Our MA Arts and Project Management course helps you explore how arts organisations, cultural spaces, and visual and performing arts projects are managed in different social, political and economic environments.
You will strengthen your knowledge and awareness of arts policies in different regional, national and international circumstances while gaining advanced organisational and marketing skills. This prepares you for life as a professional project manager, a PhD researcher or to work in other career sequels.
This stimulating course offers you a specialist education in Arts and Project Management. You will be encouraged to develop your knowledge and understanding in order to be effective in managing and promoting the arts within contemporary culture.
There is scope to work on live projects with external clients such as Selfridges and you will benefit from our close links with Ikon, Eastside Projects, New Art Gallery Walsall, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, and the lively alternative arts scene including: The Lombard Method, Grand Union, Trove, Stryx and MSFAC.
Our academic staff team is highly experienced. Programme leader, Beth Derbyshire has 20 years’ experience working in the creative industries as an inter-disciplinary artist and Creative Director in Design and Brand Development.
The staff team has national and international research profiles including the artist/curator, Mona Casey who has extensive experience in the creative industries and Kathryn Burns who supports entrepreneurs and small arts businesses.
You will be located at Birmingham School of Art (Margaret Street), a fine example of Venetian Gothic architecture and an impressive purpose built Grade I listed art school.
“Studying on the Arts and Project Management course has given me a combination of professional skills with industry knowledge and I now feel that I would be an asset to an arts organisation. I have met a number of professionals who have been visiting lecturers, and their insight into the sector has inspired me further.” Alice Leeman
Year on year our programme has achieved high rankings and favourable responses in the Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES). Overall full time student satisfaction in the Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES) 2015- 16 for Art-based Masters programmes was 82%.
The school achieved high scores in areas such as staff enthusiasm and support, enhancement of academic abilities, research skills development, student experience and quality of delivery.
We also achieved high levels of achievement and success in other areas such as 42% of our students graduating with Commendation and 47% of our students graduating with Distinction. The survey results also reflected high levels of employment and employability as a result of studying the course.
Visit our School site for more student work and extra information.
Our students have gone on to work with companies such as:
You may be able to take advantage of the government’s plans to make loans of up to £10,280 available for postgraduate study.
BA (Hons) Degree in Fine Art or Art and Design, or other Arts-based Degree course or related subject. The minimum academic qualification required is a 2:2 award. Those with equivalent prior professional or life experience will also be considered.
|MA||Sep 2018||FT||1 year||£6,900 per year|
|MA||Sep 2018||PT||2 years||£3,450 per year|
If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form instead.
|MA||Sep 2018||FT||1 year||£12,000 per year|
If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form instead.
The University reserves the right to increase fees in line with inflation based on the Retail Prices Index or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament.
UK / EU students are required to submit a personal statement as part of their application for this course.*
Your postgraduate personal statement is going to shine a light on your personal experience, academic success, personal skills and any other factors that will support your application for further study.
Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:
Studying a postgraduate course usually means you want to specialise in something. So what’s driving you?
Show that you’ve researched the course offering. What is it about this particular course that appeals to you? Is it the lecturers? The modules? Etc.
Tutors want to know that you can handle postgraduate study, so show them how your undergraduate experiences or work life has equipped you for a more advanced level of study. Key areas to address are research and group work but this can vary depending on your chosen course.
Add anything relevant that relates back to your chosen course and shows how your skills will contribute towards your learning. What extra-curricular activities have you taken part in? What awards have you won? What employment or voluntary experience do you have that has helped you develop transferable skills? How do these specifically relate to the course you are applying for?
You should also mention your future plans and how a postgraduate qualification fits in. Try to look beyond your postgraduate study – do you plan to jump straight into a specific career or follow your studies with a research degree? Lastly, use plain, professional English and, where possible, utilise the language of your chosen industry.
Get more information on writing personal statements.
*Non-EU students are not required to submit a personal statement when applying for this course.
Our courses include activities such as performance, exhibitions, field trips and production of works or artefacts which may require you to purchase specific equipment, instruments, books, materials, hire of venues and accommodation, or other items. Many of these activities are essential and compulsory parts of your learning experience.
The link below gives you an estimate of the possible costs associated with key activities on your course. Please bear in mind that these are only estimates of costs based on past student experience and feedback. The actual costs could vary considerably (either greater or lower than these estimates) depending on your choices as you progress through the course.
All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.
Search our Frequently Asked Questions for a range of information about our courses and studying here.
We offer further information on possible postgraduate financial support. This includes the type of loans, grants and scholarships available both from the government and from Birmingham City University.
Did you know that you will soon be able to apply for a postgraduate loan of up to £10,000 for some courses and options?
All Art-based Master’s (ABM) programmes consist of two core modules (specialist and discipline specific); two common core modules (followed by all students) and a range of option modules (shared by all students) from which you chose to undertake one in Stage one.
The Art-based Master’s programme is an integrated framework that allows you to build your own course of study in the modules you choose. You will have an opportunity to engage with students from diverse learning and professional experiences. Various freestanding options are available.
Strategic Marketing for the Arts - core module
This module will introduce you to the central role of Marketing within an arts arena. You will learn strategic marketing techniques to enhance your understanding of contextual analysis of organisations targeting audiences, strategy and communication tactics, brand development, strategic partnerships and stakeholders, and monitoring and evaluation strategies.
See optional modules tab for module list.
Managing Arts Events and Projects - core module
This module enables students to develop planning skills, examine concepts in project event management such as: selecting venues, audience development, developing relationships, integrating multiple sub-events, stakeholder management, event promotion, managing and evaluating events and the cultural context of an event. You will learn how to write a detailed event plan.
Research in Practice
This module introduces you to various research strategies in the arts via sessions on methodology, writing and making workshops and student led seminar presentations. It enables you to adopt approaches applicable to your own artistic practice and assists you in applying the knowledge you have gained in a productive way.
This module marks the culmination of your study and enables you to bring your work to fruition through the synthesis and resolution of your artistic practice or dissertation. You will work with other students to organise a final public exhibition as a means of showcasing the work you have done.
The Art Based Master’s Programme is an integrated framework that allows you to build your own course. Core modules in any given course become option modules in all other courses. You will have an opportunity to engage with students from diverse learning and professional experiences. Various freestanding options are available.
Arts Policy and Cultural Planning
An overview of economic and historical aspects of Arts Policy over the last 30 years. Students will consider the contemporary cultural policy framework, examining reports, surveys and commissioned research. Main themes include: the history of arts policy, contemporary policy‐making, and examining various funding systems to develop successful grant applications.
Contemporary Philosophy and Aesthetics
This module examines why and how the fine arts can be explored when the foundations of modern and contemporary political philosophy and its relation to the social are at the forefront of scholarship. It sets the stage, epistemologically and methodologically, giving you a critical knowledge of the complexities underlying our contemporary world.
Creative Publishing and Creative Dissemination
This module explores publishing as a dynamic contemporary art-form, a vehicle for disseminating ideas and an exploration of radical formats for bringing your art to a wider public arena. Emphasis is placed on practical outcomes and the exploration of creative modes of dissemination whilst exploring contemporary debates surrounding artists' publishing.
Discourses in Art and Design
This module examines key concepts in western art and design from mid-nineteenth century onwards. Through chronologically arranged presentations, topical issues are introduced from across art and design. Indicative topics include: the western canon; approaches and methodologies; design ethics; the changing role of the artist; primitivism and ethnography; postmodern fashion and gender.
Models and Methods of Curatorial Practice
The module examines curatorial practice and exhibition making; the museum and gallery as context and framework; artist-run space; the rise of the artist/curator and alternative curatorial practices and contexts; curating for new media and technologies and craft and design. It considers issues of audience and project development for social inclusion.
Photography as Research
Employing theoretical and practical methods this module explores the spectrum of therapeutic photography when the image is a tool for enhanced self-awareness. A key question concerns the role of the technology of photography in framing our world. The module therefore examines the ethical and participatory concerns of therapeutic photographic practice.
Queer Strategies in Practice
This module explores queer models of practice that examine the complex relationships between image and text, making and writing, modes of representation, performativity and queering. Indicative topics: historical representation and societal change, queer practices beyond representation, queer figures, affective reading, contemporary art, activist and interventionist strategies, film and collaborative practice.
Small Arts Business Set-up
This module explores entrepreneurship and small business start-up within the arts and creative industries and how entrepreneurial ideas are formed. Indicative topics: arts and creative industries; cultural entrepreneurs; economic development role of entrepreneurship within the arts, creative industries and society; practicalities of business start-up and business operations within the sector.
Social Practice in the Visual Arts
This module examines art as social practice and models of art practice in social contexts: urban, rural and transnational contexts and places of labour, health, post-conflict and post-traumatic societies. It considers the history and development of social practice and the impact it has as a generative and transformative artistic activity.
Technical Methods, Workshop Practice and Learning
The module is workshop-led for example, print, plaster, lens based, digital media, 3D modelling and printing that enables you to engage in practical hands on experience. You will demonstrate the breadth and depth of what you have learned by developing a portfolio of evidence recording your engagement with processes or skills.
Well-being and Mindfulness:Context and Environment
This module explores well-being and mindfulness in relationship to historical and contemporary debates on creative practices that are context based and environmental in nature. The module considers the history of arts practices, land art and environmental art, towards an understanding of the nature of contemporary art as collective and shared.
