Managing in the Creative Economy MA

Why choose this course?

Managing in the Creative Economy MA bridges the gap between creativity and business. The programme is designed for students who want to boost their creative career and for students who intend to start and run a creative business in the creative economy context.

It is a unique business degree that enables you to combine your existing creative experience and skills with a rigorous business education customised for the creative industries.

The core element of the programme is a real-life start-up experience; working in a team, you will start and run your own creative industries business. To succeed on this course, you will need to be motivated to participate in a start-up and look beyond the traditional boundaries of your discipline. You will also be willing to work in a multi-disciplinary and experiential environment with students from a range of backgrounds and industries.

You will work with students from all over the world and from different creative sectors. This diversity challenges you to think differently and exposes you to different perspectives on creativity and business.

Mode Duration Attendance Start date
Full time 1 year 2 or 3 days a week September 2020
Full time 2 years including professional placement 2 or 3 days a week plus placement year September 2020
Part time 2 years 2 or 3 days a week September 2020
Location Kingston Hill

Reasons to choose Kingston University

  • Experience the total process of designing and managing a real new creative business and develop your entrepreneurial, management and leadership capabilities and behaviours.
  • Pitch your ideas to real industry experts at our "Dragons' Den", and engage with a variety of professionals and entrepreneurial businesses.
  • Engage with experts and real creative industries businesses to experience a chosen creative industry, and develop your CV and your understanding of the creative sector.
  • Finish the course with an international network of contacts. Our students come from all over the world and the programme now has eleven generations of graduates and an active alumni network.
  • Free car parking at the Kingston Hill campus is available for students of this course. The campus can also be easily accessed by public transport. Halls accommodation is just a walk away from the classrooms.

Kingston Business School Accreditations

Kingston Business School holds the prestigious international accreditation by the AACSB (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business) in recognition of the excellence of its business education. This accreditation has been earned by just 5% of the world's business schools and recognises the high quality and standard of our business degree offering.

Kingston Business School Accreditations

About the creative industries

An increasing number of countries has now placed the creative industries at the heart of their economic development. This creates opportunities for professionals who understand the critical success factors for commercialising creativity, and are equipped with the mix of creative and business knowledge and skills. Creative jobs are future-proof jobs: 87% of creative jobs are at low or no risk of automation. (Nesta, 2018)

Sectors classified under the Creative Industries in the UK

  • Advertising and marketing
  • Architecture
  • Crafts
  • Product design, graphic design and fashion design
  • Film, TV, video, radio and photography
  • IT, software and computer services
  • Publishing
  • Museums, galleries and libraries
  • Music, performing arts and visual arts

(Creative Industries Classification, Department for Culture, Media & Sport, 2015)

Will this course suit me?

The Managing in the Creative Economy MA is designed for students who want to boost their creative industries career and for students who intend to start and run a creative business in the creative economy context. Our students come from creative industries, but also from other disciplines, including engineering and humanities.

  • Are you a creative practitioner? You will experience the total process of designing and managing a real new creative business. You will gain first-hand experience in creating a product or service and taking it to real markets to real people. You will develop your entrepreneurial, management and leadership capabilities and behaviours.
  • Are you a manager in a creative business? You will learn how to manage for creativity and innovation, and enhance your skills as a creative leader. You will develop a good grasp of strategy and relevant business and management skills.
  • Are you looking to utilise your experience? You will benefit from undertaking the personal research project that will help you to apply your new skills and expertise to your specialist sector and enable you to identify new opportunities in the creative economy.

What you will study

The core focus of the programme is a real-life business experience; working in a team, you will start and run your own creative business in the supportive and risk-free environment provided by Kingston Business School.

You will explore the process of collaborative creativity and examine what it takes to successfully develop ideas into innovative products, service and processes. Our creative entrepreneurship experts will guide you through the process of designing and running your own creative business, which will help you develop your creative, managerial and entrepreneurial skills.

You will also become closely involved in the practice of a specific creative industry through engagement with real businesses in the creative sector. This will be the opportunity to experience practical work and realise value in a chosen creative industry.

By the end of the programme, you will be equipped with an in-depth knowledge, understanding and skillset required to successfully realise value in a creative economy context.

Year 1

Year 2 (optional placement year)

Core modules

Mapping the Creative Economy

15 credits

The creative industries are outpacing traditional industries both in the UK and the rest of the world and an increasing number of countries have now placed the creative industries at the heart of their economic development. However, the growth of the creative industries is a phenomenon of the post-World War II period, and the sector is difficult to define and measure.

The first part of the module will be devoted to a critical understanding of the histories and current dynamics of the modern Creative Industries and of western avant-gardism, and their relation to modern capitalism. The second part will be concerned with the critical awareness and understanding of the various challenges facing the creative industries in the UK and in the world: labour issues, the role of technology, the need for funding and investment, the issue of sustainability, legal issues concerning intellectual property (IP), the place of entrepreneurship in the creative industries, and the globalisation of the creative industries.

