MA Arts Management, Policy and Practice

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Cultural Policy

Course unit fact file
Unit code SALC60021
Credit rating 30
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Available as a free choice unit? No


The unit will employ seminars and EBL workshops and feature case studies of arts and cultural initiatives and organisations, with contributions from guest lecturers. It will critically examine key issues in policies for the arts, culture and heritage and the broader sectors of the creative industries, highlighting historical and contemporary imperatives and drivers which have led to a climate of instrumental cultural policy based on measurable social and economic effects. Policy objectives, and the mechanisms and instruments developed to produce them, will be discussed by theme and illustrated by case studies, to provide a comprehensive overview of 'cultural policy studies', and encourage consideration of how theory can usefully be applied to the creative and cultural industries (CCIs) context.


  • To develop a robust knowledge and understanding of policies for creative and cultureal industries
  • To situate policy, governance and funding structures and initiatives within broader historical and theoretical frameworks
  • To provide direct access to contemporary debates and issues for arts managers, practitioners and policy makers through case studies, testimonials, site visits and other research materials 



Introducing Cultural Policy: definitions, frameworks, principles

Culture, Creativity, Democracy and the State: histories and dichotomies

Funding the CCIs: Models, rationales and issues  

Reading CCIs policy: discourse analysis  

Thinking globally: international and supranational frameworks and flows

CCIs Policy in Action: policies for the pandemic; case studies from around the world

From arts and culture to the creative industries

Measuring and addressing inequalities in the CCIs

Thinking locally: CCIs, policy & place

Producing cultural producers: arts education and creative work   

Teaching and learning methods

Weekly lectures and seminars with directed learning and presentations to be prepared from week to week, including presentations by guest lectures and site visits. Students will be directed to conduct fieldwork in preparation for the class each week. 

Knowledge and understanding

  • Show systematic, critical understanding and knowledge of policies for creative and cultural industries  with respect to theory and practice and in historical and contemporary contexts
  • Analyse, compare and evaluate the development of governance and funding structures, policy regimes and fields in relation to arts, cultural and creative practices and industries
  • Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the philosophical, political, social, economic and ethical implications for arts practice and management in a range of policy contexts

Intellectual skills

  • Undertake self-directed learning and skills acquisition
  • Conduct independent, critical fieldwork in arts management, culture and creative industries and cultural policy
  • Analyse and evaluate qualitative data and statistics
  • Research and provide evidence-based arguments for the adoption of particular management and professional  practices in policy settings


Practical skills

  • Critically assess and evaluate policy documents, strategies and research reports
  • Design and undertake original research
  • Communicate complex research findings through clear written and verbal articulation, supported by appropriate technological tools

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Plan and deliver effective presentations
  • Retrieve, select and critically evaluate information from a variety of sources, including libraries, archives and the internet
  • Use appropriate information technology
  • Demonstrate independent learning ability suitable for continuing study and professional development

Employability skills

Students learn a number of transferable skills from Cultural Policy, including analytical methods, such as discourse analysis and critical review, understanding and presenting statistical data, library search and other research skills. They are introduced to cultural policy as the context for arts management which involves critical examining key concepts relating to political context and funding landscape, the role of advocacy, commissioned research, central and local government, private sponsorship, trust and foundations, and corporate governance.

Assessment methods

Assessment taskFormative or SummativeLengthWeighting within unit (if relevant)
Keyword presentationsFormative5 minutes0%
Policy Analysis & ReviewSummative1500 words30%
EssaySummative3000 words70%


Feedback methods

Feedback methodFormative or Summative
Verbal feedback in class on keyword presentationsFormative
Verbal / written feedback on essay proposalFormative
Written feedback on Policy Analysis and EssaySummative


Recommended reading

Banks, M.; O'Connor, J. After the creative industries. International Journal of Cultural Policy, Oxfordshire, v. 15, n.4, p. 365-373, 2009

Bell, D & Oakley, K. 2014. Cultural Policy Oxon: Routledge

Bianchini, F & Parkinson, M (1993) Cultural Policy and Urban Regeneration, Manchester University Press

Bourdieu, P & Darbel, A (1991) The Love of Art Cambridge: Polity Press

Durrer, V., Miller, T. and O’Brien, D. 2018 The Routledge Handbook of Global Cultural Policy London: Routledge

Evans, G & Foord, J (2003) 'Shaping the cultural landscape - local regeneration effects' in Miles, M & Hall, T (eds.) Urban Futures, Routledge

Garcia, B. (2008) 'One Hundred Years of Cultural Programming within the Olympic Games (1912-2012): Origins, evolution and projections' in International Journal of Cultural Policy

Garnham, Nicholas. "From Cultural to Creative Industries: An Analysis of the Implications of the 'Creative Industries' Approach to Arts and Media Policy Making in the United Kingdom." International journal of cultural policy: CP 11.1 (2005): 15-29

Gold, J & Ward, S (1994) Place Promotion: the use of Publicity and Marketing to Sell Towns and Regions, Wiley

Hewison, R (1997) Culture and Consensus: England, Art and Politics since 1940 London: Methuen

Holden, J (2006) Cultural Value and the Crisis of Legitimacy, London:Demos

Julier, G (2000) The Culture of Design Sage

Kearns, G & Philo, C (eds.) (1993) Selling Places: the City as Cultural Capital, Past and Present Pergamon Press

Lewis, J & Miller, T eds. (2003) Critical Cultural Policy Studies: A Reader Oxford: Blackwell

McGuigan, J (2004) Rethinking Cultural Policy Maidenhead: Open University Press

Miles, M (1997) Art, Space and the City, Routledge

Moss, L (2002) 'Sheffield's Cultural Industries Quarter 20 years on: what can be learned from a pioneering example?', International Journal of Cultural Policy Vol 8 No 2

O’Brien, D. (2014) Cultural Policy London: Routledge

Potts, J.; Cunningham, S. Four models of the creative industries. International Journal of Cultural Policy, v. 14, n. 3, p. 233-247, 2008

Richards, G (2001) 'The European Cultural Capital Event: Strategic Weapon in the Cultural Arms Race? International Journal of Cultural Policy Vol 6 no 2

Throsby, D (2010) The Economics of Cultural Policy Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Worpole, K (2001) 'Cartels and Lotteries: Heritage and Cultural Policy in Britain' in Morley, D & Robins, K eds. British Cultural Studies Oxford University Press

Wu, Chin-tao (2002) Privatising Culture London: Verso

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 11
Seminars 22
Independent study hours
Independent study 267

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Abigail Gilmore Unit coordinator

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