Tourism and Hospitality MSc - University of Sunderland

Course overview

This Masters course takes a social science approach to tourism and hospitality and combines it with practical skills for the workplace. We have designed our stimulating course to give you a head start in the tourism and hospitality sectors, which are part of one of the world’s largest industries.

We welcome applications from graduates of any discipline. You will learn theoretical approaches through modules such as ‘Critical Tourism Theory and Methods’ and ‘International Tourism and Development’. There is also a core module in ‘Hospitality Management Studies’. We organise field trips and company visits to put your learning into context and we offer an optional work-based learning module. 

The final phase of the course is a major project that you negotiate with your tutors to reflect your particular interests and chosen career path. For example, your project could have special relevance to the skill sets required by hotel managers, resort coordinators or restaurant entrepreneurs.

The University of Sunderland is a member of the Institute of Hospitality's Education Membership Scheme.

Institute of Hospitality Education Membership Scheme (Tourism)Tutors at Sunderland have active research interests including cultural geographies of tourism, tourism political economies, heritage management and events. This research adds extra depth to our teaching and supervision, enhancing your learning experience.

If you prefer, we also offer a part-time Tourism and Hospitality MSc at Sunderland and a full-time Tourism and Hospitality MSc at our London Campus.

Course content

Modules on this course include:

  • Tourism Concepts and Issues (30 Credits)
  • Critical Theories and Methods for Tourism, Hospitality and Events (30 Credits)
  • Hospitality Management Studies (30 Credits)
  • Current Practices in Tourism, Hospitality and Events (30 Credits)
  • Tourism and Hospitality Major Project (60 Credits)

Teaching and assessment

We use a wide variety of teaching and learning methods which include lectures, seminars, study visits and group work. These are supported by a range of guest speakers from diverse academic and industry backgrounds.

Compared to an undergraduate course, you will find that this Masters course requires a higher level of independent working.

Assessment methods include essays, exams, presentations, portfolios of evidence and a dissertation. Information about our policies relating to student experience and quality assurance processes can be found on the Academic Services website.

Facilities & location

This course is based on the banks of the River Wear at The Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peter’s. Recently we’ve developed a Student Learning Space that is specifically designed to facilitate collaboration and team-based projects. It includes a board room as well as bookable areas to hold meetings and to meet with staff and visitors from outside the University.

University Library Services

The St Peter’s Library is excellent for tourism and there’s a full-time librarian who is dedicated to the Business and Tourism sections.

Further resources are available at the main Murray Library, which has a total of over 430,000 books with many more available through the inter-library loan service. You will benefit from a wide range of journals and periodicals, many of them in an online format. The University spends around £1 million every year on new books and resources.

IT provision

When it comes to IT provision you can take your pick from hundreds of PCs as well as Apple Macs in the David Goldman Informatics Centre and St Peter’s Library. There are also free WiFi zones throughout the campus. If you have any problems, just ask the friendly helpdesk team.

Learning environment

The University of Sunderland offers a vibrant learning environment with an international dimension thanks to the presence of students from around the world. At the same time, the University is networking with relevant industry organisations, with strong links and an exchange of ideas and people.


The Reg Vardy Centre

The Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peter's, St Peter's Way, Sunderland, SR6 0DD

Entry requirements

We usually require applicants to hold at least a 2:2 honours degree or equivalent.

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL)

If you feel you already know some of the topics covered in this course, either due to previous learning or from experience of work, then you may not need to study all of the course.

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) is the name given to the process of gaining credit towards a qualification because of something you have learnt in the past. If you are eligible for APL you won't have to learn the same topic again, and so you can be exempt from a module, set of modules or year of a course. 

Read more about APL in the Quality Handbook (.pdf). If you think you may be eligible for APL, please contact the course leader.

If English is not your first language, please see our English language requirements.

Fees & finance

Postgraduate loans

From 2016/17, tuition fee loans will be available to UK/EU postgraduate students for the first time. Find out more about the eligibility criteria.


The annual fee for this course is:

  • £4,750 if you are from the UK / EU
  • £11,500 if you are an International student

If you are not sure whether you qualify as a UK, EU or International student, please see the International section of this website.

Employment & careers

This Masters course equips you with the skills and knowledge to progress rapidly in tourism and hospitality management. Potential employers include:

  • Hotel and resort management
  • Attractions and museums
  • Destination marketing agencies
  • Tourism companies
  • Restaurant and bar management
  • Catering management

The University of Sunderland is a member of the Institute of Hospitality's Education Membership Scheme.

