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Postgraduate

MA Arts and Cultural Enterprise

Coloured graphics and symbols positioned within rectangles
Owen Lewis
College
Central Saint Martins
Start date
January 2025
Course length
Low residency - 2 years part-time (83 weeks)
and up to five years flexible learning mode

MA Arts and Cultural Enterprise teaches you to generate original ideas for arts and cultural events as well as how to realise them.

Please note this course is undergoing re-approval

Every 5 years the University reviews course content to ensure that our students are benefitting from a high-quality academic experience. During this process there may be some changes made to the course which are not immediately reflected in the content displayed on this page. The information on this page will be updated once the process has been completed. Please contact us if you have any questions about this or the course via study@csm.arts.ac.uk.

Applying for more than 1 course

You can apply for more than 1 postgraduate course at UAL but we recommend that you apply for no more than 3. Find out more in the Apply Now section.

Alongside critical and creative thinking, you will acquire business skills which are highly attractive to potential employers. You will learn how to manage creativity, but also how to bring creativity to management. This course is part of the Culture and Enterprise programme.

Why choose this course at Central Saint Martins

  • Global group perspective: This course has two cohorts – one in London and one in Hong Kong. This allows collaboration across time zones with a diverse group of peers, encouraging students to develop a global perspective on arts and cultural enterprise.
  • Flexible learning: As a blended-learning programme, the course offers both the benefits of face-to-face study and the flexibility of online learning. You also don't need to live in London or give up work or care duties to enrol on the course.
  • Individual learning: Students are encouraged to apply their learning to their own professional contexts and can choose to pursue a practice-based final project or a dissertation.
  • Practicing experts: Tutors on the course are professionally active in the field of arts management. UAL is ranked top 2 in the world for Art and Design (QS World University Rankings 2020), and is a top-five research university in its broader peer group.

Open days

Upcoming open days for this course will take place on Friday 12 July 12pm-1pm (online).

Recordings

Watch a recording of the recent MA Arts and Cultural Enterprise open day.

Have a question?

Email Andy Marsh, Course Leader

Scholarships, bursaries and awards

Course overview

The college is at the centre of a global network of alumni, educator-practitioners, and collaborating organisations and institutions. MA Arts and Cultural Enterprise works with knowledgeable practitioners to create an inspiring learning experience, within a wide-ranging professional network.

The intensive face-to-face teaching takes place at Central Saint Martins’ King’s Cross campus for the students enrolled in the London-based cohort, and at HKU SPACE’s Hong Kong campus for the Hong Kong-based students. Both cities are contemporary hubs for the cultural industries in their regions, and also rich sources of historical innovation across a wide range of cultural sectors, including museums, galleries, performance, festivals, and educational institutions.

MA Arts and Cultural Enterprise acknowledges that we are living in a fast-changing, globalised world, which presents a great number of opportunities and challenges for cultural innovation. This Masters Programme takes these changing conditions as a starting point to engage you in developing new knowledge and skills in order to manage cultural projects in the UK and around the world. It has been developed specifically in response to an increasing need for multi-skilled individuals who can both generate the ideas for original arts and cultural events, as well as provide leadership for the teams that realise them. These individuals will be dynamic, responsive, and fluent in public and private sectors, and have the ability to collaborate and develop networks.

The course addresses a contemporary shift within the cultural economy towards experiences and events, and away from the artefact. It is a response to multiple new forms of artistic and creative practice (interdisciplinary, time-based, socially-engaged, etc.), which demand new, hybrid forms of cultural management and organisation, and in turn, a new pedagogical approach from higher education institutions.

MA Arts and Cultural Enterprise takes as a starting point a definition of enterprise as engaging with projects that are new, challenging and complex, in order to create a valuable difference to specific stakeholders. It aims to enable you to gain a unique skill and knowledge set to become active creators in cultural management and production, be it as entrepreneurs, or within larger existing cultural organisations, anywhere in the world. For this reason, the course values rich cultural diversity, and benefits from the broad range of cultural backgrounds of its students, staff, and the college generally. Cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue are the essential point-of-departure for cultural and creative innovation, which generates cultural capital, and in turn fosters economic capital formation.

