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MA Arts, Festival and Cultural Management

Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh

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Course options

  • Qualification

    MA - Master of Arts

  • Location

    Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh

  • Study mode

    Full time

  • Start date

    SEP-21, JAN-22

  • Duration

    1 year

Course summary

This MA is the only postgraduate degree of its kind in Scotland. It is designed as a conversion degree and we welcome applications from those who have not studied management previously. The course’s flexible study options and diverse curriculum make it particularly suitable if you are already working in the sector or wish to do so while studying.

How will arts and cultural managers shape the futures of their fields? This course will help you become the person to answer that question. On this long-established and forward-thinking MA you will graduate with a better understanding of the management of cultural organisations and the individual factors that influence the environment in which they function.

Why QMU?

  • This is a flexible course that lets you develop your skills and gain valuable new knowledge while working.
  • Enjoy the support of staff and encouragement of fellow students. Our small class sizes are perfect for sharing experiences and fostering new ideas.
  • Real-world assignments are designed to develop and consolidate your new key skills.
  • Learn on a campus just six minutes by train from the heart of the world’s greatest festival city.

Course overview

This course is suitable for graduates who wish to add a vocational management emphasis to their first degree and for those with equivalent professional qualifications or experience. You may find it particularly suitable if you studied the arts and humanities at undergraduate level and want to move into arts and cultural management. The course also works well for people with significant workplace experience who want to gain a formal qualification in a flexible manner.

The work of arts and cultural managers is becoming more complex and significant in our rapidly changing domestic and international environment. Cultural organisations and festivals are in a period of fundamental, pervasive and long-term change; managers must deal with a host of dramatic and often contradictory demands and challenges. There is a growing need for graduates with more holistic and integrated perspectives regarding the management of cultural organisations and the political, economic, social and environmental conditions in which they function.

This course has been developed in response to this need and is rooted in a belief that great leaders in the cultural sector will recognise the value of management while acknowledging that approaches may need to be adapted to meet the particularities of cultural organisations and festivals.

Exit awards

MA (180 credits)/ PgDip (120 credits)/ PgCert (60 credits)

Teaching, learning and assessment

Teaching comprises a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, case studies, simulation exercises, field trips and projects, as well as a period of industry-based learning. Assessment throughout the course will take a variety of forms, including essays, reports, exams, group and individual presentations, as well as a dissertation or project for the final MA component.


You will be qualified for a broad range of management positions within a wide spectrum of cultural organisations and festivals. Previous graduates have gone on to work in theatres, performing arts organisations, galleries, local government and cultural agencies. In addition, many now work in festivals within the UK, Europe and internationally. Potential careers might include producing, fundraising, marketing, programming or audience development, as well as many other roles across the cultural industries.

Tuition fees

Students living in United States
(international fees)

£ 14,500per year

Tuition fees shown are for indicative purposes and may vary. Please check with the institution for most up to date details.

University information

Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh

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  • Campus address

    Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, Queen Margaret University Drive, Musselburgh, Edinburgh, EH21 6UU, Scotland

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