MA in Arts Administration & Cultural Policy

This programme offers you the chance to engage with the key issues in the formulation of arts and cultural policy and the administration of the arts, in particular those relating to the performing arts.

1 year full-time or 2 years part-time.
If you're applying for funding, you may be subject to an application deadline. Find out more about funding opportunities for home/EU applicants, or funding for international applicants.


See our tuition fees.
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This MA from the Institute for Creative & Cultural Entrepreneurship (ICCE) will enable you to develop an awareness of and a critical approach to the discipline, by studying arts policy and practice in Europe, audience development, fundraising, arts education, cultural tourism, regeneration through arts, arts diversity and social inclusion, copyright and the role of the arts in relations and diplomacy as well as national and cultural identity. There are modules in:

  • Cultural Policy and Practice;
  • Management and Professional Practice 1: Work placement
  • Management and Professional Practice 2: Business Planning for Arts
  • An option module in a complimentary area

Practitioners from many companies, venues and national organisations teach on the programme, providing a direct link with the profession.

Through individual research and placement with an arts company or management organisation you will develop essential practical skills to enhance your potential and your employability as an arts administrator.

The programme also offers you one module in a complementary area. These at present are:

From the Institute for Creative & Cultural Entrepreneurship (ICCE):

  • Entrepreneurial Modelling
  • Interpretation, Education and Communication in the Art Museum
  • Cultural Relations and Diplomacy
  • Cultural and Creative Tourism
  • Culture, Tourism and Regeneration
  • Enterprising Leadership; An Introduction to the Discourse of Contemporary
  • Leadership, Enterprise, and Innovation Theory

From the Department of Theatre and Performance

  • Performance, Art and Health
  • Sociocultural Analysis of the Musical

From the Department of Music - see below.

Music Pathway

It's also possible to follow a ‘Music Pathway’ in this programme, which allows you to broaden your musical knowledge and skills through largely theory and/or history-based modules.

Please see our MA in Arts Administration & Cultural Policy: Music Pathway.

Find out more about the exciting things our students and graduates do.

Applying and entrance requirements

You can apply directly to Goldsmiths via the website by clicking the ‘apply now’ button on the main programme page.

Before submitting your application you’ll need to have: 

  • Details of your education history, including the dates of all exams/assessments.
  • The email address details of your referee who we can request a reference from, or alternatively an electronic copy of your academic reference.
  • A personal statement. This can either be uploaded as a Word Document or PDF, or completed online.
  • 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 1 October until 1 April 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. 

If you're applying for funding you may be subject to an application deadline. Find out more about funding opportunities for UK/EU students and international students. 

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

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.

Entrance requirements

You should have (or expect to be awarded) an undergraduate degree of at least upper second class standard in a 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.

We also accept a wide range of international equivalent qualifications, which can be found on our country-specific pages. If you'd like more information, please contact the Admissions Office.

English language

If your first language isn't English, you need to demonstrate a minimum score of 7.0 in IELTS (including 7.0 in the written element) or equivalent to enroll and study on this programme.

Please check our English Language requirements for more information.

Find out more about applying 

Contact us 

Get in touch via our online form


+44 (0)20 7919 7766

International (non-EU)

+44 (0)20 7919 7702

Modules and Structure

Autumn Term

You take four modules taught over two-and-a-half days (for full-time students).

Code Module title Credits
DR71045A Cultural Policy and Practice 30 CATS

This module will address a range of issues relevant to cultural policy and practice in the UK and other European countries. It will discuss the relationship between cultural production and policy and deal with issues of ‘what is culture’ in different cultural contexts and countries. The module has two distinct elements: the first will deal with post-war arts policy and practice within the UK, exploring the main developments that have contributed to the evolution of current policy. It will examine the interrelationship of the many functions and responsibilities of the Department of Culture Media and Sport [DCMS], the Arts Councils of, England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and their regional offices, and how policy is managed at a national, regional and city level. This section of the module will also map the relationship of the ‘cultural industries’ to the economy of access, accountability and cultural/national identity will be explored as well as specific areas of arts and tourism, arts and regeneration, arts education and the globalisation of culture. In general the module will concentrate on policy in relation to the performing arts although reference will be made to visual arts and the heritage sector. 

The second section of the module will provide an introduction to cultural policy models and cultural policies in other European countries, and the structures and priorities that govern arts support. It will look in particular at the situation in France, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and Finland as well as the specific issues facing arts policymakers in Central and Eastern Europe. Reference will also be made to the role of the European Union in cultural policy development. 

This module contains a component on study skills particular to the subject, including an evaluation of source material, in particular policy documents and reports, and on more general areas of essay writing.

n/a Introduction to Audience Development n/a

Through presentations, discussions and group work, considers a range of strategies and practical tools and processes that can be used in a range of disciplines and cultural contexts.

This is a non assessed module aimed to develop your skills.

n/a Introduction to Fundraising n/a

This module considers the ethical and operational issues involved with fundraising, taking you through both fundraising processes and the development of strategy, from research, approach and delivery to monitoring and evaluation.

This module is not assessed and is aimed to develop your skills.

n/a Seminar Series n/a

In this module you will have the opportunity to discuss with senior members of the cultural management profession how policies are reflected in their organisations. To deliver this module the programme works with some of our ‘Partners in Learning’.

Spring Term

You will study three modules on the programme over two days. 

You choose one 'Shared Module', and then you take the Management and Professional modules which are broken up into Business Planning for Arts Organisations and an Internship

The Shared Modules will allow you to continue to develop your understanding of a creative practice, or a specialist area of management.
This module, therefore, comprises studies in one area of creative practice eg. Music, Drama, Visual Arts, Entrepreneurship, Media or Cultural Diplomacy. (For some modules it will be necessary for a student to have a background in the area they wish to study as they are primarily concerned with the discipline rather than its administration/management – for example in music).

Note: not all modules may run every year.

• Performance Art and Health
• Sociocultural Analysis of the Musical

• Cultural Relations and Diplomacy
• Entrepreneurial Modelling
• Interpretation, Education and Communication in the Art Museum

• Modules from MMus programmes

Media & Communications
• Branding II: This module offers an in-depth examination of key debates and topics in contemporary brand development, from both critical and practical perspectives.

tbc The Management and Professional Practice 1: Internship n/a

This module introduces you to models of management and professional practice and prepares you to undertake a placement with an arts organisation. It will introduce you to models of management and professional practice appropriate to arts organisations. You will examine
the relationship between arts management practice and the culture in which that practice is situated. The module is in two parts. The first, through presentations and seminars, will equip students develop a critical approach to both general management policy and practice, and to how practice has been developed to meet the characteristics and requirements of the arts sector. You will be introduced to key ideas in organisational management from Weber to Handy and Belbin, and current writing on leadership. You will also be introduced to different
forms of legal structures for organisations and basic issues relating to employment.

In the second part, through undertaking a placement with an appropriate arts organisation, you will be able to observe, account for and
analyse contemporary management practice. Your placements will take into account your specialised interests. You will prepare a placement report that concentrates on evaluating the appropriateness of management policies and practice in relation to the organisations stated mission. Assessment through a placement report will concentrate on analysing and commenting on the ‘culture’ of management in the organisation framed by an understanding of theory organisational culture. Internships, while being tailored to student needs and that of the
host organisations, will be of roughly three months duration for two or three days a week.

Normally internships relate to particular projects within an organisation, therefore the most appropriate level of attendance can be negotiated
with the organisation on a case-by-case basis with tutorial support. As the module enjoys considerable goodwill within the profession there is normally a suitable placement to develop the interests of each student (ICCE has over 100 Partners in Learning who 23 have taken students in the past). A further period of placement may be available at the end of the taught section of the module. We take care to match you with a suitable organisation, in relation to your overall academic and vocational needs. However it is not possible to guarantee a placement with a particular organisation. If you do not secure an internship then an alternative assessment will be arranged.

tbc Management and Professional Practice 2: Business Planning for Arts Organisations n/a

This module will introduce you to a model for producing a business/strategic plan for an arts organisation. This is the key document required by all arts rganisations, particularly those within the subsidised sector and those wishing to join it. It is currently common practice to write a business plan that considers a three-year period, which is then rolled forward on an annual basis. It is a document that should have an external and internal purpose (i.e. be suitable to send to funders, businesses, banks etc), in addition to being a reference point for staff, and board members. It should refer to all aspects of an organisation’s activities, including the artistic and educational programming, management and staffing, location and resources, finances, marketing and development.

Summer Term

Taught one day a week, you will have lectures and seminars that cover contemporary arts management issues such as: copyright and performing rights; touring; cultural leadership and diplomacy; and further develops some areas introduced earlier in the year, such as arts and tourism. During the term there are also timetabled sessions for individual tutorials relating to your Dissertation.

tbc Dissertation 60 CATS

All students will write a Dissertation on an aspect of Arts Administration and Cultural Policy. You start preparing your dissertation in term one with
sessions on study skills. These are followed by a series of seminars, primarily with practitioners, which introduces you to key issues of how policy is implemented in practice. Sessions are normally two hours long, initiated by a presentation that outlines the history, remit and policy of an arts organisation followed by a discussion on the key areas of current concern. You will then be able to discuss (in timetabled discussion groups and on Virtual Learning Environment forums) and expand on the issues raised and make connections with the policy areas studied in Cultural Policy and Practice (CP&P). These seminars also introduce you to a range of specialist practice that is only briefly covered in CP&P, such as reminiscence theatre or gallery education programmes.

Writing the dissertation will draw on areas studied throughout the three terms. You are encouraged to explore current issues through research, analysis and debate and will be supported by tutorials. You are also encouraged to be resourceful in researching areas where there is little published material and interviews with practitioners and policymakers may be a primary resource.

Programme specification

To find out more about this degree, including details about the ways you'll be assessed and information about our marking criteria, you can download the programme specification.

Student profiles

MA in Arts Administration & Cultural Policy

Student profiles : MA in Arts Administration & Cultural Policy

Abhiskeh Kumar

Adrian Lesurf

Annette Brook

Bona Shin

Caitlin Leaden

Catalina Beacroft

Chloe Seddon

Colin Kwok

Dianne Squires

Yukiyo Sugiyama

Nguyen Phuong Hoa

Ian Leung

Janice Gore

Jessica Ramsey

Josefina Labbe

Lene Bang Henningsen

Julie Laita Novak

Lisa Maria-Bowler

Matthew Franzetti

Mervat Hafez

Nicole Emmenegger

Nahum Mantra

Nancy Gallenianou

Renata McDonnell

Rhain Hughes

Sarah Hanratty

Seo-hwa Roh

Yan Chen

Chantelle Culshaw

Christie Chua

Elva Gigirey

Fatma Çolako─člu
Annette Corbett

Charelle Griffith
Chun-Ying Wei

Clare Goodridge
Thumbnail for Kate Carter
Kate Carter
thumbnail for Katja Janus
Katja Janus

Pippa Taylor
thumb for student profile
Piyawat Thankulangkool

Alexis Skinner

Berlinda Tang

Hannah Taylor

Kitty Greenleaf

Melanie Rivera

Rachel Cook

Sofia Konstantopolou

Tay Tong

Lisa Lepsik

Audrey Wong

Satomi Mihira

Terry Ezra
Valerie Barraclough
Cansu Ataman
Cansu Ataman
Gaby Styles
Gaby Styles
Susan Winter
Susan Winter
Manolis Zografakis
Manolis Zografakis
Agne Norkute
Ellie Stout
Heidi Beate Lekang

Jack Dean

Lara Stavrinou

Roxane Kamberos

Chris Vanja


Heba received a prestigious Chevening Scholarship to study at Goldsmiths

"Being in London for this course is like putting theory into practice every day."

Goldsmiths was my first choice when I decided to do my masters degree in arts administration and cultural policy and so far it has been a great experience! It is definitely the right place to be; the teachers are resourceful, the classes vary in style from seminars delivered by art practitioners in London to open discussions to hands on workshops!

