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MA|Postgraduate Taught

Arts Management

Entry year
Entry requirements
2.2 (minimum 55%)
1 year (Full-time)
2 years (Part-time)
Places available
open (Full Time)
open (Part Time)

Our aim is to provide MA Arts Management students with:
- Advanced understanding of the subject of Arts Management
- Advanced knowledge and understanding of the most up-to-date theories and discourses in Arts Management and how these are influencing practice
- Knowledge of international trends in cultural policy and how they are affecting, and affected by the practice of Arts Management
- Essential practical skills relating to Arts Management, particularly strategic planning, financial management, business planning and engaging audiences
- A sophisticated level of critical and divergent thinking and expression
- Skills appropriate to self-directed study and independent research
- Awareness of different research methodologies and their application to the work of arts managers
- Further developed wider intellectual and transferable skills, consistent with creative thought and independent learning.

Arts Management highlights

Industry Links

We connect directly with a range of theatre companies, festivals, venues, local and central government bodies and arts development agencies to ensure that students are meeting, hearing from, and working with, professionals and policymakers.

Through these industry links students are supported to connect theory to practice and practice to theory to assist them in their future careers in an increasingly diverse field of work.

Student Experience

Belfast and Northern Ireland are home to a wide range of arts and cultural organisations leading in areas of community engagement. Guest speakers and industry professionals are a feature of the programme.

Lecturers work closely with students to ensure that their involvement with the modules and assessments on the Programme connects directly with their personal learning needs.
We provide a welcoming environment for both local and international students. Students are supported and encouraged to socialise and attend local arts events together.

We take intercultural education very seriously on the MA in Arts Management and believe that students on the MA can learn from one another as well as from their tutors and lecturers on the course.

Students have a unique opportunity to meet and work with artists studying on other MA pathways in the School.

World Class Facilities

Queen’s has a fantastic reputation for its study programmes and facilities in drama, film, creative writing and literature, music and sonic arts, and media and broadcast production. Students have access to a packed programme of events, seminars, screenings, as well as state-of-the-art facilities: from the film studio, the Queen’s Film Theatre, the Brian Friel Theatre, the Sonic Arts Research Centre, the Seamus Heaney Centre, and the Naughton Gallery.

Student Testimonials

Course Structure

As below

Core Modules

The MA consists of six core compulsory taught modules and an independent research module :

SCA7001: Engaging Audiences
SCA7002: Cultural Policy: International Perspectives
SCA 7003: Contemporary issues in Arts and Cultural Industries Management
SCA 7004: Essential Skills in Arts and Cultural Industries Management
SCA7005: Professional Development and Work Placement
SCA7006: Research in Arts and Cultural Industries Management 
SCA8001: Arts Management Dissertation/Research Project (consultancy research or academic dissertation)

Course Details

This MA is suitable for a range of participants. Early and mid-career arts managers, who wish to develop their practice and understanding of the background, theories and principles of arts and cultural management, will find this degree invaluable. While there is a focus on the publicly subsidised arts sector, the MA serves as a strong and valuable route for graduates who are interested in creating their own cultural ventures for self-employment and who are hoping to work across disciplines in the creative and cultural industries, heritage and other cultural fields. Additionally, it has proven of value for creative practitioners/artists to advance their management and business development skills.

Students completing the course in full will undertake an independent research project to fulfil the requirements of a Masters qualification. Students completing the taught component will graduate with a Postgraduate Diploma in Arts Management.

Prospective students may have additional questions about the programme.

We have built a Linktree where you can find answers to the most Frequently Asked Questions, some Open Access reading and other information:

You can use this link to find us on Twitter and LinkedIn and particularly check out our Youtube channel where you can find student presentations on independent research projects and some other interesting videos.

Training Modules

SCA 7001: Engaging Audiences, 2nd semester, year 2 for part time students
This module introduces students to key debates in both theories and practice of how the ‘public’ engage with arts and cultural experiences. Blending theoretical and strategically oriented sessions with practice-based teaching, it explores how the mode and value of engagement with the public has and continues to change rapidly.

1. Overview of audiences discourse; contemporary issues in theories of engagement, development & participation
2. Cultural rights and cultural citizenship (local & international perspectives)
3. Audiences as part of strategic management
4. Planning & tools for effective engagement (digital engagement, branding, etc)
5. Data in relation to audiences & the public
6. Evaluation, analysis & understanding the customer/consumer

SCA 7002: Cultural policy: international perspectives , 1st semester, year 2 for part time students
This module introduces students to theoretical perspectives in cultural policy with attention to its influence on arts and cultural industries management. It will explore how various historical, political, social, economic and cultural contexts and objectives shape cultural policies. It will explore how these in turn define and influence arts and cultural industries’ management and practices in different nation states, and at regional and international levels. Through this it will reveal the tensions and values at play within the cultural policy field.

1. Policymaking in relationship to arts and cultural industries management,  theories, models and approaches
2. Political regimes, cultural policy regulations and cultural rights
3. Cultural values and measurements
4. Cultural policy levels: local, (sub/supra) national
5. Intercultural and international policy and diplomacy

SCA 7003: Contemporary issues in Arts and Cultural Industries Management, 1st semester, year 1 for part time students
This module is taught in two parts to provide students with an overview of key issues in the contemporary management of the arts and cultural industries and deliver key tools and frameworks to plan and make management decisions.

Part 1:
Overview of contemporary arts and cultural management
Leadership & management
Risk and managing uncertainty

Part 2:
Strategic & critical thinking
Approaches to planning & management
Strategic Analysis tools & frameworks Models and governance structures in business

SCA 7004: Essential Skills in Arts and Cultural Industries Management, 2nd semester, year 1 for part time students *
This course is delivered using case studies. Working in groups, students will develop core business and management skills and apply them to real arts and cultural organisations.

1. Planning as Decision Making & Evaluation
2. Budgeting, cashflow and financial management
3. Essential planning, practice and techniques of fundraising and income generation
4. Risk and variables in the planning process
5. Time and Resource Management
6. Business essentials: Legal Issues
7. End of Year Accounts and the differing requirements within the private and public sector
* Students will be required to complete a pre-requisite online independent study short course in MS Excel in advance of this module. This is supplied through QUB with no additional costs.

SCA 7005: Professional Development and Work Placement, full year module (mostly 2nd semester), year 1 for part time students.

This module is designed to aid students in developing their own professional practice and supporting their translation of course research and theoretical learning into the contemporary arts and cultural workspace. It embeds some of the underpinning themes of the MA in Arts Management programme: the promotion of critical, reflective and reflexive thinking in research and practice; the opening up of discussion on international and transcultural working and how to develop diverse and equitable practices; and the practice of ethical and informed decision-making within the contemporary cultural and creative sector. As an interdisciplinary course offered to all MA students in AEL, it is specifically aimed at supporting students who are planning to work in the cultural and creative sector as both freelance and employed workers and has been structured to support the professional development of those who intend to practise as both artists and managers within their chosen field. Assessment is completed via a personal Learning Journal and a 10-minute Video Presentation.

This module includes an 18-day working placement to be completed between November and July. This is a self-organised voluntary placement supported by one-to-one advice from QUB staff. QUB supplies a list of organisations and creative businesses with relevant contact information and guides students through the process as part of their learning.

SCA 7006: Research in arts and cultural industries management, 1st semester, year 2 for part time students
This module will explore the array of epistemic and methodological considerations and decisions in doing research in the arts and cultural industries. It will also support students in preparing for their final independent research project.

