Arts Management (PgCert)
Do you work in arts management and want to take your career to a new level? This PgCert in Arts Management is the ideal course for anyone currently working in the arts and cultural sectors who wish to develop their skills and knowledge whilst they remain in their current role. It may also appeal to those with a relevant undergraduate degree who may wish to move into management in this sector.
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.
The course is available both full and part-time with a September or January start.
- Flexible study options that are particularly suitable if you are already working in the sector or wish to do so when studying: Available full-time, part-time or by single module study, you will be able to develop your skills and knowledge whilst in employment. September and January start dates are available.
- A course that will assist you in your current role or create a route to a new career: You will be qualified for a broad range of management positions within a wide spectrum of cultural organisations and festivals.
- Our small class sizes are perfect for sharing experiences and fostering new ideas: Enjoy the support of staff and encouragement of fellow students. While lecturers are experts in their fields, we believe it is vitally important to have a strong community of learners as these will no doubt be more important to your learning and development, but also as future colleagues and support networks.
- Unique course content designed to prepare you for this broad sector: Our focus on the relationship between theory and practice aims to ensure that you become a reflective practitioner that is not only aware of the insights of festivals and cultural management, but that you are aware of the contextual realities of this practice.
- Teaching team with wide ranging expertise: Our staff have a wealth of experience in both the theory and practice of cultural management, and all come from a very different perspectives, giving out students a broad overview of the subject. The lecturers have collectively been involved in such activities as writing national policies; guiding international research; leading cultural projects and businesses; and advising government on cultural policy. Our team’s research has also been published widely - including several books on the subject - and we have written reports for national bodies on a wide variety of subjects. As such, we hold significant and broad knowledge about the sector to share with students.
- Great location for studying and future employment in this area: Our location, just six minutes by train from the heart of the world’s greatest festival city, is sure to enrich your learning experience and provide many opportunities for work-based experience and future employment.
- You’ll be part of an international cohort of students: Students on this course come from across the globe and sharing your experiences will proove to be of real benefit.
- Optimum balance of theoretical and practical learning: The course offers a variety of learning experiences, including industry-based learning, which are sure to enrich your studies. Real-world assignments are designed to develop and consolidate your new key skills.
- Industry input and our professional links ensures you are up to date with key developments: 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.
Arts Management (PgCert): More information and what you will achieve
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.
How will I be taught?
Structure and exit awards
You will complete three 20 credit modules to obtain a PgCert (60 credits).
This PgCert also counts as credit towards our MA Arts, Festival and Cultural Management. After completion of the 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. Contact Dr Anthony Schrag for more information on single module study.
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.
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.
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.
Normally, there are around 30-35 students enrolling on the course each year.
Please click on the following links to find out more about lecturers that teach this course:
Dr Anthony Schrag (Programme Leader)
Please note that teaching staff is subject to change.
- 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)
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.
NB The modules listed are correct at time of posting (October 2022) 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. Please note the entire course is in a process of re-validation to be completed April 23, and so subject to change.
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.
Arts Management (PgCert): Entry requirements and application information
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.
Applying for this course
For more information on applying, or to apply for this course, please follow the links in the 'Start your application' box at the top right of this page.
Terms and Conditions
The delivery of this course is subject to the terms and conditions set out in our 2023/24 Entry - Terms and Conditions (Postgraduate).
More information and QMU contacts
Contact Dr Anthony Schrag (Programme Leader) or contact Admissions
Opportunities to meet us
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.