Oxford Cultural Leaders

Introduction to Oxford Cultural Leaders Programme



'Oxford Cultural Leaders completely changed my whole life - not just my professional life - for the better. It re-stoked my energy at a time when I needed a boost to get to the next level. I met brilliant people, got to ask questions I’d always wanted to ask and found answers inside myself that I didn’t know were there. For anyone considering taking a big step in a new direction, needing expert encouragement and a life-long network then this is definitely the course for you. Do it!'

Sally Shaw MBE, Director, Firstsite, UK


About the Programme

The Oxford Cultural Leaders (OCL) programme will help you challenge and redefine your identity as a leader and shape your vision for your organisation at a time of great challenge and complexity for the cultural sector.

Applicants have a choice of the Residential programme or Online programme. The Residential programme includes a mix of immersive workshops, lectures, panel discussions, provocations, reflection sessions and keynote speeches, delivered by cultural sector leaders, business school experts and industry authorities. The Online programme has been carefully programmed to include;a lively mix of interactive workshops, provocations combined with break out groups, peer coaching, reflection and learning tasks with the same OCL faculty who support the residential programme. 

Social events form an integral part of the programme. Those on the Residential programme will enjoy visits to cultural attractions, college dinners and networking events while the Online programme includes virtual social and networking events.

Read more about the OCL programme


'It was fantastic to take time out from the everyday pressures of running a museum to learn to think strategically in the company of an amazing group of peers. The opportunity to reconnect with my vision for my organisation, and to be supported in that by the outstanding group of lecturers and facilitators was hugely valuable. I've done a number of leadership programmes in the past but this was something really special.'

Stephanie Fuller, Director and CEO, Ditchling Museum of Art and Craft, UK


Read alumni testimonials


Cultural Leadership Programme


OCL Online Programme

Next course: 22 - 26 April 2024

Duration: 5 days

Applications for 2024 are now closed

The online programme will include expertly facilitated, immersive and highly participatory online sessions with the same OCL faculty who support the residential programme. These sessions will be tailored to optimize online learning and will
be designed to inspire innovation as well as building a supportive peer-network. Online delivery offers greater flexibility during this time, allowing participation from attendees across the UK and around the world. The sessions will feature
regular breaks, interactive activities and opportunities to network with faculty and other OCL delegates.


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OCL Residential Programme

Next course: 15 - 20 September 2024

Duration: 6 days

Applications for 2024 are now closed.

This established residential programme offers participants the opportunity to re-examine their approach to leadership through workshops, lectures, panel discussions and keynote speeches, delivered by cultural sector leaders, business school
experts and industry authorities. A group of 26 participants will be based in Oxford, within Corpus Christi College, where they can enjoy the benefits of the central Oxford location, and access to the expertise of Oxford University
staff and OCL teachers and the acclaimed resources of the University’s Gardens, Libraries and Museums.


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Why choose Oxford Cultural Leaders?

Benefits for you

The programme empowers you to:

  • Have greater insight into your role as a leader
  • Reflect on your vision, values, impact, behaviours and attitudes
  • Be better equipped to deliver a more robust and resilient solution to challenges ahead
  • Become more entrepreneurially minded
  • Gain confidence to take charge of yourself, your team and the tasks in hand
  • Understand how to re-evaluate, reflect and ask the right questions
  • Join a global network of cultural leaders who are broadening their impact and influence
  • Have access to leading industry experts, OCL Faculty and the OCL Alumni group


Benefits for your organisation

Organisations will benefit from leaders who will be empowered to:

  • Return to their organisations with confidence and the skillset to experiment and take risks using new business models and ways of working
  • Support staff and teams to create a climate for new ideas
  • Have the insight and ability to uncover the hidden talents and qualities of their people
  • Help their organisations adapt by developing and encouraging new ways of thinking, challenging behaviours and acquiring new skills
  • Have the skills to enable their organisations to be more sustainable and resilient
  • Work with an extended network of cultural organisations to exchange and share ideas



The Oxford Experience


Known as 'the city of dreaming spires', Oxford is famous the world over for its University and place in history. Located on the River Thames, Oxford is close to the beautiful Cotswolds but also conveniently located for London. On the Residential programme, delegates will also enjoy dinners and unique Oxford experiences such as a city walking tour, gin tasting at Oxford Botanic Garden and behind the scenes museum tours.