Being in London for this course is like putting theory into practice every day through the hundreds of cultural events happening daily from theatre to exhibitions to films to talks; it's a wonderful opportunity to explore new art forms and artistic experiences from around the world. As the co-founder of a cultural festival back home in Jordan, this course is introducing me to a whole new perspective on festival creation, organisation and audience development, and I am looking forward to taking my experience back with me.

Abhishek, social entrepreneur & social change leader

Award-winning graduate Abhishek has worked for several social enterprises and community partnership models, developing people’s livelihoods through the creative and cultural industries.

Award-winning graduate Abhishek has worked for several social enterprises and community partnership models, developing people’s livelihoods through the creative and cultural industries. Abhishek has been recognised in the International Ford Fellowship programme for his work as a social change leader.

After completing the MA Arts Administration & Cultural Policy in 2007, Abhishek worked on the JiYO project, a design-led initiative from the Asian Heritage Foundation. The project’s focus was on creating a social enterprise that would develop new livelihoods in the creative and cultural industries among the skilled but economically vulnerable communities in India. Centred on the traditional arts/crafts forms located in three states of India, the project covered product design, business development, market linkages and branding, eventually forming a Pan Indian artisan-owned company, JiYO Creative and Cultural Industries Private Limited.

Abhishek worked as State Arts and Crafts Coordinator for the successful community partnership model for two years before joining Jaipur Rugs Foundation, a non-profit organisation that transforms the lives of people engaged in the entire carpet value chain, by linking local artisans with global markets and providing training and up-skilling opportunities. “I joined the Foundation to create a communications plan and channels for a smooth process optimisation in the value chain and among the stakeholders,” explains Abhishek.

For the past two years, Abhishek has been working with the Azim Premji Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation that focuses on improving the quality and equity of education in India. He works in the communications and research wing, devising and implementing creative ways to communicate the organisation’s work, and also contributes to the Theatre in Education programme, engaging with young people through artistic interactions and exchanges. “This is important because these young people are the future leaders and change-makers,” he explains. “We also work on branching out the spaces of dialogues between the education community, policy makers, academia, and practitioners working at grass roots level.”

Read Abhishek's full story.


"The course was both academically stimulating and useful in preparing us for employment. I found the modules on marketing theory and business planning particularly helpful. Whilst studying I undertook a six-month internship with an arts marketing agency and this was invaluable in developing practical skills and experience as well as making vital contacts in the theatre industry. I currently work for DreamWorks Theatricals as the Marketing Coordinator for Shrek The Musical. It’s an enormously fun show to work on and we work with a great team. The West End is a fast-paced industry and the international dynamism of Goldsmiths provides a great context for approaching it."


"Moving to London to attend Goldsmiths has been, hands-down, the best decision that I've made regarding my career and education"

Moving to London to attend Goldsmiths has been, hands-down, the best decision that I've made regarding my career and education. Not only have I gained the knowledge and skills that I felt I was lacking in the areas of business and cultural policy, but I have also gained a massive network in the arts sector.

Our lectures are frequently led by guest lecturers from various arts organisations in and around London. This offers a unique opportunity to see behind the curtain, so to speak, and to get a real feeling of the day-to-day requirements of running these organisations. The required internship is crucial, and for me, has led to employment. London's cultural scene is the perfect backdrop for studying the arts and you can't beat the travel connections to Europe. 

Chengcheng, China 

Chengcheng received a prestigious Chevening Scholarship to study at Goldsmiths

A colleague of mine who used to work in London recommended Goldsmiths to me since it has a good reputation in culture and arts. I am a Chevening Scholar sponsored by FCO of UK. The scholarship offers an amazing platform to us and benefits me a lot with my social network both in London and in Beijing. I worked for the Ministry of Culture of China before I came London. I am inspired by my course a lot and I find it connected closely with what I do within my career. I am planning to continue contributing to cultural exchanges and relations after I am back to China.

Skills and Careers


The programme enables you to develop the following skills:

  • Critical awareness of cultural policy issues
  • Preparation of specific audience development and fundraising strategies for arts organisations, and more generic strategic plans
  • Leadership and teamwork skills


Graduates typically go on to careers in the following areas:

  • Cultural policy: researching, developing, writing, analysing and evaluating policy
  • 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, programming and planning

Content last modified: 29 Aug 2014

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