MA Creative and Cultural Industries

Year of entry: 2024


Degree awarded
Master of Arts
1 year full-time or 2 years part-time
Entry requirements

A First or Upper Second Class Honors degree (or overseas equivalent), normally in a relevant Humanities or Social Science area.

Applicants that do not meet the academic entry qualification criteria but with evidence of extensive professional experience in relevant practice (3+ years) may be considered on an individual basis.

Full entry requirements

How to apply
Apply online

Course options

Full-time Part-time Full-time distance learning Part-time distance learning

Course overview

  • Explore theories and practices of international creative and cultural industries management, policy and development.
  • Undertake a work placement in a creative and cultural organisation in or around Manchester.
  • Develop a career in one of the fastest growing industrial sectors in the UK.
Discover our new MA Creative and Cultural Industries

Open days

Find out what it's like to study at Manchester by visiting us on one of our  open days .


For entry in the academic year beginning September 2024, the tuition fees are as follows:

  • MA (full-time)
    UK students (per annum): £13,500
    International, including EU, students (per annum): £30,000
  • MA (part-time)
    UK students (per annum): £6,750
    International, including EU, students (per annum): £15,000

Further information for EU students can be found on our dedicated EU page.

The fees quoted above will be fully inclusive for the course tuition, administration and computational costs during your studies.

All fees for entry will be subject to yearly review and incremental rises per annum are also likely over the duration of courses lasting more than a year for UK/EU students (fees are typically fixed for International students, for the course duration at the year of entry). For general fees information please visit: postgraduate fees . Always contact the department if you are unsure which fee applies to your qualification award and method of attendance.

Self-funded international applicants for this course will be required to pay a deposit of £1000 towards their tuition fees before a confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS) is issued. This deposit will only be refunded if immigration permission is refused. We will notify you about how and when to make this payment.

Policy on additional costs

All students should normally be able to complete their programme of study without incurring additional study costs over and above the tuition fee for that programme. Any unavoidable additional compulsory costs totalling more than 1% of the annual home undergraduate fee per annum, regardless of whether the programme in question is undergraduate or postgraduate taught, will be made clear to you at the point of application. Further information can be found in the University's Policy on additional costs incurred by students on undergraduate and postgraduate taught programmes (PDF document, 91KB).

Contact details

School of Arts, Languages and Cultures

Leandro started his career in Brazil as a professor and policy advisor in Creative Industries and Economy of Culture

He’s currently part of the Advisory Board and International Council of the Policy and Evidence Centre for Creative Industries, NESTA/ARHC. His research interests are Creative Industries and Socioeconomic Development, Policy and the Multidimensional Impact of CCIs.

Leandro Valiati / Course Co-Director

See: About us

Courses in related subject areas

Use the links below to view lists of courses in related subject areas.

Entry requirements

Academic entry qualification overview

A First or Upper Second Class Honors degree (or overseas equivalent), normally in a relevant Humanities or Social Science area.

Applicants that do not meet the academic entry qualification criteria but with evidence of extensive professional experience in relevant practice (3+ years) may be considered on an individual basis.

English language

Candidates for whom English is not their first language must submit the following:

An overall grade of IELTS 7.0 with 7.0 in writing and no skill below 6.5 is required or 100+ in the TOEFL iBT with a minimum writing score of 25 and no skill below 22.

If you have obtained a different qualification, please check our English language requirements to ensure that it is accepted and equivalent to the above requirements.

Please note that due to the volume of applications received, we will only assess applications with an English language test result included.

English language test validity

Some English Language test results are only valid for two years. Your English Language test report must be valid on the start date of the course.

Relevant work experience

Applicants should also be able to demonstrate experience and/or significant understanding of the professional issues surrounding creative and cultural industries practices and/or policy contexts.

Application and selection

How to apply

Staged admissions

As there is a high demand for our courses we operate a staged admissions process with selection deadlines throughout the year. Due to the competition for places and high quality of applications that we receive, we give preference to students from high ranking institutions and with grades above our minimum entry requirements.

Please ensure you submit all supporting documentation with your application before the application deadline to avoid a delay in processing.

Applications for 2024 entry:

Stage 1:  Application received by  8th December 2023  ; Application update by  22nd February 2024

Stage 2:  Application received by  3rd March 2024  ; Application update by  25th April 2024

Stage 3:  Application received by  5th May 2024  ; Application update by  8th June 2024

Stage 4:  Application received by  1st July 2024  ; Application update by  25th July 2024

Whilst we aim to give you a decision on your application by the deadline date, in some instances due to the competition for places and the volume of applications received, it may be necessary to roll your application forward to the next deadline date.

