Evaluating Arts and Cultural Projects Short Course

This course explores the processes and practices by which arts and cultural projects are evaluated.  The course begins by considering the social and political factors that mean it is increasingly expected that art and cultural projects should be evaluated. The focus will then shift to the practicalities of designing a project evaluation, from logic modelling the theory of change, through to selecting methods, establishing a base line, generating, and evaluating data, and producing a project evaluation report.

Why QMU?

  • Our staff have real world experience of evaluating cultural projects.
  • Our staff have developed tools and frameworks that can be used to evaluate cultural projects.
  • We have been teaching courses in arts and cultural management for over twenty years.

Who is this course for?

This course is relevant for anyone whose role requires them to conduct and/or commission cultural project evaluations but has had little or no training in what makes a 'good' evaluation. It would also be suitable for those seeking to develop the skills necessary for them to conduct project evaluations on a freelance or consultancy basis.

What will I learn on the course?

On this course you will learn about:

  • some of the factors that make evaluating arts and cultural projects so challenging;
  • what a theory of change is and how to develop one;
  • different methods and tools that you can uses to conduct a qualitative evaluation of an arts project;
  • the ethical considerations of conducting evaluations and
  • ways to communicate the findings of your evaluation.

By the end of the course what will I be able to do?

  • Critically reflect on the challenges of evaluating small scale cultural project and how to overcome these.
  • Create a theory of change for a small-scale cultural project.
  • Discuss the pros and cons of different qualitative methods of data generation.
  • Make decisions about the best ways to evaluate a small-scale cultural project.
  • Design a project evaluation for a small-scale cultural project.

How long does the course last for and how much time will I need to spend on it each week?

The course is delivered over a 15-week semester. During that time, you will attend four on-campus, half day workshops. In addition, you will be expected to attend four hours of online seminars, and to be spending around 2-3 hours a week on associated reading and completing your assignment.

How will I be taught?

You will be taught on-campus at QMU and online.

Does the course have an assessment and if so what sort of assessment will it be?

The assignment for this course requires you to create a 3000-word proposal for how to evaluate a cultural project alongside a 1000-word critical reflection on the challenges of evaluating projects in this sector.

Who will be teaching me?

The course will be delivered by Alice McGrath and Professor David Stevenson.

What equipment will I need for this course?

You will require access to a computer or laptop, internet connectivity and a webcam.

Student support/ access to facilities

Entry requirements

The course is delivered at Master’s level and each applicant must decide if the level of study is suitable for them.

Applicants for Master’s level study would usually hold an undergraduate degree or have relevant professional experience that supports study at this level. Applicants that have previously studied outside the UK should check that their qualification has been taught at a suitable level to prepare them for Master’s level study.

You do not need to provide proof of your previous qualifications.

English Language requirements – This programme is taught and assessed in English. Applicants do not need to provide proof of their English Language skills when applying for this course, but all applicants should consider whether they have sufficient English competence to study at this level.

Applicants for this level of study would usually be able to demonstrate a level of English equivalent to IELTS 6.5 overall, with no component score below 6.0

Start date

January 2022

Fees (and free places)

Fee: Thanks to support from Screen Scotland and the Scottish Funding Council, places on this course are free.

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Student stories

Louise Sedgewick, English & Media Teacher, St Margaret’s Academy: “Thank you for providing such a comfortable environment for sharing and learning about experiences in teaching film. The mixture of teachers and other film educators was very interesting, and I really appreciated hearing from different perspectives on education. I have always found the community of film and media educators to be extremely friendly and happy to help each other and this course has absolutely reinforced that. I highly recommend others to take this opportunity - you won't regret it!”

Anthony Chalmers, GMAC Film: “Thanks to all of you for the opportunity to be part of this first cohort. I really enjoyed the experience and I’m looking forward to continuing my development and knowledge of the topics we discussed and applying them to my practice.”

To apply for this course, please complete our online application form

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