International Hospitality Management (HLA) - BSc (Hons)

2025/26 Part-time Undergraduate course

Award:

Bachelor of Science with Honours

Faculty:

Ulster University Business School

School:

Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management

Campus:

Belfast campus

Start date:

September 2025

With this degree you could become:

  • Hotel Property Project Manager
  • Event Manager
  • Graduate Manager
  • Visitor & Convention Tourism Executive
  • Wine Procurement Manager
  • Tourism Officer
  • Corporate Event Manager

Graduates from this course are now working for:

  • Jury's Inn
  • National Trust
  • Swissport
  • Radisson Hotel Group
  • Intercontinental Hotel Group

Overview

Transforming and unlocking the potential of hospitality business leaders to build a sustainable international hospitality industry.

Summary

Ulster University is 2nd in the UK for Hospitality, Event Management and Tourism (The Guardian University Guide 2024).

The HLA Degree at Level 6 in BSc Hons International Hospitality Management (IHM) develops business leaders for the vibrant and evolving international hospitality sector, gaining knowledge of leadership and the associated skills necessary for management in this dynamic and exciting global industry. The IHM HLA Level 6 Degree also intends to service a pipeline of Higher-Level Apprentices who have completed Level 5 at our partner colleges and desire to progress to Level 6 Degree Apprenticeship, in a seamless progression pathway.

In addition, the IHM HLA Level 6 Degree also provides progression pathways for professional hospitality leaders who have not reached their potential in school-based education. The submission and subsequent approval of an Accreditation for Prior Experiential Learning (APEL) Portfolio will enable apprentices to access transformative university experiences, unlock their talent, catyalse their potential and equip them to make personal leadership impact on their employers' business, local community, and life more widely.

Degree Apprenticeships at Ulster University

A Degree Apprenticeship is a work-based training programme that provides an alternative route to getting a University Degree, where Apprentices complete their course alongside paid permanent employment.

Degree Apprenticeships involve integrated learning - you’ll gain practical experience that will inform your learning, and with mentorship support, you’ll apply what you study to your work within your organisation.

Degree Apprenticeships are funded by the Department for the Economy, so you can complete your undergraduate degree without having to pay tuition fees.

When to Apply

You should apply for a Degree Apprenticeship programme once your Apprenticeship employer has made you an offer of employment.

For details of all available job opportunities, please complete the enquiry form below and our course team will get in touch.

To be eligible to apply for a Degree Apprenticeship, you and your employer must meet all of the scheme’s eligibility criteria.

You must also meet the minimum academic entry requirements for the course you intend to study.

We’d love to hear from you!

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:

  • Course specific information
  • Fees and Finance
  • Admissions

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.

About this course

About

The HLA Degree at Level 6 in BSc Hons International Hospitality Management (IHM) is an internationally recognised passport for successful progression into a leadership role in the hospitality sector. The two-year programme (Part-time) offers key strategic business management subjects. You will enhance your knowledge and critical thinking skills in the key strategic business management areas of leadership, strategic management, marketing, performance management, contemporary issues, and continuous business improvement.

This two-year programme is characterised by a blend of theoretical and applied components. The assessment is aligned for the apprentice to make a sustainable contribution to the continuous improvement of their employer's business toward addressing the challenges of our time.

Whilst an increasing number of UK Higher Education programmes in hospitality management are theory-based, Ulster University’s new £250-million campus includes a state-of-the-art Academy restaurant which is central to its hospitality curriculum offer. A recent study by Papageorgiou et al. (2021) highlights it is essential to address the rapidly changing world of hospitality to ensure that the sector will have future leaders and managers with the requisite core competencies.

All teaching staff are subject specialists (some have PhD's/Master’s degrees, others are registered for higher degrees/PhDs) and have relevant business experience, professional qualifications and professional chartered memberships at associate and fellow level.

The course is accredited by the Institute of Hospitality (IOH) the industry professional body.

It is proposed that a workplace business supervisor and mentor will be allocated from the apprentice employer who is appropriately qualified in mentoring duties. It will be encouraged for the business mentor and academic mentor to communicate regularly on the participant’s progress.

