Project Management for Creative Practitioners MSc

Why choose this course?

This course will help you to develop the skills and knowledge required to operate as a project manager in the creative industry.

If you are a creative practice graduate who understands making and production processes and, you would like to perfect skills required to lead and design projects, then this is the course for you. Or perhaps you're a mid-career creative practitioner, who wants to develop your commercial and operational skills and understanding but, need to contextualise your learning within the collaborative manner of creative projects? If so, then this course is also for you.

Creative careers are varied, full of change and frequently project-based, so developing project management skills, at postgraduate level, is a huge advantage.

On this course you will also study for a professional Agile PM Practitioner certificate. This certification is accredited by the Agile Project Management Group and is internationally recognised. The inclusion of such a widely recognised certification process in the programme is to further enhance your career and employability prospects.

Mode Duration Start date
Full time 1 year September 2020
Full time 2 years including professional placement September 2020
Part time 2 years September 2020
Location Kingston School of Art, Knights Park

Reasons to choose Kingston University

  • You will study and collaborate with creative professionals and practitioners from across creative sector: art and design industries.
  • Kingston's professional practice team help ensure your studies are relevant to the workplace. A mentor will guide and advise you on your future career.
  • In addition to the MSc, you will study for and complete the course with an internationally relevant and widely recognised Agile PM Practitioner Certificate (accredited by the Agile Project Management Group).

What you will study

The course is multi-disciplinary and practitioner-based. You will study with creative professionals and practitioners from across the creative practice (e.g. art and design) economy. Throughout your studies, the emphasis is on learning by doing/making/production/application: you'll develop a portfolio of projects, culminating with a substantive major project. You'll develop your project management skills relevant to creative practice, leading to a professional certification in Agile Project Management.

Incorporated in the curriculum are general transferable skills including team building, collaborative practice, resource and stakeholder management, risk assessment, legal strategy and budget management. The key application is agility in project management for creative sector projects. The focus is on understanding both the language of management and leadership relevant to creative practice environments. While this will include the 'hard' skills of budget management, scheduling and legal strategy, there will be an important focus on understanding qualitatively, people; cultural context(s); and, the meaning of project 'outputs' and 'success' factors.

Please note that, below is an indicative list of modules on this course. This is not intended as a definitive list. Those listed here may also be a mixture of core and optional modules.

Modules

Professional placement year

You'll develop a pragmatic understanding of the political, social and economic contexts of project management for creative practice. Areas of study and practice include people management, communication management, process management and business case development.

You will study established project management techniques and approaches that will improve your ability to manage and lead creative projects. The course includes a module on freelancing as a creative practitioner, which develops skills of pitching, work flow management and basic accounting.

Core modules

Principles of Project Management

30 credits

This module examines and covers the key methods and approaches of project management such as agile, scrum, waterfall, and critical path analysis. It will set out the stages of project management, how projects are established and governed and the fundamental principles of management and control such as exception based reporting, the staged organisation of progress and task completion and measurement processes. The different approaches to project management will be explored and the principle of tailoring project management to suit different contexts will be examined. This module will include AgilePM training delivered by a specialist trainer and the award of AgilePM Practitioner level certification on successful completion.

The Human Problem: Working with and Managing People

30 credits

This module is based on the provocation that people are one of the key challenges when managing projects. Understanding and appreciating the complexity of people is fundamental to successful project management, their unpredictability, differing agendas, values and attitudes to work and notions of quality and purpose make people a challenging resource within the scope of project management. This is especially the case when managing people with creative sensibilities and identities built on notions of creative expression. The module will cover different sources of motivation, leadership and the notion of super-collaborators, and include the study of tasks such as establishing project teams, describing roles and conferring responsibilities. The skills developed during the module will include active listening, negotiation and the presentation of ideas.

Designing and Running Successful Projects

30 credits

This module develops knowledge and understanding of the resourcing of projects. It will consider aspects of project budgeting, the management of a risk register, types and requirements for governance, the stage-gate process, different options for project management software, business case analysis and formation, strategy, quality and legal assurance management. The module includes use of project management simulation software that gives students experience of the resourcing of projects and provides performance data to use when evaluating a project's completion.

