Course description

This course provides an overview of current management theory, practice and issues in cultural organizations. It takes a leadership perspective to managing cultural organizations and assumes that leadership is required from all levels and aspects of an organization.

The course explores the role of cultural organizations in society and the complex legal, ethical and social values that shape organizations and the people that lead them. We’ll discuss various issues, including:

  • leaders and leadership
  • social relevance and impact
  • management systems and tools 

The course is designed to provide participants with new tools and perspectives and the opportunity to apply some of them in practice. By sharing your insights with fellow learners, you will build upon your experience, skills and knowledge, and critically and creatively meet the challenges facing cultural organizations sectors. 

Learning objectives

  • Recognize cultural organizations as part of the larger non-profit sector.
  • Discuss the role and nature of cultural organizations and how they define their purpose and mission relative to the communities they serve.
  • Understand traditional management functions of governance/accountability, strategic and operational planning, marketing and advocacy, resource management and performance measurement, and how these relate in practice to the running of cultural organizations.
  • Understand the difference between leadership and management and the roles of a leader and a manager.
  • Identify personal leadership style and values and relate them to decision-making and action.
  • Identify and consider the application of various organizational structures, governance models and management tools. Manage human, financial and institutional resources from an asset-based perspective.
  • Appreciate the range of resources within a community and the role of cultural organizations in creating creative sustainable communities and social capital. 


  1. All participants must have university-level research, writing and critical thinking skills.
  2. It is expected and strongly recommended that all participants have a current professional or volunteer role in a museum or cultural-sector organization in order to succeed in the course and undertake a range of assignments and discussion with reference to the organization’s mission, values, planning, communities, programs, exhibitions, collections or management structures. It is the responsibility of the participant to ensure they can complete all course assignments and contribute meaningfully to all course discussions by drawing from their role or experience. Please contact the program office if you have questions.
  3. Participants must have a working NetLink ID before course start date in order to access the course website.
  4. Participants should view the Computer Requirements to ensure they will be able to access the course Moodle website and course resources.



What participants are saying

"This course was practical, interesting and very applicable to my professional practice.

"Excellent information of museum management, its principals, practices, and procedures. Excellent experience in creating grant applications and board reviews."

"The readings, activities, and information links are SPOT ON. It's exactly what I wanted to learn about based on the title and description of the course. Well done. Also, I feel like I am learning ,but will also come away with tools and information that I may not be using right now, but can see how they will help me in the future."

"This course is very relevant to what is happening in the museum world and all of the changes in the outside world that effect museums. I really appreciate the material that was included in the course it has brought to the forefront for me how little we follow museum practices, it is largely operated under the dictates of the president of the board."

"Material is excellent."

"The skill set [learned] is invaluable."

"Great course!"

"I really enjoyed the many articles we covered in the course as I shared them with the museum staff it has sparked great ideas and informed other about museum practices. Thank you."


Online/by distance: students login to the course and communicate with the instructor and fellow students via the course management system Moodle. For further information about Moodle, visit the Moodle Startup Kit.

This course will use online text-based notes and/or PowerPoint presentations, forum-based discussions, individual and individual assignments, and print and online readings/resources. Participants are expected to contribute meaningfully and frequently to forum-based discussions weekly.

For information on online privacy, please see Privacy Consideration in Moodle on the Technology Integrated Learning website.

Attendance, participation and decorum

Whether registered as a credit or non-credit participant, you will be expected to:

  • login to the course website on a regular basis throughout each week
  • participate in class activities, and thoughtfully and articulately contribute to course forum discussions by reflecting upon assigned readings and professional experiences
  • submit course assignments on scheduled course deadline dates
  • notify course instructors of any personal leaves throughout the term that will affect class participation well in advance
  • notify the instructor of any situation that will compromise the timely submission of an assignment or activity to work out alternate arrangements well in advance of due date
  • provide work throughout the course that is effectively organized and researched, professionally presented, and well-written
  • interact with colleagues, program staff, and course instructors in a respectful and positive manner at all times

Note: if a student has not logged into the course Moodle website by 100% tuition refund drop date, the Program Office reserves the right to withdraw the student from the course. Participation in online courses is mandatory and online interactions are the most important part of the course learning experience. As such, “catching up” at such a late date without prior approval—and make-up scheduling by the instructor and/or program—is impossible.


In some cases, participants and the course instructor may discuss examples that reflect an actual situation, institution, or community. In order to create an environment where all feel free to discuss and learn from situational issues, it is asked that everyone respect the confidential nature of the institutions and communities being discussed.

While the site is password protected, note that email and Moodle discussion forum groups are never entirely confidential and are subject to freedom of information and privacy legislation. Your use of these communication tools should reflect the public nature of the media.

We ask that you respect the copyright of any and all course materials and note that these are circulated and shared for the purposes of this course only. Further reproduction is strictly prohibited.

Your personal information is collected in accordance with the Freedom of Information and Protection Privacy Act (FIPPA), Section 26(C), and the University of Victoria’s Privacy Act. The information will be used for the purposes of providing educational and related services. Questions about the collection of this information may be directed to the Program Office.

Non-credit course registrations

Non-credit participants are expected to:

  • participate in the course online
  • participate in course discussions
  • participate in group work (if required)
  • complete all required readings
  • complete all course assignments

Non-credit registrants should expect academic rigour and should take their registration in the course as a serious professional and personal development opportunity. Upon completion, participants who have completed all requirements will be issued a Certificate of Completion from the program office.

Registration details

{{ ::(section.startDate | customLongDate) }}{{ ::getSectionTabText(section) }} - {{ ::section.code }}

You have already registered for this course.

View My account

This item is already in your shop cart.

View shop cart
Fee Tax Subtotal
{{ ::(fee.price | currency) }} {{ ::( | currency) }} {{ ::( | currency) }}
{{ ::(child.price | currency) }} {{ ::( | currency) }} {{ ::( | currency) }}
    Total {{ fee.totalFees | currency }}

Add to Shop Cart

Note: You must log in to register and pay for this course.

Having trouble registering online? Register by phone: 250-472-4747

You're already on the waiting list for this item.

Sorry, this section is full.

Sorry, this course is not available for registration at this time.

This course is in progress. Please contact us for more details.

Online registration is closed for this course. You may still be able to register by phone. Call 250-472-4747 to find out.

This course is on your wish list. You will be notified when this course becomes available.

Want to receive notification when this course becomes available?

Note: you will need to log in/create a new account to use this feature.

Add to wish list

Info you should know: