MA Arts and Cultural Management


Program Description

Gain the key skills to work in the cultural sector, a thorough grounding in cultural policy and theory with practical management skills and work experience.

Who is it for: our students range from those who come straight from an undergraduate degree to those already working in the cultural sector; full-time or part-time options enable you to study alongside work and other commitments.

Through four core modules followed by a dissertation or project, you are encouraged to explore a wide range of topics, including:

  • the arts funding environment
  • the impact of heritage and regeneration policies on regional and national identity
  • the role of arts engagement in education, health and prison settings
  • how issues of diversity are played out in museums

Build your knowledge and skills and grow in confidence, becoming a more critical and independent learner, through lectures, seminars, discussion with guest speakers and an applied management project with a partner organisation.

Be supported to secure relevant work experience throughout the course with a range of organisations such as Museums Sheffield, Sheffield Industrial Museums, Sheffield Theatres, Site Gallery or one of the region’s many festivals. Work experience forms a compulsory part of your final dissertation or project.

Take up the opportunity to go on study visits to locations around the UK, with organised talks and discussions with sector professionals from visual arts, performing arts, heritage, learning and participation organisations.

Assessment is through individual assignments including essays, reports and presentations. A group project responding to a live brief from a partner organisation enables you to further extend your academic and professional skills. Support is provided to help you to develop your skills for academic and professional contexts.

In order to develop effective practitioners, the course balances practical elements such as learning, application and evaluation of creative sector management skills with core academic elements such as the study of the history and theory of cultural policy development in the UK and internationally.



All taught modules are of equal weight [30 credits each] and are followed by a dissertation of 15,000 words (60 credits) for those proceeding to MA level.

The Research Methods module prepares students for progression to the Dissertation. Both the research and dissertation modules provide the opportunity for students to put into practice their learning, research skills and expertise in relation to a substantial piece of work in the field of cultural policy and management. It also prepares them for further postgraduate study (PhD).

Core modules:

Cultural Policy

The module equips students to assess critically the key conceptual, socio-political and historical issues facing cultural sector managers to a level that can be used in the professional practice of policy-making. Students explore how policy is made and its impacts, through historical and contemporary literature, reporting and discussion.

Culture and Identity

This module provides students with a thorough critical understanding of theories and practices that have shaped the history of cultural policies in the context of national identity and globalisation, and how these debates have impacted upon cultural practice and management. Students explore and reflect upon the moral and ethical implications of these debates for both professionals and audiences, equipping them with the professional skills to present and discuss these issues in appropriate formats.

Management of Cultural Organisations

This module addresses managers’ needs to be able to implement policy decisions within organisations that operate in arts and culture. The specific nature of ‘the art experience’ creates its own demands on management. With the ability to draw both on developing literature in this field and on students’ own experiences, this module discusses management practice and its quality in a professional context. The development of critical perspectives that can build on students’ experience and knowledge of the arts is appropriate to Masters degree level.

Research Methods & Skills for the Cultural Sector

This module is concerned not only with the process of research, but also with the complex issues of initiating and selecting appropriate research, and the important ethical issues involved in social research. The cultural sector relies heavily on research for its development: an ability to conduct, commission and evaluate research findings is essential for cultural managers. The module also serves as a pathway to the dissertation for MA students; the assessed work can be an evaluation of the method for the dissertation topic.

Dissertation or Project (MA Arts & Cultural Management)

This is the final stage of the award and reflects the student's ability to both undertake sustained independent research and demonstrate a high level of analytical and conceptual skills. Work experience is a mandatory part of this module.


2019 entry requirements

Normally a degree (2.2 or above) or equivalent in any subject. Professional qualifications and relevant experience can also be taken into account. You may also be able to claim credit points which can reduce the amount of time it takes to complete your qualification at Sheffield Hallam. Find out more

Overseas applicants from countries whose first language is not English must normally produce evidence of competence in English. An IELTS score of 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in all skills (or equivalent) is the standard for non-native speakers of English. If your English language skill is currently below this level we recommend you consider a Sheffield Hallam University Pre-sessional English course which will enable you to achieve an equivalent English level.



Previous graduates of this course have gone on to work for a range of cultural organisations in the UK and internationally, including:

  • Hull 2017 UK City of Culture
  • BBC CBeebies
  • Yorkshire Sculpture Park
  • The Royal Armouries, Leeds
  • Bristol Old Vic
  • Sheffield Industrial Museums Trust
  • Birmingham BE Festival
  • The Poetry Company, Sheffield
  • The Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Newcastle upon Tyne
  • Guanfu Museum, Beijing
  • New Jerusalem Museum, Moscow


Where will I study?

At City Campus, located in the heart of Sheffield, within minutes of the train and bus stations.


Duration and fees

  • Start date: September or January
  • Duration: 12 months Full time or 24 months part-time
  • Fees:
    • International students starting full-time study in 2019/20 is £13,500 for the course.
    • EU students starting full-time study in 2019/20 is £7,200 for the course.


There is no fixed application deadline for most postgraduate courses, but you should submit your application form to us as soon as possible as courses do fill up. International (non-EU) students also need to allow for time to apply for a visa. There are more details on our dedicated how to apply webpage.

Last updated Jul 2019

About the School

Sheffield Hallam University is a welcoming community of students and staff from more than 120 countries. We offer exceptional teaching across 700 programmes at foundation, undergraduate, postgraduate ... Read More

Sheffield Hallam University is a welcoming community of students and staff from more than 120 countries. We offer exceptional teaching across 700 programmes at foundation, undergraduate, postgraduate and research degree level. With more than 31,000 students, we are among the largest universities in the UK. Read less