Arts and Festivals Management is the longest-running degree course of its kind in the UK and boasts enviable industry links.
In addition to deepening your understanding of academic debates, our course will help equip you with the practical tools and skills needed to become a leader in key areas of the cultural arena, including theatres, music venues, galleries, museums and festivals.
You will develop a range of interdisciplinary skills such as teamwork, marketing and management theory, fundraising, business planning, licensing, health and safety, programming and cultural policy.
In your final year, you will have the opportunity either to produce a large-scale arts event of your choice or be part of the team producing, programming and running the high-profile annual Cultural eXchanges Festival. Previous events have featured inspiring guests such as Benjamin Zephaniah, Grayson Perry, and Meera Syal.
The events landscape is continually changing and professionals in the sector must be adept problem solvers, with the ability to handle new challenges and offer dynamic solutions. This programme will help equip you with the skills to adapt to the diversification and developments of the sector, with practical projects allowing you to experience online event delivery and digital arts and cultural content. This also provides you with the opportunity to tackle the real-life challenges of engaging audiences in increasingly new and innovative ways.
- Arts and Festivals Management at DMU is ranked number one in the UK in the ‘Hospitality, event management and tourism’ subject area (Guardian University Guide 2022)
- You will study a range of topics, including running and promoting a venue, cultural leadership, arts and communities and engaging audiences.
- Links with the Leicester Comedy Festival have provided previous students with the opportunity to organise and run a venue, manage the acts and promote events. The festival founder is DMU alumnus Geoff Rowe.
- Benefit from top-quality teaching by industry experts, thanks to excellent links with leading organisations such as Universal Music and London’s Southbank Centre.
- Valuable real-life experience is offered though a placement module with a professional organisation. Students have previously worked with the Joseph Papp Public Theatre in New York, Universal Music, Curve theatre and Glastonbury Festival.
- Our graduates are highly practical individuals who are equipped with business planning, engagement and delivery skills, which are hugely attractive in the arts sector. Graduates hold key positions across a wide range of industries and roles, including The Barbican, Ballet Rambert, Wembley Arena and the BBC.
- Take part in our international experience programme, DMU Global. Students have benefited from trips to Amsterdam, to study the influence of the arts in a different county, and New York, where they saw a rehearsal and behind-the-scenes of Il Barbiere di Siviglia at Manhattan’s Lincoln Center.
Structure and assessment
- Running and Promoting a Venue
- Creative Arts Manager: Policy and Practice
- Perspectives in the Arts
- Cultural Leadership
- International Research Project
- Research Methods: Dissertation
- Research Methods: Placement
- Programming and Planning Festivals
- Arts and Communities Project
- Engaging Audiences
- Creative Enterprise and Advance Placement
You will take the above modules and choose from:
- Media Industry Management
- Music Industry Management
- Event and Festivals Management
Teaching and assessments
Practical modules are also delivered via workshops in our dedicated events office and the venues where the events are taking place. They entail group meetings and supervised sessions for planning, preparation and delivery of your events above and beyond the timetabled classroom teaching. This includes individual preparatory time for the week-long the European research trip as well as for your own individual placements.
Assessment is tailored to the module contents and learning objectives and in Arts and Festivals Management this is predominantly coursework – essays, reports, critiques; finance exercises; case study analysis; group work – practical work/reports/presentations and a final year dissertation. Two level 4 modules have exams.
You will be taught through a combination of lectures, tutorials, seminars, group work and self-directed study. Assessment is through coursework (presentations, essays and reports) and usually an exam. Your precise timetable will depend on the optional modules you choose to take, however, in your first year you will normally attend around 8 hours of timetabled taught sessions (lectures and tutorials) each week, and we expect you to undertake at least 20 further hours of independent study to complete project work and research.
Facilities and features
The Clephan Building is home to DMU’s humanities subjects, and is equipped with the latest audio-visual equipment and cinema screens.
Currently Clephan houses some key Arts, Design and Humanities student support facilities including the Arts, Design and Humanities Placement Team, and the faculties Advice Centre where you can access information about timetabling, specialist support queries, and any other questions you may have about your course.
Each year Clephan hosts DMU’s Cultural Exchanges festival, run by our Arts and Festival Management BA (Hons) students. The festival features a variety of guests and speakers from the cultural and creative industries and previous guests have included: Germaine Greer, Honor Blackman, Alastair Campbell, Nitin Sawhney, Andrew Motion, Alan Yentob, Alan Moore, Meera Syal, Ben Okri, Louis De Bernieres, Trevor Nelson, Grayson Perry and Matthew Bourne.
The main Kimberlin Library is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year (other than in exceptional circumstances) and offers a huge range of online resources, all of which can be remotely accessed from anywhere you choose.
The library is run by dedicated staff who offer additional support to students, including help with academic writing, research strategies, literature searching and reference management and assistive technology, and mathematical skills for non-maths students. There is also a Just Ask service for help and advice, available via email or telephone.
Our comfortable and well-equipped study areas provide a range of environments to suit your needs.
Our Learning Zones and The Greenhouse provide flexible spaces, whether you are working as a group, practising a presentation or working quietly on your own.
They feature workstations with power supplies for laptops, plus bookable syndicate rooms with plasma screens, laptops and DVD facilities. Wi-Fi is available across all campus locations.
Opportunities and careers
Our course has delivered a vast amount of placements ranging from Glastonbury Festival and Live Nation to the O2 Arena, The Royal Albert Hall, West Yorkshire Playhouse, The Victoria and Albert Museum, The Business Design Centre, Syco Entertainment, SBTV, Shobana Jeyasingh Dance Company, The Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the BBC.
Some of the exciting placements our students were involved in this year include working on the PR for Record Store Day, producing and programming events at the Grand Theatre, Blackpool and marketing The Spark children’s arts festival in Leicester. They also embraced international placements including producing the year-long celebrations for the European Capital of Culture in Paphos, Cyprus 2017 as well as planning the logistics for the Outlook Festival, Croatia with the NVS Music Group. One of our joint honours dance students worked on co-ordinating events within the Lets Dance International Frontiers festival, including a performance by the legendary company Urban Bush Women from New York.
The aims of #DMUglobal are embedded throughout the course. In year one you have the opportunity to promote a venue as part of the Leicester Comedy Festival, working with diverse artists and audiences. In year two the European research trip provides you with the opportunity to undertake an international visit to a major European city supported by #DMUglobal. In year two you also deliver an event or festival within Leicester’s culturally diverse communities. Placements in years two and three provide further opportunities for international experience. In year three delivering the Cultural eXchanges festival provides an additional insight into interacting with artists, audiences and communities from different cultural backgrounds.
There are many career opportunities open to our graduates from arts organisations to the events and festivals industry to even working in film and TV. For example Matthew Russell is Executive Producer at The South Bank Centre, Claire Van der Zant is Business Director for Ingenuity, (business consultants for brands and agencies), Saskia Collins is Artist Liaison Manager for Save the Children, Adele Robinson has won a coveted place on the graduate scheme with the prestigious Ambassador Theatre Group, Amisha Karia is Head of Collections and Paintings at Paintings in Hospitals, Charlene McManus is a Company Director for Debbie Allen Associates Management (who look after Sue Perkins and Bradley Walsh) and Dan Jones has set up his own successful company Festaxi, counting Festival Republic among his clients.
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