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TH984 - Understanding Cultural Work

  • Module code: TH984
  • Module name: Understanding Cultural Work
  • Department: School of Theatre & Performance Studies and Cultural & Media Policy Studies
  • Credit: 20

Content and teaching | Assessment | Availability

Module content and teaching

Principal aims

In this module students will explore scholarly debates about work in the cultural and creative industries. Through theoretical and historical perspectives and empirical examples drawing from research into work in the contemporary arts and cultural industries the module will provide a framework through which to examine how cultural work has been imagined, understood and represented as a particular kind of work. This will include consideration of significant historical and contemporary theoretical perspectives on the nature of work itself, the place of work in our understanding of human nature and culture, the relations between work and aesthetic/creative forms of cultural production and the broadened organisational and policy infrastructures which have come to support and underpin them. Sometimes understood as the same as or a model for work in the broader economy, and sometimes constructed as distinct and different from other, less ‘special’ forms of work, cultural work has become a significant terrain for academic, industry and policy-oriented research. This module will equip students with the means to navigate this terrain.

Principal learning outcomes

By the end of this module students will be able to: ◾Critically assess and evaluate a range of theoretical and scholarly perspectives on cultural work ◾Work creatively and independently on the construction of a coherent argument about a chosen aspect of cultural work ◾Analyse and critique a variety of forms of evidence relating to cultural work and the cultural industries ◾Interpret and articulate perspectives on scholarly debates and evidence about cultural work in class discussion ◾Critically assess the relations between the labour market for cultural work and cultural policy

Timetabled teaching activities

Seminars, Lectures and tutorials.

Departmental link

Module assessment

Assessment group Assessment name Percentage
20 CATS (Module code: TH984-20)
A (Assessed work only) 4000 word assignment 100%

Module availability

This module is available on the following courses:



Optional Core


  • Postgraduate Taught Creative and Media Enterprises (W4P4) - Year 2
  • Postgraduate Taught Global Media and Communication (W4PG) - Year 2
  • Postgraduate Taught International Cultural Policy and Management (W4PM) - Year 2
  • Postgraduate Taught Arts, Enterprise and Development (W4PQ) - Year 2