Arts and Place

MA, PGDip, PGCert
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Image credit: Tania Candiani, Landscape Sound Amplifier. Exoplanet Lot, Saint Cirq Lapopie. Organised by Maison des Arts Georges et Claude Pompidou. Photograph by Yohann Gozard

Arts and Place

MA, PGDip, PGCert
Full time and part time
Starts April 2021
Last chance to apply; applications will soon close for this course

Open to practitioners and curators working in any art form including performance, writing, soundart, moving image, photography, digital art and fine art, the Arts and Place course puts particular emphasis on collaborative practice in response to an expanded understanding of place.

The course offers a unique residency-based learning programme. Arts residencies are a significant part of the contemporary arts industry and of contemporary art making.

We are increasingly confronted with complex challenges that require new ways of knowing and forms of collaborative engagement and practice, which can be addressed in this master’s enquiry. This course enables you to develop your creative practice and your professional practice knowledge and network alongside each other.

Q&A with Programme Lead: See answers to our frequently asked questions about this course in this blog post. >> 

Key Info

Due to the coronavirus crisis, this course will now begin 19 April 2021. See ‘Programme information’ below for full details.

A full-time (1 year) or part-time programme (2 years) with 4 x 30 credit modules and 1 x 60 credit dissertation or major project module. The first six-week module is delivered at Dartington and the subsequent three six-week modules each involve 10 days of fieldwork with a residency network host – selected for students by course tutors. Students are supported by e-learning throughout the course.

Students will need to live onsite or nearby for the first six-week module at Dartington, spending 10 residency days at each of three other host organisations in subsequent modules (see below). Full board accommodation onsite is available (but not mandatory) throughout terms 1 and 2 for international students (Tier 4 visa only).

Arts and Place

Residency Network Hosts:

Allenheads Contemporary Arts, Northumberland

Established in 1995, Allenheads Contemporary Arts hosts residencies for creative practitioners that bring together myriad combinations of themes in contemporary art and contemporary living in both the local and global context. Artists often work in collaboration with other disciplines such as science, astronomy, environment and philosophy and there is an astronomical observatory onsite.

OVADA, Oxford

OVADA, the Oxford Visual Art Development Agency, is an artist-led organisation – a contemporary art gallery and development space that provides opportunities for both artists and audiences. OVADA presents a dynamic programme of exhibitions and events and a range of learning opportunities from their city centre venue and other off-site locations.

artdotearth, Dartington, Devon works openly and collaboratively, celebrating and supporting artists who are concerned either explicitly or implicitly with environmental or ecological issues and community. The project produces events and conducts research, working as internationally as possible while acknowledging absolutely the power and lure of the local.

Peacock Visual Arts, Aberdeen

Peacock Visual Arts is a centre for contemporary art focusing in particular on print media. They have print and digital studios and run The WORM – a contemporary art space.

Cornubian Arts & Science Trust (CAST), Cornwall

CAST aims to promote participation, appreciation and learning in the visual arts and to encourage interdisciplinary dialogue and collaboration across the arts and sciences. It works with artists, curators, writers and specialists from other fields, locally, regionally, nationally and internationally, to develop professional expertise and exchange, and to create opportunities for audiences of all ages to experience groundbreaking cultural activity.

Watershed Pervasive Media Studio, Bristol

The Pervasive Media Studio hosts a diverse community of over 100 artists, creative companies, technologists and academics exploring experience design and creative technology.

Outlandia, Glen Nevis, Scotland

Outlandia is an off-grid treehouse, imagined by artists Bruce Gilchrist and Jo Joelson, who work together as London Fieldworks. A flexible meeting space in the forest for creative collaboration and research, Outlandia is inspired by wildlife hides and bothies, forest outlaws and Japanese poetry platforms.

Delfina Foundation

Based in the heart of London, Delfina Foundation is an independent, non-profit foundation dedicated to facilitating artistic exchange and developing creative practice through residencies, partnerships and public programming.

Programme information / apply now

IMPORTANT: Please ensure you consult the Applicant Information page for full information on term dates, tuition fees and other key information about our courses.

You can then return to this page for programme-specific information and to make your course application.

