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Master's Degree

Master’s Degree Programme in Contemporary Contexts of Arts

Autumn 2019

Select years, semesters and periods (when only one year is selected) by clicking buttons below. (S = Spring, A = Autumn)
Year of study 1 2
Search for study unit: ECTS 1 2 1A 1S 2A 1 2 3 4 5 1 2
CORE COMPETENCE 50                        
Contemporary contexts of arts
                       
Professional autobiographical process 5
 
 
   
Future operating environments 5
 
 
   
Arts in contemporary contexts 10
 
 
   
Master's Thesis
                       
Research and development methods 5
 
   
         
Development project 25
 
   
3515161915886.36.36.37.57.5
COMPLEMENTARY COMPETENCE 10                        
Optional Studies
                       
00000001.671.671.672.52.5
ECTS credits per period / semester / academic year 35 15 16 19 15 8 8 8.3 8.3 8.3 10.5 10.5

Due to the timing of optional and elective courses, credit accumulation per semester / academic year may vary.

Programme description

The Aim of the Studies

The environment in which art and culture professionals operate is in a constant state of flux. The students of the Master’s degree programme in Contemporary Contexts of Arts examine and produce art in different spaces, contexts, processes and among different practitioners or audiences. The objective is to expand students’ core competences and to improve their communication and networking skills as well as their ability to work in and manage creative communities and projects.

The programme is aimed at professionals in different fields of the arts willing to improve and expand their skills and to find new locations, spaces, audiences, communities and contents for their work. The students will learn how to position their own competences in relation to new contexts and to utilize and apply their skills in new ways. The students will use their strong professional background in their respective fields of art and build their motivation to improve their skills sets as a response to current and future challenges.

Artistry and working life today require professional skills in various contexts and a capacity to collaborate with different partners in different professional settings. There is a demand for experts who are able to develop and experiment with bold, new solutions. A multidisciplinary and multiprofessional approach is central to the programme.

The graduates of the programme are artistic professionals who are well-networked and innovative experts of teamwork and have the talent of recognizing new earning opportunities in the changing operating environment. The strong development skills provided by the programme will also be a major asset when seeking employment is various expert roles. A Master’s degree gives qualifications for public appointments that require a Master’s degree and to pursue suitable postgraduate studies.

Structure of studies and study contents

The Contemporary Contexts of Arts is a Master’s degree programme (60 ECTS) that takes an estimated three terms (1.5 years) to complete. The studies are organized as part-time studies and can, therefore, be completed while working. The curriculum is flexible and the studies can be completed in as little as one year of full-time study.

Contemporary Contexts of Arts programme content by modules and courses

Contemporary Contexts of Arts (Master’s degree programme), 60 ECTS


Contemporary contexts of arts 20 ECTS

•Professional autobiographical process 5 ECTS

•Future operating environments 5 ECTS

•Arts in contemporary contexts 10 ECTS


Master’s thesis 30 ECTS

•Research and development methods 5 ECTS

•Development project 25 ECTS


Elective studies 10 ECTS

A key element in the programme is the Thesis module (30 ECTS), which runs through the entire duration of the programme. The purpose of the thesis is to develop professional practices in the field of culture while meeting the requirements of the customer or other assigning organization. The thesis includes an artistic and practical content in accordance with the objectives of the development task. The thesis work begins immediately at the start of the degree and continues throughout the studies.

Development work is always based on intensive research and analysis and carried out using methodologies and tools relevant to the development task. The thesis also involves documentation and reporting on the development process. The methodological skills required for development work and reporting are taught on the Research and development methods course (5 ECTS) in the Thesis module.

The student may link the development project with the topics and activities of other research groups in the Arts Academy or TUAS. The students can find support for their development project from their own networks or other networks operating within TUAS. The thesis may also be written as team work.

The Contemporary Contexts of Arts module (20 ECTS) covers the core competences required for professional development in the students’ own fields of art. The focus of the studies will be on 1) building students’ own professional identity and identifying their personal strengths and development needs, 2) analysing and anticipating current and future operating environments, 3) examining the new contexts of art and placing their artistic and pedagogical work within the new framework – when art is produced in different environments, spaces, contexts, processes and by various practitioners. The students will strengthen and expand their own artistic and methodological competences through topical themes in applied arts, contemporary art, community arts and multiprofessional teamwork.

The students may use elective studies (10 ECTS) to expand their competences in areas and methods relevant to their work. Courses may be selected from the offering of TUAS and other higher education institution. The students may also complete project-based studies in the RDI projects at TUAS, in external projects or as their own working life projects

The students will set their personal learning objectives and build their competence track and further their professional development with the support of tutoring, the individual study plan and the professional autobiographical process, which forms a part of the module Contemporary Contexts of Arts. The professional autobiographical process supports students’ continuous reflection on their professional identity, strengths, skills and development needs and competence development during the studies. The process is influenced by changes in the professional field of art and the new job descriptions emerging in the fields of culture, such as cultural well-being and the collaboration between business life and art and science. While recognizing their identities and strengths as artists, students will develop their abilities to analyse and anticipate current and future operating environments and to build a more developmental approach.

