Cultural Production

MFA, MA, PGDip, PGCert

Cultural Production*

MFA, MA, PGDip, PGCert
Full time and part time
Starts September 2021
Deadline for applications, second round: 1 July 2021*

What does it really mean to create, curate and manage cultural organisations and arts projects? How has the current climate effected the arts sector, and what new skills does producing events post-Covid call for? How does the new normal in the arts play in rural and urban contexts?

This programme is designed to help you build and enhance your production, managerial, administrative, fundraising and creative curatorial skills, to survive in the contemporary arts sector. We will look at how to apply creative leadership and ethical principles in managing artistic excellence, cultural heritage and events.

Whilst developing new cultural approaches, theories of contemporary public engagement, audience development and alternative models of routes to the creative industries, you will gain increased awareness of and ability to engage with the civic role of culture in society. You will also develop entrepreneurial and resourceful approaches to creating cultural outcomes, new cultural organisations and building audiences beyond traditional spaces and sited events.

*We are working to accommodate as many students as is right for our programmes and will begin interviewing and making offers very soon. Applicants who applied before our initial preferred deadline will be given priority. In the meantime though, in recognition of the complexity of the global situation and the difficult decisions posed to many prospective students by the pandemic, we’re extending our application deadline as above.

Key Info

A full-time (1 year) or part-time programme (2 years) with 4 x 30 credit modules and 1 x 60 credit dissertation or major project module. The taught (30 credit) modules are six weeks’ long. Teaching at Dartington is concentrated into two-week periods for each of the first four modules, with supported e-learning and independent learning inbetween.

The programme is for current cultural producers looking to enhance their knowledge, those in allied fields seeking a route into careers in the arts and cultural sectors and activist creatives who want to seize the opportunity to create new types of cultural agency, activity and venues in a period of massive change, uncertainty and potential opportunities in the arts and culture post-Covid and Brexit.

The MFA option involves a further 60 credits of study resulting in a significant, self initiated public outcome, performance, exhibition or publication. Participants will be drawn from our own MA programmes as well as those from other institutions.

Programme information / apply now

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how to apply

Application form

Click below to apply for this course online(form opens in new window/tab)..
Deadline for applications, second round: 1 July 2021

We are working to accommodate as many students as is right for our programmes and will begin interviewing and making offers very soon. Applicants who applied before our initial preferred deadline will be given priority. In the meantime though, in recognition of the complexity of the global situation and the difficult decisions posed to many prospective students by the pandemic, we’re extending our application deadline as above.


Please ensure you submit your supporting materials (see below) after completing your application form.

Additional Documentation in Support of your Application

After you have submitted your application, please send all necessary supporting information listed below as soon as possible to allow us to process your application. As our staff are mostly working from home at present, please send scanned copies or electronic versions of the below to:


1) Certificate(s) or transcript(s) of first degree or equivalent qualifications: these can be Original or certified copies:

Photocopies MUST be certified by a public notary or solicitor (with contact details provided for them).

Any documents which are not in English MUST be accompanied by a full translation then certified by a public notary or solicitor. All translations must be accompanied by the certificate or transcript in the original language.

Important notes for students requiring a Student Visa

UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) will only accept original copies of your documents during the visa application process. We are happy to accept originals, but it is safer to post certified photocopies which meet the above guidelines. Please bring the originals with you to enrolment if offered a place.

UKVI also require a full translation of any documents that are not in English.

Dartington Arts School is licensed under Dartington Trust as a Student Visa Sponsor. To comply with our sponsorship duties, we are required to check other aspects of your application in addition to your academic achievements. We will look at previous studies in the UK and other aspects outlined in UKVI guidance for sponsors. Information you provide on your application form will be passed on to the UKVI once you have been offered a place and Dartington Arts School agrees to sponsor you.

2) A recent passport-size photograph

3) A copy of the front cover and information page of your current passport (inform us immediately if you get a new passport before you come to the UK to study).

4) A copy of any previous or current UK visa.

Translations of documents which are not in English

The original translation must contain:

  • confirmation from the translator/translation company that it is an accurate translation of the original document
  • the date of the translation
  • the translator/an authorised official of the translation company’s full name and signature, and
  • the translator/translation company’s contact details.

Documentary requirements for Student Visa applicants can be found here ( Please read the Guidance and Appendix at the bottom of the page.

TERM DATES AND teaching dates

2021-22 Academic Year

Autumn Term: Monday 13 September – Friday 17 December 2021
Winter Term: Monday 10 January – Friday 1 April 2022
Spring Term: Monday 25 April – Friday 1 July 2022
Dissertation Deadline: mid-August 2022

Taught Dates

14–17 September 2021: Welcome Week
20 September–1 October 2021: Module 1
8–19 November 2021: Module 2
7–18 February 2022: Module 3
21 March –1 April 2022: Module 4

programme structure and modules

Modules 1 and 2 and 3 run sequentially during term 1 and 2. Module 4 runs for the whole of term 3 and is the final project for students exiting with an MA. For those wishing to undertake an MFA they will attend for a further 2 terms full time or 1 year part time. Below are draft modules, which are indicative only at this stage, though we hope to confirm more details soon.

Principles of Cultural Production and Management (30 credits)

The module explores practical and theoretical issues surrounding Arts and Cultural Management. It looks at the changing cultural landscape, the Arts councils 10 year stratergy, changes to the cultural landscape post Covid and Brexit and the opportunities that arise. It examines the consequences of shifting cultural policy, regionality, parity and accessibility. It looks at audiences and participation and what is genuine engagement. And it looks at value, both financial and societal. The module also starts to build level 7 research knowledge and approaches.

The Producer’s Tool Kit (30 credits)

This module aims to build or enhance an essential tool kit required to be an effective Cultural producer. It covers through a number of lectures and practical assignments, skills as diverse as digital marketing, funding applications, evaluation skills, audience development, leadership skills and the skills required to self start and generate opportunities outside of the current cultural establishment. The module explores how the cultural sector is both distinct but also draws on the work of other areas of the economy/society. Additionally, this module requires students to project forward, to imagine their career trajectory, to understand their own strengths and areas for development and to plan their ongoing Personal Development Plan.

Space, Curation, Programming (60 credits)

This module requires the practical application of skills acquired to date, to be applied to a number of live and simulated assignments. Students will work both individually and in groups, in traditional cultural contexts and in popup real world and virtual environments. Students will make proposals, devise funding strategies, create marketing plans, devise curatorial frame works, produce programme plans, Catalogue essays etc. The module provides a setting to question the nature of how cultural venues are set up and are run against a background of shifting cultural policy.  These activities will take place both in the lecture space as well as through a number of partner organisations.

MA Dissertation/Final Project (60 credits)

This module supports the student’s Cultural, Management and production skills. Students will devise and negotiate an appropriate and relevant personal assignment which will enable them to demonstrate their practical, creative, theoretical and reflective practice. The module culminates in a public showing of work, relevant and authentic to the practice alongside the submission of a formal piece of writing. Outputs from the module will evidence the depth of development and synthesis of knowledge from the programme.

MFA Professional Project (60 credits)

This module is self-initiated from the outset and prioritises individual research, conducted under supervision with identified tutors and other mentors and external advisors considered essential to the study. MFA students learn from and contribute to the delivery of the module through their interaction with peers, tutors and the wider arts and cultural community. Emphasis is placed upon independence, originality, initiative and enterprise. Teaching and learning will be complimented by the wide range of visiting lecturers (e.g. artists, Curators, choreographers, directors, performers composers, critics, producers, etc), providing the opportunity to discuss work with renowned experts. Students will develop individual opportunities with national and/or international venues, opportunities, agencies, etc., which may also result in working independently or at distance. Culmination of the module is the production of a substantial and resolved creative outcome that will be exhibited/performed/published and assessed in an appropriate public arena.


Tim Bolton, Head of Programmes, Dartington Trust

entry requirements

Qualification(s) required for entry to the MA

BA (Honours) Degree: A first degree in an arts, or humanities subject. All applicants will be required to present examples of relevant work. Where the first degree is not arts or humanities-related, a portfolio of work will be required in support of the application or experience that is equivalent and demonstrates interest or track record in related field.

Other non-standard awards or experience: A willingness to engage with the field of Cultural production. Candidates will be considered with prior credited learning and prior experiences subject to interview. *

Interview requirements: All applicants are required to attend an interview, either at the School or online.

*For further information please contact our admissions team

remote learning

All our low-residency degree programmes are available as online only pathways from June 2021 onwards. Following a year of successful online and hybrid delivery, we have now developed an online distance learning model that allows you to attain your postgraduate qualification even if you are unable to physically travel to Dartington. The online pathway joins existing modes of studying with us, such as the residential pathway (two weeks on site per module) and a hybrid pathway that allows you to combine online and on site learning to suite your circumstances. (Please note that international students taking online only pathways do not need to apply for a Student Visa.)

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