Arts Management

Study Arts Management in Auckland at Whitecliffe, New Zealand's leading arts and design school.

Whitecliffe Arts Management graduates are fully equipped to manage a broad spectrum of arts organisations and enterprises. As well as developing an in-depth awareness of the contemporary arts sector, our graduates understand the needs of artists and their art forms.

Artist, entrepreneur, intellectual, manager, educator, social worker, politician; an arts manager must wear many hats and so requires multiple skills. The enormous growth in arts companies and organisations with paid management teams in New Zealand over the last 20 years has developed an ever-increasing need for qualified arts managers.

Traditionally arts managers tend to fall into two categories; those with a business background and those who are, or have been artists and wish to develop their business skills. The Whitecliffe Post Graduate Diploma (PGDip) and Master of Arts in Arts Management (MAAM) degrees provide a much needed bridge between art and commerce.

The one or two year programmes develop theoretical knowledge and professional skills from the perspective of the arts and is directed towards people with interests in areas such as theatre, film, visual arts, dance, music, design, galleries, community arts, and council or government arts organisations and arts management.

Post Graduate Diploma in Arts Management

Year One (NQF) Level 8

The Postgraduate Diploma in Arts Management is Year One of the two-year Master of Arts in Arts Management and is a one-year postgraduate qualification, which requires, as a prerequisite for matriculation, an appropriate undergraduate degree or equivalent educational and professional experience.

The course is designed to enable students with demonstrated commitment, experience and ability to build on their skills and abilities as managers and to provide a solid foundation of knowledge for the pursuit of careers in the Arts as professional Arts Managers. This one-year course is built around a comprehensive programme of theoretical readings, weekend seminars, formal assignments, guest speakers, fieldwork and case studies, and professional practices.

The Postgraduate Diploma in Arts Management is a low-residency (or “blended”) course of study that is modular in its structure. It can be studied full-time over a year or part time over two years.  It may be commenced at any of four entry points over the year as four courses make up the Diploma. Students not wishing to pursue the qualification might elect to study one or two courses only. Major seminars are scheduled monthly, over weekends, to provide flexibility for students in the work place or who travel from out of Auckland.

Students who successfully complete the course will have developed knowledge of business practices, leadership skills and managerial strategies. General business management topics will be covered including strategic and financial planning, fund raising, marketing research, management processes, profit and not for profit enterprises, consumer issues, ethics and legal issues. These topics will be explored from the perspective of the arts with attention to global markets and future trends.

National Qualifications Framework (NQF) Level: 8
NQF Credits: 120
EFTS: 1.0
Exit qualification: Postgraduate Diploma in Arts Management
Qualification Code: 3094
Duration:1 year low residency
Intakes: February, April, July, September each year
Application: Accepted anytime
Campus: Main Campus, 24 Balfour Road, Parnell, Auckland 1010, NZ

The four courses that make up the Post Graduate Diploma are:

Arts Infrastructure and Organisational Management

The purpose of this course is to develop an informed understanding of the policies and strategic aims of a number of key funding agencies and sources in New Zealand, and to understand how these organisations and the current funding infrastructure for the arts can effectively support a wide range of creative enterprise and arts practices and organisations in this country.

Creative Leadership and Management

This course examines key and influential models of leadership and management, working with leading exemplars and individuals of arts organisations and enterprises in New Zealand.

Arts and Culture in a Social Context

This course addresses the bi and multicultural contexts of culture and arts production in Aotearoa New Zealand. Cultural policy, protocol and infrastructure are examined in light of the wider arts contexts of New Zealand's increasingly diverse artistic communities and cultures.

Audience and the Marketplace

This course builds greater understanding, awareness and skill in the use of marketing and communication as management tools of a successful creative enterprise or organisation.

Master of Arts in Arts Management

Year Two (NQF) Level 9

Students accepted for the MA AM in the second year undertake a research preparation course taught over the first two seminar weekends of the year. With the successful completion of this course students will have developed applied understanding of research design, data gathering and analysis, proposal writing and the alignment of methodology with intent and purpose of research.

The purpose of this course is to provide an opportunity for students to complete a specific research project. Supervised independent study builds on the proposal to present advanced practice-based and/or theoretical research relating to and progressing an individual project, under workplace and/or faculty academic supervision, including critical thinking and writing. Projects might include: dissertation, internship, journal and essay or arts management project, journal and essay.

