Arts and Festivals Management

Arts and Festivals Management BA (Hons)

A contemporary, visionary course designed to prepare you for employment in the quickly expanding and dynamic markets of the cultural industries.

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Block teaching designed around you

You deserve a positive teaching and learning experience, where you feel part of a supportive and nurturing community. That’s why most students will enjoy an innovative approach to learning using block teaching, where you will study one module at a time. You’ll benefit from regular assessments - rather than lots of exams at the end of the year - and a simple timetable that allows you to engage with your subject and enjoy other aspects of university life such as sports, societies, meeting friends and discovering your new city. By studying with the same peers and tutor for each block, you’ll build friendships and a sense of belonging.

Read more about block teaching


Arts and Festivals Management is the longest-running degree course of its kind in the UK and boasts enviable industry links.

Whilst deepening your understanding of academic debates, our course will 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.

We will teach you to become an adept problem solver, with the ability to provide dynamic solutions within this continually changing and diversifying sector. You can choose to specialise in digital arts management and get practical experience of online event delivery, tackling the real-life challenges of engaging audiences in increasingly new and innovative ways.

Key features

  • 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, 2023).
  • You will study a range of topics, including running and promoting a venue, cultural leadership, arts and communities, engaging audiences and digital arts management.
  • 100% of students were satisfied overall with the course (National Student Survey, 2022).
  • Links with the Leicester Comedy Festival have provided students with the opportunity to organise and run a venue, manage the acts and promote events. The festival founder is DMU alumnus Geoff Rowe.
  • The city of Leicester has thriving creative industries and a vibrant cultural scene, providing opportunities to gain professional experience. Students have worked with the Tour de Moon festival, Phoenix Cinema and Arts Centre, Curve theatre, Serendipity and Soft Touch Arts.
  • Benefit from top-quality teaching by industry experts, thanks to excellent links with leading organisations such as Universal Music and London’s Southbank Centre.
  • Gain real-life experience through a placement module with a professional organisation. Students have previously worked with the Joseph Papp Public Theatre in New York, Universal Music, HQ Recording, Ministry of Sound 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. 
  • Benefit from block teaching, where most students study one subject at a time. A simple timetable will allow you to really engage with your learning, receive regular feedback and assessments, get to know your course mates and enjoy a better study-life balance.

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I am so grateful for being given the opportunity to work with Leicester Comedy Festival during my first year. At the time, I didn't have a lot of experience being involved in the organisation of a large-scale event and working as an Artist Liaison and Project Assistant taught me so much about what actually goes into the event production process. Following this project, I have taken on a range of festival roles which I wouldn't have felt prepared for without this experience.



Cultural eXchanges Festival

Final year students have the opportunity to organise DMU’s annual Cultural eXchanges Festival.

Explore the 2023 festival

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  • UK
  • EU/International

Institution code: D26

UCAS course code: N820

Duration: Three years full-time, four years full-time with a placement. Six years part-time.

Fees and funding: 

2024/25 tuition fees for UK students: £9,250

Find out more about tuition 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.

Contact us: For more information, call us on +44 (0)116 2 50 60 70.

Duration: Three years full-time, four years with placement

Fees and funding: 

2024/25 tuition fees for international students: £15,750

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.

Contact us: For more information, call us on +44 (0)116 2 50 60 70.

Entry criteria

Typical entry requirements 

  • 112 points from at least 2 A levels or
  • BTEC Extended Diploma DMM or
  • International Baccalaureate: 26+ Points or
  • T Levels Merit

Plus five GCSEs grades 9-4 including English Language or Literature at grade 4 or above.

  • Pass Access with 30 Level 3 credits at Merit (or equivalent) and GCSE  English (Language or Literature) at grade 4 or above.

We will normally require students have had a break from full-time education before undertaking the Access course.

  • We also accept the BTEC First Diploma plus two GCSEs including English Language or Literature at grade 4 or above

Interview required: No

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


First year

  • Block 1: Cultural Events Design

  • Block 2: Running and Promoting a Venue

  • Block 3: Cultural Leadership

  • Block 4: The Creative Arts Manager: Policy and Practice

Second year

  • Block 1: Programming and Planning Festivals

    Block 2: Audience and Communities Project

    Block 3: Select one from the list below

    • International Research Visit

    • Digital Arts Management and Enterprise 1: Conceptualisation

  • Block 4: Research Methods: Dissertation and Placement

Third year

  • Block 1: Select one from the list below:

    • Dissertation

    • Creative Enterprise and Placement

  • Block 2: Arts Management Studio

  • Block 3: Music Industry Management

  • Block 4: Select one from the list below:

    • Events and Festivals Management

    • Digital Arts Management and Enterprise 2: Applications

See detailed module information


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.



In the first year you will be introduced to cultural theory and policy, designing cultural events, managing people and teams, personal management, marketing (including running and promoting a festival venue as part of Leicester Comedy Festival), finance, leadership skills and academic research. The Running and Promoting a Festival module will provide you with practical experience with a professional arts organisation. In the second year the focus is on deepening your understanding of political and economic factors in the development of cultural products and services at national, regional and local levels. You can choose to focus on digital arts management to develop your knowledge of policy and trends in the production and engagement with digital arts and festivals. You will also begin preparation for your third year placement or dissertation and take part in a research trip to a major European city through DMU Global. In your third year you will complete a dissertation or placement, with a focus on developing your entrepreneurial skills. You will also undertake more specialist studies including Arts Management Studio and Music Industry Management, as well as plan and run our Cultural eXchanges festival or deliver your own large-scale event. If you choose to specialise in digital arts management, you will apply the strategic thinking gained in your second year to develop a digital business.

You will be taught through a variety of methods including lectures, talks by visiting lecturers from the creative and cultural industries, seminars, workshops, tutorials and self directed study. Practical modules are also delivered via workshops in our dedicated events office and the venues where the events are taking place. Assessment is tailored to each module and is predominantly coursework including essays, reports, critiques, business plans, finance exercises, case study analysis, group work, presentations and an optional dissertation.

Contact hours
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

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


During this course you will have the option to complete a paid placement year, an invaluable opportunity to put the skills developed during your degree into practice. This insight into the professional world will build on your knowledge in a real-world setting, preparing you to progress onto your chosen career. 

Our Careers Team can help to hone your professional skills with mock interviews and practice aptitude tests, and an assigned personal tutor will support you throughout your placement. 

Previous placements include producing and programming events at the Grand Theatre, Blackpool, planning the logistics for the Outlook Festival, Croatia with the NVS Music Group and co-ordinating events within the Let’s Dance International Frontiers festival. 


DMU Global

Our innovative international experience programme DMU Global aims to enrich studies, broaden cultural horizons and develop key skills valued by employers. 

Through DMU Global, we offer an exciting mix of overseas, on-campus and online international experiences, including the opportunity to study or work abroad for up to a year.


Students on this course have visited Copenhagen to experience the city’s cultural and historical performance landscape, as well as Amsterdam to meet with cultural sector policy makers, leaders and practitioners to discuss digitalisation at the Van Gogh Museum and music licences at the Paradiso live music venue. 


Graduate careers

Our graduates are highly practical individuals who are equipped with business planning, engagement and delivery skills, which are hugely attractive in the arts sector. Many go on to forge successful careers in music, theatre, TV, film and charity sectors. 

Recent graduate destinations include the South Bank Centre, U-Live, Save the Children, the prestigious Ambassador Theatre Group and Paintings in Hospitals, the UK's leading national arts in health charity. 

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