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MSc International Tourism Development

Course Description

This programme is specifically designed for those with a particular interest in developing tourism in a sustainable way within a local, regional or national economy.


Ranked number one for hospitality and tourism programmes in the UK by the Good University Guide, Surrey combines a fresh, dynamic outlook with a leading international reputation.

At our School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, you will benefit from forward-thinking degree programmes, unsurpassed connections with leading figures in the world of hospitality and tourism, and a remarkable track record in graduate employment.

Visit the website http://www.surrey.ac.uk/postgraduate/international-tourism-development


The MSc International Tourism Development programme is distinctive in its strong focus on the issues, problems and processes associated with the planning and development of tourist destinations.

Emphasising 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 the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management’s longstanding expertise in the tourism sector.

Graduates of this programme often go on to pursue careers in fields such as policy-making, strategic planning and development in local and national government, or tourism consultancy.

Programme structure

The programme consists of five compulsory modules, three optional modules and a dissertation.

Compulsory modules:

Research Methods
Tourism Development
Sustainable Tourism Management
Tourism Social Science
Tourism Strategy

Optional modules:

Perspectives in Tourism Management
Tourism Services Marketing
Digital Marketing and Social Media in Tourism
Destinations Management and Marketing
Accounting and Finance for Business
Applied Marketing Research
Visitor Attractions Management
Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility

Example module content

- Research Methods

Introduces the process of research project formulation and the key elements of research design, this module preparing you to execute your research study for your dissertation in a systematic and scientific manner.

- Tourism Development

Examines tourism policies, tourism development plans and regulatory mechanisms in a variety of locations and political structures internationally.

- Sustainable Tourism Management

Tourism can only exist in the long term upon a sustainable resource base, but also faces short-term demands for profits in a challenging market. You will investigate its evolution, growth and future, and the complexities involved.

- Tourism Social Science

Examines the contribution of social science to the understanding of tourism and develops an appreciation of the complexities of tourism as an industry and a social phenomenon.

- Tourism Strategy

You will understand, apply and critically evaluate strategic analysis for tourism organisations and destinations. You will be able to evaluate strategies, their appropriateness and the issues that will determine whether or not they are successful.

- Perspectives in Tourism Management

Critically analyses the functions of management within tourism businesses, examining the structure and dynamics of the tourism industry and the operation of tourism businesses. The module includes a one-day fieldtrip to Brighton.

- Tourism Services Marketing

Designed as an introduction to marketing, this module is divided into two distinct elements: the principles of marketing, and the tourism-specific application of marketing.

- Digital Marketing and Social Media in Tourism

Examines the impact of social media on traveller’s behaviour and how firms can exploit social media to enhance networking, collaboration, and traveller’s engagement in marketing. The module also deals with factors that facilitate, or on the contrary, inhibit the usage of various digital marketing channels in the tourism industry.

- Destination Management and Marketing

In today’s changing international tourism marketplace, destinations must develop and use competitive advantages. This module develops your appreciation of the basic concepts and techniques involved.

- Accounting and Finance for Business

Provides you with the foundations for understanding, analysing and interpreting financial information, and enables you to apply accounting principles and financial theory across management disciplines and organisations.

- Applied Marketing Research

This module focuses on the critical aspects of marketing research theory and practice to support and improve marketing management practice in an international context.

- Visitor Attraction Management

Applies the core learning of the programme, including management, finance and organisational behaviour, to the specifics of visitor attraction management.

- Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility

Introduces you to a range of theoretical approaches to understanding ethics and ethical responses to business situations, as well as provides the opportunity for in-depth reflection and critique on ethical conflicts and dilemmas that arise within the hospitality and tourism industries.


- Tourism fieldtrip to Cambridge

The Destination Management and Marketing module includes a three-day fieldtrip to Cambridge. It incorporates guest lecture sessions from local and regional destination marketing organisations, as well as a city and college tour. Additionally, you will gain first-hand experience of addressing a specific research problem and conducting marketing research. Insights gained from the field experience are channelled back into producing a theoretical report.

- Fieldtrip to Brighton

As part of the Tourism Management module, you will participate in a one-day fieldtrip to Brighton. The fieldtrip includes a talk and Q&A session with the Director of VisitBrighton and a guided tour led by a ‘Blue Badge Guide’.

During the fieldtrip, you will evaluate the portfolio of tourism attractions and infrastructure in Brighton, and examine issues related to destination rejuvenation and development, and the role of meetings and conferences in destination development and management.

- Other fieldtrips

Further fieldtrips include visits to Guildford Cathedral and an attraction of the Merlin Entertainment Group.


The School of Hospitality and Tourism Management holds accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) (http://aacsb.edu/) and the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) (http://www2.unwto.org/).

Find out how to apply here - http://www.surrey.ac.uk/apply/postgraduate

Visit the MSc International Tourism Development 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 recognised 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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