MA Creative and Cultural Industries / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

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 SALC60052 30 Optional
Business Strategies for Arts, Culture and Creative Industries SALC60072 30 Optional
Innovation, Digitisation and New Markets in Creative and Cultural Industries SALC60122 15 Optional
Creative Places SALC60322 15 Optional
Creative Work SALC60342 15 Optional
Global, Cultural and Creative Industries SALC60402 15 Optional
Creative Learning 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 SALC61812 30 Optional
Producing Digital Projects SALC61922 30 Optional
Publishing: History, Theory, Practice SALC63112 15 Optional
Publishing: History, Theory, Practice SALC63312 30 Optional
Creative Producing SALC68812 15 Optional
Producing Digital Projects SALC68922 15 Optional
Placement SALC70300 30 Optional
Displaying 10 of 20 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: