Postgraduate Taught

MA Arts, Festival and Cultural Management

This MA welcomes applications from those who have not studied management previously. Flexible study options and a diverse curriculum mean that this course is suited to those already working in the sector or those who wish to.

Responding to the changing role of arts and cultural managers, this MA will produce graduates who have a better understanding of the management of cultural organisations and the individual factors that influence the environment in which they function.

  

 

Why QMU?

  • International cohort of students working closely and collaboratively with staff.
  • Range of guest lecturers and field trips to key cultural organisations and festivals across Scotland.
  • The only postgraduate course of its kind in Scotland.

 

Course overview

Responding to the changing role of arts and cultural managers, this MA will produce graduates who have a better understanding of the management of cultural organisations and the individual factors that influence the environment in which they function.

The course is designed as a conversion degree and we welcome applicants who have not studied management previously. It is suitable for both graduates who wish to add a vocational management emphasis to their first degree and those with equivalent professional qualifications or experience. It is likely to be of interest to those who studied the arts and humanities at undergraduate level or those with significant workplace experience who would like to gain a formal qualification in a flexible manner.

Within a rapidly changing domestic and international environment, the work of arts and cultural managers is becoming more complex and significant. The creative industries are growing rapidly and patterns of cultural work are changing. Cultural organisations and festivals are in a period of fundamental, pervasive and long-term change; managers must deal with a host of dramatic, often contradictory demands and challenges. This leads to a situation where there is a need for graduates with more holistic and integrated perspectives regarding the management of cultural organisations and the political, economic, social and environmental conditions in which they function. This course has been developed in response to this need and is rooted in a belief that great leaders in the cultural sector will recognise the value of management while acknowledging that approaches may need to be adapted to meet the particularities of cultural organisations and festivals. Through encouraging you to become critically reflective, the course will develop your knowledge of the contemporary issues affecting the management of arts organisations and festivals while equipping you with the practical management skills that are essential for developing a career in the field. Mindful of the need for students to develop vocational skills, a number of assignments are orientated towards developing the knowledge and skills required to become an effective practitioner in the field. In addition, students are required to arrange and undertake practical experience within cultural organisations to complement their studies.

 

Exit awards

MA (180 credits)/ PgDip (120 credits)/ PgCert (60 credits)

Structure

To obtain a specific postgraduate award at QMU you must complete a number of credit bearing modules. You can opt to study for the full MSc or a a PgDip. You can also register as an associate student to complete a single module for CPD. On completion of a single module, you may wish to complete further modules and progress your studies to a named award.

 

Teaching, learning and assessment

Teaching comprises a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, case studies, simulation exercises, field trips and projects, as well as a period of industry based learning. Assessment throughout the course will take a variety of forms, including essays, reports, exams, group and individual presentations, as well as a dissertation or project for the final MA component.

 

Teaching hours and attendance

Your specific timetable will depend on whether you are studying full-time, part-time or an individual module, but all teaching on the MA Arts, Festivals and Cultural Management course occurs on either a Thursday or a Friday. Each module involves around 30 hours of face to face teaching. This will be a mixture of weekly classes combined with a series of intensive study days. Timetables are normally available around one month before you commence your studies.

 

Links with industry/ professional bodies

Part of our strength comes from our location; being based in Edinburgh means that the course has been developed over time in co-operation with key national cultural agencies and other bodies with a strategic interest in the development of arts organisations and festivals. Our location in the ‘festival city’ also allows for strong practical links between the course and the many arts, festival and cultural organisations based in and around Edinburgh, across Scotland and the UK.

 

Modules

Contemporary Debates in Cultural Policy/ Designing Qualitative Research/ Leadership, Governance and Strategy (Not-for-profit)/ Fundraising, Development and Finance/ Arts Management in Practice OR Evaluating Arts and Cultural Projects/ Planning and Marketing Cultural Projects OR another relevant module from the School of Arts, Social Sciences and Management (all 20 credits), plus Project (60 credits)

Since the printing of the PG Prospectus 2018, this course has been revalidated. This has lead to a change in the modules. The modules listed here are correct at time of posting (June 2018) but are subject to change. In the event that modules do need to change, QMU will seek to use reasonable endeavours to ensure that there is no detrimental impact to the students. Please check the website for any updates.

