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We’ve been teaching tourism courses since the '80s and as such have an excellent reputation within the industry. Many of our former graduates now hold influential positions within tourism organisations around the world, giving us exceptional industry contacts that benefit you in terms of the guest speakers we attract, the placements we offer and the networking opportunities we can provide. You'll be taught by our internationally respected academics who have written many of the textbooks in tourism education. In addition to this, Bournemouth is a perfect location to study tourism management. It's a seaside resort town that offers a tourism and hospitality laboratory and opportunities.

This course will give you an excellent understanding of how private and public organisations work together within the tourism sector. What's more you’ll develop management and business skills that are essential to get ahead in this industry and in your final year, you’ll have a choice of modules, allowing you to tailor your degree to suit your interests. You will also have an opportunity to learn a new language (French, Spanish or Mandarin). We have regular guest speakers from industry professionals to enhance your learning as well as fieldtrips which have included Jersey and Malta and various attractions within the UK. You can also expand your horizons and spend some time studying abroad with one of our 40 partner institutions.

Bachelor's degrees in Tourism & Hospitality

97% of our final year students agree our staff are good at explaining things – why not come and meet us? Or you could watch Dr Anya Chapman and Dr Giampaolo Viglia presenting "Bachelor's degrees in Tourism & Hospitality". This webinar will give you an excellent insight into each of the Bachelors courses we offer.

All statistics shown are taken from Unistats, Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE), BU institutional data and Ipsos MORI (National Student Survey) unless otherwise stated.

Key information

Next start date:

September 2017, September 2018


Bournemouth University, Talbot Campus


4 years including a minimum 30-week work placement


United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) - TedQual. Course recognised by the Tourism Management Institute (TMI). Recognised by the Institute of Travel and Tourism (ITT) as a Centre of Excellence.  

Relevant subjects:

All subjects considered

Entry requirements:

For 2017 entry (we will use the new UCAS tariff): 104 to 120 tariff points, including 2 A-Levels or equivalent qualifications. BTEC Extended Diploma: DMM. For more information check out our 2017 entry requirements page.

International entry requirements:

If English is not your first language you'll need IELTS (Academic) 6.0 with minimum 5.5 in each component, or equivalent. For more information check out our international entry requirements page.

Course details

On this course you will usually be taught by a range of staff with relevant expertise and knowledge appropriate to the content of the unit. This will include senior academic staff, qualified professional practitioners, demonstrators, technicians and research students. You will also benefit from regular guest lectures from industry.

Year 1

Core units

  • Introduction to Tourism: The significance, organisation and development of the tourism industry in modern society.
  • Economics of Tourism: Use basic economic theories to explain how consumers and businesses make decisions in tourism industries, learn how the economy works and how to analyse economic data.
  • Environmental Studies: See how tourists behave in and interact with natural and semi-natural environments. You'll also look at global issues such as biodiversity and conservation through case studies.
  • Financial Reporting: Develop business skills in accountancy and analysis. Learn about financial accounting and management accounting, which will help prepare you for the demands of performance analysis and decision making in Years 2 and 4 and in the workplace.
  • Marketing for Tourism: Learn about experiential marketing and how to use it for tourism marketing.

Option units (choose one)

  • Languages - Beginners (French/Spanish/Mandarin): Build the confidence you'll need for a range of occupational and social situations. You'll learn how to interact with people in professional and social contexts, read written materials and to express yourself in writing.
  • Tourism, Culture & Society: The importance of ‘culture’ and ‘society’ in tourism, and cross-cultural issues in tourist-host relationships and in the workforce. You'll learn about socio-cultural differences in tourism and how these affect professional behaviour.

Please note that option units require minimum numbers in order to run and may only be available on a semester by semester basis. They may also change from year to year.

Year 2

Core units

  • Financial Appraisal: Get the skills you'll need to effectively plan, monitor and control finances in the tourism sector. You'll develop short and medium-term strategic decision making defined by financial criteria, along with problem-solving, numeric and analytical skills.
  • Managing People: The challenges of managing people. You'll learn about self-marketing, the HR framework governing business operations, performance management and issued linked with the international market. You'll gain skills which will help you with the industrial work placement in Year Three.
  • Research Methods: Learn how to prepare and interpret data for business and research projects, which will help your decision making skills. You'll develop an appreciation of the diverse nature of research.

