MA Cities Culture and Creativity

Start date(s)

September 2022

Study mode

Full-time (1 year)

Part-time (2 years)

Tuition fees 22/23

Home (full-time, per year): £7,250

Home (per credit): £40.28

International (full-time, per year): £16,100

Faculty of Arts, Professional and Social Studies:

0151 231 5175

International enquiries

Send a message >

About this course

LJMU's MA in Cities, Culture and Creativity provides a broad intellectual and academic understanding of urban development and cultural distinctiveness.

  • Study in Liverpool, one of the leading arts and cultural centres outside of London (European Capital of Culture in 2008, UNESCO World Heritage Site)
  • Develop a broad-based understanding of how key institutions, social groupings, and different representations of cities mediate urban development and cultural distinctiveness
  • Follow a curriculum that plays a key role in developing your approaches to studying and knowledge application in the fields of creativity and culture in urban environments
  • Enjoy excellent pastoral and academic support for placement opportunities
  • The course has established itself a strong track record and reputation of moving its MA graduates on to PhD research

This exciting new cross-disciplinary MA enables you to study contemporary UK and international cities from socio-economic, cultural, theoretical and practical perspectives.

Based in Liverpool - the scene of many innovative cultural programmes and urban regeneration initiatives, this programme focuses on the relationships between cities, culture and creativity. It features an innovative, multidisciplinary curriculum taught by expert academics.

You will gain an understanding of key urban theories, trends, policies and dynamics by drawing on a range of contemporary local and global case studies to illustrate debates and policy responses. You will reflect on how urban images and identities are constructed and reconstructed, by whom and for what purpose, focusing on concepts such as city marketing, place identity, place brand and branding.

The programme will enable you to play a key role in developing approaches to study and knowledge application in the fields of creativity and culture in the


urban environment. Another aim of the programme is to develop graduates who have essential skills in research design, project management and relevant major qualitative research methods.

To examine how cultural policy fits with broader strategies for re-imagining and regenerating cities, you will use key skills to research and critically engage with the theories, principles, debates and intellectual paradigms that underpin the study of cities, culture and creativity. You will be expected to critically reflect on and communicate your research findings, knowledge and understanding throughout the degree.

Partners on this programme include the European Institute for Urban Affairs (EIUA), the Institute of Cultural Capital (ICC), the Liverpool Business School and the School of Humanities and Social Science.

  • Naomi's story

    Naomi studied for a degree in Contemporary Art History at the Manchester School of Art before coming to LMU to take her Masters in Cities, Culture and Creativity.

    "What attracted me to the c...

    Read more

Fees and funding

There are many ways to fund postgraduate study for home and international students


The fees quoted at the top of this page cover registration, tuition, supervision, assessment and examinations as well as:

  • Library membership with access to printed, multimedia and digital resources
  • Access to programme-appropriate software
  • Library and student IT support
  • Free on-campus wifi via eduroam

Additional costs

Although not all of the following are compulsory/relevant, you should keep in mind the costs of:

  • accommodation and living expenditure
  • books (should you wish to have your own copies)
  • printing, photocopying and stationery
  • PC/laptop (should you prefer to purchase your own for independent study and online learning activities)
  • mobile phone/tablet (to access online services)
  • field trips (travel and activity costs)
  • placements (travel expenses and living costs)
  • student visas (international students only)

Image showing assortment of notes and coins.

  • study abroad opportunities (travel costs, accommodation, visas and immunisations)
  • academic conferences (travel costs)
  • professional-body membership
  • graduation (gown hire etc)


There are many ways to fund postgraduate study for home and international students. From loans to International Scholarships and subject-specific funding, you’ll find all of the information you need on our specialist postgraduate funding pages.

Please be aware that the UK’s departure from the EU may affect your tuition fees. Learn more about your fee status and which tuition fees are relevant to you.


Further your career prospects

LJMU has an excellent employability record with 96% (HESA 2018) of our postgraduates in work or further study six months after graduation. Our applied learning techniques and strong industry connections ensure our students are fully prepared for the workplace on graduation and understand how to apply their knowledge in a real world context.

