Culture, Policy and Management MA

City University London
Course summary
2 years
9,000 GBP
Full time
Next available date: September 2020 - London

Course description

Culture, Policy and Management MA

Culture, Policy and Management MA - a City University degree programme

The Culture, Policy and Management MA is designed for graduates wanting to develop their careers in cultural policy, arts management, and the creative economy. Students will get an understanding of the independent, self-determining issues in criminal justice.

The programme emphasises on the curriculum developed in close consultation with the key cultural institutions.

Students have the liberty to choose from a range of modules and assignments catering to their specific interests.

Suitability - Who should attend?

You will need, as a minimum:

  • a lower second class honours degree or equivalent
  • an understanding of your country's cultural policy and have some relevant experience - this could be as a volunteer.

Other Suitable Qualifications

We understand that many of you will have experience of subsequent professional practice. Special consideration is given to applications from mature students without the required formal qualifications and those wishing to make a career change.

Postgraduate Preparatory Courses for International Students

If you do not qualify for direct entry, our partner INTO City University London offers an academic preparation programme - the Graduate Diploma in Business, Law and Social Science. The course offers a route to City University London through an excellent teaching and learning experience, located in purpose built study facilities. Successful completion of the Graduate Diploma at INTO City University London to the standard required provides guaranteed progression to this Masters degree.

If your first language is not English, you will need to achieve one of the following English language test scores:

  • IELTS: 6.5 (with 7.0 in the writing component and 6.5 in the other sub-categories).
  • Cambridge Proficiency grade C or above.
  • Evidence that the medium of instruction for their first degree was in English

Your English test should have been taken in the last two years.

Please note that due to changes in the UKVI's list of SELTs we are no longer able to accept TOEFL as evidence of English language for students who require a CAS as of April 2014.

INTO English Language Programmes

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this course, our partner,INTO City University Londonoffers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for entry to this degree.

Please click the links below for more information.

  • English for Postgraduate Study
  • Pre-sessional English

Applicants from the European Economic Area / Switzerland coming to study in the UK may need to apply for a visa or entry clearance to come to the UK to study. /p>

The application rules vary depending on the length of the course:

  • Students on courses of more than 6 months
  • Students on courses of less than 6 months
  • Students on a pre-sessional English Language course

Please note: If you require a Tier 4 student visa to study in the UK, you cannot undertake any City University London courses on a part-time basis.

Outcome / Qualification etc.

City's Culture, Policy and Management MA graduates find employment across all sub-sectors and occupational areas of the creative and cultural sector (UK and international), from orchestras to the art market, from film to event management, museums, fashion or consultancy; and from marketing to policy, management, outreach/education, production or fundraising.

Recent graduates went on to work in UK organisations such as:

  • Theatre Royal Stratford East
  • Southbank Centre
  • Motiroti
  • Museum of London
  • Secret Cinema
  • Sage Gateshead
  • Royal Opera House
  • Artichoke
  • Redbridge Leisure and Arts Service
  • Albion Media.

Non-UK organisations include:

  • the Radio and Television of Slovakia
  • Accenture (consultancy)
  • Unesco
  • Ultima Oslo Contemporary Music Festival
  • Qatar Museums Authority
  • Lincoln Centre for the Performing Arts
  • Hellenic History Foundation
  • Christian Dior
  • China Copyright Exchange.

Over the years many of City's Culture, Policy and Management graduates have gone on to create and run cultural management courses in Australia, Finland, Hong Kong, New York and the UK. You will be encouraged to form networks amongst your peers at City University London, which will support you throughout your career.

More information on careers support is available on our Career and Skills Development Service web pages.

Training Course Content

The MA in Culture, Policy and Management begins with three core modules during the autumn term. You will then choose four electives to study during the spring term. The MA culminates with a 15,000 word dissertation (spring and summer terms) handed in by the end of August.