The Creative Freelancer

30 credits

This module builds an effective, practical knowledge of the principles and best practices needed for a professional and ethical, freelance creative career. Students will learn how to answer a commercial brief, how to interact with a client, deliver a creative outcome and be remunerated for that work. An important part of the module is to create a working appreciation of how technology effects, shapes and can enhance their creative career. The module aims to build a self-directed working appreciation of the intellectual property and the wider legal and financial requirements needed to successfully operate as a freelancer, in a chosen field and geographical (country/region) area. Assessments and tasks throughout the module are designed to aid the launch of the student's individual commercial practice, by producing a targeted, industry relevant digital presence (website/blog), and the active forward planning of their freelance creative career.

Major Project

60 credits

This module forms the capstone of the degree offering students a real-life opportunity to put into practice the knowledge and skills developed in the previous modules. The module is based around a student-directed and managed project based exercise, involving the design, development and delivery of a portfolio of projects. The students will each design and project manage an aspect of the programme (a sub-project) such as organising the delivery of a launch event, creating the social media and online platform, and organising exhibition displays. The programme will be based on a social issue of their choice and students will build a business case, network with local stakeholders and design and organise fundraising to support the event. The physical programme events will be held at a suitable space in Kingston.

Many postgraduate courses at Kingston University allow students to do a 12-month work placement as part of their course. The responsibility for finding the work placement is with the student; we cannot guarantee the work placement, just the opportunity to undertake it.

As the work placement is an assessed part of the course, it is covered by a student's tier 4 visa.

Optional modules

Professional Placement

120 credits

The Professional Placement module is a core module for those students following a masters programme that incorporates professional placement learning, following completion of 120 credits. It provides you with the opportunity to apply your knowledge and skills to an appropriate working environment, and to develop and enhance key employability skills and subject-specific professional skills in your chosen subject. You may wish to use the placement experience as a platform for your subsequent major project module, and would be expected to use it to help inform your decisions about future careers.

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.

Entry requirements

Typical offer

A BA (Hons) degree (or equivalent) in art and design practice disciplines or, have professional experience in the creative industries (this may also include performing arts practice). Candidates will be offered an interview. This will be a two way conversation, either at the campus or via Skype, about the course contents and, the experience and ambitions of the candidate.

English language requirements

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

Assessment is carried out through a blend of practice focused written reports and reflections; presentations; role play; simulations; live project briefs; and, project portfolio development.

Guided independent study

When not attending timetabled sessions, you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. This typically involves reading and analysing articles, regulations, policy document and key texts, documenting individual projects, preparing coursework assignments and completing your PEDRs, etc.

Your independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities including online resources, the library and CANVAS, the University's online virtual learning platform.

Support for postgraduate students

At Kingston University, we know that postgraduate students have particular needs and therefore we have a range of support available to help you during your time here.

Your workload

Year 1: 14% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity.

  • Scheduled teaching and learning: 223 hours
  • Guided independent study: 1,577 hours

Contact hours may vary depending on your modules.

Type of teaching and learning

Type of teaching and learning
  • Scheduled teaching and learning: 223 hours
  • Guided independent study: 1577 hours

How you will be assessed

Assessment typically comprises practicals (e.g. pitch presentations, reflective presentations and demonstrations) and coursework (e.g. project evaluation, reflective essays, reports, self-assessment, portfolios, dissertation). 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:

Type of assessment

Type of assessment
  • Coursework: 50%
  • Practical: 50%

Feedback summary

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

Class sizes

To give you an indication of class sizes, this course normally enrols 18–20 students and lecture sizes are normally 18–20. However this can vary by module and academic year.

Who teaches this course?

This course is delivered by Kingston School of Art.

Kingston School of Art has its roots in the studio-based approach of Britain's art school system (the original School of Art was founded in the 1890s).

Today, for most courses, learning still takes place in our specialist studios, each subject area having its own fully-equipped studio, where you take part in classes, tutorials and critical reviews with fellow students. This strong studio culture also ensures regular interaction between students and tutors.