This module is an opportunity for you to develop skills that will contribute to the acquisition of key graduate attributes. You will be encouraged to engage with an appropriate organisation or community in order to develop a project of a professional standard that you can self-evaluate and reflect upon critically.
As an MA Arts and Project Management student you will be supported by both the staff team and also have access to visiting professionals working in the creative industries.
Learning strategies include:
Full-time students have access to the School daily. Part-time students are expected to be on-site one day per week normally Tuesdays and Wednesdays and on evenings across the week depending on which taught modules they choose. Part-time students have open access to the facilities some use them one day per week, others across the week. Attendance is flexible.
Full-time students are expected to commit a minimum of 20 to 37 hours per week to their study whereas part time students are expected to commit approximately 10 to 18 hours per week. However, this is flexible depending on the choices you make and your work pattern as you move through the programme. You will find that everything is negotiable and we are here to enable you to achieve your goals.
Core and option theory seminars are run in the evenings, normally from Monday to Thursday 4 to 6pm or 6 to 8pm in semester one and two. Some seminars run for 10 weeks across the term whilst others are delivered over five weeks and are augmented by a Saturday event 10am to 4pm.
At Level 7 the category ‘articulation of ideas’ involves the examination of your ability to research, conceptualise and realise your ideas in your arts based and/or written practice.
This process is additionally informed by your Critical Evaluation of your own work in which you are required to take a step back to reflect upon and critically evaluate what you have achieved.
The programme begins with an evening induction event culminating in a meet and greet with drinks and nibbles. You will join our Pecha Kucha sessions where you will be invited to present your work. This is a fun and light-hearted way of introducing you to each other.
You will be involved in group tutorials and student-led seminars that invite you to present your research for the group to consider and critically evaluate. The intention here is to share your ideas with other people who become ‘critical friends’ to help you think through your work in new ways. This is part of the developmental and evaluative stage in term 2 two for full-time students and terms three and four for part-time students.
The course benefits from established working relationships with national organisations with students often being able to work on live projects or in placements alongside the taught content in the modules. Recent students were able to work on live projects such as the Longbridge Light Festival and students in the school as a whole worked on a project showcasing the School of Art and regional talent at Selfridges.
Through our placements we create strong links across education, industry and retail which enable and benefit students through exciting opportunities to flourish and share their research and work with our external communities at a national level alongside cultural leaders.
Students on the MA Arts and Project Management course will learn through practice based learning. Lectures will involve an engaging mix of theory, debate and group exercises that wherever possible are connected to live projects.
The course benefits from the sharing of knowledge from real life experience, a diversity of case studies and students working on live projects, integrated working within local and national networks, gaining practical tools and insider knowledge from industry experts.
As an Art Based Master’s student you can study abroad through the Erasmus +scheme. This enables you to work abroad in an institution or professional organisation or one of our many international academic institutional partners for example in Rotterdam, Gent, Dublin and Rome.
You’ll be expected to research your proposed destination before making an application in consultation with your Course Director. The study period may be organised during or upon completion of your course and can last for up to 18 months. It offers a unique opportunity to network, make friends, enhance your CV and experience new cultures.
Many students progress from undergraduate to postgraduate study. For some it is an opportunity to build on what they have achieved so far, for others it is about consolidating what has yet come to fruition. For all it is about identifying new directions within a research context.
MA Arts and Project Management graduates have been highly successful as professionals working in the creative industries. Furthermore, if you decide to progress to higher degree research you will be eligible to apply for the prestigious M3C AHRC doctoral training award (£14.6million research fund) that enables strong research to emerge in the Midlands.
You will have the chance to take part in one of the trips run annually by Birmingham School of Art. Recent visits have included: Berlin, Florence, Liverpool, London, New York and Venice.
You'll also be encouraged to operate independently and visit regional and national cultural centres such as Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Ikon, Eastside Projects, the New Art Gallery Walsall, Nottingham Contemporary, Tate Modern, ICA, Tate Liverpool and independent and alternative spaces in Birmingham and beyond.
As you study this course you will develop a set of transferrable skills such as creative problem solving, communication and presentation skills, adaptability and flexibility, independence and teamwork, and good time management.
Specific modules have been designed to address employability, for example; Managing Arts Events and Projects, Technical Methods, Workshop Practice and Learning, Small Arts Business Set Up, and Creative Publishing and Public Dissemination.
Graduate employment is high. In the 2014-2015 DLHE survey 100% of full time and 87% of part time students who joined the Art-based Masters programme graduates were in employment with graduates from 2013-2015 earning between £20,000 and £35,000 per annum. A high number of 2014-2015 graduates reported that the programme prepared them well or very well for employment.
