Events and Exhibition Management - MA

Full Time, Part Time
September 2016
£6,500 for UK/EU Full Time 2016 entry (view all fees)

On this innovative course you will develop the professional skills necessary for a successful events and exhibition management career. The first of its kind in the UK, this exciting course has been developed with The National Exhibition Centre (NEC), meaning you'll learn straight from top industry professionals.

This course has a real emphasis on gaining practical skills and utilising your creativity. Our graduates have gone on to work for the NEC group, established event production companies both in the UK and abroad.

What's covered in the course?

This postgraduate events and exhibition management course will give you a real insight into working in the events industry. From studying real-life case studies to learning from industry leaders you will develop a relevant, marketable and practical skillset.

With an emphasis on creativity and high-level problem solving, the course is assessed through presentations, reports, and practical events management experience.

As part of Birmingham School of Media, the course is based at our City Centre Campus in the multi-million pound Parkside Building. Here, you are surrounded by the enviable number of events and exhibition spaces that the vibrant city of Birmingham has to offer, from the massive exhibition halls of The NEC and ICC to sporting and music venues, and smaller, bespoke art spaces like the Custard Factory.

Throughout your master’s degree, you will have the support of expert tutors with years of proven experience in the events and exhibition industry. The course director, Duncan Sedgwick, has worked in the events industry for over 25 years and has been the director of a Midlands-based events production company since 1999.

Why Choose Us?

  • This course is the first of its kind in the UK, developed with The National Exhibition Centre (NEC) to ensure the qualification is tailored towards careers in the industry.
  • The school is recognised as a key centre of excellence in interactive media training, television production and education by Creative Skillset, the UK Sector Skills Council for the audio visual industries.
  • Over the last 10 years, students from the School of Media have worked on placement with big industry names including NEC Birmingham, BBC Online, The Guardian, and many more.
Visit our open day

Postgraduate Open Day

Our next Postgraduate Open Day will be in Autumn 2016. The date will be confirmed soon and registration will open shortly.

In the meantime, register your details and we'll contact you when more information is available.

Sign up for Open Day info

This course is open to International students

Birmingham School of Media

Discover the Birmingham School of Media

Visit our School site for more student work and extra information.

Visit the School website

New £10,000 postgraduate loans

You may be able to take advantage of the government’s plans to make loans of up to £10,000 available for postgraduate study.

More about postgraduate loans

Entry Requirements

UK students

You should have a 2:1 or higher in a related discipline from any UK university.

You may also have one to three years of relevant industry experience, supported by references and any industry qualifications.

UK or EU students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
MA Sep 2016 FT 1 year £6,500
PT 2 years £3,250 per year

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form instead.

International Students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
MA Sep 2016 FT 1 year £12,000
PT 2 years £6,000 per year

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form instead.

The University reserves the right to increase fees broadly in line with increases in inflation, or to reflect changes in government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament.

Additional costs

Our courses include activities such as performance, exhibitions, field trips and production of works or artefacts which may require you to purchase specific equipment, instruments, books, materials, hire of venues and accommodation, or other items. Many of these activities are essential and compulsory parts of your learning experience.

The link below gives you an estimate of the possible costs associated with key activities on specific courses. Please bear in mind that these are only estimates of costs based on past student experience and feedback. The actual costs could vary considerably (either greater or lower than these estimates) depending on your choices as you progress through the course.

All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.

Find additional costs for your course

Your personal statement

Your personal statement is a highly important part of your application. It gives you a crucial opportunity to say why you’re applying and why the institution should accept you.

Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:

Course choice

Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?

Career plans

If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.

Work experience

Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.

School or college experience

Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.

Non-accredited skills or achievement

eg Duke of Edinburgh Award, Young Enterprise scheme.

You should also mention your future plans – if you’re planning to take a year out, don't forget to give your reasons. Talk about any subjects you’re studying that don’t have a formal assessment and any sponsorships or placements you’ve applied for. And don't be scared to add in details about your social, sports or leisure interests.

