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 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.
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.
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.
Interview: You can apply between October to May. Places are offered on a first come, first served basis and applicants are advised to apply as early as possible. Interviews are usually held between January to June. The personal statement should include: reasons why the applicant feels drawn to the profession of music therapy; specific musical skills; and details of relevant experience within caring professions. Some applicants will be asked to attend for audition and interview. This will usually include group improvisation with other applicants and an individual audition in which the applicant will: play prepared pieces; improvise on a given theme; and sing a short song of their own choice, if voice is not main study. The interview will assess each applicant’s personal suitability for this profession, ability to reflect, and readiness for the demands that the course entails. For overseas applicants, auditions and interviews may be conducted by Skype.
Criminal Records Check: A satisfactory criminal records check will be required
The theoretical focus of this course encompasses psychodynamic, humanistic, developmental and music-centred approaches to music therapy. Some lectures in theoretical studies are shared with students from the MSc Art Psychotherapy. The training is designed to prepare students for work with vulnerable children, adolescents and adults with a wide range of needs, including learning disabilities and mental health needs.
Teaching includes practical and academic elements with an emphasis on experiential learning and teaching methods, including lectures, seminars and tutorials. Assessments are both practical and written. The following areas are covered:
Placements include work in a variety of settings and are organised by QMU. In Level One, practice placement is with a music therapist, one day per week from October to March. In Level Two, students attend practice placement two days per week in both semesters and work in a more autonomous way. Students are required to meet costs for travel to placement. Personal development is fundamental to therapeutic training and it is a course requirement (and requirement by the Health and Care Professions Council) that students attend regular personal therapy throughout the course, with a minimum of 40 hours attendance. This work is non-assessed and students are required to cover the cost.
Each module requires you to attend classes at QMU and to study independently. Attendance requirements at QMU will depend on the module. In Level One students attend QMU on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. In Level Two, classes are on a Thursday. Practice placement days are additional.
Part of our strength comes from our location. Being based in Edinburgh means that the course has been developed over time in cooperation with key national cultural agencies and other bodies with a strategic interest in the development of arts organisations and festivals. 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. The course is validated by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).
Level 1: Practice Placement 1/ Interdisciplinary Studies 1/ Therapeutic Skills and Interpersonal Learning/ Research Methods (all 30 credits)
Level 2: Practice Placement 2/ Interdisciplinary Studies 2 and Interpersonal Learning (both 30 credits), plus Professional project (60 credits)
On graduation you will be eligible for registration with HCPC, and will be qualified to apply for work in organisations such as the NHS, education, charitable bodies, social services, or in the private sector. Music therapists are employed throughout the health, education and community sectors. Registered music therapists are eligible for full membership of the British Association for Music Therapy.
Most of our graduates have found employment within care homes, schools, the NHS, and charities including Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy in Scotland. Many others have become successful freelance practitioners.