MSc Business Event Management

Postgraduate, Full-Time

Learn the strategies behind running business events, then put your skills to the test with placements at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre

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Course introduction

Want to be part of a new, innovative programme focusing on the highly lucrative sector of Business Events? Have the opportunity to study in the uniquely inspirational setting of Edinburgh, known for its associations with innovation, creativity, discovery and progress and where the annual economic value of Edinburgh’s business tourism is estimated to be in excess of £300 million. Delivered in partnership with the award winning Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC) the programme will give you the opportunity to combine practical and theoretical skills and gain a real insight into working in this dynamic sector.



This programme aims to develop your interest in and knowledge and understanding of the Business Events industry. You will study modules that are specifically focused on elements of the management of Business Events (such as Business Skills and Sustainable Conference Management), more generic management modules (such as Tourism Marketing and Experience Design), and modules focused on research (such as Research Methods and the Dissertation). 

In the second semester you will undertake a three week placement at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre. During the placement you will spend time in all seven operational areas of the centre and work alongside departmental managers to get a managerial perspective of the organisation. You will be able to choose to spend more time in the area that interests you the most in order to get an in-depth understanding, and you will get the opportunity to meet and understand the CEO's remit in running the organisation. 

If you would like, you can also return to the EICC during your research project to undertake primary data collection. 

Semester 1

International Business Event Management

Business events play a significant role in generating tourism revenue for destination, and in this module we'll teach you about the major stakeholders in the business event industry, and how they interact with one another. Issues of supply and demand will be examined, and an analysis of the impact made by business events on their chosen destination. We will make visits to event venues and hear from industry guest speakers. This will help you to connect the theory you're learning to practice. 

Business Skills for Event Managers in the Tourism Industry

Here we'll look at the various issues involved in the planning, development and management of those events specifically designed for the tourism industry. We'll examine the people skills, quality issues, employment contracts and other human resource development concerns that need to be taken into account by events managers and organisers within the tourism industry; we'll cover budgeting and financing events, and the logistical issues such as crowd control, venue selection, staging and lighting which must be addressed in event management for tourism. We'll also explore the various aspects of risk management for events designed for tourism, specifically the financial, legal and ethical safeguards required.

Sustainable Conferences and Events

Here we will evaluate the importance of sustainability to conferences and business events. Business Events are worth £1.9 billion to the Scottish economy, according to 2013 research commissioned by the Meeting Professional International Federation, and are a valuable source of employment and image generation for the destination. We'll study the many reasons to incorporate sustainable practices into conferences and events, including saving costs and resources, protecting the environment, improving social issues, doing business more efficiently and effectively and attracting new audiences. 

Semester 2

Research Methods

This module will prepare you for your dissertation. We'll look at research methodologies, critically reviewing appropriate literature, research design and ethics, sampling, data collection methods (qualitative, quantitative and mixed), analysis methods, research writing and dissemination. 

Experience Design and Management for Tourism, Hospitality and Events

The module will allow you to build work-based skills in tourism, hospitality and/or event management. It will give you a critical understanding of how the core elements of tourism, hospitality and events contribute to their effective and coherent design; and how consumer experiences can be managed. The module opens with an introduction to key design and experience theories and concepts such as: the experience economy; service encounters; experiencescapes; the tourist gaze; co-creation; and symbolic interactionism. 

Professional Practice - Edinburgh International Conference Centre

This module will enable you to apply your knowledge and skills to professional practice and to critically evaluate a selection of operational aspects of the industry, and therefore gain a competitive edge and develop your potential when seeking graduate employment. The module relates academic theory to the workplace and demonstrates this through critical evaluation in assessments. It will develop your ability to critically evaluate learning in a work based environment, as well as an operational aspect of the industry. This module helps to develop the skills that are necessary for successful postgraduates in the 21st Century and thereafter as part of their continuing professional development.

Tourism Marketing

Here we will introduce you to the concept of the marketing of tourism products and destinations. We will examine hospitality and events marketing and destination image and branding. The module further examines semiotics of promotional materials and marketing research, planning and audits. The focus of this module is very much on consumers and consumption in tourism and identifies and discusses marketing communication strategies: from brochure to the web. The module also encourages the creation of strategic marketing plans and discusses popular media and digital marketing.