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how to apply

Application form

Click below to apply for this course online(form opens in new window/tab)..
Last chance to apply; applications will soon close for this course


Please ensure you submit your supporting materials (see below) after completing your application form.

Additional Documentation in Support of your Application

After you have submitted your application, please send all necessary supporting information listed below as soon as possible to allow us to process your application. As our staff are mostly working from home at present, please send scanned copies or electronic versions of the below to:


1) Certificate(s) or transcript(s) of first degree or equivalent qualifications: these can be Original or certified copies:

Photocopies MUST be certified by a public notary or solicitor (with contact details provided for them).

Any documents which are not in English MUST be accompanied by a full translation then certified by a public notary or solicitor. All translations must be accompanied by the certificate or transcript in the original language.

Important notes for students requiring a Student Visa

UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) will only accept original copies of your documents during the visa application process. We are happy to accept originals, but it is safer to post certified photocopies which meet the above guidelines. Please bring the originals with you to enrolment if offered a place.

UKVI also require a full translation of any documents that are not in English.

Dartington Arts School is licensed under Dartington Trust as a Student Visa Sponsor. To comply with our sponsorship duties, we are required to check other aspects of your application in addition to your academic achievements. We will look at previous studies in the UK and other aspects outlined in UKVI guidance for sponsors. Information you provide on your application form will be passed on to the UKVI once you have been offered a place and Dartington Arts School agrees to sponsor you.

2) A recent passport-size photograph

3) A copy of the front cover and information page of your current passport (inform us immediately if you get a new passport before you come to the UK to study).

4) A copy of any previous or current UK visa.

Translations of documents which are not in English

The original translation must contain:

  • confirmation from the translator/translation company that it is an accurate translation of the original document
  • the date of the translation
  • the translator/an authorised official of the translation company’s full name and signature, and
  • the translator/translation company’s contact details.

Documentary requirements for Student Visa applicants can be found here ( Please read the Guidance and Appendix at the bottom of the page.

term dates and teaching dates

 Teaching dates 2021

19 April – 29 May: Module 1 teaching weeks on-site at Dartington
1 June – 2 July: Module 2 off site residencies
12 July – 13 August: Module 3 off site residencies
16 August – 17 September: Module 4 off site residencies
20 September – 10 January 2022: Module 5 Major Project / Dissertation – Independent work with tutorials (online).

Contact us at for details on part-time delivery patterns and if you would like to speak to a member of the team before applying.

programme structure and modules

MA Arts and Place is a full-time (1 year; UK, EU or international residents) or part-time programme (2 years; UK residents only) with 4 x 30 credit modules and 1 x 60 credit dissertation or major project module. 

There is one six-week timetabled teaching period at Dartington when you must live on site (or nearby in Totnes or the vicinity) and participate in the learning community. From March to June 2021 there are three 10-day fieldtrips when you will be in residence at three other locations in the UK.

Outside of the six-week period at Dartington and the three 10-day fieldtrips, international students (only) can request accommodation and full board onsite for terms 1 and 2 and this would require you to participate in the learning community activities. Alternatively, you can opt to live nearby or anywhere in the UK and travel to and from Dartington for the six-week taught period and to and from the three fieldtrip locations.

We have a limited number of residential places available for international students. Apply as early as possible.

Module One: Approaching Residencies (30 credits)

A grounding in methods and concepts to support collaborative practice and inter-transdisciplinary engagement with complexity. Using the Dartington estate as a residency focus, this module is an introduction to the history, theory and practice of making artworks in residency contexts. Techniques for engaging with site and community in relation to your own practice are developed.

Module Two: Urban Places (30 credits)

This module explores the development of arts practice in an urban residency context through fieldwork with a residency host and the development of a project. Students extend their understanding and creative engagement with the complexity of place into urban contexts.

Module Three: Contemporary Remote (30 credits)

This module explores the development of arts practice in a rural or digital residency context through fieldwork with a residency host and the development of a project. It further develops students’ creative engagements with the complexities of place.

Module Four: Themes in Residency (30 credits)

This module explores the development of arts practice in response to themed residency contexts through fieldwork with a residency host and the development of a project. It allows students to make work in response to key issues such as social justice, climate change, the role of cultural workers in contemporary society and well-being.