The course is aimed at graduates with some years of work experience who wish to challenge themselves by gaining a critical understanding of our world today as well as skills in the design, planning and production of creative events in the broadest sense. Focusing on the core capabilities of CSM, and its central role in the future of arts and other creative industries, it will offer you insights into aspects of cultural policy and governance, an introduction to business skills and processes, and strategic planning, which will equip you to shape creative futures. It will encourage radical thinking, based on creative research, analysis, and a deep understanding of the value of the cultural economy, and its role in creating cultural capital, to the wider economic, political and social environment in which it is located.

The course operates through a blended-learning delivery model, by means of face-to-face and online teaching, in either a two-year part-time, or up to five-year flexible mode. This mode of learning supports those of you who are already established in your careers, and who may be travelling from afar to join the course. Peer and collaborative learning is fundamental to this model, and is achieved through a series of lectures, webinars, group tasks and workshops, as well as practice-based project developments in the realm of cultural production, enabling you to create networks that we hope will last well beyond your studies.

The course comprises six multidisciplinary, 20-credit, Level 7 units that can be combined to achieve a PG Cert or PG Dip, followed by a 60-credit unit (dissertation/major project), to achieve an MA. Each of the six 20-credit units sets out to equip you with specific skills, knowledge and insights relevant to cultural innovation; as such, the content, teaching and learning activities, and assessment evidence for each one, is distinctive and uses the lexicon and discourses relevant to the specific range of disciplines that it covers. The final 60-credit unit offers the opportunity to bring together and demonstrate your assimilation of the skills and knowledge gained.

We are committed to developing ethical arts and cultural practices. To achieve this, we are working to embed UAL's Principles for Climate, Social and Racial Justice into the course. 

Course units

The course starts with Unit 1: Researching Arts and Cultural Enterprise, in which you are introduced to key concepts of cultural production as well as the research, writing, analysis and evaluation skills essential for postgraduate study. You begin to work together as a group, learning to negotiate, agree ground rules, communicate and share ideas and, importantly, learn how to approach and resolve difficulty and conflict.

Unit 2: Practice, Policy and Markets engages you in the macro analysis of the realm of cultural and artistic production and dissemination. It enables you to develop an understanding of cultural production in both the commercial and the public realms.

Unit 3: Contexts – Local and Global Challenges looks at the impact of contemporary values and discourses on the future. It interrogates globalisation as a challenge as well as an opportunity, and facilitates an understanding of enterprise in uncertain contexts.

In Unit 4: Arts Entrepreneurship, you explore the ways in which creativity, innovation, problem solving and entrepreneurship intersect. It employs real-world examples to enable you to think about business model innovation, new markets, new experiences and services, new ways of communication and new organisational models.

Unit 5: Business Models and Planning is the core business unit of the course. It introduces you to the basics of general business processes and developing strategies around short and longer-term challenges. Teaching includes theoretical approaches, and case-study-based learning.

Unit 6: Focus: Social Impact and Innovation engages with the overarching principles of social responsibility, ethical behaviours, social innovation and theories of socially-engaged practices, and challenges you to form an understanding of how cultural events and activities can support engagement with innovation and innovative practices.

Unit 7: Dissertation or live project is the final, Masters-specific 60-credit unit, which enables you to reflect critically on theories and critical skills encountered previously in the course, while proposing new approaches to cultural production, in a self-directed dissertation or major project. The dissertation is an individual academic study, based on models and theories discussed throughout the course; the live project puts strategies of cultural production into practice. This unit culminates in you working together to organise an online intervention.

Important note concerning academic progression through your course: 
If you are required to retake a unit you will need to cease further study on the course until you have passed the unit concerned. Once you have successfully passed this unit, you will be able to proceed onto the next unit. Retaking a unit might require you to take time out of study, which could affect other things such as student loans or the visa status for international students. 

Mode of Study

The course is offered in both two-year part-time, and flexible learning modes.

Part-time mode over two years: this means that, to achieve the Masters qualification in part-time mode, your learning is timetabled across 83 weeks over two full calendar years. To achieve the PG Cert takes 27 weeks’ study, over around an 8-month period, and for the PG Dip, it takes 54 weeks’ study, over around a 16-month period. Both PG Cert and PG Dip are offered as an exit award only.

