Music festival at the Eden Project with domes and pink flags

Sustainable Festival Management BA(Hons)

Engage with the future of festivals as part of this cutting-edge course.

Key details
Penryn Campus
Course duration
3 years / 4 years
Full-time / Placement year
UCAS code
Subject to validation during this academic year

Course overview

Designed in partnership with the Eden Project, on this course you’ll learn how to manage successful festivals, working at the forefront of inclusivity, accessibility and sustainability, with tuition from experienced professionals across areas including finance, marketing and project management. Cornwall is home to several exciting festivals and you’ll have the opportunity to gain hands-on industry experience, both here and further afield.

You will:

  • Develop a sustainable approach to management in the globally expanding festival industry
  • Take part in a range of live projects and micro-placements to develop real world skills and attributes that you can take forward directly into your career
  • Spend time working on live briefs at the Eden Project, a leading UK venue and host of the Eden Sessions
  • Study on a course that’s accredited by both A Greener Future and Attitude is Everything
  • Explore the moral and political pressures of festivals and how to manage these sustainably 
  • Develop an understanding of the importance of accessibility and inclusivity when designing high quality festival experiences
  • Benefit from the expertise of specialist staff with music, events, hospitality, technical and entrepreneurial backgrounds

This degree is accredited by A Greener Future and Attitude is Everything; two organisations championing sustainability and inclusivity in live events.

Eden Learning, Attitude is Everything and A Greener Festival logos

The placement year pathway for this course is new for entry year 2023 and is subject to validation.

Course details

On this Sustainable Festival Management degree, you'll have the opportunity to gain a BA(Hons) degree over three years or study Sustainable Festival Management BA(Hons) with a placement year option.

Focusing on sustainable management and leadership, you’ll design, organise and deliver multiple live events over the duration of the course. You’ll develop sector-specific knowledge and transferable skills in areas like finance, law, marketing and project management. 

We’ll use real-world scenarios to build your problem-solving and cooperative learning skills, helping you take action in a group and as a leader.

You’ll gain a firm understanding of how the events and festival industry can impact communities, economies and the environment. You’ll explore innovative and sustainable approaches to festival event management, while developing core skills in problem solving, marketing, teamwork and negotiation. 


Marketing & Digital Media

Whether you’re marketing a major global event or a small community-based fundraising experience, you’ll need to understand your customer and communicate your value proposition accordingly.    

In this module, you’ll learn about experiential marketing and how to make an impact, explore marketing techniques such as the use of social media influencers, user-generated content and second screen advertising.

Contemporary Event & Festival Impacts

Considering both mainstream and niche sectors, you’ll explore the diversity of the industry. You’ll also examine the impact events can have on environments, economies and communities, and identify best practices for responsible event and festival management.  

Working in small collaborative teams, you’ll have the opportunity to focus on a particular event/festival, or an area of the events and festivals industry, and its related impacts. There will also be the opportunity to delve into your specialist area of interest and consider impacts within a broad ethical framework.

Wellbeing in Experience Management

Looking at how wellbeing is connected to experience management and wider aspects of customer satisfaction, you’ll explore ways to develop wellbeing as a customer offer while addressing its importance within an organisation. Crucially, you’ll explore the value of wellbeing for your own personal and professional development through a micro-placement opportunity. 

Creative Innovation in Experience Management

You’ll explore a range of innovations including the use of virtual reality and artificial intelligence, Blockchain, naturescaping, social infrastructure projects, passive energy systems and the development of the sharing economy. You’ll also gain valuable skills such as communication, persuasion and negotiation that are essential in industry.

Live Student Event Project

A high-quality event can be the most enjoyable and ‘real’ experience that an individual can take part in. In this module, you’ll learn how to design captivating events for a range of audience segments. You’ll work with a small team of colleagues to deliver an innovative event based on a specific venue, interest or customer profile.

Real World Skills

You’ll explore a range of ‘real world’ skills that relate to your own professional goals and have the opportunity to take part in several technical inductions that may include health and safety, for example. There will also be opportunities to take part in a work-based learning placement.  

You’ll reflect on what you have learnt and how you have developed through a series of blog entries.

You’ll build on your knowledge of sustainability and provide innovative solutions to a real-world industry challenge. You’ll also explore legal and financial issues that relate to the festival industry. 

Through the production of a sustainability-orientated blog, you’ll develop your professional profile and engage with the wider events and festival sector. 


Legal & Financial Management in the Experience Sector

You’ll learn how to accurately analyse a range of financial materials including industry-standard financial templates such as balance sheets, profit and loss statements and cash flows. 

You’ll also get to grips with legal and regulatory considerations such as data protection, equality and diversity, health and safety, consumer protection and workplace legislation.

Live Sustainability Challenge

In this module, you’ll develop an understanding of how to generate meaningful intelligence from audience data. In order to better understand audience motivations, expectations and experiences, you’ll learn to collect and interpret relevant data.

You’ll also undertake a micro-placement to further your understanding of the real-world sustainability challenges that face experience sector organisations.