The programme emphasizes networked and community-based working methods. An art professional operating as part of a network is an active practitioner with a good understanding of the world of work and an ability to coordinate and add value to multiprofessional teams. Collaboration takes place between different artistic disciplines as well as between different professional sectors. Central themes in the studies include multidisciplinary networks, creative teams, new job descriptions in the field of art, and the professional identities of innovators and developers in the field of art.

Competence objectives

The Goals of the Studies:

Graduates of the Contemporary Contexts of Arts programme are trained in applying their innovation competences on an individual, community and network level. Graduates will also be able to

•position their competences in professional contexts that are new to them and to use and apply their skills in new ways

•identify and analyse changes and opportunities for new earnings models in their operating environment

•work as part of a team creatively while developing their problem solving skills

•develop their skills on the fringes and boundaries of their artistic field

•build and maintain collaborations and domestic and international networks to complement their own competences

•communicate about their competences and development work to domestic and international networks

Pedagogic approaches

The Contemporary Contexts of Arts programme is based on mixed-mode learning with most of the studying and learning taking place according to the student’s own schedule in the location of their own choice. This is possible because the main focus of the studies is on online learning, independent learning and various group and project assignments. Independent study alternates with and is supported by contact learning, which takes place usually in two consecutive days each month.

The teachers in the Contemporary Contexts of Arts trainer team support the students’ learning process, supervise the development projects carried out for the thesis and facilitate networking and team building across disciplinary boundaries. In addition to strong pedagogical qualifications, the trainer team also has high professional expertise in different fields of art. Our Master’s degree programme students and faculty form a learning community, in which peer learning from other art and culture professionals plays a key part and in which teachers and students learn from each other.

Diverse learning environments

In the Contemporary Contexts of Arts programme, study and learning takes place is a variety of different learning environments. Some of the learning environments are used by all students together, while some environments are used by those who find the specific environment relevant and rewarding with regard to their learning objectives and competence track.

The campus environment: The Contemporary Contexts of Arts attend a contact learning period at the TUAS campus usually once a month. Contact learning offers an important platform for learning guidance, peer support, teamwork and collective reflection. In addition, the contact learning periods include lectures and talks on the theme under discussion by visiting experts and the programme’s own lecturers and/or visits to local businesses and organizations. During the contact learning period, the students also meet with students of the Cultural and Media Entrepreneurship students of the Arts Academy at lectures and workshops to achieve creative collisions.

Online learning environment: The online learning environment Optima is the “homebase” for mixed-mode learning, providing students with general information about the degree programme as well as the schedule, learning materials and instructions for each module or course as well as the tools used for completing, sharing and/or submitting the learning tasks. Some of the learning activities take place online in interaction with a group or a team of students. The tools in Optima may also be complemented with other location-independent learning technologies as necessary, such as Skype for Business, Office 365 tools and social media.

Collaboration with other operators

TUAS Arts Academy engages in active international collaboration with several partner institutions on numerous projects. Collaboration takes place through, for example, the KUNO network for Nordic fine art academies, the Nordplusmusic network and the ECA network for performing and media arts. Master’s degree students can serve is various roles in research and development projects run in collaboration with partners.

Network-based collaboration between different practitioners forms a central part of the activities at the Arts Academy. The Arts Academy is a multidisciplinary and multiprofessional community and the wide range of disciplines at Turku University of Applied Sciences offers interesting opportunities for collaboration.

The key element in a Master’s degree programme at TUAS is to engage in multiprofessional collaboration and to produce the skills and knowledge that such collaboration requires. A bold innovator creates new solutions in partnership with different practitioners and is able to operate in a multiprofessional environment.

Turku is a leading and inspiring cultural city. The strategic policies for the City of Turku, Southwest Finland and Turku University of Applied Sciences for 2015–2025 emphasize the role of the field of culture in improving the wellbeing, collaboration, competitiveness and appeal of the region. Art is part of good life.

Businesses, organizations and communities: The Contemporary Contexts of Arts programme is offered in close collaboration with working life networks and students are encouraged to make active use of their own professional networks in their development projects and other studies and to build new networks to support their future practice. Collaboration with the degree programme Media and Culture Entrepreneurship and its students will open up new opportunities for networking.

