Why QMU?

The importance of culture, in its many forms, and the creative attitudes that support it are recognised by politicians and intellectuals at a national, international and global level. Culture is a significant contributor to measures of economic wealth and prosperity, and to the growth of social diversity and progress. Culture is a defining characteristic of identity and heritage, and creates experiences that stimulate individual curiosity and the expansion of the imagination. People enjoy culture and contribute to it in diverse ways.
Postgraduate study at QMU is focused on the challenges and problems that arise when moving from the imagination and curiosity to creation and organisation. It addresses a variety of situations, from globally recognised companies to individual creators, from corporate conglomerates to state-supported institutions, from cultural divas to voluntary associations. By mobilising practical experiences and the knowledge and understanding gained through research, postgraduate study at QMU is built on the recognition that the value of culture derives from innovation, change and uncertainty, and that cultural experiences are different and singular.

QMU currently offers four taught postgraduate courses in the area of culture and creativity: the MA Arts, Festival and Cultural Management, the MA Applied Arts and Social Practice, the MA Stage Management and Technical Theatre Production, and the MA Digital Performance. These courses differ in focus, but provide students with opportunities to understand and critically reflect on the competencies and skills that produce culture and the contexts and environments that sustain it.

Teaching and research staff at QMU have experience of cultural production and organisation and maintain close links with cultural organisations across the UK as part of their ongoing practice. Research at QMU is interested in cultural participation and engagement and cultural management and policy. Teaching is complemented by contributions from professionals who work in and with culture industries and organisations.

QMU benefits from its location in a city recognised globally for its cultural activity, from large-scale festivals to lone novelists. Edinburgh provides a variety of cultural experiences such as theatre, art, museums, cinema, music and performance, which are supported by a thriving and idiosyncratic cultural and creative sector. This environment provides postgraduate students with opportunities to gain practical experience, which in turn can feed into an individual programme of study.

Industry links

The MA Arts, Festival and Cultural Management provides organisational and institutional links as part of the curriculum. Professional contributors support students with experiences from the complexities of cultural management, from finance and human resources to project management and fundraising. In addition, students take part in field trips to deepen their understanding of the challenges faced by the creative and cultural sector. A PgCert Arts Management is also available, which is ideal for those working in the sector who wish to undertake professional development.

MA Stage Management and Technical Theatre Production includes professional practice modules that give students the opportunity to work on live productions both at the University and in cultural organisations throughout Scotland and beyond.

The MA Applied Arts and Social Practice allows students to graduate with a better understanding of how artists, theatre practitioners and other creatives apply their skills in social contexts, third sector organisations, public health, social welfare, education and criminal justice, giving them the practical and enterprise skills to develop a sustainable career in their chosen field. Students on this course will undertake a range of field trips and complete a practice-led final project.

The new MA Digital Performance will give you practical expertise in online performance making, and rich knowledge of the contemporary digital arts shift. The course will place graduates well for employment or self-employment, with an awareness of potential platforms, festivals, and connections to national and international networks to allow you to set up and monetise your own individual or collaborative practices.

Our approach to learning and teaching

Postgraduate students admitted to the courses may have already acquired cultural and creative experience in a range of disciplines and work contexts. Students are encouraged to exploit their knowledge and understanding of these experiences in contributing to their study, and the curriculum is designed to be flexible enough to accommodate this. Collaboration with other students or external organisations and individuals can be combined with teaching delivery through lectures, seminars, workshops and tutorials.

You may also be interested in our MSc Art Psychotherapy.

Find out more information on how to apply for a course at QMU.