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Arts Management MA

Learn about the course below

Arts Management MA

January 2021
1 year full-time
2 years part-time
£9,700 (UK/EU) *
£14,000 (INT) *
Course leader
Zuleika Beaven

We’re planning to teach through a flexible combination of online and face to face learning as we start the new academic year. If you’re thinking about starting in autumn 2020, there’s more detail on how we’ll deliver your course below, and in particular on the ‘Teaching’ tab under ‘Teaching and learning – changes for students in 2020’.

This course is no longer accepting applications for 2020 entry. The next entry is January 2021

Arts Management is a complex and exciting discipline. Once mastered, it provides you with skills that can be applied to many areas of the arts and reach audiences in evermore innovative ways. Explore strategic, collaborative, and pioneering approaches with this challenging MA, which will equip you with the contemporary knowledge, research skills and business acumen you need to succeed worldwide.

Why study MA Arts Management at Middlesex University?

At Middlesex, we recognise that there are a wide range of career paths and further study options for those with an interest in Arts Management. That's why we developed our course to be flexible and interdisciplinary, with options to tailor your MA to suit your individual interests and needs, whether that's arts marketing, events, communications, entrepreneurship or further study beyond this programme.

You’ll be taught by leading practitioners and academics from our Business School and Media and Performing Arts departments, with opportunities to collaborate with students across a range of disciplines and tasks. Through a combination of theoretical and practical learning you'll develop a critical understanding of arts management in practice and the impact of research on audiences and industries worldwide

Course highlights

  • The management skills you’ll be developing will enhance your employability in a competitive industry whilst the design of the programme allows you to develop your own unique specialisms across the field
  • As part of the course, you’ll experience field trips and access to key arts organisations across London and the UK, such as Kings Place, the Roundhouse, Shakespeare’s Globe and the Southbank Centre
  • When possible you’ll be taught by academics who are actively engaged in industries and research, ensuring that you have access to original findings, emerging theories and contemporary debates
  • You’ll be able to enjoy our well-established evening series of performances, lectures and masterclasses from leading academics and practitioners the creative industries
  • As a student of this course you'll receive a free electronic textbook for every module.

Find out more

Sign up now to receive more information about studying at Middlesex University London.

What will you study on the MA Arts Management?

MA Arts Management covers key subjects related to the management and structure of the arts and cultural industries, with a particular focus on the relationships between creativity and management.

There are three compulsory modules on this course and a range of additional module options covering more specialist areas of Arts Management. To complete your MA you will take a 60 credit Independent Project module, with guidance from a supervisor you will produce a research or practical project of considerable depth and complexity.


We’ve made temporary changes to some course modules for students starting in 2020 in response to the coronavirus outbreak. If you’re applying to start this course or progressing into year one, two or three this autumn, there’s information on these updates below.

  • Core modules

    • Arts Management in Practice (30 credits) ​- Compulsory

      This module aims to introduce the internal and external environments for arts management practice, including shifting global trends and the arts ecosystem. You will study organisational structures and cultures and how this impacts up arts management. This module is taught in Terms 1 and 2

    • Arts and Music Marketing and Finance (30 credits) ​- Compulsory

      This module deals with the changing ways arts organisations raise income to support activity, and it covers commercial, public and philanthropic income and how to communicate and build relationships with these different funders, investors and customers. This module is taught in Terms 1 and 2.

    • Independent Project (60 credits) ​- Compulsory ​​

      This is a double module that allows high level enquiry into your chosen area of arts management practice through traditional academic research or practice-based enquiry. This might include a practical project or placement inside an arts organisation. This module is introduced from Term 1 and formally taught in Term 3 for full-time students (Term 6 for part-time), with a deadline in early October of your final year of study.

  • Optional modules – changes for students in 2020 – choose two:

    • Cultural Events Management (30 credits) ​- Optional

      This module is designed to introduce the practice and theory of arts event management to those with no prior experience. This module is taught experientially and will involve running two or more live events during the year through team work, and therefore may be most suitable for full-time students.

    • Digital Marketing for the Creative Industries (30 credits) ​- Optional ​

      Further information to follow.

