Course details

  • Qualification Master of Arts - **SUBJECT TO VALIDATION**
  • Duration 1 year full time
  • Location Production Park
  • Validated by University of Bolton
  • Tuition fees £9,250
  • Entry Requirements 2:1 Honours degree or above in a relevant subject and/or appropriate relevant work experience.
  • Start date January 2021

About this course




Our MA in Live Event Design aims to offer you the opportunity to cultivate the creative and collaborative skills required in emerging live events designers. 

This course is ideal for you if...

  • You are excited about the challenge of creating inventive and imaginative designs for contemporary live events. 
  • You’re about to graduate from a BA/BSc course in a related area and wish to increase your employability and gain a competitive edge with an advanced qualification in your area of specialism. 
  • You want to expand your knowledge and experience into live event spectacles such as arena and stadium shows. 
  • You want to diversify from related fields such as Theatre or Architecture.
  • You want to change career direction to develop and establish yourself as a designer. 
  • You have worked in the industry and are now looking to validate your experience with an advanced recognised qualification.

The programme aims to:

  • Provide graduates and those with professional experience of working in the live events or related industries the opportunity to develop their knowledge, understanding and critical insight into the principles and practices underpinning design, creativity and innovation within the live events and creative industries. 
  • Provide rigorous opportunities for advanced study, research and embedded practice led by specialists in the field that are focused to enable you to build, enhance and take ownership over your own creative practice. 
  • Develop advance critical and intellectual thinking and complex problem-solving skills necessary for building and delivering successful live events projects. 
  • Develop your own individual projects and projects in collaboration with students from our other postgraduate courses, culminating in your final negotiated Masters’ project. 
  • Develop focussed, transferable skills in negotiation, decision making, self-management and the management of others. 
  • Offer specialist professional and personal preparation for entry into the competitive world of the live events Industries.

Course content

  • Theory & Context of Design for Live Events

    This module aims to provide an introduction to key critical and cultural ideas and theories, alongside developing your research practice. Throughout the module you will consider how the opportunities, possibilities and challenges presented both restrict and facilitate live event design. 

    You will explore specific areas of professional practice relevant to your negotiated area of specialism in order to identify the key principles, practices and existing/emerging points of reference that influence design practice, trends and conventions across the creative industries. 

    Throughout the period of study, you will be set a number of specific case study/scenario tasks related to the module content that will test your understanding of design principles in the live events and creative industries. These will build a comprehensive portfolio that you will submit as a single piece of work at the end of the module.

  • Live Event Design Practice 1: Concept Design, Development & Production

    This module aims to provide the necessary knowledge and skills to enable you to use advanced methods of conceptualising, experimenting and developing design solutions to creative challenges. This module will provide the opportunity to build a body of practical work at an advanced level in response to a given brief. 

    You will develop new professional skills through practical experimentation and the critical examination of your own work and that of your peers. Regular sharing of your work and creative process will enable you to develop a framework from which you can critically evaluate and reflect upon your conceptual and creative process. 

    Finally, you will have the opportunity to present your design proposal in a pitch to your peers, staff and industry Professionals.

  • Live Event Design Practice 2: Realisation, Production & Delivery

    This module will extend the learning of Live Event Design Practice 1: Concept Design, Development & Presentation through to the realisation, production & delivery of a live event project. 

    Students will develop further critical and practice-based work in their chosen specialism, whilst collaborating with other practitioners and managing the requirements of clients and/or stakeholders. Advanced skills workshops, masterclasses and lectures will strengthen your core skills and allow you to experiment further emerging tools, techniques, technologies and conventions as appropriate to your discipline. 

    Finally you will be able to choose to undertake a group project or a professional/industry placement as part of your summative assessment.

  • Working in the Creative Industries: Managing Yourself and Others

    As you advance through your career you will find yourself collaborating with others, both formally and informally. Whether managing project teams or building business relations as innovators and entrepreneurs, you may have to make decisions about a range of people-orientated issues. 

    To manage successfully in this, or any other environment means understanding yourself, learning or developing the interpersonal skills to interact with others and understanding the processes involved in establishing and growing successful working “professional relationships.” 

    This module will introduce you to the processes involved in learning and personal development and enhance your critical understanding of the skills you have, and the ones you need in order to pursue a postgraduate level career. In it, you will examine the importance and major areas of interpersonal skills from perception and communications and team work to resolving conflict and motivating both yourself and others, and how the impression you create can contribute to a successful career. 

    You will complete a series of tasks which will enable you to explore your own responses to the themes discussed and as part of your ongoing (lifelong) learning you will examine the importance of personal development and career planning.

