Whether running conferences and exhibitions, organising music festivals or overseeing weddings and parties, the events manager needs a vast array of skills and knowledge. Our two-year foundation degree will help set you apart as an innovative and confident professional, ready to make your name in this action-packed industry.
Making your career the main event
With its emphasis on ‘learning by doing’ and strong input from employers, our FdA Event Management is your entrance ticket to an exhilarating career. It equips you for leading roles in an industry which is now worth £42.3 billion in the UK alone, accounts for 35% of the visitor economy and supports 570,000 jobs.
We help you build the full repertoire of skills to plan, design, manage, promote and deliver events for a wide range of clients and consumers. The course covers all the essential aspects of event management, including human resources, marketing, finance, legislation and the groundbreaking new technologies which are transforming the industry today.
At the same time, you will develop your practical abilities in multi-tasking, project management, leadership, networking and negotiation.
Real world learning in a real events venue
For the aspiring events manager, our Devonshire Dome is the perfect classroom. At the heart of our Buxton Campus, this striking grade II* listed building is already a renowned events venue. As part of your studies, you will help strengthen its reputation further still.
You will get involved with the many prestige events taking place at the Dome. Banquets, weddings, conferences, exhibitions, parties, fairs, boxing matches: all have benefited from the vision and ingenuity of our students.
Our location on the edge of the Peak District National Park also guarantees a stimulating learning experience. With over 10 million visitors flocking to the area each year and Buxton’s growing status as a world-class festival town, you cannot fail to find inspirational case studies close at hand.
Thrilling placement opportunities
Work placements are a cornerstone of the FdA Event Management. You will spend at least eight weeks building your professional skills in the workplace.
We support you to find the ideal placement opportunity. In the past our students have seized the chance to work at music festivals such as Glastonbury, V, Y Not and Download as well as cultural attractions including Derby Book Festival, Buxton Festival and London Fashion Week.
From agricultural shows to food festivals, fireworks extravaganzas to fundraising galas, the list of opportunities is endless. Thanks to our international partnerships, you could even take the chance to head to destinations like Disney resorts in the USA for a placement.
Events that make an impression
You will be challenged to deliver imaginative events for a wide variety of audiences. Our students have brought their verve and know-how to University occasions ranging from the Buxton Christmas Party to a ‘Debate under the Dome’.
They also ran our 2017 Events and Hospitality Conference on future trends in the profession, featuring guest speakers representing the music and wedding industries as well as event technology experts.
You can put your research skills to good use too. Our students have been working as consultants with the commercial team at the Devonshire Dome to develop new business plans for maximising use of the University’s estate.
An extra dimension for your studies
We offer a lively, varied programme of fieldtrips. Our students regularly visit local hotels, meeting events managers to discuss their experiences and roles. Other destinations have included Buxton Opera House, Chatsworth Christmas Market and Ashbourne’s Royal Shrovetide Football match.
Residential fieldtrips are included in your course fees at each stage of your studies. Latest opportunities saw our students travel to Berlin for tours and talks at venues including the Velodrom and the Gehry-designed AXICA forum. Another highlight was a visit to the Leamington Spa Museum and the Showman’s Show – a major outdoor events exhibition – at Newbury.
Network your way to success
A full contacts book is a vital part of the event manager’s toolkit. We will introduce you to some of the key players within the industry along with representatives from the leading professional bodies.
Our links span major names such as Capita, Zibrant, Showsec and Flair Event Staffing and Management.These pave the way to placement opportunities, employer-led projects, illuminating guest lectures and masterclasses on subjects including PR and digital marketing. Our latest programme of talks spotlighted the running of festivals like Wicked, Wild Rumpus and Bearded Theory.
An equally important date on our calendar is the annual Industry Networking Day where you can meet with employers who help shape the continuing development of our courses.
Strong professional partnerships
We work closely with a range of professional bodies such as the Institute of Hospitality, the Meetings Industry Association, the Association of Event Management Education, the National Outdoor Event Association and the Association of Festival Organisers.
This means you will benefit from additional resources and further opportunities to attend national conferences, networking events and guest lectures, enhancing your potential for rapid career development.
When you join us, you will also become a member of hosco, the world’s leading hospitality network offering access to some 30,000 graduate roles, internships and work experience opportunities from over 1,500 employers.
In addition, you can study extra professional qualifications alongside your degree, including a First Aid Certificate.
The FdA Event Management balances academic knowledge with the realities of the workplace. Throughout your studies, you will be engaged in planning, managing and evaluating events. You will also gain a solid foundation of supervisory and managerial skills.
We help you develop a broad-based knowledge of your subject through lectures, seminars, workshops, guided study and applied practice sessions.
You will spend at least eight weeks on work placement or the equivalent as a compulsory element of the programme. Our dedicated and well connected placement team will help you find just the right position to match your career aspirations and professional interests.
Other aspects of work-related learning include guest speakers, conferences, industry days, networking events, competitions, challenges and employer-led industry projects.
You will be taught by an enthusiastic and energetic team with experience of working on a broad spectrum of events from festivals, concerts and sports fixtures to conferences and corporate hospitality. Their expertise spans everything from event safety and legislation to e-marketing and reputation management.
Staff have strong links across the industry and with the leading professional bodies, presenting regularly at high-profile conferences. Ongoing research projects include an investigation into the rise of event portfolios, where cities around the world host large-scale events to promote their competitive identity.
Our class sizes are small, which means you will learn in a welcoming and supportive atmosphere: there is no danger of being lost in the crowd. Our staff are approachable, taking the time to get to know you and to help you shape your career ambitions.
Your programme leader
Leanne Drennan joined the University in 2013 and leads a number of modules covering everything from event feasibility and logistics to event project management operations. She is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
The assessment methods we use include:
- oral presentations and pitches
- models and mood boards
- written tests
- research proposals and projects
- practical running of events and event portfolios
- reflective essays
- experience portfolios
- annotated bibliographies
- self-audit tools
- business plans
As a graduate of the FdA Event Management, you can pursue a variety of careers in this diverse and rapidly growing industry. There is a wide range of opportunities within commercial, not-for-profit and public sector organisations anywhere in the world.
As well as managing and co-ordinating events, you could consider roles in fields such as project management, marketing and promotions, public relations, sponsorship, fundraising and consultancy.
Some of our recent Event Management graduates have gone on to successful careers in roles ranging from wedding planner to site management consultant, conference co-ordinator to nightclub manager.
Top up your qualification
The FdA provides a firm foundation for you to gain an honours degree with one additional year of study. Providing you achieve a merit or distinction profile on the foundation degree, you can ‘top up’ your qualification by joining the final stage of our BA (Hons) Event Management.
Ongoing careers support
We’re committed to improving your employability at every stage of your studies. Our teaching staff join forces with the Careers and Employment Service to deliver workshops on subjects such as networking, CV writing and effective use of social media.
The support continues once you’ve graduated too: you are entitled to further help and guidance for up to three years after leaving the University. This includes signposting towards internships which you can undertake on completion of your degree and which often lead to job offers.
You can also take full advantage of the hosco careers network to discover opportunities and share good practice with other professionals.
† Additional information about your studies
Download programme specification
Like most universities, we operate extended teaching hours at the University of Derby, so contact time with your lecturers and tutors could be anytime between 9am and 9pm. Your timetable will usually be available on the website 24 hours after enrolment on to your course.
Please note: Our courses are refreshed and updated on a regular basis. If you are thinking about transferring onto this course (into the second year for example), you should contact the programme leader for the relevant course information as modules may vary from those shown on this page.