Master of Science
Ulster University Business School
Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management
A world of opportunity in an industry sector that is continuously evolving.
Do you want to work in the 21st century’s fastest growing industry? Are you looking for a diverse career with global opportunities? Our MSc International Tourism & Hospitality Management is your ticket to a world of opportunities.
Ulster University is the top place to study tourism and hospitality management. Accredited by the Institute of Hospitality, this qualification is recognised worldwide for international employment.
As the global tourism and hospitality industry evolves and the local industry transforms, innovative, creative and professional people are needed to drive it forward - this could be you. Working in partnership with industry experts we have created a relevant and practical course meaning you will graduate industry ready with the skills employers are looking for. Our modules encourage collaboration and forward thinking with the opportunity to share ideas and experience with a diverse network of international students.
From a manager of a boundary pushing hotel, or a customer experience manager at a world famous attraction to a marketer in a national tourism office or creator of the next digital tourism operator there are endless career opportunities for those who complete this course. Whatever you dream of becoming in this diverse and exciting sector, this course will lead you one step closer to making it a reality.
With all assessment coursework based, you will cover topics such as, key industry principles, strategic marketing, managing and leading people, business sustainability and innovation as well as exploring contemporary issues facing the sector.
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Tourism & Hospitality Principles
The module provides students with an understanding of key principles of tourism and hospitality, the structures for both, and how they have been operationalised. It also assesses the impacts of both on destinations and the relevance for both sectors in the future.
The module examines and applies the principles, concepts and theories of strategic marketing management including managing the marketing mix, strategy formulation, strategic decision making and evaluation of marketing performance. Moreover, the module provides students with an understanding and knowledge of a range of analytical models and tools which can be applied to marketing planning, implementation and control.
Managing & Leading People
The significance of leadership in achieving results is well established in research with findings highlighting that leadership behaviour is often responsible for the difference between success and failure in organisations. Management is essentially concerned with getting things done through people by exercising sound leadership. This module examines the key concepts of management and leadership with specific reference to the role of the Line Manager and the need for effective Leadership. Furthermore, it examines the critical role of the HR Function and Line Management when managing people within the international service industries.
Contemporary Issues in Tourism & Hospitality
The module explores a range of current issues that are relevant for tourism and hospitality today, either in terms of shaping new scholarly thinking or have clear applied value to both sectors.
Business Sustainability & Innovation
The module examines a range of theoretical and practical issues surrounding business sustainability and innovation. The use of case studies to apply business models develops an understanding of key business concepts including entrepreneurship, innovation, creativity, value creation and value capture. The development of business model use by student teams will immerse students in key methods of innovation and value propositions, which are relevant for contemporary managers as well as aspiring entrepreneurs.
This module will develop, enhance and assess the student's ability to design appropriate research, propose suitable methodologies and evaluate research philosophy, researcher positionality and research ethics. The module is designed to equip students with the technical skills to collect and analyse quantitative and qualitative data, using ICT packages. The module serves as a precursor to the MSc research dissertation.
The module element will enable students to undertake a Dissertation at postgraduate level, building on knowledge and skills gained through the course, including in particular the Research Methods module.
The course starts with a 3 day induction period to introduce you to your new network of students and staff.
All modules are taught in 3 day blocks (usually Wed-Fri 9-5) so you can fit your learning around your lifestyle. Classes are taught both online and at the Belfast campus.
One module is delivered approximately every 4 weeks during each semester (4 semesters in total) with three half day Learning Sets (tutorial learning support) per module to allow you to meet with your tutors and student groups to develop your assessed work.
The calendar of scheduled teaching will be made available to you prior to you starting the course.
A range of teaching methods will be employed, including traditional lectures, case studies, business simulation gaming and one-to-one tutor session videos. We also arrange a number of field trips to hospitality and tourism venues and invite guest speakers from industry.
There are no formal examinations. Assessment includes written essays, short synopsis, personal reflections and peer reviews, case studies, objective tests, business reports, computer modelling, individual and group presentations.
The content for each course is summarised on the relevant course page, along with an overview of the modules that make up the course.
Each course is approved by the University and meets the expectations of:
As part of your course induction, you will be provided with details of the organisation and management of the course, including attendance and assessment requirements - usually in the form of a timetable. For full-time courses, the precise timetable for each semester is not confirmed until near the start date and may be subject to change in the early weeks as all courses settle into their planned patterns. For part-time courses which require attendance on particular days and times, an expectation of the days of attendance will often be included in the letter of offer. A course handbook is also made available.
Courses comprise modules for which the notional effort involved is indicated by its credit rating. Each credit point represents 10 hours of student effort. Undergraduate courses typically contain 10- or 20-credit modules and postgraduate course typically 15- or 30-credit modules.
The normal study load expectation for an undergraduate full-time course of study in the standard academic year is 120 credit points. This amounts to around 36-42 hours of expected teaching and learning per week, inclusive of attendance requirements for lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical work, fieldwork or other scheduled classes, private study, and assessment. Part-time study load is the same as full-time pro-rata, with each credit point representing 10 hours of student effort.