Corpus Christi College

Residential programme delegates will experience a taste of college life during their stay in Corpus Christi's beautiful accomodation. Founded in 1517, Corpus Christi is one of Oxford’s oldest and smallest colleges, steeped in history but with a warm and friendly atmosphere. Located just off Oxford’s High Street, its central location means it is within the heart of the University but also close to amenities and the cultural attractions of Oxford.


Gardens, Libraries and Museums

Oxford University's gardens, libraries and museums form one of the greatest concentrations of university collections in the world. Comprising over 21 million objects, specimens and printed items, the six institutions include: the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford University Museum of Natural History, History of Science Museum, Pitt Rivers Museum, Bodleian Libraries and Oxford Botanic Garden and Arboretum.


Saïd Business School

​​​Saïd Business School is a young, vibrant, and entrepreneurial business school deeply embedded in Oxford University. The school delivers cutting-edge education and ground-breaking research that transform individuals, organisations, business practice, and society. It is ranked number one in the UK for Open Programmes and number two Worldwide in the Financial Times Executive Education Rankings 2018.



Our Alumni

By participating in Oxford Cultural Leaders, you join a growing group of alumni from across the world and will have the opportunity to continue to share best practice, support one another’s continued leadership, and develop innovative and transformative partnerships and programmes. The programme has welcomed directors, senior staff and freelancers from across the art and cultural sector. Below are a list of institutions and countries that our alumni work for:


United Kingdom

Arnolfini Galleries, UK
Artichoke Trust, UK
Arts Council, UK
Arts Council Northern Ireland, UK
Auckland War Memorial Museum, UK
Awards for Young Musicians, UK
Axiell, UK
Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, UK
Beamish Museum, UK
Bletchley Park Trust, UK
Bristol Old Vic, UK
British Museum, UK
Cambridge Film Trust, UK
Chatsworth House Trust, UK
The Chipping Norton Theatre, UK
Compton Verney House Trust, UK
Crafts Council, UK
Creative Black Country, UK
Cyfarthfa Foundation, UK
Design Museum, UK
Ditchling Museum of Art and Craft, UK
Dorset County Museum, UK
Durham University Libraries and Archives, UK
Elmbridge Museum, UK
Embassy of Denmark, London, UK
English National Ballet, UK
Event Communications, UK
Falmouth Art Gallery, UK
Fusion Arts, UK
Gabrieli, UK
Glasgow Life/Glasgow Museums, UK
Historic England, UK
Historic Houses, UK
Houses of Parliament, UK
International Slavery Museum, UK
IOU Theatre, UK
Ironbridge Gorge Museums Trust, UK
Jersey Heritage, UK
Kelmscott Manor, Society of Antiquaries of London, UK
Lancashire County Council, UK
Leeds Museums and Galleries, UK
Minack Theatre Trust, UK
Modern Art Oxford, UK
Museum of Liverpool, UK
National Army Museum, UK
National Centre for Circus Arts, UK
National Galleries of Scotland, UK
National Gallery, UK
National Horse Racing Museum, UK
National Library of Scotland, UK
National Museums Liverpool, UK
National Museums Northern Ireland, UK
National Museums Scotland, UK
National Portrait Gallery, UK



