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International Tourism Development - MSc

Course Description

Our School of Hospitality and Tourism Management offers a fresh, dynamic outlook, unsurpassed industry connections, a leading international reputation and a remarkable track record in graduate employment.

This programme is distinctive in its strong focus on understanding the challenges and processes associated with the development of tourist destinations world-wide.


The MSc International Tourism Development programme is specifically designed for those with a particular interest in developing tourism in a sustainable way within a local, regional or national economy.

With an emphasis on both the theoretical and applied aspects of tourism planning and development, you will explore conceptual and practical issues facing the public and private sectors when dealing with the development of tourism.

The programme explores a wide variety of tourism development situations, drawing on our longstanding expertise in the sector.

Graduates often pursue careers in fields such as policy-making, strategic planning and development in local and national government, or tourism consultancy.


This programme is studied full-time over one academic year. It consists of eight taught modules and a dissertation. The following modules are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that not all modules described are compulsory and may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.
-Research Methods
-Tourism Development
-Sustainable Tourism Management
-Perspectives in Tourism Management
-Tourism Services Marketing
-Tourism Social Science
-Tourism Strategy
-Destinations Management and Marketing
-Accounting and Finance for Business
-Innovation in Tourism
-Applied Marketing Research
-Visitor Attraction Management
-Ethics and CRS
-Business Plan for Hospitality and Tourism


The programme is designed for those with a particular interest in the issues, problems and processes associated with the planning and development of tourist destinations.

The emphasis of the programme is on both the theoretical and applied aspects of tourism planning and development. The programme provides coverage of both the conceptual and practical issues and problems facing the public and private sectors dealing with the development of tourism in a wide variety of situations.

It provides a basis relevant to a career in tourism development in the public or private sectors. The programme draws on the stimulus of the School’s recent research activities, and takes an integrated approach to the relationships between the various components of the programme.

The programme also provides students with opportunities to work directly with industry partners through not only guest lectures, but also on a real tourism project through the Applied Dissertation initiative and during fieldtrips. The programme provides students with the basis for developing their own approach to learning and personal development.


Knowledge and understanding
-A systematic, in-depth understanding of the development, issues and influences relevant to tourism development
-A high level of theoretical and applied knowledge of the management operation, organisation and provision of business or service sector education
-An understanding of the research process

Intellectual / cognitive skills
-Independently critically evaluate approaches and techniques relevant to tourism development
-Evaluate outcomes and accurately assess/report on own/others’ work with justification and relate them to existing knowledge structures and methodologies
-Demonstrate high level learning and problem solving abilities in the range of modules studied

Professional practical skills
-Analyse and synthesise issues related to tourism development (other skills developed include communication and presentation skills, computing skills, critical reasoning, data analysis, organisation and planning, report and essay writing skills, problem solving skills, interactive and group skills, and research skills)
-Evaluate the ethical dilemmas likely to arise in research and professional practice, and to formulate solutions in dialogue with peers, clients, mentors, supervisors and others

Key / transferable skills
-How to identify modifications to existing knowledge structures and theoretical frameworks and therefore to propose new areas for investigation, new problems, new or alternative applications or methodological approaches
-How to conduct research and produce a high quality reports: this includes the ability to select, define and focus upon an issue at an appropriate level; to develop and apply relevant and sound methodologies; to analyse the issue; to develop recommendations and logical conclusions; to be aware of the limitations of the research work
-A range of generic skills relevant to the needs of existing and future managers, executives and professionals, irrespective of their sector of operation. These will include analysis and synthesis, oral and written communication, computing/IT literacy, critical reasoning, data analysis, organisation and planning, problem solving, independent and group working and research


We often give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their degrees by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities.

In addition to the hugely enjoyable and satisfying experience, time spent abroad adds a distinctive element to your CV.

Visit the International Tourism Development - MSc page on the University of Surrey website for more details!

(Student Profile)


While studying at Surrey, Urdax won the Association for Tourism in Higher Education Prize – awarded to the best postgraduate student across our tourism programmes – and was the joint winner of the Faculty Award for the best dissertation on our tourism and events programmes.

Before enrolling in my MSc, I had travelled extensively and had a number of different business jobs. I then decided to specialise in the tourism industry.

I chose to study at Surrey because it consistently ranks first in Europe for tourism studies across several different league tables. My choice of the MSc Tourism Development in particular was motivated by my desire to work in the field of tourism planning and development.

Tourism not only is one of the world’s largest industries and major contributors to employment, but I personally find it the most interesting and beautiful economic activity. Travelling is possibly one of the best things you can do in life.

What I enjoyed most about the programme was working on real-life cases and putting forward practical solutions. I also came to like the process of writing more academic-oriented essays. There was a good balance between these two aspects on the course.

The academic staff were always friendly, helpful and ready to find time to help with any problems.

I believe that Guildford offers a perfect location for studying, being so close to the peaceful countryside, yet only a 30 minute train ride from London.

I think that I became more organized and more structured in my way of working while at Surrey. I came to enjoy 'academic life', so I may apply for a PhD at some point. I am happy with my decision to enroll in the MSc Tourism Development programme, and that I devoted so much effort to my studies.


Discounts for Surrey graduates - No. of awards TBC

If you are a self-funded UK, EU or international student who has studied for an undergraduate degree at the University of Surrey campus in Guildford, you could be eligible for a ten per cent discount on our taught postgraduate Masters programme fees. This scheme is for applicable to Postgraduate Taught entry students only and is reviewed annually.Students who graduated in 2013 are eligible, as well as alumni from previous years, on receipt of evidence of the award from Surrey and where we can identify that you actually studied in Guildford. Students from SII-DUFE are eligible for this scheme.Associated Institution students are not eligible. Not available to modular self-pacing students.

Value of Scholarship(s)

10% tuition fee discount


If you are a self-funded UK, EU or international student who has studied for an undergraduate degree at the University of Surrey campus in Guildford

Application Procedure

If you have any enquiries regarding this matter please contact the Student Fees and Funding Office on [email protected]

Further Information


Entry Requirements

Applicants should normally hold a Bachelors degree (UK 2.1 or above) or equivalent qualification from a British or overseas university. Relevant work experience could be an additional benefit where applicants have not reached the standard entry requirements, although it is not an admissions requirement for this particular degree programme. Higher level professional qualifications may also be accepted. Each applicant is assessed on their own merit.

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