Postgraduate Taught

PgCert Arts Management

Do you work in arts management and want to take your career to a new level? Designed to fit around your existing work commitments, this practical and relevant PgCert offers a flexible, part-time way to develop your professional skills and knowledge.

Funding, recruitment, sustainability, leadership, international development – there are many burning issues affecting the management of arts organisations and festivals today. As a professional in the field, what is your best way to engage with them? How can you guide an arts organisation into a successful future in such uncertain times? This course offers a blend of practical project work and theoretical study that will deepen your understanding of modern arts management and equip you with some very useful contemporary skills.

Why QMU?

  • This is a flexible course that lets you develop your skills and gain valuable new knowledge while working.
  • Enjoy the support of staff and encouragement of fellow students. Our small class sizes are perfect for sharing experiences and fostering new ideas.
  • Real-world assignments are designed to develop and consolidate your new key skills.
  • Learn on a campus just six minutes by train from the heart of the world’s greatest festival city.

Course overview

You will complete three modules on this block-taught PgCert, covering topics including fundraising, governance, leadership and finance. As part of your course you can opt to evaluate a live project you are already involved in. You will produce a report that may help evidence, impact and generate future support for your work. You will also consolidate your new learning with a placement in an arts organisation.

Exit awards

PgCert (60 credits)


You will complete three 20 credit modules to obtain a PgCert.

This PgCert also counts as credit towards our MA Arts, Festival and Cultural Management. After completion of the block-taught PgCert, you’ll have the option to obtain the MA on a part-time basis the following year by completing three additional modules and a dissertation.

Teaching, learning and assessment

Teaching comprises a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, case studies and projects. Assessment will take the form of essays, reports, exams and presentations.

Teaching hours and attendance

The three modules would require approximately four days of on-campus learning each semester, meaning that the PgCert could be completed within 12-14 days of intensive study that is spread over the course of a year.

Class sizes

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

Industry links

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.


  • Leadership, Governance and Strategy (Not-for-Profit) (20 credits) 
  • Fundraising, Finance and Development (20 credits) 
  • Arts Management in Practice (20 credits) OR Evaluating Arts and Cultural Projects (20 Credits) 

Module descriptions:

Leadership, Governance and Strategy (Not-for-Profit) (20 credits) - This module will provide students with a critical understanding of the principles and practices of leadership, governance and strategic management pertinent to the management of not-for-profit organisations. Students will examine different leadership strategies and critically interrogate how governance forms and guides cultural organisations. The assessments include an essay and a strategic analysis. 

Fundraising, Finance and Development (20 credits) - This module will equip students with a critical understanding of the principles and practices of fundraising, development and financial management. The assessments invite students to examine financial support mechanisms (eg, completing a funding application or designing a sponsorship pack) as well as financial literacy exam. This module marks our course as quite unique in this regards. 

Arts Management in Practice (20 credits) - This module will support students to become reflective practitioners, confident in their ability to employ and adapt theory in relation to the organisational contexts in which they may work. Students will attend field trips and receive experts in the field who will talk about their practical realities as cultural managers. This is the module that also houses the ‘industry based experience’ element OR

Evaluating Cultural Projects (20 credits) - This module will provide students with the knowledge and understanding to effectively design and execute the evaluation of arts and cultural projects. A very student-driven module, this is an optional choice instead of Arts Management in Practice and can only be taken if a real-time Cultural Project is occurring that the student can access. 

The modules listed are correct at time of posting (October 2021) but are subject to change. In the event that modules change, QMU will seek to use reasonable endeavours to ensure that there is no detrimental impact on students.

Single modules for CPD

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


While the course does not require a formal placement, we do require students to take up industry-based learning positions to assist their learning and to put theory into practice. These opportunities are offered by many of the world-famous organisations that are based in Edinburgh (eg 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, there are 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.


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.

Teaching staff

Please click on the following links to find out more about lecturers that teach this course: 

Dr Anthony Schrag (Programme Leader)

Professor David Stevenson

Rachel Blanche

Entry requirements

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

International: 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.

Application deadline

For International applicants only (Jan 2023 start):  Applications submitted after Sunday 20th November 2022 will automatically be considered for the next available intake after January which will be in September 2023. 

Start date

September 2022 and January 2023

More information and contacts

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


If you have any further questions, you may find answers on the general MA Arts, Festival and Cultural Management page, which has a list of Frequently Asked Questions.

Fees and transitionary scholarships for postgraduate EU students in 21/22 and 22/23

As part of our management of the Brexit transition, for many of our courses, including this one, we have introduced an EU transitional scholarship for EU full-time postgraduate students commencing their studies on campus in academic years 2021/22 and 2022/23. This provides a 40% discount on international tuition fees. The scholarship is available to EU students for whom the international fee rate applies and covers the courses marked with a # in the Postgraduate Fees – Full-Time Study section of our Fees page. This transitional scholarship is not applicable to students from the Republic of Ireland, who will continue to be eligible for the home fee rate.

Please Note:

The delivery of this course is subject to the terms and conditions set out in our 2022/2023 Entry - Terms and Conditions (Postgraduate).

Teaching staff is subject to change.

Course Overview

At QMU with some industry-based learning
1 year full-time OR 2-7 years part-time
Start Date
September 2022
Start Date
January 2023
Study Abroad
School of Arts, Social Sciences and Management
Fees & Funding

Engage with the Team