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Arts and Project Management - MA

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On our MA Arts and Project Management course you will learn how arts organisations, cultural spaces, festivals and visual and performing arts projects are produced and managed. The course is designed for those who wish to pursue a career in arts management to gain expertise in the requirements for managing, producing and promoting cultural events and arts projects....

  • School Birmingham School of Art
  • Faculty Faculty of Arts, Design and Media

Overview

On our MA Arts and Project Management course you will learn how arts organisations, cultural spaces, festivals and visual and performing arts projects are produced and managed. The course is designed for those who wish to pursue a career in arts management to gain expertise in the requirements for managing, producing and promoting cultural events and arts projects.   

This stimulating course offers you a specialist education in arts and project management. You will develop your knowledge and understanding to be industry ready and effective in managing, delivering and marketing engaging arts and cultural experiences. This prepares you for life as a professional project manager, a PhD researcher, or to work in other related careers. 

This course is open to International students.

What's covered in this course?

This course will enable you to develop professional and practical experience, gaining advanced organisational, planning and marketing skills. Through a combination of live projects, seminars, and research modules you will learn about arts policies, the civic and social role of the arts and the delivery of public engagement and cultural value.

You will also have the opportunity to select an option module which will further enrich your learning by introducing you to different arts contexts and dialogues. These skills are instantly transferable to many career paths in the arts, producing flexible, responsive and imaginative cultural practitioners.   

Alumni go on to work to be successful in attaining good positions in the Creative Industries and there is scope to work on live projects through our links with local organisations and practitioners in the Creative Industries. 

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. 

I am pleased to say that my time studying on the Arts and Project Management Course at BCU has been the most rewarding for my career ambitions. The modules provided me with very useful and practical tools that I use in my career. It has helped me realize the important elements and what to focus on during the project’s duration and evaluation. 

Also, the modules are I believe are really relevant to the demands of industry, you can easily apply the skills learnt on the course to the real life needs of a project cycle. Therefore, the transition from university to working life has been easier for me as I have, in a way, been prepared. Besides the practical benefits, the course also nourished my academic and writing side if I ever decide to pursue higher education such as PhD. I am very grateful to Beth and all the other staff for my great experience at BCU.

Hannah Kahout

Why Choose Us?

  • Birmingham School of Art is an internationally recognised centre of excellence for art-based learning and research. The School of Art is one of 10 schools in the Faculty of Arts, Design and Media. You’ll join a community of learners who are all creative thinkers and makers. This community exists both within and outside of the individual courses through School-wide activities such as Night School, Film Club, Knitting Club, the Angry Margaret Protest Choir and the public programme of events.
  • MA Arts and Project Management has a growing international reputation with alumni worldwide, with strong professional profiles and working in a range of organisations.
  • Professional exposure has led to employment with companies: Burberry, Cadbury, Channel 4, Fused, Games Faction, Saatchi & Saatchi, TBWA and The Mill, Voluntary Arts, The Royal Birmingham Society of Artists, National Ballet of China​, NGO Culture Hub, Croatia.
  • You will have the opportunity to interact with students from other Master’s courses in the School and the wider faculty/university. Our students and staff have access to the vast range of resources and opportunities that being part of Birmingham City University offers, from Students’ Union societies and clubs, to careers fairs and employability workshops.
  • You will be supported by a highly professional staff team in a caring and supportive environment. You’ll be supported by experienced staff, who are all nationally and internationally active makers, thinkers and researchers.
  • Our relationship to the city and its range of communities, galleries and arts organisations is a defining and unique feature of the School. We maintain excellent connections with major city centre institutions such as Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery (BMAG), Ikon, Eastside Projects, New Art Gallery Walsall, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Selfridges, the  Colmore Row Business District and the lively alternative arts scene including: The Lombard Method, Grand Union, Trove, Stryx and MSFAC.

Studying with us during the Covid-19 pandemic

The University has put in place measures in response to Covid-19 to allow us to safely deliver our courses. Should the impact of the pandemic continue in future years, any additional or alternative arrangements put in place by the University will be in accordance with the latest government public health advice, health and safety legislation, and the terms and conditions of the student contract.

Open Days

Our next Postgraduate Open Day will be an online event. Booking isn’t open yet. Register your interest below and we’ll email you as soon as booking goes live.

Next Open Day: Wednesday 25 January 2023

Register your interest

Entry Requirements

Essential Requirements

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.

IELTS 6.0 overall with 5.5 minimum in all bands.

International Students

Entry requirements here

Fees & How to Apply

Please select your student status to view fees and apply
  • UK Student
  • International Student

UK students

Annual and modular tuition fees shown are applicable to the first year of study. The University reserves the right to increase fees for subsequent years of study in line with increases in inflation (capped at 5%) or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament. View fees for continuing students.

Award: MA

Starting: Jan 2023

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 1 year
  • £7,900 in 2022/23

International students

Annual and modular tuition fees shown are applicable to the first year of study. The University reserves the right to increase fees for subsequent years of study in line with increases in inflation (capped at 5%) or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament. View fees for continuing students.

Award: MA

Starting: Jan 2023

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 1 year
  • £16,300 in 2022/23

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form and equal opportunities PDF form instead.

Access to computer equipment

You will require use of a laptop, and most students do prefer to have their own. However, you can borrow a laptop from the university or use one of our shared computer rooms.

