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

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
  Sound Agendas 30 credits
  Sources and Resources in the Digital Age 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. If you would like an earlier version of the programme specification, please contact the Quality Office.

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* 22nd in the world for performing arts**


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
**QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017

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

Michael Budiman Mulyadi

"The course and the atmosphere at Goldsmiths nurtured my entrepreneurial spirit and pushed me to embrace DIY culture that is very beneficial for my current work."

With a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, I worked in IBM Corporation as sales and product manager for 6 years doing solution sales and marketing before I enrolled in MA in Arts Administration and Cultural Policy: Music Pathway in Goldsmiths. The first few months in Goldsmiths opened my eyes to the richness and importance of critical contemporary cultural studies while also confirmed my strong conviction of the inevitable association of arts and business enterprise. The course and the atmosphere at Goldsmiths also nurtured my entrepreneurial spirit and pushed me to embrace DIY culture that is very beneficial for my current work. 

Interning at Stagetext as Digital Research Intern also formed my worldview on the importance of accessibility in the arts and also gave me real experience working in an enterprising arts organization.  Focusing my dissertation on classical music performances in historical churches in Central London, I gained significant insights on placemaking, the relationship of culture, art, and current religious spaces in London while also developing my ability to conduct research and to think critically. By being in London, the epicentre of arts and culture, I managed to develop contacts with many influential figures in the world of arts, compared to when I was in Indonesia.

After graduating in September 2016, I took up a new teaching posts: Lecturer and Conductor in Universitas Pelita Harapan Conservatory of Music and continued my role as Principal Conductor for Orkes Simfoni Universitas Indonesia ‘Mahawaditra’. I also started a new role as Business & Marketing Consultant, developing business initiatives, governance and marketing programmes for local arts organisations and music schools. I also continue to develop online magazine Musical Promenade ( as Editor-in-chief to become an alternative platform for online music journalism in Indonesia.

Victoria Forsey

" During the MA I focused my dissertation on the cultural education agenda in place in England. The ability to conduct this research in an institution that encourages lateral thinking and reaching beyond the bounds of societal structures, was truly empowering."

As a classically trained singer I came to Goldsmiths unsure of how I would use the MA in a professional manner but soon came to discover that my passion for unlocking the potential increase for audiences and interest in Western Art Music- especially that of Opera, would be best served by committing my coursework and skills to arts education. 

During the MA I focused my dissertation on the cultural education agenda in place in England. The ability to conduct this research in an institution that encourages lateral thinking and reaching beyond the bounds of societal structures, was truly empowering.

I am currently an intern with Saatchi Gallery, assisting with the schools programme. This has been a fantastic opportunity where I have gained the know-how to facilitate learning initiatives for a variety of school ages and learning abilities, in addition to furthering the administrative skills honed during an internship with the prestigious music seminar IMS-Prussia Cove.

Cecilie Dreyer

"The practical focus of the music pathway course pushed me to take my new understanding and form it into a real-life project."

"I started at Goldsmiths after completing a BSc degree of Economics and Business Administration, during which I had obtained work experience in the music business in Copenhagen and Los Angeles. During my studies at Goldsmiths I was working at Kartel Music Group focusing on business development analysis and the development of non-financial KPIs to measure performance of their service clients.

My studies at Goldsmiths led me to see the music business in a new way. The MA Arts Admin course introduced me to various business models in the wider creative industries, which mainly provided me with a new understanding of how to foster and grow artistic talent, especially in the music industry, in the most cost-effective way. The practical focus of the music pathway course pushed me to take my new understanding and form it into a real-life project, thus, Banders was founded.

Banders is a new start-up aiming to empower the generation of do-it-OURselves creators. The mission is to facilitate relationships in the wider creator-sphere, through technology that employs creative passion for music. The team currently consists of 6 members located in San Francisco, Los Angeles and London. The platform will launch mid-2017. I am currently the director of the company on a full-time basis."

See more profiles for this programme

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 6.5 with a 6.5 in writing

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.

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