Short Course

Stage Management: Skills & Practice

This hands-on course will provide you with experiential learning processes and practice to develop your skills as a professional stage manager.

It will enable you to gain an understanding of current practice in stage management, a critical awareness of current issues in the management of theatre and events, develop personal and professional competencies in stage management practices and apply a range of practical skills.

Register your interest

Why study a short course in Stage Management: Skills & Practice at QMU?

  • Our staff are practitioners with real world experience of working in the field of stage management and technical theatre
  • All our courses blend theoretical analysis of working processes with hands-on practical investigation, to ensure you are learning skills you can employ in the professional arena
  • You will be able to benefit from our expertise in teaching parallel courses in performance, film and media for over fifty years, and make use of our full range of digital and physical resources which will be made available to you during the course.

Who is this course for?

This course is for those who wish to develop and expand their stage management skills, and who aim to work in the theatre and performance industries.

The course is filled with practical tips and best practice for developing a successful stage management career. It will also consider how stage management can be considered a creative profession, ensuring you will be at the forefront of developments in the industry.

No previous study of stage management is required but students should have some familiarity with backstage work – possibly through an undergraduate degree in drama, and/or backstage experience of working on student/youth, or amateur, productions.

Stage Management: Skills & Practice: The course in brief

What will I learn on the course?

On this course you will learn the key strategies, techniques and processes of stage management. You will learn to present information and communicate ideas in appropriate forms for diverse audiences and undertake problem solving activities. You will gain the skills to enable you to play a proactive role in the professional development of yourself and your peers.

The course aims to promote an ethos of independent work and learning in which you will take the initiative in a supportive environment. You will gain an understanding of team management and learn how to manage time and resources effectively.

This course is industry-focused and aims to equip you with the skills and experiences needed to forge a career as a professional stage manager.

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

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

  • understand the key components which constitute an effective stage management team, and apply the processes by which it is created and maintained;
  • examine and evaluate the present and future role of the stage management team within any organisation;
  • engage in debate and construct arguments on issues relating to the stage management of theatrical and other performances in the context of the current industry landscape;
  • critically evaluate the backstage management of theatres, venues, and festivals; and
  • work within a stage management team, and interconnect with other professional teams in the world of theatre and events.

How will I be taught?

How is the course delivered?

You will be taught through eight in-person on campus classes/workshops, which will take place on Saturday mornings.

There will be the opportunity for one-week of intensive experiential learning as part of the production team on a university degree show (date TBC).You will also be expected to participate in bi-weekly online group discussions/tutorials.

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

The course lasts for three months (January - April 2024). In addition to the scheduled on-campus classes and workshops, and online tutorials, you will need to spend around a day a week undertaking independent study that will complement your in-class learning. This will include facilitated learning exercises and preparation for your practical assignments.

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

You will be need to complete one assessment for this course:

A 30-minute presentation discussing an agreed aspect of Stage Management, including reflection on your own experience throughout the course, followed by a Q&A session with staff and peers. (100%)

Who will be teaching me?

The module is delivered by Susan Martin and other members of QMU's Performing Arts team.

What equipment will I need for the course?

You will require access to a computer (plus webcam) or laptop, or tablet with internet connectivity.

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.

Stage Management: Skills & Practice: 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)


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 Stage Management: Skills and Practice

Application deadline

15 December 2023

Start date

20 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

View the full range of our Arts, Social Sciences and Management short courses.

Course Overview

Online and in person
12 Weeks
Start Date
January 2024
School of Arts, Social Sciences and Management
Fees & Funding