The programme has institutional ties with FACT, the Philharmonic, Liverpool Biennial, the Everyman Theatre and Tate Liverpool and these relationships offer insights into contemporary practice as well as work-related learning opportunities. Such hands-on experience is vital for your future professional success.

On graduation you will understand the development of urban environments and will be able to interpret place-making for a wide variety of purposes. For those who prefer a holistic approach to understanding cities - including social, economic, cultural and local historians, geographers, art historians, planning specialists, media practitioners, film-makers and journalists - this programme will inform your practice and deepen the range of your output.

Career opportunities for graduates include positions in: culture, heritage and creative industries within urban environments, museums, community and voluntary sectors, cultural centres, city councils, festival organisation, charities, regeneration projects, marketing and communications, public relations, arts and cultural bodies, administration, management, funding management and monitoring, teaching, research and academia.

Image of Postgraduate
“Liverpool's cultural programme is world renowned and the potential to keep telling our story in new ways is a driver both for local engagement and tourism. To do this we need new ideas, fresh thinking and great imagination. By working with LJMU we hope to nurture and develop talent for the future good of the city.” 

Claire McColgan MBE, Director of Culture, Liverpool City Council

"Since starting the course, I have learnt in depth about cultural policy and its place in urban development, and the importance of grassroots community projects in invigorating and democratising the arts sector, as well as training in research methods."

Laura Parsons, Development Officer at Tate Liverpool

The student experience

Discover life as a postgraduate student at LJMU.

We are in full support with our @johnmooressu regarding women's safety in Liverpool.

Course modules

Discover the building blocks of your programme

Your programme is made up of a number of core modules which are part of the course framework. Some programmes also have optional modules that can be selected to enhance your learning in certain areas and many feature a dissertation, extended report or research project to demonstrate your advanced learning.

Image of students in classroom
Core modules

Understanding Cities: Theory, Culture and Social Change
30 credits

This module develops your knowledge of theoretical approaches to understanding cities. It focuses on interrelationships between cities, culture, and urban change. It provides:

  • an understanding of cities, culture and creativity in a different range of contexts
  • the necessary knowledge to understand the social and cultural importance of cities
  • an understanding of contemporary debates and their historical context
  • an awareness of key urban theories, economic changes, cultural policy, trends and underlying dynamics

Research Methods: Cities, Culture, Creativity
30 credits

This module aims to improve your research and analytical skills with reference to cities, culture and creativity. Analysis and problem-solving skills are critical to student employability and subsequent success in most types of career and this is why research methods is the core module of this MA course. Those working in the arts and culture field are increasingly required to construct a business case for investment and produce measurable outcomes and so knowledge of data sources and research methods is desirable. Workshop assignments on this module include ‘real world’ examples to help you grasp the relevance of this content. The module comprises introductory lectures on methodology and approach and more in-depth lectures covering techniques useful in practical assignments and in undertaking your dissertation.

Creative Communities
30 credits

This module explores a series of case studies using differing scales of creative practice and interventions led by or instigated at individual or community level. The case studies will bring you an understanding of complex issues arising from creative communities as a focus of research or study. It aims to:

  • provide an appropriate range and depth of theoretical and professional knowledge to enable you to understand the key issues and challenges for creativity and /or culture-led community interventions
  • critically evaluate the impact of arts and culture on community building, civic participation and enhancing personal wellbeing, through a series of case studies and opportunities for critical inquiry 
  • develop your ability to evaluate critically established practices, paradigms and/or methodologies and foster the formulation of new critical insights into creative practices

Re-Imagining Cities: Using Cultural Policy and Place Marketing
30 credits

This module discusses how urban images and identities are constructed/reconstructed, by whom and for what purpose. You will explore in-depth concepts such as city marketing, place identity, place brand and branding. You will also investigate city service systems and the increasing importance of digital place to cities. Case studies from a wide range of cities are used to identify the multiple expressions of urban imagining and imaging globally. 

60 credits

This module aims to support you in applying critical skills in advanced research methods and methodologies. It helps you to identify appropriate methodologies, theoretical frameworks and resources to complete your dissertation successfully. It also supports you in developing and modifying your dissertation through discussion, reflection and feedback.


