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The Creative Industries: Theory and Contexts


  • Credit value: 15 credits at Level 7
  • Convenor: Professor Klaus Nielsen
  • Tutor: Oliver Gilbert
  • Assessment: a 3000-word essay (60%), in-class presentation and creative assignment (40%)

Module description

This module is about management, organisations and creativity in what is now commonly known as the creative industries. These industries are becoming increasingly prevalent in contemporary post-industrial societies and it is now critical to understand their particularities and the management principles and theories that are central to helping us achieve a better understanding of these specific contexts.

The module will introduce you to a range of principles and theories on management and their articulation in the specific contexts of the creative industries. It will also provide you with a better knowledge of these contexts and with theoretical and practical tools to critically analyse them and understand their functioning. The module will lead you to reflect on the notion of creativity and its various articulations in organisations, moving beyond traditional dichotomies between art and commerce to analyse the creative industries as the location of multiple cultural, political and social practices.

The aims of this module are to:

  • interrogate the specific contexts of the creative industries and creative economies in local, regional and international arenas
  • introduce and critique the key theoretical approaches to the creative industries, the creative economy, creative labour, creative cities, cultural policy and creative management
  • reflect on the particularities of management processes in the creative industries and consider the dialectical relationship between management and creativity within the sector.

Learning objectives

By the end of this module, you should be able to:

  • demonstrate a critical understanding of the activities, structures and processes involved in the contemporary creative industries and the creative economy
  • identify and evaluate major theoretical approaches and principles concerning management, organisation and labour relations in the creative industries and global creative economy
  • understand the main contextual issues and current transformations in the contemporary creative industries under globalisation and technological change
  • discuss the social, economic and political contributions of the creative economy and recognise the challenges present in the sector for producers, managers and consumers
  • generate innovative analyses of the creative industries predicated upon primary case studies from within the contemporary sector.