University of Chester

Programme Specification
Creative Practices in Education PGDip
2017 - 2018

Postgraduate Diploma

Creative Practices in Education

Creative Practices in Education

University of Chester

University of Chester

University of Chester campuses;  educational and professional settings

Postgraduate (Taught)


Classroom / Laboratory,

2 years Part Time

5 Years

Annual - September




17a. Faculty

17b. Department

Education & Children's Services Academic and Professional Programmes

QAA (2015) Master’s Degree characteristics


Subject assessment ; Academic and Professional Programmes.

Wednesday 22nd July 2015

The Postgraduate Diploma (Creative Practices in Education) is an advanced programme for graduates and a wide range of professionals who want to develop or enhance their skills and knowledge as creative workers within a professional context. The Programme is innovative through the direct link made in practice and theory between the arts, education and the professions. It is distinctively multi-disciplinary in allowing students to draw on expertise in participatory drama and performance, fine art, dance, music, sport and PE and organisational learning within a professional context. The Programme is designed as a sequence of study to move students’ thinking into a phase that generates more expansive creative and critical practice. At the heart of its Programme the Postgraduate Diploma (Creative Practices in Education) fosters experimental thinking and practice. Especially, but not exclusively focused on the in-between spaces that traverse the disciplines and professions,  fostering innovation through creative thinking  and authorship in the fields of experimental creative practice. Students will collaborate across the disciplines, locating creative practice in an inter-disciplinary context. Students will be encouraged to expand the scope of their creative practices by questioning boundaries, initiating shifts in perception, and embarking on work relevant to their professional and creative lines of enquiry. Students will experience learning that fosters creative potential through studio and performance practice. Students will have the opportunity to increase specialisation during stage two of the Programme. Workshops, seminars, lectures and specialist facilities encourage the exploration of ideas, in a wide variety of practice-based disciplines. Modules focus on the professional and theoretical contexts of performance-drama, fine art, dance, art therapy and sport and PE including research methods; they also encourage an interrogation of personal and peer practice. Students will have the opportunity to pursue practical individual projects, to study creative process and how the work might be documented for dissemination and use in future professional contexts. This includes artistic practice but extends beyond this into artful inquiry, encouraging investigation and research into an emerging field of work and study.    

Programme Aims

1.    To encourage the exploration of creativity through inter-disciplinary encounters which foster experimental thinking and practice. 

2.    To develop critical professional reflection through innovative engagement with creative practices in order to re-frame existing professional knowledge and experience within organisational contexts. 

3.    To provide an opportunity to expand the scope of creative practices by questioning boundaries, initiating shifts in perception and stimulating research, enquiry and scholarship.


On completion of the Programme students will have:

1.    Explored creativity through inter-disciplinary encounters and collaborations with other professionals within a professional context. 

2.    Developed innovative creative / experimental thinking and practices to re-frame existing professional knowledge and experience. 

3.    Analysed contemporary theoretical frameworks of creativity at an advanced level and situated professional practice in relation to organisational contexts. 

4.    Developed their critical professional reflection to a sophisticated level through innovative engagement with creative practices.  

5.    Investigated the complex and dynamic relations between creativity, theory and practice. 

6.    Studied in depth contemporary creative theory, pedagogy and practice through scholarly enquiries into professional practices. In addition, each module has its own aims and learning outcomes.

Knowledge and Understanding (All modules within the programme)

  • Critically engaged with theoretical frameworks and literature;
  • Harnessed insights into subject knowledge;
  • Critically reflected on the ways in which research methodology supports professional enquiry;
  • Applied critical considerations when undertaking research;
  • Made effectual use of professional learning to assess impact on practice.

(CD7033, CD7301, CD7308, CD7309, CD7310)

  Cognitive Skills (All modules within the programme)

  • Made critical use of research evidence;
  • Formulated valid conclusions that link theory to practice;
  • Thought independently about essential issues, concepts and ideas.

(CD7033, CD7301, CD7308, CD7309, CD7310)

Practical Skills (All modules within the programme)

  • Critically reflected upon aspects of professional practice in the light of key theoretical perspectives;
  • Made effectual use of professional learning to assess impact on practice;
  • Developed advanced creative practice, enabling students to evaluate critically current research and advanced scholarship in their specialist area.
  • Evaluate methodologies and develop critiques of them and where appropriate, to propose new hypotheses.

