Master of Business (Arts and Cultural Management)

Postgraduate coursework

Be prepared for leadership roles within the arts and creative industries while connecting with like-minded professionals who share your passion.

Key facts

English language requirements

IELTS overall score of 6.5 (with no band score less than 6.0) or equivalent


The time and cost can be reduced based on your previous qualifications and professional experience. This means you can fast track the masters degree from 1.5 years down to 1 year duration. See entry requirements below for more information.


Current Deakin Students

To access your official course details for the year you started your degree, please visit the handbook

Course overview

The Master of Business (Arts and Cultural Management) prepares you for leadership roles within the arts and creative industries, while connecting you with like-minded arts professionals who share your passion. Combine business expertise with the hands-on skills employers are seeking and learn from industry-active academics what it takes to forge a successful career in this exciting industry.

Students with an interest in events and festivals are encouraged to consider the event management specialisation where skills obtained are not only sought out by employers, they are directly transferrable to a range of arts manager roles, such as in visual and performing arts and local government organisations.

Ready to thrive, adapt and lead in a rapidly evolving arts industry?

Gain a competitive advantage by studying the only course of its kind in Australia delivered by a business school. The Master of Business (Arts and Cultural Management) received the highest possible rating for research impact and engagement from the Australian Research Council*.

Whether you’re a creative practitioner working at the grassroots level of the industry or looking to move into a more senior position, the course will give you the tools and training to confidently transition into a leadership role be it within a not-for-profit or commercial organisation.

The course is responsive to trends within the sector, better preparing you for your future role. For example, you might learn how to coordinate a virtual event (an emerging growth area in the industry) in a COVID-19 affected landscape or prepare a business plan for a creative industries startup. Through tasks like this, you can apply the fundamentals of business – including management, marketing, finance, human resources and project management – in arts and cultural management contexts.

In addition to core units of study, you can tailor your degree to your career goals by choosing up to four elective units from any Faculty of Business specialisation. Some of your options include:

  • Creating Your Arts Business
  • Managing Innovation
  • Marketing Management
  • Business Strategy and Analysis
  • Consumer Behaviour.


The curriculum's connectedness to the sector comes as a result of course content that’s shaped by an advisory board and delivered by industry experts. Working alongside employers and board members within the industry, our academics develop assessments, projects and content that reflect the challenges of the field. Not only are our academics well-connected, they’re also highly credentialed and experienced. From arts managers influencing arts and cultural policies for government, to Presidents of the Green Room Awards, you’ll be learning from the very best.

Practical experience enhances your employability and grows your professional networks. Some examples of the hands-on learning you can look forward to include:

  • a community-based arts project documented in the form of a grant application to the Australia Council – a past student was awarded a $35,000 grant for their submission
  • industry placements – past students have secured placements with the Arts Centre Melbourne and other prominent arts organisations
  • research projects that train you in valuable critical thinking, problem solving and communication skills.

As competition for our eyes and ears increases, so too does the demand for arts-literate, industry-savvy leaders who can engage interest, secure support and grow audiences. With a sought-after qualification from a leader in arts management education, you’ll be ready to take advantage of this demand and reach your full potential.

Read More

Course information

Award granted
Master of Business (Arts and Cultural Management)

2023 course information

Deakin code
Higher Degree Coursework (Masters and Doctorates)
Approval status

This course is approved by the University under the Higher Education Standards Framework.

Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) recognition

The award conferred upon completion is recognised in the Australian Qualifications Framework at Level 9.

Course structure

The Master of Business (Arts and Cultural Management) is typically 8 or 12  credit points. The exact number of credit points you study depends on how much credit you receive as recognition of prior learning (RPL) - your professional experience and previous qualifications - which can save you time and money.

For students undertaking 12 credit points, you study 8 credit points of core units and 4 credit points of elective units, plus completion of the compulsory 0-credit point module, MAI010 Academic Integrity Module. Most units (think of units as 'subjects') are equal to 1 credit point.

Students are introduced to research tools and techniques in core units of the course where they learn analytic skills and the practical application of those skills in professional contexts. They must also complete advanced level units and a capstone unit that require them to integrate the skills learnt over their course of study and produce applied pieces of research with reference to prevailing literature.