 

Single modules for CPD

Register as an associate student to study single modules in areas of interest. Contact Anthony Schrag for more information.

You may also like to consider the block taught PgCert Arts Management.

Placements

We require students take up industry-based learning opportunities to assist their learning and to put the theory into practice. These industry-based learning opportunities are offered by many of the world-famous organisations that are based in Edinburgh (for example, the Edinburgh International Festival, or the International Film Festival). Although we support students to find opportunities, you are required to secure your own arrangements in line with your personal interests. As we are in Edinburgh - the world’s first and best Festival City - we have no end of opportunities in this regards, and we are well regarded by our industry peers: many of our alumni work in these organisations now and advocate for us. If you are already working in the sector, you can use your existing employment as the site for your industry based learning.) 

 

Careers

You will be qualified for a broad range of management positions within a wide spectrum of cultural organisations and festivals. Previous graduates have gone on to work in theatres, performing arts organisations, galleries, local government, and cultural agencies. In addition, many now work in festivals within the UK, Europe and internationally. Potential careers might include producing, fundraising, marketing, programming, or audience development, as well as many other roles across the cultural industries..

Class sizes

Normally, there are around 30 to 35 students enrolling on the course each year.

 

Entry requirements

Standard: A UK honours degree or equivalent OR significant work experience in cultural organisations or festivals.

International: Where your honours degree has not been studied in English, you will be required to provide evidence of English language competence at no less than IELTS 6.5 with no individual component score less than 6.0.

Interview: N/A

Application deadline

The deadline for applications for a September 2018 start is 17 August, however we recommend that you apply as early as possible.

The deadline for applications for a January 2019 start is 7 December 2018.

More information and contacts

Admissions or Anthony Schrag on tel: +44(0)131 474 0000.

Bursaries

A limited number of funded places are available for 2018 entry. For more information, please contact Admissions.

Block taught PgCert Arts Management

We offer a block taught PgCert Arts Management over one year.

 

FAQs

Below are some Frequently Asked Questions we have about the course: they should provide you with all the information you need, but if you require more specific details, please feel free to contact Anthony Schrag, Programme Leader.

 The questions we address are:

  • What is the difference between the PgCert, PgDip and MA?
  • What is the difference between the full-time and the part-time pathway?
  • What is the difference between the January and September starting points?
  • What is the time commitment? How often do I need to be on campus?
  • What are the modules? When are they taught?
  • How do the ‘Block Taught’ modules work?
  • What are the Work-place Learning/Industry Learning/Internship requirements?
  • What kind of assignments will I be required to do?
  • Am I still eligible to apply if I do not have an undergraduate degree?
  • I have not studied in some time – will I be able to complete the course?
  • Who are the other people that generally attend the programme?
  • Can I do any reading to prepare myself for the course?    
  • These awards are based on the amounts of credits you receive for each successfully completed module:
  •  

What is the difference between the PgCert, PgDip and MA?

  • The PgCert Arts Management requires 60 credits (3 successfully completed 20 credit modules)
  • The PgDip Arts Festival and Cultural Management requires 120 credits (6 successfully completed 20 credit modules)
  • The MA Arts, Festival and Cultural Management requires 180 Credits and includes the self-directed dissertation module, worth 60 credits. If you enrol for the MA and then decide you do not want to complete the course then it is possible to leave with a PgCert or PgDip depending on the amount of credits you have gained. For the 2018/19 term, the key dates (whole days of study) for the PgCert are as follows:

 

Induction Days

  • Thurs 13th September
  • Friday 14th September

Leadership, Governance and Strategy (Not for Profit)

  • Friday 21st September
  • Friday 12th October
  • Friday 2nd November
  • Friday 23rd November

Fundraising, Development and Finance

  • Friday 18th January
  • Friday 8th February
  • Friday 1st March
  • Friday 22nd March
  • Plus an exam date TBC in late April early May

If you select the module Evaluating Arts and Cultural Projects, you will attend on the days below.