Professional Skills (All modules within the programme)

  • Critically reflected on professional practice;
  • Developed new pedagogical and leadership skills;
  • Used initiative and managed own learning;
  • Made independent use of supervision.

Working with Others (All modules within the programme)

  • Engaged in group presentations and disseminations;
  • Worked with professional colleagues to share ideas, research and good practice.

Transferable Professional Skills The qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring (All modules within the programme):

  • The exercise of initiative and personal responsibility;
  • Decision-making in complex and unpredictable situations;

The independent learning ability required for continuing professional development.


(CD7033, CD7301, CD7308, CD7309, CD7310)

Communication (All modules within the programme)

  • Written, performed or exhibited academic standards required at M level;
  • Engaged in meaningful debate and critical discussion;
  • Read critically;
  • Synthesised written and oral information;
  • Maintained a learning journal where appropriate.

(CD7033, CD7301, CD7308, CD7309, CD7310)

The Programme leads to the PG Diploma Creative Practices in Education. The qualifications offered are in line with QAA, The Framework for Higher Education Qualifications in England, Wales and Northern Ireland (FHEQ) and are compliant with the Integrated Qualifications Framework for the Schools’ Workforce (2010) and the Framework for Qualifications of the European Higher Education Area (FQ-EHEA) (2008).  The programme has Postgraduate Certificate (PG Cert) as an exit point that facilitates continuing professional development at different stages of a professional career. Students may exit with credit for single modules. Modules are at 20 Credit Accumulation Transfer (CAT) points and 10 European Credit Transfer (ECT) points and 40 Credit Accumulation Transfer (CAT) points and 20 European Credit.

Students have three years to complete a PG Cert, five years for a PG Dip.

Stage/Year 1.The modules are consecutive within Stage 1 of the Programme and follow a linear structure, enabling students to build upon previous learning as they move through the Programme.

Stage/Year 2.When students move into Stage 2, two modules run concurrently (as students choose one optional module) enabling each module to inform one another.

CD7301 Engagement with Creative Practice: the first double module enables students to build upon prior experience of creative practice, re-visiting practice and/or engaging with this for the first time. It enables students to draw parallels between professional and creative practice and theoretical frameworks.  The module is largely practical, introducing students to the studio/workshop and the potential of creative practices to inform their own individual enquiry. This module will run across the academic year to encourage sustained engagement with creative practice.

CD7310 Cultural Organisations introduces a range of theoretical frameworks for creativity and its application to educational and professional practices. Students will explore cultural organisations and their effects on the meanings of creative practice. Both of these modules will explore important critical theories relevant to creativity and professional practice. Both modules will enable rigorous analysis relevant to the students' own actual or intended creative practice.

These modules will run concurrently to enable students to sustain their practice throughout the programme, whilst being critically informed by theoretical frameworks.

CD7309 Researching Creative Practices enables students to evaluate their own creative and professional learning; it is an opportunity to develop the skills of reflexivity and critical practice. This module seeks to introduce students to creative research methodologies, enabling them to undertake a project in a professional context and evaluate the impact of the associated professional learning. Students will interrogate practice to discover a question or enquiry, consider appropriate methodologies and undertake a practice-based enquiry within a professional setting. This module is the only module compulsory to all students.

CD7308 Reflexive Practice provides a concentrated period of workshop/studio practice and the time to develop a creative engagement with informed ‘intuitive’ practice. Students will have the opportunity to experiment and take risks in creative practice, with time to build up a necessary volume of practice evidence. Through a process of selection and reflection on this evidence, it is expected that students will develop a greater understanding of their personal creative ambitions and find the most appropriate practical methodologies to achieve these.

CD7033 Practitioner Enquiry provides the opportunity to engage with practitioner research, whilst also providing a wider scope for students to discuss and practice research methodologies beyond creativity, helping students to appropriately situate their research within their professional context.

The Programme is unique in the partnerships which underpin it, providing students with the opportunity to work alongside colleagues in cultural organisations particularly during CD7310.


