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Within a rapidly changing domestic and international environment, the work of stage managers is becoming more complex and technically challenging. The entertainment and live events industries are growing rapidly and the need for skilled stage managers has never been greater. The evolving range and scope of where, and how, live entertainment is delivered leads to often difficult and sometimes contradictory demands and challenges for the stage management team. This leads to a situation where there is a need for graduates with more holistic and integrated perspectives regarding the management of entertainment and live events and the artistic, 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 effective stage managers need training that is both practical and critically reflective. It will develop your knowledge of the contemporary issues affecting the management of entertainment and live events while equipping you with the practical skills that are essential for developing a career in the field.

The course is run in partnership with The Edinburgh Stage Management School, which specialises in postgraduate vocational training and combines a  well established industry focus with successful graduate employment. It combines the best aspects of the vocational, practical and academic models.

This MA is designed as a conversion degree and we welcome applicants from non-arts related subjects. It is suitable for both graduates who wish to add a vocational stage 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.

Teaching, learning and assessment

Teaching comprises a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, case studies, simulation exercises, and projects. You will undertake  professional practice working with QMU shows and events as well as engaging with the wider industry. Your performance on the course will be assessed by essays, reports, reflective blog, portfolio, presentations and a dissertation or project (MA only). Normally, there are around six to eight students undertaking the course each year.

Teaching hours and attendance

Each module will require you to attend classes and carry out independent work. Most modules consist of five or six hours of class time each day during the teaching periods of the semester. Where possible, all teaching takes place over three days per week.

Links with industry/professional bodies

Our partnership with The Edinburgh Stage Management School ensures an active industry focus to the course with key professional  practitioners delivering master classes and practical workshops. Our location in the festival city also allows for strong practical links between the course and the many arts, festival and cultural organisations based in and around Edinburgh, across Scotland and the UK.


15 credits: Core Technical Skills for Theatre Production/ Managing Productions: Theory & Practice/ Advanced Technical Skills for Theatre Production/ Managing People & Projects 30 credits: Professional Practice 1 (15 + 15)/ Professional Practice 2 (15 + 15)

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


You will be qualified for a broad range of stage management positions within a wide spectrum of live entertainment and live events industries. Many career opportunities are open to you. Previous graduates (Edinburgh Stage Management School) have gone on to work in theatres, performing arts organisations, festivals, corporate events and ceremonies. In addition, many now tour 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 and all professions requiring skills in effective management.

Quick Facts

  • Small cohort of students working closely and collaboratively with staff
  •  Range of guest lecturers from key cultural organisations and associated industries
  • The only postgraduate course of its kind in Scotland
  •  Unique partnership with The Edinburgh Stage Management School

Visit the MA Stage Management page on the Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh website for more details!




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Recipient: Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh

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