MA Art Gallery and Museum Studies / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Business Strategies for Arts, Culture and Creative Industries

Course unit fact file
Unit code SALC60702
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


This unit provides a comprehensive introduction to key processes, factors, tools and approaches involved in strategic and operational management of arts, cultural and creative industries organisations. Its content blends professional insight, case studies and grey material with theoretical approaches, to be delivered via blended learning through lectures, seminars, workshops and site visits. During the course, students will learn how to develop their business strategy portfolios including a pitch presentation, case study analysis, funding proposal, and business plan.



  • Introduce a range of relevant functions which support marketing, finance, business development, governance, resource development and fundraising in arts, heritage and cultural organisations.
  • Provide specialist advice and insight from cultural professionals on models and approaches to arts management, project management, and business development.
  • Explore the political, social and economic context and current environment for creative and cultural businesses and organisations.


Week 1: Introduction - the Business of Creative and Cultural IndustriesOutline of course structures
Week 2: Project planning and managementGuest lecture
Week 3: Understanding risk and internal/external environments 
Week 4: Project PitchPitch presentations
Week 5: Finance 1: Fundraising, financing and writing applications 
Week 6: Fundraising 2: Setting Up a Budget and Managing it Guest Lecture
Week 7: Engagement, marketing and programmingPitch presentations
Week 8: Evaluating and demonstrating project outcomes

Pitch presentations

Guest lecture

Teaching and learning methods

Weekly seminars, workshops and where possible site visits. There will also be directed reading and/or fieldwork tasks to develop your assessed work from week to week. Sessions will benefit from a range of expert practitioners who have been invited as guest speakers, and local organisations who are treated as case studies. Indicative reading is provided through the handbook with links to further resources which will also be provided via Blackboard. 

Knowledge and understanding

  • Develop a critical understanding of theoretical and practical tools and relevant skills, practices and issues relevant to business development, planning, fundraising and project management in the arts, culture and heritage sectors
  • Demonstrate relevant knowledge of the context for the management and strategic development of arts and cultural organisations and be able to apply and adapt this knowledge in professional practice

Intellectual skills

  • Undertake self-directed learning and skills acquisition; conduct independent, critical fieldwork and develop appropriate methodological and analytical skills
  • Apply skills and ideas learned in one institutional context to another, while remaining aware of the complexity of the issues
  • Research, design and develop appropriate business strategies and planning processes for arts and cultural management functions (e.g.  marketing, communications, branding, budgeting, business planning, fund-raising, human resources and performance management)

Practical skills

  • Communicate complex research findings through clear written and verbal articulation, supported by appropriate technological tools
  • Retrieve, select and critically evaluate information from a variety of sources, including libraries, archives and the internet

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Communicate information and ideas effectively in a professional, as well as an academic environment.
  • Critically evaluate personal performance through monitoring and analytical reflection.
  • Demonstrate independent learning ability suitable for continuing study and professional development.

Employability skills

Students on this course will learn about and apply project management, resource development and business planning tools and strategies relevant to the arts, culture and heritage sectors. They will learn how to critical analyse the context, markets risk and quality controls for projects and organisations in these sectors, and will devise funding applications and business strategies which demonstrate their understanding and are ready to apply in real-world arts, heritage and museum management.

Assessment methods

Assessment taskFormative or SummativeLengthWeighting within unit (if relevant)
Pitch presentation for funding applicationFormative3-5 minutes presentation of project plan0%
Funding applicationSummative3000 words, plus appendices100%

Feedback methods

Feedback methodFormative or Summative
Verbal feedback from lecturing staff and peers on pitch presentation of project ideaFormative
Written feedback on funding application proposal Formative
Written feedback on funding application assessmentSummative


Recommended reading

Book, L. and Phillips, D.P. eds. (2013) Creativity and Entrepeneurship: Chaning Currents in Education and Public Life, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing Limited.

Byrnes, W (2009) ‘Chapter 6: Organizing and Organizational Design’ in Management and the Arts, Focal Press. 

Cray, D. and L. Inglis, 2011. ‘Strategic Decision Making in Arts Organizations’ , The Journal of Arts Management, Law, and Society, 41 (2): 84-102,

Hagoort, G., 2005. Art Management: Entrepreneurial Style. Utrecht : Eburon.

Daigle, P. and L. Rouleau, 2010. ‘Strategic Plans in Arts Organizations: A Tool of Compromise between Artistic and Managerial Values’ , International Journal of Arts Management, 12 (3): 13-30,

Mullins, J. W. 2006. The New Business Road Test. What entrepreneurs and executives should do before writing a business plan. 2nd edition. London: Prentice Hall.

McNicholas, B. 2004. “Arts, Culture and Business: A Relationship Transformation, a Nascent Field.” International Journal of Arts Management Vol 7 No 1.

Munoz-Seca, B. and Riverola, J. 2010. When Business Meets Culture. Ideas and Experience for Mutual Profit. Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan.

Varbanova, L. (2013) Strategic Management in the Arts, New York & London: Routledge.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Fieldwork 14
Project supervision 12
Seminars 18
Independent study hours
Independent study 106

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Abigail Gilmore Unit coordinator

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