Cultural and creative industries form a central element of the Scottish economy and play a key role in shaping the society in which we live.

This programme is studied on campus.

Art and culture are integral to our daily lives, and the ways in which these are experienced are continually changing. Street performances, galleries, festivals, museums, documentaries or social media: there are so many ways in which audiences can be challenged by new ideas and images. This interdisciplinary programme is designed to explore the many ways in which creative materials can be brought to public view. With training in business methods and public engagement, and with the option of a practical placement project, the MSc Cultural and Creative Communication is ideal for anyone planning to go on to a career in the cultural and creative industries, or wanting to learn more about how culture happens in the modern world.

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Key Programme Information

At a Glance

Learning Mode
On Campus Learning
Degree Qualification
12 months or 24 months
Study Mode
Full Time or Part Time
Start Month

What You'll Study

Semester 1

Semester 1

Candidates must undertake the following curriculum:

Compulsory Courses

EL5096 Public Engagement for the Arts (30 credit points)

Public Engagement for the Arts (EL5096) - 30 Credit Points

Art and culture are integral to our daily lives, and the ways in which these are experienced are continually changing. Whether it is in a street performance, a public gallery, an academic festival, a webcast, a documentary or in social media, the relationship between the creative artist and those who consume it, is complex and can itself be a creative process. This course explores the many ways in which creative materials can be brought to public view, and how different forms of communication, aural, verbal and visual, can enhance public engagement with aesthetic experiences and the discourses around these.

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Optional Courses

In addition, students will take a further 30 credit points from the following electives (some courses may not be available in every year, others may be made available), or other level 5 course(s) amount to 30 credits with the approval of the Programme Co-ordinator

The Museum Idea (AT5046) - 15 Credit Points

Why do human beings collect and what is the purpose of museums? ‘The Museum Idea’ examines these questions by focusing on the history and philosophy of museums and relating these to contemporary museum practice. The course will examine the role of museums in society through case studies of exhibitions and other museum projects in a variety of settings, including art, history and ethnographic museums.

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Understanding People and Environment (Extended) (AT5035) - 30 Credit Points

This is a course in environmental anthropology, which explores theoretical ideas and major research areas in the field. It is an excellent option for students taking an MRes in anthropology who have an interest in environmental themes. It is also a great choice for students from other disciplines whose work is concerned with human-environment relations.

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Northern Worlds (AY5001) - 30 Credit Points

In a series of research-led lectures and seminars, students investigate what characterises the Archaeology of the North from environmental, socio-cultural, and ideological aspects. We examine several inter-locking themes, from the first colonisations of the North tracing how these earlier populations established the cultural, ethnic and religious diversity that define later periods. Students will be introduced to the ecological characteristics of higher latitudes, and examine the diverse ways in which communities have made the Northern World their home. We also examine how human communities have responded to climate changes in the past, resilience and adaptation, technology, and spirituality amongst Northern peoples

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Marketing Management (BU5039) - 15 Credit Points

The course will apply theoretical and practical content to explore the key concepts of marketing management to provide students with an understanding of planning, coordinating and controlling marketing activities. It aims to take students understanding beyond what has been labelled as a transaction-based approach to a relationship-based approach. As such the aim is to provide students with an understanding of the role of marketing in establishing, developing and maintaining relationships for mutual gain. This will be achieved through a combination of lectures, seminars, simulations and directed private study.

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Introduction to Art History for Business (HA5029)
Creative Writing III: Non - Fiction (EL5095) - 30 Credit Points

This course is devoted to the development of non-fiction creative prose. Among the themes and genres engaged with will be: travel writing, psychogeography, non-academic critical writing, prose poetry, diary, memoir, and the fragment. Students will study examples across the genre and build up a portfolio of work, discussion of which will form the basis of weekly workshops.

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Introduction to Visual Culture and Theory (FS5017) - 30 Credit Points

This course will begin by taking a historical perspective to discuss some of the key interventions which have helped define visual culture as a field of enquiry, including work by Benjamin, Barthes, Burgin, Mitchell and Rosler among others. It will move on to explore some key theoretical concepts and paradigms, such as authorship, spectatorship, materiality, semiotics, digital culture and the archive.

