MA (Specialist Title) for Creative Industries

This innovative and dynamic MA (Specialist Title) for Creative Industries offers you the opportunity to develop key employability skills and extend your expertise in your chosen field of creative practice. Combining focused study in your chosen specialism with essential training to develop the high-level transferable skills needed for success in the commercial creative industries, this course allows you to become the master of your own career development.

Key information



Mode of Study:



12 months


The University of Bolton

Start date:


Course Details

Realise your potential
You are unique and we want to help you gain the skills and self-belief to showcase your worth and realise your potential. The University of Bolton's MA (Specialist Title) for Creative Industries course focuses on helping you learn to compete with confidence for your dream job or build your own successful business from the ground up. We’ll guide you as you gain a strategic blend of academic, analytical, creative and professional skills. As a graduate of this course, you’ll possess an impressive all-round combination of creative practice, commercial awareness and business-relevant knowledge. Overall, this course offers you the opportunity to develop projects in your specialist area of creative practice coupled with essential skills development for business and leadership that will take your CV to the next level.

Gain the skills and confidence to achieve your career ideals
The creative industries are highly competitive so we want to help you stand head and shoulders above the crowd. Throughout the programme, we’ll use tried and tested, research-informed coaching and training methods to support your development of key skills that are highly relevant to the creative industries. These will range from postgraduate-level skills in research, problem-solving, professional presentation and synthesis to interpersonal and business-relevant skills such as innovative thinking, collaboration, leadership and project management, the effective use of technology, public speaking and professionalism. Together, these will help you to develop your profile in your chosen creative industry and ensure your work reaches your desired audience.

Pursue your own creative practice
Our expert team will support you to develop your unique body of creative work, express your creative style and refine your practice. We’ll support you as you learn to design, plan and deliver projects that are as individual as you are. We’ll guide you as you set and achieve your own personal, academic and professional goals, helping you to develop and demonstrate an original and distinctive approach to your specialised creative area. We’ll work to stimulate your creative thinking and enhance your professional practice through a challenging programme of study which promotes critical self-awareness.

Strengthen your understanding of context
To use your knowledge to best effect, you need a sound understanding of context. To inform your creative practice, you’ll explore historical and contemporary concepts and theories relevant to the creative industries and artistic practice during this course. In addition, you’ll also need an in-depth understanding of the commercial and professional creative industries environment you wish to join. This course will help you identify the creative practice, employability and transferable skills you’ll need to gain entry to your chosen field and support you to develop those very skills.

Mastering your vision
You’ll have the opportunity to independently plan and deliver a professionally relevant project at master’s level. This is known as the Professional Dissertation and may take a variety of forms such as a large-scale technical or creative project that results in an online or physical exhibition, a live project working with industry or in the community, an event or a publication. For many students, this is the most exciting element of the course and the culmination of their studies. It will allow you to demonstrate the full range of your skills and knowledge and impress potential employers, clients or collaborators.

An ideal course for graduates and professionals of creative industries
This course should appeal to (but is not limited to) graduates and professionals in areas such as Animation, Art and Design, Creative Writing, Dance, Fashion, Fine Art, Games Art and Design, Graphic Design, Illustration, Media, Performance, Photography, Special and Visual Effects, Textiles and Surface Design.

Would you prefer to complete your course over a longer time? We also offer this course with a duration of 18 months full-time or 24 months part-time. For full-time study, please visit our MA (Specialist Title) for Creative Industries: Extended course search web page for details and to apply. Alternatively, for part-time study, please visit our MA (Specialist Title) for Creative Industries course search web page.

  • Dr Selva Pankaj, the author of ‘Thinking into Character – A Proven Methodology for the Creation of Success & Self-Fulfilment’, is a valued partner of the University whose work will support you in the development of business and career planning, confidence and knowledge.
  • You may choose to focus on a single discipline or combine several areas of practice to follow an interdisciplinary route. When you successfully complete the master's, your degree title will be chosen to reflect the focus of your studies.
  • Our industry‐engaged staff are practising artists, writers and performers. You'll benefit from our strong industry links with a range of arts, cultural and creative organisations across Greater Manchester and the North West region, offering opportunities for industry masterclasses and lectures, joint projects, and networking.
  • You'll be able to make use of industry-standard specialist facilities across the University of Bolton's Faculty of Engineering, Arts and Creative Technologies to develop high-quality creative outputs.
  • This MA is part of the University of Bolton’s ‘Career Development Masters’ suite, which offers shared modules designed to give you a wider business perspective, including tax self-assessment, invoicing, intellectual property and risk assessments, as well as knowing how to start a business and to take advantage of opportunities for enterprise development.
Key Features
  • Teaching and supervision are delivered by dedicated staff chosen for their expertise and experience in fields relevant to your creative practice and professional development needs.
  • We offer an engaging programme of visiting speakers and practitioners that gives you opportunities to network with and learn from successful professionals working in the creative industries.
  • We'll offer you opportunities for interdisciplinary work and collaboration, to take part in live projects and to showcase your work to the public and potential employers or clients.
  • You'll benefit from our strong industry links with local and regional arts, culture and trade organisations, studios, galleries, games and film FX companies, publishers, manufacturers and companies specialising in creative art and design practice.
  • Your final master’s degree title will reflect your specialist area(s) of practice (please note that the final award title will be selected in agreement with the University within the parameters specified in programme documentation). For example, if your specialist area of practice is Media Production, you could graduate with a degree called MA Media Production for Creative Industries.
Professional recognition

