International Tourism Development MA

Key Facts

  • Level:


  • Duration:

    Full Time: 1 Year

  • Starting:


  • UK Fees 22/23:


  • International Fees 22/23:


  • Location:


Get in touch

For questions regarding study and admissions please contact us:

UK/EU Students enquiries
0300 303 2772

International Students enquiries
+44 (0)1604 894503


Effective tourism management is essential for the future of destinations, communities and the travel and tourism industry. The term ‘over-tourism’ and its associated global impacts has highlighted a real and urgent need for managers who are capable of developing the tourism industry in a sustainable way.

The course includes a funded overseas study trip* to enhance practical knowledge and employability. Read more about our recent trip to Finland.

*Future study trips are dependent on Government and local travel guides relating to Covid-19.

This course has an Industry Placement Option.

Apply for Non-Placement Route

September 2022

Apply for Placement Route

September 2022

Updated 01/07/2022


  • Industry Placement Option available.
  • Embedded study trips.
  • Focus on the Changemaker ethos.

Course Content

  • This course has been designed to contribute towards achieving the following United Nations Sustainable Development Goal: SDG15 of Life on Land.

    This programme offers two points of entry.

    The first option is to undertake a one year programme of study including a dissertation. You will gain the skills required to manage sustainable tourism businesses, alongside the specialisms of strategic destination management, tourism futures, crisis and post-conflict tourism management, the strategic use of events for urban destination management and will be able to choose routes such as digital marketing or managing across cultures. The course draws upon a variety of case studies and projects, letting you explore the global scope of tourism, the policies and strategies associated with successful management, the role the industry plays in international development, and the stakeholders involved in its development. The course places emphasis upon the micro-economic contribution of enterprise projects in supporting development and sustainability, in line with the University’s Changemaker ethos.

    The course will also prepare you for the practical, project-based, and customer focused characteristics of the tourism industry, drawing upon a variety of case studies and engaging you with industry experts.

    This course provides students with higher-level knowledge, skills and capabilities to pursue a specialist career in a broad range of areas in the tourism industry across the private, public and not-for-profit sectors.

    List of modules

    Please note the modules shown here relate to the academic year 22/23. The modules relating to the academic year 23/24 will be available from June 2023.

    Semester 1

    You will be introduced to the main themes in destination and tourism development, enabling you to analyse the strategic and dynamic nature of international tourist destinations and issues facing destination managers. Modules in semester one will highlight the need to ensure long-term viability of destination resources through themes such as international sustainable development and futures studies. You will have the option to choose to focus on developing competency in digital marketing.

    Semester 2

    The strategic use of events in both the public and private sectors will be examined, particularly their use as a catalyst for physical, economic and socio-cultural regeneration. You will have the option to choose to focus on developing your personal adaptability in cross-cultural (work) environments. You will begin the process of undergoing your dissertation through research methods and research supervision.

    Semester 3

    You will examine the vulnerability of destinations and the strategies and approaches needed by managers to develop and recover, particularly post-conflict, as well as examining a variety of concepts related to futures studies for tourism. An area of individual research will be developed into a clearly defined and evidenced dissertation that demonstrates critical thinking and research at postgraduate level.  Guided by a dedicated subject specialist, you will collect, analyse and interpret a range of secondary and primary data, culminating in a 15-20,000 word dissertation.

    The second option is to undertake a two-year programme of study incorporating an industry placement year.

    This provides you with the same skills and holistic understanding of international tourism development, but builds on the first three semesters of academic content with the addition of a year in industry. The year in industry will develop your real world experience and you will undertake an applied research project that identifies and provides a response to an industry specific problem.You will be required to undertake a work-based learning module during Semester one which begins to prepare you for finding your placement.

