MSc Creative and Cultural Industries Management modules

Our MSc Creative and Cultural Industries Management programme draws on the research, knowledge and workplace experience of a talented team of academics, who offer an excellent understanding of the business demands of managing creative enterprises and cultural organisations in the modern world.

On this MSc you will learn the essential knowledge and critical skills you need to become a successful manager in the cultural and creative sector. You may also have the option to undertake an organisational project, giving you real-world work experience within a company.

The city makes this programme unique. Sheffield is a timely and exciting place to specialise in the creative and cultural industries thanks to its internationally renowned museums and galleries, thriving music scene, and the best regional theatre complex outside London. Regularly hosting high-profile exhibitions from prominent London galleries such as the V&A (the Victoria & Albert Museum), sending its theatrical productions to the West End and boasting a vibrant design and digital quarter, Sheffield students engage with the culture and become part of it themselves.

Students are encouraged to make use of Sheffield’s strong creative and cultural brands such as Museums Sheffield, Electric Works, Workstation, and Sheffield Theatres. Study visits to culture industry providers are an integral part of this programme; volunteering placements in the sector may also be available.

Accounting and Financial Management

  • Autumn semester, 15 credits

Whether you’re contemplating self-employment or any career in the field of management, an ability to interpret accounting reports and exercise financial judgement is essential. The aim of this module is to equip non-financial students with an appropriate level of financial competence – and confidence – and hence views finance from the perspective of general management: that is, as users of financial information. This means that learning does not take the form of a series of technical exercises but grasping concepts and applying them to the real world, as demonstrated by the module tutors. The accounting element of the module is concerned primarily with the uses and limitations of published financial statements and internal accounting reports and controls. The financial management element of the module examines the role of accounting and market data to support decisions on funding, investment, organisational control and performance monitoring.


  • Autumn semester, 15 credits

This module introduces the subject of Marketing and seeks to place marketing and consumption practices in their political, economic, technological, social and cultural context.

Introduction to Critical Theories and Concepts in the Creative and Cultural Industries

  • Autumn semester, 15 credits

This module offers a broad-based introduction to, and definitions of, the Creative and Cultural Industries (CCI). It determines the range of activities and organisations included in this term, and introduces the importance of cultural activities within wider society. Through close examination of different cultural providers (theatres, cinema, museums etc.) and industries (music, television, film, publishing), it explores the social purposes, changes and challenges in the sector. It is designed to help students learn about the variety of theoretical and conceptual approaches that are applied to the study of CCI. It thus seeks to equip students with the necessary introductory knowledge and tools to be able to assess critically the dis/advantages of existing theoretical frameworks and discourses used to understand the complex nature of the creative and cultural industries, and their location within wider constructs such as ‘organisation’, ‘networks’, ‘fields’ and ‘artworlds’. The module will be taught in lectures and seminars, which will critically discuss existing case studies to illustrate concepts and approaches. It is formulated to enable students to think critically about the tools they use and apply to understand and research CCI today.

Fundraising management: sponsorship, philanthropy and the state

  • Autumn semester, 15 credits

This module provides students with an understanding of the various income-generating sources available to the creative and cultural industries. It focuses on how the private sector, business and individuals, has financed the CCIs, and their advantages and disadvantages as funding mechanisms. The module will also explore the changing role of public, government funding as well as assessing the strengths of cultural policy in supporting the financial viability of the sector. The module will be delivered through lectures and group discussion of case studies during seminar sessions

Research Methods

  • Autumn and spring semesters, 15 credits

Appreciating research is important for a variety of reasons; in particular, evaluating research reports and papers written by others, commissioning research to help inform management decisions, and planning and undertaking one’s own research. Important aspects of this are understanding how knowledge is produced, the assumptions underpinning the research process, and its limitations. Research design is often based on competing assumptions about the nature of knowledge, and will therefore be conducted with varying methods and degrees of technical expertise. An understanding of the process of knowledge production will enable students to critically evaluate research results – whether other people’s or their own – and to plan a realistic research project for their dissertation.


  • Summer semester, 45 credits

The dissertation is the culmination of your master’s study and recognition of your capability to conduct a research project independently. Students can apply to undertake an organisation based dissertation project, arranged by the Management School. Working with an organisation, students can structure their project around a real business issue of challenge set by the host organisation. A student project will develop your employability skills, enhance your CV and give you the chance to use your insight to help an organisation develop.

Heritage, History and Identity

  • Autumn semester, 15 credits

This module highlights the diversity of cultural heritage, ranging from cultural and ‘natural’ landscapes, through monuments to music, dress, cuisine, ‘traditional’ crafts, and language and dialect. It explores the role of these various forms of heritage in shaping local, regional and national identity; the extent to which they reflect or misrepresent local, regional and national history; the legal and ethical issues surrounding conservation and preservation of heritage; and how study of ‘traditional’ lifeways may contribute to understanding of history.

