MA/PhD Programme

Class trip, Wexford Opera House

Interested in obtaining a further qualification in Arts Management?

UCD’s postgraduate MA course in Arts Management & Cultural Policy is the longest-running programme of its kind in Ireland (and one of the most established in Europe), with its roots in the Higher Diploma in Arts Administration from 1986.

We have a competitively-selected class of 20-30 MA students every year, who come from across the artforms (music, theatre, dance, visual arts, film, cultural industries, etc). The MA programme is designed to prepare students for management careers in the arts, spanning the fields of marketing, education, artistic management, general management, local government, cultural policy, heritage — to name a few! We also welcome significant numbers of international students to the course each year, from Europe, North and South America, China, the Middle East — which makes for a wonderful and invigorating mix of perspectives and discussion.

UCD’s programme is distinguished by its combination of coursework in business (marketing, finance, law, management); cultural policy (Irish and international comparative); independent research and work placement. The programme is generally full-time and runs from September-early August, although the on-campus commitment is only Sept-Dec and Jan-March, and we do have some flexible learning options – contact us for more details. A link to the online application and more information is here.

Interested to know where our alumni have ended up? Click the image below for a expanded screen shot of just one part of our alumni Linked-In page — this gives you a sample of more than 500 graduates of the programme who are working across arts and cultural sector internationally.

UCD Arts Management alumni

UCD Arts Management alumni

Students pursuing the MA in Arts Management and Cultural Policy are also required to complete a minor thesis, involving original research on a wide range of subjects. Here’s a sample of a few recent MA theses:

  • Jonathan Kennedy, Coping with Success: an investigation into overtourism’s nascence in Ireland
  • Jennifer McAndrew, The Soft Power of Music Diplomacy: A Case Study of Ireland’s Showcase at South by Southwest Music Festival
  • Erin McNulty, Books, Bugs, and Bytes: Digitisation of Fragile Collections & the role of the Arts Manager in preservation, research and accessibility
  • Gabriela Stoycheva, Popular Music Export Strategies and Barriers to the Effective Use of European Union Resources: The Case of Music from Ireland and Music Finland
  • Alexandra Strelova, The Evolution from Community-Based, Voluntary Run to Professional Arts Festival: A Case Study of Carlow Arts Festival (formerly Éigse)
  • Thea Cook, That Underdog Energy: Coopetition among “indie” opera companies in the New York Opera Alliance
  • Maya Duncan, Casting for Black Performers on a Post-Hamilton Broadway
  • Christelle Gebhardt, Composing the Audience: On Neoliberalism, Governmentality and Music Audience Subjectivity in Present-Day Ireland
  • Nina Scholtens, How does Arts and Health in Ireland facilitate participation in the arts through music provision for people with dementia in healthcare settings?
  • Franziska Zibert, The Transformation of Museum Collection Management: The Significance of Digitization for Museum Collection Management in the 21st century

Students also have the opportunity to pursue M.Litt and PhD degrees on arts management and cultural policy topics. UCD also operates a structured PhD programme, which provides for independent research supplemented by some coursework, supported by a primary supervisor based in the School and an interdisciplinary doctoral panel. If you’re considering PhD work, I highly recommend downloading first my guide Thinking of Undertaking a PhD, that has lots of helpful advice, information, and steps in the process of enquiring and applying to UCD.

Feel free to email me if you’d like to discuss pursuing an MA, MLitt or PhD with the School, or have any further questions about our programme!

For a list of other Irish postgraduate degrees and courses in related fields, see Frequently Asked Questions.

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