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MA in Arts, Enterprise and Development

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Degree Overview

This course is inspired by the growing global movement for using the arts, culture and creative industries in global policies for sustainable development. The course is driven by a great challenge – how do we use artistic creativity as a force for human, social and economic progress? In practice, this challenge is fraught with questions and difficulties. What counts as ‘progress’? In the past, progress has created huge social inequalities as well as environmental damage. This degree investigates the exciting potential of artistic and cultural creativity across the globe and critically reflects upon the political, legal, ethical and social contexts of the project examples it uncovers.

The MA in Arts Enterprise and Development is designed to develop you intellectually as well as enhance your professional skills. It will give you the opportunity to explore why major global actors like the UN and EU and many NGOs are all increasingly using the arts and culture in their development programs. You will learn how arts of all kinds; from textiles and ceramics to multimedia performance and installation, are initiated, organised and project managed. You will then examine the impact of these arts enterprises and cultural projects in a range of contexts including post-communist societies, religious republics and conflict zones, and in small-scale local economies. By engaging with theory and research you will develop your understanding of the ways in which they can inform new kinds of professional practice and anticipate future developments.

This course will enable you to:

  • Deepen your knowledge on the function of enterprise in generating social innovation and sustainable communities.
  • Learn about the history and current work of global institutions like the UN and World Bank, as well as the social, legal and political frameworks governing development on a global scale.
  • Reflect critically on the power of creativity, the arts and cultural enterprise as featured within the global discourses and practices of development policy and governance.
  • Conduct systematic research and methodical analysis of cultural enterprises and their contribution to local communities and local economies.
  • Consider the ethical and moral implications of using arts and culture within development work and how they can be used to further social justice as well as economic growth.
  • Equip students with the key intellectual skills, professional knowledge and organisation and management skills relevant for work in the area of cultural enterprise and development
  • Develop your own vocational direction and capacity for active involvement in development projects and enterprises.

Explore the power of arts and culture...

How are the arts, along with creative and cultural enterprise, increasingly used in policy intervention to stimulate social change and economic growth? What are the rights and wrongs of using arts and culture in local and international development? How can we use arts and culture to further social justice as well as new enterprise and economic benefit?

Create new ideas...

This programme is about ideas, but also the pragmatic frameworks of cultural and social enterprise. Ideas emerge through the clash between theory and practice. This requires critical thinking, analysis and the ability to research a wide range of case material. We will devise ways of overcoming divisions, crossing borders, and communicating across cultural boundaries.

Learn to innovate...

Development is local and global, and requires enterprising people who can think creatively, communicate decisively, and plan change strategically. It will require new models, plans and techniques of enterprise for a range of development contexts – urban or rural poverty, ethnic or religious strife, war, corruption, or even terrorism.

Extend your skills...

As a member of an international student group, you will collaborate in cross-cultural teams to identify development problems, formulate solutions, devise and design projects and construct professional proposals. We will study using case study material, learn from the the experience of development professionals, and you will identify and develop your individual areas of expertise.

Course Director: Dr. Jamie Larkin


The core modules are taught through a combination of lectures, workshops, seminars and student-led presentations. The course is designed to facilitate participation and critical self-reflection. You will engage in discussions and debates about development policies and strategies, and learn how to solve the problems faced by enterprise start-ups and projects in the development field. Depending upon your selection of optional modules you will also have the opportunity to apply your learning in a professional context.

The MA in Arts, Enterprise and Development enhances your research, writing and communication skills through report and evaluation writing. You will learn professional methods for the analysis of enterprises and undertake case studies on particular countries, cities and projects. Field trips and practical projects will enable you to experience regional arts and cultural venues and organisations with your fellow students. Throughout the degree, you will also be guided and supported through personal tutorials so that your postgraduate study at the Centre will equip you with the professional skills you need for your chosen career path.

Contact Hours:

Typical contact hours range between 6 to 10 hours each week for core teaching – this excludes additional workshops, research seminars and guest speaker sessions.

Class Sizes:

There are between 25 to 30 students on each of the four taught Master's courses.


