Postgraduate Taught

MA Stage Management

This MA is the only postgraduate course of its kind in Scotland. We designed the course as a conversion degree, and we welcome applicants from non-arts related subjects.

This course is ideal if you want to add a vocational stage management emphasis to your undergraduate degree, or if you have 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?

  • This is the only postgraduate course of its kind in Scotland, and is both practical and critically reflective.
  • You’ll enjoy being part of a small cohort of students, working closely and collaboratively with staff who will get to know your strengths and areas for development.
  • Run in partnership with the Edinburgh Stage Management School, which combines a well-established industry focus with successful graduate employment.
  • Draw from the hard-won experience of a range of guest lecturers from key cultural organisations and associated industries.

Course overview

From theatre productions and arts festivals to music gigs and charity events, the entertainment and live events industries are growing rapidly. At the same time, the work of stage managers is becoming more complex and technically challenging. This means that arts and events companies are looking for skilled stage managers 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.

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



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
18 months
Start Date
September 2019
Study Abroad
School of Arts, Social Sciences and Management
Subject Area
Fees & Funding

A Student Story

Veera Laitinen "The best part so far has been meeting professionals from the industry. All of our guest lecturers and speakers are working in the theatre industry and it has been interesting to hear about their experiences. They also are happy to share what not to do!" Read my story