  • Friday 19th October
  • Friday 15th February

If you select the module Arts Management in Practice, you will attend on the days below. 

  • Friday 28th Sept (3 hours)
  • Friday 5th Oct (3 hours)
  • Plus various field trips throughout the year. These could be on various days and time and a calendar will be provided close to the start of each term.

 

What is the difference between the full-time and the part-time pathway?

There are no academic differences between the pathways: the only difference is the length of time you are required to commit to the programme. At full-time, you will complete the course in 12 months (unless starting in January, explained in more detail below). For part-time, you will generally take 24 months, (but up to a maximum of 7 years)

What is the difference between the January and September starting points?

As above, there is no academic difference between the starting points: the only differences are the order you will complete the modules in and the length of time you are required to commit to the programme. As a student must complete all modules before taking the final dissertation project, a full-time January start will take 15 months to complete the course, but a full-time September start will take 12 months.

To illustrate this, a full-time, September start will begin in Semester 1 (Sept - Dec), then move on to Semester 2 (Jan - Apr) and then to the final dissertation module in Semester 3 (May - Aug) with a successful degree being conferred in June of that year. The graduation would be in the July of the following year.

A January start, however, will begin in Semester 2 (Jan - Apr), have the summer months off from studies (Semester 3 - May - Aug), begin again in Semester 1 (Sept - Dec), and then complete their final dissertation module in Semester 2 (Jan - Apr) with a successful degree being conferred in June of that year. The graduation would be in the July of that year.

What is the time commitment? How often do I need to be on campus?

All teaching days for this programme will normally happen on Thursdays and Fridays. Depending on if you are part-time or full-time, you would need to be on campus either for one or both of those days each week. These days may include taught components in the morning and the afternoon. Whilst these classes have varied start and end times through the year, it is good to prepare to be on campus from 9:15 - 5:15 on each of these days.

We also teach one module each taught semester (Sept-Dec, and Jan-April) through a ‘Block Taught’ format - these are explained in a bit more depth below

On top of this, we would also suggest at least 16 to 20 hours a week to self-directed study (for Full Time Students) to focus on associated group work, reading and assignments. There are also field-trips, as well as work-based learning/internships to consider. If you are already working within the field, you can use this towards your work-based learning/internships requirements - see below for more information about this.

What are the modules? When are they taught?

 

Semester

Code

Module Title

Semester 1

(Sept - Dec)

TM185

Contemporary Debates in Cultural Policy

TM186

Designing Qualitative Research

TM187

Leadership, Governance & Strategy (Not-for-profit)

Semester 2

(Jan - April)

TM188

Fundraising, Development and Finance

TM189

or

TM190

Planning and Marketing Cultural Projects

or

Another module from the ASSaM PG Module Suite

Year Long

(Sem. 1 & 2)

TM189

or

TM190

Arts Management in Practice

or

Evaluating Arts and Cultural Projects

Semester 3

(May – Aug)

TM160

Dissertation Project (Self-Directed)

 

How do the ‘Block Taught’ modules work?

Responding to student feedback - particularly those students already working in the field - we have developed one module per semester that will be ‘Block Taught’. This means we have compressed the regular 12 weeks of teaching into four intensive, day-long sessions. The benefits of this is that you are required to attend less modules on campus each week, but it also means assignments and assessments are more evenly spaced out throughout the terms.

These block-taught modules will normally be scheduled on the Thursday/Friday teaching days. The 1st semester’s block-taught module is Leadership, Governance and Strategy (Not for Profit), and the 2nd semester’s block-taught module is Fundraising, Development and Finance

What are the Work-place Learning/Industry Learning/Internship requirements?

