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MSc Tourism Management

Tourism Masters framework video
  • Delivery:
    Full time according to Funding Council definitions, Part-Time, Sandwich (Thick) out of college.

This course is a conversion course (meaning it is intended for students who have not studied the subject previously).  It is ideal for graduates who would like to change subjects or career direction.

This course reviews a range of key issues, challenges and developments in tourism management, with particular focus on the relationships between tourism and the wider economic, environmental and socio-cultural context. 

The course aims to develop your management, research and analytical skills to allow you to operate at a high level within this dynamic industry. During your studies, you'll meet industry experts, with the opportunity to take a professional placement, network and share knowledge and experience whilst learning in a structured environment. The course also offers a unique opportunity to mix with a diverse range of nationalities, allowing you to increase your inter-cultural competence. This is vital to tourism management in an increasingly globalised world. Thus, the course prepares graduates to develop within a variety of potential career paths.

We are internationally known for our quality tourism courses and research activities - in the REF2014 tourism at BU was rated as joint 1st in the UK, based on its internationally recognised research. This course is delivered by staff who are actively involved in research and consultancy, ensuring that the curriculum and discussions are informed by cutting edge knowledge and practice. Our team includes Professor Adam Blake who specialise in economic aspects of tourism development, Professor Adele Ladkin who is a leading researcher on labour and employment in tourism and hospitality and Professor Dimitrios Buhalis who is a known expert of strategic marketing and the use of technology in tourism. 

Gain a more detailed insight about this course by watching our online presentation delivered by Senior Lecturer Dr Susanna Curtin.

Key information

Next start date:

September 2018, January 2019

Location:

Bournemouth University, Talbot Campus

Duration:

September: 1 year full-time (16 months with optional study exchange). January: 16 months full-time (18 months with optional study exchange), 2 years with optional 30-week work placement or 2 years part-time

Accreditations:

United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO); Institute for Travel & Tourism

Required subjects:

All subjects considered

Entry requirements:

A Bachelors Honours degree with 2:2 in any subject or equivalent. If English is not your first language you'll need IELTS 6.0 (Academic) or above. For more information check out our full entry requirements

Course details

If you want to study part-time, you’ll study alongside full-time students over two years. You'll be expected to study a minimum of three units per year, along with your dissertation towards the end of your second year. The timetable for when units take place varies each year but the typical delivery for one unit is four hours a week, split between two sessions, so you will be required to be on campus at least two days a week. We can work with you to consider the timetable and make an appropriate individual plan in terms of which order to study which units.

Core units

  • Managing Visitor Attractions: The development and redevelopment of cultural and heritage attractions. You'll review the management of cultural and heritage resources by offering a principal or secondary attraction for tourist destinations. This part of the sector represents a significant component for domestic and international visitors and it includes historic, man-made and contemporary attractions.
  • Business Strategy & Finance: The foundations of strategic analysis and choices that tie into an organisation’s business decisions. This includes private, public and third sector. You'll study the corporate finance sources of organisations, reporting and interpreting financial data. This will help you understand the dynamics of the tourism, hospitality and leisure sectors.
  • Tourism Planning & Development: Planning is at the heart of tourism development, and the various ways in which tourism planning affects destinations, the tourism industry and tourists is an essential component in the understanding of tourism. This unit demonstrates how planning theories are converted into policies and, in turn, help shape destination development in the tourism industry.
  • The Tourism & Hospitality Industries: This unit will provide you with a comprehensive appreciation of the tourism and hospitality business ecosystem. Based on Leipier’s tourism system, the module analyses the value chain of the industry and examines the role of each stakeholder in the tourism and hospitality value system and identifies linkages, interrelations and collaboration requirements.  The unit will be delivered through a series of industry guest lectures.
  • Destinations: Contexts for Tourism & Hospitality: Placing the tourism destination at the heart of discussion, this unit explores the physical, conceptual and administrative spaces in which tourism and hospitality activities occur, and as such provide the context for an exploration of the complex and interrelated activities of tourist activities. The unit will be international in nature, drawing on examples and practices from developed and developing nations.
  • Dissertation: An opportunity to study a subject in-depth, showing your understanding of it. The dissertation is the conclusion of your learning experience, where you'll carry out a research project. You'll use appropriate research methodology to collect and analyse data and present your findings. Your dissertation will be 15,000 words, and you'll be taught about research methods.