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Communication Theory and Analysis (LN5019) - 30 Credit Points

This course introduces the theoretical frameworks used in analysing communication, enabling students to investigate social interaction, power relations, and the ways in which language is used in a variety of contexts. It provides a grounding in the precise analysis of language use, which will enable students to go on to investigate communication in a range of professional contexts during the MLitt programme.

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Museum Practice (AT5044) - 15 Credit Points

'Museum Practice' examines some of the key issues facing museums today and how they are responding. The course will consider critically professional practices of collections management, care and documentation, examining the social, political and ethical issues within which they operate. The course is taught by a team of academic and professional staff, with class meetings held in the University's museums, including display areas, conservation laboratory and reserve collections.

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Art and Business (HA5032) - 30 Credit Points

This course, which combines theoretical learning with a hands-on approach, exposes you to the realities of the art market and financial aspects of art dealing and heritage conservation. You will engage with professionals in the field who explain the reality of running an art business, including different types of gallery, an auction house, an historic venue, and an individual artist. The role of art as a major economic and social catalyst is explored through various regeneration schemes. There will be onsite visits to galleries and auctions, during which you will interview key practitioners in the field.

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Semester 2

Semester 2

Students will take 60 credit points from the following electives (some courses may not be available in every year, others may be made available):

Optional Courses

Students will take 60 credit points from the following electives (some courses may not be available in every year, others may be made available), or other level 5 course(s) amount to 30 credits with the approval of the Programme Co-ordinator.

Managing Self and Others (BU5581) - 15 Credit Points

HRM underpins all that we seek to achieve when working with other people. It includes employment law, personal skills, and the knowledge to assess what is the right approach to the many challenges that face managers every day. This course is run by tutors who have that knowledge, skill and experience. It includes fine tuning your skills in role play which extend through presentations, interviews, and negotiation to achieve success. At the end of the course you will feel confident to face the challenges of management, and convince a prospective employer of your competence and ability.

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The Leadership Challenge (BU5584) - 15 Credit Points

This course provides an opportunity to explore and develop an understanding of your own leadership behaviour. Through seminars, group activities and discussions we investigate how personality, past experience, current situations and culture shape the way each of us behave in a leadership role. Using this information as a starting point we then explore how different leadership theories and approaches can be used as frameworks for developing a deeper understanding of leadership behaviour. You will also have an opportunity to try out a range of practical tools and techniques to assist you in the development of your own approach to leadership.

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Approaching Archives (HI552L) - 15 Credit Points

What is an archive and how can it be used? Students are introduced to some archives in Aberdeen and learn how to make best use of these important resources for research. Seminars investigate the history and philosophy of archival collections, and how they relate to museums, libraries and galleries; approaches to the evaluation of contents of archives and qualitative analyses of specific collections. Assessment is based on a 5000-word essay in which students are asked to identify and analyse material from a specific archive which may be in Aberdeen, or elsewhere in Scotland, the UK, or abroad.

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Northern Peoples and Cultures (AY5501) - 30 Credit Points

In a series of text based student-led seminars we study past Northern Peoples and Cultures through key topical debates, characteristic for different cultural regions and time periods. In the seminars students examine a range of northern contexts, from prehistory to more recent times all over the Circumpolar North. Students encounter topics as versatile as animal domestication in Northern Eurasia, Scandinavian Vikings, and Colonial North America illustrating the diversity of life and thought in Northern communities. Each seminar will also explore how particular key issues have become central to the ‘identity’ of archaeological research in the respective areas

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Cultural Property Issues: Law, Art, and Museums (LS55UU) - 30 Credit Points

Taught by museum and law academics, this course will examine cultural property issues such as treasure trove, looting and repatriation, forgery, sacred and street art, and the derogatory treatment of art. Objects from the University Museum and collections worldwide will be drawn on to illustrate aspects of the course. Museum practice and operational experience will also inform certain aspects. Students will be encouraged to explore and develop their own ideas. Facilitating this, the course will include a programme of case studies and/or issue papers to be presented by students for class discussion.

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Developing A Theory of Practice: Learning and Museums (ED553E) - 30 Credit Points

This course will focus on the theoretical and professional issues relating to learning and museums, including informal and formal learning, professional identity, regulatory and curriculum contexts, relationships between community and professional providers and social inclusion. Alongside seminars, normally held in the University’s museums, tutor-directed activities will include visits and observation of learning activities in local museums and similar organisations.