The student cooperative: The multidisciplinary student cooperative Karisma, which operates under the Arts Academy, can be used by students, for example, as a test bed for their earnings model concepts. Activities in the student cooperative may be used towards the degree as project-based studies in elective studies. The students may use the cooperative when carrying out the development project for their thesis.

Research groups and RDI projects: The students also have the opportunity to complete the development project for their thesis as part of one of the research groups at the Arts Academy or other research, development and innovation projects at TUAS. The students may also include project-based studies in the RDI projects at the Arts Academy as elective studies.

The Arts Academy research groups include Film and Media; Arts, Health and Well-being; Contemporary Art; and Art Education and Art Pedagogy. The Arts Academy course offering covers a wide scope of arts and media, which allows for diverse themes and approaches in thesis work and other development tasks. Innovative research and development cooperation takes place across disciplinary boundaries within TUAS and with other higher education institution and working life.

Multidisciplinarity is strengthened within the Arts Academy by implementing some of the studies together with the students in Cultural and Media Entrepreneurship. In addition, the student has the opportunity to do interdisciplinary collaboration in project studies or to choose courses from other fields and from other universities. The multidisciplinary Master School of Turku University of Applied Sciences opens up a lot of interesting cooperation opportunities

The Contemporary Contexts of Arts programme is based on continuous feedback: students meet their tutor teacher at the beginning of each contact learning period to discuss topical matters. One purpose of the tutor meetings is to make giving feedback easy so that any issues can be addressed immediately. Feedback can also be given via the Optima online learning environment. In addition, students are requested for general feedback on their studies on an online feedback form at the end of the first academic year and on completing their studies.

The degree programme is constantly developed in dialogue with working life. Feedback will be received from, for example, the Arts Academy advisory council, project partners and working life partners.

Thesis

A key element in the programme is the Thesis module (30 ECTS), which runs through the entire duration of the programme. The purpose of the thesis is to develop professional practices in the field of culture while meeting the requirements of the customer or other assigning organization. The thesis includes an artistic and practical content in accordance with the objectives of the development task. The thesis work begins immediately at the start of the degree and continues throughout the studies.

Development work is always based on intensive research and analysis and carried out using methodologies and tools relevant to the development task. The thesis also involves documentation and reporting on the development process. The methodological skills required for development work and reporting are taught on the Research and development methods course (5 ECTS) in the Thesis module.

The student may link the development project with the topics and activities of other research groups in the Arts Academy or TUAS. The students can find support for their development project from their own networks or other networks operating within TUAS. The thesis may also be written as team work.

Assessment

Evaluation and feedback

The assessment of each course is based on competence goals detailed in the curriculum, which are in turn based on the competence goals set for the entire degree programme. The innovation competences of TUAS are taken into account in the competence goals for the degree. The scale of assessment is pass–fail, except for the thesis, which is given a grade from 0 to 5.

The assessment of the development project for the thesis is based on the common assessment criteria for Master’s degree theses at the Arts Academy. The thesis is always evaluated by two examiners, one of who also supervises the thesis work. The second examiner may be a teacher from Turku University of Applied Sciences or a working life representative. The students will receive a written statement on their thesis detailing the grounds for the grade awarded. Prior to the summative assessment at the end of the thesis process, students will receive feedback from their thesis supervisor with the purpose of helping students make progress in their final thesis. Process assessment takes place in a group situation in connection with the presentation of the research and development plan and at later stages of the development project, during individual supervisory discussions and following the submission of the draft thesis report (pre-examination version).

Assessment by teachers: The course assessment by the teacher covers all learning tasks submitted during the course in accordance with the principle of continuous assessment. The focus of the assessment is on both the final thesis demonstrating the student’s competences (a product or similar) and the student’s learning process (competence development). The practice and learning process will be actualized in the online learning environment, during contact learning periods and supervisory discussions between the student and the teacher. Drafts for learning tasks are shared in the online learning environment for the purpose of giving and receiving peer feedback.

Self-assessment is essentially based on a professional autobiographical process, which serves as a tool of reflection on students’ own skills and their development throughout the programme. The process begins from the very first courses, as students learn to reflect on their professional growth, personal strengths and development needs. In addition, students are expected to reflect on the progress of their learning in all reports written during the studies, such as the project-based course reports, reports for courses included in elective studies, and reports on the development project for the thesis.

Peer assessment is used in many learning tasks on the Optima online platform, with students sharing drafts and final versions of their learning tasks amongst each other and giving feedback on their respective performance. The students will also have the opportunity to give peer feedback during contact learning periods in conjunction of presentations on development projects, thesis work and different learning tasks. Peer assessment is an essential part of each course.

Assessment by working life partners: External working life partners may assess student performance during thesis work, if the work was commissioned by the external working life partner or if a working life representative has been appointed as a second supervisor or examiner. All courses will feature working life representatives who will give feedback to students on their performance.