  • You should have at least a lower second class (2.2) honours degree (or equivalent) in a subject relevant to the creative discipline(s) you wish to study during this course or five years’ relevant work experience. Relevant subjects include (but aren’t limited to) Animation, Illustration, Art and Design, Fine Art, Graphic Design, Media, Performing Arts, Dance, Photography, Textiles and Surface Design, Fashion, Creative Writing, Games Design, Games Art, Special Effects and Visual Effects. If you have expertise in another creative discipline and wish to combine this with the one you studied at undergraduate-level, we may be able to accommodate you, however, you’ll need to attend an interview and present a portfolio of evidence as described below.
  • If you wish to gain admission on the basis of five years’ relevant work experience, you’ll be required to attend an online or face-to-face interview and present evidence in the form of a portfolio of creative and written work that demonstrate your suitability and aptitude for the course. The evidence should be presented in electronic format and attested by an independent person. The independent person could be a current or former lecturer or an employer who has a more senior role than yourself. The University is looking for candidates who can demonstrate a clear style and commitment to their creative practice and who will benefit from experiencing this area of study.
  • We'll consider applications where appropriate work experience can be demonstrated in lieu of, or in addition to, the published academic qualifications in line with the University’s Recognition of Prior Experiential Learning (RPEL) procedures.
  • If English isn’t your first language you’ll also need IELTS 6.0 with no less than 5.5 in any band (or equivalent). We also accept a range of other English language qualifications – please visit our English Language Requirements web page for more details.

Want some reassurance or advice? Speak to one of our advisors. Email us at or call us on +44 (0)1204 903 394.

Where changes are made to material information contained in this course description or a decision is taken to suspend a course between the offer of admissions and enrolment, we will inform applicants at the earliest possible opportunity and will outline the various options available to the applicant.

The MA (Specialist Title) for Creative Industries offers named postgraduate routes for practice‐based areas including Art and Design, Creative Writing, Dance, Games Art and Development, Live Events, Media, Performing Arts, Special Effects, Theatre, and Visual Effects. Additionally, it’s an excellent option if you’ve been working in a relevant field gaining degree-level knowledge through experience and self-study rather than formal education. This master’s aims to expand the knowledge and expertise you’ve gained through your undergraduate or professional work and pave the way for you to achieve your ambitions.

The creative industries are among the fastest growing sectors in the UK economy (Creative Industries Federation, 2019). As a region, Greater Manchester has over 500 cultural organisations, and is the largest digital, tech and creative cluster outside of London. This master’s degree aims to prepare you effectively for employment in the creative industries so that you’re best able to exploit the varied opportunities offered by this exciting and innovative sector.

As well as building your creative practice, we’ll support you to identify and develop the personal and business skills that are most highly-valued in your chosen area of the creative industries. Not only will this help you get established early on in your career, but you’ll also be primed to take on leadership roles and you’ll have the lifelong learning, problem-solving and decision-making skills needed to adapt to the challenges you face throughout your career.

What can I do with this qualification?

You are a creative talent and the MA (Specialist Title) for Creative Industries aims to hone your skills ready to achieve success in the commercial world of the creative industries. Inspired by the graduate training programmes of major companies, this programme helps you develop high-level employability and transferable skills and apply them to your chosen creative industry. This training is skilfully combined with the project-oriented creative education you would normally gain through a more traditional creative practice master’s degree.

As a graduate of this MA, you'll be well prepared to seek employment or promotion, or become self-employed using the enterprise and innovation skills you’ve developed as part of the course. You'll possess the knowledge needed to submit financial/budget applications or business plans and to prepare and launch various projects. How you use your skills will depend on your chosen area(s) of creative practice and your personal interests and ambitions. However, you can rest assured that you'll have the confidence, knowledge and skills to drive forward in your career or enterprise development.

On successfully completing the course, you’ll be invited to continue your education via the MPhil and PhD degrees that are available at the University of Bolton.

Alternative career options

Graduates can also use the qualification as a stepping-stone into a range of other careers. For some of these roles, both relevant experience and/or postgraduate study may be required. Some of these careers include:

  • Leadership and management
  • Arts administration and fundraising
  • Arts and cultural leadership
  • Marketing and public relations
  • Social enterprise
  • Policy management
  • Education and teaching
  • Advising and consultancy

Course fees

Home students starting this course in the first year will be required to pay a Home fee of £9,250 for the academic year 2020/21.

Home students starting this course in the first year will be required to pay a Home fee of £9,250 for the academic year 2021/22.

Overseas students starting this course in the first year will be required to pay a Overseas fee of £12,450 for the academic year 2020/21.

Overseas students starting this course in the first year will be required to pay a Overseas fee of £12,450 for the academic year 2021/22.

