Event, Festival and Exhibition Management - MA

Full Time
September 2019
£6,100 per year for UK/EU Full Time 2019 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!” Jason Lund

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.

This course is open to International students

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

Speak to an expert

If you’ve got any questions about the course, we’d love to hear from you. Please email the Course Director: Duncan Sedgwick.

Email Course Director

Alternatively, you can register for our next postgraduate open day.

Entry Requirements

Essential Requirements

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.

International Students

Entry requirements here

UK or EU students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
MA Sep 2019 FT 1 year £6,100 per year

International Students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
MA Sep 2019 FT 1 year £12,300 per year

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form and equal opportunities PDF form instead. Fees for 2019/20 will be published as soon as possible. The University reserves the right to increase fees in line with inflation based on the Retail Prices Index or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament up to a maximum of five per cent.

Personal statement

Students are required to submit a personal statement as part of their application for this course.

Your postgraduate personal statement is going to shine a light on your personal experience, academic success, personal skills and any other factors that will support your application for further study.

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

Your passion and motivations

Studying a postgraduate course usually means you want to specialise in something. So what’s driving you?

Why this course?

Show that you’ve researched the course offering. What is it about this particular course that appeals to you? Is it the lecturers? The modules? Etc.

What makes you a good postgraduate candidate?

Tutors want to know that you can handle postgraduate study, so show them how your undergraduate experiences or work life has equipped you for a more advanced level of study. Key areas to address are research and group work but this can vary depending on your chosen course.

Relevant academic or work experience

Add anything relevant that relates back to your chosen course and shows how your skills will contribute towards your learning. What extra-curricular activities have you taken part in? What awards have you won? What employment or voluntary experience do you have that has helped you develop transferable skills? How do these specifically relate to the course you are applying for?

You should also mention your future plans and how a postgraduate qualification fits in. Try to look beyond your postgraduate study – do you plan to jump straight into a specific career or follow your studies with a research degree? Lastly, use plain, professional English and, where possible, utilise the language of your chosen industry.

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 compulsory parts of your learning experience.

The link below gives you an estimate of the possible costs associated with key activities on your course. 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.

The additional costs listed here are to be used for indicative purposes only and are based on the additional costs for the 2018/19 academic year. The additional costs for 2019/20 will be published as soon as possible.

View additional costs for this course

Additional costs

The additional costs listed at the bottom of the page are to be used for indicative purposes only and are based on the additional costs for the 2018/19 academic year. The additional costs for 2019/20 will be published as soon as possible.

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 six 20-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
20 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.

Research in Practice
20 credits

This module functions as a masters level tool kit that prepares you for the project or dissertation that you undertake in the final stage of the programme. It will also provide core methodological and project management skills applicable to both the theoretical and production practice routes of the award. This module aims to facilitate a shared skillset that aids the successful completion of the MA route project, as well as the potential for routes into PhD progression beyond. 

Option Module
20 credits

You can choose from one of the following modules: Live Events and Festivals Management, Social Media as Culture and Practice, Narrative: from Media to Interactive Media

Stage 2: Postgraduate Diploma

Modules explained:
Event and Exhibition Production
20 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.

Option Module
20 credits

You can choose from one of the following modules: Film Festivals, marketing and PR Communication For Social Change Media Law and Regulation

Skill Module
20 credits

You can also choose from one of the following modules: Entrepreneurship In Practice, Work Placement

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 arising from the work covered in the formal lectures.

Work experience is strongly encouraged, and can be fully explored as a module option in semester 2. 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.

Hours in the classroom

Depending on your option choices, you will probably spend about 12 hours a week at University, probably split across two days. Teaching is through a fluid mix of lectures, seminars and workshops, complemented by a significant amount of self-directed study. You can expect to get to know your lecturers well and they will support you through tutorials throughout your studies

Classroom activities and projects

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.

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 can be part of the course (depending upon module option choice) and 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, Gardeners World as well as working on client led, professional briefs.

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.

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 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.

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.

External Parkside Building and Water Feature
Parkside building from Curzon building
Parkside Interior
VisCom Hires and Loans landscape
VisCom Hires and Loans CU

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.

Read Duncan's full profile