Arts and Festivals Management BA (Hons)

About the course

This course is contemporary, visionary and designed for you to find employment in the quickly expanding and dynamic markets of the cultural industries, festivals and arts.

Reasons to study Arts and Festivals Management at DMU

  • Arts and Festivals Management is the longest running degree course of its kind in the UK (established in 1979) with an excellent reputation for the quality of its graduates amongst employers in the industry

  • The course has excellent links to the industry giving you top quality teaching from industry practitioners as well as invaluable opportunities for volunteering and internships

  • The course offers two practical placements in your chosen arts sector

  • You will have the opportunity to organise and run your own venue within the Leicester Comedy Festival, and then run the nationally recognised week-long Cultural Exchanges festival

  • The course features a number of external visits including a week-long research project in Amsterdam

Arts and Festivals Management is an applied subject, where there is emphasis on developing an understanding of academic debates and arguments and on demonstrating your practical skills through projects and placements. The structure of the degree allows you to develop your interests and provides an arena in which you can choose and specialise as you progress through the degree.

You will draw on a range of interdisciplinary skills from teamwork, marketing and management theory, to fundraising, business planning, licensing, health and safety, programming and cultural policy.

The course equips you with the practical tools and skills to become leaders within the cultural arena in theatres, music venues, galleries, museums, festivals and many more. 

Key facts

UCAS course code: N820

Duration: Three years full-time/six years part-time

Institution code: D26

Entry and admission criteria


  • Normally 280 points with a minimum of 180 points from 2 full A levels.
  • National Diploma DMM.
  • Five GCSEs grades A* - C including English Language or Literature at grade C or above. We also accept the BTEC First Diploma plus two GCSEs. including English at grade C or above.
  • International Baccalaureate: 28+ Points

Interview required: Yes (not compulsory)

International Students

If English is not your first language an IELTS score of 6.5 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.

Teaching and assessment

Typically, a module will consist of a one hour lecture, and a one hour seminar. For 30 credit modules these will take place weekly. It is expected that each 30 credit module will require a total study time of ten hours per week; of which eight hours per module will be individual guided work.

Assessment is a combination of practice based assignments, such as case study presentation, group work and practical exercises, and academic assignments which will include essays, reports, exams and a final year dissertation.

Placements at second and third year are an integral part of the practical  experience that our degree provides. They give you valuable experience of working in the sector, significantly enhancing your CV and opening doors through the contacts you make in the process. As a direct result of their placements we often find that students are offered employment in their desired fields.

Course modules

Year one

  • Running and Promoting a Venue
  • Creative Arts Manager: Policy and Practice
  • Perspectives in the Arts
  • Cultural Leadership

Year two

  • Changing Agendas in Cultural Politics and Policy (includes the European Arts Project visit to Amsterdam)
  • Research Methods: Dissertation and Placement (includes three weeks industry placement)
  • Creative Management: Finance and Law
  • Art, Community and Audiences

Year three

Selected from:

  • Media Industry Management
  • Music Industry Management
  • Visual Culture and Heritage Practice
  • Festivals Management – Cultural Exchanges Festival
  • Industry Placement – four weeks (compulsory)
  • Dissertation (compulsory)
Note: All modules are subject to change in order to keep content current.

Academic expertise

The Arts and Festivals Management staff combine a solid foundation in industry and education with significant international experience and research profiles with national bodies such as the British Arts Festivals Association and Arts Council England. The core staff team have professional backgrounds in directing arts festivals, theatres and arts centres, cultural policy, art, visual culture and heritage, the music industry, marketing and audience development, arts programming, management, regeneration and artist support projects.

In addition, this degree benefits from input by a broad range of arts practitioners such as music industry specialists, promoters and a variety of other specialists as visiting lecturers.

Industry links and professional accreditation

Arts and Festivals Management has a wide range of close industry contacts such as Festival Republic (organisers of the Latitude, Big Chill, Leeds and Reading festivals), Leicester Comedy Festival, De Montfort Hall, the 2012 Cultural Olympiad and many other national and international organisations. These professional links provide a challenging and stimulating environment for our students.

Work experience and placements

You will have the opportunity to engage with different cultural products throughout the course, through running and promoting a festival venue in the first year and practical placements in the second and third years to an international project involving a week-long visit to Amsterdam. In addition, third year Arts and Festivals Management students organise and deliver the high profile DMU arts festival Cultural Exchanges.

Graduate careers

There are many job opportunities open to our graduates. You might work in a building-based arts organisation. For example our graduate Hayley White is now director of Hoxton Hall in London. You may be more interested in working in a freelance capacity, perhaps staging one-off events or festivals like our graduate Gareth Hughes who has set up his own successful events management company, or working for a large festival organisation as Laura Hellard did with Glastonbury.

You might want to be involved with developing and implementing policy on a strategic level like our graduate Katie Smith who was appointed events co-ordinator for the Culture Company, helping to deliver the programme for Liverpool ‘08 Capital of Culture. The diverse opportunities that will be open to you on graduation do have one thing in common: they demonstrate that our graduates are desirable professionals who are successfully meeting the challenges of a dynamic sector.

Fees and funding

2014 entry

UK/EU Fees: £9000 per year
International Fees:  £11,250 per year 

Learn more about fees and funding information 2014|


Learn more about our Undergraduate scholarships and awards| information.


As well as all the facilities you would expect we have a dedicated resources room with access to phone, computers and printers from where the various practical projects can be planned and delivered.

How to apply

UK and EU students are advised to apply through UCAS at|

International students can apply to study at DMU directly using our online applications portal|.

Contact details

For more information please contact:

Online enquiry form|
Telephone enquiries:  +44 (0)116 2 50 60 70

Cultural Exchanges festival

Arts and Festivals Management students have the exciting opportunity to run Cultural Exchanges| – a week-long festival of performances, discussions, debates, events and exhibitions that allows students of all years to actively participate in events management, providing you with the practical skills to significantly enhance your employment prospects. Previous guests have included Germaine Greer, Alan Moore, Trevor Nelson, Ken Loach, Michael Billington, Honor Blackman, Meera Syal, Billy Bragg, Alastair Campbell, Sue Townsend, Bonnie Greer, Grayson Perry and Matthew Bourne.


“Three invaluable years of practical projects, stimulating placements and fascinating theory. I was introduced to new art forms and approaches to team work and my thinking was stretched. The degree allowed me to enter the field of arts management well prepared to negotiate the ever-changing external environment we’re all working in as an accountant, lawyer, leader and manager of change. I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.”

Matthew Russell, BA (Hons) Arts Management now Executive Director – Palace Theatre, Watford

DMU Performance Arts|

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Cultural Exchanges FestivalCultural Exchanges festival brochure 2013|

Cultural Exchanges festival 2013

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