Cultural Events Management MSc

Cultural Events Management MSc

Explore the connections between culture, business and management in the dynamic and expanding industry surrounding cultural events, the cultural sector and the festival community, and learn to apply the theory and key skills to develop your own career in this field.

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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, Amsterdam, Dubai and Hong Kong. This course will provide you with the vibrant learning environment, theory, latest industry knowledge and supported self-directed study needed to understand the synergies of developing and managing cultural events and creative enterprise.

The curriculum covers the expansive variety of cultural events and the organisations that present them. During the course you will learn about the event management and enterprise principles involved in organising community-based celebrations, local events, established festival networks, live music events and festivals, and international events. Through guest lectures and workshops, you will meet and network with professionals from wider creative and cultural industries. There are also placement opportunities to explore, through which past students have worked with a range of regional arts and cultural organisations including examples such as Birmingham Hippodrome and Leicester City Council’s Festivals and Events Team.

The events and festivals landscape are 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 needed to adapt to the diversification of the sector, with projects enabling you to experience online event delivery, cultural and digital content, and 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 theory and case studies with primary research and review of the latest industry trends and relevant policies. Our theory and industry combined teaching approach will grow your key skills in research (for both academic and industry), leadership, marketing, business planning and website design – all essential tools to succeed and forge your path as the next generation of leaders in this dynamic and vibrant industry. 

Key features

  • You can exit the course with a Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate depending on the credits you have successfully achieved. 
  • This course offers a specialised academic 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 knowledge and skills in devising and managing cultural and commercial events.
  • Have the opportunity to undertake an industry placement (subject to credits achieved), and gain valuable experience to further enhance your practical and professional skills.
  • Teaching is led by professionally active experts, whose knowledge will place you at the forefront of new trends and developments. Their involvement creates opportunities for your own research projects and placements.

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Talk to our course team

If you would like to find out more about how this course can help you achieve your career ambitions, send a message to our course team leader, Dr Hiu Man Chan, who would be happy to chat to you. Alternatively, you can register for our next postgraduate event or call our course enquirers team on +44 (0)116 2 50 60 70  / WhatsApp: 0797 0655 800.


DMU offers a range of undergraduate and postgraduate scholarships and bursaries to help you realise your academic ambitions.

International Scholarships

Find out about available scholarships and country specific fee discounts for international students. 


More courses like this:

Fashion Management with Marketing MA

DMU has been shortlisted for the Postgraduate Award in the 2024 Whatuni Student Choice Awards (WUSCAs), as voted for by students.

  • UK
  • EU/International

Programme code: N82081

Duration: One year full-time. Two years part-time.

Start date: September 2024

Fees and funding:

2024/25 Full-time tuition fees for UK students: £9,435 per year

Find out more about course fees and available funding.

Additional costs: Here at DMU we provide excellent learning resources, including the Kimberlin Library and specialist workshops and studios. However, you should be aware that sometimes you may incur additional costs for this programme.

Programme code: N82081

Duration: One year full-time

Start date: September 2024

Fees and funding:

2024/25 tuition fees for EU and international students: £15,800 per year

Find out more about course fees and available funding.

Additional costs: Here at DMU we provide excellent learning resources, including the Kimberlin Library and specialist workshops and studios. However, you should be aware that sometimes you may incur additional costs for this programme.

Entry criteria

Typical entry requirements 

You should have the equivalent or above of a 2:2 UK bachelor’s honours degree. 

We encourage and welcome applications from applicants with a wide range of backgrounds and perspectives.


Non-standard applicants will be invited to attend an interview.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language an IELTS score of 6.0 overall with 5.5 in each band (or equivalent) when you start the course is essential.

English language tuition, delivered by our British Council-accredited Centre for English Language Learning, is available both before and throughout the course if you need it.


Structure and assessment


Course modules

Teaching and assessments



Block One: Cultural Festivals and Live Music Events Practice

This module analyses the live sector in a number of ways. The first part will explore the political, social, and cultural forces that have contributed to the development of art/cultural festivals and events. It will explore what makes a successful festival and analyse their role in society.  In addition to Melas and Carnivals, the module presents the opportunity to also explore the live music sector. Since the pandemic new business models emerged as artists found ways to stream their gigs. You will be expected to understand the key management roles such as Manager, Tour Manager, Agent and Promoter. The module also considers the practical aspects of design and planning associated with running festivals, cultural and live music events including project management, finance, music licensing, copyright, programming, health and safety, legal concerns, and evaluation.  Key to the module is an opportunity to plan and deliver either a digital, live, or hybrid event and use this to reflect on theory and practice.  