Team Learning & Performance 

In this module, you’ll take part in a micro-placement and complete a review of your own team working skills, assessing how you contribute to overall team performance. You’ll also reflect on the practices of others and produce a development plan to help you enhance your professional growth.

Live Public Event Project

In this module, you’ll work in a small collaborative team to devise and deliver an innovative public event that fits the local community landscape. You’ll examine key aspects of the operational and strategic management of a public event and apply relevant processes through a live public event project. 

This could also be an opportunity to add some social value to the local community and/or perhaps work with a local business. You’ll assess technical resource and venue management, develop your ability to procure support services and enhance your customer and venue/site logistics. You’ll also test your skills to both write and critique event plans. 

Demonstrating Sustainability

In this module, you’ll explore the theory and practice of ‘experience impact’. Investigating the huge benefits that experiences can bring, as well as the, sometimes, devastating effects of unsustainable practice, you’ll analyse a range of impacts and learn to develop a holistic view of experience activities.  

You’ll select a particular sustainability related issue that you’re passionate about and discuss this within a blog format. You’ll also utilise examples of best practice to inform and justify proposals designed to address the issue that you have identified. 

You can choose to take an optional placement year after your second year on a three-year programme, or after your third year if you’re studying for a degree with an Integrated Foundation Year. 

You’ll be responsible for finding your own placement, with support from the RealWORKS employability team. 

Choosing this option will enhance your industry experience and skills while studying. 

How you’ll study during your placement year 

You’ll spend time working in a professional context, as part of a business or organisation. This can be in one role, or up to three, and must be for a minimum of 24 weeks. 

You’ll develop in-demand workplace skills, deepen your insight into industry and grow your network of contacts, all of which could help you get ahead in your career after graduation. 

Throughout this year, you’ll develop a portfolio of work that includes critical self-reflection on what has been learned from the experience. You’ll be required to evidence your experiences, the skills you’ve learned and your professional growth. 

Developing your peer and self-evaluation skills, you’ll consider leadership, crisis management and sustainability in the festival industry. Using audience insights, you’ll deliver a live team project and gain real industry experience through a micro-placement to help launch your career.

By the end of your final year, you’ll have the confidence and skills to develop a business plan.


Crisis Management for Festivals & Events

Here, you’ll develop your ability to deal with complex crisis situations. Working in a realistic multidisciplinary team, you’ll experience a live crisis scenario and will be assessed on your ability to respond to and evaluate it. Throughout the experience, you’ll consider crowd management, venue and site management and attendee behaviour. 

Festival Innovation Project

In this module, you’ll complete a market audit of an area of the festival industry that interests you. You’ll then design and plan the introduction of an innovative, sustainable and inclusive product or service to launch into that market.  

Through the completion of a business plan, you’ll communicate both your innovative concept and its key financial, marketing and operational information as well as the value of your innovation – either as a commercial venture, using an ROI metric or with social, cultural or ecological benefits in mind.

Creative & Ethical Leadership

In this module, you’ll further develop your industry experience through the completion of a micro-placement. You’ll also continue to develop your understanding of creative and ethical leadership and build a portfolio to showcase the range of experiences and attributes that you have developed throughout the course.

Personal Research Project

In the form of an extended research project, you’ll address the important aspects of a topic of your choice, giving you the opportunity to contribute to the theoretical and applied landscape within your field of interest. 

You’ll also be supported by a research project supervisor, who’ll be there to guide you through the research process and act as a sounding board for your thoughts, ideas and approaches.

Live Sustainable Festival Project

In this module, you’ll work in teams to research, design, execute and evaluate a live festival. Through negotiation, you’ll propose and agree a suitable festival focus, type and approach, which you’ll then develop and deliver.    

You’ll also develop your skills and knowledge of setting and measuring objectives, festival plan writing, diversity and accessibility, crowd management, evaluating festival quality, evaluating impacts and legacy, and critically reflecting on the role of other stakeholders. Considering sustainability and ethics, you’ll also be expected to manage contracts, licensing applications and budgetary aspects of the detailed planning process.

The modules above are those being studied by our students, or proposed new ones. Programme structures and modules can change as part of our curriculum enhancement and review processes. If a certain module is important to you, please discuss it with the Course Leader.

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How you'll learn

As part of this Sustainable Festival Management degree, you’ll build your skills through peer presentations, problem-solving and collaborative team activities. On top of field trips, tutorials and study groups, there’ll be opportunities to see guest speakers and take part in live projects and micro-placements to gain real industry experience. You’ll also use independent study time to cement your learning, reflect on your experiences, seek out new knowledge and complete your assignments.

At Falmouth, we use a 'digitally enhanced learning & teaching' approach. Your experience will always be predominantly in-person, including seminars, tutorials and studio teaching, with some, more targeted elements, being online either live (synchronous) or pre-recorded (asynchronous). You can read more here.

How you'll be assessed

100% of your assessment will be coursework. 

