MRes Primary Care (Web-based Learning) / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Arts and Public Health

Course unit fact file
Unit code POPH65011
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Available as a free choice unit? No


This course unit is one of the blended options we provide. At a time when the arts are increasingly seen as part of the public health toolkit, this course will equip students to design, deliver, evaluate and commission services to improve the health and wellbeing outcomes of patients, service-users and communities.  Students will learn how to analyse and apply the evidence-base to improve public health in real world settings through use of a wide range of arts practices.
Students choosing ‘Arts and Public Health’ will need to be available for the face to face teaching block from 6pm 22nd November - 6pm 25th November at the University of Manchester. This will involve live webinars, presentations and group work. It will also include a group presentation as one of your assignments. In the event of a change in government policy preventing face to face teaching, the teaching block will be moved online.  We will keep you informed of any changes via My Manchester and regular Programme communications


This blended course unit aims to help Public Health, Primary Care and other interested professionals working in or interested in working in the UK or international settings, develop the skills they need to make use of the arts in their interventions and communications to improve health and wellbeing.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this unit, successful course members will be able to:  

  • Systematically understand and critically analyse the role of the arts in the public health setting
  • Form a comprehensive understanding of and critically evaluate the history of the use of arts in health
  • Form a comprehensive understanding of and assess the use of the arts in Public, Patient, Professional Involvement and Engagement (PPIE) with application to real life situations
  • Critically analyse and evaluate the impact of art on health and wellbeing
  • Appraise and evaluate research using examples from arts programmes used in health, both locally and globally
  • Students are expected to play an active role collaborating with experienced trainers and other students to examine the use of the arts in their work and cultural setting and exit the course with a greater understanding of the issues involved as well as possible solutions
  • Develop critical appraisal and competency skills in arts applications
  • Apply the potential for arts inclusion in their practice
  • Work collaboratively on a range of activities
  • Apply principles of evidence based practice
  • Transfer knowledge gained to influence local practices and become ambassadors for arts in public health as a component within their own workplace


  • Introduction and definitions of Arts and Health
  • Introduction to the history of Arts and Public Health
  • Assessing the evidence for Arts and Public Health
  • Evaluating Arts and Health interventions
  • Socially Engaged Art and Public Health
  • Arts and Public Health in the Global Setting
  • Arts and the Life Course
  • Arts and end of life care
  • Arts and PPI/PPE

Teaching and learning methods

This blended course involves working through the course notes provided online, linked references and other online sources of information. It also involves attending a 3 day teaching residential component. You will be use self-reflection to help you think about the ideas discussed and the relevance to their everyday practice. You should work through the unit in a logical sequence using the calendar in Blackboard. It is essential you follow this guidance so that you are doing the same topic at the same time as your fellow students. Students will be expected to take part in discussion board activities and generally those students who do participate do better in their written assignments as this interaction with tutors and peers is an important part of the learning process.

Employability skills

Analytical skills
Students will critically analyse approaches to arts and health and the resulting interventions using the principles of evidence-based practice.
Group/team working
Students are expected to play an active role collaborating with experienced trainers and other students to examine the use of the arts in their work and setting and exit the course with a greater understanding of the issues involved as well as ideas for potential applications.
We envisage that students who have taken this unit will become ambassadors for arts and health within their own workplace.

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written assignment (inc essay) 100%

Feedback methods

Students will be provided with personalised feedback for their final assignment (2,500-3,00 words or equivalent) within 120 working days.

Further opportunities for formative feedback (on non-assessed work) will also be provided during a course unit.

Recommended reading

The Oxford Textbook of Creative Arts, Health and Wellbeing: International perspectives on practice, policy and research. Clift S, Camic PM, ISBN: 978-0-19-968807-4, OUP (available as an e-book through Blackboard link)

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Practical classes & workshops 30
Independent study hours
Independent study 120

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Annie Harrison Unit coordinator

Additional notes

For further information please watch this video from our Course Unit Leader.

If you have any questions about the content of this unit, please contact the course unit leader, Annie Harrison, via email on If you have any other queries, please contact the PGT programme administrators via email on

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