Arts and Festival Management BA module descriptions

First year | Second year | Third year


First year

Block 1: Cultural Events Design

This module will engage you with current practice within the arts by attending and critiquing a mixed programme of performances, exhibitions and other events. It also introduces you to the concept of event design and enables you to visit a number of venues to examine contemporary practices in staging events as well as explore your own approaches to event design. Talks by arts practitioners, technicians and event designers will further enhance your knowledge of relevant practice in cultural events design.


Presentation, 100%: 15 minutes.

Block 2: Running and Promoting a Venue

The creative arts manager needs a fundamental set of skills, which will make their organisation work successfully on a number of levels from team building to the marketing of a cultural product. This module aims to show through the organisation, promotion and marketing of an actual, real event within a venue during Leicester Comedy Festival how you can become an effective producer in matching an artist and artistic work with a relevant audience. It identifies some of the key areas in the management and promotion of an artists within a venue that the arts manager requires in terms of personal management, marketing, communication and venue management.


Essay, 50%: 1000 words.

Promotion of Event, 50%.

Block 3: Cultural Leadership

This module introduces management and leadership concepts such as organisational culture, governance, motivation, team working, diversity, recruitment, workforce development, recruitment, fundraising, strategic and project planning that will enable you to understand how cultural organisations work and the roles that leaders play in them. The module is taught by industry practitioners and guest speakers.


Essay, 40%: 1000 words.

Case Study, 60%: 1500 words.

Block 4: The Creative Arts Manager: Policy and Practice

Successful arts managers are flexible, creative and entrepreneurial. They are passionate about the arts product, politically astute, provide effective leadership and manage themselves and their organisations well. This module will get you started on the process of becoming a successful arts manager by introducing you to key aspects of the management of the cultural industries. You will be introduced to general issues in the financial management of arts organisations, such as how to understand financial statements of these organisations and how to plan for smooth running operations devoid of 'financial ill-health'. You will explore a range of issues including aspects of cultural theory and cultural policy which will enable you to develop a personal perspective on the role of the arts manager in the UK today.


Report, 50%: 1500 words. Essay, 50%: 1000 words.

Second year

Block 1: Programming and Planning Festivals

As the business environment becomes more complex so the need increases for arts managers to develop management competencies which integrate different disciplines and traditions. In this module you have the chance to develop your understanding of business and strategic planning for a one-off festival event in a 'real life' context. The core of the module is a festival case study that introduces you to key concepts in programming and strategic planning and some management tools with which you can develop a business plan. It also addresses the principal areas of law that affect public events and the case study provides an in depth understanding of accounting practice in the context of tendering and business planning for festival and small organisational activities.


Presentation, 100%: 20 minutes.

Block 2: Audience and Communities Project 

This module introduced you to key concepts of audience development from both management and audience perspectives, strategically and tactically. You will investigate how, by understanding both our product and the motivations, perceptions and attitudes of existing and desired customers, we can develop diverse audiences for the arts from all walks of life. The issues of strategic choice will be examined as will the relationship between educational activities, marketing and audience development. You will think about the relationship between social movements, cultural policies and practices and to expand your understanding of how arts and cultural practice can be made relevant to and accessible by people and communities that may be presently excluded. By looking at non-Western cultural practice, the module provides a critical framework from which current initiatives aimed at repositioning the role of arts in society can be interrogated. It also provides an opportunity to develop practical experience by producing an arts event of your choice in groups within a community setting.


Essay, 50%: 2000 words. Event, 50%.

Block 3: International Research Visit

This module will provide a conceptual and historical overview of the emergence and development of public policies for arts and cultural provision in Britain and other European countries. You will identify and critique the relationship between different attitudes and approaches to the role of culture in society and how issues concerned with national, regional and local history, demography, socio-economic change and identity also influence how aspects of cultural practice are expressed in different countries. You will take part in an international research visit to a major European city during which you will arrange meetings and interviews with cultural sector policy makers, leaders and practitioners.


Report, 20%: 500 words. Presentation, 80%: 15 minutes.


