Short Course

Fundraising, Development and Finance Short Course

This course will equip you with a practical understanding of the principles and techniques of fundraising, development, and financial management for cultural organisations. It focuses specifically on understanding and applying distinct approaches required for crafting grant applications for public or charitable funds, and for levering bespoke, authentic corporate sponsorship partnerships. The module underpins these important skills by providing you with a solid foundation in the financial literacy necessary for good governance.

Why QMU? 

  • Our staff have real world experience of working in the cultural sector.
  • All our courses blend theory with practice to ensure you are learning skills you can put to use in your sector
  • We have been teaching courses in arts and cultural management for over twenty years.

Who is this course for?

This course is for those working, or who wish to develop a career, in the arts and cultural sector. Whether you are looking to build completely new skills and knowledge in grant-writing or to deepen your existing knowledge and practice in this important area, this course is filled with practical tips and best practice for communicating your work successfully to a range of different funders and stakeholders and will ensure that you have the necessary financial literacy to support the development of long-term financial sustainability for the organisations you work with.

What will I learn on the course?

Particular focus is given to best practice in crafting grant applications as well as securing sponsorship from commercial organisations. The teaching emphasises the practicalities of levering funding support from these two very different sources of funding for arts and culture, understanding what makes a successful approach and why, with close study of strong and weak examples.  This module matches these fundraising skills with an understanding of basic financial literacy and interpretation, equipping you for long-term financial planning to support strategic goals and development.

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

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

  • Understand how to communicate your work effectively and successfully through the challenging medium of a funding application.
  • Understand the dynamics of corporate sponsorship for arts and culture, and how to balance it with your own mission and values,
  • Understand how to generate opportunities for corporate sponsorship and how to communicate your work to this kind of funder.
  • Understand and interpret Cashflows, Balance Sheets, Budgets, and Profit and Loss accounts as part of long-term financial management, reporting and planning.

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

The course lasts for one semester (15 weeks during January-May). 

You will spend 24 hours in the classroom, over 4 days of teaching during January-March.

In addition, we recommend spending around a day a week undertaking independent study that will complement your in-class learning. This will include set readings, guided learning exercises and preparation for your assignments.

How will I be taught?

Classes will be delivered on our campus, in 4 themed blocks delivered over a total of 4 days.  These comprise: two blocks on Finance, one block on Applying for Funding and one block on Corporate Sponsorship. The in-person teaching will be prefaced and supported with online access to readings, resources, and advance exercises/pre-work. 

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

You will be required to do two assessments to complete this course:

1. Produce either a full funding application to a funder of your choice for an activity or project of your choice OR a sponsorship proposal and pack tailored for a corporate sponsor for an activity/project of your choice.

2. An exam that will test your knowledge of the finance and fundraising material covered during the course, comprising a mix of financial calculations and short written answers. 

Who will be teaching me?

The module is delivered by two specialist tutors: Rachel Blanche (Fundraising) and Alice McGrath (Finance).

Both are experienced trainers whose academic teaching is enriched by their own professional expertise from careers in the arts and cultural sector.

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 at

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.

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 programme 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

Start date

January 2023

Fees (and funded places)

Fees: £800

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

Scottish Funding Council Logo


Apply for Fundraising, Development and Finance

The application deadline is 22 December 2022.

Start Your Application

Apply for this Course

Course Overview

Online and in person
Start Date
January 2023
Study Abroad
Fees & Funding