This module will offer you the opportunity to grasp the contradictions inherent to the creative industries and their potential for changing – for better or worse – our societies, economies and cultures.

Managing a Creative Business

30 credits

The creative industries are an increasingly significant and dynamic part of the world economy. These industries are epicentres of innovation due to the nature of their work, and as such have been recognised as a link between business, economic recovery and long-term growth in the time of challenges to existing ways of doing things, and when delivering fast and meaningful responses to growing market demands is a priority.

Turning ideas into innovative products, services and processes, and developing them successfully, requires a fusion of creative, managerial and entrepreneurship skills.  Also required is an entrepreneurial, agile business strategy that can offer resilience, competitive advantage, diversification and positioning in relation to contextual changes in the creative sector that are both structural (disintegration of ineffective business models) and cyclical (new technology and creative workforce supply and demand).

One of the most widely reported problems in the creative industries is the lack of strategy and appropriate business and management skills. This module addresses the problem by introducing students to fundamentals of business management theory and practice from the specific perspective of the creative industries, in the diverse and evolving context of the creative economy.

Design Thinking for Start-ups

30 credits

Bridge the gap between creativity and business in this exciting module. You will learn how to develop an innovative product or service and turn it into a viable business by working in a multidisciplinary team. Through design thinking, you'll learn how to identify opportunities for innovation, develop a product that is centred on the user's needs, and design a business model to produce your innovation for the public. Combining skills and courses in new product development, business modelling, social marketing, branding, finance, web design, prototyping, empathy, storytelling and more, you'll learn not only what it takes to become a business creative, but you will also become one yourself. This challenging module is one-year long and combines the knowledge from your background with other modules taken at the University into a live, working business experience.

Experiencing the Creative Industries

30 credits

The growth of the creative industries has increased the competitiveness of the globalised creative workforce, and students increasingly seek to learn and develop through real-world opportunities where they can apply knowledge, understanding and skills to actual situations.

This module enables you to specialise and become closely involved in the practices of a specific creative industry through a 'live' practical project or competition brief. The 'live' project / competition brief will act as an opportunity to commercialise creativity and realise value in the chosen creative industry as part of your ongoing professional development. You will interact with the industry, explore your ambitions and skills, and apply your knowledge and understanding to overcome challenges of a particular creative industry context.

Conducting Collaborative Creativity

15 credits

At the heart of creative industries is the notion of artistic creativity. However, far from being the result of individual 'creative geniuses', art works and creativity emerge as the results of a collective process. This is a capability that other sectors now need to understand and emulate. The European Commission's Directorate General for Enterprise and Industry has identified the creative industries as 'drivers of social and economic innovation in the economy'.

This module aims to give students the knowledge and understanding of management processes and behaviours necessary for managing creativity and innovation in the creative industries. They will also explore the ways in which these processes can be used in other sectors of the economy.

Gaining Insights

60 credits

The Personal Research Project is a self-initiated project reflecting critical evaluation of all your previous learning. It will draw on the knowledge and intellectual skills you have acquired from the core subjects, and the knowledge and skills you have developed in your creative economy professional practice.

Key to this process will be an awareness and understanding of different research strategies and procedures within a variety of contexts. You will become familiar with different research tools and, more importantly, critically evaluate the various tools based on need, context, issues and purpose in relation to problem solving.

This module is the culmination of the MA experience, and the most ambitious expression of individual interest, motivation, creativity and ability to deliver.

This professional placement year is optional. It takes place after the full-time year. It enables students to do a 12-month work placement as part of their course. The work placement is an assessed part of the course and is therefore covered by a Tier 4 visa.

Find out more about the postgraduate work placement scheme.

Core module

Professional Placement

120 credits

The Professional Placement module is a core module for those students following a Master's programme that incorporates an extended professional placement that follows completion of the first 180 credits of taught modules and project or dissertation. It provides students with the opportunity to apply their knowledge and skills in an appropriate working environment, and to develop and enhance key employability skills and subject specific skills in their chosen subject.

It is the responsibility of individual students to locate and secure a suitable placement opportunity; this will normally involve one placement which must be completed over a minimum period of 10 months and within a maximum of 12 months. The placement must be approved by the module leader prior to commencement to ensure its suitability.

The information above reflects the currently intended course structure and module details. Updates may be made on an annual basis and revised details will be published through Programme Specifications ahead of each academic year. The regulations governing this course are available on our website. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this may not be offered.

Competitions and challenges

Students on this course have the opportunity to participate in a range of competitions including idea development events and workshops.

Celebrate Enterprise

Celebrate Enterprise

Student teams demonstrate innovations and business ideas to the general public.

'Dragons' Den

'Dragons' Den

Students pitch their ideas to real investors.