Placements are one of the possible ways of fulfilling your Research in Practicemodule and numerous students across the ABM Programme have chosen this route. There is scope for placements with a number of organisations in the city and beyond, however it is your responsibility to plan and organise your placement with the organisation you wish to work with.
Placements can last for a few weeks or for a longer period of time. They provide you with a great opportunity to gain insight into how an organisation works and your reflection on their activities can be useful to them as you develop your research. You will also find that this is a great way to meet and network with people in the creative industries. Our members of staff are able to guide and support you through this process.
Alex Laight graduated from this MA with a Commendation.
With our partners, New Arts West Midlands and Eastside Projects, our students are actively linked with up-to-date local and regional opportunities. We maintain excellent connections with major institutions such as Ikon Gallery, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Selfridges, Birmingham City Council, the Lunar Society, the Longbridge Light Festival, Birmingham Hippodrome to name a few. We are also members of the Colmore Row Business District.
The School works with Savills, Capsticks, Associated Architects and Deutsche Bank who sponsors of an annual award (£10,000) to support artists’ career development. Numerous graduates have achieved excellent profiles as professional artists in the sector.
OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.
It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.
OpportUNIty gives you the opportunity to fill one of many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments.
Two Art Based Master's students, Jodie Wingham (MA Fine Art) and Tadas Stalyga (MA Radical Media Arts Philosophy) have been employed as workshop mentors.
A significant number of our graduates have become highly successful arts professionals. Numerous others have been employed in a number of other professions including:
A significant number of our graduates have been appointed in Higher Education Institutions nationally and internationally.
Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.
The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.
Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:
This course is ideal for students coming from Asia, from countries such as China, Africa, Korea and Taiwan, as many new arts organisations and networks grow in these regions. The course will equip you to become cultural pioneers as well-informed and dynamic arts professionals.
International students who have a serious interest in studying with us but who perhaps cannot meet the direct entry requirements, academic or English, or who have been out of education for some time, can enter Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC) and begin their degree studies.
BCUIC is part of the global Navitas Group, an internationally recognised education provider, and the partnership allows students to access the University’s facilities and services and move seamlessly through to achieving a Bachelor’s degree from Birmingham City University.
We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £260 million on new learning facilities.
Birmingham School of Art (an impressive purpose built Grade 1 listed example of Venetian Gothic architecture) was the first major renovation project undertaken by the university (£5.5m refurbishment). The School provides an incredible resource for the production of art and its associated fields of study. The building has a range of facilities available including studios, workshops, specialist art and design library, bookable spaces and lecture/seminar rooms.
Located next to the city centre’s Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, the School is just a five-minute walk from the new Library of Birmingham and Ikon Gallery.
Students benefit from an environment which thrives on the everyday interaction of education, culture and professional practise.
Our studio spaces make excellent use of height and light, and a special screening system allows each full-time student a dedicated area to work in throughout their course.
Workshops include one-to-one technical support and operate throughout the building, allowing you to develop ideas and skills working with print, wood, metal, plaster, photography, video, textiles, 3D printing, laser cutting and prototyping.
The School of Art library contains a wealth of artists’ biographies, catalogues, art and design magazines and DVDs, all of which are updated throughout the year. The library is also linked to others across the University so you can order any additional materials you might need.
A new student-led social space, designed by School of Art students, is a great place to relax, grab a coffee, and catch up with friends. Students also display their work, host film showings and private-view receptions in this space.
There are purpose-built spaces throughout the building to present your work, including areas for cabinet, wall and floor pieces, and installation project rooms.
You will also be able to use facilities at our nearby Parkside Building, a new five-floor campus site packed with fashion design workshops, studios and social ‘collision spaces’ where you can share ideas with students and staff from different courses.
The staff team is highly experienced and includes professionals working across a host of external platforms and in a range of situations. The team also includes artists, philosophers and theoreticians, historians and educators with extensive expertise within their individual fields of research (see the CFAR website).
As an MA Arts and Project Management student you will encounter a diverse range of staff members depending on which choices you make. You will be able to request tutorial support from other academic and technical members of staff and our PhD students if it is important to your study.
Beth Derbyshire (Course Director) works in innovative ways in the public realm delivering a wide range of public art projects internationally working with people from deaf communities, military planners, refugees and veteran groups. Beth’s projects encompass multiple partnerships seeking to cross industry sectors to bring together many voices. The staff team also includes Kathryn Burns (Researcher and Project Director at Interiors and Lifestyles Futures); Mona Casey (international curator) and Dr Sian Vaughan (Archivist in Public Arts).
Dr Martyn Brown has a background in engineering but also spent four years as a professional musician. He has worked in engineering consultancy and events management in the voluntary sector and has carried out marketing consultancy on the West Bank. He holds an MBA from Aston University and a PhD examining the rise in interest in spirituality in the workplace.