National Qualifications Framework (NQF) Level: 9
NQF Credits: 240
EFTS: 2.0
Exit qualification: Master of Arts in Arts Management
Qualification Code: PC2147
Duration: 2 year low residency (Year 1 is the PG Dip Arts Management)
Intakes: February, April, July, September each year
Application: Accepted anytime
Campus: Main Campus, 24 Balfour Road, Parnell, Auckland 1010, NZ

Programme Aims

The principal aims of the Master of Arts in Arts Management programme are to:

  • prepare students to function successfully as arts administrators, managers, and entrepreneurs who are knowledgeable of sound business practices;
  • develop effective leadership qualities in students, while emphasising the need to remain sensitive to social, political, cultural and gender issues as they impact society in general and the arts in particular;
  • provide opportunities for students to explore and understand the day to day operational challenges and dynamics of arts organisations; and
  •   encourage students to develop meaningful and effective critical thinking strategies to better inform decision making and policy development in socially and ethically responsible ways.

Programme Outcomes

By the end of the MA in Arts Management course successful students should be able to:

  • apply general principles and basic knowledge of business practices including accounting, marketing, legal concerns and management styles in an arts management environment;
  •  identify and implement effective organisational and managerial practices which are financially, socially and ethically sound;
  • demonstrate effective interpersonal and communication skills within a working environment as well as in the larger community;
  • demonstrate effective leadership skills and a willingness to work with others in solving problems, decision making, and planning for the future;
  • understand how polices and decisions (their own and others’) affect the present and future quality of individual artists, programmes and organisations;
  • understand how policies and decisions (their own and others’) affect agencies, groups and individuals outside the arts milieu in industry, in the greater community and globally;
  • critically analyse situations and develop plans of actions for solving a variety of business and arts related problems reflecting clear and original thinking; and
  • formulate focused questions and identify and implement appropriate research methods to gather, analyse and report date in support of directed inquiry.

Programme Information

The programme of study is comprised of lectures, guest speakers from industry, tutorials, workshops and site visits during intensive weekend seminars, five of which are scheduled each semester. Students work with faculty in between seminars on course assignments and independent research.

Students who successfully complete the course will have developed knowledge of business practices, leadership skills and managerial strategies. General business management topics will be covered including strategic and financial planning, fund raising, marketing research, management processes, profit and not for profit enterprises, consumer issues, ethics and legal issues. These topics will be explored from the perspective of the arts with attention to global markets and future trends.

Programme Delivery

The Master of Arts in Arts Management is a low-residency course of study. Its major seminars are scheduled monthly, in the weekends, to provide flexibility for students in the work place or travelling from out of Auckland. The design and delivery of course documentation, the use of telephone, fax, internet and e-mail for communication and supervision, the nature of assignment topics, the readings supplied to students and the intensive weekend seminars are all designed for the benefit of low-residency students.

Attendance at Seminars

Students are required to make at least one contact with their lecturer each week (so that the student can report progress with research and assignments and be briefed about course activities). Students are required to attend each semester Orientation. Students are required to attend both days of each weekend seminar (so that they can contribute to discussions, profit from guest speakers and participate in class-work briefings). A student who attends only part of a weekend seminar will be marked absent for the whole class period. Students are required to attend scheduled activities external to Whitecliffe (so that they can profit from and document the experience).

Normal Progress

The two-year full-time programme starts with three semesters of taught courses (two courses per semester) followed by a research elective semester. A student makes “normal progress” from semester to semester by sustaining an overall grade point average of at least a “C-”.

Normal progress into the fourth semester research elective requires written permission from the Dean of Research and Postgraduate Studies. This permission is required because the last semester demands a level of research skill, professionalism and self-motivation beyond that required in the first three semesters.

Requirements for Award of the Qualification

Award of the Master of Arts in Arts Management qualification is dependent on the student achieving the required minimum number of credits (240 = 2 EFTs), with a grade of C- or better on their end-of-course assessment.

Minimum and Maximum Duration of the Programme


The Master of Arts Management Degree is a two-year full-time course (a total of 240 credits = 2 EFTs). All College qualifications require the completion of a minimum of 120 credits (one year of equivalent full time study = 1 EFT) at Whitecliffe. Furthermore, award requirements must be met within four years of initial matriculation on the course.

Monitoring/External Assessment

The Master of Arts in Arts Management programme is monitored not only internally, by established college review processes, but also by an independent monitor. At various times throughout the programme students may be required to give feedback to the independent monitor. The New Zealand Qualifications Authority also regularly reviews the quality of Whitecliffe’s programmes generally, and students may also be required to present their feedback to a NZQA review panel.

Facilities, Access and Postgraduate Privileges

Postgraduate students are encouraged to make use of Whitecliffe facilities, including the staff room and library during the seminar period and at other times when visiting Whitecliffe.

