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Cultural and Creative Industries (MA)

  • Duration: 1 year
  • Mode: Full time

Start date

Open day

Find out more about studying here as a postgraduate at our next Open Day.

Why study this course

Reflecting contemporary knowledge, theory, practice and research around the creative industries this programme will help you develop the skills needed to meet the challenges of this exciting sector.


Creative networking

Through our partnership with Creative Cardiff you'll have access to the city’s biggest professional network of creative businesses.


Research excellence

You'll study in one of the UK’s leading schools for cultural studies research, ranked 2nd in the UK


Cardiff central

You’ll be based in the heart of Cardiff’s vibrant media quarter in a purpose-built facility adjacent to the new BBC Cymru/Wales building.


Industry placement

A placement opportunity in Cardiff’s vibrant creative sector will equip you with both professional skills and valuable work experience.

Supported by leading-edge research and professional practice, the MA Creative and Cultural Industries offers a balance of theory and professional study.

We provide you with conceptual knowledge and professional skills that will enable you to identify emerging areas of opportunity within the creative industries. You will become a flexible and reflexive practitioner with the skills and knowledge to adapt to the changing demands of the creative workplace.

You will explore the effect different political, economic, social and cultural contexts have on the way in which these industries operate, so that you can apply critical thinking to professional scenarios to further your effectiveness in your chosen career.

  • Learn how to manage media production

You will also learn about the practice and theory of digital creativity and the skills and knowledge needed to manage digital and social media in a creative context as well as exploring the innovative ways in which creative practitioners are connecting with their audiences, embracing digital, immersive and mixed media methods. 

As well as gaining valuable practical and professional skills and industry work experience, you will undertake an individual piece of research. This will act both as a critique of the current state of your chosen field of interest and as a vehicle for the development of your own professional skills appropriate to your future career ambitions.

  • Work with the creative sector

A key part of the MA Cultural and Creative Industries, and what makes this programme stand out, is its industry facing nature, including a professional placement module. We engage directly with external partners from the cultural and creative industries and make use of our home in the heart of Cardiff.

We involve creative industries businesses, organisations and practitioners at the forefront of the field in workshops, field visits and as guest lectures throughout the programme.

The programme is suitable for graduates seeking a career in the cultural or creative industries or for professionals wishing to enhance their existing knowledge and career prospects. The programme will also prepare students for doctoral research in the cultural and creative industries broadly defined.

Where you'll study

School of Journalism, Media and Culture

We provide a scholarly environment to help you acquire both the knowledge and skills needed to enter your chosen area of the media.

  • icon-chatGet in touch
  • Telephone+44(0)29 2087 4786
  • MarkerCentral Square, Cardiff, CF10 1FS

Admissions criteria

In order to be considered for an offer for this programme you will need to meet all of the entry requirements. Your application will not be progressed if the information and evidence listed is not provided.

With your online application you will need to provide:

  1. A copy of your degree certificate and transcripts which show you have achieved a 2:1 honours degree in a relevant subject area such as arts, humanities or social science disciplines, or an equivalent international degree. If your degree certificate or result is pending, please upload any interim transcripts or provisional certificates.
  2. A copy of your IELTS certificate with an overall score of 7.0 with 6.5 in all subskills, or evidence of an accepted equivalent. Please include the date of your expected test if this qualification is pending. If you have alternative acceptable evidence, such as an undergraduate degree studied in the UK, please supply this in place of an IELTS.
  3. A 300-word personal statement to outline the type of placement you would hope to secure during your studies. This should include the area of the cultural and creative industries, as defined by UNESCO and the UK Cultural Industries, you’d like to work in for your placement, and how you feel this will support your future career aspirations.

If you do not have a degree in a relevant area, your application may be considered on the basis of your professional experience. Please provide additional evidence to support your application such as signed and dated employer references.

Application Deadline

We allocate places on a first-come, first-served basis, so we recommend you apply as early as possible. Applications normally close at the end of August but may close sooner if all places are filled.

Selection process

We will review your application, including your personal statement (to assess your suitability for and understanding of the programme), and if you meet all of the entry requirements, and places are still available, we will make you an offer.

Find out more about English language requirements.

Applicants who require a Student visa to study in the UK must present an acceptable English language qualification in order to meet UKVI (UK Visas and Immigration) requirements.

Criminal convictions

You are not required to complete a DBS (Disclosure Barring Service) check or provide a Certificate of Good Conduct to study this course.

If you are currently subject to any licence condition or monitoring restriction that could affect your ability to successfully complete your studies, you will be required to disclose your criminal record. Conditions include, but are not limited to:

  • access to computers or devices that can store images
  • use of internet and communication tools/devices
  • curfews
  • freedom of movement
  • contact with people related to Cardiff University.

