Working in the special events industry is challenging and requires individuals who can demonstrate passion, professionalism and a positive attitude. If it is your ambition to work in the dynamic world of International Special Events and you want to study in an immersive learning environment, this is the course for you. You will learn through workshop-based delivery in an on-site hospitality and meetings venue in which you will interact with professional members of staff to help solve real tactical and strategic business issues.
Through an academic partnership with our on-site Sunley Hotel facility, taught modules will ensure that you receive expert tuition in your chosen field to prepare you for future employment, whilst providing you with opportunities to shadow members of the venue operations, and their clients. These Learning Partners will help you understand the nature and challenges of a real business environment, whilst preparing you as a professional, as well as an expert in event design, event marketing, and service excellence.
Park Campus, the larger of the two campuses, is set in 80 acres of open green parkland, occupying an impressive and spacious site.
Facilities available on-site include a sports hall, restaurant, Students’ Union, Student Centre, shop, bar and nightclub. Safe and secure accommodation for more than 1,300 students is spread throughout Park Campus, with the majority placed within our student village combining stunning green spaces with welcoming Halls of Residence.
A Multi-Faith Chaplaincy and Medical Centre (providing a full GP service and free counselling) are also available at Park Campus.
Park Campus is within easy walking distance of a busy, local shopping area, complete with banks, supermarkets, shops and pubs.
The University of Northampton
Boughton Green Road
This unique course places a strong emphasis on design thinking and creativity as the underpinning for the planning and management of special events. As part of an international cohort, you will develop a holistic understanding of the importance of the special events industry. You will be encouraged to develop innovative solutions to real world problems and appreciate the need for delivering service excellence and exceeding customer expectations internationally.
The initial focus revolves around developing a core understanding of the term ‘special event’ and ‘professionalism’ as underpinning aspects of the your studies. Creativity and design thinking will be emphasised as key components of delivering the event experience.
Building on the input from the first semester, you will develop a more holistic understanding of special events within a global context and the implications for service excellence and innovation in the international arena. A field trip provides the opportunity for you to consider these elements of the special events industry and to develop your analytical and observational research skills.
Semester 2 and 3
An area of individual research will be developed into a clearly defined and evidenced dissertation that demonstrates critical thinking and research at postgraduate level. Guided by a dedicated subject specialist, you will collect, analyse and interpret a range of secondary and primary data, culminating in a 15-20,000 word dissertation.
Course modules (17/18)
Introduction to International Special Events (10 credits)
- Module code: LEIM032
- Core module Y
This module will focus on categorizing and examining special events, such as parties, meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions, with particular emphasis on the characteristics of events, and how special events create value for the consumer. 100% coursework.
Professional Learning Experience (10 credits)
- Module code: LEIM033
- Core module Y
This module provides you with two significant outcomes; you will be able to explore the term ‘professionalism’, and have the opportunity to experience and analyze a professional at work in a live business context from the perspective of a critical observer. 100% coursework.
Marketing and the Consumer in International Special Events (20 credits)
- Module code: LEIM035
- Core module Y
This module presents and explores the application of marketing, communications and consumer behaviour theory. Students will have the opportunity to explore real-life cases and appreciate the impact of a range of marketing communications strategies and techniques on business performance from the lens of a marketing professional. 100% coursework.
Designing the Event Experience (20 credits)
- Module code: LEIM034
- Core module Y
The philosophy underpinning this module is that all live events are telling a story for their consumers, and the participants in the events are playing a role in the delivery and consumption of the story. The module will provide students with the necessary skills to become creative Design Thinkers and to enable the interpretation of an event design brief to deliver a professional design solution. 100% coursework.
Strategic Destination Management (20 credits)
- Module code: LEIM020
- Core module Y
The dynamic nature of international tourist destinations creates a number of strategic challenges for managers responsible for the planning, management and marketing of such destinations. This module has a broad strategic management and international focus and is designed to provide students with a subject specialism in the field of destination management. 100% coursework.