Flexible learning mode (London cohort only): in this mode, individual units can be undertaken over a maximum five-year registration period. Unit 1 is compulsory and must be taken as the initial unit. Units 2 to 6 can be taken in any order thereafter. Unit 7 can be undertaken only when units one to six have been passed.

You are expected to commit an average of around 22 hours per week to your studies. Taught input is offered through intensive face-to-face teaching and learning activities on site near the beginning of each unit, and continues in the form of synchronous and asynchronous online teaching, support and feedback via Moodle (the University’s Virtual Learning Environment) throughout the remainder of the unit.

The course has been designed in this way to enable you to pursue your studies whilst also undertaking part-time employment, internships or care responsibilities. Your calendar for each unit is available on Moodle, and week-by-week timetable information is updated on a continuing basis.

Credit and award requirements 

The course is credit-rated at 180 credits.

On successfully completing the course, you will gain a Master of Arts (MA degree).

Under the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications, an MA is Level 7. All units must be passed in order to achieve the MA but the classification of the award is derived from the mark for the final unit only. 

If you are unable to continue on the course, a Postgraduate Certificate (PG Cert) will normally be offered following the successful completion of 60 credits, or a Postgraduate Diploma (PG Dip) following the successful completion of 120 credits.

In either mode, the MA award is based solely on the achievement in Unit 7.

Learning and teaching methods

The learning and teaching methods devised for this course include: 

Units 1 to 6 

Study is facilitated through weekly activity briefs and reading tasks, peer and self- evaluation in online group tutorials and individual online tutorial feedback. Group workshops and seminars during the face-to-face study time support your engagement further. To achieve this, the programme of study will typically include:

  • Unit briefing and introduction; 
  • ‘Ice-Breaker’ activity briefs; 
  • Group on-line ‘orientation’ exercise; 
  • Reading tasks; 
  • Face-to-Face workshops, introducing different ways of locating, interrogating, and interpreting a number of theoretical models; 
  • Team work; 
  • Student presentations to tutors and peers; 
  • Peer and external feedback; 
  • Tutorial facilitation/evaluation related to team/individual and cohort. 

Unit 7 Dissertation or Live Project 

This unit is focused on self-directed learning as students bring together the various components of the course. Students will be assigned a personal tutor, and they will need to negotiate the form and timing of the engagement with their tutor – e.g. face-to-face, digital/virtual interaction or telephone/video conferencing – taking account of the allocated learning and teaching hours for this unit. 

  • MA-ACE-Virtual-Reality-Conference-52.jpg
    MA Arts and Cultural Enterprise Virtual Reality Symposium. Photographer Glenn Michael Harper
  • MA-ACE-Virtual-Reality-Conference-34.jpg
    MA Arts and Cultural Enterprise Virtual Reality Symposium. Photographer Glenn Michael Harper
  • MA-ACE-Virtual-Reality-Conference-01.jpg
    MA Arts and Cultural Enterprise Virtual Reality Symposium. Photographer Glenn Michael Harper
  • _MG_3076.jpg
    Celebration of first cohort of graduates for the course

MA Arts and Cultural Enterprise at Central Saint Martins

Student voice: Patrice Farameh

Student voice: Fuensanta Soriana Lopez

Student voice: Annie Kerfoot

Culture and Enterprise Programme stories

410 Gone

410 Gone


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Facilities

Staff

Fees and funding

Home fee

£6,350 per year (Part-time); £1,410 per 20 credit unit (Flexible mode)

In the flexible learning option, the 60 credit unit, Dissertation or Live Personal Project (£4,230 for 60 credits), can only be taken after the successful completion of all other units, totalling 120 credits.

This fee is correct for entry in January 2025 and subject to change for entry in January 2026. Tuition fees may increase in future years for new and continuing students on courses lasting more than one year. Unit fees will be adjusted to reflect any changes in the annual tuition fee applicable to the year of study. For this course, you can pay tuition fees in instalments.

Home fees are currently charged to UK nationals and UK residents who meet the rules. However, the rules are complex. Find out more about our tuition fees and determining your fee status.