Option units (choose one)

  • Air Transport & Tourism: The aim of the unit is to develop your awareness of the role of aviation management in the successful planning and development of international tourism. It will evaluate the potential barriers to continued growth and explore the conflicts and challenges of meeting both economic and environmental targets, highlighting the contribution of aviation to greenhouse gas emissions (GHG).
  • Conference Tourism: Here, you'll reflect on the conference sector's growth, and examine its present state by identifying the size, value, trends and growth of major conference destinations throughout the world. You'll also suggest how destinations and venues can develop a better conference product.
  • Crisis & Disaster Management: You'll develop a systematic understanding of the unique needs and critical resources that exist within key sectors and activities of Tourism, Hospitality and Events. You'll complete a number of strategic and tactical planning exercises aimed at addressing the need to integrate tourism and events within risk reduction, response and recovery strategies.
  • Design for Tourism & Hospitality: This unit addresses the role and significance of design in and for the tourism and hospitality industries at the level of individual businesses and organisations or sites and events. It considers the design of tangible and intangible objects or ‘things’ such as buildings (exteriors and interiors), maps and guides, souvenirs, live events, corporate identities, business processes, and servicescapes.
  • Entrepreheurship: The process of creating a new entrepreneurial venture, and funding sources for new and upcoming entrepreneurs. There's a focus on identifying and evaluating entrepreneurial opportunities. Entrepreneurial development may cover a single entity, a further investment by a portfolio entrepreneur, a management buy-out, a spin out or a venture in an existing organisation.
  • Food Design & Marketing: You will develop an understanding of the broad context of food design and marketing. The unit focuses on food in terms of its aesthetics, the processes and tools used in, and the spaces where food is, prepared, distributed and consumed and how these are promoted and communicated to the consumers with emphasis on consumer behaviour towards food.
  • Global Food & Drink: The unit will provide an in-depth analysis of the role of food and drink in the international hospitality, tourism, retail and events business environment. An understanding of the nature of our relationship with food socially, economically, politically, environmentally and in terms of technology is a valuable addition to other strategic and operational areas of expertise.
  • Sport Tourism: Learn about the features of sport tourism and the changing demands for it, along with its supply structures and impacts on and responses from sport and tourism providers. You'll explore how sport, tourism and events interact.
  • Tourism & the Media: This unit will develop your ability to critique and apply media theories, practices and discourses in relation to tourism.
  • Tourism Culture & Society: The unit explores the principles, concepts and practices of tourism from the perspective of social science and cultural studies theories. More specifically, the unit discusses the contributions of social science disciplines in understanding the multiple dimensions and manifestations of tourism globally.
  • Tourism Management & the Natural Environment: You’ll critically reflect upon the significance and impact of tourism on a variety of ecosystems; the use of animals in tourism, the ways in which tourism can be successfully managed to ensure it contributes to the goals of biodiversity and conservation; and the relationship between climatic changes and tourism development.

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.

Optional work placement

The placement is intended to foster personal and professional development, and to help you to make a connection between academic learning and the working world. You should consider how a range of management theories can be used, and if management in industry could be improved. The transferable skills developed will improve your performance in your future career, both as employee and manager.

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 MSc 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.

Selection criteria

Background & Experience

For Tourism Management we are looking for applicants who:

  • Are creative and enthusiastic
  • Are able to work to tight and competing deadlines
  • Are able to work independently as well as enjoy working with other people
  • Can adapt to working with students from a diverse range of cultural backgrounds.

We expect our students to be hard working and enthusiastic, open to new ideas and prepared to work with others to achieve the high standard of industry professionals that BU is renowned for. You should have a strong interest and passion for extending your skills and knowledge, especially during the final stage of the course when you must research one topic of interest and write a 20000 word dissertation on this subject.

Though you must be able to work alone, you must also have the social skills required to interact with others, as the course requires you to do group work. You should also have cultural flexibility as you will meet other students from a diverse range of cultures.

Selection Methods

This course selects candidates by looking at their applications. There are no interviews or additional selection activities and therefore we suggest that you make your application stand out from the crowd. For more information take a look at our how to apply pages.

Full entry requirements

The normal requirements for embarking upon a postgraduate taught degree are:

  • A Bachelors Honours degree with 2:2 in any subject or equivalent.

If you lack the formal academic qualifications needed to enter a postgraduate or post-experience degree, there are several alternative routes to follow - some based on experience. Contact the Future Students Enquiry Team for more information.

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 a minimum of 5.5 in each component of writing, speaking, listening and reading or equivalent.

View further information about our English language requirements.

A number of pre-sessional English and preparatory programmes are offered through our partner institution, Bournemouth University International College, and will get you ready for study at BU at the appropriate level.

You can also find further details of the international qualifications we accept, and what level of study they apply to, on our postgraduate entry requirements page.

Placement opportunities

An exciting and valuable part of your studies with us is the opportunity to gain valuable experience through full-time paid industrial placements, for a minimum of 30 weeks. You will have the option to start your placement when the taught units of the course are finished, before the dissertation.