Useful information

This course is one of our Career Development Master's - Game Changers degree programmes. Generous bursary schemes are being offered for these courses. Please see our Scholarship and Bursaries web pages.

The fees for a student’s course of study will be set for the normal duration of that course subject only to inflationary increases – measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) recorded in March each year to take effect for subsequent start dates.

The university is currently awaiting government guidelines as to EU fee charges for students commencing study in 2021-2022.


Click here for more information on our 2020 Master's Bursaries.

For details of how to apply for this course, please choose your status from the options below:

You may apply directly to the University using the University's online application form. Please select your chosen start date from the list below:

You should have to hand:

  • Details of the educational establishments you attended and dates

  • Your certificates for the qualifications you are using to gain entry to the course – you will need to enter the completion date and upload copies

  • Details of any employment history including name, address, dates and role

  • Personal statement – this can be either input into the relevant field or uploaded separately

  • Details including e-mail addresses of two referees, at least one of which should be someone who can provide an academic reference

Please make sure any documents you wish to upload in support of your application are in pdf or jpeg format. Personal statements may be word documents.

Please ensure your data is correct at each stage of the application before you proceed to the next page. If you use the back button at any time during the application, you should check the validity of the data you have already input.

If you experience difficulties during the application process, contact the Admissions Team on 01204 903394 or

The University welcomes applications from international students from all over the world. We try to make the application process as simple and as fast as possible for our international applicants.

How you apply is determined by your current location and what you are choosing to study:

  1. Apply direct to the University. Links for the next available intakes of this course are shown below. Please click the link which will direct you to the online application form. Please read the user guidance before completing this.
  2. Apply via one of our approved in-country referral partners. A list of our partners may be found on the International pages of this website.
  3. Apply via UCAS for courses starting in September only – visit

Should you have any queries please contact the International Team on +44 (0) 1204 903110 or email

Our team of academic and professional staff will use a variety of teaching and learning strategies to help you gain and develop appropriate concepts, knowledge and skills. You can expect practice-based enquiry, self-directed study, lectures, seminars, tutorials, presentations and work-based learning. Scheduled sessions will be held in the evening, allowing full-time and part-time students to study together and offering opportunities for those working in professional/industrial environments to present live case studies.

It’s important to realise that the time spent with a tutor during formally scheduled activities is only a small part of the learning time identified for a module. You’ll also be expected to spend a significant amount of time in guided independent study, such as general background reading, preparing for seminar activities and working on assignments. We are committed to supporting you throughout your learning journey. Over time, our guidance will purposefully become less structured and prescriptive. This will encourage you to develop confidence and independence in your studies and take responsibility for managing your own learning time as you increase in autonomy.

The assessment strategy for the programme is designed to help you achieve the overall aims of the curriculum, as well as the learning outcomes for individual modules. As well as assessing your achievement, it helps to organise and develop your learning. Assessment feedback can help you develop your skills and an understanding of your strengths and weaknesses.

The types of assessment you’ll be required to complete fall into two general categories: formative and summative. Formative assessments help in learning and developing knowledge and skills. Summative assessments, on which grades are allocated, reflect the quality of the learning that has been achieved. Formative assessment will take place via tutorial discussion, group workshops including peer and tutor review, and guidance on work in progress. Formative feedback will be provided face-to-face via discussion, online or in written form. Summative assessments consist of both practical and applied theoretical work. These will include a range of assessments including practical projects, written work, presentations and portfolios.


The modules listed below may be a mixture of compulsory and optional. You may not have the opportunity to study all the modules shown as part of the course.

  • Business Literacy and Employment Skills
  • Solutions Driven Design and Practice
  • Creative Industries Practice 1
  • Creative Industries Practice 2
  • Professional Dissertation
Assessment methods
LevelAssesment method
Level oneCoursework 67%, Practical exams 33%
Learning activities
LevelLearning activity
Level oneGuided independent study 80%, Scheduled learning and teaching activities 20%


The university will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver your course as described in its published material and the programme specification for the academic year in which you begin your course. The university considers changes to courses very carefully and the university will minimise any changes. Please be aware that our courses are subject to review on an ongoing basis and changes may be necessary due to legitimate staffing, financial, regulatory and academic reasons. The content of course modules and mode of associated assessments may be updated on an annual basis. This is to ensure that all modules are up-to-date and responsive to employment and sector needs. The published course material and the programme specification contain indicative ‘optional modules’ that may be subject to change due to circumstances outside of our control. For this reason, we cannot guarantee to run any specific optional module.

Meet the team

The academic staff detailed above teach across a range of courses in this subject area and may not teach on this course specifically.

Programme Contacts

Zubair Hanslot
Dr, Provost and Executive Lead for Postgraduate

+44 (0)1204 903045

Mohammed Abdel-Haq
Professor, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Postgraduate Development

Nicola Shaw
Dr, Academic Co-ordinator for Standards, Enhancement and the Learner Experience, Bolton School of the Arts

+44 (0)1204 903317

Enquiry Team
University of Bolton

+44 (0)1204 903903

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We have the answers to your questions, find all the advice and support in one place.

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