MSc Heritage and Cultural Tourism Management

Postgraduate, Full-Time

Gain the vital knowledge and practical skills to develop a successful career in tourism in one of the leading cultural tourism destinations in Europe.

  • Napier code:

    31414MM

  • Course type:

    Full-Time

  • Duration:

    1 year, or 18 months for January start

  • Award:

    MSc

  • Location:

    Craiglockhart campus

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Course introduction

Thanks to its rich history, abundance of heritage attractions and its world-famous festival of the arts, Edinburgh is a popular destination for a rising number of cultural tourists from all over the world – which is why it’s a great place for you to study MSc Heritage & Cultural Tourism Management.

This advanced degree will equip you with the knowledge you need to successfully operate a cultural tourism business and devise policies and strategies for the overall industry and contributes towards professional accreditation with the Institute of Hospitality.


The Kelpies

You’ll develop organisational and business skills that relate particularly to cultural aspects of tourism. Through lectures, guest speakers and case studies, you’ll gain an advanced understanding of the issues and concepts involved in the industry, as well as marketing practice and heritage considerations.

You’ll learn broad skills, such as formulating policy and planning for the future, as well as developing your abilities in research, time management and presentation methods.

This is a full-time course split up into three trimesters. You can choose to start in either January or September.

You’ll learn by a variety of teaching methods including lectures, tutorials and independent study.

With a number of tourist ventures and operations in and near the city, you’ll have plenty of options for part-time work and employment after graduation.

Subjects include

  • Tourism Concepts and Issues
  • Managing Heritage Tourism
  • Tourism, Society and Visual Culture
  • Experience Design and Management for Tourism, Hospitality and Events
  • Two options
  • Research Methods
  • Dissertation

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.

As a tourism graduate from Edinburgh Napier University, you’ll be well placed to progress within the industry, whether your career aspirations are local or international.

You may move on to management roles in sectors and organisations including:

  • destination development
  • cultural services management
  • operations management
  • tour operators
  • public sector organisations
  • retail and hospitality


The entry requirement for this course is a Bachelor (Honours) Degree at a 2:2 or above.  We look for applicants to have a background in any discipline in order to be eligible for the programme.

We may also consider lesser qualifications if you have sufficient relevant work experience within the 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 2017/18 2018/19
Home/EU £6,466 £7,000
Overseas £12,620 £13,000
This course comprises of 180 credits from taught modules and a dissertation. The total fee you will pay is dependant upon the exit award you wish to achieve.

Frequently Asked Questions about Fees
Information of Bursaries and Scholarships

Modules that you will study as part of this course*

Business Skills for Events Management in the Tourism Industry ( TSM11101 )

The module covers the various issues involved in the planning, development and management of those events specifically designed for the tourism industry. Specifically, the module considers the sources of funding, budgetary and other financial issues associated with planning and managing an event for tourism; it examines the people skills, quality issues, employment contracts and other human resource development concerns that need to be taken into account by events managers and organisers within the tourism industry; it addresses logistical issues such as crowd control, venue selection, staging and lighting which must be addressed in event management for tourism; it considers the various aspects of risk management for events designed for tourism, specifically the financial, legal and ethical safeguards required.

Further information

Case Studies in International Tourism ( TSM11105 )

• International Cultural comparison • Case Study method and comparative research methodologies • Tourism and Development • Tourism planning and policy • Urban and Rural tourism systems; • Competitiveness and responsible tourism development; • Ethical issues in international tourism • Cross-cultural behaviour in tourism • Global issues and value analysis.

Further information

Developing Intercultural Competence in the Workplace ( LNG11120 )

This module begins with a discussion of the cultural diversity phenomenon, a day-to-day reality that brings both challenges and opportunites to today’s workplace. Approaches adopted by practitioners to managing cultural diversity will be critically examined and compared, with a particular emphasis on intercultural team-building. The module content then focuses on intercultural competence, an element that is central to the intercultural team-building agenda. Perspectives and insights will be drawn from relevant disciplines, such as intercultural communication, cross-cultural management and education. Participants will consider ways of cultivating their own intercultural competence as well as facilitating others’ intercultural competence development (especially in work-based contexts). To facilitate the exploration of these two areas, participants will engage with theories and practices in intercultural training in a peer-supported learning environment and reflect upon their own intercultural learning experience in this environment.

Further information

Dissertation ( TSM11130 )

Research methodologies, critically reviewing literature, research design and ethics, data collection methods (qualitative, quantitative and mixed), analysis methods, research writing and dissemination. Individual research, production of a dissertation, reflection on work undertaken.