Option units (choose three)

  • Tourism Development & Planning: The issues involved in tourism destination development, and how these may need to be addressed in future developments.
  • Tourist Experience & Behaviour: The individual and social processes that influence human behaviour, with a focus on people as tourism consumers. You'll learn how to evaluate and apply theories to the tourism experience.
  • Tourism Operations Management: Learn about tour operation principles, how to identify tour operators and spot the differences between them. You'll analyse the retail sector of the travel industry and learn how this is owned and organised, and look at changing distribution patterns. This will cover the impacts of e-commerce, dynamic packaging and independent sales.
  • Languages -  Intermediate (French/Spanish/Mandarin):  The unit concentrates on combining the skills acquired in first year so that confidence is built to be able to use the language effectively in a range of occupational and social situations.

Year 3

  • Placement: A (minimum) 30-week supervised work placement in the UK or overseas which gives you the opportunity to turn theory into practice in a business environment. You'll gain practical experience that could help you secure a management-level position immediately after graduating. There's a variety of placement opportunities, ranging from high-street catering, hotels and licensed retail outlets to leisure centres, theme parks and large scale event management.

Year 4

Core units

  • Dissertation: A piece of independent work that involves collecting, interpreting and analysing data. You'll share your key findings through a sustained and balanced argument. The dissertation will develop your analytical and problem solving skills. You'll develop a critical attitude to research methods, and the ethical issues associated with researching.
  • Strategic Management for Tourism: You'll look beyond the creation and value transfer principles of strategic management and learn how to manage a service-based organisation in a complex and dynamic environment. You'll use and evaluate theories in a tourism industry context.
  • Critical Issues in Tourism: Develop your understanding of how tourist businesses and destinations operate even further, and of the comparative opportunities and limits of the global tourism economy. Learn about the diversification of the ‘types’ and ‘styles’ of tourism destinations, products and experiences, and how the tourism industry and destinations respond to planned and unexpected change. You'll also look at how international investment in tourism affects host societies.

Option units (choose two)

  • Consultancy Project (Tourism): This unit will develop your skills in researching a business problem, identifying solutions and making proposals that most satisfy a corporate client’s needs and circumstances. The Consultancy Project draws upon new competencies being developed simultaneously through other final year units.
  • Customers, Marketing Communications & Social Media: Learn how marketing communications and how they are used to influence consumer and corporate purchases. You'll evaluate the effectiveness of various marketing communication plans.
  • e-Business: You'll analyse and evaluate the implications of changing information communication technology, in terms of how this might affect or has already affected the service sector. You'll explore the opportunities and threats technology presents to consumers, businesses and public sector organisations.
  • Languages - Advanced (French/Spanish/Mandarin): Language skills for social and professional contact at home and overseas. It builds on your previous learning by introducing you to a range of occupational situations and strategies for effective business communication.
  • Marketing & Corporate Communications: Learn how to identify and manage marketing communications issues in business environments, with an emphasis on service sector issues.
  • Small Business Management: Learn about the role of small businesses in the economy, along with their aims, strengths and weaknesses. You'll develop enterprise awareness and an entrepreneurial mindset, which will help you assess business opportunities.
  • Sport Tourism: Understand sport tourism and demands for it. You'll explore supply structures and the impacts and responses of sport and tourism providers.
  • Visitor Attractions Management: A key component of the provision for both domestic and international visitors and includes historic, natural, man-made and contemporary attractions. This unit will explore the range of issues that influence both the development and management of visitor attractions both in the UK and other countries. This option unit aims to develop your awareness, understanding and appreciation of the principles and practices relating to the development and management of visitor attractions.
  • Conference & Events Management: The conference and events sectors are a big part of the hospitality, leisure and tourism industries, and vital to the country’s economy. This unit will develop your understanding of the economic and operational challenges facing these industries, and important issues in day-to-day management of events and conferences.
  • Economics of Tourism & Events: Develop your understanding of tourism and events through looking at economic principles. You'll learn how to analyse the economic choices that tourism and events businesses face, and how changes in the wider environment will affect the demand for tourism products and events.
  • Digital Marketing: This unit will provide you with practical and theoretical knowledge for using and evaluating digital marketing. You'll develop a sound understanding of digital marketing principles.
  • Financial Management: An opportunity to study financial management, building on your earlier studies in finance and accounting. You'll develop an appreciation for how organisations make financial decisions within the context of corporate strategy, and an understanding of financial management roles in organisations.
  • Food, Culture & Travel: Explore the complex relationships between food and culture in an international context. Look at food and culture from commercial tourism and hospitality and social and domestic perspectives. You'll analyse the socio-cultural, environmental, health, economic and political issues of food, and debate a range of topics.
  • Hospitality Management: The hospitality industry meets the needs and expectations of businesses and leisure users through a range of service providers. This unit will develop your understanding of the hospitality industry in economic and operational terms, and you'll learn about vital features for the day-to-day management of hospitality units.
  • Leisure, Tourism, Events & Climate Change: There's a two-way relationship between leisure, tourism, events and climate change. Leisure and tourism is weather dependent, and the industry has to adapt to the climate change while making a significant contribution to greenhouse gas emissions. This unit will explore these relationships, how the industry adapts to climate change and how it can reduce its contribution.
  • Media, Tourism & Leisure: Media practices in leisure and tourism. You'll learn about the transnational and transcultural circulation of meanings and the powers of narrative and imagery in leisure and tourism.
  • Retail Place & Space: Learn about places and spaces for retail and the types of consumer experiences, including leisure, recreational and tourist perspectives on service spaces. These theories come from intense studies of three key areas that have created philosophical and conceptual interests in recent decades. This covers more than the service and retail industries.
  • Wildlife & Ecotourism: This unit draws on what you have learnt during the Environmental Studies unit in your first year. You will investigate the impact of human activities on the natural environment on a global scale.

