Queen Margaret University

MA in Arts, Festival and Cultural Management

Queen Margaret University Drive
Edinburgh, Scotland EH21 6UU
United Kingdom



Mr. David Stevenson

Program Goals and Objectives

Within a rapidly changing domestic and international environment, the work of arts and cultural managers is becoming more complex and significant. The creative industries are growing rapidly and patterns of cultural work are changing. Cultural organisations and festivals are in a period of fundamental, pervasive and long-term change; managers must deal with a host of dramatic, often contradictory, demands and challenges. This leads to a situation where there is a 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 effective management while acknowledging that approaches may need to be adapted to meet the particularities of cultural organisations and festivals. Through encouraging you to become critically reflective, the course will develop your knowledge of the contemporary issues affecting the management of arts organisations and festivals while equipping you with the practical management skills that are essential for developing a career in the field. Balancing theory and practice along with opportunities to gain credit for practical experience within cultural organisations, this course will provide you with the knowledge and skills to become an effective practitioner in the field.

This MA is designed as a conversion degree and we welcome applicants from non-business related subjects. It is suitable for both graduates who wish to provide a vocational management emphasis to their first degree and those with equivalent professional qualifications or experience. It is likely to be of interest to those who studied the arts and humanities at undergraduate level or those with significant workplace experience who would like to gain a formal qualification in a flexible manner.

Student Testimonials

Isabel Moura Mendes:
“The course covers all of the areas that you might face as an arts manager, so by the end you feel equipped to tackle a range of different roles. The flexibility of the final project is great and really allows you to explore something that not only interests you but will be of value for your future career.”

Shakira Bourne:
“The benefits of the MA became apparent as soon as I returned to Jamaica. Using the skills I acquired from my internship where I managed a Fringe venue and was project assistant for a children’s theatre production, combined with theory from the arts marketing and project management modules, I was able to complete a business plan for a new children’s musical theatre boot camp. I would never have been given these opportunities had I not completed the MA Arts and Cultural Management. Its strengths are its mix of practice and theory, combined with direct insights into how to tackle the challenges of the arts industry from expert practitioners.”


Taught Modules: Critical Issues in Cultural Management and Policy/ Managing Cultural Projects and Festivals*/ Strategic Management and Finance*/ Marketing Cultural Organisations and Festivals*/ Fundraising and Development in Cultural Organisations and Festivals*/ People Management, Governance and Law/ Understanding Research/ Experiential Learning

If studying for an MA, you will also complete a dissertation or project (60 credits).

*These are the modules that will be taught on the block taught PgCert route

Block Taught PgCert
We are now offering a PgCert Arts, Festival and Cultural Management taught via a block taught route.
These intensive blocks of teaching are planed to be delivered at the end of September, the
beginning of November, the end of January and the beginning of March.


Apply online at: http://www.qmu.ac.uk/courses/PGCourse.cfm?c_id=268 

Admission Requirements:

A UK honours degree or equivalent OR significant work experience in cultural organisations or festivals.

International: Where your honours degree has not been studied in English, you will be required to take an IELTS test receiving an overall score of 6.0 and no individual component score below 5.5.


Home – full-time: £4000

Home – part-time: £440 per 15 credit module

Home – part-time, dissertation: £880

International – full-time: £11000

International – part-time: £1200 per 15 credit module

International – part-time dissertation: £2400