 In regards to industry based learning, we require that students take up internships and placement opportunities to assist their learning and to put the theory into practice. These internships and placements are offered by many of the world-famous organisations that are based in Edinburgh (for example, the Edinburgh International Festival, or the International Film Festival). Although we support students to find opportunities you are required to secure your own arrangements in line with your personal interests - for example, if you were specifically interested in Dance, you could seek out a placement at a dance organisation here in Edinburgh and we would support you in liaising with the specific organisation in order to arrange that. As we are in Edinburgh - the world’s first and best Festival City - we have no end of opportunities in this regards, and we are well regarded by our industry peers: many of our alumni work in these organisations now and advocate for us. If you are already working in the sector then you are not required to undertake an internship and can use your existing employment as the site for your industry based learning.

What kind of assignments will I be required to do?

The methods used vary from module to module. Students’ performance is assessed through a variety of methods including essays, reports, reflective portfolios, group work, an exam and a dissertation or project. There are also often formative (non-graded) assessments as well as summative (graded) assessments.

Am I still eligible to apply if I do not have an undergraduate degree?

We do consider significant experience as valid learning that allows students to enter into the programme without a previous undergraduate degree, however, you should have had significant previous experience of working in the capacity of a supervisor or manager. These applications would be considered on a case-by-case basis and you should contact the admissions team or co-programme leader Anthony Schrag on should you wish to discuss this further.

I have not studied in some time – will I be able to complete the course?

A lot of the students on the programme are returning to study after a long period out of university. As such, the induction provides an opportunity for some refreshers in regards to key study skills. Attendance at the induction day is therefore expected. We do also recommend that you familiarise yourself with such things as essay writing formats and library research and can recommend study skills books to help with this. QMU offers students access to an Effective Learning Service and Royal Literary Fellow to assist students with their writing and study skills and you should consider availing yourself of these services as soon as possible so that you can be up to speed on the necessary requirements of academic study.

Who are the other people that generally attend the programme?

The course’s diverse student profile is one of its strengths. We have a mix of students at all stages in their career - from recent graduates just starting out to directors who are managing successful cultural projects that attend to refresh their skills; from individual artists wishing to develop a more managerial outlook to those already working in the field and undertaking Continuing Professional Development supported by their organisation. This diversity of experience is useful to compare and contrast different insights as well as developing a diverse peer-support network.

Can I do any reading to prepare myself for the course? 

The following books will give you a good grounding in the sorts of material we cover in the course. They are core texts, and so reading them sooner will give you an advantage when it comes to the lectures and assignments. 

- Bell, D. and Oakley, K. 2015. Cultural Policy. Abingdon: Routledge 

- Cunliffe., A. 2014. A Very Short Fairly Interesting and Reasonably Cheap Book About Management. London: SAGE Publications Ltd

- Varbanova, L. 2013. Strategic Management in the Arts. Abingdon: Routledge 

We also have a wide range of nationalities who can offer diverse international perspectives and cross-cultural network opportunities.

 

 

 

Please Note:


The delivery of this course is subject to the terms and conditions set out in our 2018/19 Entry - Terms and Conditions (Postgraduate).

 

Course Overview

Delivery
At QMU with some industry-based learning
Duration
Full-time: 1 year; Part-time: 2 years.
Start Date
September 2018
January 2019
Study Abroad
No
School
School of Arts, Social Sciences and Management
Division
Subject Area
Fees & Funding

Engage with the Team

A Student Story - more at foot of page

Anna Hainsworth - MA Arts, Festival and Cultural Management I was really keen to move up the career ladder and came across the MA Arts, Festival and Cultural Management at QMU whilst browsing the Creative Scotland opportunities website. I realised it would be an ideal way to develop my knowledge of the cultural sector and provide a theoretical basis for skills I had already developed through my professional practice. “The fact that QMU is so close to the centre of Edinburgh was a bonus, which meant I could combine my existing full time job with studying. Read my story...