International Tourism and Hospitality Management BSc (Hons) - University of Sunderland

Course overview

For the last three years Sunderland has consistently been ranked in the top 4 in the UK for tourism by The Guardian University Guide.

It’s easy to see why we’re rated so highly. Our tourism courses are informed by top research, graded as ‘world-leading’ and ‘internationally excellent’ in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise. The content of the course reflects our close links with employers, and our teaching emphasises the connections between theories and practice.

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

Institute of Hospitality Education Membership Scheme (Tourism)

A distinctive feature of this course is the core module ‘Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions’. This module is not available in some of our broader tourism courses such as Tourism Management.

Field trips are an integral part of the course, and previous destinations have included New York, Paris, Barcelona and Prague. You’ll also go on field trips to places within the UK, and we regularly invite industry speakers to come to us in Sunderland.

We encourage our students to undertake a year-long placement between the second and final years, although it is not compulsory. It’s a great opportunity to get paid to put your learning into practice and to extend your experience. In recent years some of our students have taken one year internship programmes in Chicago, Austen and Miami in the USA.

Tourism and Hospitality are diverse, exciting and dynamic industries. They make a major contribution to employment, with over 2 million UK jobs directly supported by visitor spending. Many of our graduates go on to work in managerial roles within the tourism and hospitality industries.

There are two start dates for this course: September and January. For more information please see the entry requirements tab. 

Course content

Modules on this course include:

Year 1 (national level 4)

The first year of this course will give you a fundamental understanding of theories relevant to successful tourism management, and help you develop skills appropriate to the industry as well as future academic study.

  • Fundamentals of Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality (20 Credits)
  • Study Skills for the Hospitality Sector (20 Credits)
  • Tourism and Heritage Management (20 Credits)
  • Global Tourism (20 Credits)
  • Marketing and Business for the Hospitality Sector (20 Credits)
  • Tourism Fieldwork 1 (20 Credits)

Year 2 (national level 5)

Year 2 enables you to develop research skills, and you will explore theoretical approaches used in tourism management and development. You’ll also gain an insight into the new technologies within the tourism industry.

The second year also has a practical aspect so you can start engaging with local employers and start preparing for the world of work.

Core modules:

  • Research Methods for Tourism, Hospitality and Events (20 Credits)
  • MICE: Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (20 Credits)
  • Current Issues in Tourism and Hospitality (20 Credits)

Optional modules (choose three):

  • Cultural Tourism, Festivals and Events (20 Credits)
  • Hospitality Work Based Placement (20 Credits)
  • Tourism Fieldwork 2 (20 Credits)
  • Tourism Independent Study (20 Credits)
  • Destination Branding (20 Credits)

Year 3

  • Work placement (optional)

Final Year (national level 6)

In your final year you will specialise in your chosen area of tourism management. This might be mass tourism, e-tourism, sport tourism and mega events, urban tourism or ecotourism.

In this year your academic study will be linked even more intensively with employability, so that when you graduate you’ll be ready to step directly into the workplace.

Core modules:

  • Tourism Management Major Project (40 Credits)
  • International Hospitality Management (20 Credits)

Optional modules (choose three):

  • Sport Tourism and Mega Events (20 Credits)
  • e-Tourism (20 Credits)
  • Urban Tourism (20 Credits)
  • Tourism Fieldwork 3 (20 Credits)
  • Strategic Planning for Tourism and Leisure (20 Credits)
  • Ecotourism (20 Credits)

Teaching and assessment

Learning and teaching methods combine lectures, seminars, tutorials, open and resource based learning, and supervised project and group work. There is an emphasis on developing independent study skills. You will also have opportunities to present ideas and information to other students and also develop concepts and analyses within groups.

Residential field study visits are important components throughout all three years of studies.

Assessment methods include written coursework, projects, presentations, practical exercises, time-constrained and multiple-choice examinations and the major project in your final year.

There is considerable flexibility over the topic of your major project, although it must be relevant to international tourism and/or hospitality management. It needs to demonstrate a clear thread of argument, rigorous data, critical analysis and solid conclusions.

