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Arts Policy and Management (MA/PGCert)

Course Description

This Master's degree in arts policy and management is designed for existing arts managers who wish to develop their practice and understanding of the background, theories and principles of arts and cultural management, or for those who wish to pursue a career in arts management and who satisfy other entry criteria.

It explores the requirements and benefits of strategic management, balancing theory and practice within the context of the prevailing social, political, economic and technological environments. It focuses on public and voluntary sector arts organisations, but also addresses key commercial sector issues.

Why study this course at Birkbeck?

Arts and humanities courses at Birkbeck are ranked third best in London and 11th in the UK in the Times Higher Education 2015-16 World University Subject Rankings.
Benefit from links with arts and cultural organisations, including an optional work placement.
Specialise according to your interest with a choice of specialist pathways.
Flexible study pattern with a mixture of evening and daytime study options.
We offer a range of resources and student support to help you while you're studying with us.

Our research

Birkbeck is one of the world’s leading research-intensive institutions. Our cutting-edge scholarship informs public policy, achieves scientific advances, supports the economy, promotes culture and the arts, and makes a positive difference to society.

Birkbeck’s research excellence was confirmed in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, which placed Birkbeck 30th in the UK for research, with 73% of our research rated world-leading or internationally excellent.

In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), Art and Design at Birkbeck achieved 100% for a research environment supporting world-leading or internationally excellent research.

Visit the Arts Policy and Management (MA/PGCert) page on the Birkbeck, University of London website for more details!

All Available Videos:

(Student Profile)

Camila Villegas

4050.jpg 2015 recipient of Santander scholarship

Why did you want to make the change of career path from graphic design into arts education and cultural management?

‘Colombia is a developing country and in the past few years we have been progressing a lot in terms of it being an easier place to live in, the economy is rising and we’re doing better in terms of getting rid of political problems. Culture and the arts are a majorly important in our society, and the importance is growing, so I wanted the knowledge to be able to contribute to that growth when I go back.’

How did you find the visa application process to come to the UK?

‘It was nerve-wracking because it’s like you are already mentally in the UK, but there are so many things you need to do to make it a reality. But having come through it successfully, I feel like I could now go on to be the manager of some big company – it’s like I’ve already graduated! (Laughs) But having said that, I did feel really supported through the process by the university.’

What kind of support did Birkbeck give you?

‘It was mainly information: what to do, what the next steps are, general advice and so on.’

How did it feel being selected for the Santander scholarship?

‘I was really happy. I felt very proud of myself. It has meant so much to me, it essentially meant that I could come here. I couldn’t have afforded it otherwise.’

How are you finding Birkbeck’s learning environment?

‘My teachers here have been really supportive, and have always been available to help me. It has been a major shift for me educationally, because British education is very theoretical and I hadn’t experienced that much before. So it’s been challenging. For example, I didn’t do a dissertation at my last university; it was just projects and portfolios. I had never done research before, and it’s been a while since I have done essays, so it’s been a challenge, but I feel there’s a lot of support here.’

(Student Profile)

Ching-Yi Huang

4120.jpg 'I was working at a museum in Kent. It was a great place but it had serious management problems; we had the expertise but couldn't put anything into practise. This made me consider the proper way things should be run and I decided to study for an Arts Policy and Management MA at Birkbeck.'

'My interest is Chinese art and auction houses in particular. The MA course was perfect for me, as it was a good balance of academic and practical work. During the year I also worked at three auctions in Taiwan and Hong Kong and undertook an amazing three month internship in the Chinese Art Department at the world famous auction house, Sotheby's in London. This gave me a great insight into the professional arts world and an in depth knowledge of a specialist subject area.'

'The MA at Birkbeck broadened my vision and increased my flexibility for the job market and I am now taking a PhD in Chinese Art. After my PhD, I plan to go back to Taiwan. The skills I have learnt here in the UK can be transferred from the academic to the commercial sector and should be very beneficial to my career.'


Postgraduate Support Scheme for final-year undergraduates (full-time) - 20+ Awards

We are pleased to announce that, for October 2015 entry, Birkbeck has a limited number of new £10,000 postgraduate scholarships. These scholarships are for students progressing from a full-time undergraduate degree to a part-time Master’s degree starting in 2015/16.

Value of Scholarship(s)



To be eligible for the scholarship you must be:Starting a 2-year part-time taught Master’s degree in 2015/16
Domiciled in the UK/EU
Progressing from an undergraduate course for which you were charged the higher tuition fee (applicable since 2012–13)
Studying at postgraduate Master’s level for the first time

Application Procedure

If you want to apply for this support, you must follow these steps:Submit an application for your intended course
Submit an application for the Postgraduate Support Scheme

Further Information


Entry Requirements

You should have a good honours degree in an arts subject, or a good honours degree in any subject together with experience of administration/management in an arts/cultural organisation, or 3 years’ relevant experience, for example in a senior management role in an arts/cultural organisation. On the basis of prior learning and achievement, exemption may be possible for up to 50% of Year 1 elements of the MA. The requirement for this programme is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 7.0, with not less than 6.5 in each of the sub-tests.

Course Fees

Part-time home/EU students: £ 3975 pa Full-time home/EU students: £ 7950 pa

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