Postgraduate students are entitled to attend and participate in undergraduate (and graduate) courses subject to space and availability at no extra cost, on an “auditing” basis. Postgraduate students doing so will receive no credit for undergraduate/graduate courses on this basis, and are not required to complete assignments etc. Attendance however does imply participation, the degree of which must be negotiated with the lecturer and/or Head of Department for the course. Material and other course related costs must be met by the student.


Students applying for admission to the programme should have an undergraduate diploma or degree qualification equivalent to Level Seven on the NZQA Framework.

Students without a Level Seven Qualification or from a non-arts-related background will be assessed on an individual basis in order to determine their potential for successful completion of the programme. In appropriate cases, Whitecliffe recognises relevant professional experiences as potential preparation for advanced study.

Personal Prerequisites for the Programme include the following:

•    High level of computer literacy for purposes such as word processing, email and research on the Internet. Ability to work competently with current Microsoft Office for Word software.

NB. If you need to brush up your computer skills before starting the course, we suggest that you try out the free BBC Webwise Online Course

  • Public speaking competency
  • Business/management/interpersonal skills (e.g. teamwork, personality, problem solving)
  • Study and work behaviour – independent learning, time planning, responsibility etc
  • A clear understanding of the aims and objective of the MA programme
  • Specific Requirements For Admission Include:
  • A completed Whitecliffe College Application Form
  • Official transcripts of baccalaureate degree and/or other academic qualifications
  • A current curriculum vitae
  • Name and contact information of three referees
  • A letter of intent/description of reasons for applying to the programme
  • Evidence of academic writing ability which reflects the potential for successful study at the graduate level (examples of previous academic writing may be submitted)
  • Prospective students must have a current email address and internet access (N.B. is not appropriate)
  • Applicants whose first language is not English are required to provide satisfactory evidence of proficiency in the English language, such as a minimum score of 625 on the TOEFEL test, or 7.0 on the IELTS

Your Letter of Intent

The letter of intent is an important part of your application process and needs to be composed to with care and consideration. The Admissions Board will use the letter of intent when considering your application for acceptance on to the MA programme. It will give a preliminary indication as to whether you are able to participate at the required level in the theoretical and practical components of the course. The letter will also be used to make an initial assessment of your ability to communicate in a style appropriate to the academic demands of the programme. The information you provide will inform the decision made by the Admissions Board and then assists the Director of the Programme to advise you more effectively.

When Whitecliffe is in receipt of completed information, most applicants will be required to attend a formal individual interview. Senior Faculty will review their applications in order to determine the suitability of the programme to their needs and their ability to successfully complete the programme. Assessment of candidates may include identification of any areas of additional study considered necessary, either to strengthen skills or to meet pre-requisites, which will be required as a condition of matriculation or advancement in the programme.

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

Whitecliffe Regulations ( outline procedures for evaluation and granting of RPL. RPL can be based on verifiable, certified documentation, appropriate industry experience, an outstanding portfolio, demonstration of intellectual and academic development or other cause. In the case of the Master of Arts in Arts Management degree, RPL may be granted for work undertaken at postgraduate level in accredited institutions in New Zealand or overseas.

Tuition Fees

 Please see current application form for Course Fee details. Materials and supplies expenses will vary from student to student, and are the responsibility of the student.

Dates for Year Admission

Semester Starting    Application Deadline Dates    Interviews Commence

February 2016    JANUARY 13, 2016    October through to January 2016

Note: Applications may be submitted at anytime prior to application deadlines. Those received after the application deadlines will still be considered for entry subject to places being available.


The MAAM programme includes monthly weekend seminars with high calibre guest speakers from industry, tutorials and discussion groups. The programme also involves independent study courses, internships based on field experience and written research projects. A student's course of study includes seminars and supervisor contact and may include work-related experience, independent research, industry case studies, interviews, readings and assignments.


There is one intake in February of each year, however, applications for admission to complete one or more of the first year course papers in the PG Dip Arts Management can be submitted at anytime. Course start dates are available in the Course Information (see link below). Applications received after the application deadlines will still be considered for entry subject to places being available.

The two-year Masters of Arts in Arts Management has been approved and accredited by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) under the provisions of the Education Act 1989.


The Arts Management Programme Director is Kim Meek.

For Arts Management programme enquiries:


    Click on the image below to view or download the prospectus


    Click here to download the Postgraduate Diploma and Master of Arts in Arts Management Course Information.

    Click here to download the Master of Arts in Arts Management Research Abstracts