  • Major Project

    This module aims to provide a framework for you to undertake a negotiated programme of personal study and research leading to a substantial output. 

    This could take a number of different formats including but not limited to: 

    - A large-scale collaborative technical or creative project
    - An event
    - A traditional written academic paper
    - A new business start-up
    - A product launch.

    It is expected that most of the work is independently undertaken with the support of a supervising tutor; however, in line with industry practice collaborative projects may be negotiated with the module leader. 

    Whatever format is chosen you will need to demonstrate/evidence your accumulated knowledge, skills and understanding acquired throughout the entirety of your study on your course, and that you meet the course learning outcomes. Throughout the module you will expected to demonstrate progressively increasing levels of independence and autonomy. The module is delivered across the whole year and is in three stages: 

    Stage 1: Preparation.
    This stage will explore and evaluate a range of approaches and research skills and methodologies appropriate to a variety of final outputs. During this stage you will formulate and define your research question(s), consider ethical issues relating to that research and define the format for your submission. 

    Stage 2: Development.
    During this stage, you will consolidate your ideas and depending on your agreed format undertake field (primary) research and/or research and development. This may also include work-based learning or placement activity that informs your study. 

    Stage 3 Output.
    In this stage you will finalise and work toward the presentation of your project and submission of your work. It is important you understand this realisation is an integral part of the research journey, which is consolidated through your critical reflection on any conclusions Where appropriate you may also have the opportunity to present your final output to industry professionals in order to showcase your work and boost employment prospects and industry networking opportunities.

Entry Requirements

2:1 Honours degree or above in a relevant subject and/or appropriate relevant professional experience.

Every applicant will be required to attend an interview.  


Assessment tasks are linked to the learning outcomes of each module and are completed before the end of the module. Module assessments typically involve written coursework, project work, oral assessments and portfolios. 


Graduates will gain a competitive edge as designers in the dynamic and developing live events and creative industries.

The programme will equip you with a range of transferable interpersonal and creative skills allowing you to capitalise on career opportunities that exist in a huge range of sectors – from live music and theatre to e-sports and corporate events, amongst many others. 

It with also equip you with the necessary skills to progress to further postgraduate and doctoral study. 

Equipment / software

Students at Backstage Academy benefit from having access to a wide range of specialist equipment, software and technology in line with the latest industry developments - much of which is made possible through our partnerships with some of the industry’s best entertainment technology manufacturers and distributors. 

Depending on your programme of study, this may include:

Sound equipment such as:

  • Desks from Allen & Heath, Avid, Midas and Soundcraft
  • Sound Systems from D&B and KV2 Audio
  • Microphones from Audix, Sennheiser and Shure.

Lighting equipment such as:

  • Wide range of lighting fixtures including Art2000s, Powercubes, moving lights, Source 4s and blinders from Avolites, Chauvet, Chroma-Q, Clay Paky and Prolight
  • Lighting control from Avolites, ChamSys, GrandMA and Hog
  • TitanNet processors from Avolites.

Video equipment such as:

  • Media servers from Avolites, Disguise, Green Hippo and Isadora
  • LED video wall from ROE Visual and Prolights
  • Laser projectors from Epson and Panasonic
  • Video switcher and cameras from Blackmagic Design
  • Networking from Luminex.

Communications equipment from Riedel. 

Software such as: Avolites Ai & Titan, Blacktrax, Disguise, Green Hippo Zookeeper, Isadora, Notch, SketchUp, Smode, Vectorworks, WYSIWYG, Adobe Creative Cloud package and Microsoft Windows 365 suite. 

Rigging equipment such as:

  • Truss from Prolyte and Sixty82
  • Motors from CM Lodestar
  • Load cells from Broadweigh.

Mature / International students

Backstage Academy welcomes students of all ages to study on our degree programmes. 

Unfortunately, we cannot accept international students onto our undergraduate or postgraduate programmes at this time. 

How do i apply?

Register your interest in our MA in Live Event Design via the Registration of Interest form below. 

Applications are made via our validating partner, the University of Bolton and open very soon. We will contact all registrations of interest as soon as applications open. 


To find out more about fees and funding, please visit our Student Finance page.


We are delighted to offer our alumni £1,000 cashback* on all of our postgraduate degrees.

£1,000 cashback is paid in installments at the start of each term providing students have paid their tuition fees. This offer is exclusive to graduates of our undergraduate degrees


Please complete this form to register your interest in studying at Backstage Academy - a specialist higher education provider in Wakefield, West Yorkshire.

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