Course structure

The programme runs for one academic year, starting in September.
The early part of the programme provides a robust theoretical and practical grounding on cultural and creative industries theory and research via a range of core and optional taught modules. Following on from this taught stage, you will undertake a Professional Development and Placement module. Together, these modules are worth 150 credits

Subject to successful completion, you will then progress to the Professional Research Project module (30 credits), which is submitted at the end of August and which you will develop with support from your supervisor.

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2024/25 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2024.

You will study a number of core and optional modules as part of the programme that combine to give a comprehensive understanding of all aspects of the cultural and creative industries. You will gain practical industry experience via the Professional Development and Placement module during semester 2.  There will also be an opportunity to study a number of optional modules drawn from our suite of current Master’s level modules. The taught phase concludes in May/June and, subject to successful completion, you will progress to the Professional Research Project phase, through which you will develop and practice research skills relevant to your choice of subject. The Professional Research Project is submitted at the end of August. The Professional Research Project is designed to build on your placement experience and acts both as a critique of the current state of your chosen field of interest, and as a vehicle for the development of professional skills appropriate to your future career ambitions.

The University is committed to providing a wide range of module options where possible, but please be aware that whilst every effort is made to offer choice this may be limited in certain circumstances. This is due to the fact that some modules have limited numbers of places available, which are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, while others have minimum student numbers required before they will run, to ensure that an appropriate quality of education can be delivered; some modules require students to have already taken particular subjects, and others are core or required on the programme you are taking. Modules may also be limited due to timetable clashes, and although the University works to minimise disruption to choice, we advise you to seek advice from the relevant School on the module choices available.

Learning and assessment

How will I be taught?

Most modules are delivered through a mix of workshops, lectures and seminars or tutorials which complement the practical and academic elements of the programme.  To encourage collaborative learning, you will be taught in organised lecture and seminar/workshop sessions and there are ample opportunities for one-to-one tutorial and specialist support throughout the programme, both from academic staff and from industry specialists.

In lectures, you will be given an overview of a particular aspect of the module content. You will have opportunities to ask questions and be reflective in these sessions. Workshops and seminars provide you with the opportunity to practice techniques, discuss ideas, apply concepts and consolidate your understanding of the lecture topic.

In addition to timetabled classes, we invite creative industries businesses, organisations and practitioners to take part throughout the programme as guest speakers, to provide contextual, first-hand knowledge of current debates and trends and enabling you to relate the knowledge provided in class sessions to real-world examples.

In order to successfully complete the programme, you will be required to work during and outside formal teaching sessions, and to make good use of the facilities provided.

How will I be assessed?

Assessment methods vary from module to module but, across the MA programme as a whole, you can expect a mixture of coursework, essays, portfolio work, presentations, individual and group projects, and research projects.

How will I be supported?

resources are available at other libraries throughout the campus. Many journals and books are also available electronically.


The Student Advisory Service

A free, impartial, non-judgemental and confidential service on a wide range of personal, financial and academic matters is available to you.

Disability & Dyslexia Service

Confidential advice and support is provided for you if you are disabled or have a specific learning difficulty (dyslexia) or long term medical condition.

Counselling Service

The Cardiff University Counselling Service provides members of the university community with an opportunity to examine issues that prevent them from maximising their full potential and to explore options for change. The Counselling Service is confidential and free of charge. It has had international recognition as a Centre for Excellence for individual and group counselling.

The Graduate Centre

The Centre is on the 3rd floor of the Students’ Union Building in Park Place, and serves all enrolled postgraduate taught and research students at Cardiff University, offering facilities and activities specifically designed for the postgraduate community.

What skills will I practise and develop?

  • critically discuss and explain concepts, theoretical frameworks and models, both contemporary and historic, underpinning scholarship and research in the creative industries as well as the inter-disciplinary nature of this field.
  • critique contemporary issues and debates that frame discourse about the creative industries; cultural policy-making; creative work and labour and creative practice, and how and why these are evolving in both a local and global context.
  • critically appraise emerging or new models of creative practice, creative production and participation, and the ways in which different political, cultural, economic and business contexts influence these.
  • distinguish working and professional practices relevant to particular creative industry sectors and the skills required to work in a variety of contexts within these sectors.

Intellectual Skills:

On successful completion of the Programme you will be able to demonstrate the ability to:

  • engage in critical debate around the principles, theories, philosophies and practices related to the creative industries.
  • critically evaluate the appropriateness of strategies, practices, techniques and methods used for, by and within the creative industries; and within own research and practice.
  • draw upon and synthesise ideas from both professional and academic sources of knowledge and apply these to generate new and compelling insights.
  • analyse and solve complex problems or issues, dealing with these systematically and creatively, and making sound judgements in the absence of complete data.
  • consider and evaluate their own work in a reflexive manner, with reference to academic and/or professional conventions, issues and debates.