    • Working with the Creative Industries (30 credits) ​- Optional ​

      This module is studied jointly with interactive design students and examines the nature of work in the creative industries and how to work as a freelancer. It involves developing a business plan for one of the assessments. It is taught intensively in Term 2.

    • Media Management in Practice (30 credits) ​- Optional ​​

      Further information to follow.

    • New Ventures in the Creative Economy (30 credits) ​- Optional ​

      This module is concerned with both entrepreneurship and the creative economy. You will think critically about the challenges and opportunities facing new ventures in the sector, both in terms of specific business models and the broader socio-economic context.

  • Optional modules – typical course content – choose two:

    • Cultural Events Management (30 credits) ​- Optional

      This module is designed to introduce the practice and theory of arts event management to those with no prior experience. This module is taught experientially and will involve running two or more live events during the year through team work, and therefore may be most suitable for full-time students.

    • Directions in Creative Technology and Digital Media (30 credits) ​- Optional ​

      This module is highly practical involving product design and is most suitable for students with a design background. It is studied with students on the interactive media programme. It is taught intensively in Term 1.

    • Working with the Creative Industries (30 credits) ​- Optional ​

      This module is studied jointly with interactive design students and examines the nature of work in the creative industries and how to work as a freelancer. It involves developing a business plan for one of the assessments. It is taught intensively in Term 2.

    • Creative Start-ups (30 credits) ​- Optional ​​

      This module is jointly taught with the Creative Entrepreneurship programme that focuses on understanding the process of developing and starting a creative business. It will include a combination on contextual and practical study and is most suitable for students who are planning a venture in the near future (perhaps for your Independent Project).

    • Media and Creative Industries (30 credits) ​- Optional ​​

      This module is studied jointly with Media Management students and is a theoretical and contextual module that explores contemporary shifts in the wider creative industries and how this impacts upon practice in our field. It is taught intensively in Term 1.

    • Digital Marketing (15 credits) ​- Optional ​

      This module and the Strategic Marketing Communications module (below) must be studied as a 30 credit pair across Terms 1 and 2. These modules are delivered by the Business School and are studied with Marketing students, they explore aspects of marketing communications, including using emerging digital approaches.

    • Strategic Marketing Communications (15 credits) ​- Optional ​​​

      This module and the Digital Marketing module (above) must be studied as a 30 credit pair across Terms 1 and 2. These modules are delivered by the Business School and are studied with Marketing students, they explore aspects of marketing communications, including using emerging digital approaches.

More information about this course

See the course specification for more information about typical course content outside of the coronavirus outbreak:

Optional modules are usually available at levels 5 and 6, although optional modules are not offered on every course. Where optional modules are available, you will be asked to make your choice during the previous academic year. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module,  or there are staffing changes which affect the teaching, it may not be offered. If an optional module will not run, we will advise you after the module selection period when numbers are confirmed, or at the earliest time that the programme team make the decision not to run the module, and help you choose an alternative module.

If you’re interested in January 2021 courses, we will provide more information on plans for teaching and learning in the coming months.

How will the MA Arts Management be taught?

As a student on our MA Arts Management you’ll be learning with our expert and diverse team through a blend of industry masterclasses and tutorials as well as the following methods:


Interactive seminars and problem-based learning are at the heart of the approach on this MA. You will take an active learning approach in class, discussing your reading and project work with your fellow students and tutors, analysing case studies and applying theoretical approaches to real world problems


Specialist staff will work with you to develop your independent practice and vocational skills.

Team working

This essential skill for succeeding in a highly networked industry is embedded in most of the modules on the MA. Teams work with arts sector clients and contacts to develop professional projects, and build your professional network from the moment your begin your MA study

You will be taught by practitioners, academics, and industry professionals from a range of creative industries and departments across the University. With a growing reputation for world-leading research in media, the arts, business, law and performance, you’ll benefit from our teaching staff’s influence in the industry, with regular guest-lectures from high-profile creative business leaders and access to the very latest theories and debates on professional practices in Arts Management.


We’re planning to deliver our assessment in a similar way to previous years. We will review this regularly, and let you know in advance of your assessment if we need to make any changes.

