Arts Policy and Management (MA)

Year of entry


Start date

October 2018


Central London


Fully Approved


One year full-time or two years part-time


Flexible evening study, with some daytime and Saturday sessions, October to June

This flexible Master's degree in arts policy and management is ideal if you are an arts manager wishing to develop your practice and understanding of the background, theories and principles of arts and cultural management, or if you wish to pursue a career in arts management and you satisfy other entry criteria.

The programme 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.


  • Arts and humanities courses at Birkbeck are ranked third best in London and 13th in the UK in the Times Higher Education 2016-17 World University Subject Rankings.
  • 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.
  • Benefit from links with arts and cultural organisations, including an optional work placement. 

Course structure

You must successfully complete modules worth a total of 180 credit points. You undertake compulsory, core and option modules, select a specialist pathway, and complete a dissertation.

If you are studying full-time, you take one core module and two compulsory modules, select a pathway consisting of two modules, choose one option module and complete a dissertation, all in one year.

If you are studying part-time, in Year 1, you take one core module and two compulsory modules, and select a pathway and complete one module from that pathway.

In Year 2, you choose one option module, take the second module from your chosen pathway, and write a dissertation.


Our pathways each consist of two specialist option modules that allow you to focus on, and deepen your knowledge of, an area within arts policy and management that especially interests you.

Pathways are offered in:

  • Audiences: Participation and Learning
  • Curating
  • Performing Arts.

Or you can create your own pathway, taking The Inside Out of Culture: Theories and Institutions and choosing one other module from the available option modules.

Module groups

Core module

Compulsory modules

Pathway modules: Audiences: participation and learning

Pathway modules: Create your own

Pathway modules: Curating

Pathway modules: Performing arts

Indicative option modules

MA Arts Policy and Management dissertation

Please note that not all option/pathway modules are available every year and maximum class numbers will be fixed.

You will not graduate with a specialist pathway as the title of your Master's degree.