Credit points of core units


Credit points of elective units


Total credit points

Core units

  • Arts Marketing
  • Arts Management
  • Financial Interpretation
  • Human Resource Management
  • Managing Events
  • Arts Fundraising and Sponsorship
  • Managing Arts in Community Settings
  • Creative Industries (Capstone)
  • Compulsory 0-credit point unit

    To be completed in the first trimester of study:-

  • Academic Integrity Module
  • Elective units

    The remaining 4 credit points may be selected from:

    • Recommended electives^
    • a faculty-wide specialisation
    • postgraduate units offered by the University (subject to eligibility)

    ^Recommended electives

  • Creating Your Arts Business
  • Managing Innovation ^
  • Marketing Management
  • Business Strategy and Analysis
  • Governance and Accountability
  • Consumer Behaviour
  • Research in Practice
  • MWL Units:

  • Business for Social Impact
  • Consultancy Experience
  • Entrepreneurship Experience
  • Internship
  • ^ MPT code denotes study tour version of the unit


    Refer to the details of each specialisation for availability.


    Intakes by location

    The availability of a course varies across locations and intakes. This means that a course offered in Trimester 1 may not be offered in the same location for Trimester 2 or 3. Check each intake for up-to-date information on when and where you can commence your studies.

    Trimester 1 - March

    • Start date: March
    • Available at:
      • Online

    Trimester 2 - July

    • Start date: July
    • Available at:
      • Online

    Please note that this course is not offered in Trimester 3.

    For students who commenced before Trimester 2 2020 please refer to previous version of M785 Master of Business (Arts and Cultural Management)

    INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS - International students should note that, due to visa regulations, this course can only be undertaken while living outside Australia.

    Additional course information

    Course duration - additional information
    Course duration may be affected by delays in completing course requirements, such as accessing or completing work placements.

    Mandatory student checks

    Units which contain work integrated learning, a community placement or interaction with the community may require a police check, working with children check or other check. These requirements will be detailed in unit guides upon enrolment.


    As a student in the Faculty of Business and Law, you can expect to participate in a range of teaching activities each week. This could include classes, seminars, practicals and online interaction. You can refer to the individual unit details in the course structure for more information. You will also need to study and complete assessment tasks in your own time.

    Participation requirements

    Units in this course may have participation requirements that include compulsory placements, work-based training, community-based learning or collaborative research training arrangements.

    Placement can occur at any time, including during the standard holiday breaks listed here:

    Reasonable adjustments to participation and other course requirements will be made for students with a disability. More information available at Disability support services.

    Work experience

    This course provides students the opportunity to complete one or more elective work integrated learning units.
    More information: WIL Programs

    Entry requirements

    Entry information

    Depending on your previous qualifications and professional experience, your course will be 1 or 1.5 years duration.

    1 year full time (2 years part time) – 8 credit points
    Admission is based on:

    • Bachelor Honours (AQF8) degree in a related discipline, or
    • Bachelor degree in a related discipline, plus two years relevant work experience, or
    • Graduate Certificate or graduate diploma in a related discipline, or
    • Evidence of academic capability judged to be equivalent

    1.5 years full time (3 years part time) – 12 credit points
    Admission is based on:

    • Bachelor degree in a related discipline, or
    • Bachelor degree in any discipline, plus two years relevant work experience, or
    • Evidence of academic capability judged to be equivalent

    IELTS / English language requirements

    Please note that English language requirements exist for entry to this course and you will be required to meet the English language level requirement that is applicable in the year of your commencement of studies.

    It is the students’ responsibility to ensure that she/he has the required IELTS score to register with any external accredited courses. (more details)

    Deakin University offers admission to postgraduate courses through a number of Admission categories. To be eligible for admission to this program, applicants must meet the course requirements.

    All applicants must meet the minimum English language requirements.

    Please note that meeting the minimum admission requirements does not guarantee selection, which is based on merit, likelihood of success and availability of places in the course.

    For more information on the Admission Criteria and Selection (Higher Education Courses) Policy visit the Deakin Policy Library.

    The University aims to provide students with as much credit as possible for approved prior study or informal learning which exceeds the normal entrance requirements for the course and is within the constraints of the course regulations. Students are required to complete a minimum of one-third of the course at Deakin University, or four credit points, whichever is the greater. In the case of certificates, including graduate certificates, a minimum of two credit points within the course must be completed at Deakin.

