Module WXM-3221:
Intro to Arts Administration

Module Facts

Run by School of Music and Media

10 Credits or 5 ECTS Credits

Semester 1

Organiser: Mr Stephen Rees

Overall aims and purpose

• to explore several different aspects of arts management or arts administration, with particular reference to music.

• to give a clear idea of the range of personal and professional skills required in arts administration work.

• to acquaint students with the theoretical basis underpinning an informed approach to the promotion and management of the arts.

• to help students develop a range of practical skills involved in the field of arts administration.

Course content

This module offers students the opportunity to achieve a degree of working knowledge – both theoretical and practical – in the field of arts administration by means of a variety of activities concerning many types of organisations devoted in some way or another to the arts. Topics will include: planning a major artistic event (e.g. concert series, festival); developing audiences for the arts; artist promotion; marketing arts events; fundraising, sponsorship and grant applications; developing an artistic and financial strategy. Skills to be developed will include: coherent programming;the design and production of promotional materials; writing press releases and funding applications; problem-solving for arts institutions and organisations.

Assessment Criteria


Work which demonstrates a limited knowledge of the subject, with restricted ability at conceptual thought, little evidence of a truly intellectual approach, but nevertheless expressed in a comprehensible way.


Work which demonstrates a competent grasp of the subject, with good conceptual thought, evidence of intellectual acumen, and expressed clearly and interestingly.


Work which demonstrates a thorough grasp of the subject, with evidence of further study and deeper conceptual thought, with some originality of approach and/or insight, all expressed coherently and convincingly.

Learning outcomes

  1. Acquired a comprehensive knowledge and in-depth understanding of the various factors involved in arts management.

  2. Gained an appreciation of the range of personal and professional skills required in arts administration work.

  3. Demonstrated a thorough and critical understanding of the theoretical basis underpinning an informed approach to the promotion and management of the arts.

  4. Demonstrated a good appreciation of the impact of cultural policy and the criteria of the Arts Councils and funding bodies on the provision and administration of the arts in Britain.

  5. Demonstrated that they have developed to an advanced level and are able to put into practice effectively a range of practical skills involved in the field of arts administration.

  6. Demonstrated that they have mastered a range of new skills in the fields of written and oral presentation as appropriate for this level of study.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
INDIVIDUAL PRESENTATION Individual presentation

A presentation chosen from a small range of predefined topics.

COURSEWORK Artist-focused assignment

A two-part assignment focusing on the promotion of a musical soloist or ensemble. The first part will deal with promotional material itself, and the second part on strategies for promotion in various media.

REPORT Plan and budget for small festival (preparation for funding bid)

The assignment will be focused on the completion of a plan for a short festival or series of musical events, which will be appropriate.


Teaching and Learning Strategy

Practical classes and workshops

One class of 90-120 minutes each week for 11 weeks, including presentations on specialist subjects given by guest speakers and a one-day field trip to one or more relevant arts venues or organisations.

Private study

Self-directed study, following guidelines offered during the module.


Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
  • Mentoring - Able to support, help, guide, inspire and/or coach others
  • Management - Able to utilise, coordinate and control resources (human, physical and/or financial)
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others
  • Leadership - Able to lead and manage, develop action plans and objectives, offer guidance and direction to others, and cope with the related pressures such authority can result in

Subject specific skills

  • Intellectual skills specific to Music – contextual knowledge, cultural awareness, critical understanding, repertoire knowledge, curiosity, analytical demonstration
  • Technological skills – digital capture, digital expression, digital innovation
  • Intellectual skills shared with other disciplines – research and exploration, reasoning and logic, understanding, critical judgement, assimilation and application
  • Skills of communication and interaction – oral and written communication, public presentation, team-working and collaboration, awareness of professional protocols, sensitivity, ICT skills, etc.
  • Skills of personal management – self-motivation, self-critical awareness, independence, entrepreneurship and employment skills, time management and reliability, organisation, etc.
  • Enhanced powers of imagination and creativity (4.17)


Reading list

British Music Yearbook (Rhinegold Publishing, London). ML21 .M89483 v.21 (several editions)

I.S.M. (Incorporated Societies of Musicians) Registers of Professional Artists, Performers and Composers.

P.R.S. (Performing Rights Society) Handbook.

National Federation of Music Societies: Catalogues of Orchestral and Choral Music. Arts Management Weekly (Rhinegold Publishing, London).

BALSOM, Denis (ed.): The Wales Yearbook (HTV). [Latest received 2013] X/GEN 5 WAL 2013

William J. Byrnes, Management and the Arts (4th online edition, 2014). [electronic resource only, available through Library catalogue]

Keith Diggle, Arts Marketing (London, 1994). NX760.D53

Marian Fitzgibbon & Anne Kelly (eds), From Maestro to Manager: Critical Issues inArts and Culture Management (Dublin, 1997). NX770.E85 F76

Elizabeth Hill, et al., Creative Arts Marketing (London, 1995). NX634.H55

Bonita M. Kolb, Marketing Cultural Organisations: New Strategies for Attracting Audiences to Classical Music, Dance, Museums, Theatre and Opera (Dublin, 2000). NX220.K64

Philip Kotler & Joanne Scheff, Standing Room Only: Strategies for Marketing the Performing Arts (Cambridge, MA, 1997). PN1590.M27 K68

John Pick & Malcolm Anderton, Arts Administration (London, 1996). NX770.G7 P52 [5 copies] Janice [Ginny] Redish, Letting Go of the Words: Writing Web Content That Works (Interactive Technologies) (San Francisco, 2012) TK5105.888 .R427 2012 [2 copies; also available as e-book]

John Tusa, Art Matters: Reflecting on Culture (London, 1999). NX180.S6 T87

Mark Wallinger & Mary Warnock (eds.), Art For All? Their Policies and Our Culture (London, 2000). NX760.A77

Courses including this module

Optional in courses: