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Short Course

Leadership, Governance and Strategy (Not-for-Profit)

This Leadership, Governance and Strategy (Not-for-Profit) short course provides students with a critical understanding of the principles and practices of leadership, governance, and strategy pertinent to the management of not-for-profit organisations, especially in the cultural sector.

Why QMU?

  • Our staff have significant experience in leadership and governance in the cultural sector.
  • Our staff are involved in research linked to cultural industries and have PhDs in these topics.
  • All our courses help to bridge theory with practice to ensure you are learning skills you can use in your sector.

Who is this course for?

This course is relevant for anyone whose role requires them to lead teams, work collaboratively with others, and would like to learn more about leadership and governance. This course is primarily aimed at those in the public and third sectors, in particular those working in cultural organisations, but we also welcome those wanting to learn more about the study of leadership, governance, and strategy as an inclusive practice.

Leadership, Governance and Strategy (Not-for-Profit): The course in brief

What will I learn on the course?

This course takes a critical perspective of leadership, governance, and strategic planning in the not-for-profit sectors, with a particular focus on cultural organisations. The course promotes an approach where the reframing of leadership can offer a larger meaning, offering new insights and tools for practitioners as they strategically navigate the challenging cultural leadership landscape, including engaging inclusive approaches, diversifying Boards, and strategically planning for the challenges of uncertain times.

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

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

  • understand different leadership styles and critique their suitability in a non-for-profit context;
  • critically reflect on your own leadership style and those around you by applying your learning to your own context;
  • appraise the systems of governance by which not-for-profit organisations are managed;
  • evaluate the strategic plans of not-for-profit organisations;
  • apply principles learned in the course to critique current workplace challenges; and
  • understand models of reflective practice and apply them within your own organisational context.

How will I be taught?

How is the course delivered?

The course will be taught in person at the QMU campus.

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

The course is delivered through four, full-day sessions (24 hours in total) that take place between September and early December. Additionally, you should be setting aside between 3 and 5 hours each week to undertake reading, interact with others on the course and prepare written assignments.

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

Yes, you will be assessed through the completion of two assignments:

  • A 2000-word analysis of a not-for-profit organisation’s strategic plan
  • A 2000-word essay on the governance and/or leadership of not-for-profit organisations

Who will be teaching me?

Prof. Rebecca Finkel has both scholarly and practical experience in cultural leadership focusing on arts venues and festival management organisations. She has published five books on equality, diversity, and inclusion topics in the cultural events sector and has consulted on creative industries development across the UK, USA, Spain, Hong Kong, and Trinidad & Tobago.

What equipment will I need for this course?

You will require access to a computer or laptop, Internet connectivity, a webcam and Microsoft Excel. 

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.

Leadership, Governance and Strategy (Not-for-Profit): 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.


Application for this course is currently unavailable.

Start date

TBC - Look out for future dates

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

On campus
Start Date
October 2022