Natural History Museum, UK
National Trust, UK
Neon Dance, UK
New Adventures, UK
The Octagon, Bolton, UK
Painshill Park Trust, UK
Peckham Platform, UK
Photoworks, UK
Poole Museum, UK
Powell-Cotton Museum, UK
Practical Action, UK
RAF Museum, UK
Reading Agency, UK
Redbridge Arts, UK
Research Data Scotland, UK
Rimbaud and Verlaine Foundation, UK
Royal Armouries, UK
Royal Opera House, UK
Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum, UK
Sadler's Wells, UK
Salford Culture and Place Partnership, UK
Science and Industry Museum, UK
Science Museum Group, UK
Sir John Soane's Museum, UK
Slough Borough Council, UK
Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum, UK
Sound and Music, UK
Squirrel Nation, UK
Tate, UK
The Art Assembly, UK
The Art House, UK
The Atkinson, UK
The Barber Institute of Fine Arts, UK
The British Library, UK
The British Museum, UK
The Charleston Trust, UK
The Hepworth, UK
The Met, UK
The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre, UK
The Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery (RAMM), UK
The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, UK
The Story Museum, UK
Theatre Royal Wakefield, UK
TRG Arts, UK
Turtle Key Arts, UK
University of Cambridge Museums, UK
University Church, University of Oxford, UK
University of St Andrews Libraries and Museums, UK
Watts Gallery Trust, UK
Wessex Museums, UK
Wolverhampton Arts and Culture, UK
York Minster, UK
Zaha Hadid Foundation, UK



Accion Cultural Española (AC/E), Spain
Agency for Art and Culture, Denmark
An Chomhairle Oidhreachta, Ireland
Art Gallery of Ballarat, Australia
Arts Centre Melbourne, Australia
Association of Heritage Industries Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada
Bohuslansmuseum, Sweden
Canada Council for the Arts, Canada
Canadian Museum of History, Canada
Cantonal Museums Lucerne, Switzerland
Academy of Visual Arts, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong
Chapter 54, Ghana
Chillida Leku Museum, Spain
Cooper Hewitt Design Museum, US
Cultural Facilities Corporation, Australia
Danish Agency for Culture and Palaces, Denmark
Danish Arts Foundation, Denmark
Deutsches Museum, Germany
Dikan Center, Ghana
Dublin City Council Culture Company, Ireland
Ellen Noel Art Museum, US
Embassy of Estonia in London, Estonia
Folkteatern, Sweden
Gallagher Design, USA
Indianapolis Museum of Art, USA
Invercargill City Council Museum and Heritage Services, NZ
ILT Festival, Denmark
Jamaican Military Museum and Library, Jamaica
Lexicon House, New Zealand
Library and Archives Northern Territory, Australia
Malmo City - the Cultural Administration, Sweden
Mathematisch-Physikalischer Salon, Dresden State Art Collections, Germany
MiA - Museums in Akershus, Norway
Ministry of Culture, Denmark
Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Australia
Museum of Australian Democracy, Australia
Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, New Zealand
Museum of Transport and Technology, New Zealand
Musica Viva Australia, Australia
National Museum of Australia, Australia
National Museum of Ireland, Ireland
National Museum of the Royal New Zealand Navy, New Zealand
Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision, Netherlands
Newcastle Art Gallery, Australia
New Zealand Police Museum, New Zealand
Norwegian Royal Navy Museum, Norway
Obama Presidential Center Museum, US



Oman Through the Ages, Oman
Paleis Het Loo, Netherlands
Parks Canada, Canada
Petrosains, The Discovery Centre, Malaysia
Play Africa, South Africa
Play Depot, Hong Kong
Port Arthur Historic Sites Management Authority, Australia
Prince George's African American Museum and Cultural Center, US
Queensland Museum, Australia
Queensland State Archives, Australia
Real Maestranza de Caballeria de Ronda, Spain
Roman Museum, Municipality of Heerlen, Netherlands
Scienceworks, Australia
SciSound Lab, Germany
Smithsonian Institution, US
Stardome Observatory and Planetarium, New Zealand
Stiftelsen Norsk Folkemuseum, Norway
Syddansk Musikkonservatorium, Denmark
Te Awamutu Museum, Waipa District Council, Te Ara Wai, New Zealand
The British School at Rome, Humanities and Social Sciences, Italy
The Danish Agency for Culture and Royal Palaces, Denmark
The Henry Ford, US
The King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra), Saudi Arabia
University of Pretoria Museums, South Africa
White House Historical Association, US
Yad Vashem, Germany


Read more about OCL alumni