Arts & cultural industries management & cultural policy research is inherently interdisciplinary, transdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary. Research in these field must therefore consider multiple epistemological approaches including but not confined to arts and humanities: political science, sociology, management studies, cultural studies. Additionally, the field often draws on both academic and practice-based research influenced from within and outside academia. Content will include:

1. Key concepts (ontology, epistemology, structures of research and discourses, literature review)
2. Research planning: proposal development and literature review
3. Project management and research ethics
4. Research methodologies: quantitative and qualitative methods, modes of analysis
5. Data collection and analysis

SCA8001 Arts Management Dissertation/Research Project, Semester 3 (Summer)
Once students have completed the taught modules, they undertake an independent research project with professional and academic supervision. These projects must be theoretically situated in academic literature and compliant with university policies. Students choose one of two options:

a. Academic Dissertation

Devise and complete an original written academic dissertation on a pre-approved topic related to arts & cultural industries management and cultural policy.
Students completing their dissertation may choose a number of forms including but not confined to:
• Critical literature review
• Qualitative/quantitative research project involving fieldwork (interviews, case studies, focus groups, surveys)
• Ethnography/autoethnography
• Policy review (engaging in policy analysis within or across a range of fields).
Topics will be approved based on viability, clarity, relevance to the field of arts & cultural industries management and cultural policy research.

b. Consultancy Research Project
Devise, conduct & report on a research project in response to a consultancy brief devised in advance with independent arts & cultural businesses and pre-approved by academic staff.
Students develop and conduct research, liaise with client organisations, and report their findings and recommendations to a defined brief and timescale (and budget if appropriate).
Examples of this might include:
• Project evaluation
• Archival work
• Historic analysis & review
• Strategic or management review relating to planning, programming, income generation
• Market research
• Participant/audience research
• Work-based project planning & delivery

People teaching you

Senior Lecturer in Creative and Cultural Industries Management


Lecturer in Arts Management and Cultural Policy


Lecturer in Arts Management


Teaching Times

Taught elements (lectures & seminars) are covered during normal working hours, usually over two consecutive days between Monday & Thursday. Optional events may take place during evenings & weekends. This is provisional and subject to ongoing changes.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning will involve a mixture of lectures & small group seminars. This is a great way to share and discuss learning with classmates and students find this approach a great way to really explore their own interests through the programme. The programme is delivered in-person although some activities are online. Significant independent study is required and QUB facilities, the McClay Library, the Graduate School and an online suite of resources are really valued by students. See our FAQs to understand the scale of independent study: There is significant input to the course from Industry guest speakers (professional arts managers, artists and cultural policymakers ), study visits, and through online discussion forums and interactive tools.

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Assessments associated with the course are outlined below:

  • Essays
  • Practical assignments (group work, case study analysis, etc.)
  • Presentations (digital and in-person, group and individual)
  • Independent Research Project (assessed by written dissertation or written research report + presentation)




The information below is intended as an example only, featuring module details for the current year of study (2023/24). Modules are reviewed on an annual basis and may be subject to future changes – revised details will be published through Programme Specifications ahead of each academic year.

  • Year 1

    Core Modules

    Engaging Audiences (20 credits)

Entrance requirements


Normally a strong 2.2 Honours degree (with minimum of 55%) or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University in Arts, Humanities, Management, Social Sciences or a cognate discipline.

A 2.2 Honours degree below 55% (or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University) may be considered if an applicant can demonstrate relevant work experience as an artist or in the field of arts administration. Exceptionally, applicants who do not hold a 2.2 Honours degree and who possess relevant experience may be permitted the opportunity to demonstrate achievement at an equivalent level, for example, this could be in a senior management role in an arts/cultural organisation.

The University's Recognition of Prior Learning Policy provides guidance on the assessment of experiential learning (RPEL). Please visit for more information. Candidates seeking consideration of prior experience should upload a 2-page CV and written statement of no more than 2 pages.

Applicants are advised to apply as early as possible and ideally no later than 16th August 2024 for courses which commence in late September. In the event that any programme receives a high number of applications, the University reserves the right to close the application portal. Notifications to this effect will appear on the Direct Application Portal against the programme application page.

International Students

Our country/region pages include information on entry requirements, tuition fees, scholarships, student profiles, upcoming events and contacts for your country/region. Use the dropdown list below for specific information for your country/region.

