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MA Arts Management

Course Description

The MA in Arts Management has been developed to take account of the significant changes taking place in the arts and across the creative industries. Working in close collaboration with sector partners the course is appropriate and adaptive to this changing and challenging environment. Their direct input will help expand your theoretical understanding and professional knowledge through hands-on experience and work-based learning.

The course offers a unique opportunity to engage with an extensive range of regional, national and international arts and cultural organization covering the full range of the creative industries from dance, theatre and music to digital creativity, the fine arts and fashion to heritage, museums and cultural tourism.

"The arts stimulate us, educate us, challenge and amuse us. They are of instrumental, as well as intrinsic, value and their social benefits are numerous and beyond doubt." [Maria Miller, Culture Sector Minister, April 2013]

Culture, the arts and the creative industries in the UK are estimated to be worth around £36 billion to our economy – our creative and cultural excellence plays a crucial role in our national identity, and is recognized globally.

In the 21st century, culture and arts policy and practice are being shaped against a background of enormous change and challenge across the creative sectors. Arts managers and administrators are instrumental in the governance and sustainability of the creative sectors. From policy makers to caretakers of arts buildings and infrastructure, from pioneers of economic innovation to leaders of excellence in creative practice, cultural leaders and managers of the arts will increasingly need to be flexible, responsive and imaginative practitioners, equally comfortable in a variety of settings, and adept at working in partnership with a wide range of organisations. They will need to be people who see the arts and culture as a vital part of the wider economy.

Bath, a relatively small city with a resident population of about 80,000, attracts over 4 million visitors every year. It hosts an annual series of internationally renowned arts and cultural festivals, has been a fashionable spa for leisure and pleasure since the 18th century, and is a World Heritage Site with a rich offering of museums and galleries. It is also a city at the heart of the South West, ideally situated between Bristol and London on the M4 high tech and creative industries ‘corridor’.


The course builds on your previous experience and background, expanding your professional arts knowledge, management skills, entrepreneurial thinking, and creative leadership skills. Designed and delivered in close collaboration with leading arts organisations, the course will provide you with the theoretical framework, appropriate skills and practical experience to meet the challenges of working in your chosen field.

The modules cover theory, critical thinking, skills development and practical experience; they have been designed to allow you to demonstrate an ability to analyse historic and current debates in and about culture and the arts; to apply this analysis to contemporary practice, structures, funding and participation; and to relate both to the complex range of activities involved in ‘managing the arts’.

The programme is offered in a modular format. You will take a mix of taught modules in the first two trimesters (120 credits), including a compulsory work-placement and complete a dissertation or placement-based project in the third trimester (60 credits). To achieve the MA you will need to complete 180 credits in total.


Trimester 1
• Arts Management in the 21st Century (core module, 30 credits)
• Management in Practice (core module, 30 credits)

Trimester 2
• Research and Writing for the Arts, Heritage and Culture (core module, 30 credits)
• Supported Placement (core module, 30 credits)

Trimester 3 (75 words per section)
• Placement Project or Research Project (option module, 60 credits)
• Heritage, Museums and Arts Management: an international perspective* (option module, 60 credits)


The course will enable you to combine academic study with placements and practical work, and to accommodate the needs of those in paid employment. Learning is encouraged through participation in a wide variety of activities including lectures, seminars, workshops, tutorials, online activity and discussion, work-based learning, and research projects. Each module will include contributions from leaders in their field, whether for short lectures or longer workshops; a number of them will continue to act as mentors and help guide you through your placement project or final dissertation. The subject for this will be developed in consultation with the course leader and, where relevant, with your placement host.

Access to key thinkers and doers is an integral part of the course. As well as reflecting on the uncertainties of the moment, the course is intended to introduce you to people who are dealing with them for real.

Face-to-face contact during tutorials and workshops is intended to encourage and facilitate peer-support and shared learning; there will be opportunities for joint and group working.


Staff on this course offer you access to a wide range of academic and practical expertise in Arts Management. We are committed to delivering the highest quality teaching and learning and the application of that learning to deliver effective practice in the workplace. There will also be a range of professional arts management practitioners from across the arts and cultural sectors who will deliver lectures and workshops, mentor students on placements and research projects, and work professionally with students on collaborative public projects.


Careers in arts management are varied and cover every cultural and artistic area. They include roles in:
• Events and venue management
• Programming events and seasons
• Audience development
• Community engagement and social inclusion
• Education and learning
• Marketing, press and communications
• Production management
• Fundraising
• Visitor services, ‘front-of-house’ management, retail services
• Managing artists and performers

The course includes a range of generic skills and opportunities that are aimed at increasing employability for our postgraduates in the voluntary sector, social enterprises, fundraising, and a wide range of administrative and management roles.

Visit the MA Arts Management page on the Bath Spa University website for more details!

Entry Requirements

Applicants will normally have a good first degree (2.1 or above) in any academic subject. Applicants without a first degree may be considered if they can demonstrate considerable relevant experience; they may be asked to attend an interview.

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