    LEIM041 Imagined Futures for Tourism and Hospitality (Compulsory)

    The growth of international tourism is expected to continue in the decades ahead. Future thinking and scenario setting helps tourism policy makers, planners and stakeholders create new ideas for tourism development. The purpose of this module is to provide you with the ability to analyse the multidisplinary facets of the field of tourism futures, and systematically forecast and redefine the future of international tourism. You will postulate possible, probable, and preferable futures of international destinations and tourism stakeholders, drawing on current trends and research.

    LEIM010 International Sustainable Tourism (Compulsory)

    The social, cultural, economic and environmental impacts of tourism development on global destinations have highlighted the need to ensure the long-term viability of their resources, resulting in the emergence of sustainable development principles. The module will critically examine the concept of sustainable tourism development using a range of international case studies, and to demonstrate the application of the Changemaker Philosophy to social challenges or issues that can be alleviated through sustainable tourism strategies.

    LEIM020 Strategic Destination Management (Compulsory)

    The dynamic nature of international tourist destinations creates a number of strategic challenges for managers responsible for the planning, management and marketing of such destinations.  This module has a broad strategic management and international focus and is designed to provide you with a subject specialism in the field of destination management.

    LEIM011 Risk, Crisis and Post-conflict Management in Tourism (Compulsory)

    International tourism is particularly vulnerable to the adverse impacts of natural and man-made disasters and catastrophes.  Consequently, national governments have spent considerable time and resources in developing policy and planning measures specifically for the tourism sector. The intent is to prevent disasters and to mitigate risk and crisis in the event of their occurrence in the tourism destination.

    Case studies have shown that timely and effective intervention may reduce negative outcomes such as a fall in visitor numbers and economic decline in the sector. This module examines the role of government in forming partnerships with the private sector and community based stakeholders in the development of a national tourism crisis management plan. It integrates general theoretical frameworks on risk and crisis management within the context of tourism operations with the utilisation of practical examples and case studies of past destination’s responses and recovery after disasters.

    LEIM039 Eventful Cities (Compulsory)

    You will evaluate and appraise the use of events as vehicles for urban regeneration and revitalisation.  In recent years, events have become significant elements of public policy, allowing destinations to advertise their economic and cultural readiness to be seen on the global stage. You will utilise a range of case studies from international major and mega events to critique theoretical models and appraise the positive and negative legacies that can benefit or haunt destinations.  The module draws on a range of associated disciplines including urban planning, tourism policy and strategic events management as a means of developing a holistic view of the eventful city.

    HRMM061 Managing Across Cultures (Designate)

    Due to the increase in organisations operating globally, this module has both a theoretical and practical focus. The module discusses different business cultures from across the world and considers their impact on individuals of working in environments that is not native them. There is a strong emphasis on developing personal adaptability in cross cultural (work) environments as Master graduates can be expected to, and will have the expectation to – lead and manage other people internationally.

    MKTM027 Strategic Digital Marketing (Designate)

    This module starts from the position that many aspects of our lives are becoming ‘digitized’ and that this digital world creates immense new opportunities for marketers. In order to capitalise on these opportunities companies need to have a strategic overview of how digital technologies can add value to both their target customers and their own organisation. You will identify and analyse a digital marketing opportunity and make an appropriate, well-reasoned proposal of how this opportunity may be exploited using innovative e-marketing models and techniques.

    LEIM031 Dissertation & Research Methods (Compulsory for Dissertation route)

    In the context of the experience economy, you will develop a critical understanding of: research design; the ethics surrounding research; research philosophy; research methods; and analysis. This module provides you with the knowledge and understanding required to evaluate and conduct research at postgraduate level.

    HRMM072 Career Futures (0 Credit) (Compulsory for Industry Year Route)

    This module is only available to those students who have registered for the industry placement pathway and is a pre-requisite for progression to HRMM074.

    HRMM074 Work Based Project (Compulsory for Industry Year Route)

    You will undertake an extended applied research project in a real world environment and combine appropriate industry work experience with the critical analysis of a contemporary challenge or issue relevant to their field of study.

