Artswork is Bath Spa University’s Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning in the creative industries.
Extending the University’s innovative approach to arts learning and teaching, Artswork defines new models of arts education, enhancing the employability and self-employability of creative industries graduates. Six high-specification, subject-focused ‘learning labs’ each provide the optimal environments in which to explore new ways of learning and teaching, enabling students to enter their chosen profession with a portfolio of skills and completed projects that have been shaped, developed and assessed in the context of the marketplace. Home to the Artswork management team, the Artswork Centre profiles staff and student work across all the Labs, and acts as an effective creative interface between the University and the world of work by developing, recording, and disseminating new models of curriculum design and implementation. The labs themselves provide a supportive context within which students can acquire and develop the skills and competencies that enable them to function independently within their specialist field(s). The labs will also provide dialogue and innovation through cross- and multi-disciplinary initiatives, including the design of new curriculum.
Through Artswork, students will experience opportunities to:
- undertake experimental learning, guided by teams of academics and creative industry partners both within the arts labs and in the workplace;
- become active participants in the delivery, analysis and dissemination of pedagogy and curriculum development as Student Fellows, lab assistants and CETL stakeholders;
- devise creative and imaginative applications of the high specification learning technologies utilised in the labs: developing portfolios of work and records of practice;
- engage in career development planning through the enrichment of Personal Academic Records, influenced and supported by sector specialists and professional bodies;
- work with practitioner staff on knowledge transfer projects with industry partners and commercial consultancies.
The targeted subject areas – creative writing, English literature, creative music technology/commercial music, performing arts, interactive multimedia/design and fashion and textiles – have all secured excellence through practitioner-led teaching of vocationally oriented arts programmes. Such excellence has been reflected in the award of four National Teaching Fellowships to staff directly involved in Artswork – Professor Paul Hyland (2000), Chrissie Harrington (2004), Joe Bennett (2004) and most recently Dr Greg Garrard (2006). Through continuing to develop a dynamic community of practice that involves all the relevant stakeholders (students, lecturers, practitioners, employers, and skilled technical demonstrators), professional bodies and employers can increasingly interact with students to create learning opportunities and outcomes that are valued both creatively and commercially. By developing a curriculum that engages seamlessly with the realities of creative practice in today’s marketplace, Artswork will also address the need for knowledge and skills transfer from HEIs to priority employment areas in the arts and cultural heritage sectors.
Artswork is strengthening and deepening relationships between the University and many external partners to enrich the curriculum and enhance the student learning experience. More about the employer and industry links specific to each ArtsworkLab can be found on their specific lab pages and details of working with Artswork can be found in the Industry section.
Engagement with national professional and industry bodies include:
- Arts & Business
- Arts Council England
- Creative & Cultural Skills, the Sector Skills Council for advertising, crafts, cultural heritage, design, music, performing, literary and visual arts
- NESTA, the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts
And on a regional level:
- Culture South West
- South West Regional Development Agency
- South West Screen
And in the Higher Education Sector
- Art, Design, Media Subject Centre
- Burlington Group
- Centre for Recording Achievement
- English Subject Centre
- PALATINE the Higher Education Academy subject centre for dance, drama and music
Centres for Excellence in Teaching and Learning
In 2005, the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) announced the creation of 74 Centres for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETLs) to promote excellence across all subjects and aspects of teaching and learning in higher education. Funding of £315 million over five years from 2005-06 to 2009-10 for CETLs represents HEFCE's largest ever single funding initiative in teaching and learning. A complete list of CETLs and brief descriptions are on the HEFCE web-site. The funds received by CETLs will be used to recognise and reward excellent teachers and enable institutions to invest in staff, buildings and equipment to support and enhance successful learning in new and challenging ways. The CETLs vary in size and scope. Institutions were invited to bid for recurrent and capital funds. The CETLs will each receive substantial recurrent funding, ranging from £200,000 to £500,000 per annum for five years, and a capital sum ranging from £0.8 million to £2 million.
Bath Spa University’s Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning brought with it a funding programme totalling £4.85m over five years. Recurrent funding will be used to boost career development and promotion opportunities for excellent teachers; strengthen practice-based scholarship and research into learning and teaching, enable secondments and other exchanges of staff, regionally, nationally and internationally, and to support active dissemination and implementation of new knowledge. Capital funding will be used to upgrade and adapt buildings to support innovative teaching and learning; enable partnerships to function more effectively to support student learning; provide equipment, enhanced facilities and dedicated venues to foster staff engagement in teaching and learning, and improved opportunities for staff-student interaction.
Dr Liz Beaty, HEFCE Director for Learning and Teaching, emphasised that the CETLs build directly on previous HEFCE initiatives aimed at promoting excellence in teaching and learning: 'The CETLs represent a richness and diversity of excellence that spans a wide range of subjects and learning and teaching activity. They include many examples of innovative and imaginative practice. Some will reach deeply into their local and regional communities through their links with schools, community bodies and public and private employers. Others are advancing new forms of learning that will resonate widely across the HE sector. Many will find an interested international audience. All demonstrate that teaching and learning matter in higher education - to students and staff'.