For non studio-based courses, learning takes place in classroom-based seminars, tutorials and lectures, alongside site visits to museums, galleries, auction houses and other creative professional environments.

  • Our students are encouraged to engage closely with the diverse businesses that make London one of the most important centres for the creative industries. Our industry connections mean we provide unique study opportunities, such as:
  • the chance to have your work seen by eminent members of your profession;
  • 'live' projects, site visits and placements in prestigious companies or institutions; and
  • project work and workshops with visiting lecturers and industry specialists.

Our excellent reputation means that industry leaders regularly visit our student shows to see the best of the new talent.

Fees for this course

Home and European Union 2020/21

  • MSc full time £9,500
  • MSc part time £5,225

Overseas (not EU) 2020/21

  • MSc full time £17,600
  • MSc part time £9,680

Placement courses

Invoicing on the placement courses is split into two stages.

The standard course fee is payable in Year 1 with the placement fee invoiced in Year 2. Therefore, students starting in September 2020 would therefore be charged the placement fee of £1,385 in September 2021. Students commencing the course in September 2021 will be invoiced the placement fee in 2022 (fee tbc).

This amount will only be charged to your account after you find a placement and are enrolled on the module. You will not be charged this fee if you do not manage to secure a work placement.


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:

Facilities

There is a wide range of facilities at our Knights Park campus, where this course is based. Kingston School of Art has recently completed an ambitious programme of investment, making significant improvements to our workshops and other resources, to ensure that students are exposed to as many creative pathways as possible.   The workshops and studios at Knights Park are open for creative exploration and allow opportunities for students and staff to collaborate on projects and share ideas, whether they are studying or researching. There are many adaptable studio and workshop spaces, active breakout spaces and stronger vertical and horizontal connections.  Our ground-breaking facilities include:

  • 3D workshop, with ceramics, concrete, resin-casting, plastics, metalwork, woodwork and a bronze-casting foundry, as well as a Big Build space for Architecture, set design and large scale model making
  • Animation and post production studios
  • Digital Media workshop
  • Fashion (knitting and sewing workshops), with digital and analogue facilities, plus a working dress archive which includes pieces from 1750 to the present day
  • HackSpace (for collaborative, creative, solutions-focussed projects)
  • Letterpress and printmaking workshop, with digital and analogue facilities, to experiment creatively
  • Moving Image workshop, with studios, editing suite, and industry-standard equipment
  • Photography workshop, including studios, colour, and black and white darkrooms, processing facilities.  This professional-standard suite includes two new digital imaging areas, darkroom areas, two double height photography studios and a general preparation, finishing and demonstration area. There is also an extensive range of equipment for loan and students are able to purchase photography materials. The colour and black and white darkrooms provide extensive facilities for film processing.

All our facilities are open access, meaning you can use them whenever you want, and irrespective of what degree you're studying.

The University also has its own on-site galleries, including:

  • Dorich House - the former studio home of the sculptor Dora Gordine and her husband the Hon. Richard Hare, a scholar of Russian art and literature. Now Grade II listed, the building was completed in 1936, to Gordine's design, and is an exceptional example of a modern studio house created by and for a female artist.
  • Stanley Picker Gallery - one of the leading examples of a university gallery in the UK. Its public activities are dedicated to the research, commissioning and presentation of innovative new practice across the fields of art, design and architecture for general, academic and specialist audiences.
  • Project spaces at Knights Park campus, which you can book for the exhibition of large-scale work. 

After you graduate

This course equips graduates with the skills, knowledge and confidence (plus industry recognition) to work on creative projects as a team member or project manager.

Links with business and industry

You'll have opportunities to be involved with organisations outside the University across the whole of the creative sector (such as work with the creative agencies, design studios and firms, charities, creative sector competitions and award bodies; professional bodies such as APMG and Scrum Inc).

Our links with professional practice (D&AD; Design Studios and Firms: Creative Agencies) provide a real-world base for our courses, ensuring your studies are up-to-date and relevant to the workplace.

The course includes a live project during which you'll work with businesses and organisations to design and deliver a programme of events.

Members of staff on this course are professional practitioners, with experience across the creative industries, which keeps your learning cutting-edge.