Service Excellence and Innovation (20 credits)
- Module code: LEIM036
- Core module Y
The concepts of service excellence and innovation are critical when considering how to enhance the customer experience and generate life-time value for the business. You will develop your knowledge and understanding of existing frameworks for service excellence and the need to adopt an external, customer focused view of the organisation by taking an innovative approach to adjusting what the business does internally. 100% coursework.
Dissertation and Research Methods (60 credits)
- Module code: LEIM031
- Core module Y
This module provides you with the knowledge and understanding required to evaluate and conduct research at postgraduate level. You will develop a critical understanding of research design, the ethics surrounding research, research philosophy, research methods, and analysis. 100% coursework.
Managing Across Cultures (20 credits)
- Module code: HRMM061
- Core module N
The module discusses different business cultures from across the world and considers their impact on individuals working in an environment that is not native them. There is a strong emphasis on developing personal adaptability in cross cultural (work) environments as Master's graduates can be expected to, and will have the expectation to, lead and manage other people internationally. 100% coursework.
Strategic Events Management (20 credits)
- Module code: LEIM012
- Core module N
Events play a key role in local, national, and international policy – in both developed and developing countries. For policy-makers and practitioners, it is important to have a critical understanding of the impacts that events have upon the places in which they are staged so that events can be leveraged for the common good. 100% coursework.
The focus on international special events and its application in a live environment is developed through the inclusion of an international field trip to a recognised events city in Europe.
Methods of Learning
This course emphasises a small group teaching and learning experience that combines a range of methods including lectures, seminars, workshops, practical fieldwork assessment and online learning materials. Each 20 credit module accounts for 200 hours of learning, with three hours of scheduled contact per week per module and a focus on directed and self-directed independent study.
Students will spend between nine and 12 hours per week in class. Interactive observations within live business environments, site visits and input from industry speakers may add to the timetabling requirements during the academic year.
Assessments will include portfolios, video journals, poster presentations, mood boards, prototyping, reports, essays and case study analysis.
Facilities and Special Features
This programme is delivered by a team of staff who demonstrate excellence in research and operational knowledge in both a UK and international context. Key subject modules are delivered within a real world environment, allowing students to contextualise their learning and observe the challenges to managing special events.
With an emphasis on industry expereince and design and creativity this course will equip you with the skills and expertise needed to deliver successful special events that exceed customer expectations. You can expect to enter the industry in roles such as Conference Manager, Exhibition Manager, or Event Manager.
Several of the modules have a vocational emphasis embedded within the assessment. The industry experience module requires you to engage with a number of special events of your choice.
How to apply
For application information please see our how to apply page.
You will normally need to hold a recognised 2:2 or higher UK honours degree or an equivalent qualification from a recognised international institution. A wide range of degree disciplines will be considered including events, hospitality management, marketing, business, travel and tourism and entrepreneurship. Your application will also be considered if you possess a a significant portfolio of work at an appropriate level or relevant professional qualifications.
If English is not your first language, you will need to demonstrate that you meet the minimum English language requirement of IELTS 6.5 (or equivalent). For information regarding English language requirements at the University, please see our IELTS page.
Fees and funding
Fees quoted relate to study in the Academic Year 17/18 only and may be subject to inflationary increases in future years.
Fees cover all costs associated with the course, including membership of the International Live Events Association, an international field trip and any site visits linked to module assessment. Fees do not cover the purchase of academic books and texts, and personal expenditure during field trips.
This course is available to international students.
Full-time international tuition fees
For information on our international tuition fees, please see our Tuition fees for international students page.
Please note that tuition fees for EU students will remain the same as UK fees for 2018/19. For more information, please visit the Gov UK website.
How to apply as an international student
For information on how to apply to study with us, please see our How to apply page.
Scholarships available to international students
For information on the scholarships available to you as an international student, please see our International scholarships page.