Over the past 20 years, there has been an explosion of cultural and commercial events across the world, from local creative events to international, multidisciplinary festivals that transform major cities such as Edinburgh. This course will equip you with the vibrant learning environment, practical experience, and supported self-directed study needed to understand the synergies, theory and practice of developing and managing cultural and arts-based events.
The curriculum covers the expansive variety of cultural events. During the course you will learn what it takes to organise community-based celebrations, local events, established festival networks, high art festivals, live music events, and large-scale international events. You could work with organisations such as the British Arts Festivals Association, Festival Republic (the company behind Latitude and Reading festivals), U-Live or The Spark Festival, a children’s art festival. Through guest lectures and workshops, you will also have opportunities to meet and network with professionals from the cultural events industry.
The events landscape is ever-changing and professionals in the sector must be adept problem-solvers, with the ability to embrace new challenges and offer dynamic solutions. This course will help equip you with the skills to adapt to the diversification of the sector, with practical projects enabling you to experience online event delivery and digital arts and cultural content, as well as giving you the opportunity to tackle the real-life challenges of engaging audiences in increasingly innovative ways.
Throughout the course you will combine the academic study of case studies and primary research with the real-world practical experience of organising events. This hands-on approach will grow your key skills in leadership, marketing, business planning and website design – all essential tools to succeed and forge your path as a leader in this dynamic and vibrant industry.
- This course offers a specialised focus on cultural events, the cultural sector and the festival community and is tailored to meet the needs of this dynamic and expanding industry.
- Explore the relationship between culture, business and management, to develop your skills in devising and managing cultural and commercial events.
- Have the option of undertaking a year-long work placement, and gain valuable experience to further enhance your practical and professional skills.
- Work with key DMU partners such as British Arts Festivals Association, De Montfort Hall and Festival Republic.
- Teaching is led by professionally active experts, whose knowledge will place you at the forefront of new trends and developments. Many of our academics are researching festivals, such as Latitude and Leicester Comedy Festival. Their involvement creates opportunities for your own research projects and placements.
- Have the opportunity to get involved in organising and running DMU’s annual week-long Cultural eXchanges Festival.
Structure and assessment
Addresses the needs of individuals leading cultural and commercial events and events management organisations. It explores the advantages and weaknesses of public versus private ownership, and the skills needed to motivate, manage and organise staff and other stakeholders to create excellent events.
Festivals and Events Practice
Examines the context, content and practice of the expanding market of cultural festivals and events that has exploded across the globe in the last two decades. It will explore the political and cultural forces that have contributed to this expansion. The scope of the module will cover a range of community based celebrations such as Mela and Carnivals, to the network of established festivals, such as the Edinburgh Festivals and other European ‘high’ art festivals such as Salzburg as well as ‘mega’ events brought together for reasons of city marketing as much as for their artistic content e.g. Liverpool 2008.
Marketing for the Creative Entrepreneur
Examines the key marketing and corporate strategy issues that affect a designer. You will develop your own marketing strategy and carry out an analysis of the competitive environment.
Research Methods (Compulsory)
Teaches you a range of conceptual and practical research skills, such as questionnaire design and interview techniques. As part of this module, you will formulate your major project proposal, specifying your aims, objectives, research methods and expected outcomes. You will also learn how to undertake the literature review for your major project.
Business Planning for the Creative Entrepreneur
Develops your business knowledge and planning skills enabling you to identify the potential for a new product or service. You will study the key issues in starting a business and covers topics such as business plans, leadership, investment and risk management.
Live Music Events
Provides an opportunity not only to examine the nature and landscape of the live music industry in the UK and globally but also discuss some historical context to deepen the understanding of specific aspects.
Explores the ways in which artists, of all disciplines and media, use public spaces. You will consider the how major events and festivals are being used promote individual locations over others and, in particular, how such events can be used to bring those places to life in the eyes of visitors. You will also explore the issues that might affect these artists and the commissioning bodies, and examine the impact of the event on, and engagement of, audiences.
Cultural Policy and Planning
Provides definitions of national and local cultural policies that, although unseen, often influence the working lives of cultural events managers. You will also explore the wider cultural policy and planning frameworks as well as its application.
Museum Exhibition and Design
This module considers the broad concepts of museum design and exhibition display. It examines the semiotics of display and communication of meaning, including the museum as a repository of cultural identity.
Managing Business Web Presence
Teaches you how to critically appraise website designs, social media activity and wider networking channels while learning about creative production and management processes. You will learn how best to evaluate the role of website design in business, marketing and the creative industries, while examining advances in web architecture, technology, interface and management.
Sees you undertake independent, sustained research into an area related to the Cultural Events Management master’s. Your chosen area of research may be drawn from one of the taught modules, linked to a wider issue touched on only briefly during your course or it may be based on a completely new area, not covered during your studies.
Work Based Project
Allows you to develop and demonstrate your skills in a practical context such as undertaking a work placement. Ideally, this work-based project, which will see you complete at least 400 hours, will include working on the development, promotion and delivery of a festival or event.
Note: All modules are subject to change in order to keep content current.
Facilities and features
There is a dedicated resources room available to masters students, which during the Cultural Exchanges Festival becomes the hub of the event management. The dedicated computer centre includes a state-of-the-art media lab with Apple Intel Mac Pro computers, cinema screens and all the latest creative software applications with full technical support. There are computing classrooms and an additional suite of computer workstations, which can be pre-booked. Our computer centre reflects both our commitment to providing access to information technology and our determination to develop innovative teaching methods and web-based learning resources.
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 Learning Zones and the The Greenhouse also provide space for group or individual work and study.
There are 1,600 study places across all library locations, more than 700 computer stations, laptops to borrow, free wi-fi and desktop power outlets.
You can also book rooms with plasma screens, laptops and DVD facilities for group work and presentations, secure an individual study room with adjustable lighting or make use of our assistive technology.
Opportunities and careers
Starting a business
If you are thinking of starting your own business or working for yourself, the Enterprise Team can help provide you with the right advice and guidance to get your business off the ground.
This will give you the opportunity to develop and demonstrate skills acquired from the taught course in a practical context working with an organisation or company for three months in the third term. It is anticipated that this work based project/placement will include experience of working on the development, promotion and delivery of a project/festival or cultural event.
The international context of Fine Art is an essential part of the course. Since 2014 Fine Art students have been able to benefit from subsidised foreign study trips, including destinations in New York, Cyprus and Venice. We plan to continue to offer regular study trips abroad through this innovative and subsidised scheme.
Within the UK alone it is estimated that there may be up to 25,000 festivals and events with a strong cultural dimension. With the increasing number of commercial events, it is clear that there is a substantial market for DMU’s graduates both in the UK and globally. Many people employed in the festivals sector travel from one festival to another on three to four month contracts. There are also major sporting events such as the Olympics, and commercial expos, which all provide employment opportunities.
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