All students will be allocated a personal tutor will provide advice and support throughout the duration of the programme.

In addition, the Student Wellbeing team offer professional services that are free, confidential and inclusive for all Ulster students. The Student Wellbeing team will help with:

  • free and confidential advice
  • academic concerns
  • stress and personal challenges
  • budgeting and money management
  • financial support including bursaries and fees

The AccessAbility team can advise students on support available if they have a disability or long-term medical condition.

All Ulster students have access to:

  • face-to-face counselling support
  • 24/7 confidential counselling helpline

Modules

Here is a guide to the subjects studied on this course.

Courses are continually reviewed to take advantage of new teaching approaches and developments in research, industry and the professions. Please be aware that modules may change for your year of entry. The exact modules available and their order may vary depending on course updates, staff availability, timetabling and student demand. Please contact the course team for the most up to date module list.

Contemporary Marketing Management

This module examines and expands on the principle concepts and theories of marketing and their practical application to contemporary marketing management. It is a module that builds on the Contemporary Marketing Practice module at level 5. Issues include the management of the marketing concept, marketing environments, planning, research application and techniques, segmentation, the marketing mix, e-marketing and digital marketing within specific businesses at a local, national and international level as they apply to the marketing management function.

Contemporary Issues in Hospitality Management

This module requires students to research a contemporary issue relevant to hospitality managers from a range of perspectives, reflect on its significance and consider its implications for professional practice.

Leadership and Professional Development

This module examines the undercurrents, the business and social trends that inform how leadership is thought about and practised. The module content will help the student to look beyond the management and organisational leadership literature to develop working assumptions on a critical approach to leadership - from exploring their own leadership competencies to getting the best from others to improve productivity and business performance.

Strategic Management in the Hospitality Industry

This integrative core module, which places particular emphasis on achieving a balanced understanding of strategic management theory and practice, introduces the concept of business strategy to hospitality and culinary arts management students.

Performance Metrics Analysis

This module develops the students' knowledge, understanding, application and practice in relation to the core Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), ratios and consumer behaviour analytics used in the hospitality and culinary industries.

The Business Plan

In this module students are engaged in practical entrepreneurship and will develop their knowledge of entrepreneurship and the entrepreneurial process. This will be evidenced through the development of a business plan for new venture creation, enterprise development, project management or a community based development project.

Attendance

You will normally complete two modules per semester, with class contact time of approximately three hours per week per module. Apprentices will require off-the-job training one day a week (8 hours) in the main. Whilst not guaranteed, it is preferred that all modules will be delivered on a Monday. This is typically the least busy operational day in the Hospitality and Tourism Industry and also meets the employer's operational requirements.

Start dates

  • September 2025

Teaching, Learning and Assessment

The course has a range of many exciting teaching, learning and assessment methods that include, class visits, guest lectures, and workshops on industry visits to resolve a strategic issue.

Attendance and Independent Study

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:

  • Attendance and Independent Study

    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 close to the start date and may be subject to some 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 and periods of attendance will 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, 20, or 40 credit modules (more usually 20) and postgraduate courses 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. Teaching and learning activities will be in-person and/or online depending on the nature of the course. Part-time study load is the same as full-time pro-rata, with each credit point representing 10 hours of student effort.

    Postgraduate Master’s 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

    Assessment methods vary and are defined explicitly in each module. Assessment can be a combination of examination and coursework but may also be only one of these methods. Assessment is designed to assess your achievement of the module’s stated learning outcomes.  You can expect to receive timely feedback on all coursework assessments. This feedback may be issued individually and/or issued to the group and you will be encouraged to act on this feedback for your own development.

    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, the assessment timetable and the assessment brief. 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 4 learning outcomes, and no more than 2 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 module pass mark for undergraduate courses is 40%. The module pass mark for postgraduate courses is 50%.

  • Calculation of the Final Award

    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 Master’s 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 from the academic year 2022-2023.

Academic profile

The University employs over 1,000 suitably qualified and experienced academic staff - 60% have PhDs in their subject field and many have professional body recognition.

Courses are taught by staff who are Professors (19%), Readers, Senior Lecturers (22%) or Lecturers (57%).

