional, annual “Winter School” residency where everyone can meet face-to-face as well as an international “Virtual Symposium”, which in 2019 featured speakers from Australia, Perdita Phillips, and the USA, Professor Grant Kester.

Bursaries are available for full-time students resident in the Highlands and Islands.

For further information, please contact


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Supporting live performance across the Highlands & Islands as part of a central, celebrated and indispensable part of the cultural life of Scotland.
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