Tourism Management BSc (Hons)

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Course starts: 16 September 2019Apply now

If you are applying for this course from outside the UK/EU, click apply now.

Course starts: 16 September 2019Apply now

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Explore the world through field trips and graduate with a wealth of practical industry experience.

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BSc (Hons) Tourism Management gives you a fundamental understanding of theories relevant to successful tourism management. You will develop sought after skills within this growing industry and for future academic study.

Your studies will help prepare you for an exciting and fulfilling career. You will have the opportunity to visit some great locations on field trips and you will also have the opportunity to gain invaluable work experience on an optional paid industrial placement.

Why us?

  • Our Tourism Hospitality and Events courses received a 98% overall satisfaction rating in the 2019 National Student Survey (NSS)
  • Teaching enriched by 'world-leading' research, according to the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF)
  • Our Hospitality, Event Management and Tourism courses are ranked 2nd according to The Guardian University league tables 2019
  • 93.4% of our graduates are in employment, further study or training within six months of graduating, according to DLHE 2016/17 (based on full-time, first degree, home leavers)
  • National and international work experience opportunities
  • Local, national and international field visits and study abroad opportunities
  • Available as 4-year sandwich course, on which you can engage in a one year industrial placement
  • All students on this course are eligible to register for the Institute of Hospitality Education Membership Scheme
  • Our Tourism, Transport and Travel courses are ranked in the top 5 in the UK for Teaching on my course, Learning Opportunities, Assessment and Feedback, Learning Resources, Learning Community and Student Voice according to the National Student Survey 2019

Course structure

You will be taught by passionate staff who produce world-leading research. A typical week for you will combine lectures, seminars, tutorials, open and resource-based learning, and supervised project and group work.

There is an emphasis on developing your independent study skills, and you will also have opportunities to present ideas and information to other students and also develop concepts and analyses within groups.

Your progress will be assessed with coursework, projects, presentations, practical exercises, time-constrained and multiple-choice examinations and the major project.

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

Year 1 (national level 4):

Tourism and Heritage Management


20 credits

Impacts of Festivals and Events


20 credits

Fundamentals of Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality


20 credits

Global Tourism


20 credits

Study Skills for the Service Sector


20 credits

Marketing & Business for the Service Sector


20 credits

Understand the importance of heritage, as well as the various roles heritage plays for tourism activities and destinations. Explore forms of heritage interpretation, examining the various meanings of heritage. Reflect on the representation and commodification of heritage for leisure and tourism purposes, often initiated in the context of destination management and regeneration.

Explore the impacts of events and festivals upon local, regional and national economies and upon local communities and society. Consider the physical, political, social/cultural and economic impacts that events and festivals exert on destinations and host communities. Use case studies to analyse impacts within local, global and event specific context.

Gain a fundamental understanding of theories and models appropriate to tourism and hospitality management. Analyse definitions, commonalities and distinctions of tourism and hospitality management. Consider mass and 'niche' products, 'alternative' tourism, transportation, attractions management, National Parks and protected areas, and tourism, society and the environment.

Profile tourism in various regions and destinations, exploring key issues and impacts associated with the development of tourism via a variety of global case studies. Contextualize the changes and impacts of the tourism phenomenon in destinations beyond the UK. Use illustrative case studies to differentiate the key issues in global tourism on a global regional basis, including Asia, the Pacific, Europe, the Americas and Africa.

Receive training and practice in a range of learning and information skills relating to the service sector. Take part in specific workshops to cover information gathering, critical reading, note-taking, essay writing, group work, and written, graphical and verbal presentation. Develop confidence in taking responsibility for your own learning, be more independent, be a more effective learner and be able to motivate yourself.

Get an introduction to the concepts and functions of marketing and business in the context of the service sector. Explore the economics of the service sector, understanding today’s consumer, product development, marketing and business planning, segmentation and research; distribution channels; marketing communication and advertising.

Year 2 (national level 5):

Current Issues in Tourism and Hospitality


20 credits

Research Methods for the Service Sector


20 credits

Tourism Planning and Development


20 credits

Consultancy for the Visitor Economy


20 credits

Tourism Fieldwork 2


20 credits

Cultural Tourism, Festivals and Events


20 credits

Destination Branding


20 credits

Exploring Human Resource Management in the Service Sector


20 credits

Explore current, important conceptual and practical issues relating to tourism development and management, and gain theoretical context for contemporary debates. Focus on critical debates, developments and case-studies of tourism development with information drawn from a range of sources. Consider media representations of tourism products, motivations and the processes of tourism development, management and marketing.

Gain an understanding of the principles of research design and fieldwork, preparing you for research projects that you will undertake later in your university study. Discuss the philosophical underpinnings of quantitative and qualitative research methods and enable yourself to undertake ethical research using participant observation and ethnographic methods, interviewing and focus groups, and questionnaire surveys.

