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Birkbeck, University of London: Arts Policy and Management

Institution Birkbeck, University of London
Department School of Creative Arts, Culture and Communication
Telephone 0203 907 0700
Study type Taught


Our arts policy and management course gives you a chance to explore the requirements and benefits of sustainable and strategic arts policy and management. You will analyse leadership contexts and power relations in bringing together policy and managerial approaches related to current trends and issues. Examples of this include work to address gender imbalances through art activism, diversity and equity through intersectional applications and the interpretation of cultural values as cultural policy rationales. You will evaluate art productions and audiences as seen through an art policy and management lens.

The course provides you with a comprehensive overview of the sector. It balances theory and practice within the context of the current social, political, economic and technological environments. We invite you to develop and expand your key critical-thinking skills in smaller discursive seminar groups focusing on public and voluntary sector arts organisations, but also address key commercial sector issues.

For those who want to deepen their sector experience, we offer a placement option that encourages students to work on their own research interests within an arts organisation. Past students have had valuable experiences in organisations ranging from the Greater London Authority to the Hackney Museum, and from the Big Dance Project to the Wallace Collection.

We offer this course as a Master’s and Postgraduate Certificate. For the Certificate you study fewer modules and do not complete a dissertation.

This course is part of our new Birkbeck Flexible Master’s UK, which gives you the choice of how you want to study - on campus, online or via flexible learning, which combines both.


  • Birkbeck was ranked as one of the top four universities in the UK for its Art and Design research in the 2021 Research Excellence Framework.

  • We offer a one-to-one mentoring scheme, where students are paired for six months with alumnae from the MA Arts Policy and Management that have become well-established leaders in organisations such as Arts Council England, Craft Council, Tender Pixel, BBC, Camden Cultural Partnership and Boundless Theatre, or have pursued a successful freelance career.

  • Birkbeck has established a growing international reputation combining cultural studies with the latest ideas and techniques across film studies, journalism, screenwriting, arts management, digital media. You are welcome to attend events at Birkbeck Interdisciplinary Research in Media and Culture, as well as the Birkbeck Institute for the Moving Image and the Vasari Research Centre for Art and Technology.

  • We run the Lorraine Lim Prize, a yearly essay competition that rewards outstanding written work related to cultural flow and creative work. The best dissertation is also rewarded with a prize at the end of each academic year. We also offer a number of bursaries for postgraduate students.

Careers and employability

Graduates can pursue career paths in the national and international arts and cultural sectors in, for example:

  • development and marketing

  • audience development

  • strategic planning

  • programming and curating

  • management of art collectives and networking hubs.

Jobs gained by some of our graduates include:

  • Director of the Jerwood Foundation

  • Co-ordinator at Nordic Council of Ministers

  • Tour Manager at Sadlers Wells

  • Development Officer at Bow Arts Trust

  • Executive Producer at Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design

We offer a comprehensive careers service - Careers and Enterprise - your career partner during your time at Birkbeck and beyond. At every stage of your career journey, we empower you to take ownership of your future, helping you to make the connection between your experience, education and future ambitions.


Postgraduate Certificate - PgCert

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