  • To be accepted onto this programme you will normally need to hold a recognised First or Second Class Honours degree from a UK university (or an international equivalent). We consider a wide range of first degree disciplines, which include travel, tourism, and international development. If English is not your first language, you will need to demonstrate that you meet the minimum English language requirement of IELTS 6.5 (or equivalent).

    For more more information on how to make an application, please visit our How to Apply page.

    If you are an International student and would like information on making an application, please see our How to Apply page.

    English Language Requirements

    All International and EU students applying for a course with us must meet the following minimum English language requirements:

    • Minimum standard – IELTS 6.5 (or equivalent) for study at postgraduate level.

    For information regarding English language requirements at the University, please see our IELTS page.

  • 22/23 Tuition Fees

    Fees quoted relate to study in the Academic Year 22/23 only and may be subject to inflationary increases in future years.

    • UK: £7,650
    • International: £15,000
    • Year 2 Placement Fee: £500 * (for placements starting in September 2023 or January 2024)

    *The placement fee amount will only be charged to you after you secure a placement and are enrolled on the work based project in year 2 of your course. You will not be charged this fee if you do not secure a work placement.

    For information on the scholarships available to you, please see our scholarships page.

    Additional costs

    There are no additional costs for this course for students beginning their studies in September 2022. Should this change, applicants and students will be contacted by the university with details of the costs.

    21/22 Tuition Fees

    Fees quoted relate to study in the Academic Year 21/22 only and may be subject to inflationary increases in future years.

    • UK: £7,470
    • International: £14,000
    • Year 2 Placement Fee: £500 * (for placements starting in September 2022 or January 2023)

    *The placement fee amount will only be charged to you after you secure a placement and are enrolled on the work based project in year 2 of your course. You will not be charged this fee if you do not secure a work placement.

    For information on the scholarships available to you, please see our scholarships page.


  • Our graduate discount scheme is open to graduates of the University of Northampton who enrol on a full master’s programme with us.

    Qualifying students will receive 20% discount on the full tuition fee for their Master’s course.

    *Find out if you are eligible for 20% fee discount by visiting our webpage.

  • The industry placement enables you to develop your skills and knowledge in a real-world work environment, whilst completing an applied research project. This will give you an advantage over the competition for jobs and scholarships after you graduate and could be a good starting point for setting up your own consultancy business.

    Your placement will need to be appropriate to your level of study and you should also be paid for this work. We will support you in finding and securing a suitable placement opportunity, however it must be noted that placements are highly competitive and there is no guarantee of a placement offer being made by an employer.

    If you are unable or unwilling to progress with an industry placement, for whatever reason, you will have the option to transfer onto our Dissertation and Research Methods module in order to gain the required credits to complete your programme of study.

  • How will I learn?

    The course emphasises a small group teaching and learning experience that combines a range of methods including taught and online workshops and active blended learning.  Each 20 credit module accounts for 200 hours of learning; with 3 hours of scheduled contact per week per module, with a strong emphasis placed on directed and self-directed independent study.

    All modules are taught within the academic calendar but the pattern of delivery may be flexible and will depend on the needs of the cohort.

    How will I be assessed?

    Assessment methods will develop and enhance your skills and combine a range of traditional and modern communication methods.

    Assessments include: Projects, debates, reports, presentations, essays, student-led seminars, e-portfolios, conference papers and production of digital content such as websites.

    What are the Ashoka Changemaker projects?

    Ashoka U is the global association of the world’s leading universities supporting social entrepreneurs; those working together to create solutions for the world’s most urgent social problems. Our International Tourism Development course emphasises this philosophy, through Ashoka Changemaker projects. Our MA is delivered by a team of staff who demonstrate excellence in research and industry expertise in both a UK and international context.

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Careers and Employability

If you are interested in pursuing a specialist career in destination management, sustainable tourism management or international development then studying the International Tourism Development is an ideal progression for you. Our graduates have gone on to work within development organisations, NGOs, aid organisations, post conflict and disaster charities, as well as public and private sector tourism organisations.

Is this course for you?