MA Arts Management, Policy and Practice / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:

Course unit fact file
Unit code SALC60090
Credit rating 60
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Full year
Available as a free choice unit? No


There are two types of dissertation that you can choose to write; either standard or practice-based. The information within this handbook may help you decide which you want to write. The dissertation is an important and challenging conclusion to the MA (60 credits) and requires considerable care in the selection of topic and writing. This will be done in collaboration with your dissertation supervisor.

Dissertation planning and supervision takes place in Semester 2 and you continue with your independent writing over the summer. Dissertation work normally happens in Year 2 for Part-time students. However, Part-time students have the option to submit a dissertation proposal and commence with their dissertation in Year 1 if they wish.


The course is designed to: 

  • Develop a critical understanding of the theory and practice that underpins the act planning, researching and writing a dissertation.  
  • Offer an overview of the theoretical and practical skills required to conceptualise, plan, research, and write a dissertation.  
  • Provide a thorough knowledge of the intellectual and ethical issues involved in researching and writing a dissertation.  
  • Provide practical knowledge and experience of academic research methods and writing skills. 

Knowledge and understanding

On successful completion of this course you should be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of: 

  • The role of academically informed analysis in academic research and writing.  
  • How to plan and manage a piece of self-directed research. 
  • How to identify and construct a valid research topic and question. 
  • The role and purpose of argument and structure in academic writing. 
  • The value of research methods and skills in developing viable research projects. 
  • How to apply academic research and writing skills to the analysis of creative and cultural practice. 

Intellectual skills

 - Undertake self-directed learning and skills acquisition 
 - Conduct independent, critical fieldwork 
 - Develop appropriate methodological and analytical skills 
 - Apply skills and ideas learned over the course of two semesters to the act of dissertation writing 

Practical skills

- Initiate academic solutions to specific criteria. 

- Communicate complex research findings through clear written and verbal articulation. 

- Present research in an academically rigorous and articulate way. 

Transferable skills and personal qualities

- Retrieve, select and critically evaluate information from a variety of sources, including arts organisations, creative industries, heritage sites, museums, libraries, archives, and the internet. 

- Communicate information and ideas effectively in an academic environment. 

- Critically evaluate personal performance through monitoring and analytical reflection. 

- Demonstrate independent learning ability suitable for continuing study and professional development. 

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Dissertation 100%

Study hours

Independent study hours
Independent study 600

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