Short Course

Strategy and Sustainability within Cultural Organisations

This short course will support students to critically reflect on economic, social, and environmental sustainability in the arts and cultural sectors and develop strategic knowledge, skills and competencies to contribute to a more sustainable future.

Register your interest

Why should you study a short course in Strategy and Sustainability Within Cultural Organisations at QMU?

  • You’ll be studying these topics alongside postgraduate students in our MA Arts, Festival and Cultural Management, one of the UK’s flagship arts management courses with a high quality of teaching honed over more than a decade of delivery.
  • Our academic environment fosters lively discussion and lateral thinking about the practicalities, challenges and opportunities of strategy and sustainability in the arts and cultural sector.
  • Access to academic staff specialists as well as QMU's library and other learning resource facilities.

Who is this course for?

This course is for those working, or who wish to build a career, in the arts and cultural sector. Whether you are looking to build completely new skills and knowledge or to deepen your existing practice, this course will support students to expand their strategic knowledge, thinking, and practices about sustainability issues.

Strategy and Sustainability within Cultural Organisations: The course in brief

What will I learn on the course?

The course explores sustainability issues within the arts and cultural sector in the face of global environmental, economic, and social change. It aims to support students to expand their strategic knowledge, thinking, and practices about sustainability issues.

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

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

  • appraise the principles and practices of sustainable development;
  • generate and evaluate different strategic approaches to sustainability and assess their likely impacts for arts and cultural organisations;
  • use assessment tools and problem-solving frameworks to identify sustainability challenges and opportunities and design effective strategies to address them;
  • critically assess and analyse strategic sustainable development issues within the arts and cultural sectors; and
  • analyse an arts and cultural organisations strategic/sustainability plan and/or conduct a Sustainability Impact Assessment for a chosen cultural organisation.

How will I be taught?

How is the course delivered?

The module is taught over four on campus teaching days at QMU. The teaching days generally take place on Fridays from 10am – 5pm during the semester.

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

The course lasts for a full semester from September to December 2023. It is taught in four blocks of in-person teaching days during the semester. Students are encouraged to undertake around 10-15 hours of individual study per week also.

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

There are two assessments for the course:

  • Assignment 1 – a 1000 word reflection on a personal contribution to one of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (20%)
  • Assignment 2 - EITHER 3000 word Analysis of an Arts and Cultural  Organisation's Strategic/Sustainability Plan (80%) OR 3000 word Proposal for Conducting a Sustainability Impact Assessment for a Chosen Cultural Organisation (80%)

Who will be teaching me?

The course is delivered by two specialist tutors: Alice McGrath and Professor Rebecca Finkel.

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

Visiting speakers, with specialism in the subject may also be invited to contribute to in-person teaching days.

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.

Strategy and Sustainability within Cultural Organisations: Entry requirements, fees and application information

Entry requirements

An undergraduate degree or relevant professional experience.

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
  • working in the Scottish education sector

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


Apply for Strategy and Sustainability within Cultural Organisations

Application deadline

27 August 2023

Start date

15 September 2023

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

On Campus
12 Weeks
Start Date
September 2023
School of Arts, Social Sciences and Management
Fees & Funding