Please note that option units require minimum numbers in order to run and may only be available on a semester by semester basis. They may also change from year to year.

Scheduled learning and teaching activities

The emphasis of this course is in guided independent learning, which helps you develop into a self-motivated learner. When not attending lectures and seminars, you will be expected to read around the subject. Your typical week’s activities will include reading books and journal articles, working on group projects, preparing presentations, conducting library research and writing your assignments. The hours below give an indication of how you can expect to spend your time during each year of this course.

Year 1 – 25% of your time will be spent in timetabled learning & teaching activities

  • Learning and teaching: 259 hours 
  • Independent learning: 941 hours
  • Non-assessed learning and teaching: 42 hours

Year 2 – 23% of your time will be spent in timetabled learning & teaching activities

  • Learning and teaching: 260 hours 
  • Independent learning: 940 hours
  • Non-assessed learning and teaching: 44 hours

Year 3 (placement year)

Year 4 - 15% of your time will be spent in timetabled learning & teaching activities

  • Learning and teaching: 260 hours 
  • Independent learning: 940 hours
  • Non-assessedlearning and teaching: 53 hours

55% of the course is assessed by coursework

  • Year 1: 78%
  • Year 2: 68%
  • Year 3: 0% (placement year)
  • Year 4: 73%

Throughout the course you will be assessed by coursework culminating in your final year research project, but you will also undertake group work and written exams.

Programme specification

Programme specifications provide definitive records of the University's taught degrees in line with Quality Assurance Agency requirements. Every taught course leading to a BU Award has a programme specification which describes its aims, structure, content and learning outcomes, plus the teaching, learning and assessment methods used.

Download the programme specification for BA (Hons) Tourism Management.

Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the programme specification, the information is liable to change to take advantage of exciting new approaches to teaching and learning as well as developments in industry. If you have been unable to locate the programme specification for the course you are interested in, it will be available as soon as the latest version is ready. Alternatively please contact us for assistance.

All statistics shown are taken from Unistats, Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE), BU institutional data and Ipsos MORI (National Student Survey) unless otherwise stated.