  • All coursework (course-based written assessment only).
  • Written assignments come in a variety of forms: essays, case studies, evaluations, reports, proposals, portfolios and business plans.
  • Group presentations and tasks, team building exercises, and creative and practical projects.
  • Major Project represents a significant body of research and writing on a topic of your choice supervised by an experienced researcher.

Core Modules:

There are three subject-based core modules and one skills core module (Research Design). The subject-based modules offer an overview of the discourses of arts, culture and development, the nature of artistic production and the function of enterprise in global and local contexts.

As a student on the MA in Arts, Enterprise and Development you will complete four core modules:

Culture and Global Sustainable Development

examines the global policy frameworks for culture, arts and development: the ideas, aspirations, ethics and policy strategies for using the arts, culture and creative industries within human, social and urban development.

Creativity, Community and Enterprise

explores instances of arts and cultural enterprise within local contexts. It will look at cases and examples and ask practical questions on creativity, leadership, management and running an enterprise.

Project Management for Cultural Enterprise

gives you skills-based knowledge on how to plan, organise and implement your creative ideas, producing something tangible and something aiming for social impact.

Research Design

This is the Common Centre skills-based Core module. This module aims to prepare you for your Major Project (see below.) It will equip you with a broad understanding of relevant research methods from which to select an appropriate approach for your own project. It will introduce you to ethical dimensions of research. It will equip you to write an effective proposal (including research questions, rationale, explanation and justification of research methods, identifying relevant literature and data sources). By the end of the module you should be ready to submit your proposal and equipped with a broad understanding of research methods in the cultural, creative and media industries field.

The final part of this Masters course is the 'Major Project'. The Major Project is the culmination of your learning and where you establish your expertise in a specific area by conducting your own major research project, supervised by a scholar in the field. You may want to work in a large international organisation, local government or community, or you may be an artist or entrepreneur who wants to devise your own business or organisation. To find out more please click here.

Optional Modules:

In addition to your four core modules, you will be able to determine the appropriate balance between applied and theoretical work by completing one optional module from a list available to all taught Masters students within the Centre.

Previously the suite of modules from which to choose have included:

  • Developing Audiences for Cultural Organisations
  • Cultural Entrepreneurship
  • Sustainable Creativity for the Cultural Industries
  • Understanding Cultural Work
  • The Global Audience

If you would like to view the full list of optional modules, please visit this page.

* The modules mentioned above and on our optional modules page may be subject to change. Please read our terms and conditions for more detailed information.

The course is designed for students seeking a role in the field of development such as working for a NGO or a third sector organisation as well as those looking for careers and entrepreneurial roles in the cultural and creative industries. Past students have taken up roles such as executives, account managers, creative directors and production managers in a wide range of organisations including; public and community arts organisations, large and small scale development aid agencies, the United Nations and registered charities.

The course is also an excellent platform for PhD study if you are considering a research career in academia or industry. To find out more about PhD study at the Centre, please visit this page.

We maintain close links with Centre alumni who regularly notify us of job opportunities and work closely with advisors in the University Careers Centre who also offer specialist workshops and advice sessions.

Essential Information

How to apply

Course Code



Full-time: 1 year

Part-time: 2 years

Entry Requirements

2:i undergraduate degree (or equivalent) in a related subject

English Language Requirements

Band B

IELTS overall score of 7.0, minimum component scores of two at 6.0/6.5 and the rest at 7.0 or above.

Location of Study

University of Warwick

Course Fees

See Student Finance


The University is part of a number of prestigious government Scholarship schemes, including Chevening, Fulbright,
Commonwealth and Marshall. For more information click here.

Additional Course Costs

For all MA courses, the cost of two bound copies of the major project will amount to £25 and field trips or off-campus assignments are estimated to cost between £100-£200, although this will depend on which option module has been chosen or the nature of a project or placement undertaken for an applied management module.

Find out more about fees and funding on the University website.

Useful Links

The Graduate School

Visas: Immigration Advice

The International Office

Warwick Accommodation

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