    Recognition of prior learning

    The University aims to provide students with as much credit as possible for approved prior study or informal learning which exceeds the normal entrance requirements for the course and is within the constraints of the course regulations. Students are required to complete a minimum of one-third of the course at Deakin University, or four credit points, whichever is the greater. In the case of certificates, including graduate certificates, a minimum of two credit points within the course must be completed at Deakin.

    You can also refer to the Recognition of Prior Learning System which outlines the credit that may be granted towards a Deakin University degree.

    Fees and scholarships

    Fee information

    Estimated tuition fee - full-fee paying place

    The 'Estimated tuition fee' is provided as a guide only based on a typical enrolment of students completing the first year of this course. The cost will vary depending on the units you choose, your study load, the length of your course and any approved Recognition of Prior Learning.

    One year full-time study load is typically represented by eight credit points of study. Each unit you enrol in has a credit point value. The 'Estimated tuition fee' is calculated by adding together eight credit points of a typical combination of units for your course.

    You can find the credit point value of each unit under the Unit Description by searching for the unit in the Handbook.

    Learn more about tuition fees.

    Scholarship options

    A Deakin scholarship might change your life. If you've got something special to offer Deakin – or you just need the financial help to get you here – we may have a scholarship opportunity for you.

    Search or browse through our scholarships

    Postgraduate bursary

    If you’re a Deakin alumnus commencing a postgraduate award course, you may be eligible to receive a 10% reduction per unit on your enrolment fees.

    Learn more about the 10% Deakin alumni discount

    Apply now

    Apply through Deakin

    Applications can be made directly to the University through StudyLink Connect - Deakin University's International Student Application Service. For information on the application process and closing dates, see the How to apply web page.

    Deakin International office or Deakin representative

    Fill out the application form and submit to a Deakin International office or take your application form to a Deakin representative for assistance

    Need more information on how to apply?

    For information on the application process and closing dates, see the How to apply webpage
    If you’re still having problems, please contact Deakin International for assistance.

    Entry pathways

    Alternative exits


    Career outcomes

    The course’s strong reputation in the industry leads to great career outcomes. Your qualification, in combination with your extensive industry experience, will prepare you for leadership and senior management roles across a range of settings including:

    • performing and visual arts
    • festivals
    • community arts and cultural development
    • publishing houses
    • arts and cultural venues
    • touring companies
    • screen industries
    • museums and galleries.

    Many leaders within the industry are graduates from this course and have gone on to work in high-profile organisations such as:

    • Australian Ballet
    • Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA)
    • Regional Arts Australia
    • Theatre Network Australia
    • Creative Partnerships Australia
    • Arts Centre Melbourne
    • Opera Australia
    • Melbourne Fringe Festival
    • Museum Victoria
    • National Gallery of Australia
    • Federal, state and local government arts departments.

    This degree will also put you in a strong position to explore some of the high-demand areas within the industry, including audience development, relationship management, festival programming, policy development, production and tour management, fundraising and development, digital content and social media marketing.

    Professional recognition

    Deakin Business School is in the top 1% of business schools globally and holds both AACSB and EQUIS accreditations. These prestigious accreditations are awarded to business schools that meet strict standards of quality, academic and professional excellence, and demonstrate a commitment to ongoing improvement and innovation in their courses, ensuring graduates are employable worldwide. 

    Course learning outcomes

    Deakin's graduate learning outcomes describe the knowledge and capabilities graduates can demonstrate at the completion of their course. These outcomes mean that regardless of the Deakin course you undertake, you can rest assured your degree will teach you the skills and professional attributes that employers value. They'll set you up to learn and work effectively in the future.

    Graduate Learning Outcome Course Learning Outcome
    Discipline specific knowledge and capabilities Assess a broad range of specialised management approaches and their application to arts organisations, while contributing to new discipline knowledge and extending current arts management practice
    Communication Determine appropriate communication strategies and techniques in the practice of arts management
    Digital literacy Apply the use of digital technologies in relation to arts the practice of arts management
    Critical thinking Appraise and synthesise information in order to understand and apply theories of arts management and extend current practice
    Problem solving Determine solutions to a diverse range of current and emerging arts management challenges and issues
    Self-management Personalise reflections on arts management practice and plan professional careers
    Teamwork Participate and collaborate with arts management practitioners
    Global citizenship Incorporate arts management theory and practice from a range of cultural and international contexts and address the requirements of ethical practice