Mod-Code Level Title Credit Single
CD7033 7 Practitioner enquiry 20 Comp
CD7301 7 Engagement with Creative Practice 40 Comp
CD7308 7 Reflexive Practice 20 Comp
CD7309 7 Researching Creative Practices 20 Comp
CD7310 7 Cultural Organisations 20 Comp

The PGDip Creative Practices in Education has an exit award of Postgraduate Certificate (60 Credits):The PG Certificate will be named Postgraduate Certificate (Creative Practices in Education ). In order to exit with a PG Cert, students must complete 1x 40 credit module plus 1x 20 credit module.

Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits):In order to achieve the Postgraduate Diploma (Creative Practices in Education), students must undertake further study comprising a further 3 x 20 credit modules.

The programme is designed to recognise former certificated and experiential learning through the Accreditation of Prior Learning process.

The Postgraduate Diploma (Creative Practices in Education) is open to both graduates and non-graduates with professional experience. Graduates will have a background in creativity, education or the professions or a related background acquired through previous study (a Bachelor’s degree). Non-graduates will be admitted to the award-bearing aspects of the Programme by virtue of their professional experience.  They will have a background in creativity, education or the professions or a related background.  They will attend a compulsory interview with the Programme Leader to ascertain their ability to succeed on the Programme.

Applicants shall also satisfy the requirements for English Language, where English is not their first language IELTS 6.5 is the minimum requirement.

Students with additional needs should declare this at the time of application, and an assessment made by Student Support and Guidance of the University's ability to support these needs.

The Postgraduate Diploma (Creative Practices in Education) draws on and extends the QAA (2015) Master’s Degree characteristics contextualise the level of study within the new Programme.  This qualification at level 7 is awarded to students who have demonstrated:       

  • A systematic understanding of knowledge, and a critical awareness of current problems and/or new insights, much of which is at the forefront of Creativity, Education and Professional practice;         
  • A comprehensive understanding of techniques applicable to their own research or advanced scholarship;         
  • Originality in the application of knowledge, together with a practical understanding of how established techniques of research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge in the subject area;      
  • Conceptual understanding that enables the student to evaluate critically current research and advanced scholarship in the subject area;
  • An ability to evaluate methodologies and develop critiques of them and, where appropriate, to propose new hypotheses.

Typically, holders of the qualification will:       

  • Be able to deal with the complex issues both systematically and creatively, making sound judgements in the absence of complete data, and communicate their conclusions clearly to specialist and non-specialist audiences;      
  • Be able to demonstrate self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems, and act autonomously in planning and implementing tasks at a professional level;       
  • Continue to advance their knowledge and understanding, and to develop new skills to a high level;        
  • Have the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring the exercise of initiative and responsibility, decision–making in complex and unpredictable situations, and the independent learning ability required for continuing professional development.

The programme adheres to the central University Learning and Teaching Strategy. From this, the Faculty of Education and Children’s Services have developed a local level response in the form of the Faculty Learning, Teaching, Assessment Improvement and Development Plan. This commits to pedagogical principles which include:     

  • Promoting professional engagement and reflective practice;      
  • Encouraging independent and autonomous learning;         
  • Supporting continuing professional development;     
  • Valuing students' professional experience and prior learning;        
  • Supporting diversity and personalised learning;       
  • Encouraging dynamic and participative learning;
  • Promoting collaborative learning;
  • Encouraging Internet and Web-based approaches;         
  • Supporting reflective and Practitioner enquiry.

For further details, please access:

The programme includes a range of approaches to learning and teaching:

  • University-based Modules- These modules are held at the University in technology rich environments. A range of methodologies are employed which take account of best practice and maximise active learning, sensitive to the learning styles and needs of students. These methodologies include lectures, seminars, group work, directed tasks, independent research and individual, group tutorials and blended learning.
  • Independent Learning -Independent Learning is a philosophy of education which students are encouraged to adopt. It includes the opportunity to work with a supervising tutor who offers support as students work towards completing assessment tasks but is fundamentally a more over-arching concept about an autonomous approach to work.
  • Electronic Support Materials - The Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) is an essential feature of the Programme. Each module has a dedicated module site where key information about the module and a range of materials and interactive elements to support learning and assessment, is available.
  • Electronic Tutorial Support – Students are able to contact their module tutor or module supervisor by email whenever they wish. Tutors will endeavour to respond to student queries within 3-5 days but often sooner. Tutorial support includes face-to-face tutorial support meetings and the opportunity for students to engage with online tutorial support. Individual tutorials can also be offered using a range of technologies such as Skype and Facetime.  This is an important feature of the Programme as it enables students who may not live in close proximity to the University to access tutorial support remotely.

