Implementation into the curriculum

The team at Swansea College of Art, UWTSD in partnership with colleagues from Coastal Housing is excited to be pilot-testing the AHEH training programme this September. The evolving outcomes of the research, development and pilot-testing activities of the AHEH project are being implemented into the curriculum at UWTSD, Swansea College of Art.  This September sees an ambitious and exciting launch of the new Professional Practice module for all Level 5 (second year undergraduate) Art and Design students. Stage one of this module involves a full-on week-long series of presentations and workshops delivered by an inter-disciplinary team of educators, practitioners and researchers, from across Europe; supported by enterprises. Students will be introduced to a wide-range of subjects and skills-development including team-building; ideation; marketing communication and social media; the art (and science) of pitching; funding; IP; budgeting and costing; understanding different types of enterprises; as well as all aspects of project planning.  And not forgetting the ‘live pitch’ event, where student teams present their project ideas. To kick start the week, students will be presented with a series of ‘challenges’ to respond to within inter-disciplinary teams.  The ‘challenge films’ have been posed by a wide-range of inter-disciplinary external contributors.  Contributors come from the worlds of Film and TV; theatre and performance; a European Cultural of Capital; a Health Board; Furniture design and manufacture; Arts organisations; a Housing association; European academics; independent artists; policy-makers; and the third-sector (charities). The challenges are designed to be a ‘hook’ on which the inter-disciplinary student teams can hang their project ideas. The open-ended ‘challenges’ will enable students to respond in a variety of ways.  For example, the outcomes may be an awareness raising campaign, a service, an event (festival, exhibition) or a product/artefact…  Similarly, the outcomes could be cultural, social or commercial.  This approach will reflect the differing areas of emerging expertise as well as the differing motivations and personal values held by student participants. In the course of developing the professional practice module, we have enlisted a wide array of inter-disciplinary enterprises and individual practitioners to set ‘challenges’ for our students to respond to.  We have been overwhelmed by the enthusiasm and support from so many.  Thank you!  Do please get in touch if you’d like to hear more about any aspect of the project or if you would like to contribute a ‘challenge’ of your own…


AHEH is a great example of UWTSD’s long history of working in close partnership with universities across Europe. The excellent work of the team demonstrates that these partnerships have a bright future and will continue to deliver major benefits for our students. Professor Ian Walsh
Working in collaboration with our European colleagues has enabled us to gain valuable insights into innovative and effective approaches to delivering entrepreneurship education and industry liaison.  Sharing expertise and experience has accelerated the process of researching, developing and testing a programme of entrepreneurial support for arts and humanities students, that can be tailored and contextualised for each institution. Dr Shelley Doolan
At Swansea College of Art, UWTSD, we know the importance of our students being fully prepared for the creative industries. Our new Professional Practice modules are seminal to students’ development as it empowers and enables them to discover their own agency as artists, collaborators and project leaders giving them the opportunities to build confidence, resilience and have their voices heard as emerging artists in an exciting yet competitive sector.  The Professional Practice modules also allow students to engage with and respond to, the ever increasing social and cultural conundrums present in our changing political and environmental landscape, encouraging them to discover creative and unique approaches, ideas and solutions to improve and redefine the world around them. Alison Franks, Lecturer in Performing Arts
We are delighted that the emerging research outcomes of the AHEH project are contributing to the development of the professional practice module at Swansea College of Art.  In the next few weeks we have an exciting programme of activities planned for our students, supported by many of our European project partners as well as UK-based art practitioners and enterprises. Dr Shelley Doolan
Data that came to light as recently at the International Enterprise Educators Conference, Oxford, UK[1] confirms just how much creative industries relies on freelancers and those who can work in micro business.  Likewise, all businesses need creative capacity to innovate and communicate concepts and creations. Entrepreneurship education is an essential element of learning to be successful in this environment, and without it our students may well find themselves struggling to adapt. Being creative is an advantage, as new ideas emerge and problems can be solved in unexpected ways. Harnessing that creativity is what enterprise is all about. Kathryn Penaluna, Associate Professor in Enterprise Education.
Preparing our students for the range of portfolio careers within the creative industries is paramount to our learning and teaching philosophy here at SCA. We believe that it is essential that our students develop their creative personality alongside their artistic practice in order to successfully enhance future graduate prospects. Therefore, this innovative project enables our students to appreciate and extend their inherent creative abilities. Through an interdisciplinary team-working experience they explore their individual potential and channel their transferable creative skills into an exciting collaborative enterprise challenge. Dr Mark Cocks, Assistant Dean Academic and Marketing (Welsh Institute for Science & Art)
Involvement in the AHEH project provides students at Swansea College of Art, UWTSD with an exciting programme of opportunities and training. These are designed to develop creative enterprise and entrepreneurial thinking skills that are invaluable to enhance employability and develop the next generation’s contribution to the creative economy in Wales. The student voice has been crucial to the research project. The training initiatives developed by AHEH responds to feedback from current students and graduates from across the European regions who identified and articulated their training needs. Student participation in and feedback on pilot events has provided an insight into how the strengths and skills of Arts and Humanities students can developed and enhanced through enterprise framework. Having the opportunity to take students to Finland and Spain to work with other creatives has widened their perspective, developed their confidence and understanding and facilitated international networking opportunities. We look forward to seeing what future partnerships may emerge from these interactions. Dr Amanda Roberts, Senior Educational Liaison Officer
Gaining first-hand insights from arts and humanities students about the kind of skills and support they want HEIs to provide them with in preparation for life after graduation has been revealing. There is a growing demand from students in the arts and humanities for an education beyond subject-specific boundaries that will boost their ability to sustain their choice of profession/practice. Shelley Doolan
[1] Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Education on a Global Stage, Enterprise Educators UK, Oxford Brookes University, 4-6 September 2019  

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