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This course is offered as a massive open online course (MOOC). It is based on the European Commission-funded research project ‘Acting on the Margins: Arts as Social Sculpture’ (AMASS, 2020–2023). The MOOC provides an overview of socially engaged arts (SEA). Participants will become familiar with SEA practices and gain an understanding of arts-based processes and practical work, as well as their possible application in different contexts and organisations. The course combines SEA, people-centred design, application of arts-based methods, expert videos and practical exercises.

Learning objectives

Upon completion of this course, participants will understand, be familiar with and recognise the diverse methodologies of SEA. Participants will also gain knowledge of the principles, ethics and concepts of community arts. They will explore SEA, the dialogical and pedagogical orientations of SEA in engaging with marginalised communities. The course’s overarching goal is to empower artists, art and design students, cultural practitioners and workers, art educators and policymakers to implement innovative yet appropriate projects with marginalised communities by using arts and design approaches.


This course presents diverse methodologies for mitigating societal challenges through arts-based initiatives. Readings, photos and video lectures based on projects from eight European countries will introduce participants to the strategies and approaches of SEA practices. The course will briefly examine the principles of engaging communities in the arts and the effect of the arts on wellbeing. The content covers the basic principles of design-driven participatory processes for social innovation in arts-based initiatives, visual storytelling and assessment of arts projects.


This course is completed independently at the participant’s pace. The 8 lessons, totalling 108 hours, cover the following topics:

• Artistic open form in art education for the deaf: Connecting people – CZECH REPUBLIC
• Introduction to socially engaged art for inclusive communities – FINLAND
• Social media presence of disadvantaged communities: Arts-based interventions and visual storytelling to make their true voice clearly heard – HUNGARY
• Design-driven participatory processes with stakeholders in the arts and culture field – ITALY
• Engaging communities in the arts – MALTA
• How to empower participants through visual storytelling and documentation – PORTUGAL
• European cultural policy and the socially engaged arts – SWEDEN
• Developing positive partnerships in socially engaged arts – UNITED KINGDOM
Participants will perform an independent study, aided by pre-recorded video lectures, presentations, podcasts and readings. Each lesson will offer self-paced learning based on lectures from contributors from the eight AMASS partner countries, and participants can choose the order in which they wish to engage with the lessons. Instructions for course completion will be provided throughout the course. Students will be assessed through multiple-choice questions (MCQs) based on the course content.


There are no prerequisites for this course. It is open to anyone. The course is free of charge and can be taken by anyone interested in studying SEA.

Requirements for certification

Completion of all eight lessons of the MOOC is required upon assessment through MCQs.

ECTS: 4 (108 hours) 


To take the course press START button. After finishing a lesson, always click the COMPLETE LESSON button to move onto the next one. You can choose the order of the eight lessons according to your interests, but you must complete quizzes for all eight lessons in order to complete the course.