Postgraduate Masters courses typically comprise 180 credits, taken in three semesters when studied full-time. A Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) comprises 60 credits and can usually be completed on a part-time basis in one year. A 120-credit Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) can usually be completed on a part-time basis in two years.
Class contact times vary by course and type of module. Typically, for a module predominantly delivered through lectures you can expect at least 3 contact hours per week (lectures/seminars/tutorials). Laboratory classes often require a greater intensity of attendance in blocks. Some modules may combine lecture and laboratory. The precise model will depend on the course you apply for and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. Prospective students will be consulted about any significant changes.
Assessment methods vary and are defined explicitly in each module. Assessment can be via one method or a combination e.g. examination and coursework . Assessment is designed to assess your achievement of the module’s stated learning outcomes. You can expect to receive timely feedback on all coursework assessment. The precise assessment will depend on the module and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.
Coursework can take many forms, for example: essay, report, seminar paper, test, presentation, dissertation, design, artefacts, portfolio, journal, group work. The precise form and combination of assessment will depend on the course you apply for and the module. Details will be made available in advance through induction, the course handbook, the module specification and the assessment timetable. The details are subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.
Normally, a module will have four learning outcomes, and no more than two items of assessment. An item of assessment can comprise more than one task. The notional workload and the equivalence across types of assessment is standardised.
The class of Honours awarded in Bachelor’s degrees is usually determined by calculation of an aggregate mark based on performance across the modules at Levels 5 and 6 (which correspond to the second and third year of full-time attendance).
Level 6 modules contribute 70% of the aggregate mark and Level 5 contributes 30% to the calculation of the class of the award. Classification of integrated Masters degrees with Honours include a Level 7 component. The calculation in this case is: 50% Level 7, 30% Level 6, 20% Level 5. At least half the Level 5 modules must be studied at the University for Level 5 to be included in the calculation of the class.
All other qualifications have an overall grade determined by results in modules from the final level of study. In Masters degrees of more than 200 credit points the final 120 points usually determine the overall grading.
Figures correct for academic year 2019-2020.
The University employs over 1,000 suitably qualified and experienced academic staff - 59% have PhDs in their subject field and many have professional body recognition.
Courses are taught by staff who are Professors (25%), Readers, Senior Lecturers (20%) or Lecturers (55%).
We require most academic staff to be qualified to teach in higher education: 82% hold either Postgraduate Certificates in Higher Education Practice or higher. Most academic staff (81%) are accredited fellows of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) by Advanced HE - the university sector professional body for teaching and learning. Many academic and technical staff hold other professional body designations related to their subject or scholarly practice.
The profiles of many academic staff can be found on the University’s departmental websites and give a detailed insight into the range of staffing and expertise. The precise staffing for a course will depend on the department(s) involved and the availability and management of staff. This is subject to change annually and is confirmed in the timetable issued at the start of the course.
Occasionally, teaching may be supplemented by suitably qualified part-time staff (usually qualified researchers) and specialist guest lecturers. In these cases, all staff are inducted, mostly through our staff development programme ‘First Steps to Teaching’. In some cases, usually for provision in one of our out-centres, Recognised University Teachers are involved, supported by the University in suitable professional development for teaching.
Figures correct for academic year 2021-2022.
The Belfast campus is situated in the artistic and cultural centre of the city, the Cathedral Quarter.
High quality apartment living in Belfast city centre adjacent to the university campus.
At Student Wellbeing we provide many services to help students through their time at Ulster University.
We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.
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Applicants must normally have gained:
A second class honours degree or better from a recognised university of the UK, Republic of Ireland, from the Council for National Academic Awards, the National Council for Educational Awards, the Higher Education and Training Awards Council, or from an institution of another country which has been recognised as being of an equivalent standard; or
An equivalent standard (normally 50%) in a Graduate Diploma, Graduate Certificate, Postgraduate Certificate or Postgraduate Diploma or an approved professional qualification or other qualification; and
Provide evidence of competence in written and spoken English to GCSE grade C or equivalent. Non-English speakers must demonstrate that English ability is appropriate for studying at this level and provide evidence of English competence to IELTs 6.0.
Applicants do not have to hold their primary degree in a cognate area, but prior knowledge of studying tourism at an undergraduate level or relevant work experience may be beneficial.
In exceptional circumstances, where an individual has substantial and significant experiential learning, a portfolio of written evidence demonstrating the meeting of graduate qualities (including subject-specific outcomes, as determined by the Course Committee) may be considered as an alternative entrance route. Evidence used to demonstrate graduate qualities may not be used for exemption against modules within the programme.
An interview may form part of the selection process.
English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement for Tier 4 visa purposes.
Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.
If you have another qualification awarded by Ulster University or by another university or other educational institution, or have evidence of accreditation of prior learning this may be considered for exemption from part of the programme, provided that you register as a student at Ulster University for modules amounting to at least the final third of the credit value of the award at the highest level.
Exemption is not permitted from the dissertation or business project.
What exemptions can I get?
The Course Director can advise candidates as to the eligibility of their accredited course.
How do I apply for exemptions?