Applications received after our final selection deadline will be considered at our discretion if places are still available.

Please note:  All places are subject to availability and if you apply at one of the later stages, some courses may already be reaching capacity or be closed to further applications. We, therefore, recommend that you apply early in the cycle to avoid disappointment.

Advice to applicants

If you have applied to more than one course within the School, you will be asked to attend an online information session designed to help you decide which course to accept.  

Stage 1 information session: 20th December. 

Applicants with multiple offers will be invited by email on 11th December.

Overseas (non-UK) applicants

We accept a range of qualifications from different countries that equate to a UK 2.1. For these and general requirements including English language see entry requirements from your country. If English is not your first language, please provide us with evidence of:

  • an overall grade 7.0 (with a minimum writing score of 7) in IELTS; or 100+ in the IBT Internet-based TOEFL).

The other language tests we accept can be found here: to needing a language test (if English is NOT your first language) are:

  • if you have successfully completed an academic qualification deemed by UK NARIC as equivalent to at least a UK Bachelors Degree or higher from one of the following countries:

Antigua & Barbuda; Australia; Bahamas; Barbados; Belize; Dominica; Grenada; Guyana; Ireland; Jamaica; New Zealand; St Kitts and Nevis; St Lucia; St Vincent and the Grenadines; Trinidad and Tobago; UK; USA.


Applicants may defer entry for 12 months provided they contact before September 1st. Please note that applicants are subject to the fees for the entry year they will start the course.


If you applied in the previous year and your application was not successful you may apply again. Your application will be considered against the standard course entry criteria for that year of entry. In your new application you should demonstrate how your application has improved. We may draw upon all information from your previous applications or any previous registrations at the University as a student when assessing your suitability for your chosen course.

Course details

Course description

The MA Creative and Cultural Industries course will deliver comprehensive knowledge and understanding of theory and practice relevant to the broad field of Creative and Cultural Industries (CCIs). Students will encounter key global theoretical perspectives and policy approaches, sector-based practices, issues and debates, tools and insights into evidence and decision-making for strategy and enterprise at individual, organisational and governmental levels. Through taught course units, practice-based learning and research, students will be prepared to undertake qualified management, lead business strategies, design policies and exercise entrepreneurship in CCIs.


We aim to:

  • develop knowledge and critical evaluation of key debates and theoretical perspectives and enable application of this understanding to contemporary policy contexts, technological innovations and professional practices in the global creative and cultural industries;
  • offer students an insight into, and direct experience of, the diverse range of professional opportunities in the creative and cultural sector and support the development of relevant and transferrable skills for employability;
  • prepare students to develop careers in the creative and cultural industries and support the advancement of the sector through both the education of entry-level recruits and the continuing development of in-service professionals;
  • contribute to the development of creative and cultural industries as a focus for interdisciplinary teaching and research both within and beyond the School of Arts Languages and Cultures, including the forming of academic and professional partnerships with external organisations;
  • develop students' academic and intellectual skills, including independent research, data analysis and evidence to the point that students are capable of embarking upon further research at the highest level.

Special features

Work Placement

Whilst undertaking an MA in Creative and Cultural Industries, students will have the opportunity to apply to undertake a 20-day work placement on a relevant project or programme within a creative/cultural organisation. The Institute for Cultural Practices has many partners offering placements each year, such as the Science and Industry Museum, HOME, Contact Theatre, and Manchester International Festival).

Please note that the number of placements on offer varies yearly. There is also the potential for students to self-organise their own industry placement, subject to the approval of the course unit convenor.

Student projects

You will also have opportunities to design and participate in live projects with cultural organisations.

Creative and Cultural Manchester

Manchester is one of the UK's most important cultural hotspots. At the heart of the Northern Powerhouse, the city-region benefits from its thriving creative and digital economies and cultural infrastructure such as MediaCityUK, the award-winning Whitworth and HOME.

University Museums

You'll have opportunities to get trained by experienced museum staff at Manchester Museum and The Whitworth in different aspects of cultural professional practice including conservation, collections management and events management.

Teaching and learning

Teaching and learning will draw on online and blended content, enquiry-based and practice-based learning, guest lectures from industry specialists and fieldwork research. The programme will facilitate graduates to analyse scenarios, make decisions, practice entrepreneurship and policymaking, and intervene actively both in academic and professional contexts.