Printing

You will receive £5 print credit in each year of your course, available after enrolment.

Field trips

All essential field trips and associated travel costs will be included in your course fees.

Access to Microsoft Office 365

Every student at the University can download a free copy of Microsoft Office 365 to use whilst at university and for 18 months after graduation.

Key software

You will be able to download SPSS and Nvivo to your home computer to support with your studies and research.

Key subscriptions

Subscriptions to key journals and websites are available through our library.

Free access to Rosetta Stone

All students can sign up to the online learning language platform for free through the Graduate+ scheme.

Clothing and safety equipment (mandatory)

This course requires the purchase of safety equipment in order to use the workshop facilities.

Excess printing (optional)

Once you have spent your £5 credit, additional printing on campus costs from 5p per sheet.

Field trips (optional)

This course includes the option of additional trips that may enhance your experience, at extra cost.

Accommodation and living costs

The cost of accommodation and other living costs are not included within your course fees. More information on the cost of accommodation can be found in our accommodation pages.

*Professional Placement option

The Professional Placement version of the course is optional and is offered as an alternative to the standard version of the course.

This will allow you to complete a credit bearing, 20 week Professional Placement as an integral part of your Master’s Degree. The purpose of the Professional Placement is to improve your employability skills which will, through the placement experience, allow you to evidence your professional skills, attitudes and behaviours at the point of entry to the postgraduate job market. Furthermore, by completing the Professional Placement, you will be able to develop and enhance your understanding of the professional work environment, relevant to your chosen field of study, and reflect critically on your own professional skills development within the workplace.

You will be responsible for finding and securing your own placement. The University, however, will draw on its extensive network of local, regional and national employers to support you in finding a suitable placement to complement your chosen area of study. You will also benefit from support sessions delivered by Careers+ as well as advice and guidance from your School.

Placements will only be confirmed following a competitive, employer-led selection process, therefore the University will not be able to guarantee placements for students who have registered for the ‘with Professional Placement’ course. All students who do not find a suitable placement or do not pass the competitive selection process will be automatically transferred back to the standard, non-placement version of the course.

Personal statement

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:

Your passion and motivations

Studying a postgraduate course usually means you want to specialise in something. So what’s driving you?

Why this course?

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.

What makes you a good postgraduate candidate?

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.

Relevant academic or work experience

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.

Course in Depth

Modules

In order to complete this course you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 160 credits):

In order to complete this course you must successfully complete at least 20 credits from the following indicative list of OPTIONAL modules.

Art and Ecologies 20 credits

Core modules are guaranteed to run. Optional modules will vary from year to year and the published list is indicative only.

Professional Placement

In order to qualify for the award of MA Arts and Project Management with Professional Placement, a student must successfully complete all of the Level 7 modules listed above as well as the following Level 6 module: 

Professional Placement 60 credits

Download course specification

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Course structure

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:

  • Independent learning
  • One to one tutorial support
  • Group tutorials
  • Taught staff led seminars
  • Student led seminars
  • School of Art Public Talks Series
  • Lectures and conferences
  • Library research/resources
  • Field trips (where appropriate)

Classroom activities and projects

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.

Employability

Enhancing employability skills

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, Strategic Marketing for the Arts, Technical Methods, Workshop Practice and Learning, Art and Ecology: Creative Interventions and Models and Methods of Curatorial Practice.

Placements

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.

Graduate stories – Alex's story

Alex Laight graduated from this MA with a Commendation.


Links to industry

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.

Graduate jobs

Students go to do a range of jobs, recent graduates have gone on roles such as Exhibitions Co-ordinator, Performance Events Manager,  Curator and Communications Officers at organisations all over the world. Here is a list of potential career opportunities for graduates of this course:

  • Arts producers
  • Creative producers
  • Arts Project Manager
  • Events Manager
  • Arts Marketer
  • Marketing and Communications Officers
  • Lead Social Media Co-Ordinator
  • Arts Officers
  • Performance Event Manager
  • Arts Communication Roles
  • Partnerships Coordinator
  • Arts Administrators
  • Festival Manager Creative Director

International

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:

Our international students

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.

Facilities & Staff

Margaret Street exterior

Our Facilities

We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £340 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.

Our staff

Beth Derbyshire

Course Leader: MA Art and Project Management

Beth is a practising artist who has been working largely in the public realm for over 25 years.  Her practice explores the diverse nature of human presence and expression within social and historical registers. Themes have been: silence in society, conflict and collective memory, nationality and identity. Recent works have investigated...

More about Beth

Mona Casey

Course Leader: MA Fine Art

Mona Casey is MA Fine Art Course Director and Birmingham School of Art International Lead. She is also module leader for the MA programme Models and Methods of Curatorial Practice. Mona was born in Ireland and currently lives in the UK, where she works as a curator, artist and researcher. Mona directs and has initiated a range of projects including...

More about Mona

Dr Sian Vaughan

Reader in Research Practice

Dr Sian Vaughan is Reader in Research Practice with expertise in doctoral education and creative research methods. She has previously worked in museums, galleries and archives as well as teaching in further and higher education. Broadly her research interests concern the pedagogies that underpin research in art and design, and the modalities of...

More about Sian

Dr Martyn Brown

Senior Lecturer in Organisation Studies and Coordinating Director of Post Graduate Framework Degrees

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...

More about Martyn