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 and learning support staff (85%) are recognised as fellows of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) by Advance 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 from the academic year 2022-2023.

Belfast campus

Accommodation

High quality apartment living in Belfast city centre adjacent to the university campus.

Find out more - information about accommodation (Opens in a new window)  


Student Wellbeing

At Student Wellbeing we provide many services to help students through their time at Ulster University.

Find out more - information about student wellbeing (Opens in a new window)  

Standard entry conditions

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.

A level

Please see Additional Entry Requirements

GCSE

For part-time study, you must satisfy the General Entrance Requirements for admission to a first-degree course and hold a GCSE pass at Grade C/4 or above in English Language and Maths (or equivalent).

Level 2 Certificate in Essential Skills - Communication will be accepted as equivalent to GCSE English.

Level 2 Certificate in Essential Skills - Application of Number will be accepted as equivalent to GCSE Maths.

English Language Requirements

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 Student Visa purposes.

Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.

Additional Entry Requirements

Applicants must have completed Ulster Foundation HLA Degree 40% Pass in all taught level 5 modules (HLA level 4 and 5) OR have significant experience in the hospitality industry at supervisory/management level. Applicants not having the general entry requirements may be admitted on the basis of APEL (Accreditation for Prior Experience and Learning).

University General Entry Requirements: Applicants must hold GCSE passes in English and Mathematics at grade C or equivalent. Entry equivalences: https://www.ulster.ac.uk/study/entrance-requirements/undergraduate-entry-requirements.

Exemptions and transferability

Students enter at Level 6 HLA having completed level 4 and 5 in partner colleges.

Successful completion of a Foundation Degree or HND (in Hospitality and Tourism), will allow consideration for admission to Level 6 HLA.

Applicants must hold GCSE passes in English and Mathematics at grade C or equivalent. Entry equivalences: https://www.ulster.ac.uk/study/entrance-requirements/undergraduate-entry-requirements.

Students not having the general entry requirements may be admitted on the basis of APEL.

Eligibility

To participate in a Degree Apprenticeship programme, you must:

  • be a school leaver aged 16 or over;
  • be newly employed (less than 6 months before the start of the course) or be about to take up employment on a permanent contract with a minimum of 21 hours per week;
  • have achieved the minimum academic entry qualifications for the course;
  • pass any entry tests specified by the relevant sector;
  • have a right to live and work in the UK.

Additionally:

  • You can participate if you already have a degree, provided that it the course you are applying for is at a higher level than or unrelated to your previous qualification.
  • You can still apply for a Degree Apprenticeship if you have been at your organisation for more than 6 months, provided you are entering a new job role that requires new competences/knowledge.
  • You cannot participate if you are self-employed.

To participate in a Degree Apprenticeship programme, your employer:

  • must have a permanent base in Northern Ireland;
  • must ensure that apprentices are enrolled on UK/HMRC payroll for the duration of the programme, and that all apprentices are paid a wage commensurate with the role and not less than the UK minimum wage;
  • must not be a public sector employer.

Careers & opportunities

Graduate employers

Graduates from this course are now working for:

  • Jury's Inn
  • National Trust
  • Swissport
  • Radisson Hotel Group
  • Intercontinental Hotel Group

Job roles

With this degree you could become:

  • Hotel Property Project Manager
  • Event Manager
  • Graduate Manager
  • Visitor & Convention Tourism Executive
  • Wine Procurement Manager
  • Tourism Officer
  • Corporate Event Manager

Career options

Successful completion of the Higher Level Apprenticeship degree in BSc (Hons) International Hospitality Management allows eligible apprentices to progress (as students) to the MSc International Hospitality and Tourism Management or MSc International Event Management.

Students achieving a higher degree are also eligible to apply to a Level 8 PhD on successful completion of the application criteria. This progression is governed by successful completion, meeting the application criteria and being successful in a further competitive interview process (outlined on the Ulster University website).

The BSc IHM Degree Apprenticeship qualification also provides opportunities at manager and senior management level in one of the world’s largest and fastest-growing sectors. The hospitality industry is composed of a diverse range of industries and employers including hotels, restaurants, cruise liners and public sector organisations such as destination marketing organisations.

