Event, Festival and Exhibition Management - MA *

Attendance:
Full Time, Part Time
Starting:
September 2017
Campus:
Fees:
£5,900 per year for UK/EU Full Time 2017 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.

“The practice based MA in Events provided me with a great base to pursue my career in events. It really opened my eyes to the scale and range of opportunities the events industry has to offer!”

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 on Wednesday 26 April 2017, between 2pm and 7pm. Come along to find out more about our courses and see our facilities. You can't book your place just yet, but register your interest and we'll send you an email when you can book.

Register your interest

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

Where our students go

Our students have gone on to work with companies such as:

  • The NEC
  • Local Government
  • P &Independent Event Management (own consultancy)

And in jobs such as:

  • Events Manager
  • Company Director
  • Events Producer

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

Subject to approval

The content of this course has been refreshed and updated to make sure you graduate with the skills employers need in an ever-changing job market.

Our quality control experts are currently reviewing the content and we anticipate receiving formal approval shortly.

Find out more...

Entry Requirements

UK students
Essential

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 2017 FT 1 year £5,900 per year
PT 2 years £2,950 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 2017 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.

You will need to apply online direct to the university for this course. A link to the form will be available soon as well as details of the course fee. We'd like to send you an email once the link is available to save you checking back - just sign up for an update.

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.

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.

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 are compulsory parts of your learning experience.

£125 is an estimate of the possible costs associated with key activities. 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.

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 for some courses and options?

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.

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

Modules explained:
The Events and Exhibitions Industry
30 credits

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

Entrepreneurial Marketing
30 credits

This entrepreneurial module takes an action-oriented approach, putting your ideas into practice. 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 the factors affecting 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 presents an 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 expanding your research, development, planning and reflection skills.

Stage 3: Masters

MA by Practice
60 credits

To complete your award, you will create 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.


Classroom hours

Full time students will be required to attend four hours of formal lectures per week and carry out a minimum of six hours directed study.

Part time students will be required to attend two hours of formal lectures and carry out a minimum of three hours directed study per week.

Students will also be expected to take part in and/or attend events, carry out research and work experience in addition to these hours. 

Classroom activities 

You will participate in formal lectures delivered by teaching staff and industry professionals.

Group work will also be undertaken for specific events projects and these involve professional presentations, group discussions, peer review sessions.

Other projects include producing event planning portfolios and the production of self-initiated and client based events.

Students have gone on to develop their own events based businesses and also gone on to work for high end events organisations throughout the world.

The course offers the opportunity to explore events, festivals and exhibitions in various sectors of the industry, and to pursue a career path in the sector that most interests them.

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

You will attend visits to the NEC as part of the course. One of these is a three-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.

Industry accreditation

Part of the course involves a three day course studying for an industry accredited IOSH qualification delivered by the NEC.

Enhancing your employability skills

With core theoretical knowledge of how to approach events and exhibitions, you will be set up for a successful career in the industry. You will have an understanding of professional techniques and 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 aim to make 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

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 as well as working on client led, professional briefs.

More about our placement opportunities...

OpportUNIty

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.

Links to industry

We have links with:

  • The NEC Group
  • Local/National Events Production Companies
  • The National Trust

Graduate jobs

Our Events, Festivals and Exhibition management course is increasingly being recognised by industry professionals as a valuable start to a career in events. It is also recognised as useful addition to career progression for those already working within Events. Students have gone on to work in various sectors of the industry.

Graduate stories

Jason 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!

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

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 and Curzon Buildings

Our Facilities

When you join Birmingham City University, the first thing you will notice is the high standard of our campuses. With an investment of £260 million across our buildings and facilities, we are committed to giving you the very best learning environment to help shape your experience.

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.

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.

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).

The Parkside Building

The Parkside Building has been designed to maximise light and encourage collaboration between artists and students. It is the perfect setting for the workshops and teaching spaces of our design courses, as well as the state-of-the-art media centre for the advanced teaching facilities of Birmingham School of Media.

All this ensures that The Parkside Building offers a first class learning environment and a true central location for students in Birmingham City Centre.

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.

Dr Kathleen Donnelly

Senior Lecturer, Public Relations; Faculty Link Tutor

Kathleen has been involved with the creative process for over 30 years. She teaches marketing classes and serves as the link tutor for the Business School’s program with Guilin University of Technology in China.

She received a PhD in Communications from Dublin City University in 1997. Her research is in the area of creative people in groups, specifically WB Yeats and the Irish Literary Renaissance, Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury group, Gertrude Stein and the Americans in Paris, and Dorothy Parker and the Algonquin Round Table. She posts about the writers on her website and Twitter, and has given presentations about them in the USA and the UK.

In 2002 and 2006, Kathleen was privileged to teach on the Semester at Sea course operated by the University of Pittsburgh and then the University of Virginia. She chronicled her voyages to Europe and Southeast Asia in a series of blogs collected into a self-published book, Gypsy Teacher.

Kathleen has also taught in the Journalism and Communications Departments at Florida International University in Miami, FL, and Point Park University in Pittsburgh, PA.. She also teaches in the Birmingham City University School of Media.

Her thesis for her MBA from Duquesne University was about managing creative people: Manager as Muse: A Case Study of Maxwell Perkins’ Work with F Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Thomas Wolfe. Her BA in English and Communication Arts is from Lycoming College in Williamsport, PA.  

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