Produce a tourism development plan for a specified location/area, integrating the breadth of the course content through a practical exercise. Perform a tourism potential appraisal, propose an appropriate development approach for the area, make outline proposals for appropriate developments there; and devise key themes for a marketing plan for the area. Your work will be supported by a programme of lectures, group tutorials, guest lectures, site visits, and workshops.

Examine and explain aspects of management application from within different organisational contexts. Analyse and evaluate current business practice through appropriate data collection methods, including electronic sources. Derive and formulate feasible, realistic and cogent conclusions and recommendations to specific hospitality, events, aviation or tourism businesses. Reflect on your own expertise by making an application to these businesses via CV and covering letter.

Travel overseas on a one-week field visit within Europe – visits in recent years have focused on dark tourism in Prague, Krakow and Berlin. Get an introduction to the field area from preparatory lectures, before taking part in group visits and group survey work in the assessed task. Use data collected on the field trip to form the basis of your individual assessed work back in Sunderland.

Examine the relationship between tourism and culture, particularly cultural tourism in different spatial and social contexts. Explore topics that include; tourist practice and performance; globalisation and trends in cultural tourism, festivals and events; cultural tourism festivals and events in urban context; cultural tourism, festivals and events in rural contexts; cultural tourism, festivals and events in Europe; cultural tourism festivals and events in the UK; tourism and cultural identities; issues of commodification and authenticity; modernism and postmodernism and tourism the media and popular culture.

Examine the principles and practices of destination branding, exploring the importance of destination brands, but also the brands in general for the tourism, hospitality and event industries. Consider brand management, positioning and various branding models within the tourism and destination context, further exploring issues of destination image, nation branding and provenance, globalisation, national identity, crisis management and virtual branding within the destination branding concept.

Gain awareness and knowledge of some of the HR processes, management and resourcing challenges that can be experienced when dealing and managing employees in industry. Showcase your current skill level when planning and hosting your own training session – a key area to performance and employment with high levels of investment. Critically reflect upon your own personal learning experience, professional performance and practice throughout.

Year 3:

Hospitality, Events, Aviation and Tourism Work Placement


20 credits

Make the most of a 48-week placement with a hospitality, events, aviation or tourism related company and graduate with a degree that involves placement in the title. Significantly enhance your chances of graduate employment – students taking this route in the past have benefited from greater employability. Find your placement with support from the University and get assessed in negotiation with your placement provider and placement supervisor.

Final year (national level 6):

Strategic Planning for Tourism and Leisure


20 credits

Urban Tourism


20 credits

Tourism Management Major Project


40 credits

Tourism Fieldwork 3


20 credits



20 credits

Service Quality


20 credits

Digital Technologies in the Visitor Economy


20 credits

Leadership and Management for the Service Sector


20 credits

Risk and Crisis Management for Tourism and Aviation


20 credits

Professional Development for the Service Sector


20 credits

Explore the scope and nature of tourism planning from a political, market, environmental and visitor perspective. Consider the agency and structure of local, regional, national and international planning organisations alongside the dimensions of planning for tourism in the public and private sector. Analyse the role of local stakeholders in the planning process in relation to wider strategic models.

Gain insight into the characteristics of urban tourism. Examine the re-discovery of the urban environment as a tourist destination – tourist arrivals in cities are constantly growing and increasingly more research has been undertaken to investigate the phenomenon of urban tourism. Cover topics that include: Historical background and the development of urban tourism; Tourism as a key to urban regeneration; The demographic, socio-economic and psychographic profile of the urban tourist; The supply side of urban tourism: services, infrastructure and activities; The impacts of tourism in the urban environment; Managing urban tourism; The concept of place-marketing; Trends and developments in urban tourism.

Focus on an area of tourism management of your choice and design and implement a research proposal in this area. Set aims and objectives, select and implement research methods, conduct a literature review, collect empirical data and analyse appropriately. Benefit from expert supervision as well as training in research methods, research design and the interpretation of data and its relation to contextual material.

Travel overseas on a one-week field visit, usually outside of Europe – for the past 12 years students have visited New York to research film-induced tourism and dark tourism. Get an introduction to the field area from preparatory lectures, before taking part in group visits and group survey work in the assessed task. Use data collected on the field trip to form the basis of your individual assessed work back in Sunderland.

Explore the increasingly important area of food and drink tourism for regional economic development and identity formation. Examine the importance of food and drink products to the tourist experience and to destination success for those countries and regions closely associated with food and drink. Analyse the relationship between tourism and gastronomy and examine the direct and indirect advantages and disadvantages to local and regional communities associated with the development of gastronomic tourism and event initiatives.

Explore various theories and principles associated with the management of service quality in tourism, hospitality and events. Analyse issues in service delivery for the service organization, employees and consumers. Develop an appropriate model for analysing service quality in a given service organization related to tourism, hospitality or events.

