MA in Arts Administration & Cultural Policy: Music Pathway

  • Length
    1 year full-time or 2 years part-time
  • Department
    Music, Institute for Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship
  • Funding available

Course overview

This programme builds on London's position as one of the most important musical centres in the world, with a diverse range of concert halls, theatres, cultural institutions and arts events that reflect its cosmopolitan and multicultural society.

Although professional management practice is a major element of the programme, the 'creative arts event' is the starting point for all teaching.

A music pathway has been added to the MA in Arts Administration and Cultural Policy, which is run by the Institute for Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship at Goldsmiths.

Instead of specialist theatre modules you take one 30 credit module from the MA Music or MMus programmes, and your dissertation/placement/business-plan will be directed towards musical organisations.

The MA introduces the key issues that concern the management of culture and in particular those within the performing arts.

Through both analysis of contemporary and recent practice, and practical work in a range of areas, you will develop a critical approach to the discipline.

The pathway provides an overview of the following areas:

  • arts funding structures in the UK (with reference to EU countries and the USA)
  • marketing for the arts
  • audience development
  • sponsorship
  • education programmes within the arts
  • programming
  • culture and tourism
  • cultural policy (including the role of the arts in national and cultural identity) and principles and structures of management

The aim of taught modules, projects and placements is to introduce you to new models of practice. These will be investigated and evaluated as a way of developing an understanding of management principles. Through this process, you will also be equipped with the necessary practical skills to enhance your potential as arts administrators.

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Gerald Lidstone

Modules & structure

Modules within ICCE

Module title Credits
  Cultural Policy and Practice 30 credits
  Introduction to Audience Development n/a
  Introduction to Fundraising n/a
  Seminar Series n/a
  The Management and Professional Practice 1: Internship n/a
  Management and Professional Practice 2: Business Planning for Arts Organisations n/a
  MA in Arts Administration & Cultural Policy Dissertation 60 credits

Music Pathway option modules

The modules currently available include:

Module title Credits
  Contemporary Ethnomusicology 30 credits
  Critical Musicology and Popular Music 30 credits
  Material, Form and Structure 30 credits
  New Directions in Popular Music Research 30 credits
  Philosophies of Music 30 credits
  Popular Music: Listening, Analysis and Interpretation 30 credits
  Post-Tonal Theory and Analysis 30 credits
  Sound Agendas 30 credits
  Sources and Resources 30 credits
  Soviet and Post-Soviet Music and Politics 30 credits
  Strategies for Performance 30 credits
  Working with Original Musical Documents 30 credits


Music Pathway: the assessment for the specialist music component will be as given in the individual module descriptions.

Download the programme specification for this degree to find out more about what you'll learn and how you'll be taught and assessed.

Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.


Music at Goldsmiths is ranked 12th in the UK for the quality of our research**


From opera to electronica, and from Errollyn Wallen to James Blake, music studies at Goldsmiths are unique and different. Firmly rooted in the 21st century, our programmes entwine academic with practice-based study, and historical with contemporary repertories.

Performance opportunities

We’re committed to high quality, ambitious and innovative performance, and we have a wide range of ensembles that you can join, including:

  • Goldsmiths Sinfonia
  • Chamber Choir
  • Contemporary Music Ensemble
  • Lunchtime and evening recitals
  • Music Collective
  • Studio Laptop Ensemble
  • Goldsmiths Vocal Ensemble
  • Plus student-led ensembles: Chamber Orchestra, New Music Ensemble, Big Band and Film Orchestra
  • Goldsmiths Gamelan Group

These culminate in our end-of-year degree show and public music festival PureGold, which in recent years has launched at London’s Southbank Centre.


We have excellent rehearsal and performance facilities including:

  • Goldsmiths Music Studios
  • Electronic Music Studio
  • Sonics Interactive Multimedia Laboratory
  • Council Chamber (with its Steinway Model D)
  • Two suites of practice rooms

Find out more about the Department of Music.

**Research Excellence Framework 2014, Times Higher Education research intensity subject rankings

We engage directly with external partners from the creative industries,
and make use of our home in the heart of this thriving global city

Institute for Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship

The creative industries and cultural sector are continuing to grow at a rapid rate. In the Institute for Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship (ICCE) we specialise in preparing our students to understand, manage and innovate in these fascinating areas.

Many of our programmes are taught in partnership with international, regional and local cultural organisations, giving you the opportunity to gain direct experience of professional practice.

Find out more about the Institute for Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship.

Skills & careers

This pathway allows you to pursue your interests in music, acting as a supplementary course to the main body of the Arts Administration programme.

Graduates typically go on to careers in the following areas:

  • Cultural policy: researching, developing, writing, analysing and evaluating policy for government agencies at national, regional and local level and for ‘think tanks’ concerned with culture and society
  • Management in building-based and touring theatre, dance, music and visual arts organisations
  • Arts education, arts regeneration and arts for social and community purposes
  • Audience development, fundraising, programming and planning
  • Independent producing in theatre, music or gallery-based organisations

Many students from this programme now have careers in major arts organisations worldwide or have progressed to MPhil/PhD degrees.

Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths

Student profiles

Jess Robertson

"The course really opened my eyes to the possibilities of what a creative mind (with a love of logistics and organisation, like mine!) could do."

When I first started at Goldsmiths in September 2013 (MA Arts Administration & Cultural Policy: Music Pathway) I had already been working at the Really Useful Group for several months, digitising and cataloguing the Andrew Lloyd Webber music library. I had studied Music at undergrad loved working with music in such an exciting setting, but wanted to really expand my understanding of the industry, related fields, and practises outside of London and beyond the UK. The guest speakers that we met in the first few months of the course really opened my eyes to the possibilities of what a creative mind (with a love of logistics and organisation, like mine!) could do. I interned with Classical Opera, where I worked on an audience development scheme to help the company's upcoming performance of La Clemenza di Tito reach more local students and young people. 

My role at RUG evolved, and I was able to engage with other departments in the company using what I'd learned at Goldsmiths about fundraising, marketing, management and staffing structures, and the role of West End Theatre in the wider UK and European theatre industry. Two of the best experiences I had were working on the Cats revival at the Palladium in November 2014, and preparing scores for School of Rock: The Musical on Broadway. 

Cathy Al-Ghabra

" The MA in Arts Administration and Cultural Policy: Music Pathway was eye opening and informative, with visits from a huge number of leading arts professionals and organisations, giving excellent advice and a realistic insight in to the arts as businesses and places to work." 

With a background in secondary school music teaching, choral directing and festival management, Cathy knew she wanted to explore arts management as a career, with a possible focus on arts education. She was awarded the UK/EU Postgraduate scholarship on entry to Goldsmiths and moved to London from Wales where she was teaching.

The MA in Arts Administration and Cultural Policy: Music Pathway was eye opening and informative, with visits from a huge number of leading arts professionals and organisations, giving excellent advice and a realistic insight in to the arts as businesses and places to work. Cathy had the opportunity to work for Stratford Circus as Artistic Programmes Assistant during the MA, gaining instrumental knowledge about programming for a small local venue. Whilst studying at Goldsmiths, Cathy was also choral director for Lewisham Music Hub and Assistant Producer at Roundhouse’s Voices Now Festival 2013. Through connections in Europe, she was voted on to the Youth Committee of the European Choral Association, and was later co-opted on to the board of the European Music Council where she served three terms. Cathy’s network is now worldwide thanks to the Master’s course, where she had the opportunity to work with an international group of like-minded arts managers.

Since graduating with Distinction in 2013, she has been able to utilise the skills she gained on the MA in programme and project management for the arts working in a variety of organisations including Britten Sinfonia, British Council Music and Wigmore Hall Learning. Cathy currently works at the Royal Opera House in Learning & Participation, managing the ROH Thurrock Community Chorus and national programme Design Challenge, as well as  leading on community and singing initiatives, and as a member of the Music Education Council’s Singing Working Group.

Entry requirements

You should have (or expect to be awarded) an undergraduate degree of at least upper second class standard in a subject concerned with arts and culture or another relevant/related subject. 

You might also be considered for some programmes if you aren’t a graduate or your degree is in an unrelated field, but have relevant experience and can show that you have the ability to work at postgraduate level.

Equivalent qualifications
We accept a wide range of international qualifications. Find out more about the qualifications we accept from around the world.

English language requirements
If English isn’t your first language, you’ll need to meet our English language requirements to study with us.

For this programme we require:

IELTS 7.0 (including 7.0 in the written test)

If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for postgraduate-level study.

How to apply

You apply directly to Goldsmiths using our online application system. 

Before submitting your application you’ll need to have:

  • Details of your education history, including the dates of all exams/assessments
  • The email address of your referee who we can request a reference from, or alternatively an electronic copy of your academic reference
  • personal statement – this can either be uploaded as a Word Document or PDF, or completed online

Please see our guidance on writing a postgraduate statement

  • If available, an electronic copy of your educational transcript (this is particularly important if you have studied outside of the UK, but isn’t mandatory)

You'll be able to save your progress at any point and return to your application by logging in using your username/email and password.

When to apply

We accept applications from October for students wanting to start the following September. 

We encourage you to complete your application as early as possible, even if you haven't finished your current programme of study. It's very common to be offered a place that is conditional on you achieving a particular qualification. 

Late applications will only be considered if there are spaces available.

If you're applying for funding, you may be subject to an earlier application deadline. 

Selection process

Admission to many programmes is by interview, unless you live outside the UK. Occasionally, we'll make candidates an offer of a place on the basis of their application and qualifications alone.

Find out more about applying.

Fees, funding & scholarships

Find out more about tuition fees.

Find out more about funding opportunities for home/EU applicants, or funding for international applicants. If you're applying for funding, you may be subject to an application deadline.


The McKenna Charitable Trust Postgraduate Scholarship

This scholarship will be awarded to 4 Masters students from the UK or Europe, who are studying postgraduate Masters programmes within the Institute of Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship.

The scholarships will each cover 50% of tuition fee for the Masters programme totaling individual awards of £3,880 for the academic year of study.

In addition to the above award, students may apply for or ask to also be considered for The Harprit Sekhon Scholarship in the Creative and Cultural Industries. This consists of one award of £1,000.

Find out more about applying for these scholarships

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