MSc Ecotourism

Postgraduate, Full-Time

Explore the impact of humans on the environment and gain the practical skills and knowledge required to develop sustainable ecotourism.

  • Napier code:

    74704MM

  • Course type:

    Full-Time

  • Duration:

    1 year, or 18 months for January start

  • Award:

    MSc

  • Location:

    Sighthill campus

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Course introduction

Ecotourism has the potential to enable communities to benefit from the economic and social aspects of tourism while reducing impacts on the environment and wildlife.

This course takes a science framework and adds a business perspective in order to give those involved in green tourism the ecological background to inform their management decisions.

It builds on the experience of staff working worldwide in nature-based tourism and wildlife conservation to help develop sustainable livelihoods through the conservation of communities and natural resources.


ecotourism

You’ll gain a variety of scientific and business skills including ecological field skills, contract tendering, questionnaire design and analysis, community engagement approaches, proposal and report writing.

An understanding of the diversity of living organisms and their taxonomy is a core component of the course, together with an appreciation of the impact of humans on their environment.

The practical and applied nature of this course encourages the development of generic skills including communication, IT (GIS, R), problem solving, statistical analysis, research and team-working, all designed to enhance your employability.

You’ll benefit from an intensive field course to help embed practical skills in sampling, identification and data analysis. It is likely there will be a choice of two field courses; one abroad (probably in Tobago for two weeks) with an additional cost (approximately £1,400) and one in Scotland for three weeks with minimal associated costs. These usually take place in early May.

This is a one year full-time course and is divided into three trimesters. You can choose to start in September or January, however the development of theory and practice are best facilitated with a September start.

You'll be taught using a variety of teaching methods including lectures, tutorials, laboratory sessions, field trips and independent study, supported with information on the virtual learning environment.

If you do not have a biological background, you need to be aware that science lies at the core of this course and have an enthusiasm to learn how to study and manage the natural world. Your option choices from a range of business and science modules will then allow you to tailor your programme to your own interests.

Subjects include

  • Scientific methods
  • Humans and wildlife
  • Field and laboratory skills

Plus a choice of one module from

  • Environmental management for ecotourism
  • Tourism concepts and issues
  • Managing heritage tourism

And also two modules from

  • Case studies in international tourism
  • Management of aquatic protected areas
  • Experience design and management for tourism, hospitality and events
  • Natural area tourism

In addition you will undertake a research project on a subject of your choice.


Study modules mentioned above are indicative only. Some changes may occur between now and the time that you study.

Full information on this is available in our disclaimer.

Owing to its multidisciplinary nature, our graduates have gained employment in a variety of areas including green education, guiding, environmental events management, government agencies (e.g. SNH, DFID), independent non-governmental wildlife organisations and charities (e.g. RSPB, RZSS) and environmental consultancy.

Some of our graduates have set up their own companies.


The entry requirement for this course is a Bachelor (Honours) Degree at a 2:2 or above, or equivalent. We look for applicants to have a background in Biology, Tourism, Geography, Zoology in order to be eligible for the programme.

We may also consider lesser qualifications if you have sufficient and relevant work experience within this industry.

English language requirements

If your first language isn't English, you'll normally need to undertake an approved English language test and our minimum English language requirements will apply.

This may not apply if you have completed all your school qualifications in English, or your undergraduate degree was taught and examined in English (within two years of starting your postgraduate course). Check our country pages to find out if this applies to you.


Our entry requirements indicate the minimum qualifications with which we normally accept students. Competition for places varies from year to year and you aren't guaranteed a place if you meet the minimum qualifications.

International students

If your qualifications aren't listed above, visit our country pages to get entry requirements for your country.

Please note that non-EU international students are unable to enrol onto the following courses:

BN Nursing/MN Nursing (Adult, Child, Mental Health or Learning Disability)

BM Midwifery/MM Midwifery

Admissions policies

We are committed to being as accessible as possible to anyone who wants to achieve higher education.

Our admissions policies will help you understand our admissions procedures and how decisions are made.


Tuition fees
Students from 2016/17 2017/18
Home/EU £3,750 £3,750
Overseas £14,690 £14,690

Frequently Asked Questions about Fees
Information of Bursaries and Scholarships

The Field & Laboratory Skills module includes a field course component. Currently ,one option is held in Tobago in May and costs approximately £1400 in addition to the module fee. However this may be subject to change. An alternative experience runs in Scotland with minimal cost.

MSc Ecotourism graduate Angelika on working for the Scottish Forestry Commission