What job roles can you expect?

Students are capable of taking on a very wide range of work; from operational to managerial in a variety of environments (hotels, tour operators, event companies, recruitment sector, finance and marketing departments). The placement should be a paid job but voluntary work can be just as enjoyable.

What support is available?

We provide a lot of support for you to help you find work, including a block of seminars, covering topics such as writing a CV and a covering letter, completing an application form, performing well in interviews, and we also provide language support to assist you with the written elements of your applications. However, it is ultimately your responsibility to find work. The university does not guarantee that you will find a place. As you all probably know, it is hard work finding a job, and for this reason, many students change their mind once they are here, and choose a taught unit instead of doing the placement.

During your time on placement you will be supported by a unit tutor and a placement development advisor who will visit you on placement and keep in touch by phone and email.

International students

If you choose to do a placement as part of your course

If you have previously studied in the UK, we will consider any study limit that may apply. We will issue your CAS according to the length of time you are entitled to under UKVI regulations (if you do not have enough time left for a work placement year, we will issue your CAS to cover your course dates only).

If you decide after you have enrolled on your course that you do not want to do a placement, this will be reported to the UKVI when you have successfully completed your course.

If you choose not to do a placement as part of your course

We will note this on your CAS and your visa will only be granted long enough to cover your taught course, excluding placement.

If you change your mind while you are here and decide you want to do a placement, you will need to leave the UK to make a new Tier 4 visa application for the additional year of study. You would need to pay for your return travel back to your home country, as well as the cost of a new Tier 4 student visa application.

Careers

Many governments are aware of the economic importance of tourism as well as its wider social and environmental impacts.

Some of our graduates hold senior management positions in private and public sectors, such as tour operators, the aviation and cruise industries, hotel chains and government tourism ministries and development agencies.

Amongst our alumni is a Hospitality Manager for a 4-star hotel in Qatar, a Government Official in the Peruvian Tourism Ministry, the Head of Tourism for the Azores Islands and the Secretary General of the Kurokawa Onsen Tourist Inn Association.

As a Tourism Management graduate, you will be prepared to undertake roles such as:

  • Tourism marketing manager
  • Lodging managers
  • Tour operator manager
  • Customer service manager
  • Hotel manager.
Ivana Gligoric, BU alumni

“There are traits that I see in BU graduates again and again – they have a strong understanding of their subject, a great work ethic and are hardworking and respectful of others. In my experience BU graduates bring real value to teams and to those who are lucky enough to employ them.”

Ivana Gligoric, MSc Tourism & Event Management graduate and CEO of OneFine Corporation – read Ivana’s story

Industries Worked In

  • Tourism
  • Government
  • Leisure
  • Hospitality.

Further Study

If you want to continue your studies after achieving your Master's, you can look into our range of doctoral programmes.

*The above are taken from Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) and BU institutional data.

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, and non-financial support whilst on placement
  • 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 subsidised 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
  • Optional 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 (with or without attendance) you may be required to pay additional fees equivalent to one ninth of the tuition fee 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.

Our lecturers

Our staff are actively engaged in research and professional practice in the retail sector which is integrated into the teaching of this course. Find out more about some of the staff and their research activities who will be teaching on this course below.

Dr Philip AlfordProgramme Coordinator for MSc Tourism Management

Philip Alford is a Senior Academic in Digital Marketing in the Faculty of Management at Bournemouth University in the UK where he teaches a range of courses at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, including Digital Marketing for final year undergraduate, and eTourism and Marketing for Hospitality and Tourism at postgraduate level.

Philip also works in a professional practice capacity with SMEs and micro businesses advising them on how they can develop more agile and data-driven digital marketing plans. He sits on VisitWiltshire's Board of Directors with a specific remit for advising on digital marketing - a remit that has also involved him in chairing VisitWiltshire’s Online Marketing Group. Philip extended his work with Destination Marketing Organisations when recently joined the Bournemouth Tourism Marketing Group. Philip is a visiting professor at ESSEC Business School, France where he has taught a range of marketing courses both at MBA and executive education levels.

He also teaches courses at the Management Center Innsbruck, and Zillertal Tourism School, in Austria. Philip is leading an Erasmus-funded project which is investigating the digitisation of micro and small enterprises in tourism in the UK, Denmark and Portugal.

Dr Sean Beer - Senior Academic

Sean Beer is a Senior Academic with a passionate interest in the interaction between tourism, culture, food, the countryside and the food supply chain. He has considerable practical experience in hospitality, agriculture, marketing, the food supply chain and the rural economy in general, gained in family businesses and the food industry, local and international. His principal research interests include the food supply chain, consumer behaviour, rural business, society and development. On the MSc Tourism Management he leads the core ‘Business Strategy and Finance’ unit, and the optional ‘Food and Drink’ unit.