When accepted on the Course you are asked to complete an exemptions form, which is reviewed by the Course Director and exemptions are then agreed during the Induction process.
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This internationally recognised course will provide you with the diverse knowledge and skills needed to operate across the industry composed of a diverse range of sectors and employers including hotels, national tourist organisations, airlines, visitor attractions, tour operators, event venues, ferry/cruise companies, airport operations and hospitality management.
Whether you are currently working in the industry and want to progress your career to management level or are a recent graduate who wants to enter the sector for the first time the knowledge and skills learned will equip you for working in a diverse range of job roles. From hotel management to tourism planning and development, to creating and marketing tourist packages or working in operations for hotels and restaurants this course covers the competencies and qualities needed for employment and career growth.
There is no defined work placement on this course, however there is an option to complete this degree with an Advanced Practice Pathway.
By choosing the Advanced Practice option you will complete either an internship or an applied consulting project, working with an industry sector partner. This will enable you to apply your knowledge and skills in a real life organisational setting providing you with invaluable work experience. It will enhance your employability and career prospects by building your confidence in a business environment, providing you with tangible experience and allowing you to network and showcase your skills to potential employers.
Accredited by the Institute of Hospitality that academic, vocational and professional standards achieved are appropriate and programme content and delivery meet international Institute of Hospitality benchmark standards.
Fees illustrated are based on academic year 22/23 entry and are subject to an annual increase.
If your study continues into future academic years your fees are subject to an annual increase. Please take this into consideration when you estimate your total fees for a degree.
Additional mandatory costs are highlighted where they are known in advance. There are other costs associated with university study.
Correct at the time of publishing. Terms and conditions apply.
An opportunity is available for the highest performing student in the module, 'Managing and Leading People' to receive the Titanic Hotel Award 'Talent for Success'.
In addition, a monetary prize is available for the highest performer in the Dissertation or Business Project from Mr Vincent Hurl, Managing Director, of the Cross Keys Inn (Belfast, Northern Ireland).
It is important to remember that costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges) and normal living will need to be covered in addition to tuition fees.
Where a course has additional mandatory expenses (in addition to tuition fees) we make every effort to highlight them above. We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals, as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free Wi-Fi are also available on each of the campuses.
There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.
Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as a part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs, as well as tuition fees.
See the tuition fees on our student guide for most up to date costs.
We know that choosing to study at university is a big decision, and you may not always be able to find the information you need online.
Please contact Ulster University with any queries or questions you might have about:
For any queries regarding getting help with your application, please select Admissions in the drop down below.
For queries related to course content, including modules and placements, please select Course specific information.
We look forward to hearing from you.
"The International Tourism Management MSc course is a perfect way to enrich yourself with knowledge and real experiences in the field of tourism. Each of the modules offer an academic approach that combines modern worldwide scenarios, practice and inspiration to make things happen in the sector. By learning from the lecturers who have an outstanding experience in the field, I have been able to develop initiatives that combine methodologies, academic research and knowledge included in this MSc course. Futhermore, the staff at Ulster University are incredibly approachable and always open to support you in anything you could need. Being an international student is not always an easy task but when you have such a big support as the one I had, everything becomes easier allowing you to get really good results from your studies. When I think about Ulster University, excellence, dedication and support are the words which appear in my mind. I highly recommend the experience at Ulster University and the course in International Tourism Management for all the good experiences you can receive while being a student here"
Luisa Romero (May 2020)
“The Masters degree programme in International Tourism Management combined learning from leading academics with those who have an experience in industry. I gained so much from listening to the experiences of those who have built a career within the tourism and hospitality field in Northern Ireland. Being a postgraduate student at UU instilled in me an inquisitiveness and a curiosity which I have carried forward into my career.
The Masters provided me with a chance to develop key business skills, but most importantly it allowed me to meet fantastic people. I made great international friendships which allowed me to spend my summer conducting research in Colombia. I benefited hugely from the support of both academic and office staff who inspired me to follow my interests and incorporate them into my research.
Upon completion of my degree I gained a position with Tourism Ireland in the New York office which has allowed me to put the skills and knowledge I gained within the programme into practice!
I have Ulster University to thank for the fastest year of my life! I am very grateful for the supportive community which I experienced from day one of the programme; connections I will carry throughout my career.
Jessica McClearn, Tourism Ireland, Trade & Business Tourism Assistant
“The International Tourism Management MSc course is a hands-on environment which encapsulates elements from hospitality/event management, the impact of tourism and other business challenges providing you with a realistic and useful wealth of knowledge to apply in real life. The highlight of the course includes the vast array of guest lecturers from industry who not only provide the opportunity to ask questions and learn from their experience, but also the chance to network with and provide career guidance or an opportunity for a future role. The staff at UU are incredibly approachable about the course contents and can help you seek out experience to build your CV if needed. I would highly recommend the International Tourism management programme as it allowed me to advance into the sector of Hospitality – I now work as a manager with Whitbread UK. This course is suitable for anyone interested in tourism/hospitality as a great stepping stone to the next chapter of your career!”
Caitlyn Adair, Whitbread, UK.