Students will also be able to undertake a substantial industry placement, co-supervised by their host organisation and with an academic tutor. Students will be able to further develop and apply skills, knowledge and understanding in relation to sectoral areas of the CCIs such as: fashion, publishing, music, the performing and visual arts and to take relevant free choice options available from the existing MA programmes available in the Institute of Cultural Practice, new courses and existing courses in the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures and across the Faculty of Humanities.

Students will acquire the skills and training across a spectrum of roles and functions across the breadth of Creative and Cultural Industries, such as policymaking, individual entrepreneurship, academic research and industry-related jobs as well as specialist knowledge leading to careers in the individual subsectors. The opportunity for practice-based assessments and work experience through industrial placements will increase employability as will the potential to connect with and enhance retention in Greater Manchester's own creative industries.

Teaching will take place predominantly on-campus, augmented by digital content which will include use of video and audio content and other suitable presentational media. Contact hours will be provided through lectures, seminars, workshops, site visits and fieldtrips, office hours, group and individual tutorials. Students will also benefit from access to 20 day industrial placements which provide practical work experience and are assessed through critical reflective reports. Assessment formats will vary with course unit specifications, and will include: long and short-form academic essays, blogposts, policy and research reports, business plans, practical project portfolios, creative media content and funding applications. There will also be the opportunity for a practice-based research dissertation, comprising a practical project, which draws on the existing dissertation practice-research option offered by the Institute for Cultural Practices.

Course unit details

This MA is a modular degree made up of 180 credits. You will take 120 credits of core and optional course units plus a dissertation worth 60 credits.

Part-time students take 30 credits of optional course units each year. You may choose to take one optional course unit in a related subject area, eg Marketing, Fashion or Urban Studies. Note that not all optional course units may be available every year.

Dissertation (Semester 2 and summer)

On successful completion of the coursework, you proceed to write a dissertation (60 credits) on a topic of your choice, agreed in conjunction with your dissertation supervisor. Dissertations, like articles (depending on the journal), may be strongly based on original primary source research. They might aim to re-interpret an already well-trawled area of the subject, or they might take up an approach somewhere between these two extremes.In all cases, however, the authors will have chosen and elaborated a body of relevant material which they bring to bear on a clearly defined issue.

Dissertation planning and supervision takes place in Semester 2 (February-end of June) and you continue with your independent writing in July and August. You can either undertake a standard dissertation or a practice-based dissertation.

Course unit list

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Cultural Policy SALC60021 30 Mandatory
Dissertation SALC60090 60 Mandatory
Theories and Practices in Creative and Cultural Industries SALC60101 30 Mandatory
Creative Learning: Approaches and Contexts SALC60052 30 Optional
Business Strategies for Arts, Culture and Creative Industries SALC60072 30 Optional
Creative Placemaking and Cultural Development SALC60322 15 Optional
Creative Labour: Inequality, Diversity and Inclusion SALC60342 15 Optional
Global, Cultural and Creative Industries SALC60402 15 Optional
Creative Learning: Approaches and Contexts SALC60502 15 Optional
Business Strategies for Arts, Culture and Creative Industries SALC60702 15 Optional
Curating Art SALC60882 30 Optional
Global, Cultural and Creative Industries SALC61402 30 Optional
Creative Producing and Managing Projects SALC61812 30 Optional
Creative Producing and Managing Projects SALC68812 15 Optional
Placement SALC70300 30 Optional
Displaying 10 of 15 course units


The University of Manchester has world-class facilities. We have the largest single-site university library in the UK along with a £24 million learning facility.As a student of the Graduate School, you'll have access to excellent training within a dedicated postgraduate space where you can meet with each other, access resources, organise events and participate in a thriving academic community.Find out more on the Facilities page.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email:


Career opportunities

Students will be professionally prepared for careers in the growing creative and cultural industries sectors, including visual arts, performing arts, music, publishing, design, fashion, film and digital media, policy and leadership, and transferrable skills into broader industrial sectors and the digital and creative economy.

You will benefit from lots of CV building opportunities on the course, and your supervisor provides you with personal and career development support.

You'll also have access to the award-winning Careers Service of the University, which provides support and advice in career development.

Learn more on the Careers and employability page, and read profiles of our alumni to find out what they went on to do after completing the course.

The University has its own dedicated Careers Service that you would have full access to as a student and for two years after you graduate. At Manchester you will have access to a number of opportunities to help boost your employability.