International fee

£12,530 per year (Part-time); £2,780 per 20 credit unit (Flexible mode)

In the flexible learning option, the 60 credit unit, Dissertation or Live Personal Project (£8,340 for 60 credits), can only be taken after the successful completion of all other units, totalling 120 credits.

This fee is correct for entry in January 2025 and subject to change for entry in January 2026. Tuition fees may increase in future years for new and continuing students on courses lasting more than one year. Unit fees will be adjusted to reflect any changes in the annual tuition fee applicable to the year of study. For this course, you can pay tuition fees in instalments.

Students from countries outside of the UK will generally be charged international fees. The rules are complex so read more about tuition fees and determining your fee status.

Scholarship search

Entry requirements

The standard entry requirements for this course are as follows:

  • An honours degree from disciplines such as fine art or design, the humanities, social sciences, politics or economics, or other areas of creative practice such as performance
  • Or an equivalent EU/international qualification

And a minimum of two years of work experience in the arts, design, performance or creative business management and administration sectors. The course will not recruit from end-on students (i.e. those progressing directly from undergraduate degrees).

AP(E)L – Accreditation of Prior (Experiential) Learning 

Exceptionally applicants who do not meet these course entry requirements may still be considered. The course team will consider each application that demonstrates additional strengths and alternative evidence. This might, for example, be demonstrated by: 

  • Related academic or work experience 

  • The quality of the personal statement 

  • A strong academic or other professional reference 

Or a combination of these factors. 

Each application will be considered on its own merit but cannot guarantee an offer in each case. 

English language requirements

IELTS level 7.0 or above, with at least 5.5 in reading, writing, listening and speaking (please check our main English language requirements webpage).

Selection criteria

We select applicants according to potential and current ability in the following areas:

  • Have the ability to think in abstract terms about planning, management, and resources
  • Have excellent communication skills
  • Be numerate, and display some experience and understanding of logistics and strategic thinking
  • Be team players and builders, not competitive individualists
  • Demonstrate a collaborative mindset and an ability to negotiate roles within multidisciplinary and cross-cultural teams
  • Have a strong level of standard computer literacy.

Note: It would be an advantage to have working knowledge of some Adobe CS software.

Although applicants will be expected to learn and use some aspects of Web 2.0 such as blogging and use social media, the course is not designed to teach students how to use a computer.

Computer equipment requirements

Applicants will need to be able to access/have:

  • A recent computer with an up-to-date operating system and web browser (smartphones and tablets can also be used, but are subject to some restrictions during the live classes)
  • A reliable, fast broadband connection (slow internet connection can affect the learner experience, especially during a live session in a virtual classroom)
  • A microphone (e.g. integrated to a laptop)
  • A webcam (e.g. integrated to a laptop)
  • Headphones (a headset with microphone/headphones is highly recommended).

What we are looking for

We are looking for applicants who want to plan, fund and realise cultural events and processes, rather than further developing their own individual practice.  It is also aimed at professionals wanting to get a greater understanding of the frameworks governing the cultural sectors as well as foster their business management skills.

As prospective entrepreneurs and creative strategists, applicants will need to demonstrate:

  • They can learn from failure
  • They are inclusive and understand the need to embrace diversity.

Apply now

Application deadline

Deadline

Round 1:

Not applicable

Round 2:

25 October 2024

Decision outcome

Round 1:

Not applicable

Round 2:

12 December 2024

Round 1
Round 2
Deadline
Not applicable
25 October 2024
Decision outcome

Not applicable

12 December 2024

All applications received by 25 October 2024 will be treated equally. If there are places available after this date, the course will remain open to applications until places have been filled.

Read more about deadlines

Apply now

Application deadline

Deadline

Round 1:

Not applicable

Round 2:

25 October 2024

Decision outcome

Round 1:

Not applicable

Round 2:

12 December 2024

Round 1
Round 2
Deadline
Not applicable
25 October 2024
Decision outcome

Not applicable

12 December 2024

All applications received by 25 October 2024 will be treated equally. If there are places available after this date, the course will remain open to applications until places have been filled.

