Events and Conference Management MA
Alternative attendance modes for this course
Courses start in September, unless otherwise stated
View course-specific entry requirements
The course is aimed at graduates seeking to establish or develop a management career in the conference and events industry in the UK or abroad. As a minimum, you should have a good Honours degree (normally an Upper Second) or equivalent. If your qualifications are not under the UK system please visit the international section of our website for details of equivalent qualifications.
Exceptionally, an applicant without these formal qualifications but with considerable work experience in the conference or events industry may be accepted at the discretion of the Course Leader. If your first language is not English you will need an IELTS score of 6.5 overall, with a minimum of 6.0 in Listening, Reading, Speaking and Writing.
Events and conferences play an essential role in the business, cultural and sporting life of all countries. In recent years an exciting new profession has emerged with conference/events planners and managers organising a diverse range of events, and marketing the great variety of destinations and venues in which they take place.
This course is specifically designed for people who want to enter, or make further progress in, management-level careers in the fast-expanding field of events and conferences. London is an ideal place in which to study events and conference management. A regular host of world class sports and culture events such as Wimbledon, the London Marathon, Notting Hill carnival and the London Fashion Week, as well as one-off mega events such as the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympics games and the 2015 Rugby world Cup, London is widely recognised as a world events capital. With several hundred conference venues and an abundance of international business and leisure events, London is a world leader in this dynamic industry.
This course teaches you how and why events/conferences are planned, and how the venues and destinations in which they are held are marketed. You will also learn how events and conferences contribute to enriching the lives of communities and improve communications in business, politics and professional life. The dissertation will give you further opportunity to research a conference or events topic in depth. The course is taught by experienced academics and industry practitioners, providing valuable insight into this exciting industry sector.
The following modules are indicative of what you will study on this course. For more details on course structure and modules, and how you will be taught and assessed, see the full course document.
Conference and Events Planning
You will develop critical awareness of the diverse range of skills required to successfully organise conferences and events. You will discuss the problems that can arise in the planning process and examine the ways to address the issues.
You will undertake research on an events or conference management topic of your choice, and present analysis, conclusions and recommendations in a written report. The report should include a justification of the research methodology employed and a critical review of the underpinning theory and literature.
Events and Conference Marketing
You will develop an understanding of the decision-making process underpinning the development and marketing of individual venues as well as conference and events destinations. The module also considers the factors that influence the selection of event venues.
You will review the role and impacts of conferences and events in a global context, critically evaluating the influence of stakeholders and examining the wider significance of these expanding sectors on global communication, culture and sport.
The course is structured to provide flexibility in module choice, allowing you to study aspects of the events industry which suit your own aspirations. Choose three from a list which includes:
Airport Planning and Management
This module gives you the opportunity to examine the organisation and management of the airport industry. You will examine airport operations and capacity issues, terminal operations, airport marketing, airport expansion issues, and the role of regional airports.
Delivering the event experience
This module reinforces conceptual understanding of event planning through the delivery of a live event. You will develop your knowledge of event conceptualisation and apply critical thinking and reflective practice to the design, production and delivery of the event experience.
Exploring Creative Experiences for Attractions and Events
This module draws on the notion of "the experience economy" and evaluates the ability of effective design and new technologies to engage consumer senses in order to enhance the visitor experience.
Festivals, Culture and Place
You will assess the role which festivals and cultural events perform in stimulating community pride and energising local residents, and investigate their multi-faceted contribution to local economies.
You will focus on the specific challenges and opportunities associated with the genre of mega events such as Olympic Games, World Cups and International Expos, and their impact on image and urban regeneration.
This module uniquely provides students with experience of professional practice by undertaking a consultancy project on behalf of one of our industry partners.
Tourism and Cities
This module explores the different forms of urban tourism and analyses its role in a city economy. It takes a particular interest in how tourism influences city image.
Please note, not all option modules are guaranteed to run each year, dependant on the demand in the year of study.
The teaching team includes:
- Claire Humphreys, Course Leader
- Simon Curtis
- Dr Ozlem Edizel
- Dr Helen Farrell
- Dr Anne Graham
- Lindsay Hanford
- Clare Inkson
- Chantal Laws
- Professor Robert Maitland
- Dr James Morgan
- Dr Ilaria Pappalepore
- Dr Andrew Smith
Graduates from this course enter a wide range of careers, in both the private and the public sectors, in Britain and internationally. These careers range from conference and events planning, to venue management, to destination marketing. Some choose to work with specialist organisations, such as convention bureaux, while others opt to work as professional conference organisers, event managers and venue promoters. Some students go on to pursue Doctoral studies.
Length of course
One year full-time; two years part-time
Our dedicated Career Development Centre is actively working with an ever-expanding network of over 3,000 employers to provide you with exceptional employability support and guidance. As a result we were nominated as finalists for a significant industry award – the NUE Awards Most Improved Commitment to Employability 2016.
We provide our students with work placements and international opportunities to support them in becoming highly employable, globally engaged graduates, and with one million businesses operating within 20 miles of the University of Westminster, over 84% of our students are in work or further study six months after graduation. Our graduates work in a variety of sectors and organisations, from small/medium-sized companies and start-ups to large not-for-profit organisations and corporates.