Module Five: Final Major Project (60 credits)

The final major project enables students to pursue a creative project of their own interest, or an academic essay interrogating arts and place, arts practice in residency theory and practice, or a combination of project and essay (50/50). The outcome is presented in the public domain at Dartington or at one of the host residency locations.

additional course costs

Our applicant information page contains details on the course tuition fee, but as this programme contains residencies, you will also need to budget for travel, accommodation and material costs.

The first six weeks module is delivered at Dartington and is a full timetable over at least four days of each week. You will need to either live on site with full board, participating in the learning community @ £299 per week or live nearby and travel in and out.

The programme also includes three x 10 day fieldtrips where you will need to pay for your accommodation and travel.

Depending on the type of work you develop, you are also likely to have some material costs during the course and for your final project. Please bear this in mind when considering the total costs you need to budget for.


Dr Jo Joelson, Programme Lead, Arts and Place

Meeting Jo Joelson: We caught up with Jo for the Dartington Trust blog – read it here >

Jo Joelson is a London based artist, researcher and writer. Having originally trained as a lighting designer she pursued a career as a light artist working across art, music and theatre before forming the art partnership London Fieldworks, working over two decades to produce works that respond to ecology as a complex inter-working of social, natural and technological worlds. These works, often socially engaged and involving extended periods of research, have been made in the landscape, for the gallery, screen and radio. Jo has been awarded International Fellowships and residencies to undertake research and fieldwork, including at the Space Sciences Laboratory, University of California; Headlands Center for the Arts, USA; Space Plasma Physics Group, Dept. Physics and Astronomy, University of Leicester; Skaftfell Center for Visual Arts, Iceland; Vatnasafn/Library of Water, Iceland; Living Art Museum, Iceland; Northeast Greenland National Park; and Reserva Ecológica De Guapiaçu, Brasil. Her collaborative projects, films, artworks and architectures have received awards, honours and special mentions from Ars Electronica, VIDA International Art and Artificial Life, The Arts Foundation, AJ Architecture Awards and London Short Film Festival.

She has a Masters (Distinction) in curating art, design and new media and completed her AHRC-funded doctorate in 2020, receiving her PhD for Library of Light: a framework to explore light, material culture and social experience from the University of Sunderland, UK.

Jo has co-edited a number of publications including Null Object: Gustav Metzger thinks about nothing, published by Black Dog (2012); Remote Performances in Nature and Architecture, a project centred on London Fieldworks’ Outlandia project in the Scottish Highlands, published by Routledge (2015). Her recently authored, Library of Light: encounters with artists and designers, was published by Lund Humphries (2019) and examines the role light plays in the new frontiers of art, design and technology and its impact on our cultural history. Most recently Jo has collaborated with writer and thinker Timothy Morton on a future documentary Confronting our Erasure Through Art for BBC4. She also recently contributed the essay Violence Power, Surveillance: From the Blind Lantern to the Searchlight for “White Torture” to a bilingual publication (German/English) published by Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König to accompany Power! Light! a forthcoming exhibition at Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg (2021-22).

Dr Tine Bech, Senior Lecturer, Arts and Place

Tine Bech is a multidisciplinary artist, researcher, and teacher with extensive practical and theoretical experience working with public art and
designing for people, play and participation. She was born in Denmark, lives in London and works internationally.  Her PhD thesis ‘Playful interactions: A Critical Inquiry into Interactive Art and Play” was completed at the Digital Cultures Research Centre, University of the West of England.

Tine has exhibited eloquent, playful and meaningful artworks in galleries and museums, in public spaces transforming urban landmarks around the world including European Capital of Culture – Aarhus 2017; London Cultural Olympiad; The Playable City Brazil and in Bristol; Team London Bridge; Shakespeare’s New Place in Stratford-upon-Avon; Victoria and Albert Museum; The Science Museum in London; The Whitworth Gallery in Manchester; Israel Museum; Aarhus Centre for Contemporary Art; China Science and Technology Museum; the Royal British Sculptors Gallery and at Light Festivals in Baltimore, Riga, London, Reykjavik, Australia and many more. She is in demand as a public speaker and her work has appeared in the Guardian, Wired, the Leonardo Journal, Design Week, Art of England, on TV: BBC; London Live; Ch4 and more.