Assessment methods

  • Practical assessments include crisis management simulation, discussions and team meetings, digital and industry panel presentations and organising your own events. 
  • Coursework assignments, with no formal written examinations. 
  • Continuous assessment through visual, verbal and written assignments. 


You’ll be taught by a team of highly regarded academics who have experience of both working at festivals and contributing to academic and industry debates about their future. Our staff specialise in a range of areas within the festival and events industry – from food and hospitality to wellbeing, arts and music events.

Some members of staff only teach on specific modules, and your course might not feature every staff member who teaches on the course.

Paul Russell

Course Leader - Sustainable Tourism Management and Sustainable Festival Management

Paul Russell started his career in the hospitality, tourism and events sectors after achieving under...

Paul Russell

Dr Donna Poade

Senior Lecturer in Experience Design (Tourism)

Donna is Senior Lecturer in Experience Design (Tourism) at Cornwall Business School and joined in Au...

Dr Donna Poade

Adrian Bossey

Head of Business & Experience Design

Adrian Bossey is Head of Subject at the Cornwall Business School, Falmouth University and a former a...

Adrian Bossey

Natalie Semley

Lecturer in Sustainable Tourism Management

Growing up in a traditional seaside resort on the North coast of Cornwall, Natalie Semley has a deta...

Natalie Semley

Helen Worthington

Senior Lecturer, Experience Design, Cornwall Business School

Helen Worthington is a Senior Lecturer at Falmouth University, having joined the Cultural Management...

Helen Worthington
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  • Lecture theatres
  • Seminar rooms
  • Group working base room
  • Subject librarian
  • Libraries housing a collection of books and electronic and journal resources
  • Industry-recognised Box Office ticketing system
  • Professional design and prototyping tools
  • IT suites and software packages
  • Excellent media facilities for producing promotional material and audio-visual content


Take a virtual tour

Eden Sessions concert
Eden Sessions Concert


As a graduate you could become:

  • Festival or Events Manager
  • Operations Manager
  • Digital Marketing Officer
  • Social Media Manager
  • Vendor
  • Artist Liaison
  • Talent Booker
  • Volunteer Coordinator
  • Sponsorship Manager

How to apply

Apply via UCAS

Ready to join us? You can apply through UCAS. You'll need to reference the course and University code (F33).

Apply now

Applying as an international student? 

International students can apply for a course through UCAS, via an agent or directly with the university. For more information about how to apply as an international student, visit our international applications page.

International applications

Course route UCAS code
Sustainable Festival Management BA(Hons) three year degree N822
Sustainable Festival Management BA(Hons) with placement year PY52

All applications are considered on their individual merit and we welcome applications from all subject backgrounds including science, technology, engineering, mathematics, the arts or humanities.

Course route Entry requirements
BA/BSc(Hons) three year degree 104 – 120 UCAS Tariff points
BA/BSc(Hons) with placement year 104 – 120 UCAS Tariff points

Check the title of your course to see if it's a BA or BSc award. UCAS Tariff points will primarily be from Level 3 qualifications such as but not limited to A-levels, T Levels, a BTEC/UAL Extended Diploma or a Foundation Diploma.

Check how many points your qualifications are worth

For applicants whose first language is English we require you to have or be working towards GCSE English Language Grade 4 (C), or equivalent. 

If English is not your first language you will need to meet the same standard which is equivalent to the IELTS Academic 6.0 overall score, with at least 5.5 in Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening. We accept a range of in country equivalencies and approved tests.  

If you need a student visa to study in the UK, you may need to take a recognised language test. You can read our English Language Requirements for more information.

For starting your studies in 2023

UK applications: 25 January 2023 (for equal consideration)

Applications after the 25 January will be considered on a first-come, first-served as long as there are places available. Apply for this course now.

International fee payers

International fee payers can apply throughout the year. But we recommend applying as early as possible, to make time for visa and travel arrangements.

Fees, costs & funding

Tuition fees

Annual tuition fee Student
£9,250 per year Full-time UK
£17,460 per year Full-time EU/international
Annual tuition fee Student
£9,250 per year Full-time UK
£17,460 per year Full-time EU/international
£1,850 per placement year Full-Time UK and EU/international

Tuition fees are set annually and are subject to review each year. The University may therefore raise tuition fees in the second or subsequent years of a course, in line with inflation and/or the maximum permitted by law or Government policy. Students will be notified of any changes as soon as possible. 

The figures above don't include accommodation and living costs

Typical course costs

The Sustainable Festival Management course includes a number of destination visits and live industry projects – all of which are included within the course fees. You will be required to pay for your own food, drink and refreshments during visits, and fund any free time activities that you may choose to engage in. 

If you need to bring equipment or materials with you, these will be outlined in your Welcome Letter.

Ask a student

What better way to find out about life at Falmouth University than by asking our current students?

From course details and academic support, to the social scene and settling in, our students are ready and available to answer any questions you might have. Simply set up your account, send them a question and they'll get back to you within 24 hours.

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