Combining theoretical courses, practical exercises, and work on commissioned team projects, SPEAP offers students an opportunity to expand their skills through the acquisition of knowledge and know-how that is simultaneously conceptual, methodological, and technical.
Core courses and practical workshops
The SPEAP curriculum is designed to familiarize students with a range of skills and concepts, as well as to explore the points of articulation and connection between the scientific, artistic, and political fields.
Pragmatic at heart, even when dealing with the most theoretical subjects, this program is comprised of practical exercises, led by faculty and outside participants from the worlds of art and social science. These may take the form of surveys (conducting interviews, quantitative methods), group visits (urban spaces, museums), training in the use of tools (web mapping), writing workshops (scholarly writing, narrative writing), debating exercises (theatre, public speaking, body language), or any other activity that allows for concrete experimentation.
In addition, major figures of the intellectual and art worlds offer regular Master Classes, bringing their knowledge and know-how to bear on student projects.
Commissioned team projects
Every year, team projects relating to real-world issues are undertaken in response to commissions from institutions, companies, organizations and individuals. Based on both the pedagogical method of studio teaching, which is native to art schools, and the essential practice of survey research, fundamental to the social sciences, these projects constitute a rare opportunity for researchers to participate in the making of a work of art, and for artists to take part in the various stages of a research project.
This work is combined with sessions of internal debate and group discussion, as well as outside contributions on relevant themes, and culminates in a presentation at the end of the year, in front of a jury made up of faculty, experts, and the sponsors, which is a requirement for obtaining the degree.
Over the 2010-2011 academic year, students worked on a wide range of projects for a variety of different sponsors: cultural projects (for the suburb of Evry), housing for drug users in Saint-Denis (for the organization PROSES), a national museum in Tanzania (French Ministry of Foreign Affairs), a simulation of the Copenhagen Climate Summit (Sciences Po/IDDRI), and the hedge controversy in the Allier Department (elected representatives and Bureau d’Etudes).
SPEAP is a one-year Master program, with a total course-load of 384 hours. In order to facilitate compatibility with students’ professional activities, courses are scheduled for one day a week on average, with an additional four weeks of full-time coursework (at roughly two-month intervals). The timetable is flexible and may be modified during the course of the year according to the needs of workshop activities and individual and collective research work, as well as to allow for occasional interventions by major figures from the intellectual, art, and professional worlds who are passing through Paris.