There are no exams on the MA Arts Management. Instead assessment prepares you for work in the cultural industries, including developing research skills, report writing, delivering presentations, working in teams and completing practical projects. The Independent Project module can be completed through dissertation or through a combination of written and practical work, for example an internship or completion of a practical industry project.

Teaching and learning

Changes for students in 2020

If you’re starting university in 2020, we’ll be teaching you in different ways to make sure you get the best learning experience possible. You’ll learn through live sessions with teaching staff and have the chance to study independently too, with access to all the online resources you need through our globally available student portal.

We’re planning different scenarios for teaching so that we can be flexible. While we’re social distancing, we’re aiming to teach you through some small group sessions on campus, with other interactive teaching as well as larger lectures delivered online and recorded sessions available to you on-demand. If you’re unable to make it to campus at first, or we need to limit access to campus in the future, your course can be delivered fully online.

The table below shows current plans for your learning across a typical week, including scheduled live online teaching and an indication of what we hope to teach face to face, where you can make it to campus. While some weeks might look different to this, due to how we schedule classes and make arrangements for any face to face sessions (for example, in some cases these could take place every two weeks with an increased number of hours), the table gives you an idea of what to expect based on the overall number of teaching hours on your course.

You’ll receive final arrangements for your teaching and a full course timetable before you start.

Scenario 1: course delivered fully online


Live learning

Contact time per week, per level:

10 hours 
(4 modules x 2.5 hours)


Self-paced learning time

Average hours per week, per level:



On demand resources

Average hours per week, per level:


Scenario 2: course delivered with a mix of online and face to face learning with social distancing in place


Live learning

Contact time per week, per level:

5 hours


Self-paced learning time

Average hours per week, per level:



On demand resources

Average hours per week, per level:



Face-to-face sessions

Contact time per week, per level:

5 hours

Read more about our scenarios for returning to campus and what they might mean for your teaching and learning experience, and how you’ll be able to access student support.

Future plans for teaching

We’re developing our timetable for face to face teaching  with current government advice on social distancing to keep you safe. If social distancing requirements are lifted, we’ll start to safely move back towards our usual teaching arrangements with more opportunities for face to face learning. Some learning and support might stay online in this scenario. If more restrictions are put in place, or there is another lockdown, we’ll be prepared to deliver your learning and support fully online, with alternative arrangements made for any required placements. We’ll always give you notice of any changes that we make.

Definitions of terms

  • Live learning – Live learning will cover everything you’ll do with teaching staff like lectures, seminars, workshops and other classes, and we’ll schedule all of this for you. This might include some study outside your regular timetable, like taking part in discussion forums or online blogs where you’re supported by academic staff.
  • Independent learning – Independent learning is all the studying you’ll do outside your live learning sessions with teaching staff. This self-paced study will give you the chance to learn, prepare, revise and reflect in your own time as you need to, and you’ll have access to on-demand resources and materials to help you do your best.
    • Self-paced study – Self-paced study will give you the chance to learn wherever and whenever you want to and at your own pace, outside your live learning sessions. This independent learning could include reading and reflection, preparation for classes, revision or homework along with access to other online activities such as quizzes.
    • On-demand resources – You'll have access to on-demand resources like pre-recorded video lectures and workshops as part of your independent study. You’ll be able to review and revisit whenever you need to at your own pace.
  • Face to face sessions – Wherever it’s possible to do so, and we can make the necessary arrangements to ensure your safety, you’ll be able to attend scheduled sessions, workshops or appointments on campus as part of your live learning. The number of hours given in this scenario provides an indication of the number of hours of face to face learning you could expect, and a full timetable will be provided to you before the start of your course.


You’ll have a strong support network available to you to make sure you develop all the necessary academic skills you need to do well on your course.

Our support services will mainly be delivered online and you’ll have access to a range of different resources so you can get the help you need, whether you’re studying at home or have the opportunity to come to campus.

You’ll have access to one to one and group sessions for personal learning and academic support from our library and IT teams, and our network of learning experts. Our teams will also be here to offer financial advice, and personal wellbeing, mental health and disability support.