An insight into teaching on your course

Study hours

The majority of teaching takes place on Wednesdays and Thursdays, with an intensive period of contact time at the start of semester one to kick start the programme.

Teaching methods

The course will be delivered via a mixture of lectures, seminars, workshops and field visits. Internships and placement opportunities will also be available across a range of cultural and creative industries in Liverpool.

Applied learning

You will hear from a range of high profile speakers, not only from LJMU's vibrant academic community, but also from elsewhere in the commercial, cultural and policymaking sectors. These regular guest speakers will elaborate on many of the programme’s key themes.

Image of two people looking at computer monitor

Person sat using laptop


How learning is monitored on your programme

To cater for the wide-ranging content of our courses and the varied learning preferences of our students, we offer a range of assessment methods on each programme. Assessment techniques vary from module to module to reflect relevant assessment approaches and the key learning points of each topic.

You will be assessed via: presentations, essays, a practical portfolio, research-based exercises, critical reviews, research plans, student defined assessments and the dissertation. Self-led investigation is also required and you will be expected to generate assignment titles, case studies and examples for critical evaluation.

Course tutors

Our staff are committed to the highest standards of teaching and learning

Gerwyn Jones

Dr Gerwyn Jones

Programme Leader

Dr Gerwyn Jones specialises in economic and social geography.  He completed his MA at Manchester University under the tutorage of Professor Jamie Peck, and his PhD at Liverpool University, under the tutorage of Professor Richard Meegan. After completing his PhD, Gerwyn worked in the private sector for five years as a senior research manager for a social policy research consultancy. He returned to academia and joined the European Institute for Urban Affairs at LJMU in 2008, as part of Professor Michael Parkinson’s leading urban research unit.  In recent years, Gerwyn has worked as a co-investigator on ESRC funded research looking at the impact of recession and austerity on cities, and has published several academic papers on this topic in leading peer-reviewed journals.

Today’s job markets are very competitive and, while researchers need to be academically bright, they also need to be adaptable and determined individuals who can apply their research skills practically in a variety of settings.  This is a key feature of our MA and it is very rewarding to see students develop these skills and attributes during the 12 months they study with us.

School facilities

What you can expect from your School

The School is based in the Redmonds Building, in the heart of the bustling Mount Pleasant Campus and Liverpool’s growing Knowledge Quarter. Redmonds is shared by two Schools within the Faculty of Arts, Professional and Social Studies – Liverpool Screen School and the School of Law - and Liverpool Business School, making for a rich blend of student learning experiences. The building is home to high quality lecture theatres and seminar rooms, social spaces, and a café. It is only a short walk from LJMU’s Aldham Robarts Library, which contains all the resources you will require for your studies, and is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Order your brochure Research

Entry requirements

You will need:

You will need:

  • a minimum 2:1 in a related subject plus a reference

Additional information:

  • IELTS English language requirement: 6.5 (minimum 5.5 in each component)
  • Pearson PTE Academic 64 (minimum 59 in each component for UKVI purposes)
  • RPL is accepted on this programme
  • You will not be interviewed

If you have any specific queries, please contact

Image of student in library with book

Please note: All international qualifications are subject to a qualification equivalency check via NARIC.

View country specific entry requirements

Contact LJMU's International Admissions Team for guidance on visa information. Further information is also available from our international web pages.

Image of Students in classroom

Application and selection

Securing your place at LJMU

You will apply for the majority of postgraduate courses using our online application form. You should complete the form thoroughly and provide a detailed personal statement which reflects your suitability and aptitude for the programme.

To apply for this programme you will need to submit a completed LJMU online application form, your academic transcript or equivalent and an academic reference.

The University reserves the right to withdraw or make alterations to a course and facilities if necessary; this may be because such changes are deemed to be beneficial to students, are minor in nature and unlikely to impact negatively upon students or become necessary due to circumstances beyond the control of the University. Where this does happen, the University operates a policy of consultation, advice and support to all enrolled students affected by the proposed change to their course or module.

Further information on the terms and conditions of any offer made, our admissions policy and the complaints and appeals process.

Important info about this course