Institute of Hospitality Education Membership Scheme (Tourism)The Institute of Hospitality is the professional body for aspiring managers studying in the hospitality, leisure and tourism industry. It has been the industry’s leading network for more than 70 years, and it promotes the highest professional standards of management and education.

Another option is to set up your own tourism or hospitality business, drawing on the entrepreneurial resources that are available through our Careers & Employability Service.

During the course, you can choose to undertake a work-based learning module, which will further enhance your employability.

A Masters degree will also open up opportunities in academic roles or further study towards a PhD.

The Enterprise Place

If you have a good idea for a new business and have the dedication and motivation to make it happen, then we want to hear from you. The Enterprise Place, based on-campus at St Peter's Gate Business Centre, is the perfect environment for entrepreneurial students and graduates to turn their business ideas into reality. You will have access to free hot desk space, IT facilities, specialist advice and support and business mentors and networking opportunities.

To find out more about how we can help you start a business, please contact the University's Enterprise Team:

Tel: 0191 515 3751


Support for your learning

From the start of the course, you will be allocated a Personal Tutor, who will meet with you at agreed times throughout your course. Personal Tutors encourage your personal development and are a useful point of contact for any queries about your course, extracurricular activities and issues where they can point you towards specialist services at the University. These include student counselling, financial advice and chaplaincy support.

All students at Sunderland Business School have access to our Student Academic Advisors. They provide workshops on study skills and follow up with one-to-one support and guidance.

Support for your development

To help ensure the course is meeting aspirations for personal development, we invite students to fill in questionnaires at the end of modules. This provides a structured way for you to keep us up-to-date with your views.

During your course, and particularly towards the end of it, we encourage you to make full use of the resources at our Careers & Employability Service. The Service helps you explore career opportunities and make effective applications.

Extracurricular activities

The University supports student-led initiatives that enhance the extracurricular activities available to you. Some of these are related to particular subjects while others allow you to pursue interests and social activities. It’s all part of the vibrant and life-changing atmosphere at the University of Sunderland.

For more information about all the support services you will have access to as a Sunderland student, please see Student support and guidance.

"The staff I worked with were not only experienced and knowledgeable but also managed the needs of mature students extremely well."

Katy Wood Tourism postgrad

Katy Wood


"I chose Sunderland because it offered a very relevant course at the level I needed, with modules that I felt would help me improve my skills and knowledge.

"The field trip to Paris gave me an experience I will always remember. I was immersed in a different culture whilst researching elements of Parisian heritage.

"I loved the course. The staff were so friendly and helpful and I made some great friends from all over the world, from a wide range of employment and academic backgrounds.

"The course materials and topics were all really inspiring and the opportunities to visit and analyse museums and heritage sites helped me gain a wider, more objective view on the sector.

"This course and the support from the staff who run it really improved my research skills, confidence and knowledge. I found it really inspirational and there are a wide range of directions that it can take you both in studies and future employment.

"Sunderland University is a modern University, which has everything you need. It's really well located in the centre of the City and easy to get around. The clubs and societies are great - I even had a stint at the Surf Club!

"The staff I worked with were not only experienced and knowledgeable but also managed the needs of mature students extremely well. They really helped me manage my post-graduate studies alongside work.

"Since I graduated, living in the area, I've seen continual improvements to the facilities and it keeps improving all the time.

"I am the first in my family to go to University, although my cousins are hot on my heels-one has now moved down from the Borders to study at Sunderland too.

"I guess I never imagined I would study at this level but I honestly feel like the University experience lifted my confidence and vision of where I could go. I started the course after struggling to get further in museum industry, but during the course I was able to apply what I had learnt and gain a better position in the museum, which I have since been able to build upon and begin a proper career in museum education."

Apply for this course

To apply for this course use the relevant link below.

    Next Open Day

  • Date: Thursday 16th February 2017
  • Time: 2:00pm-7:00pm
  • Type: University Open Day
  • Location: Gateway, City Campus, University of Sunderland

Contact Sunderland

Programme Leader:
Nikoloas Pappas

Contact the Student Helpline for further information about studying at the Universty of Sunderland:

Tel: 0191 515 3000


Programme Starts  
Monday 16th October 2017 Apply now

The details

Course Name Tourism and Hospitality
Classification MSc
Course Mode Full-time
Course Level Postgraduate
Duration 1 year
Study Location On-campus (Sunderland)
Starting 16 October 2017
UK/EU Fee £4750
Intl Fee £11500

Entry requirements

2:2 or above in any subject

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