HLA Graduates also can pursue avenues such as teaching, lecturing, training, research and consultancy in relation to hospitality and tourism management.

Accredited by the Institute of Hospitality also means that academic, vocational and professional standards achieved meet international Institute of Hospitality benchmark standards.

Work placement / study abroad

Not Applicable for HLA Level 6 apprentices.

Professional recognition

Institute of Hospitality (IoH)

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.

Apply

Start dates

  • September 2025

Fees and funding

2025/26 Fees

Undergraduate fees are subject to annual review, 2025/26 fees will be announced in due course.

See our tuition fees page for the current fees for 2024/25 entry.

Additional mandatory costs

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 we make every effort to highlight them. These may include residential visits, field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering) inoculations, security checks, computer equipment, uniforms, professional memberships etc.

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 wifi is also available on each of the campuses.

There will be some additional costs to being a student which cannot be itemised and these will be different for each student. You may choose to purchase your own textbooks and course materials or prefer your own computer and software. Printing and binding may also be required. There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines. Additional costs vary from course to course.

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.

Contact

We’d love to hear from you!

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:

  • Course specific information
  • Fees and Finance
  • Admissions

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.


For more information visit

Disclaimer

  1. Although reasonable steps are taken to provide the programmes and services described, the University cannot guarantee the provision of any course or facility and the University may make variations to the contents or methods of delivery of courses, discontinue, merge or combine courses and introduce new courses if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Such circumstances include (but are not limited to) industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key staff, changes in legislation or government policy including changes, if any, resulting from the UK departing the European Union, withdrawal or reduction of funding or other circumstances beyond the University’s reasonable control.
  1. If the University discontinues any courses, it will use its best endeavours to provide a suitable alternative course. In addition, courses may change during the course of study and in such circumstances the University will normally undertake a consultation process prior to any such changes being introduced and seek to ensure that no student is unreasonably prejudiced as a consequence of any such change.
  1. The University does not accept responsibility (other than through the negligence of the University, its staff or agents), for the consequences of any modification or cancellation of any course, or part of a course, offered by the University but will take into consideration the effects on individual students and seek to minimise the impact of such effects where reasonably practicable.
  1. The University cannot accept any liability for disruption to its provision of educational or other services caused by circumstances beyond its control, but the University will take all reasonable steps to minimise the resultant disruption to such services.

Testimonials

The International Hospitality Management course very much developed my interest in the Hospitality industry in particular hotel management. Having graduated on this course I have achieved success in the industry and have a general managers position in the Indigo Hotel of the Intercontinental Hotels Group.

Michael Musgrave – General Manager - The Indigo Hotel, Kensington London.

Studying the International Hospitality Management was one of the best decisions I have made. The course developed my knowledge and professional practical management skills for the Hospitality and Events Industry. After graduating in 2012 I decided to complete an MSc in Event Management. I am now the Events Manager in the Old Inn at Crawfordsburn and enjoying my 'dream job'.

Kerry Hamilton - Events Manager - The Crawfordsburn Inn.

As an alumnus of Ulster University it is a great pleasure to provide an employer testimonial. Since graduating I have worked for leading international hotel chains and have worked with and recruited a wide variety of staff. Having returned to work in my native Northern Ireland I am now in a position to employ placement students and graduates from Ulster University. In my view students who have studied International Hospitality Management at Ulster are among the best employees I have worked with throughout my experience of more than 25 years in the global hotel industry.

Hospitality students from Ulster are 'work ready' when they graduate and have very high levels of technical skills having acquired these in the award winning Academy Restaurant in the University. Professionalism and commitment to the highest level of customer service are the hallmarks of these highly motivated students. They typically display strong communication skills, flexibility and initiative and endeavour to develop themselves professionally at any opportunity. They also possess problem solving skills and have the ability to both work effectively in team and take on leadership roles as required.

Having studied at Ulster University I know that these skills are developed and instilled by academic staff who take a personal interest in the development of each individual student due to their professional commitment toward developing Ulster Hospitality graduates who exceed employer expectations.

Employer Testimonial from Mr Adrian McNally, General Manager, Titanic Hotel Belfast.