Placement opportunities

At BU, we recognise that placements are extremely valuable and can give you a head start when it comes to your future career, therefore we now offer every new student the opportunity to undertake an industrial placement as part of their course. You can also choose to undertake your placement abroad, giving you the opportunity to develop yourself personally, academically, and professionally and gain skills to help you stand out in the job market. Our stududents did their placements in countries such as Spain, Greece, China, USA, Kenya and New Zealand.

You’ll spend your third year on a professional work placement with public or private sector tourism-related organisations. As well as valuable experience of tourism you’ll develop an understanding and appreciation of how individual organisations operate and their inter-relationship within the wider context of tourism. The knowledge and skills developed on placement and the opportunities for learning from and networking with professionals are known to enhance your performance, results and employment prospects.

The Faculty has dedicated placements advisers, whose job it is to assist students in getting the most out of their period in industry. It is a very important decision to select the placement that is relevant to your studies and your individual career aspirations.

Our students perform very well on placement and a number of firms return to us year-on-year to source BU placement students. They work in roles such as Management Intern, Operations/Reservations Coordinator, Trainee Manager, Digital Marketing Intern and Visa Specialist Intern.

Our students have previously worked for:

  • TUI Travel
  • Corinthia
  • The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort
  • Hong Kong Tourist Board
  • Norwegian Cruise Line
  • Savoy
  • Expedia
  • The Tower Hotel
  • National Express
  • Le Meridien She Shan Shanghai.

Why not read about some of our students’ experiences?

All statistics shown are taken from Unistats, Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE), BU institutional data and Ipsos MORI (National Student Survey) unless otherwise stated.

Your application

Background and experience

We are looking for passionate, eager students who are going to make a real difference to the course they are studying. Our students learn from each other, as well as their academic staff, so it is really important to us that you can show us how much you care about the course you are interested in. Your UCAS personal statement is a great place to do this. Tell us about your personal achievements or any relevant work experience you have done, and show us how they make you the ideal candidate for a place on the course.

For this course we are looking for applicants who have:

  • Both intellectual and creative abilities
  • Good written and oral communication skills
  • Potential for a career that puts the consumer centre stage
  • The ability to think logically and organise your work
  • A real interest in people and places.

Ideal applicants should also be able to demonstrate an interest in hands-on organisation, showing the skills to be innovative, flexible and enthusiastic managers. These skills are needed by an industry that exists to create something special for its customers. Good interpersonal skills are vital, and a wide range of interests is a real advantage.

Selection methods

We’ll be selecting the candidates for this course by looking at their UCAS applications; there are no interviews or selection activities needed. For that reason, make sure your application really stands out from the crowd, and leave us in no doubt as to why you should be joining BU. You can find some handy hints about filling in your UCAS form on our how to apply webpages.

Our offer making process

Our offer making will typically be based on your three main graded qualifications, including any required subjects. Additional study may be valuable for breadth of study, and we will look at a range of qualifications and subjects, including the Extended Project Qualification and General Studies, although these may not be part of our offer.

If you do not meet the criteria of your original offer, we may still offer you a place. We will review your whole application and consider all academic qualifications (including those not in the offer) and the rest of the application to see if you have the academic potential to succeed on the course. If we feel the answer is yes, we will still confirm your place.

How we'll assess your application

We look at individual applications and make a tailored offer based on your potential to succeed on the course considering a range of factors, including your academic achievements, work and other experience, predicted grades, reference and personal statement, and in some cases, your performance at an interview/selection test.

If you meet one or more of our contextual data indicators for educational disadvantage (such as being in care, living in a low participation neighbourhood or in an area with less advantaged socio-economic characteristics), your offer could be between 6-20 points below the published tariff.

Unconditional offer scheme

Our Unconditional Offer Scheme seeks to reward exceptional applicants who are predicted to achieve top academic results. The scheme is offered to applicants on all courses who are predicted AAA at A-level/triple Distinction in BTEC Extended Diploma, or above, or equivalent, subject to any course selection measures and meeting other entry criteria (i.e. required qualifications). What’s more we’ll recognise your achievement if you meet these grades with an Academic Excellence Scholarship from £1,500 when you arrive*.