Get more information on writing personal statements.

This course is available part-time

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our pdf application form instead.

Got any questions?

Search our Frequently Asked Questions for a range of information about our courses and studying here.

Financial Support

We offer further information on possible postgraduate financial support. This includes the type of loans, grants and scholarships available both from the government and from Birmingham City University.

Did you know that you will soon be able to apply for a postgraduate loan of up to £10,000?

Postgraduate loans

Stage 1: Postgraduate Certificate

The Event and Exhibition Management MA consists of four 30-credit modules, and one 60-credit module, undertaken in one year of study for the full-time course.

Each week consists of class sessions, including lectures, seminar discussions, and workshop activities.

Modules explained:
The Events and Exhibitions Industry
30 credits

The Events and Exhibitions Industry module develops your research and planning, time management, communication skills, and networking skills. You will begin to understand the industry through creative analysis, and to gain a global perspective on the events industry. This module develops your understanding of industry developments, particularly around new technologies.

30 credits

This module takes an entrepreneurial approach, putting your ideas into practice and refining an action-oriented approach. You will be involved with creating networks both in and outside of the university, and begin to test and develop new ideas for marketing and market research. This module encourages you to take industry challenges and turn them into opportunities to enhance your independence, confidence, networking capacity, and strategic thinking.

Stage 2: Postgraduate Diploma

Modules explained:
Exhibition Production
30 credits

This production module focuses on the organisation of a live event or exhibition. You will develop a critical understanding of what factors affect the stakeholder groups, testing and deploying theories, research-based knowledge and analysis. The key theme of this module is competition - to be successful in exhibitions you need to know how to be competitive.

Production Lab
30 credits

This module gives you the opportunity to innovate and experiment, applying a range of production skills appropriate to your field. You will prepare for your final module, MA by Practice, by auditing and extending your skills base, and developing your research, development, planning and reflection skills.

Stage 3: Masters

MA by Practice
60 credits

To complete your award, you will originate, execute and deliver an individual extended practice-based professional project.

Utilising your knowledge of and engagement with current opportunities in the field of production, you will develop and consolidate your mastery of key skills. This final module encourages and tests your initiative and independent practice, conducted largely outside of the classroom with support from a tutor.

Throughout the course there is a strong emphasis on lecturer and peer review of your presentations and work in progress. Leading practitioners in the field often visit to deliver guest lectures throughout the course.

You will be set independent study tasks each week. These are often based on production activities - you might be posting to forums, writing blogs, producing podcasts, and making use of social media in all its forms.

Work experience is strongly encouraged and previously our students have worked on events such as The Good Food Show, The Gadget Show, and Gardeners World.

This course takes one year full time. Part-time study takes two years.

Assessment methods

The modules are assessed through presentations, reports and practical event management experience.

Further Study

For anyone interested in taking their research interests forward into an MPhil or PhD speak to the course director about your particular area of expertise.

Events Week Live 2015

Trips and visits

There are two visits to the NEC as part of the course. One of these is a five-day Live Events initiative developed between Birmingham City University and the NEC, where students learn about all aspects of the operations of the NEC and get to see the set-up of a large international trade event and theatre show. Other visits are arranged to other venues throughout the duration of the course.

Enhancing your employability skills

With the core knowledge of theoretical approaches to the events and exhibitions industry that this MA will give you, you will leave set up for a successful career in the industry. You will have an understanding of scholarly and professional techniques, as well as the current intellectual challenges you will face in a role in events and exhibition management.

As there is a focus on both independent learning and teamwork to produce and manage events exhibitions, you will be prepared for a variety of ways of working. You will be prepared to innovate by applying traditions of research and enquiry to deal creatively with complicated issues.

Your critical evaluation skills and knowledge of research traditions and current scholarship leave you equipped to communicate ideas to both specialist and non-specialist audiences. These communication skills, depth of knowledge of the industry, and both theoretical and practical skills leave you a highly desirable employee with a wide range of marketable abilities. You will complete the MA in the perfect position to either kick-start your events and exhibition management career, or take your role to the next level or in a new direction entirely.