Dr Tracey Warr, Programme Coordinator and Senior Lecturer, Arts and Place

Tracey Warr is a fiction and non-fiction writer. Her most recent books on contemporary art are The Midden (Garret, 2018) and Remote Performances in Nature and Architecture (Routledge, 2015). She is currently Head of Learning Programmes & Research at Dartington and has previously held academic posts at Dartington College of Arts; Oxford Brookes University; Glasgow School of Art; Bauhaus University, Weimar; Piet Zwart Institute, Rotterdam and Surrey Institute of Art and Design. She has undertaken many art residencies including Modern Art Oxford; MIT, Cambridge, US; Helsinki International Artists’ Programme; Maison Daura, Saint Cirq Lapopie, France; Outlandia, Glen Nevis, Scotland and Matadero, Madrid. She has curated many artists’ projects and residencies, including working with James Turrell, Marina Abramovic, Marcus Coates, London Fieldworks and many more. Her PhD was awarded by University of Plymouth and was entitled The Creative Act: Writing and Curating with Artists.

Alan Boldon, Managing Director, The Dartington Hall Trust

Alan Boldon is a practising artist and Managing Director of The Dartington Trust. His paintings have been exhibited throughout Europe (Germany, Luxembourg, Poland, Switzerland, Netherlands, Denmark, Norway), Asia (Malaysia, Japan, Thailand, Myanmar), US and Canada.

He has taught widely in higher education and was formerly Head of the School of Art, Design and Media at the University of Brighton. Previous roles include: Associate Curator and the Head of Research at Arnolfini; Head of Arts and Ecology at Dartington College of Arts; Director of an International Arts Summer School in Luxembourg; Lecturer in Fine Art in Context at the University of the West of England. He was made an Honorary Fellow at Winchester School of Art (University of Southampton) for his contribution to the field of contemporary arts and was Visiting Artist Fellow in the School of Civil Engineering at Bristol University.

Alan has taught at and advised higher education institutions throughout the world including work at Trondheim School of Arts, University of New Mexico, Banff Centre for the Arts, LaSalle College of Art and Design, NTU Singapore, Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, Taylor’s University Malaysia, San Francisco College of Art and Design, University of The Fjords, Icelandic Academy of the Arts.

He is chair of the Dartington LASER Talks and is on the board of MIT Press Leonardo Journal. He has worked with many Arts and Design organisations on strategy including the RSA, TATE, and the Tobacco Factory.

Staff at the network hosts contribute as tutors to the programme and include Aaron Cezar and Salma Tuqan at Delfina Foundation; Hilary O’Shaughnessy, Victoria Tillotson and Martin O’Leary at Watershed Pervasive Media Studio; Jo Joelson and Bruce Gilchrist at Outlandia; Alan Smith and Helen Ratcliffe at Allenheads Contemporary Arts; Dr Mark Leahy, Mat Osmond, Minou Tsambika Polleros, and Dr Richard Povall at; the artists and curators of the OVADA collective; and Nuno Sacramento at Peacock Visual Arts.

entry requirements

Qualification(s) required for entry to the MA

BA (Honours) Degree: A first degree in an arts or humanities subject. All applicants will be required to present a portfolio of work. Where the first degree is not arts or humanities-related, a portfolio of work in support of the application or experience that is equivalent.

Other non-standard awards or experience: A willingness to engage with the field of Arts & Place. Candidates will be considered with prior credited learning and prior experiences subject to interview.*

Interview requirements: All applicants are required to attend an interview, either at the School or online.

*For further information please contact our admissions team at

remote learning

All our low-residency degree programmes are available as online only pathways from June 2021 onwards. Following a year of successful online and hybrid delivery, we have now developed an online distance learning model that allows you to attain your postgraduate qualification even if you are unable to physically travel to Dartington. The online pathway joins existing modes of studying with us, such as the residential pathway (two weeks on site per module) and a hybrid pathway that allows you to combine online and on site learning to suite your circumstances. (Please note that international students taking online only pathways do not need to apply for a Student Visa.)

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