To find out more about modules, credits and how you will be assessed, please see how courses are taught. Information about our policies relating to student experience and quality assurance processes can be found on the Academic Services website.

Key Information Sets

All UK universities and colleges display Key Information Sets (KIS) on their undergraduate courses. The KIS gives you a quick overview of some standard information about a course, and has a link to more detailed information on Unistats.

Facilities & location

This course is based on the banks of the River Wear at The Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peter’s. 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 online format. The University spends around £1 million every year on new books and resources.

Recently we’ve developed a Student Learning Space that is specifically designed to facilitate collaboration and team-based projects. It includes a boardroom as well as bookable areas to hold meetings and to meet with staff and visitors from outside the University.

When it comes to IT provision you can take your pick from over a hundred PCs in the St Peter’s Library, three computer laboratories, and wireless access zones. If you have any problems, just ask the friendly helpdesk team.

If the facilities at The Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peter’s are first class, the location is outstanding: it looks out over the River Wear and is less than a mile from the seaside. 

It’s 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 fully plugged into the needs of employers in the tourism sector through strong links with industry organisations.


The Reg Vardy Centre

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

Entry requirements

Our typical offer will be in the region of 260 points from a minimum of two A Levels or equivalent (for example 1 x AVCE double award).

We accept a maximum of 20 points from Level 3 Key Skills qualifications.

We also require three passes at GCSE grade C or above, which must include Mathematics and English Language, or a minimum of Level 2 Key Skills in Communication and Application of Number.

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

There are two intakes for this course: September and July. Please note that the January intake is only available to international students.

Other acceptable qualifications

BTEC National: 260 points from a BTEC Certificate or Diploma.

Access Courses: We would require successful completion of an Access to Higher Education course that is accredited by the Quality Assurance Agency. We would also require a minimum of grade C in GCSE in Mathematics and English Language or the equivalent as part of your course.

Scottish Highers: Our typical offer is for 260 points.

Irish Leaving Certificate: Our typical offer is for 260 points.

International qualifications: Please call the Student Helpline for advice on other acceptable qualifications. The number from outside the UK is +44 191 515 3000.

Any other qualifications: If you have any other qualifications not listed here, you may still be eligible. Please contact the Student Helpline for advice: 0191 515 3000.

Returners to Learning: If you are a mature student, you may benefit from our dedicated Returners to Learning Progression Scheme. For further information email or call the Student Helpline: 0191 515 3000.

If you wish to be considered for direct entry to a different year of a course, please contact the Student Helpline: 0191 515 3000.

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.

Fees & finance

The annual fee for this course is:

  • £8,250 if you are from the UK / EU
  • £10,000 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.

Scholarships and bursaries may be available to you – please see the Fees and Finance section of this website for more information.

Employment & careers

Career destinations

Many of our graduates go on to work in managerial roles within the tourism and hospitality industry. Job titles include Hotel Manager, Tourism Development Officer or Resort Office Manager. Employers include hotels, airlines, travel agencies, events organisers, heritage attractions, Local Authorities and other public sector bodies. Additionally, you will have a broad set of transferable skills that will equip you for a much wider range of graduate-level employment. Your course could also be a stepping stone to further study and research.

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


Field trips

The course involves visits to a range of tourism and hospitality venues and initiatives. These visits are local to the North East, national throughout the UK, and international to destinations such as Paris, Rome, Berlin and Barcelona.


To further enhance employability we encourage you to undertake a 48-week placement between your second and final year. It effectively becomes a third year of a four year course. Placements are paid, with an average salary of £14,000-£18,000 a year depending on your location.

Placements are an excellent opportunity to put your learning into practice and understand the context for your new knowledge. The contacts made during placements can also be valuable for future job offers.

We will support you at every stage of the placement process, from finding suitable placements, to checking that everything is going well, and to making a final assessment of your performance during the placement.