Professional Practical Skills:

On successful completion of the Programme you will be able to demonstrate:

  • Ability to select and apply appropriate techniques, methods and approaches for generating original insights relevant to the study of a wide range of practical and/or theory-informed issues in the creative industries.
  • Ability to carry out independent research and inquiry for essays, projects or creative productions involving sustained and critical enquiry.
  • Ability to apply a range of digital tools to a high level of proficiency to build a professional presence.
  • Ability to choose and utilise appropriate formats and media with which to present ideas and findings to an audience.
  • Adaptability, creativity and self-reflection in conceiving, producing and delivering projects and outputs of industry relevance using a range of platforms.
  • Originality and autonomy in tackling and solving a range of different problems.

Transferable/Key Skills:

On successful completion of the Programme you will be able to demonstrate the ability to:

  • exercise initiative and self-direction and take personal responsibility for own learning and personal development, adopting a self-reflective approach.
  • determine the scope of a task/project, and identify, schedule and appropriately manage resources required to complete the task/project on time with the flexibility to respond to changing circumstances.
  • analyse situations, solve problems and evaluate solutions (understand and interpret instructions, grasp new ideas and concepts, put forward innovative solutions), demonstrating sound critical judgement in decision making in complex and unpredictable situations.
  • deliver work to a given length, format, brief and deadline, properly referencing sources and ideas and making use, as appropriate, of a problem-solving approach
  • organise, synthesise and communicate ideas or arguments in a persuasive and effective manner.
  • work productively with others in a group or team, showing abilities at different times to set common goals; manage or coordinate task/projects as needed; listen effectively; gain the cooperation of others and negotiate.

Tuition fees for 2024 entry

Your tuition fees and how you pay them will depend on your fee status. Your fee status could be home, island or overseas.

Learn how we decide your fee status

Fees for home status

Year Tuition fee Deposit
Year one £11,700 None

Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland

If you are an EU, EEA or Swiss national, your tuition fees for 2024/25 be in line with the overseas fees for international students, unless you qualify for home fee status. UKCISA have provided information about Brexit and tuition fees.

Fees for island status

Learn more about the postgraduate fees for students from the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.

Fees for overseas status

Year Tuition fee Deposit
Year one £22,700 £2,500

More information about tuition fees and deposits, including for part-time and continuing students.

Financial support

Financial support may be available to individuals who meet certain criteria. For more information visit our funding section. Please note that these sources of financial support are limited and therefore not everyone who meets the criteria are guaranteed to receive the support.

Additional costs

Living costs

We’re based in one of the UK’s most affordable cities. Find out more about living costs in Cardiff.


Master's Scholarships

An award open to UK students intending to study one of our taught master’s degrees.

Postgraduate loans

If you are starting your master’s degree in September 2024 or later, you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan to support your study at Cardiff University.

Alumni Discount

The alumni discount is available for Cardiff University graduates who are planning to start an eligible master's in 2024/25.

Careers and placements

We recognise the majority of our students undertake postgraduate qualifications to improve their prospects in the job market. That’s why we’ve designed our MA Cultural and Creative Industries to give you the opportunity to follow a wide variety of careers in any number of cultural, creative or associated sectors.

You may want to consider work as a freelancer or start your own creative business. Other options include working within small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), or as an ‘embedded’ creative in a non-creative business. You may decide to pursue policy-making or go down an academic career path and pursue further study.


The Professional Development and Placement module offers you the opportunity to undertake a significant work experience placement within a cultural or creative business or organisation as part of your studies. All students on the programme are expected to undertake a placement.

Please note: you will source your own placement but will be supported by the School to enable you to find a suitable and beneficial placement opportunity.

You will undertake a minimum of 70 hours (or 10 days) of work experience with a creative or cultural business or partner organisation. The placement can be undertaken in various ways – a day or more across a number of weeks; a day a week and then a week block, or a two week block. Our partnership with Creative Cardiff and our developed industry links mean that we are exceptionally placed for students taking part on placements. In the unlikely event you are not able to undertake a work placement, there will be the opportunity to undertake a campus-based project.

The placement will form a valuable expression of your learning and will help you identify issues and/or questions that will then form the basis of your Professional Research Project which you will undertake in the final semester. 

Next steps


Open Day visits

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Make an enquiry

Contact us for more information about this course.


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HESA Data: Copyright Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited 2021. The Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited cannot accept responsibility for any inferences or conclusions derived by third parties from its data. Data is from the latest Graduate Outcomes Survey 2019/20, published by HESA in June 2022.