English Language Requirements

Evidence of an IELTS* score of 7.0, with not less than 6.5 in any component, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University is required. *Taken within the last 2 years.

International students wishing to apply to Queen's University Belfast (and for whom English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their course of study or research. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for English language for visa purposes.

For more information on English Language requirements for EEA and non-EEA nationals see:

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.

  • Academic English: an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level
  • Pre-sessional English: a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English.



Career Prospects


This MA in Arts Management will be of benefit for careers within the arts sector, in academia and in areas of public policy. It will also provide a strong foundation for individuals looking to start their own cultural initiatives.

Employment after the Course

Former students have secured work in a range of arts and cultural organisations, ranging from theatre companies, venues, to digital publishing companies. In addition, a number have been employed within industry development agencies, local government arts offices or have established/further developed their own independent companies. Students regularly go on to develop PhD studies in Northern Ireland and abroad. See our FAQs for more details:

Graduate Plus/Future Ready Award for extra-curricular skills

In addition to your degree programme, at Queen's you can have the opportunity to gain wider life, academic and employability skills. For example, placements, voluntary work, clubs, societies, sports and lots more. So not only do you graduate with a degree recognised from a world leading university, you'll have practical national and international experience plus a wider exposure to life overall. We call this Graduate Plus/Future Ready Award. It's what makes studying at Queen's University Belfast special.

Tuition Fees

Northern Ireland (NI) 1 £7,300
Republic of Ireland (ROI) 2 £7,300
England, Scotland or Wales (GB) 1 £9,250
EU Other 3 £21,500
International £21,500

1EU citizens in the EU Settlement Scheme, with settled status, will be charged the NI or GB tuition fee based on where they are ordinarily resident. Students who are ROI nationals resident in GB will be charged the GB fee.

2 EU students who are ROI nationals resident in ROI are eligible for NI tuition fees.

3 EU Other students (excludes Republic of Ireland nationals living in GB, NI or ROI) are charged tuition fees in line with international fees.

All tuition fees quoted relate to a single year of study unless stated otherwise. Tuition fees will be subject to an annual inflationary increase, unless explicitly stated otherwise.

More information on postgraduate tuition fees.

Additional course costs

There are no specific additional course costs associated with this programme.

There are no specific additional course costs associated with this programme. Applicants should ensure they have funds to cover occasional expenses for cultural visits as well as allowances for photocopying/printing.

All Students

Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies.

Students can borrow books and access online learning resources from any Queen's library. If students wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow them from the University Library, prices per text can range from £30 to £100. Students should also budget between £30 to £75 per year for photocopying, memory sticks and printing charges.

Students undertaking a period of work placement or study abroad, as either a compulsory or optional part of their programme, should be aware that they will have to fund additional travel and living costs.

If a programme includes a major project or dissertation, there may be costs associated with transport, accommodation and/or materials. The amount will depend on the project chosen. There may also be additional costs for printing and binding.

Students may wish to consider purchasing an electronic device; costs will vary depending on the specification of the model chosen.

There are also additional charges for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.

How do I fund my study?

The Department for the Economy will provide a tuition fee loan of up to £6,500 per NI / EU student for postgraduate study. Tuition fee loan information.

A postgraduate loans system in the UK offers government-backed student loans of up to £11,836 for taught and research Masters courses in all subject areas. Criteria, eligibility, repayment and application information are available on the UK government website.

More information on funding options and financial assistance - please check this link regularly, even after you have submitted an application, as new scholarships may become available to you.

International Scholarships

Information on scholarships for international students, is available at



How to Apply

Apply using our online Postgraduate Applications Portal and follow the step-by-step instructions on how to apply.

Apply now

When to Apply

The deadline for applications is normally 30th June 2021. In the event that any programme receives a high volume of applications, the university reserves the right to close the application portal earlier than 30th June deadline. Notifications to this effect will appear on the Direct Entry Portal (DAP) against the programme application page.

Terms and Conditions

The terms and conditions that apply when you accept an offer of a place at the University on a taught programme of study.
Queen's University Belfast Terms and Conditions.

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