Block 3: Digital Arts Management and Enterprise 1: Conceptualisation

In this module you will think critically about latest issues related to digital arts and management and enterprise. Is digitalisation a new progress of democratisation? How does the birth of AI change our understanding of arts? How do we under the new power of data? What are the ‘values’ of arts in the digital world? This module will be suitable for those who are interested in becoming arts managers, producers and entrepreneurs and is a prerequisite for the Digital Arts Management and Enterprise 2 : Applications module in th third year.


Essay, 100%: 2500 words.

Block 4: Research Methods: Dissertation and Placement

Being able to carry out research is a fundamental requirement of being an effective arts manager. Through this module you will have the opportunity to study research from an academic and applied perspective in preparation for either your third year dissertation or placement.


Written proposal, 50%: 2500 words.

Third year

Block 1: Dissertation

This is an opportunity to explore in depth a topic of your own choice. You will develop your ability manage an original research project and you will be supported through individual tutorials and group seminar sessions.


Oral viva, 10%: 10 minutes. Dissertation, 90%: 5000 words.


Block 1: Creative Enterprise and Placement

You will undertake a four week placement in an arts organisation of your choice. The placement will build on the skills and knowledge gained throughout your studies and should involve you in work that is both complex and demanding and requiring a high degree of initiative, effectiveness and commitment. This is an opportunity to reflect on the relationship between theory and practice and to derive your own conclusions based not only on practice but also on an understanding of relevant management theory. As part of this module you will also develop an original idea for a creative enterprise.


Placement report, 100%: 2500 words.

Block 2: Arts Management Studio

The overall aim of this module is to increase a general understanding of working as an arts manager in current, thriving arts organisations by utilising the richness of the local arts community within Leicester. You will explore theoretical frameworks for understanding the organisational workings of the arts alongside gaining practical consulting experience which will involve building relationships between partners, developing strategic creative aims, and providing actionable opportunities to work side by side an arts organisation. The main module component will include a consultancy-type project involving one of five arts pillars throughout Leicester – engaging organisations with missions and aims geared towards Performing Arts, Dance, Media, Theatre, and Festivals. Its hands on approach is designed to provide students with ‘in-organisation’ and co-creative experience to develop their understanding of arts management issues; with the direct effect of increasing engagement and partnerships with local arts organisations and businesses.


Proposal, 10%: 400 words. Presentation, 90%, 20 minutes.

Block 3: Music Industry Management

Music has a major influence on our everyday lives and the music industry ranks as one of the most successful elements of the UK's creative economy. The aim of this module is to increase your general understanding of the sector and to develop your personal confidence in it as a possible source of employment. The module provides an overview of the sector since 1945, tracking the emergence of the global system that we have today and considering key developments and influences in its history. It examines both the commercial and subsidised sectors and the role of Government and other national bodies, exploring their different roles and how they work together. You will explore theoretical and philosophical frameworks for examining the workings of the music industry, the relationships between its many parts and the different styles and genres it produces, as well as how different aspects of the sector are managed e.g. an orchestra or a rock band. The module will include subjects such as copyright, royalties, live (touring, festivals), music publishing and recorded work, and explore the relationship between artists and management, and the role of the latter in developing a band/an artist's career.


Poster presentation, 80%: 15 minutes. Report, 20%: 2000 words.

Block 4: Events and Festivals Management

This module provides an invaluable practical experience with students opting either to produce a large scale arts event of their choice in groups or producing, programming and running the high profile Cultural eXchanges Festival. You will develop an outline for your event or project, undertake critical path analysis and logistical analysis, market the idea to potential funders and the general public, calculate the costs of the project and keep financial control, lead and work within a team, consider the legal framework and necessary insurance, licenses and contracts.


Project, 60%. Event manual, 40%.


Block 4: Digital Arts Management and Enterprise 2 : Applications

Following the Digital Arts Management and Enterprise 1 : Conceptualisation module, this module aims to transfer some of the academic knowledge and critical thinking into practices. How can digital arts management and enterprise be applied in the real world? This module will look at several key applications with relevant case studies. At the end of this module, you will be well equipped to enter the workplace with a digitally focused set of skills and strategies.


Presentation, 100%: 20 minutes.