Read more about deadlines

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How to apply

Follow this step-by-step guide to apply for this course

Step 1: Initial application

You will need to submit an initial application including your personal statement, CV and study proposal.

Personal statement advice

Your personal statement should be maximum 500 words and include:

  • your reasons for choosing the course
  • your current creative practice and how this course will help you achieve your future plans
  • any relevant education and experience, especially if you do not have any formal academic qualifications.

Visit our personal statement page for more advice.

CV advice

Please provide a CV detailing your education, qualifications and any relevant work or voluntary experience. If you have any web projects or other media that you would like to share, please include links in your CV. If English is not your first language, please also include your most recent English language test score.

Study proposal

Please provide a summary of your study proposal (800 words).

It should address 1 of the following areas:

Area 1: Describe the topic within arts and cultural enterprise that you would like to investigate at postgraduate level.

  • What has drawn you to this topic?
  • What do you already know about this topic and what hypotheses would you like to explore?
  • How might you undertake research on the topic?
  • How will this course help you to approach this research?

Area 2: Describe a new or different approach to cultural production, which you would like to put into practice.

  • What would you like to do?
  • What existing models of production would you draw upon, and how would you adapt and change it?
  • Is there a market for your endeavour? What does it look like?
  • Which production stages have you thought through (fundraising, identifying partners, market research etc.)
  • How will the course assist you to develop your idea?

Please note, your proposal serves to inform your application and we understand that your ideas will develop and change throughout your studies.

Step 2: Interview

You may be invited to an interview following our review of your application. All interviews are held online and last 15 to 20 minutes.

For top tips, see our Interview advice.

You also need to know

Communicating with you

Once you have submitted your initial application, we will email you with your login details for our Applicant portal.

Requests for supplementary documents like qualifications and English language tests will be made through the applicant portal. You can also use it to ask questions regarding your application. Visit our After you apply page for more information.

Applying to more than 1 course

You can apply for more than 1 postgraduate course at UAL but we recommend that you apply for no more than 3 courses. You need to tailor your application, supporting documents and portfolio to each course, so applying for many different courses could risk the overall quality of your application. If you receive offers for multiple courses, you'll only be able to accept 1 offer. UAL doesn't accept repeat applications to the same course in the same academic year.

Visas and immigration history check

All non-UK nationals must complete an immigration history check. Your application may be considered by our course teams before this check takes place. This means that we may request your portfolio and/or video task before we identify any issues arising from your immigration history check. Sometimes your history may mean that we are not able to continue considering your application. Visit our Immigration and visas advice page for more information.

External student transfer policy

UAL accepts transfers from other institutions on a case-by-case basis. Read our Student transfer policy for more information.

Alternative offers

If your application is really strong, but we believe your strengths and skillset are better suited to a different course, we may make you an alternative offer. This means you will be offered a place on a different course or at a different UAL College.

Deferring your place

We do not accept any deferral requests for our postgraduate courses. This means that you must apply in the year that you plan to start your course and you will not be able to defer your place to start at a later date.

Application deadlines

For postgraduate courses at UAL there are 2 equal consideration deadlines to ensure fairness for all our applicants. If you apply ahead of either of these deadlines, your application will be considered on an equal basis with all other applications in that round. If there are places available after the second deadline, the course will remain open to applications until places have been filled.

Careers

MA Arts and Cultural Enterprise aims to prepare graduates for the next step in their careers, whether that be a management position or a role within a leading team in the field of arts and cultural production. The entrepreneurial spirit of the course might also encourage some graduates to set up their own company or creative practice, or to work as a consultant.

Other areas of employment that this course might lead to include cultural institutions such as museums, theatre companies, cultural and live events companies and orchestras, broadcasters and publishers. Governance, policy and communication positions are also within the remit of the course. Overall, the course prepares graduates for careers where culture, economy and policy come together.

Specific roles a graduate might fulfil include: festival director; event manager; cultural sector entrepreneur; senior manager within an arts institution or organisation; cultural policy adviser within government; arts and community engagement adviser within a corporate enterprise; consultant to creative sector venture capital funds and angel investors (investors from the not-for-profit and philanthropic sectors).