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Understanding Arts Policy and Management


  • Credit value: 30 credits at Level 7
  • Assessment: a 1500-word essay and a 3500-word essay

Module description

The module will introduce concepts, structures and key elements of arts policy and management that are required to run arts organisations, including programming, strategic planning, budgeting and fundraising, evaluation as well as policy development and analysis of policy implementation. It covers conceptual approaches to current issues such as cultural diversity, sustainability and organisational identity and seeks answers to questions such as: What exactly are the arts and who defines them? Who are the key players in shaping arts policy? What are the current trends in arts policy and management and what are the underlying theoretical concepts influencing decision-making processes? What gets prioritised and why do governments, funders and arts organisations act in certain ways and not in others?

The module actively engages with developments across the wider arts sector and encourages you to draw upon and share your own experiences and contrast and compare examples from different arts sectors and contexts. Throughout the module sets of case studies will be discussed, analysing managerial practice through an arts policy perspective and understanding policy from an arts business point of view. The module fully encourages and fosters an international perspective and strongly welcomes assignments that focus on international issues and case studies. This module will underpin and enable your interpretations of arts policy and management in general, and facilitate your understanding of further modules.

Indicative module content

  • Money and democracy
  • Cultural diversity and leadership
  • Ideology - managing value, beliefs in arts organisations
  • Cultural identity and corporate culture
  • Policy evaluation and big data in arts organisations
  • Creative labour and management structures
  • The notion of time and memory in arts policy and management
  • Current trends in policy and managerial development
  • Case studies (good practice examples)

Learning objectives

By the end of this module, you should be able to:

  • demonstrate an understanding of, and engagement with, interdisciplinary and international approaches to arts policy and management
  • demonstrate awareness of distinct theoretical perspectives and the relations and tensions between them
  • critically analyse the way policy and management approaches intersect in practice
  • demonstrate knowledge of analytical paradigms associated with managing arts organisations.