More on teaching for your subject in 2020/21

Read our guide to what’s been happening in your subject area recently and more about what to expect this autumn.

  1. UK & EU
  2. International
  3. How to apply
  1. UK & EU
  2. International
  3. Additional costs
  4. Scholarships and bursaries

How can the MA Arts Management support your career?

Our graduates are highly attractive to employers across the entire spectrum of arts and creative industries worldwide. Our graduates go onto work in such fields as management, marketing, outreach, production and fundraising. Last year our graduates took up roles running theatre outreach, doing interactive marketing and planning creative projects.

Work placements

Work placements are proven to increase your success in the job market, as well as being a fantastic experience. Work placements can be built into your Independent Project Module Last year our students were offered work placements at the Courtauld Gallery, London Chamber Music Society and Brick Lane Gallery providing them with first-hand experience whilst being supported by one of our dedicated Placement Officers throughout the process.

Dr Zuleika Beaven
Programme leader

Dr Beaven joined Middlesex University Music Department in 2014, bringing more than two decades of experience in the creative industries. Previously, she was a senior lecturer in Arts Management at the Arts University Bournemouth, teaching on the MA in Cultural Management at the University of Winchester and was a researcher in the Cultural Management Applied Research Group at the University of Greenwich. Her arts management experience ranges across a variety of art forms and both larger organisations such as the music venue Blackheath Halls and over many years as a freelancer working on events and projects with the Museum of London, Barbican, Common Ground and BBC Radio 4. Drawing on her research focus of work in the music business, Dr Beaven's PhD was a longitudinal study of musician start-ups. She also has an interest in the effects of technology on the industry and is carrying out a Research Council-funded case study of a Kickstarter-supported album recording and release.

Dr Alix Slater

Dr Slater leads the module on Arts Marketing and runs a specialist arts management consultancy. Recent clients include Darlington Theatre, The Audience Agency and York Bishop’s Palace.

Julia Haferkorn
Senior Lecturer in Music Business and Arts Management

Julia Haferkorn joined Middlesex University in 2014, after having worked in the music industry for 20 years. Initially at classical music publisher Peters Edition, she promoted the music of John Cage, Mauricio Kagel and Brian Ferneyhough. She founded the artist agency Haferkorn Associates Ltd (1998) and, with Ed McKeon, the production company Third Ear Music Ltd (2010). She has worked with a range of new music artists, including the Arditti Quartet, Apartment House, Matthew Herbert and Icebreaker, and has set up concerts and tours all over Britain and world-wide. In 2014 she was appointed Co-Artistic Director of the British Composer Awards. She has given talks, tutorials and/or lectures for Sound and Music, at the Cheltenham International Music Festival’s Composer Academy, the Finnish Institute, the University of Kent, and the Royal Academy of Music, London.

Peter Fribbins
Director of Music Programmes

Dr Fribbins is a composer whose music is performed, broadcast and recorded internationally. He studied with the German composer Hans Werner Henze and at the Royal Academy London, Royal Holloway and Nottingham universities. He has produced more than thirty concert works for a range of ensembles and orchestras, much of it widely performed and recorded, and principally published by Music Haven. He also directs a weekly series of concerts at Kings Place, London.

  • Vanessa Bramfitt

    MA Arts Management graduate, 2015

    The lecturers, staff and classmates that I have encountered throughout my time spent at Middlesex were supportive and provided a vibrant learning community. The interdisciplinary approach made it great for me to learn and work with my peers and lecturers as each had very different specialisations. The course has given me the confidence to be a positive influence in the arts and I now work as a Creative Project Planner across multiple arts and media platforms for Bauer Media.

We’ll carefully manage any future changes to courses, or the support and other services available to you, if these are necessary because of things like changes to government health and safety advice, or any changes to the law.

Any decisions will be taken in line with both external advice and the University’s Regulations which include information on this.

Our priority will always be to maintain academic standards and quality so that your learning outcomes are not affected by any adjustments that we may have to make.

At all times we’ll aim to keep you well informed of how we may need to respond to changing circumstances, and about support that we’ll provide to you.

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