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Evaluation for Arts, Culture, and Heritage: Principles and Practice

Understand the principles of and develop creative approaches to carrying evaluation in the arts, culture, and heritage sectors.

2,629 enrolled on this course

Evaluation for Arts, Culture, and Heritage - People working together in an informal setting

Evaluation for Arts, Culture, and Heritage: Principles and Practice

2,629 enrolled on this course

  • 2 weeks

  • 4 hours per week

  • Digital certificate when eligible

  • Intermediate level

Find out more about how to join this course

  • Duration

    2 weeks
  • Weekly study

    4 hours
  • 100% online

    How it works
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    $244.99 for one whole yearLearn more

Learn with researchers and industry leaders in the cultural sector

The only way to understand and capture the impact of cultural activities, projects, and programmes is through evaluation. That makes evaluation skills vital for arts, culture, and heritage professionals.

On this two-week course from the Centre for Cultural Value at the University of Leeds, you’ll examine the vital role of evaluation in the culture sector. Building on insights from interviews with researchers and industry leaders, you’ll learn how to design, implement, and communicate an evaluation plan.

Understand the role of evaluation in the cultural sector

You’ll start the course by reviewing the definitions and principles of evaluation. You’ll ask why evaluation matters in the context of culture, and discuss your own experience and views on the issue.

You’ll also gain an introduction to some commonly used evaluation frameworks, considering how these might be applied in your own setting and work.

Learn how to put an evaluation plan into practice

Once you’ve understood the key principles and challenges of evaluating cultural activity, you’ll start learning how to put plans into practice. You’ll look at a range of examples and case studies showing evaluation in action in the cultural sector.

You’ll discover a variety of methods, models, frameworks and processes that work together to produce robust, beneficial, and credible evaluation.

By the end of the course, you’ll have developed your own detailed evaluation plan that you can take home and implement in your own project or organisation.

Skip to 0 minutes and 6 seconds Cultural activities bring joy to communities and have a range of social benefits. But evaluating cultural activities or projects is hard to do properly and in a way that is taken seriously by funders and policymakers. Expert academics and sector professionals have designed this course to help you understand the importance of evaluating cultural activities and learn how to do it effectively. You’ll explore the fundamental principles of evaluation and engage with frameworks, models and methods that you can apply to your projects to improve your planning and delivery, and get meaningful results. By analysing real life case studies, you’ll develop the confidence to create an evaluation plan that gets the best out of your projects and supports your reflective learning.

Skip to 0 minutes and 54 seconds By the end of the course, you’ll be able to critically analyse your cultural activities and confidently communicate your findings across your organisation and to other key stakeholders. If you want to make your arts, cultural and heritage evaluation more robust then join this course today.


  • Week 1

    Evaluation in the cultural sector

    • Defining evaluation and understanding the challenges

      In this activity, you will explore the role, purpose and challenges of evaluation in the cultural sector.

    • Principles of evaluation

      In this activity you will learn about the principles of good evaluation practice, how they can help you overcome common evaluation challenges and how they are applied in different contexts.

    • Evaluation frameworks

      In this activity, you will explore ways that frameworks provide structure to evaluation, learn how to develop an evaluation framework and explore examples of common frameworks.

    • Summary

      To close this week of the course, you will have the opportunity to reflect on the week and a chance to check your knowledge and look ahead at what is coming up next week.

  • Week 2

    Putting evaluation into practice

    • Evaluation methods

      In this activity, you will discover some of the most effective and innovative cultural evaluation methods, and explore what each one brings and how you might use them.

    • Creating your evaluation plan

      Building on what you have learnt so far in this course, you will create a realistic and achievable evaluation plan.

    • Communicating and learning from your evaluation

      In this activity you will learn to communicate findings, grasp evaluation's link to organizational learning, explore reflective practice, and integrate evaluation into practical and strategic change.

    • Summary

      In this final activity, you will review what you have covered on the course

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Summarise the role evaluation plays in the cultural sector.
  • Investigate effective evaluation approaches in the cultural sector and relevant methods to deliver these.
  • Reflect on challenges and practicalities of delivering evaluation.
  • Develop a plan to communicate evaluation findings for different purposes and audiences.
  • Identify ways evaluation can become a learning experience at organisational or programme level.

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for professionals, practitioners, and managers in the arts, culture, and heritage who use evaluation in their work for decision-making, strategy, fundraising, and stakeholder relationship management. This might include independent, freelance, or research agency evaluators, in-house organisation evaluators, project managers and general managers of cultural organisations, artists and practitioners.

This course will also be useful for consultants, freelance artists, funders, policymakers, and board members in arts, culture, and heritage settings, as well as students of arts and cultural management or cultural policy.

Who will you learn with?

Professor of Cultural Engagement in the School of Performance & Cultural Industries, University of Leeds (UK). Further information https://ahc.leeds.ac.uk/performance/staff/503/professor-ben-walmsley

Who developed the course?

University of Leeds

As one of the UK’s largest research-based universities, the University of Leeds is a member of the prestigious Russell Group and a centre of excellence for teaching.

Centre for Cultural Value

We are a national research centre based at the University of Leeds. Our core partners are The Audience Agency, The University of Liverpool, The University of Sheffield and Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh. We are funded by the UKRI Arts and Humanities Research Council, Arts Council England and Paul Hamlyn Foundation over five years.

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Ways to learn

Choose the best way to learn for you!

Subscribe & save

$244.99 for one whole year

Automatically renews

Develop skills to further your career

  • Access to this course
  • Access to 1,000+ courses
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Digital certificate when you're eligible

Cancel for free anytime

Buy this course

$109/one-off payment

Fulfill your current learning need

  • Access to this course
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Printed and digital certificate when you’re eligible

Limited access


Sample the course materials

  • Access expires 8 Jun 2024

Find out more about certificates, Unlimited or buying a course (Upgrades)

Sale price available until 3 June 2024 at 23:59 (UTC). T&Cs apply.

Find out more about certificates, Unlimited or buying a course (Upgrades)

Sale price available until 3 June 2024 at 23:59 (UTC). T&Cs apply.

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