We believe that unconditional offers will reduce pressure on applicants who will continue to strive to achieve the best grades possible. Excellent grades will become a part of applicants’ CVs and are also required for BU’s scholarships. International qualifications are considered in the scheme; however applicants must satisfy the English language requirements. *Our scholarships are subject to terms, conditions and eligibility criteria, detailed on our scholarships pages.

2017 entry requirements

The new UCAS Tariff will be used for September 2017 entry.

The entry requirements for this course are 104 to 120 tariff points, including 2 A-Levels or equivalent qualifications. BTEC Extended Diploma: DMM

UCAS have created a helpful calculator so you can calculate points to use for courses starting from September 2017 onwards.

GCSEs: This course requires a minimum of 4 GCSEs grades A* - C (or grade 4 or above in the newly reformed GCSE grading) including Maths and English or equivalent qualifications.

Numeracy and literacy: We need to be sure that you can express yourself in written English and have basic numeracy skills. We look at Level 2 of the National Qualifications Framework, which includes GCSEs, iGCSEs, Key Skills and Functional Skills Level 2. If you do not have formal qualifications to this level or have alternatives, we may still be able to consider your application – please contact the askBU Enquiry Service to find out more.

Other qualifications: We have outlined below other qualifications that we consider for this course. If you are studying a qualification that is not listed, please contact the askBU Enquiry Service – it may be that we can still consider it.

Access courses: BU welcomes Access to HE Diploma applicants. This course requires applicants to Pass the Access to HE Diploma (with 60 Credits - at least 45 at level 3, remainder at level 2 or equivalent). Any combination of grades to meet the overall tariff is acceptable.

BTEC qualifications:

  • Extended Diploma: This course requires Distinction, Merit, Merit
  • Diploma: This course requires Distinction, Merit in addition to an A-Level to achieve the overall tariff.
  • 90-credit Diploma: The 90-credit Diploma will be accepted as part of your overall tariff but it must be accompanied by A-Levels or equivalent qualifications.
  • Subsidiary Diploma: This course requires a Distinction in addition to two A-Levels to achieve the overall tariff.

A combination of BTEC qualifications to meet the overall course tariff is also acceptable.

Cambridge Pre-U Diploma: We welcome applicants studying the Cambridge Pre-U Diploma or a combination of Pre-U subjects and A-levels.

European Baccalaureate: Applicants are required to achieve a minimum score of 75% overall.

International Baccalaureate (Diploma): The IB Diploma is welcomed as part of the International Baccalaureate (IB). This course requires 28-31 points including 5 points from each of the 3 Higher Level subjects

Scottish qualifications: Scottish Advanced Highers, Scottish Highers and other Scottish qualifications are all welcomed providing that your results meet the overall course tariff.

Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma: The Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma is welcomed alongside A-Levels or equivalent, to meet the overall course tariff.

OCR Level 3 Cambridge Technical Qualification: The OCR Extended Diploma or a combination of one Diploma + one Introductory Diploma is acceptable for entry to this course.

Extended Diploma: This course requires Distinction, Merit, Merit.

Other combinations of OCR Level 3 Cambridge Technical qualifications to meet the overall course tariff may be acceptable.

Extended Project Qualification: The grade achieved for the Extended Project may be taken into account when considering whether or not to accept a candidate who has marginally failed to meet the conditions of their offer.

Deferred entry: We are happy to consider applicants for deferred entry.

International entry requirements

If English is not your first language, you will need to provide evidence that you can understand English to a satisfactory level. English language requirements for this course are normally:

  • IELTS (Academic) 6.0 with minimum 5.5 in each component, or equivalent.

View further information about our English language requirements.

If you do not meet the English language requirement for your degree then why not join our Pre-Sessional English course. Successful completion of our Pre-Sessional English course will meet your English language requirement, without the need to re-take IELTS.

Academic entry requirements

You can find details of the international qualifications we accept, and what level of study they apply to, on our entry requirements for non-UK students' page.

We offer a number of preparatory programmes through the Bournemouth University International College. These courses offer you progression from High School in your home country to a Bachelor’s degree at BU.

Options include:


The tourism industry is constantly evolving, as travellers look for ever more ways to enjoy their time away from normal life. There are a wealth of opportunities in this exciting sector and this degree will prepare you for a range of roles. 90% of our students are in work or further study within six months of completing their course, taking on a variety of positions including sales and marketing, product planning, operations, ICT, distribution, human resources, event organisation and finance.

The roles you could go into include:

  • Assistant manager
  • Customer relations
  • Events coordinator
  • International travel consultant
  • Marketing consultant.

Among the organisations that our graduates have worked for are Astral Holidays, Costa Cruises, Explore Worldwide, Flight Centre, Hills Balfour, Quay Holidays, Senate Grand Prix, STA Travel, Thomson, TUI Group and Zenith Holidays.

This course is recognised by the Tourism Management Institute (TMI), which means the curriculum, research and experience of the academic staff is relevant to professional practice in the destination management sector.

BU is also accredited by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNTWO).

Industries worked in

  • Tourism
  • Hospitality
  • Leisure
  • Events
  • Marketing.

Further study

Once you have completed an undergraduate Honours degree, you can further develop your education by studying for a postgraduate degree. Please visit our postgraduate section for further details about our range of Master's degrees.

All of the above information is taken from Unistats, Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE), BU institutional data and Ipsos MORI (National Student Survey) unless otherwise stated.

No hidden extras

As a student at BU we will provide many things to support you and there will also be additional costs you may encounter whilst studying at BU. The information below will help you understand our provision and what you need to budget for.

What you can expect from us

All of your teaching and assessments are included in your tuition fees, including, lectures/guest lectures and tutorials, seminars, laboratory sessions and specialist teaching facilities. You will also have access to a wide range of support and services.

  • One set of study-related consumables such as a memory stick/ DVD
  • Materials for laboratory and field-based teaching activity
  • Support for placements (UK or abroad) and fieldwork
  • A range of student services – advisors, help desks, counsellors, placement support and careers service
  • The Library – access to a wide range of electronic resources (databases, e-journals and e-books), print and multimedia collections, subject librarians and study spaces
  • IT labs (some open 24/7), wireless network, AV equipment to borrow
  • Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) scheme
  • Disability and additional learning support
  • The BU Language Centre to help you develop/improve foreign or English language skills
  • 24 hours a day, 365 days a year security team.

Costs of living and other expenses you need to consider

  • Accommodation and living costs: view our price guide
  • Text books: remember that our award-winning library is stocked with a large range of text books for all courses, as well as online resources such as industry journals, free of charge
  • General stationery and other supplies such as print and presentation materials: the Students’ Union shops stock a wide range of stationery supplies on both campuses
  • Travel to, from and between BU campuses: our bus service operates in the local areas offering a subsided travel rate; we also have a large number of secure bike storage compounds
  • SportBU membership: check out our student membership packages, sports events, varsity teams, information about our new facilities and more on the SportBU webpages
  • Fieldwork travel, outdoor wear and footwear (where applicable)
  • Telephone and travel costs incurred when undertaking interviews for coursework/securing placements.
  • A fee will be payable towards the cost of an Educational Psychology Assessment if this is required in connection with additional learning support. BU pays for approximately two-thirds of the cost of this assessment for UK students. For more details and current pricing please visit the Students section of the website.

Repeat Units

If you need to repeat one or more units during the course of your studies, you may be required to pay an additional fee of £1,500 per 20 credit unit. 

Financial help available from BU

We offer a range of scholarships and bursaries to students who are beginning their studies at BU. Our website also provides details on living costs, budgeting and paying your tuition fees.

What our students say

Emily Smith

I love the course diversity, covering a wide range of subject areas. The work placement was invaluable as I learnt so much working within the tourism industry.

Hear from our staff

Dr Anya Chapman

This course has been developed to equip our students with a broad range of skills and knowledge, enabling them to become the very best tourism managers.

What our students say

Tafadzwa Msipa

BU is a fantastic place to study with specialist lecturers who have experienced the tourism industry first hand, and written academic books and journals.

Additional information

Fees and funding

Fees and funding

Find out about fees and funding, including scholarships and bursaries.

Open Days

Open Days

Discover what makes Open Days so enjoyable and useful – and register to attend one of our events.

International students

International students

We have a strong international student community. Find all the practical advice and information you need here.