Study Abroad 

To gain greater understanding of other cultures, which is important for many roles in the tourism industry, why not consider continuing your course in another country for one or two semesters during the second year? You can choose from over 150 universities in 20 countries, either English-speaking (such as Australia, Canada and the USA) or non English-speaking (such as Argentina, Brazil and Japan). You will stretch your horizons and enhance your CV in the eyes of employers connected to tourism.

University Language Scheme 

It is usually possible to take a module from the University Language Scheme, which will earn credits towards your degree. Language skills increase your international mobility and you can choose between French, German, Spanish, Japanese and Chinese at a range of levels. If your first language is not English, please check with your tutor about entry requirements.

Staff and students talk about the benefits of the University Language Scheme: 

Enterprise and entrepreneurship

The University's Enterprise Team helps our students turn business ideas into reality. Throughout the year they run events and competitions such as the annual Blueprint Business Planning Competition. The University also offers business incubators and prestigious yet affordable office space at St Peter’s Gate. These are all linked into our campus and offer excellent support and networking opportunities.


The University of Sunderland is committed to ensuring that every student has an impressive range of opportunities to enhance their CV and gain valuable experience.

CV-enhancing opportunities include:

  • Work placements
  • Graduate internships
  • Studying abroad
  • Student Ambassador Scheme
  • Mentoring
  • Starting your own business
  • Student jobs and volunteering
  • Careers advice

For full details, please see our Employability page.


Support for your learning

You can expect stimulating contact time that includes lectures, workshops, seminars and case studies. There is also a significant amount of time where you will be researching and studying on your own in preparation for assignments and seminars. If you have individual queries or difficulties within subject areas, you can book an appointment with your tutor to gain more in-depth support and guidance.

From the start of the course you will be allocated a Personal Tutor. You’ll meet him/her in agreed timetabled sessions throughout the year, both individually and within a group.

Personal Tutors are a useful point of contact for any queries about your course and extra-curricular activities. They can also point you towards more specialist support, such as student counselling, financial advice and chaplaincy support.

Support from day 1

Even before you arrive at the University you can access our Getting Started programme. On arrival there is a Welcome Week where you can meet all the staff involved with your course and also receive full information about services available from the University.

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 and Employability Service. The Service helps you explore your options, clarify your ideas, develop a career focus and make effective applications.

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

"I loved the course. The staff were so friendly and helpful and I made some great friends."

Katy Wood - Graduate NN82

Katy Wood - Graduate

Learning Co-ordinator at Beamish Museum

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

"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 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.

"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.

"Sunderland University has everything you need. It's in a great location and the clubs and societies are great - I even had a stint in the Surf Club!

"I never imagined I would study at this level but I feel the University experience lifted my confidence and vision of where I could go."

Apply for this course

This course runs twice a year, from September and from January. Please note that the January intake is only available to international students.

September start

Apply straight away through UCAS, or read our 7-step guide to applying to university.

January start

Apply by downloading and completing the University of Sunderland Application Form (.pdf).

If you have Adobe Reader, complete the form electronically and email it back to us at This is the easiest and fastest way to apply for this course.

If you can't fill in the form electronically: print the form and complete it by hand, and then scan it and email it to, or post it to: Admissions, First Floor, Edinburgh Building, Chester Road, Sunderland SR1 3SD.

Open days

Want to know more about this course or the University of Sunderland? Order a prospectus or come to our next Open Day to see the facilities and talk to academic staff:

  • Next open day:
  • Date: Saturday 6th June 2015
  • Time: 9:30am-4:00pm
  • Type: University Open Day
  • Location: To be confirmed

Contact Sunderland

Course Leader
James Johnson

For more information about studying at the University of Sunderland, please contact:

The Faculty of Business and Law
Tel: 0191 515 3341

The details

Course Name International Tourism and Hospitality Management
Classification BSc (Hons)
Course Mode Full-time
Course Level Undergraduate
Duration 3 or 4 years
Study Location On-campus (Sunderland)
Starting 19 January 2015
14 September 2015
UK/EU Fee £8,250
Intl Fee £10,000

Entry requirements

Typical accepting offer: 260 points

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