The curriculum is supported by an advisory group that includes senior figures from Arts Council England, the Barbican, the Independent Theatre Council, the Museums Association, Shakespeare's Globe and the V&A.

Core modules

You take four core modules, which runs in terms 1 and 2.



Managing organisations

The module aims to develop managers who will perform competently, if not competitively, in a changing environment. Given the risks that they face, crucial issues for anyone managing a cultural organisation today include sustainability, the ability to foster solid management systems and ensure the delivery of high quality and successful cultural product. These affect all aspects of the organisation and its management. Strategic management requires that these are addressed through new forms of decision making, effective planning and ways of working.

Cultural policy

This module defines and engages the meanings, practices, and interrelation of culture to cultural policy, management, and work. It focuses on culture, the state, capital, and labour; identifies key texts that are central to current debates; and introduces students to analytical and critical skills that are fundamental to working in the cultural sector. The contemporary context is set within a historical overview of the development of cultural theory and policy practice.

Introduction to research

Cultural Managers are increasingly required to evaluate and justify the work that they do through the use of sophisticated research strategies. This module will equip students with a range of methodologies with which to carry out research and reflect on their own and others' practice. It will enable them to critique the claims made for the work of culture, and to design robust and effective research strategies. This module fulfils the University's commitment to provide opportunities for students to develop research skills, aptitudes and abilities.

Elective modules

You take four electives from the following list (Elective modules run in terms 1 and 2):

Audiences and marketing

This module introduces you to the knowledge and skills needed to consider the function of marketing in a creative and cultural organisation from a strategic perspective. In this module we explore the factors that influence arts/cultural consumption in its diverse forms and examine appropriate ways in which cultural and creative organisations market themselves effectively and productively.

Digital cultures

Digital media are fundamentally re-scripting the relationship between cultural institutions and their users. Notions of producer and consumer, authorship and authenticity are being re-evaluated and explored in ways that are creative, experimental and infinite. This not only opens up new avenues of opportunity for audience development, but simultaneously calls into question the many practices of cultural consumption. This module explores the claims being made for so-called 'new' media in culture. Are they representative of a shift toward more democratic and participatory engagement? What happens to the when and where of this engagement? How is policy changing in order to reflect this paradigm shift? What are the implications for cultural managers?

Evaluation, politics and advocacy

No previous manifestation of cultural policy, particularly UK cultural policy, has been so resolute about the importance of outcomes and accountability. Funders in both the private and public sectors now look for what difference - or impact - projects and organisations are making, and they expect evaluations to evidence effective project delivery. However, 'evidence' will also be called upon to play a role of justification and persuasion in the development of policy/programmes; which often explains the political use of evaluation results (by players from all sides) for advocacy purposes. This module critically examines the context within which impact and evaluation develop and explores the design of evaluation and impact assessments and any relevant methodological issues.

This module critically examines the context within which impact, evaluation and monitoring form different perspectives. The module also explores the design and specification of impact assessments and evaluation and any relevant methodological issues as well as the constructive use of the results of evaluation.

Fundraising in and for the cultural sector

This module considers the full range of revenue sources available and explores effective approaches to making the case for support in different funding contexts. Students are encouraged to analyse different constituencies, and to develop a typology of communication approaches, including strategies directed at local, national and international government funds, trusts and foundations, the business sector and wider influential stakeholders.

Global Cultural Industries, Ethics and Social Responsibility

In recent years increasing emphasis has been put on the economic importance of cultural industries. This module explores how this economic significance relates to the social role of the cultural sector. It deals with ethical implications and the social impact of the production of culture and resulting challenges for global cultural industries.

During the last decade it has become increasingly important for multinational companies in the cultural sector to justify the cultural, social, and environmental impact of their business practices, to design Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policies and to publish CSR reports - some have engaged in the sponsorship of cultural activity. It is therefore essential for cultural managers both in the non-profit and for-profit sector to reflect about the role of cultural organisations within society; to understand ethics and social responsibility policies; and to communicate the social impact of their activities to civil society, private investors, public funding bodies, consumers, or potentials partners and employees.

