Department of Arts, Open Communities and Adult Education


University of Malta

The conference is an international project developed by the Department of Arts, Open Communities and Adult Education at the University of Malta. 


Housed within the Faculty of Education (University of Malta), the Department of Arts, Open Communities & Adult Education seeks to engage different sectors of society by addressing cultural, political, artistic and 21st-century open educational practices, and by promoting local and international research within the broad spectrum of lifelong education. 


We aim to develop strong educational links between visual, theatrical and musical practices and wider contexts that impact on various audiences, like the digital domain, media, museums and cultural or community-based groups. Through collaborative modes of production and mediation and critical pedagogies that engage young and adult learners, we seek to help to redefine the role of the arts and culture in society through the lens of education.




Courses Offered by the Department




Master in Teaching and Learning (MTL) in Art


The MTL in Art offers students a combination of study units in pedagogy and curriculum planning, theories of art education, contemporary artistic research methodologies and studio inquiry in a variety of 2D and 3D media.  Students learn how to analyse and critically assess historical and contemporary trends and theories in art education and address crucial debates in art theory and criticism today. The course introduces students to methods of engaging learners at primary and secondary levels in creative tasks. Students develop effective art classroom management strategies, hands-on lesson plans and schemes of work that are implemented during periods of teaching practice.


Master in Teaching and Learning (MTL) in Drama


The MTL in Drama introduces students to theories of learning and teaching Drama from primary to secondary school. Students learn how to develop schemes of work, lesson plans, lesson delivery and assessment. This course is designed in such a way as to give students hands-on experience through drama workshops run by professional drama practitioners and educators using innovative pedagogies.  Study units introduce students to theatre for children and the uses of applied theatre.  Students are challenged to design learning activities and environments to engage students and young people in learning and self-developmental processes. 


Master in Teaching and Learning (MTL) in Music


The MTL in Music programme is an intensive and innovative course preparing graduates for the demands of teaching in both the Primary and Secondary sector. The programme aims to provide students with professional teaching education, with an emphasis on the music practitioner. Through pedagogical teaching study units, the student is introduced to the foundations of music education, a variety of strategies and approaches to teach, plan and assess in the context of the Music classroom.


Master of Arts (MA) in Adult Education


The MA Adult Education course is intended for those who would like to be involved as practitioners, organisers and policymakers in Adult and Lifelong Learning, the former being an important component of the latter. It is a theoretical, practical and research-based degree open to people with appropriate qualifications and /or relevant experience in the area. It involves a galaxy of lecturers including well established international researchers and experienced practitioners in the field. Many of them have written works at the cutting edge of contemporary literature in this important area of educational reflection and practice. Social Justice is the cornerstone of work in the area as tackled throughout the course which places the emphasis on difference, in both its social and broader ecological dimensions.  It is a course for those who want to teach not simply to adapt to but also to help change the world. The RPL provision applies.


Master of Arts (MA) in Museum Education


The MA Museum Education course is intended for those who would like to work as educators and educational policymakers in the fields of Museums and Heritage. It can attract tourist guides, people intending to work as educators in various heritage sites in Malta and abroad or as schoolteachers responsible for rendering these sites complementary to what is taught inside the classroom. It involves projects often having a collective dimension carried out both inside and outside (in terms of extension communal engagement) Museums and Heritage sites. It draws on expertise in the education, cultural studies and heritage programmes, involving primarily two faculties and three departments, all from the University of Malta. It also involves inputs by people from foreign universities and cultural/heritage institutions. It is a theoretical, practical and research-based degree open to people with appropriate qualifications and /or relevant experience in the area. The RPL provision applies.


Master of Arts (MA) in Social Practice Arts and Critical Education


M.A. in Social Practice Arts and Critical Education invites professional and freelance arts-oriented persons to connect their creative work with critical educational theories and community settings. This interdisciplinary postgraduate degree offers students the possibility of linking theatre, visual arts and education in a unique, socially engaged programme that brings together theoretical and project-based studies. This degree enables graduates in theatre studies, fine arts, drama education, art education and other stakeholders involved in culture and community projects to further develop entrepreneurial, pedagogical and social skills as well as artistic skills.


Erasmus Mundus International Master in Adult Education for Social Change (IMAESC)


The University of Malta, through the Department of Arts, Open Communities and Adult Education, is a partner in the award-winning, Erasmus Mundus International Master in Adult Education for Social Change (IMAESC), together with the university of Glasgow,Tallinn University, the Open University of Cyprus and Maynooth University.  A concern about social inequality and a belief that adult educators can contribute to social change based on smart, sustainable and inclusive growth is the driving force behind the creation of the International Master in Adult Education for Social Change (IMAESC). The degree brings together European and international universities, VET institutions, private companies, community-based organisations and policy units who recognise that Adult Education for Social Change is a powerful tool in forming competent, critical citizens and for developing just, equitable and democratic societies. IMAESC graduates are equipped with the academic knowledge, research skills, and practical employability skills through this jointly developed and delivered programme. 


Diploma in Adult Education, Training and Development  


The objective of this course is to build a cohort of educators who are formally trained and officially recognised as professional, adult educators and trainers. The course provides potential and actual adult educators and trainers with a formal qualification and with the skills, attitudes and knowledge relevant to 21st century adult education and training contexts. In this way, this qualification will support formal recognition of adult education within the local context. This qualification will also address the challenge faced by many practitioners (and their employers) who have high expertise in a discipline or field and train other adults as part of their job, yet have limited or no formal training as educators, and as adult educators in particular. The course is a two-year (four-semester) programme of studies, delivered in the evening.


BA (Adult Education, Training and Development)   


This part-time course will be offered as from February 2022.  It will mark a historical moment in the provision of adult-education courses within the Faculty of Education.