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Professional Doctorate in Cultural Leadership

Professional Doctorate in Cultural Leadership

Different course options

Full time | Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh | 3 years | SEP-22

Study mode

Full time


3 years

Start date


Key information

Qualification type

Professional Doctorate

Subject areas

Cultural Studies Leadership

Course type


Course Summary

This qualification is aimed specifically at senior practitioners within the arts and cultural sector who would like to gain a doctoral qualification through an extended period of study and critical reflection designed to be undertaken alongside existing work or freelancing commitments.

Why QMU?

  • By studying the work-based doctorate at QMU you will be supported by two experienced supervisors who will guide you in your learning. The work based nature of the programme allows you to link projects from your workplace with academic development thus enhancing the impact you can have on your profession.
  • The student focused nature of the doctorate offers you the chance to select and study topics of direct relevance to your work.

Course overview

The Professional Doctorate in Cultural Leadership is designed to produce professionals who are competent and confident in using their skills to tackle emergent problems and to develop new practice that will meet the demands of the cultural sector in the 21st century. You will be creating, conceiving, developing and undertaking doctoral research projects that require a strong emphasis on individually determined learning and self directed study. Professional Doctorates recognise the value of professional practice and applied critical thinking. Senior practitioners are at the forefront of their field and create vital new knowledge through their everyday practice. The focus of your study would be specific to the context in which your professional practice takes place and as such is intended to complement and build upon the work that you will already be undertaking in your role. The findings from your study are therefore intended to contribute not only to the body of knowledge that exists about cultural leadership and practice, but also to have real-world impact on your own professional practice, and the practice of the organisations and individuals that you work with.

Exit awards

Professional Doctorate (540 credits)

Teaching, learning and assessment

The focus of the learning is on collaborative enquiry, shared learning, individual learning, individual exploration and mutual challenge and support where you and your supervisors relate as professional equals. Emphasis is placed on facilitated learning to enable you to develop detailed, analytical leading edge and lateral ways of thinking that enhance your critical insights into professional and work-based issues. Autonomy of learning is promoted through the creation of a Doctoral Learning Plan devised by you with reference to your own learning requirements.


Graduates will already be well established as a professional in the cultural and creative industries, but you will now have high levels of knowledge and investigative and research skills, which you can use to advance practice in your professional spheres. The qualification offers you recognition of your expertise and professional standing acknowledged worldwide. You may also go on to conduct further research, publish, or teach in further and higher education


Doctorate Research (60 Credits)
Work-based learning - Development and Evaluation of Professional Practice (90 Credits)
Thesis (180 Credits)
Work-based learning - Theory and Context of Professional Practice (90 Credits)

Tuition fees

UK fees
Course fees for UK students

For this course (per year)


International fees
Course fees for EU and international students

For this course (per year)


Entry requirements

Students should have a postgraduate diploma or master’s qualification, which includes research methods, and strong evidence of personal and professional development. Candidates should normally have significant experience, and show evidence of development in an area of expert practice, and /or management and leadership skills. There will be an interview process.