During your time at Westminster you will be able to use our comprehensive online vacancy service and meet with our experienced careers consultants, providing you with thorough training and support on CV writing, application forms, interview preparation and assessment centres.
In addition to this, you will receive careers support from academic staff and faculty work placement teams, offering targeted course-specific careers advice and assistance in securing a work placement during your time at Westminster. You can find out more about course-specific career opportunities by visiting the Prospects website.
For more details, visit the employability section on our site.
Career Development Centre
Our Career Development Centre can help and support you throughout your study and after graduation.
We can help you to:
- find part-time/vacation, placement and graduate jobs, including voluntary experience
- explore how to develop the skills that employers are looking for
- plan your career development
- identify your career options
- market yourself effectively in CVs, application forms and at interviews
- develop your enterprise skills
We also organise a range of presentations and networking events with employers, professional bodies, alumni and other organisations throughout the year to help you with career planning.
Find out more about the Career Development Centre.
Our Work Placement Teams are based in your Faculty Registry Office and can help you find a suitable placement, as well as support you in making applications, writing CVs and improving your interview technique.
More details on work placements can be found on our Work placements page.
Career options in your subject area
Our team of careers consultants work closely with Faculty departments to deliver tailored employability support, including subject-specific workshops, employer events and careers information, advice and guidance.
There are many reasons to study Events and Conference Management at Westminster:
Central London location and contacts
We are at the heart of our industry; based in central London, host city for the London 2012 games, and surrounded by tourist attractions, hotels, events venues and transport hubs.
Join a diverse and vibrant student community, with one of the UK's largest international student populations.
We have extensive links with industry and the course is informed by industry priorities.
Industry focused professional course
Many of our full-time and guest lecturers are current or previous event managers, including a destination manager who oversaw a festival programme as part of his remit and a part-time conference organiser specialising in the finance and maritime sectors.
The course is balanced in theory and practice; assignments are practical (eg group work involving staging a trial event) as well as academic. One of our modules allows you to develop real-world practical experience delivering a project at the specific request of one of our industry partners.
Good employment prospects - many businesses contact us when recruiting staff and some offer students informal internships.
A flexible and broad events degree
Our course goes beyond the scope of many events degrees – we look at the significance of corporate and business events, emphasise management skills and explore the link between events and the tourism industry/visitor economy.
You can tailor the degree to your interests through the wide range of option modules.
The Centre for Tourism Research team present papers at conferences, are consulted as experts on TV and radio, publish books and advise government and industry. This research informs our teaching which focuses on the latest trends and ideas. 20% of our research in Architecture and the Built Environment was judged as 'World Leading and a further 45% as 'Internationally Excellent' in the Research Excellence Framework 2014.
Study at the newly refurbished Marylebone Campus, where a £20million development has provided world-class facilities.
Our library provides electronic access to tourism and events related journals, business databases and electronic books, as well as hard copies.
Study in the city
If you study at the University of Westminster, everything that London has to offer is on your doorstep.
Our central London campuses are ideally located for the city's fantastic learning institutions including libraries, archives and museums, as well as opportunities for shopping, eating out, enjoying London's nightlife or just simply relaxing.
After choosing your course, one of your biggest decisions will be where to live, and we aim to make that choice as easy as possible. Whether you want to apply for our Halls of Residence or live in private housing, we can help you to find the right accommodation.
Fees, funding, bursaries and scholarships
In recent years the University of Westminster's scholarship scheme has been the largest university scholarships scheme in the UK, and our Scholarships Department won the Times Higher Education inaugural Award for Outstanding Support for Overseas Students.
All students on courses of a year or more and who are registered for more than three modules will be allocated a personal tutor.
Your personal tutor will be there to support you from induction onwards, helping you to integrate into the University, academically and socially, at an early stage. They will be able to give you advice and support on academic and personal matters affecting your study, as well as developmental advice through regular individual and group tutorials.
Polylang is a University-wide programme through which you can study a language as a free choice module.
Personal advice and counselling
While most students overcome any problems with help from friends, family or a personal tutor, the University's free counselling and advice services are there if you need them.
With one of the UK's largest international student populations, the University of Westminster has plenty of experience in giving you the help and support you need to make the most of your time with us.
Study Abroad and Summer School programmes
Westminster's Study Abroad programme has been running for more than 15 years, and is one of the largest in the UK – each year we welcome hundreds of visiting students from universities all over the world.
If you are already studying outside the UK, the programme offers you the opportunity to study with us for one or two semesters, or for a period in the summer.
Sport and recreation
The University has extensive sport and recreation facilities, with a sports hall and gym at Harrow, a state-of-the-art gym at Regent Campus, and the University sports ground by the River Thames at Chiswick.
University of Westminster Students' Union (UWSU) aims to make sure you have the best university experience possible by providing a range of activities and support, from sports clubs to society groups, educational advice and social events.
Tourism and Events - why Westminster?
Architecture and the Built Environment
We are one of the country's leading centres for the study of Architecture and the Built Environment, covering the core subject areas that address the future shape of our cities.