Cultural Production

MFA, MA, PGDip, PGCert
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Cultural Production*

MFA, MA, PGDip, PGCert
Full time and part time

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.

*Please note this course is currently going through Approval with our Accrediting Body The University of Plymouth. You can register your interest to start in September 2021 below.

Key Info

  • Emphasis on developing curatorial and production skills in the post-Covid arts sector.

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

This course is going through the approval process and is not currently open for applications. Please register your interest below to be informed of all developments. ensure you submit your supporting materials (see below) after completing your application form.

TERM DATES AND teaching dates

Dates TBC. Planned start is September 2021.

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

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