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Interactive Arts

BA (Hons)
Interactive Arts
3 years (full-time)

Interactive Arts is a dynamic arts course giving you freedom and academic support to explore ideas, and design your own approach to learning. By pursuing your curiosity you will create challenging interactions between your work, people, places, art and society.

Hands-on studio exploration is supported by technical expertise and wide-ranging workshops. Practical experiments encourage you to question conventional viewpoints and concepts. Tutorials, seminars and visiting speakers help you develop your critical thinking and define your creative practice. You will also study Unit X, where you will collaborate on external projects with students from other disciplines. There is also the opportunity for study abroad in the second year through the Erasmus+ programme and worldwide exchange programmes.

Our graduates work and exhibit internationally, with many progressing to postgraduate study. They form strong networks, staying connected as artists, designers, makers, curators and educators. Recent graduates have worked in fields that value creativity and resourcefulness as diverse as, media, community arts, the music industry and science communication

Special Features

  • The freedom and responsibility to define much of your own curriculum.
  • The possibility of University exchange to Europe, Australia or North America.
  • A wide range of facilities including base studio for painting, construction installation, wood and metal workshops, printmaking, a photographic darkroom, digital imaging, digital video animation, video editing suites, Letterpress, and book production.

Course Content

You will work on individual and collaborative projects and develop networks within your chosen field. You will also be part of Unit X, an innovative unit offered to students across Manchester School of Art, which encourages cross-faculty interdisciplinary study and collaboration on an external-facing project. There is also the opportunity for study abroad.

You will develop critical thinking supported by tutorials, seminars and visiting speakers; enabling you to define the contexts that are appropriate for you and your working practice, be that in art, design or any field where creativity is valued. Interactive Arts graduates exhibit nationally and internationally, and have progressed to national and international postgraduate study, and successful careers in the creative industries and education.

Year 1

In Year 1 you will be introduced to the philosophy of the course, quickly taking responsibility for your own projects and creative agenda and employing the advantages of both individual and group working processes.

Initiating Creative Practice

You will begin to develop your own ideas and creative methodologies through a range of practical processes, and will be expected to initiate an individual response to project proposals. This will be supported by individual and group tutorials, peer review and the continuation of lectures on Creative Methodology.

Introduction and Orientation

This unit forms an introduction to the course philosophy, ideas generation and problem solving by taking part in individual and group activities. It includes working on group or individual projects/challenges in relation to personal studio, technical and library resources.  You will be supported by individual tutorials, group tutorials, peer review and lectures on creative methodology.

Unit X

This unit  encourages collaborative, interdisciplinary practice and shared experience. There are lectures and talks from key research staff, students and external experts, tutorial group meetings, and presentations. The set projects will vary from year to year and will designed to be responsive to creative opportunities. The course encourages students to respond to contemporary media and as such, it is a live unit in which we discuss films, television, comics, games and the news relating to the media in any specific week.

Contextualising Practice 1

You are allocated to one of four pathways addressing programme-based clusters of cognate practice areas. Lectures, seminars, guest speakers, visits around cultural contexts and professional issues.

Contextualising Practice with Language 1

You are allocated to one of four pathways addressing programme-based clusters of cognate practice areas. The unit includes lectures, seminars, guest speakers, visits around cultural contexts and professional issues.

Year 2

In Year 2, through a combination of personal practice and networking activities, you will begin to develop your ideas in a broader context. This may involve the University exchange programme to Europe, Australia or North America, or other means of working with the wider community through exhibitions, placements, national and international projects.

Defining Interactive Practice

You will develop two interactive projects (or equivalent) that may be realised in groups and individually.The outcomes will build on understanding of concerns arising from level 4, and locate their emerging interactive arts practice in a professional context which they will define through research, experimentation and testing.

Unit X

This unit explores collaborative and interdisciplinary art and design practice.  You will have the opportunity to engage in a range of external-facing learning opportunities which will encourage collaborative, interdisciplinary practice and shared experience; this may take the form of spending time outside of the university and working within the creative community and the public domain.

Contextualising Practice 2

Delivery of critical, historical and professional issues to enhance your development within practice-based clusters. Delivery to clusters of cognate practice areas. Content consists of selected thematic options in critical and historical areas plus cluster-wide professional and employability issues, facilitating and enhancing the development of both studio-based work and identity as a practitioner.

Contextualising Practice with Language 2

Delivery of critical and historical issues to enhance the student's development within practice-based clusters.  Content consists of selected thematic options in critical and historical areas facilitating and enhancing the development of both studio-based work and identity as a practitioner. Modes of delivery include lectures, seminars, tutorials, guest speakers, visits and placements.

Year 3

In Year 3, having identified your strengths, you will develop your practice and establish what context you wish to work in. This could involve working, individually, collaboratively or with external organisations. Through self initiated projects underpinned by thorough research you will work towards your chosen creative path or postgraduate study.

Professional Interactive Practice

You will develop a body of personal work that is technically proficient and intellectually resolved. You will investigate your chosen area through context sensitive conceptual and technical experimentation. You will produce a body of personal work generated in response to an exhibition and initial research proposal negotiated through the learning agreement.

Unit X

On the third year Unit X, there is a student authored final project leading to a showcase of finished work. The unit includes a brief generated by the student, which leads to the presentation of a significant body of final work. Collaborative and interdisciplinary work can be incorporated into the project in relation to the professional context and ambition of the student.

Contextualising Practice 3

Programme of research and critical analysis of cultural and professional issues related to a student's individual practice interests.

Contextualising Practice with a Language 3

Programme of research and critical analysis of cultural and professional issues related to a your individual practice interests. A negotiated project focused around an individually defined area appropriate to your aims and ambitions.

Assessment Methods

Year end assessment presentations, involving staff, self and peer assessment. On-going formative assessment, feedback and discussion.

Assessment Weightings & Contact Hours

10 credits equates to 100 hours of study, which is a combination of lectures, seminars and practical sessions, and independent study. A three year degree qualification typically comprises 360 credits (120 credits per year). The exact composition of your study time and assessments for the course will vary according to your option choices and style of learning, but it could be—

  • Year 1 30% lectures, seminars or similar; 70% independent study
  • Year 2 25% lectures, seminars or similar; 75% independent study
  • Year 3 25% lectures, seminars or similar; 75% independent study
  • Year 1 100% coursework
  • Year 2 100% coursework
  • Year 3 100% coursework

You can find further details about the curriculum in the Programme Specification Document

Student Work

Visit our online Degree Show galleries to see examples of work by final year Interactive Arts students.



Graduates have progressed with success to national and international postgraduate study and careers in areas as diverse as Fine Art Practice, Design, Events Management and Art Education.

Graduate Web Sites

Some web sites of Interactive Arts Graduates. Please note that MMU is not responsible for the content on these sites.

Making an Application

How to Apply

Apply through UCAS.

If you meet our criteria we will invite you to an Interview and ask you to show us a Portfolio of your work.

You will be notified of our decision through UCAS.

Entry Requirements

UCAS Tariff Points/Grades Required

112 at A2 or equivalent (which can include Foundation Diploma in Art & Design). A Level General Studies is not accepted.

Learn more about MMU's Foundation Diploma in Art and Design.

Specific GCSE Requirements

GCSE English Language at grade C or grade 4. Equivalent qualifications (eg. Functional Skills) may be considered

Non Tariffed Qualifications

Pass Access to HE Diploma in a relevant subject with a minimum 112 UCAS Tariff Points

International Baccalaureate26 Points

International Students

A minimum IELTS score of 6.0 with no element below 5.5 is required.

Check our MMU International site for further information if you are applying with non-UK qualifications.

Tuition Fees 2018 Entry

Tuition fees for the 2018/19 academic year are still being finalised for all courses. Please see our general guide to our standard undergraduate tuition fees.

See Money Matters for further information and advice.

Additional Costs

Specialist Costs

£15*  plus optional £1,800* Students often choose to buy their own laptop during their time on the course. However there are computer facilities on campus. A large capacity memory stick and/ or portable hard drive is required to store and back up digital work.

Trips and Placement Costs

£60*  plus optional £1,140* During first year there will be up to three local trips costing no more than £20 each. Educational visits to London, or possibly European centres occur during each year. These are optional and if related to a unit of study, local alternative are identified. If successful in gaining an Erasmus study exchange in Europe then a grant is generally available, however inevitably extra funds of between £750 - £1500 will be needed. If going on a Worldwide (non European) exchange then the additional cost (no grant) could be in excess of £4000

Other Costs

£600*  plus optional £2,400* The production of works or artefacts which may require you to purchase specific materials and/or equipment relating to your area of practice specialism. Audio Visual equipment is available to loan. Depending on what you buy, additional costs could range from £150 - £800 per year. Books and digitised readings are available from the library.

* All amounts shown are estimates.