Placements are not a compulsory part of the course but gaining work experience is greatly encouraged throughout the academic year. These can be combined with master's projects that take place from June to September. In the past, students have worked on events such as The Good Food Show, The Gadget Show and Gardeners World.

More about our placement opportunities...


OpportUNIty Student Ambassador

OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.

It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.

Graduate jobsJason Lunn

After 18 years working in the events industry, Jason Lunn decided to enhance and extend his expertise with the Events and Exhibition Management MA. Since his graduation he has set up his own consultancy with a new-found confidence to go it alone.

His consultancy, Independent Event Management, provide assistance to big venues such as Alexandra Palace, Donington Park, East of England Showground, and many other organisations across the UK.

Jason has worked in South Africa on the Good Food and Wine Show, and in traffic management for the London 2012 Olympics. He credits his MA with pushing his knowledge and experience to the limit and giving him a new approach to his work. His qualifications ensure there are no questions about his abilities and worth when pitching for business!

International Students

Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.

The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.

Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:

Overseas opportunities

All students are able to complete their MA by Practice part of the course in any country they choose. Several international students choose to do this in their home countries.

Our international students

The Events and Exhibition Management MA is particularly popular with students from China, Taiwan, India, and Indonesia. The university enjoys a fantastic international reputation, and we frequently receive glowing recommendations from our international students. This course offers an international concept of the events and exhibitions industry.

Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC)

International students who have a serious interest in studying with us but who perhaps cannot meet the direct entry requirements, academic or English, or who have been out of education for some time, can enter Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC) and begin their degree studies.


BCUIC is part of the global Navitas Group, an internationally recognised education provider, and the partnership allows students to access the University’s facilities and services and move seamlessly through to achieving a Bachelor’s degree from Birmingham City University.

Learn more about BCUIC

Popular home countries

Our students come from around the world but our events and exhibition management course is most popular with international students from:  

Parkside - City Centre Campus
Parkside - Milo Studio
Parkside - Photography Studio

Birmingham School of Media is recognised as a key centre of excellence in interactive media training, television production and education by Creative SkillSet, the UK Sector Skills Council for the audio visual industries.

State-of-the-art facilities

You will learn in our state-of-the-art facilities - including the £62m fully-digital Media Centre - located on the City Centre Campus. You will enjoy access to extensive studio and workshop space including four TV studios, six radio studios and broadcast-standard edit suites, as well as cutting-edge equipment and software.

Facilities include the largest TV floor of any university in the UK, a ‘green screen’ and the MILO motion control camera - we are one of just two universities in Europe to offer MILO technology.

Edit Suites

Our four broadcast-standard edit suites are based on the industry-standard Avid editing system, used in almost all films and the majority of UK television. Two of the suites are specialised for Audio Finishing and Colour Grading. Our six digital radio studios are all linked an equipped with the best news and production software.

Dubbing Suites

You will have access to our full broadcast-standard dubbing suites, which are based on a multi-layered ProTools desk and can dub both film and TV with up to 120 simultaneous sound sources. We also have an ADR (Additional Dialogue Recording) booth and the ability to record Foley (additional live sound).

Meet our staff

Throughout your master’s degree, you will have the support of expert tutors with years of proven experience in the events and exhibition industry. The course director, Duncan Sedgwick, has worked in the events industry for over 25 years and has been the director of a Midlands-based events production company since 1999.

Duncan Sedgwick

Course Director MA Events and Exhibition Management

Prior to joining Birmingham City University Duncan spent over 20 years working in the events and exhibition industry.

Working for a various of clients on a wide range of events he has worked throughout the UK, Europe and in the USA.

Since 1999 Duncan has been a Director of a Midlands-based events production company.

UK prospective students:

UK enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5595

EU / International prospective students:

International enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5389

Already applied?

Email the applications team

+44 (0)121 331 6295