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.


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. 

Key features

  • 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.

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We are committed to helping our graduates enhance their careers and personal development through further study, and there are a number of postgraduate scholarships on offer to help you achieve this.

International student scholarships

Find out about available international scholarships or visit our fees and funding page for more information.


More courses like this:

Design Management and Entrepreneurship MA
Fashion Management with Marketing MA

  • UK
  • EU/International

Duration: One year full-time.

Start date: September 2023

Fees and funding:

2023/24 Full-time tuition fees for UK students: £8,986 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.

Duration: One year full-time

Start date: September 2023

Fees and funding:

2023/24 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



Events Leadership
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.

Global Sport and Cultural Event Marketing
Examines sport and cultural event marketing opportunities within global settings. It explores key marketing concepts including the marketing environment, segmentation, targeting, and positioning (STP), the marketing mix, branding, and consumer and audience behaviour within international and global contexts.

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.

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 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 Blackboard, 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 Works


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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