The course is intended to enable participants to reflect on current provision and practice in relation to learning in museums through critical consideration of current constructions and understandings of the ways in which museums are sites of learning for visitors.

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Curating an Exhibition (AT5508) - 30 Credit Points

The ‘Curating an Exhibition’ course leads to the creation and opening of the summer exhibition in King’s Museum. Working together as a team, each student also takes on a specific role, including research, writing, design, installation, events management and marketing, working closely with the relevant members of museum staff. The course makes extensive use of the University’s internationally-important museum collections and gives students an opportunity to reflect on an important aspect of museum practice.

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Semester 3

Semester 3

Students will take:

Compulsory Courses

EL5914 Dissertation in Cultural and Creative Communication

Dissertation in Cultural and Creative Communication (EL5914) - 60 Credit Points

Under individual supervision, students will write a 15,000-word dissertation on a novel-related topic to be approved by the Programme Co-ordinator.

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Course Availability

We will endeavour to make all course options available; however, these may be subject to timetabling and other constraints. Please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

How You'll Study

Teaching will be effected through a mix of seminars, lectures, practical work and work placement.

Learning Methods

  • Field Work
  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Workshops

Assessment Methods

Assessments include written essays, research projects, presentations, reflective work, case studies and an individual dissertation project.

Why Study Cultural and Creative Communication?

  • to learn about and apply theories of cultural and aesthetic communication
  • to understand the place of culture and heritage in society
  • to explore the relationship between artist and audience, and develop strategies for cultural dissemination
  • to acquire more effective communication skills and public engagement methods
  • to enhance organisational and management skills
  • to gain practical experience of the cultural and creative sector

Entry Requirements


The information below is provided as a guide only and does not guarantee entry to the University of Aberdeen.

A 2.1 Honours degree or the equivalent in English Literature or a relevant cognate discipline in the arts, humanities and social sciences.

Please enter your country to view country-specific entry requirements.

English Language Requirements

To study for a Postgraduate Taught degree at the University of Aberdeen it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. The minimum requirements for this degree are as follows:

IELTS Academic:

OVERALL - 6.5 with: Listening - 5.5; Reading - 6.0; Speaking - 5.5; Writing - 6.0


OVERALL - 90 with: Listening - 17; Reading - 21; Speaking - 20; Writing - 21

PTE Academic:

OVERALL - 62 with: Listening - 51; Reading - 54; Speaking - 51; Writing - 54

Cambridge English Advanced & Proficiency:

OVERALL - 176 with: Listening - 162; Reading - 169; Speaking - 162; Writing - 169

Read more about specific English Language requirements here.

Document Requirements

You will be required to supply the following documentation with your application as proof you meet the entry requirements of this degree programme. If you have not yet completed your current programme of study, then you can still apply and you can provide your Degree Certificate at a later date.

Degree Transcript
a full transcript showing all the subjects you studied and the marks you have achieved in your degree(s) (original & official English translation)
Personal Statement
a detailed personal statement explaining your motivation for this particular programme

Fees and Funding

You will be classified as one of the fee categories below.

Fee information
Fee category Cost
Home / EU / RUK Students £6,300
Tuition Fees for 2018/19 Academic Year
International Students £15,000
Tuition Fees for 2018/19 Academic Year

Additional Fees

  • In exceptional circumstances there may be additional fees associated with specialist courses, for example field trips. Any additional fees for a course can be found in our Catalogue of Courses.
  • For more information about tuition fees for this programme, including payment plans and our refund policy, please visit our InfoHub Tuition Fees page.

Funding Opportunities

The James Carnegie maintenance scholarship for postgraduate students is available with this degree.

Our Funding Database

View all funding options in our Funding Database.


There are many opportunities at the University of Aberdeen to develop your knowledge, gain experience and build a competitive set of skills to enhance your employability. This is essential for your future career success. The Careers Service can help you to plan your career and support your choices throughout your time with us, from first to final year – and beyond.

Career Opportunities

  • Writer
  • Research Associate
  • Researcher
  • Journalist
  • Publicity Officer
  • Teacher

Our Experts

Director Dr Hazel Hutchison

Information About Staff Changes

You will be taught by a range of experts including professors, lecturers, teaching fellows and postgraduate tutors. Staff changes will occur from time to time; please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

Get in Touch

Contact Details

School of Language, Literature, Music and Visual Culture
University of Aberdeen
King's College
AB24 3UB