Management and Organisational Theory

  • Autumn semester, 15 credits

This module explores the fundamentals of various theories of organisation, and how organisational management influences functioning. It brings together theory and practice in encouraging students to view organisations from different perspectives to develop a more comprehensive understanding of organisational theory and approaches to managing organisations. By analysing the usefulness and drawbacks of different approaches, both classical and strategic, it enables students to reach their own conclusions as to which approach might be suitable in a particular circumstance. The approaches are set in the context of understanding organisational structures and management, together with the behaviours of those who populate organisations.
The aim of the module is to develop students’ ability to critically assess organisations by encouraging them to consider different perspectives or ways in which to study and analyse an organisation’s activities. It will aim to enable students to critically understand and assess organisational theory and research and the factors involved in the functioning and analysis of complex organisations.

Digital Cultural Heritage: Theory and Practice

  • Spring semester, 15 credits

Digital Cultural Heritage has recently been at the centre of intellectual and methodological advances for the interpretation and presentation of the past. The use of audio-visual resources and interactive media in disciplines concerned with the past has been acknowledged as an attractive scholarly endeavour, while recent developments in the fields of digital acquisition and dissemination have been influencing, and ever shaping the way scholars and heritage professionals communicate their work to the public. Such transformations in the style of scholarship and dissemination of the past are not without conflicts: new affordances versus traditional modes of inquiring and presenting the past, issues of technological determinism in scholarly work and dissemination outputs, and changes in the way scholars and audiences alike interact with cultural heritage information in its physical and digital context are some of the long-standing debates in the field and more broadly in the Digital Humanities. This module examines both the theoretical and practical impact of new media and technology on Cultural Heritage. We will draw on theoretical readings as well as analyse the potential benefits and drawbacks of certain digital and online resources. A major component of the course will be a semester-long project that will require each student to develop a proposal for a digital cultural heritage resource. The module is for students with a background and interest in a variety of fields related to cultural heritage, including museums, libraries, galleries, archives, history and archaeology, as well as in education and information technology.

Heritage, Place and Community

  • Spring semester, 15 credits

The aim of this module is to introduce the theory and practice of heritage, conservation and public archaeology. The module will encourage debate on issues that affect how we define and apply the term ‘heritage’. It also offers an opportunity to focus on the historic ‘value’ of a site or landscape, with an evaluation of how it is currently managed, and strategies for its future conservation and presentation. The module is taught through a combination of lectures, seminars, workshops and site visits.

Managing Museums and Cultural Heritage Sites

  • Spring semester, 15 credits

What is a museum? How does it operate and how should it operate? What factors lead to a World Heritage designation? How are museums and heritage situated within the wider arts environment?
This module explores questions such as these though several lenses, including focusing on the philosophical, historical, cultural, educational and practical elements underpinning the management of museums and heritage sites. It defines and critically appraises some of the concepts and dimensions of contemporary museums and heritage spaces, not least thinking about the collections they may house, and it examines and questions the political, cultural and social aspects of such sites. It considers different types of museums, from local smaller regional institutions to global World Heritage Sites.
The module explores approaches to collections management, audience engagement, learning theory, cultural policy, funding and the day-to-day management of individual museums and heritage spaces against the background of local and national government agendas. It looks at provision of such cultural spaces from different management perspectives including that of the organisation, the object (and exhibition), and the visitors, and includes site visits where possible.

Cultural and Creative Entrepreneurship

  • Spring semester, 15 credits

Entrepreneurship is vital to a flourishing cultural and creative sector. This module bridges the gap between creativity, culture, and business by enabling learners to develop techniques that move their creative and critical thinking to entrepreneurial thinking. The module equips those who have previously studied or engaged with an area of creative or cultural practice, such as music, media, theatre and performance, heritage, craft, design, or digital games, to start a new business arising from existing or new creative and cultural practices, to manage a portfolio of loosely connected projects in the cultural and creative industries, and to develop intrapreneurial skills for innovation in existing organisations in the cultural and creative industries. It enhances learners’ skills as creative leaders who can respond to emerging trends and opportunities to realise value in the creative economy.


  • Spring semester, 15 credits

This unit engages students with different theoretical perspectives on brands, their management, and the relationship between brands and their socio-cultural context. The learning process exposes the students to a wide range of brand examples. Students draw on the theoretical perspectives to write an analytical critique of a specific brand.

Strategic planning for music business clients

  • Spring semester, 15 credits

This module aims to give students actual experience of tackling a real management issue through working in teams as a consultancy group on a defined problem or situation.
The students will gain experience of being briefed on the relevant issue by a member of a professional arts organisation; they will learn how to analyse the issue and other factors around it, using accepted research techniques such as interviews, questionnaires and desk research; they will analyse this information to understand the key issue(s) in depth, and will make a formal presentation outlining their conclusions and recommendations to the client in person. The research project as a whole will be written up as an 8,000-word report which will, after moderation, then be presented to the client for their own professional use.

Staging Music in Theory and Practice

  • Spring semester, 15 credits

The aim is to develop an understanding of the practical application of cultural event management theory. This is achieved through students working in teams to organise a public event within the locality applying theoretical principles of festival event management. The practical group work provides the context for development and reflection on personal transferable skills.

The fact that my MSc is in the Management School was an additional reason: it was important to me that the course had high chances of employability and I wanted a business oriented attitude and knowledge.

Chiara Dalla Libera

MSc Creative and Cultural Industries Management (Italy)

The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it is up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research, funding changes, professional accreditation requirements, student or employer feedback, outcomes of reviews, and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.

Information last updated: 13 November 2020

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