Professor Adam Blake - Professor of Tourism Economics

Adam has research interests in the economic relationships between tourism and other economic sectors. His recent research has including modelling the economic impacts of tourism on poorer households in developing countries and the role of tourism in alleviating poverty. On the MSc Tourism Management teaches about tourism development and leads the ‘Tourism Planning and Development’ unit. 

Dr Lorraine Brown - Associate Professor of Tourism

Lorraine Brown is Associate Professor of Tourism. She has research interests in qualitative methods, the experiences of female tourists, literary tourism, and the relationships between tourism and memory. On the MSc Tourism Management she leads the placement and dissertation units, and also teaches research methods.

Dr Viachaslau Filimonau - Principal Academic

Viachaslau Filimonau is a Principal Academic with research interests in sustainable mobility patterns, environmental management practices in tourism & hospitality enterprises and pro-environmental consumer behaviour. Viachaslau holds a BSc degree in Geography, a MSc degree in Environmental Management and Policy and a PhD in Tourism. On the MSc Tourism Management he teaches on the ‘Business Strategy and Finance’ unit.

Professor Adele Ladkin - Professor of Tourism Employment

Adele Ladkin is Professor of Tourism Employment. She has research interests in labour and human resources aspects of tourism and hospitality, along with and in the influences of digital technologies on the travel experience. On the MSc Tourism Management she teaches the core unit ‘The Tourism and Hospitality Industries’.

Dr Duncan Light - Senior Academic

Duncan Light is senior academic in tourism management. He is a human geographer by background with research interests in heritage tourism, particularly in Central/Eastern Europe. On the MSc Tourism Management he teaches visitor attraction management (with a particular focus on the role of heritage interpretation) and tourism planning. 

Steve Richards - Senior Academic

Steve Richards is a senior academic in tourism management. He has a background in tourism consultancy and has worked on visitor attraction development projects, market appraisals, environmental impact assessments, and social and economic assessments. His current research focuses on visitor attractions and destination development. On the MSc Tourism Management he leads the ‘Managing Visitor Attractions’ unit with a particular focus on the visitor experience at attractions.

Jeff Sadd  - Lecturer in Finance

Jeff Sadd is a lecturer in finance across many programmes within the Faculty of Management. His professional career background was in the International Capital Markets, specialising in Derivative Risk Management, working both in London and New York, where he was a Director of Derivative Trading and Management for a major U.K. bank. For the MSc Tourism Management programme, he teaches on the Business, Strategy and Finance, offering students a mix of academic and "real world" approaches to finance.

Course changes

The table below indicates the latest changes to this course.

Date Changes to this course Where the change was made Previous text
15/11/2017

After an annual review of the placement year tuition fee,  a price increase in line with current inflation, equating to 3% has been introduced for September 2018 entrants.

Fees £790
02/10/2017

The unit Tourism and Hospitality Principles & Practice has changed to The Tourism & Hospitality Industries.

Course details

Tourism & Hospitality Principles & Practice: This unit is international in nature, drawing on examples and practices from developed and developing countries. You'll appreciate the broad study of tourism as a field in its own right.

22/09/2017

Our recognition by the Tourism Management Institute (TMI) has expired which we are currently revalidating

Key facts

Recognised by the Tourism Management Institute (TMI)

10/08/2017 Changes to all core and option units for students starting in September 2018 onwards Course details - Sept 2018 onwards Course details - Sept 2017 & Jan 2018

06/04/2016

A new option unit: Economics for Tourism and Hospitality

Course details

N/A

04/03/2016

A new option unit: Creative Industries in Tourism & Events

Course details

N/A

02/03/2016

Elective unit change. Removal of the unit Managing Organisations and addition of the unit Research Methods

Course details

Managing Organisations: Develop competence in organisational management and behaviour for a management career in the leisure sector. You'll investigate key roles and how these may be affected by operational environments and organisational structures and cultures, particularly in international and multinational organisations.

Hear from our staff

Professor Dimitrios Buhalis

You’ll learn from people with first-hand knowledge, well respected in industry. We use our experience and insights to give in-depth understanding of the subject.

What our graduates think

Maiko Iizuka

I'm now working for the largest travel agent in Japan and am also engaged in the academic community. I presented my dissertation to the association of Japanese Geographers and am co-authoring a new project.
Simon Phelps

Career development

Read about career and development opportunities and discover how gaining industry experience could help you.

Purbeck House common room

International students

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