University of Essex MBA course to help arts sector develop business skills

Essex Business School.

Essex Business School. - Credit: Archant

A new MBA course has been launched at the University of Essex to help arts organisations develop business skills which will help them flourish and expand their audiences.

The university Centre for Curatorial Studies has launched the innovative MBA in Museum Management in partnership with Essex Business School.

Students will study curation and art history alongside the management of galleries and exhibitions, while also gaining a solid grounding in the essentials of business management, from operations and human resources to business strategy.

The new course has been developed at the University of Essex by the centre’s co-directors, Dr Gavin Grindon and Dr Michael Tymkiw, in partnership with MBA director Professor Nigel Pye.

Professor Pye said: “As museums and galleries deal with issues of increasing public participation while also seeking greater support from the private sector, we will help students develop sound business practices which will become a solid foundation for the development and display of their collections.”

Dr Tymkiw added: “We want to be at the forefront of the most innovative research about the history and theory of exhibition design, while also arming our students with nuts-and-bolts skills, be it to stage exhibitions on their own or to work in managerial positions within the museum and gallery world.”

Dr Grindon has been involved in curating some of the most successful and provocative exhibitions of the last few years, including the Museum of Cruel Designs at Banksy’s Dismaland (2015) and Disobedient Objects, he co-curated in 2014 at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

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Dr Tymkiw is currently writing a book entitled Nazi Exhibition Design and Modernism; he is also collaborating with several leading galleries and museums on a project that uses digital technologies to expand disability access.

Professor Pye, whose research interests include operations management and inter-organisational relationships, has held senior positions at Ernst and Young, KPMG, Warwick Business School and Cranfield University.

The new MBA Museum Management is part of a range of new courses developed by the Centre for Curatorial Studies that include a BA and PhD in Curating, which now sit alongside its longstanding MA in Curating.