Short Course

Evaluating Arts and Cultural Projects

This Evaluating Arts and Cultural Projects course explores the processes and practices by which arts and cultural projects are evaluated.

The course begins by considering the social and political factors that mean it is increasingly expected that art and cultural projects should be evaluated. The focus will then shift to the practicalities of designing a project evaluation, from logic modelling the theory of change, through to selecting methods, establishing a base line, generating, and evaluating data, and producing a project evaluation report.

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Why QMU?

  • Our staff have real world experience of evaluating cultural projects.
  • Our staff have developed tools and frameworks that can be used to evaluate cultural projects.
  • We have been teaching courses in arts and cultural management for over twenty years.

Who is this course for?

This course is relevant for anyone whose role requires them to conduct and/or commission cultural project evaluations but has had little or no training in what makes a 'good' evaluation. It would also be suitable for those seeking to develop the skills necessary for them to conduct project evaluations on a freelance or consultancy basis.

Evaluating Arts and Cultural Projects: The course in brief

What will I learn on the course?

On this course you will learn about:

  • some of the factors that make evaluating arts and cultural projects so challenging;
  • what a theory of change is and how to develop one;
  • different methods and tools that you can uses to conduct a qualitative evaluation of an arts project;
  • the ethical considerations of conducting evaluations and
  • ways to communicate the findings of your evaluation.

By the end of the course what will I be able to do?

On completion of the course, you’ll be able to:

  • Critically reflect on the challenges of evaluating small scale cultural project and how to overcome these.
  • Create a theory of change for a small-scale cultural project.
  • Discuss the pros and cons of different qualitative methods of data generation.
  • Make decisions about the best ways to evaluate a small-scale cultural project.
  • Design a project evaluation for a small-scale cultural project.

How will I be taught?

How is the course delivered?

The course will be delivered in a blended format, with some sessions delivered in person, at QMU’s campus, and the remaining sessions delivered online.

How long does the course last for and how much time will I need to spend on it each week?

The course is delivered over a 15-week semester. During that time, you will attend four on-campus, half day workshops. In addition, you will be expected to attend four hours of online seminars, and to be spending around 2-3 hours a week on associated reading and completing your assignment.

Does the course have an assessment and if so what sort of assessment will it be?

The assignment for this course requires you to create a 3000-word proposal for how to evaluate a cultural project alongside a 1000-word critical reflection on the challenges of evaluating projects in this sector.

Who will be teaching me?

The course will be delivered by Alice McGrath and Professor David Stevenson.

What equipment will I need for this course?

You will require access to a computer or laptop, internet connectivity and a webcam.

Student support/access to facilities

For the duration of your course you will be able to make use of our on-campus learning resource centre as well as access to our full range of online resources, including e-books and academic journals.

You will also have limited, mainly online access to Student Services support. Students with particular support requirements can contact the Disability Service.

As you will be studying with us for less than a full academic year you will not be provided with a personal academic tutor (PAT). However, any queries regarding your studies should be directed to the staff member leading the delivery of your course.

Evaluating Arts and Cultural Projects: Entry requirements, fees and application information

Entry requirements

The course is delivered at Master’s level and each applicant must decide if the level of study is suitable for them.

Applicants for Master’s level study would usually hold an undergraduate degree or have relevant professional experience that supports study at this level. Applicants that have previously studied outside the UK should check that their qualification has been taught at a suitable level to prepare them for Master’s level study.

You do not need to provide proof of your previous qualifications.

English Language requirements: This course is taught and assessed in English. Applicants do not need to provide proof of their English Language skills when applying for this course, but all applicants should consider whether they have sufficient English competence to study at this level. Applicants for this level of study would usually be able to demonstrate a level of English equivalent to IELTS 6.5 overall, with no component score below 6.0

Fees (and free places)

Fees: £865

Free places are available for any person resident in Scotland, who holds an undergraduate degree (or equivalent professional experience), who is not currently studying for a degree level qualification, and meets at least one of the criteria below:

  • unemployed or at risk of redundancy
  • self-employed and working within the creative and cultural industries or hospitality, tourism, and events sector
  • employed by a Scottish arts, cultural, hospitality, tourism, or events organisation
  • employed by a Scottish charity or social enterprise

Please note: free places are limited, and subject to availability.


Apply for Evaluating Arts and Cultural Projects.

Application deadline

Friday 15 December 2023

Start date

26 January 2024

NB This course will run depending on numbers registered. Confirmation of commencement will be 4 weeks in advance of the start date.

More information and QMU contacts

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Course Overview

Online and in person
3 months
Start Date
January 2024
Fees & Funding