The programme strives to maintain a diverse assessment palette and rigorous, consistent assessment practices which aims to enable students to demonstrate their skills, knowledge and understanding in a variety of ways.




All modules have a handbook that complies with University and Faculty Guidelines. All handbooks are available to students on the dedicated module space on Moodle (The University's VLE).

The module handbook includes:       

  • Module aims and learning outcomes;       
  • Outline content;       
  • Assessment method;       
  • Procedures for submission of work;        
  • Recommended reading;
  • Appropriate grading criteria;
  • Links to relevant documentation and University Policy eg. The Diversity and Equality Policy, The Disability, Gender and Race Equality Scheme, guidance on regulations governing the assessment of students.


All assessed work is graded according to a percentage scale 0-100 using the University's grading criteria linked to the appropriate QAA requirements All marking procedures comply with the central University Assessment Policies. Feedback to students is available electronically using the Turnitin and Grademark systems. Feedback on the work is intended to identify strengths and points of development. Assignments are not pre-marked.  Students may receive formative, verbal feedback on plans or on a specified amount of work identified by the tutor.

Assessment criteria are communicated to students through Programme and Module handbooks with specific assignment guidance explaining the important features of each assignment.

Students who engage in the Postgraduate Diploma (Creative Practices in Education) will successfully demonstrate subject-specific attributes and will become reflective practitioners and critical thinkers who can articulate their views with confidence and conviction. They will have in-depth knowledge and understanding of the creative practice and the political arena of education and professional practice informed by current practice, scholarship and research. They will have read widely and will have engaged with theoretical frameworks which have challenged their values, beliefs and understanding. They will have become confident researchers, being able to use a range of techniques and research methods finding solutions to challenges in their professional setting and practice. Their professional integrity will have been affirmed, demonstrating their ability to use initiative and take responsibility, solving problems in innovative and creative ways. They will have become sufficiently professionally secure to confront and manage change, make decisions and to lead others, should they choose. It is anticipated that graduates will continue to learn and demonstrate advanced scholarship in creative professional practice across disciplines. Graduates will use a creative lens to de-construct practice and develop new insights within the field of creative and professional practice.

The University of Chester is committed to the promotion of diversity, equality and inclusion in all its forms; through different ideas and perspectives, age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation. We are, in particular, committed to widening access to higher education. Within an ethically aware and professional environment, we acknowledge our responsibilities to promote freedom of enquiry and scholarly expression.

All participants in and contributors to the Programme will be encouraged to become involved in the development, management, delivery and evaluation of the effectiveness of the Programme. Students are allocated a Personal Academic Tutor (PAT) who will:

  • Act as the student's contact with the University
  • Maintain an overview of a student's academic progress
  • Provide academic advice and guidance to students
  • Provide specific advice regarding module choice and review academic progress. This can be provided by face-to-face tutorial(s), email tutorial(s) or telephone tutorial(s)
  • Discuss academic strengths and areas which need development based on examples of work
  • Develop a relationship based on shared knowledge of the student's progress
  • Assist in completing the e-Portfolio
  • Provide a reference, if required, based on information provided by the student


The Programme is innovative through the direct links made between practice and theory within the arts, education and the professions. It is distinctively multi-disciplinary in enabling students to draw on expertise in drama, theatre and performance, fine art, dance, music, sport and PE together with organisational learning within a professional context. The Programme is flexible and innovative, resulting through consultation with teachers, professionals in Heritage / Theatre and Professional Bodies.

Students are able to practice in a wide range of cultural organisations. Where a student is not in employment, a placement will be sought to facilitate the creative enquiry process.

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