Consider the impact technological innovations have had for the visitor economy in the areas of tourism, hospitality, events and aviation. Reflect on the empowerment of consumers through technology, in particular opportunities provided through social media and mobile technologies. Learn more about the current digital technologies impacting the visitor economy, such as social media, mobile technologies, augmented and virtual reality, and the concepts of co-creation.

Prepare yourself for a career in industry as an employee, leader or manager. Investigate leadership and management styles and approaches as well as researching and debating equality and diversity issues. Gain a greater understanding of leadership and management challenges which occur every day in the wider world.

Risks and crises are an inherent part of all businesses, but within the tourism and aviation sectors these aspects are compounded by the uncertainty derived from products, services, and consumers. In addition, it is common ground that tourism and aviation sectors are susceptible to crises and disasters, characterised by high demand and supply elasticity. This module allows you to critically analysis risk and crisis management and its integral part of strategic thinking within tourism and aviation companies and organisations.

Develop your employability and gain an understanding of career pathways in the hospitality, events, aviation and tourism industry. Investigate work environments and study a number of important topics, such as career planning and pathways, communication and networking, presentation and interview skills and more. Discover and work towards securing a graduate job role or career.

More about BSc (Hons) Tourism Management at Sunderland

Discover more articles
  • You can access free Wi-Fi throughout the University campus, so you can work from anywhere. If you don't want to carry a laptop around, just use one of the University’s PCs or Apple Macs. We have hundreds of computers for you to use in the Murray Library, St Peter's Library, and the David Goldman Informatics Centre. If you ever have any technical problems, just ask the friendly helpdesk team.

    IT provision
  • The St Peter’s Library contains over 31,000 books related to business, economics, management, human resources, marketing, strategy and tourism.

    Added to this, you’ll benefit from a wide range of journals and periodicals in the St Peter’s Library, many of them in an online format. To help you make the most of the wealth of resources, 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.

    Library Services - business and tourism
  • The Student Learning Space is designed for business students, and it includes a boardroom as well as bookable areas to hold meetings and to meet with staff and clients from outside the University. There are also areas to facilitate group work and collaboration.

    Student Learning Space
  • Map and directions


You’ll be based at The Reg Vardy Centre, on the Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peter’s. The Reg Vardy Centre is a modern building with views of the river, and just a short walk from both the coast and Sunderland town centre.

You’ll find an excellent selection of tourism resources at St Peter’s Library, and you’ll have access to a full-time librarian who is dedicated to the Business and Tourism sections.

Entry requirements

Our typical offer is

  • GPA 3.0 or above from High School Diploma along with one of the following at the required grade - SAT I and SAT II, ACT or Advanced Placement

If your qualification is not listed above, please contact the Student Administration team at for further advice.

We also require three passes at GCSE grade C or above, which must include Mathematics and English Language, or an equivalent qualification, for example; a minimum of Level 2 Key Skills in Communication and Application of Number. If you have studied for a new GCSE for which you will be awarded a numerical grade then you will need to achieve a grade 4 or above.

If English is not your first language we will require an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) with an overall score of 6.0 and at least 5.5 or higher in each component: reading, writing, listening and speaking. An alternative approved Secure English Language Test (SELT) can also be considered if the applicant's element scores are equivalent to those required for IELTS.

Fees and finance

The annual fee for this course is:

  • £9,250 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, find out more in our Help and Advice article.

Take a look at the Your Finances section to find out about the scholarships and bursaries that may be available to you.

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This information was correct at the time of publication.

The Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peter's by night


The course content on the BSc (Hons) Tourism Management degree reflects our close links with employers, and our teaching emphasises the connections between theories and practice.

Many of our graduates progress to careers 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.

Paid placements

We encourage you to undertake a 48-week placement between your second and final year to further enhance employability . It effectively becomes the 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.

Recent placement employers include IBM, Procter & Gamble, BT, Nissan, Marriott Hotels, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Adidas.

Field trips

You will have the opportunity to visit a range of tourism and hospitality venues and initiatives. These visits are local to the North-East, national throughout the UK, and international including destinations such as New York, Dublin, Prague and Barcelona.

Top-up route

A top-up entry option is available to you if you have already successfully completed a Higher National Diploma (HND) or Foundation degree and wish to progress onto the final year of the Honours degree course. Topping up your existing HND or Foundation Degree will take one year of full-time study and may open up future career options to you depending on your chosen career path.

Contact us to find out how you can get credit for your previous learning and top-up your qualification to a range of degrees.

Meet the students

  • Sunderland had one of the best reputations in the country for Tourism.
    Chelsea Sinclair, Tourism graduate

    Chelsea Sinclair

  • I honestly feel like the University experience lifted my confidence and vision of where I could go.
    Katy Wood

    Katy Wood

Meet the team

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