Bright Ideas

Bright Ideas

A University-wide competition that seeks out innovative products and business concepts.



Learn to solve problems creatively in partnership with local charities.

Mayor's Entrepreneur Competition

Mayor's Entrepreneur Competition

Submit a business idea that can make London a better place to live and work!

Life on the course

Event visits

Event visits

Previous visits to creative industries events in London include - DIGICAL Show - iMakr UK, Frieze Art Fair and London Design Festival.

Field trips

Field trips

Inspiring past field trips to small and medium-sized businesses, including Google Campus, have enriched the course content.

Specialist seminars

Specialist seminars

Industry experts provide insight and expertise across a wide range of topics.

After you graduate

Our graduates work in a range of creative and leadership positions ranging from freelance work in the creative sector, through to business ownership and employment in large innovative companies in the creative economy.

Graduates have progressed to roles such as: Founder at People of the Sun (Malawi); Co-Founder at Fairlight Studios (UK); Engineering Program Manager at Microsoft (UK); Community Manager at Airbnb (UK); Managing Director at Togada (UK), User Experience Designer at BBC (UK), founder at BusaBuntu Pictures (South Africa).

Entry requirements

Typical offer

We usually look for applicants with:

  • a second class degree and above in a relevant area or two years' work experience in the creative industries;
  • an understanding of the context of the creative economy; and
  • the ability to explain why this course will be of value to them personally.

We also carefully consider non-standard entrants with relevant personal and work experience who can demonstrate their interest, commitment and ability.

Personal statement

A personal statement is the opportunity to tell us what drives your interest to study on this programme. All applicants should provide a personal statement demonstrating:

  • their interest in the creative economy;
  • a strong motivation to look beyond the boundaries of their discipline;
  • their readiness to participate in a start-up; and
  • a willingness to work in a multidisciplinary environment.


Please note: most students from countries outside the European Union/European Economic Area and classified as overseas fee paying, are not eligible to apply for part-time courses due to UK student visa regulations. For information on exceptions please visit the UKCISA website or email our CAS and Visa Compliance team.

All non-UK applicants must meet our English language requirement, which is Academic IELTS of 6.5 overall with no element below 5.5. Make sure you read our full guidance about English language requirements, which includes details of other qualifications we consider.

Applicants who do not meet the English language requirements could be eligible to join our pre-sessional English language course.

Applicants from a recognised majority English speaking countries (MESCs) do not need to meet these requirements.

Teaching and assessment

Guided independent study

When not attending timetabled sessions you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. This typically will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for exams. Your independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities including online resources, the library and CANVAS, the online virtual learning platform.

Support for postgraduate students

As a student at Kingston University, we will make sure you have access to appropriate advice regarding your academic development. You will also be able to use the University's support services

Your workload

Managing in the Creative Economy MA

  • 17% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity

Professional Placement Year

  • 100% of your time is spent on guided independent study and placement

Contact hours may vary depending on your modules.

Managing in the Creative Economy MA

Professional Placement Year

Managing in the Creative Economy MA
  • Scheduled teaching and learning: 305 hours
  • Guided independent study: 1495 hours
Professional Placement Year
  • Guided independent study: 50 hours
  • Placement: 1150 hours

How you will be assessed

Assessment typically comprises of a range of practical assessments (eg presentations, debates) and coursework (eg essays, reports, self-assessment, portfolios, dissertation and reflective blogs). The approximate percentage for how you will be assessed on this course is as follows, though depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose:

Managing in the Creative Economy MA

Professional placement year

Managing in the Creative Economy MA
  • Coursework: 80%
  • Practical: 20%
Professional placement year
  • Coursework: 100%

Feedback summary

We aim to provide feedback on assessments within 20 working days.

Class sizes

You will be part of an intimate cohort of students which provides dedicated academic guidance and advice and the opportunity to build a life-long network of colleagues. Some modules are common across other postgraduate programmes therefore you will be taught alongside students who are on these courses within the Business School.

Who teaches this course?

The programme harnesses the expertise and connections of the Entrepreneurship and Creative Economy academics and practitioners at the Kingston Business School.

You will be taught by an experienced teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on this course. The team includes senior academics and professional practitioners with industry experience. The following group of staff members are currently involved in the delivery of different elements of this course. This pool is subject to change at any time within the academic year.

Fees for this course


Home and European Union 2020/21

  • MA full time £10,080

Overseas (not EU) 2020/21

  • MA full time £15,300

Fees for the optional placement year

If you choose to take a placement as part of this course, you will be invoiced for the placement fee in Year 2. Find out more about the postgraduate work placement scheme and the costs for the placement year.

Funding and bursaries

Kingston University offers a range of postgraduate scholarships, including:

If you are an international student, find out more about scholarships and bursaries.

We also offer the following discounts for Kingston University alumni: