Postgraduate Taught

MA Stage Management

Designed as a conversion degree, we welcome applicants from non-arts related subjects to this MA. It is suitable for those who wish to add a vocational stage management emphasis to their first degree, and those with equivalent professional qualifications or experience.

This MA 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.

You will find case studies on students and graduates of this course at the foot of this page.

Why QMU?

  • Small cohort of students working closely and collaboratively with staff.
  • Range of guest lecturers from key cultural organisations and associated industries.
  • The only postgraduate course of its kind in Scotland.

Course overview

This MA 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.

Within a rapidly changing domestic and international environment, the work of stage managers is becoming more complex and technically challenging. The entertainment and live events industries are growing rapidly and the need for skilled stage managers has never been greater. The evolving range and scope of where, and how, live entertainment is delivered leads to often difficult and sometimes contradictory demands and challenges for the stage management team. This leads to a situation where there is a need for graduates with more holistic and integrated perspectives regarding the management of entertainment and live events and the artistic, 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 effective stage managers need training that is both practical and critically reflective. It will develop your knowledge of the contemporary issues affecting the management of entertainment and live events while equipping you with the practical skills that are essential for developing a career in the field.

The course is run in partnership with The Edinburgh Stage Management School, which specialises in postgraduate vocational training and combines a well established industry focus with successful graduate employment. It combines the best aspects of the vocational, practical and academic models.

Exit awards

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


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 MA, a PgDip, or a PgCert. 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, and projects. You will also undertake professional practice. Your performance on the course will be assessed by essays, reports, reflective blog, portfolio, presentations and a dissertation or project.

Teaching hours and attendance

Each module will require you to attend classes and carry out independent work. Most modules consist of five or six hours of class time each day during the teaching periods of the semester.

Teaching for each module is primarily Monday-Friday, 9.30am-5pm, but some weekend and evening sessions may also be included. When working on university productions, students will typically spend 2/3 days per week in rehearsal and the remainder in class.

Class sizes

Normally, there are around six to eight students enrolling on the course each year.

Links with industry / professional bodies

Our partnership with The Edinburgh Stage Management School ensures an active industry focus to the course with key professional practitioners delivering master classes and practical workshops. 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.


  • Core Technical Skills for Theatre Production (15 credits) 
  • Managing Productions: Theory & Practice (15 credits) 
  • Advanced Technical Skills for Theatre Production (15 credits) 
  • Managing People & Projects (15 credits)
  • Professional Practice 1 (30 credits)
  • Professional Practice 2 (30 credits)

If studying for an MA, you will also complete a dissertation or project (60 credits).

The modules listed here are correct at time of publication (September 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 this site for any updates.

Single modules for CPD

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


The course involves a series of placements, both on University productions and within the industry. Each placement on a University production commences on the first day of rehearsal and runs until the the final performance. Industry placements typically run from first rehearsal to opening night. Placements are assessed in the Professional Practice modules 1 and 2.


You will be qualified for a broad range of stage management positions within a wide spectrum of live entertainment and live events industries. Many career opportunities are open to you. Previous graduates (Edinburgh Stage Management School) have gone on to work in theatres, performing arts organisations, festivals, corporate events and ceremonies. In addition, many now tour 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 and all professions requiring skills in effective management.

Entry requirements

A UK honours degree or equivalent OR significant work experience in live entertainment/ events. All shortlisted applicants will be interviewed.

This course is currently only open to applicants who do not require a Tier 4 student visa.

Application deadline

Start of August. This course is highly competitive with limited places. We advise applicants to apply early to be considered.

More information and contacts

Admissions or Susan Martin on tel: +44(0)131 474 0000.

Please Note:
The delivery of this course is subject to the terms and conditions set out in our 2019/20 Entry - Terms and Conditions (Postgraduate).



Course Overview

At QMU, Edinburgh Stage Management School and a range of external locations for professional practice components
Full-time: 1 year
Start Date
September 2019
Study Abroad
School of Arts, Social Sciences and Management
Subject Area
Fees & Funding