Assessment: 100% written report

Block Two: Marketing Principles in Sport and Cultural Event Contexts

This module will provide you with the knowledge and understanding of key marketing principles and how to apply them to sport and cultural events in national and global contexts. You will begin to explore, understand, and debate key marketing concepts and relate them both to global sport and cultural event organisations and future opportunities. 

Specifically, the module will teach you a variety of traditional marketing concepts, such as the marketing environment, segmentation, targeting and positioning, the marketing mix, marketing communications, sponsorship and branding, and consumer and audience behaviour. It will then also provide you with programme-specific content related to marketing in sporting and cultural event contexts within national and global contexts to allow specialist exploration of programme areas.

Assessment: 60% essay and infographic and 40% marketing report.

Block Three: Digital Entrepreneur in the Cultural Industries

Since the 21st Century, society has been altered beyond recognition by the advent of the internet, digital technology and social media.  This module focuses on the fast-changing digital landscape in the arts and culture industries. In the sector, we see how digital tools and technologies have been transforming, how businesses are operating; the way in which audiences engage with culture and are driving new forms of cultural participation, practice and entrepreneurship.  Drawing examples from local, national and international case-studies and industry professionals, you will explore the changing landscape and the impact from various perspectives; including audiences, artists, cultural producers, organisations, agencies, funders and partners. You will be expected to critically evaluate how established arts management practice; business planning and models are evolving.

Assessment: 60% business plan and 40% pitch and podcast.

Block Four: Events Leadership

This module will provide you with the tools to make a critical investigation of the context in which cultural, sporting and commercial events operate nationally and internationally alongside issues of leadership and development support that are required for an evolving sector. It explores the needs of individuals leading events management organisations, and the skills required to motivate, manage and organise staff and other stakeholders to create excellent events. The module will also incorporate the study of some operational elements of event leadership in practice such as business planning. 

Developing your employability and professional skills at this point in the programme will form a key part of the module to help you prepare for embarking on your final stage project of studies.

Assessment: 50% essay and 50% Presentation or Professional Portfolio

Block Five and Six: Dissertation OR Work Based Project

Dissertation: The dissertation provides you with an opportunity for sustained work of an independent nature in an area related to the course. Topics may develop from one of the taught modules or may be linked to issues touched on only peripherally or not at all in the taught modules. In all cases the dissertation will be encompassed within the broad rationale of the degree, and must be within the supervisory capacity of the subject team. Dissertations should usually contain an element of originality, but that originality may be defined in a number of ways. Some will yield new insights from primary research, but many will rely heavily on the work of other scholars in the field. In the latter case the originality will emerge from the nature of engagement with existing scholarly work and the attempt to offer new readings, analyses or challenges to established authorities. The methodology itself may be original - for example the use of a multidisciplinary approach to the topic.

Assessment: 100% dissertation.

Work Based Project: This module provides the opportunity to develop and demonstrate skills acquired from the taught course in a practical context - for example working with a festival or an events company in any part of the world. It is anticipated that this work-based project/placement will include experience of working on the development, promotion and delivery of a festival or event. This module allows you to bring together all aspects of the course ranging from research methodologies to discipline-specific modules. This work-based project/placement will receive supervision from the host organisation and DMU. You will undertake appropriate research and work in accordance with an agreed work placement proposal, which will be negotiated with the host. A learning contract will be drawn up and agreed by the host, you and DMU.

Assessment: 100% report. 

Note: All modules are indicative and based on the current academic session. Course information is correct at the time of publication and is subject to review. Exact modules may, therefore, vary for your intake in order to keep content current. If there are changes to your course we will, where reasonable, take steps to inform you as appropriate.



The programme takes a very case-study and primary research approach to teaching, combining academic study with practical experience in organising specific events, thanks to guest lectures and workshops you will also meet a host professionals from the cultural events industry. These national and international specialists range from those working for specific festivals and events, to local authorities and industry organisation professionals as well as technicians from the security and health and safety fields. In addition, as DMU is a member of the European Festivals Research Project, you will also meet respected international academics.

Assessment is continuous through methods such as reports and essays, portfolio, proposals, presentations as well as either a work-based project or a dissertation at the end of the course.

All the tutors teach modules within their own research specialisations placing you at the forefront of new discoveries and developments in areas such arts and cultural events, strategic planning, the use of public space and communicating through media and advertising. DMU staff recently completed a major piece of research, funded by the EPSRC, which explores how issues of sustainability can be promoted with, and through, festivals.

