BA/BA (Hons) Events and Festival Management

An event is like an iceberg, and the performance that the audience sees on stage is just the tip. Behind that lies the 90% of unseen hard work done by the events manager and their team. On this course you’ll learn about the nature of events and how to design, manage and deliver them. You’ll gain invaluable practical skills on a placement and have the opportunity to study abroad*

Could you plan, deliver and orchestrate an event such as a music festival? Where would you start? What would you need to consider? You’ll know all this by Year Two of this course. By Year Three you will understand who your audience is and what makes them return and promote your event for you.

See the foot of the page for some student case studies/ staff profiles.

Why QMU?

  • You can gain invaluable experience working in Edinburgh’s many festivals and other large international events on your doorstep.
  • We have superb links with active professionals in the field, with renowned visiting professors and guest speakers from organisations including Marketing Edinburgh and The Edinburgh Military Tattoo.
  • The balance of theory and practical experience will prepare you to work in a variety of events and festival management roles in the UK and abroad.



About the course

Could you plan, deliver and orchestrate an event such as a music festival? Where would you start? What would you need to consider? You’ll know all this by Year Two of this course. By Year Three you will understand who your audience is and what makes them return and promote your event for you.

The events business has grown exponentially in the last 20 years, from pop-up food fairs to corporate events, fashion shows to festivals like Glastonbury, school sports days to the London Olympics. Events help drive the strategies of businesses, charities and public bodies, and there is now a growing cadre of supremely capable events professionals. They know all about planning, management, legal issues, budgeting, staging, marketing, promotions, evaluation and social responsibility. This course will teach you those skills and give you that experience and more.

You’ll also learn how to think critically about issues such as sustainability, crime, social justice, inclusion and what happens when the party is over. There are political considerations too, as many events and festivals are used to encourage tourism, regenerate communities and stimulate local economies such as our own world-famous Edinburgh festivals. Leading industry figures will bring your learning to life in guest lectures.

In Years One and Two you will focus on the specifics of events management, plus general management skills such as marketing, accounting and human resources. In Year Two you will put theory into action when you plan and deliver a live event. Our students have organised unforgettable fashion shows, music nights, charity dinners and sports days, often raising thousands of pounds for charities in the process.

Years Three and Four will deepen your understanding of how events and festivals relate to national and international strategic issues, such as how cities use events for image development and investment purposes. You will also look at audience development and engagement – why do some ideas catch on instantly while others fade into obscurity? This is when you will refine the focus of your learning, choosing the elective modules that you are most passionate about. If you continue to honours, you will also undertake a dissertation in an area of your choice.

Finally, you’ll be learning all of this on a campus just six minutes by train from the heart of the city with the biggest arts festival on earth.

The really big event of your life – your career – starts here!




You can opt to study for an honours degree over four years or an ordinary degree over three years. You will complete a range of modules each year as outlined.


Teaching, learning and assessment

 You will be taught in lectures, seminars and practical sessions. Outside these timetabled sessions you will be expected to continue learning through self-study. You will be assessed by various forms of assessment: essays, reports, group sales pitch, investigative presentations and online portfolios. >>Click for more information on 'Teaching, Learning and Assessment'



Year One

  • Introduction to Marketing
  • Introduction to Events Management
  • Introduction to Tourism
  • Introduction to Finance and Accounting
  • Events Destination Development

Year Two

  • Events Project Management, Design and Operation
  • Business Law
  • Marketing in Practice
  • Human Resource Management
  • Digital Business & E-Commerce Management
  • Live Event: Production and Evaluation

Year Three

  • Research Methods and Skills
  • New Enterprise Creation
  • Events and Urban Regeneration
  • Consumer Decision Making and the Event Experience
  • Plus 2 elective modules (Attractions Management/ Advertising and Marketing Communications/ Contemporary Food and Drink/ Sustainable Development)

Year Four

  • Strategy as Practice
  • Business and Events Management Placement
  • Critical Issues in International Management
  • International Events Leadership and Social Justice
  • Dissertation
  • Business Project

The modules listed here are correct at time of posting (Feb 2019) but may differ slightly to those offered in 2020. Please check the website for any updates.





You will complete a four week placement (or equivalent hours) in Year Four. Students are responsible for sourcing a placement host organisation, which can be in the UK or abroad. To help with the process, we hold a recruitment event on campus to pair you with a suitable organisation.


*Exchange opportunities

In Years Two or Three, you have the opportunity (subject to availability) to study for one semester at a university overseas. For more information, see www.qmu.ac.uk/study-here/international-students/exchanges-and-study-abroad/.

Please note that exchange opportunities are subject to availability. In addition, please note that where exchange opportunities are arranged in the EU, Erasmus+ funding is available subject to the UK remaining in the Erasmus+ scheme.



You’ll have the in-demand skills and confidence to kick-start your career with a role in events management, festival management, sporting events management and many other interesting fields. Recent graduates are carving out impressive careers as General Manager, Events Coordinator, Performer Co-ordinator, Conference and Events Manager, Events Executive at VisitScotland, Events and Groups Executive at Apex Hotels and Front of House Supervisor at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre.


Entry requirements

Scottish Higher: Standard BBBC, Minimum: BCCC

A Level: BCC

Irish Leaving Certificate: H2 H3 H3 H3

International Baccalaureate: 28 points

International: IELTS of 6.0 with no element lower than 5.5

Required subjects: English required and Maths preferred at Nat 5/GCSE

Mature/Access: Related Access course – see our website for details at www.qmu.ac.uk/college-qualifications

We welcome applications from mature students with relevant qualifications and/or experience.

Direct Entry:

Year Two

  • HNC: HNC in a related subject with B in the graded unit
  • Scottish Higher: BC at Advanced Higher in relevant subjects plus BB at Higher
  • A Level: BBB in relevant subjects

Year Three

  • HND: HND in a related subject with CB in the graded unit

For details of related HNC and HND courses, see www.qmu.ac.uk/college-qualifications


Associate student places

You can study this course as an associate student completing the first year at Edinburgh College or West Lothian College. For more information, see www.qmu.ac.uk/study-here/access-to-higher-education/associate-student-scheme/

Professional registration/ accreditation


Teaching staff, class sizes and timetables

For more information, please see ‘How we teach and how you’ll learn’.

Awarding body

QMU. For more information, please see ‘External Review’ section on the ‘How we teach and how you’ll learn’ page.

Please Note:

The delivery of this course is subject to the terms and conditions set out in our 2020/21 Entry - Terms and Conditions (Undergraduate).

EU students starting their studies up to and including academic year 2020/21 will have the costs of their tuition fees met by the Scottish Government for the duration of their course. For more information, see https://www.qmu.ac.uk/brexiteu-student-funding-update/

Teaching staff may be subject to change.

Course Overview

3/4 years
Start Date
September 2020
On campus
Study Abroad
School of Arts, Social Sciences and Management
Subject Area
Fees & Funding

A Student Story - more at foot of page

Shannon Ovens - BA (Hons) Events Management "The experience helped me gain hands-on work experience in event management and helped confirm that I really did want to pursue a career in the events industry." Read my story...