Design For Cultural Commons – PG Dip

“The Commons” as a field of study is considered to offer a solution to current problems of social and economic inequality. If you’re interested in developing methods to instigate power shifts and uncovering the impacts of the discourse around Commons, this course will provide you with the context and skills to do just that.

This postgraduate diploma offers a unique opportunity to rigorously interrogate new forms of practice in line with Commons principles. You’ll challenge unequal power relations, question planetary resource extraction and tackle the inequalities of market-focussed capitalism. With modules covering the history and theory of the Commons, Commoning practice and enacting the Commons, this course will put you well on the path to developing financially stable practices for delivering ethical services and products with impact on socio-political change. Your project module in particular will help you to learn and understand appropriate methods for projects specifically aimed at counter-culture, social transformation and new models of doing and acting in the city.

More About This Course

This course takes place part-time over the course of one year. Whether you’re already involved in socio-political art, architecture or design practice, or looking to enter the field, this PG Dip course will facilitate careers development or careers realignment. The connection between history and theory and practice will complement  your own experiences, in turn providing a foundation for your future practice.

You may be:

  • An existing cultural practitioner who wants to critically reflect on their practice and analyse where to go next using the Commons as a tool for analysis or as a way to frame your practice.
  • An artist, designer, architect or urban designer interested in developing innovative new forms of social and ecological practice that are not offered in the conventional training of your discipline. You will learn to articulate a social, ethical and Commons-based practice which is financially sustainable.
  • An employee in an institution or organisation who wants to reflect on their role. Either to gain more agency, to have more impact or to develop a new socially responsible and Commons-based area within the institution or organisation.

Your modules will help you to situate your career in organisations that you develop. Moreover, the knowledge gained can be used as a way to develop social and ecological programs within existing institutions.

Most of the students are mid-career practitioners looking to change the direction of their career, often finding their current work environment at odds with their beliefs and interests. If you are looking to embark on new career paths working with communities and in the public sector, the course material will help you to mediate between these worlds and learn best practices for working with communities. The course’s methodology will support you to undertake mapping exercises based on your skills, career path and interests. In turn you’ll work to draw out a unique new organisational model tailored to your passion, analysing your needs against the modern macro-political context.

In this supportive, mentoring environment, your modules will act as laboratories for innovating fair, ecological and democratic forms of cultural practice relevant to the networked, decentralised and interconnected (glocal) world of tomorrow.

This PG Dip qualification can also support the development of Mphil and Phd proposals if you are keen to pursue a further qualification. 

This course has formal partnerships with the Design MuseumTate Modern (Tate Exchange) and Design Exchange Magazine, as well as other informal partnerships with numerous community organisations, local government agencies/ authorities and charities.

Accreditation Of Prior Learning

Any university-level qualifications or relevant experience you gain prior to starting university could count towards your course.

Modular Structure

The modules listed below are for the academic year 2022/23 and represent the course modules at this time. Modules and module details (including, but not limited to, location and time) are subject to change over time.

Year 1 Modules Include:

Commoning Practice (core, 40 credits)

History and Theory of Commons (core, 20 credits)

Project: Enacting the Commons (core, 60 credits)

Where This Course Can Take You

This course can help you to gain a new or higher position in an existing job or help you set up an organisation if you want to start your own practice. You’ll rigorously and factually develop your future career with confidence and support from the expertise of lecturers, practitioners and academics on the course.

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-We will help you get your dream education

-With our support, you will choose the field of study, the university and we will prepare the necessary paperwork. We will then apply for studies and for funding

-Studies can take place fully remotely and they are flexible

-If you prefer to spend less time in class - no problem, courses only take place twice a week


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We know that finding the right direction for your future can be a very daunting task. That is why we are here to help you every step of the way, so that we can help create a bright future for you.


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