Along with other experts in the field, Chris Newbold and Jennie Jordan have recently published two new books, Focus on Festivals: Contemporary European Case Studies and Perspectives (2015) and Focus on World Festivals: Contemporary case studies and perspectives (2016) examining the basis for the remarkable growth in festivals worldwide.

As well as running DMU’s Cultural Exchanges Festival, many of them are also researching festivals such as Latitude and Dave’s Leicester Comedy Festival and various carnivals and melas. Their involvement in these projects creates opportunities for your own research projects and work placements as does DMU’s link to festivals and events across Europe through its membership of the European Festivals Research Project. 

Contact hours
In your first two terms you will normally attend around 12 hours of timetabled taught sessions including lectures, tutorials and workshop and studio sessions each week, and be expected to undertake at least 23 hours of independent study each week. Your third term will be pre-dominantly self-directed (including meetings with your supervisor), during which you can expect to undertake 35 hours of independent study each week.



Facilities and features

Library and learning zones

On campus, the main Kimberlin Library offers a space where you can work, study and access a vast range of print materials, with computer stations, laptops, plasma screens and assistive technology also available. 

As well as providing a physical space in which to work, we offer online tools to support your studies, and our extensive online collection of resources accessible from our Library website, e-books, specialised databases and electronic journals and films which can be remotely accessed from anywhere you choose. 

We will support you to confidently use a huge range of learning technologies, including the Virtual Learning Environment, Collaborate Ultra, DMU Replay, MS Teams, Turnitin and more. Alongside this, you can access LinkedIn Learning and learn how to use Microsoft 365, and study support software such as mind mapping and note-taking through our new Digital Student Skills Hub. 

The library staff offer additional support to students, including help with academic writing, research strategies, literature searching, reference management and assistive technology. There is also a ‘Just Ask’ service for help and advice, live LibChat, online workshops, tutorials and drop-ins available from our Learning Services, and weekly library live chat sessions that give you the chance to ask the library teams for help.

More flexible ways to learn

We offer an equitable and inclusive approach to learning and teaching for all our students. Known as the Universal Design for Learning (UDL), our teaching approach has been recognised as sector leading. UDL means we offer a wide variety of support, facilities and technology to all students, including those with disabilities and specific learning differences.

Just one of the ways we do this is by using ‘DMU Replay’ – a technology providing all students with anytime access to audio and/or visual material of lectures. This means students can revise taught material in a way that suits them best, whether it's replaying a recording of a class or adapting written material shared in class using specialist software.

Campus Centre

The home of  De Montfort Students' Union, (DSU) our Campus Centre offers a welcoming and lively hub for student life. Conveniently located at the heart of campus, it includes a convenience store, a Subway and a Starbucks. Here you can find the DSU-owned charitable accommodation service Sulets and DSU’s shop, SUpplies, selling art supplies, stationery and clothing, and printing and binding services. The building is also home to the DSU officer team. 


Opportunities and careers

Find the people who will open doors for you

DMU's award-winning careers service provides guaranteed work experience opportunities DMU Careers Team


Students can choose to undertake a year-long work placement to further enhance their practical skills. This will give you the opportunity to develop and demonstrate skills acquired from the taught course in a practical context working with a relevant organisation or company. You can also undertake a work-based project in the third term where you will gain experience of working on the development, promotion and delivery of a project, festival or cultural event. 


DMU Global

This is our innovative international experience programme which aims to enrich your studies and expand your cultural horizons – helping you to become a global graduate, equipped to meet the needs of employers across the world.

Through DMU Global, we offer a wide range of opportunities including on-campus and UK activities, overseas study, internships, faculty-led field trips and volunteering, as well as Erasmus+ and international exchanges.



Graduate careers

There may be as many as 25,000 festivals and events with a strong cultural dimension in the UK alone, so the opportunities for employment in this industry are substantial. Many go on to work on a varied range of festivals, such as the Taiwan Lantern Festival, Festival Republic and Athens Fringe Festival. Graduates are also adapting to the current realities of delivering virtual online events including Simon Brown who, in his role as Director, led the team who delivered ArtReach's online Journeys Festival International in autumn 2020.

Oli Page graduated in 2017 and now works at Big Difference Company which produces the renowned Leicester Comedy Festival. Oli said: “When I decided to study the MSc at DMU, I was swayed by the fantastic reputation of the course. Students have gone on to make a great impact in the city's creative and cultural sector. I'm very grateful for all the support and advice I was given from my lecturers. DMU gave me such a great experience. It’s allowed me to push on in my career as a freelance producer in an industry I'm so passionate about and I wouldn't be in the position I am today without it.” 

Read Oli’s story here. 

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