This module will focus on questions of inclusion/exclusion, inequality, power, ideology, work and environmental impacts that shape the globalised cultural industries in the 21st century.

Professional placement

The Professional Placement module gives students the opportunity to work in the cultural sector in order to practice skills acquired earlier in the programme. With guidance from the module leader, each student draws up their objectives for the placement and identifies potential placement hosts. This helps the student find an appropriate host organisation which fulfils their aims. Students carry out a programme of work supervised by a host at the organisation. The majority of work placements are based in London and embrace all cultural forms.

This module gives you the opportunity to work alongside professionals in the cultural sector in order to practice competences acquired earlier in the programme. The module comprises of two parts: part one is the preparation for the placement; part two is the placement itself.

Public culture: the politics of participation

This module considers how politics, policy and practices have worked together to shape Public culture. The concept of 'public culture' refers to a government-funded cultural sector, but also to urban space, corporate-funded mass media and general 'shared meanings' in cultural circulation. We will discuss how exclusions have been made in these domains on a variety of grounds in overt and covert ways. We will analyse challenges to such exclusions through a range of actions: from alternative cultural constructions to educational outreach programmes. We consider the strategies and impact of such initiatives in depth, alongside the changing boundaries of 'public culture' itself, and the contemporary cultural moment.

Understanding financial accounts and entrepreneurship

All arts managers need the capacity to understand the financial management of their organisations, to inform business planning and improve their capacity to deliver effectively. In a climate in which cultural organisations increasingly depend on income from a number of sources, including self-generated income, they also need to be able to draw on entrepreneurial skills.

Celebrity (Sociology)

The module examines ascribed, achieved and celetoid forms of celebrity. It will relate these forms of historical, social and economic conditions. In Celebrity Studies Alexander the Great is often referred to as the first global celebrity. He had his own public relations specialists dedicated to boosting his image. However, his celebrity is very different from that of Tom Cruise, Beyonc├® or Angelina Jolie today.

Celebrity study raises interesting methodological questions; for what the official culture values as trivial or insignificant is often pivotal and inspiring in people's lives. For example, the media are often condescending about celebrity, but research indicates that celebrities are key role models.

The module will introduce the main approaches to the study of celebrity. It will guide students through key concepts; the demand and supply side factors that have elevated celebrity in popular culture; the demand of transferable 'people skills' in a labour market dominated by service sector jobs; the multiplication of satellite and internet communication which have used celebrities as a form of 'honeymoon attraction'; and the consequences of the inflation of celebrity for celebrities and audiences.

Communication, culture and development (Sociology)

This module provides a focus on development issues and communication studies. It provides a theoretical framework on the role of communication for and in development. It also introduces students to specific themes and case studies to assess development programmes in different countries. It considers conceptual frameworks for understanding and critically assessing the role of communication for and in development projects; development within the context of globalization; and critically assesses development programmes introduced in different regions.

Popular music and society (Music)

This module examines aspects of popular music in relation to the societies in which, and for which, it was created, as well as probing social responses to popular music. You will investigate the many complex relationships between popular music and society and the ways in which the two are inextricably linked, departing from the premise that understanding the social context is an integral part of understanding the phenomenon of popular music.

International Organisations in Global Politics (International Politics)

Teaching and learning are delivered through lectures, seminars, group work, tutorials, visits, workshops, verbal and written feedback, plus personal research from a wide range of resources.


The cost of the programme is:

  • Full-time EU: £9,000
  • Part-time EU: £5,000 per year
  • Full-time Non EU: £16,000


Graduate Loyalty Discount: The School of Arts & Social Sciences offer a 10% discount on tuition fees for all City graduates.

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City University London

City University London

City, University of London is a special place. With skill and dedication, we have been using education, research and enterprise to transform the lives of our students, our community and the world for a hundred years. We are proud of...

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