Semester 3

Dissertation

You will be able to select a topic of your choice to study in-depth. Throughout the project you will critically review relevant literature, formulate a research problem and select a suitable approach to the study of that problem, collect appropriate data, analyse that data and construct conclusions, communicate research by producing a dissertation and critically reflect on the work of the dissertation in a wider context. 


Study modules mentioned above are indicative only. Some changes may occur between now and the time that you study.

Full information on this is available in our disclaimer.

You will have a variety of opportunities to pursue on graduation including:

Corporate Event Planner

Meetings Planner

Conference and Exhibition Organiser

Business Event Manager

Incentive Travel Planner

Corporate Sales Manager

Graduates could also work for a Destination Marketing Organisation; Meetings Planner; Professional Conference Organiser; Conference and Exhibition Centre; National/Regional Tourism Organisation; Hotel and Visitor Attraction.



The entry requirement for this course is a Bachelor (Honours) Degree at 2:2 or above.  We look for applicants to have a background in any discipline in order to be eligible for the programme.

We may also consider lesser qualifications if you have sufficient relevant work experience within the industry.

English language requirements 

 
If your first language isn't English, you'll normally need to undertake an approved English language test and our minimum English language requirements will apply. 

This may not apply if you have completed all your school qualifications in English, or your undergraduate degree was taught and examined in English (within two years of starting your postgraduate course). Check our country pages to find out if this applies to you.



Our entry requirements indicate the minimum qualifications with which we normally accept students. Competition for places varies from year to year and you aren't guaranteed a place if you meet the minimum qualifications.

International students

If your qualifications aren't listed above, visit our country pages to get entry requirements for your country.

Please note that non-EU international students are unable to enrol onto the following courses:

BN Nursing/MN Nursing (Adult, Child, Mental Health or Learning Disability)

BM Midwifery/MM Midwifery

Admissions policies

We are committed to being as accessible as possible to anyone who wants to achieve higher education.

Our admissions policies will help you understand our admissions procedures and how decisions are made.


Tuition fees
Students from 2017/18 2018/19
Home/EU £8,466 tba
Overseas £14,620 tba
This course comprises of 180 credits from taught modules and a dissertation. The total fee you will pay is dependant upon the exit award you wish to achieve.

Modules that you will study as part of this course*

Business Skills for Events Management in the Tourism Industry ( TSM11101 )

The module covers the various issues involved in the planning, development and management of those events specifically designed for the tourism industry. Specifically, the module considers the sources of funding, budgetary and other financial issues associated with planning and managing an event for tourism; it examines the people skills, quality issues, employment contracts and other human resource development concerns that need to be taken into account by events managers and organisers within the tourism industry; it addresses logistical issues such as crowd control, venue selection, staging and lighting which must be addressed in event management for tourism; it considers the various aspects of risk management for events designed for tourism, specifically the financial, legal and ethical safeguards required.

Further information

Dissertation ( TSM11130 )

Research methodologies, critically reviewing literature, research design and ethics, data collection methods (qualitative, quantitative and mixed), analysis methods, research writing and dissemination. Individual research, production of a dissertation, reflection on work undertaken.

Further information

Experience Design and Management for Tourism, Hospitality and Events ( TSM11114 )

This module involves applying theoretical perspectives to develop skills and techniques in tourism, hospitality or events. The module allows students to build work-based skills in tourism, hospitality and/or event management that are underpinned with relevant theory. It facilitates a critical understanding of how the core elements of tourism, hospitality and events contribute to their effective and coherent design; and how consumer experiences can be managed. The module opens with an introduction to key design and experience theories and concepts such as: the experience economy; service encounters; experiencescapes; the tourist gaze; co-creation; and symbolic interactionism. The application of these to tourism, hospitality and events is then considered. Concurrently, students examine key management functions and consider these in the context of specific tourism, hospitality or events in an authentic experiential setting. Particular attention is paid to manager and critical consumer perspectives in specific tourism, hospitality and event design settings. There are two assessment components. Assessment 1 has two elements. Element 1 requires students to draw upon theories discussed in the module to respond collaboratively to an experience design brief by producing and presenting a proposed tourism, hospitality or event experience in the form of a group oral presentation. The second element of Assessment 1 requires students to write a reflective and evaluative essay. Assessment 2 requires students to consume a selected tourism, hospitality or event experience in real time, then to critically review and evaluate the design and management of that experience in the form of either a written or online portfolio.

