How to become an Event Manager: WHAT UNIVERSITY?

The last post of ‘How to…’ was a basic introduction to Events. This post however is all about University and whether it is what you should do. This was originally written on BlogByKobrak on the 12th January 2011 but has been updated to reflect on the increase in tuition fees and personal experiences. 

What I have learnt most through studying Event Management is that there is a lot to do and to take into account, when being an events planner, little things have to be done before you can move onto the next step.  In fact most of event management is the planning stage of the event rather than the operations  so forget meeting celebrities at the festivals and instead concentrate on the office and phone calls to countless different people. 

If you are thinking of studying event management at University or college, well firstly CONGRATULATIONS for knowing what you want to do and for picking such a brilliant industry! 
But onto the serious stuff, are you ready to embrace the weird hours and the ‘high’ seasons? Because this isn’t a 9 to 5 job, in fact it is anything other than that, for one of my jobs I was working 15 hours a day!

There are a lot more universities offering Event Management as a degree, either on it’s own or as a join course, It is still a new industry that is still finding its feet so experience is vital for when you graduate, and it might be better to look at universities offering a more practical course! 

Where should you apply to do event management?

This is a very important question and really in depends what you are looking for. I would firstly recommend one that offers a sandwich course (usually 4 years), because this gives you a years work placement working in the industry, which not only does it provides you with great contacts but a great opportunity to develop your skills. 


I am at the University of Gloucestershire therefore I have to suggest it as a place to study. It is a very practical course, which I think is great as Event management is a practical job, therefore it makes less sense to take lots of exams that test your ability to remember and not you ability to do. 
This University is based in and around Cheltenham and split into three campuses, Cheltenham has a lot of festivals such as the Cheltenham Literary Festival, the Gold Cup festival and Greenbelt festival.  There are countless events that happen throughout the year in Cheltenham and Gloucestershire which makes it a great place to gain experience through volunteering and internships to keep your CV updated with relevant experience in the event industry. 


I thought that Bournemouth University had a fantastic event course, & I know a few people who study here and they really love the location and find the teaching on their courses to be first rate. For obvious reasons I am unable to comment on the course but when I went to the open day they were very passionate about what they were teaching and the lecturers had a lot of experience in the industry,  they were keen on getting their students out doing work experience which is a major aspect to consider when applying to Uni.


Buckinghamshire New University was another one that I really likes, maybe not one of the most highly recognised Universities but the course is very practical. However you cannot just do event management you have to specialise in one of three different areas: Event and Festival Management,Corporate Events and Conference ManagementMusic and Live Event Management . This means that you need to know what area you want to work in before you take the course. The Uni is based in High Wycombe and isn’t to far from London which makes it a good location & one of my favourite things about this university was the fact you could do extra courses to add to your CV. 


The University of Greenwich is also a good university, however their course is much more buisness related and has a lot more exams and essays than the three above. Thats not to say it isn’t very practical, London is a fantastic place to be an Event Management student as there are a lot of companies based here and there are always events being held. Imagine being able to help at the 2012 Olympics or get to attend events at Earls Court. I’m lucky as I live just outside London and for me it is easy to travel in from home therefore I didn’t want to study so close to where I live.

I would say that picking a University isn’t easy or a quick process, especially now that tuiton fees have increased so dramatically. I only pay £3,000 (isn) per year and I doubt I would have gone if I had to pay £8,000. I hope that there is an increase of businesses that start to offer internships and training programmes for people who decide university isn’t for them.

Another piece of advice is don’t pay to much attention to the Times university list on where each university sits in the leader board, they are peoples personal opinions – instead go to lots of open days and hear each university talk about their course and what it offers you. Think of what YOU are LOOKING FOR, do you want lectures who have a lot of practical experience, a location that holds plenty of events for you to get involved in or somewhere that teaches you the practical skills?

It helps to talk to students who are currently at the university and studying the course as they will give you an honest opinion. UCAS tell you ALL of the universitys that provide Event Management courses.


If you have any questions please either leave a comment below or send me a tweet @Imdamnstudent @blogbykobrak

  • Carina William

    Hi, I am Carina and I also had a hard time finding a good event management course.
    If you are looking for an overview of all events courses in the UK, please check out my website:

  • valeria

    Hi, what do you think about the University of West London in Bristol?

  • Hi Valeria, I’ve not actually been to that uni & sadly I don’t know many people who have studied or are studying there. However if you are trying to decided on which uni to pick my advice would be to think about the location, course (speak to students who are studying there now), distance from where you family are & if there are opportunities to gain good work experience. I hope this helps & good luck 🙂