MA Arts Management, Policy and Practice / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Arts Management Principles and Practice

Course unit fact file
Unit code SALC60011
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


This unit introduces students to arts management as a set of contemporary practices and an interdisciplinary field of study. Students explore how arts managers work within a range of case study organisations to shape programmes, develop audiences and build infrastructure. The unit equips students to examine arts organisations critically and to understand how they interact with their social, cultural and economic contexts. This unit underpins the development of the students’ own professional practice as arts managers.

(Any fieldwork is subject to government guidelines)



- To develop knowledge, critical understanding and appraisal of relevant management models and approaches to strategic development, programming, planning and delivery of arts and culture
- To provide overview and insight into the various types of and settings for arts management functions and acquaint students with the range of professional opportunities in the creative and cultural sector
- To identify the skills and practices required for careers in arts management, cultural policy and professional practice, and to provide opportunities to learn and develop these skills
- To stimulate critical debate, innovation and entrepreneurialism in relation to management principles and practices for the arts, and to consider how these might inform broader management practice

Teaching and learning methods

Some of the lectures for this unit will be delivered online.

Knowledge and understanding

  • Use and develop critical approaches to the study of arts management in order to interrogate and explicate professional practice
  • Analyse the development of 'arts management' as a set of cultural practices
  • Demonstrate direct experience of practices, procedures and policies in arts management
  • Show awareness of current issues in the field

Intellectual skills

  • Undertake self-directed learning in the theory and practice of arts management
  • Conduct independent, critical fieldwork in arts management and cultural industries
  • Analyse and evaluate complex data and statistics relevant to arts management practice

(All fieldwork is subject to government guidelines)

Practical skills

  • Draw on appropriate tools in the analysis of arts management practice
  • Communicate complex research findings into arts management through clear written and verbal articulation, supported by appropriate technological tools
  • Achieve an advanced and critically informed level of group work

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Plan and deliver effective presentations to specialist and non-specialist audiences
  • Retrieve, select and critically evaluate information from a variety of sources, including libraries, archives and the internet
  • Orchestrate group work in disciplinary and multi-disciplinary contexts
  • Develop and use effective time management strategies to balance individual assessment and group work.


Employability skills

- Develop an awareness of key roles and functions in the field of arts management - Recognise the skills and knowledge used by arts managers - Develop an understanding of career paths in arts management - Show an understanding of how arts management research might inform arts management practice

Assessment methods

Group project portfolio 30%
 Essay 70%


Feedback methods

Feedback method

Formative or Summative

Verbal feedback on development of project portfolio in group tutorial (week 7)


Written feedback on final project portfolio


Verbal and written feedback on essay plan in tutorials (week 9)


Written feedback on essay



Recommended reading

Bjorkegren, D. The Culture Business: Management Strategies for the Arts-Related Business. London: Routledge, 1996.

Bowdin, G.A.J., McDonnell, I., Allen, J. and O'Toole, W. Events Management (Second Edition). Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann, 2006.

Byrnes, W. Management and the Arts (Fourth Edition). Oxford: Focal Press, 2009.

Chong, D. Arts Management. London: Routledge, 2002.

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

Hesmondhalgh, D. The Cultural Industries (Second Edition). London, Los Angeles and New Delhi: Sage, 2007.

Pick, J. and M. Anderton. Arts Administration (Second Edition). London: Spon, 1999.

Radbourne, J. and M. Fraser. Arts Management: A Practical Guide. St Leonards: Allen & Unwin, 1996.


Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Seminars 33
Independent study hours
Independent study 267

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Abigail Gilmore Unit coordinator
Simon Parry Unit coordinator

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