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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 running a live event and consulting with events industry partners 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. 


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

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 and 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 and festivals 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 consultancy project for an events industry partner and 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 in the following modules section.


Year One

  • Introduction to Events and Festival Management
  • Introduction to Marketing
  • Events and Festival Destination Development
  • Introduction to Finance and Accounting
  • Digital Content Creation
  • Events and Wellbeing

Year Two

  • Events and Festival with Purpose
  • Events and Festival Project Management, Design and Operations
  • Business Law
  • Human Resource Management
  • Digital Business and E-Commerce Management
  • Live Event: Production and Evaluation

Year Three

  • Events, Festivals and Urban Regeneration
  • New Enterprise Creation
  • Research Methods and Skills
  • Work Placement
  • Consumer Motivation and Event and Festival Experiences
  • Plus one elective module (Attractions Management/ Advertising and Marketing Communications/ Contemporary Food and Drink/ Entrepreneurial Finance)

Year Four

  • International Events and Festival Employability
  • Strategy as Practice
  • Critical Issues in International Management
  • International Events and Festival Leadership and Social Justice
  • Dissertation

The modules listed here are correct at time of posting (Feb 2020) but may differ slightly to those offered in 2021. Please check back here for any updates. 

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.

Please see below for an idea of teaching, learning and assessment for this course for 2020 entry. 2021 information will be added when it is available. 

 >>Click for more information on 'Teaching, Learning and Assessment'




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 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 for 2021/22 only.


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 

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

Direct Entry:

Year Two

  • 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 in a related subject with CB in the graded unit

For details of related HNC and HND courses, see

Associate student places


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 2021/22 Entry - Terms and Conditions (Undergraduate)

Teaching staff may be subject to change.

QMU is in the top 2 in Scotland for student satisfaction in Tourism, Transport and Travel

QMU is in the top 2 in Scotland for student satisfaction in Tourism, Transport and Travel (includes International Hospitality and Tourism Management, Events Management, and Public Relations, Marketing and Events courses) (Source: NSS 2020)

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Course Overview

3/4 years full-time
Start Date
September 2021
On campus
Study Abroad
School of Arts, Social Sciences and Management
Subject Area
Fees & Funding