New year, new start. We prepared a brilliant selection of free online courses from leading international universities that will be useful and inspirational for art managers and curators.

Article #Education

12 January 2023

Arts and Heritage Management

University Bocconi, Italy. 6 Weeks.  

Today cultural institutions are facing important dilemmas in many aspects of their management. Over the past decades, a new figure has emerged that of the art manager. This course is for those who go to work daily to connect artists with audiences, vision with reality, and money with a mission. That is what managers in the arts do, they play an essential role in transforming the minds, lives, and communities through creative expression.

The Cycle: Management of Successful Arts and Cultural Organizations

University of Maryland, USA. 6 Weeks. 

What makes a successful arts and cultural organization? Led by DeVos Institute Chairman Michael M. Kaiser and President Brett Egan, this course will introduce you to a management theory called the Cycle which supports thriving arts and cultural organizations. Learning from our work with managers from over 80 countries around the world, the DeVos Institute developed the Cycle as a simple, but powerful tool to assist managers in their effort to respond to an increasingly complex environment and propel their institutions to excellence.

Leading Innovation in Arts and Culture

Vanderbilt University, National Arts Strategies (USA). 8 weeks.

This course is designed to help arts and culture leaders create an environment where new ideas are constantly created, shared, evaluated and the best ones are successfully put to work. One of the toughest challenges for any leader is getting traction for new ideas. Winning support can be a struggle. As a result, powerful new ideas often get stuck. This is especially true in the cultural sector. People involved in arts and culture often have little time and even less money for experimentation and risks. 

The Modern and the Postmodern (Part 1 and 2)

Wesleyan University, USA. 14 weeks

This course examines how the idea of "the modern" develops at the end of the 18th century in European philosophy and literature, and how being modern (or progressive, or hip) became one of the crucial criteria for understanding and evaluating cultural change. Are we still in modernity, or have we moved beyond the modern to the postmodern?

Arts and culture strategy

The University of Pennsylvania, National Arts Strategies, USA. 5 weeks. 

Arts and culture leaders have a tough but rewarding task: creating and leading sustainable organizations that deliver real social value. There is a lot of competition out there. Being an effective leader means constantly adapting, cleverly using the best tools to reach as many people as possible. This course is designed to help leaders at any level do just that.

And as a bonus, we want to add some courses that are not directly related to Art, but definitely can give your brain some food to process - history, anthropology, and other humanitarian sciences. 


Wesleyan University, USA. 6 weeks.

How can we use the things we share in common to address some of the most challenging problems facing the world? This course examines issues concerning poverty, the environment, technology, health care, gender, education and activism to help us understand better how to initiate positive change.

Macquarie University, Australia. 6 weeks.

We currently face unprecedented challenges on a global scale. These problems do not neatly fall into disciplines. They are complicated, complex, and connected. Join us on this epic journey of 13.8 billion years starting at the Big Bang and travelling through time all the way to the future. Discover the connections in our world, the power of collective learning, how our universe and our world has evolved from incredible simplicity to ever-increasing complexity. Experience our modern scientific origin story through Big History and discover the important links between past, current, and future events. 

University of Virginia, USA. 7 weeks.

This is a survey of modern history from a global perspective. Part One begins with the political and economic revolutions of the late 1700s and tracks the transformation of the world during the 1800s.  Part One concludes as these bewildering changes seem to be running beyond the capacity of older institutions to handle them.  Throughout the course we try to grasp what is happening and ask:  Why?  And the answers often turn on very human choices.


University of Virginia, USA. 7 weeks.

This is a survey of modern history from a global perspective.  Part Two begins early in the twentieth century, as older ways of doing things and habits of thought give way.  What follows is an era of cataclysmic struggles over what ideas and institutions will take their place.  The course concludes in the present day, as communities everywhere are transitioning into a new era of world history.  Again we work hard to grasp what is happening and ask:  Why?  Again we are drawn to pivotal choices made at key moments by individuals and communities.

University of Edinburgh, Sсotland. 5 weeks.

Philosophy, Science and Religion mark three of the most fundamental modes of thinking about the world and our place in it. Are these modes incompatible? Put another way: is the intellectually responsible thing to do to ‘pick sides’ and identify with one of these approaches at the exclusion of others? Or, are they complementary or mutually supportive? As is typical of questions of such magnitude, the devil is in the details. For example, it is important to work out what is really distinctive about each of these ways of inquiring about the world. In order to gain some clarity here, we’ll be investigating what some of the current leading thinkers in philosophy, science and religion are actually doing.


University of Edinburgh, Sсotland. 4 weeks.

What is our role in the universe as human agents capable of knowledge? What makes us intelligent cognitive agents seemingly endowed with consciousness? This is the second part of the course 'Philosophy and the Sciences', dedicated to Philosophy of the Cognitive Sciences. Scientific research across the cognitive sciences has raised pressing questions for philosophers. The goal of this course is to introduce you to some of the main areas and topics at the key juncture between philosophy and the cognitive sciences.


Erasmus, Rotterdam, Netherlands. 6 weeks.

This course teaches you to develop accountable, high-quality and ethical responses to disaster in conflict-affected areas. The E-course is meant primarily for practitioners, but also open to students or otherwise interested people. It stimulates participants to think about humanitarian aid, DRR and disaster response in contexts where conflict is ongoing, lingering, or has characterized the setting in recent times, as well as about the hard choices and dilemmas faced by humanitarian actors in conflict settings. Moreover, you will learn to distinguish the different challenges and effective, positive examples of aid in three types of conflict settings.