MA Arts, Health and Social Change

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MA Arts, Health and Social Change brings those working in or interested in developing their skills in arts, health and social change together to learn from leaders in the field in the context of research and practice. 

You will hold a critical belief that culture and the arts have a significant part to play in health and social change and a conviction that a collective approach offers new ways of reimagining public health.

This course stems from the research-informed direction of Arts for Health at Manchester Metropolitan University, a leading research, advocacy and education centre, re-imagining and undertaking, multidisciplinary research into the fundamental questions about arts, health and social change. This ties explicitly to the Manchester Institute for Arts, Heath & Social Change. The programme benefits from the rich networks and strategic working relationships within Manchester, the UK and internationally. 

We invite participants from a range of arts and health disciplines and/or professional backgrounds which might include traditional art school roots and psychology and healthcare but may also embrace subjects from visual anthropology to the digital and literary arts. People with professional experience wanting to further develop their practice and theoretical understanding of the field will form a key cohort in this Masters.

Features and Benefits

Career Prospects

The programme will enable individuals to gain the knowledge and practical experience to propel their careers in this fast developing field.

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Entry requirements

Applicants will have 2:1 or above at degree level, with experience in the field of arts/health/social change (or international equivalent); or a degree equivalent postgraduate diploma, or a professional qualification or relevant professional experience will be considered. Alternatively, applicants may be admitted without the above, if they can demonstrate exceptional experience within the field.
English language requirements are in line with the university requirements for postgraduate level.

Course details

Full-time students complete the programme in 12 months split into 3 terms, each consisting of 60 credits of study. Part-time students undertake 30 credits of study per term, and have the option to complete in 24 – 36 months, dependent on whether they elect to undertake summer breaks within their study period.

In addition to core units, students will elect a 30 credit Option Unit. The Option units are shared across all university postgraduate programmes and enable students to undertake further cross-disciplinary learning experiences.

Read more about this year of study

Core Units

Collective Research and Practice

During this unit, we establish a community of expertise where new critical, aesthetic and poetic responses emerge through collective research and practice. Transdisciplinary groups work on themes or projects presented by Arts for Health and links are made with public and governmental organizations, communities and a variety of relevant settings. We will explore new frameworks for individual and collective practice, building understanding of how we move through the world and interact with others.

Theory and Knowledge

Alongside practical project work, this unit provides a space to explore key research and emerging issues within society, encouraging scrutiny of current practices aimed at impacting on health and wellbeing. We’ll discuss the relevance of the arts from the cradle to the grave, placing a strong emphasis on inequalities and the social determinants of health. Our aim will be to expand understanding of theory and practice in the emerging public health agenda.

Creative Direction

You will review your learning so far, consider your emerging creative directions, preparing for and proposing your MA project. Working individually or in project teams, you will identify creative directions with external partners across Greater Manchester and/or wider international communities of interest. Initial project proposals are advanced and refined through for example, project planning, professional ethics and testing the overall validity and appropriateness of the proposal.


You will work with communities and workforce to offer innovative new ways of exploring pressing health and social concerns, where Greater Manchester will be an incubator of step-change research and action. Project work is self-generated, and you are expected to evidence a synthesis of knowledge, understanding, skills and expertise acquired across the duration of the programme.

Culture & Context

This unit offers focussed opportunity for you to extend and enhance your practice by including working in a wider art and design research community. The study of the cultural and critical contexts of art and design practice is vital to any student of the creative disciplines, this unit will develop your abilities to contextualise your practice through one of a series of themes addressing contemporary issue in art and design.

In previous years, themes have included:

  • Contested Territories
  • Health & Wellbeing
  • Negotiated Study
  • Space & Context
  • Digital Futures
  • Writing Research & Funding Proposals
  • Images And Archives
  • Art & Science Stories

Theme options may vary each year.

Manchester School of Art

Our School of Art is the second oldest design school in Britain, offering courses designed to serve specialist industry needs and give students the tools for their chosen career.

Like the city of Manchester, the school prides itself on being creative, unconventional and professional, providing a broad range of architecture, art, design, media and theatre undergraduate and postgraduate courses in a unique creative environment that encourages creative collaboration across the disciplines.

More about the department

Taught by experts

Your studies are supported by a team of committed and enthusiastic teachers and researchers, experts in their chosen field. We also work with external professionals, many of whom are Manchester Met alumni, to enhance your learning and appreciation of the wider subject.

Meet our expert staff


UK and EU students

UK and EU students: Full-time fee: £9,250 per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

UK and EU students: Part-time fee: £4,625 studied per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Non-EU and Channel Island students

Non-EU international and Channel Island students: Full-time fee: £17,000 per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Non-EU international and Channel Island students: Part-time fee: £8,500 studied per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Additional Information

A Masters qualification typically comprises 180 credits, a PGDip 120 credits, a PGCert 60 credits, and an MFA 300 credits. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of study provided the course is completed in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Additional costs

All of the books required for the course are available from the library. The University also has PC labs and a laptop loan service. However, many students choose to buy some of the core textbooks for the course and/or a laptop. Students may also need to print their assignments and other documents. Campus printing costs start from 5p per page. Estimated costs are £300 for a laptop up to £100 for books and printing. Total optional cost: £400

Postgraduate Loan Scheme

Loans of up to £10,906 for many Postgraduate Courses

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Alumni Loyalty Discount

Rewarding our graduates

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How to apply

The quickest and most efficient way to apply for this course is to apply online. This way, you can also track your application at each stage of the process.

Apply online now

If you are unable to apply online, you can apply for postgraduate taught courses by completing the postgraduate application form. There are exceptions for some professional courses – the course information on our on-line prospectus will give you more information in these cases.

Please note: to apply for this course, you only need to provide one reference.

You can review our current Terms and Conditions before you make your application. If you are successful with your application, we will send you up to date information alongside your offer letter.


Programme Review
Our programmes undergo an annual review and major review (normally at 6 year intervals) to ensure an up-to-date curriculum supported by the latest online learning technology. For further information on when we may make changes to our programmes, please see the changes section of our Terms and Conditions.

Important Notice
This online prospectus provides an overview of our programmes of study and the University. We regularly update our online prospectus so that our published course information is accurate. Please check back to the online prospectus before making an application to us to access the most up to date information for your chosen course of study.

Confirmation of Regulator
The Manchester Metropolitan University is regulated by the Office for Students (OfS). The OfS is the independent regulator of higher education in England. More information on the role of the OfS and its regulatory framework can be found at

All higher education providers registered with the OfS must have a student protection plan in place. The student protection plan sets out what students can expect to happen should a course, campus, or institution close. Access our current Student Protection Plan.