Further information

International Business Event Management ( TSM11113 )

The meetings industry is of huge global economic importance (Davidson and Cope, 2003). Business events play a significant role in generating tourism revenue for destinations, thus contributing towards economic prosperity. In this module, you will learn about the major stakeholders in the business event industry, and how they interact with one another. You will examine issues of supply and demand at all levels, and analyse the impact made by business events on their chosen destination. You will be taken on visits to event venues, and will hear guest speakers from industry. This will enable you to connect the theory to the practice. The module contains the following topics: the business events industry in context; buyers, suppliers and intermediaries; supply and demand characteristics of the industry; the external environment; event planning (buyer and supplier perspectives); impacts of business events and venues; current trends and future issues.

Further information

Professional Practice ( TSM11118 )

This module will cover the following contents: • Applied research approaches within event management, and assessment of scope and limitation • Information searches (Edinburgh Napier Library) • Inquiry based learning / critical enquiry • Formulation of a feasible and valid work-related project design, including ethical, sampling and reliability evaluation • Consultancy and project management skills • Implementation planning • Evidencing organisation impact • Personal reflection This module will enable you to apply your knowledge and skills to professional practice and to critically evaluate a selection of operational aspects of the industry, and therefore gain a competitive edge and develop your potential when seeking graduate employment. You will relate academic theory to the workplace and demonstrate this through critical evaluation in assessments. You will develop your ability to critically evaluate your learning in a work based environment, as well as an operational aspect of the industry. This module helps you to develop the skills that are necessary for successful postgraduates in the 21st Century and thereafter as part of your continuing professional development.

Further information

Research Methods ( SOE11131 )

Research methodologies, critically reviewing literature, research design and ethics, data collection methods (qualitative, quantitative and mixed), analysis methods, research writing and dissemination.

Further information

Sustainable Conferences and Events ( TSM11119 )

12. Module Content This module will cover the following content: • Introduction to, and definition of, sustainable conferences and business events • Internal and external environment for, and impacts on, sustainability • Identification, and effectiveness of, key sustainable practices available to the conference and business events industry • Examination and evaluation of the sustainable supplier value chain • Standards and Accreditation systems for promoting sustainable conferences and business events • Stakeholder and attendee engagement with sustainability • Development of sustainability policy, measurement and evaluation • Challenges and opportunities of creating sustainable legacies from conferences and business events. This module will evaluate the importance of sustainability to conferences and business events. Business Events are worth £1.9 billion to the Scottish economy, according to 2013 research commissioned by the Meeting Professional International Federation, and are a valuable source of employment and image generation for the destination. This module explores sustainable management in the conference and business event industries. The many reasons to incorporate sustainable practices into conferences and events, including saving costs and resources, protecting the environment, improving social issues, doing business more efficiently and effectively and attracting new audiences, will be examined and explored further. The module will enable students to critically evaluate a selection of operational aspects involved in delivering sustainability to the conference and business events industry, enabling them to gain a competitive edge and develop student potential when seeking graduate employment. Current academic theory around sustainable practices, policy and accreditation will be evaluated and demonstrated through critical evaluation in assessments.

Further information

Tourism Marketing ( TSM11108 )

Introduction to marketing concepts Marketing tourism products and destinations Hospitality and Events marketing Destination image and branding Semiotics of promotional materials Marketing research, planning and audits Consumers and consumption in tourism Marketing communication strategies: from brochure to the web Creating strategic marketing plans Popular media and digital marketing

Further information

* These are indicative only and reflect the course structure in the current academic year. Some changes may occur between now and the time that you study.

MSc Business Events