Further information

Experience Design and Management for Tourism, Hospitality and Events ( TSM11114 )

This module involves applying theoretical perspectives to develop skills and techniques in tourism, hospitality or events. The module allows students to build work-based skills in tourism, hospitality and/or event management that are underpinned with relevant theory. It facilitates a critical understanding of how the core elements of tourism, hospitality and events contribute to their effective and coherent design; and how consumer experiences can be managed. The module opens with an introduction to key design and experience theories and concepts such as: the experience economy; service encounters; experiencescapes; the tourist gaze; co-creation; and symbolic interactionism. The application of these to tourism, hospitality and events is then considered. Concurrently, students examine key management functions and consider these in the context of specific tourism, hospitality or events in an authentic experiential setting. Particular attention is paid to manager and critical consumer perspectives in specific tourism, hospitality and event design settings. There are two assessment components. Assessment 1 has two elements. Element 1 requires students to draw upon theories discussed in the module to respond collaboratively to an experience design brief by producing and presenting a proposed tourism, hospitality or event experience in the form of a group oral presentation. The second element of Assessment 1 requires students to write a reflective and evaluative essay. Assessment 2 requires students to consume a selected tourism, hospitality or event experience in real time, then to critically review and evaluate the design and management of that experience in the form of either a written or online portfolio.

Further information

International Business Event Management ( TSM11113 )

The meetings industry is of huge global economic importance (Davidson and Cope, 2003). Business events play a significant role in generating tourism revenue for destinations, thus contributing towards economic prosperity. In this module, you will learn about the major stakeholders in the business event industry, and how they interact with one another. You will examine issues of supply and demand at all levels, and analyse the impact made by business events on their chosen destination. You will be taken on visits to event venues, and will hear guest speakers from industry. This will enable you to connect the theory to the practice. The module contains the following topics: the business events industry in context; buyers, suppliers and intermediaries; supply and demand characteristics of the industry; the external environment; event planning (buyer and supplier perspectives); impacts of business events and venues; current trends and future issues.

Further information

International Festival and Event Management ( TSM11110 )

This module critically engages the students allowing them to consider both the socio-cultural role and economic impacts of international festivals and events, for organisations, policy makers, regions or localities. The module will cover a range of festivals and events within an international context. Major multi-arts, sporting and religious events such as the Edinburgh Festival, Commonwealth Games or Mela's to small localised festivals and one-off events will be critically explored and the audiences for each type of event examined and evaluated. How some festivals and events, not aimed at tourists, have become tourist attractions in recent years will also be explored and challenged . Consideration will also be given to current issues and trends in festivals and events appraising the likely future demand and development of festivals and events worldwide

Further information

Managing Heritage Tourism ( TSM11104 )

The module will cover the : Concepts and definition of heritage tourism;, the nature of built heritage; management issues in the effective management of heritage visitor attractions; specific issues in the management of UNESCO World Heritage Sites; balancing resource and visitor management via interpretation, technology and revenue ; and the future of managing heritage tourism.

Further information

Natural Area Tourism ( TSM11116 )

This module is designed to enable students to understand the challenges associated with developing and managing natural area tourism and how these might be effectively tackled. It commences by exploring and critiquing the anthropocentric and ecocentric perspectives which underpin human stances in relation to tourism and the natural environment. Adopting a global perspective, natural area tourism (NAT) is located within tourism more generally and the specific context of alternative tourism. Ecotourism is critically examined with a view to assessing its role and viability as a means of economic development. The module seeks to identify and critically examine the process of developing and managing tourism in natural areas across its full scope (i.e. adventure; nature based; wildlife; and ecotourism) with a particular emphasis upon the specific sustainability issues associated with each.

Further information

Research Methods ( SOE11131 )

Research methodologies, critically reviewing literature, research design and ethics, data collection methods (qualitative, quantitative and mixed), analysis methods, research writing and dissemination.

Further information

The Management of Hospitality Operations ( TSM11106 )

An introduction to the hospitality industry including its significance in the service sector, its relationship with partner industries and its economic significance. An analysis of the sectors comprising the industry. Fundamental components of, and principal systems utilised in, hospitality operations. The design, planning and management of hospitality facilities. Hospitality product design, development, delivery and performance management.

Further information

Tourism Concepts and Issues ( TSM11111 )

Defining tourism/the tourism system Consumer demand and behaviour Tourism Area Life Cycle Niche tourism Role of stakeholders in tourism Impacts of tourism Crisis Management Current trends and issues in tourism, hospitality and events

Further information

Tourism Marketing ( TSM11108 )

Introduction to marketing concepts Marketing tourism products and destinations Hospitality and Events marketing Destination image and branding Semiotics of promotional materials Marketing research, planning and audits Consumers and consumption in tourism Marketing communication strategies: from brochure to the web Creating strategic marketing plans Popular media and digital marketing

Further information

Tourism, Society and Visual Culture ( TSM11109 )

This module will involve the study of many complex issues within tourism studies including: - the history of tourism and its visual culture; - representations of places and cultures in popular tourist materials and other popular media; - film induced tourism; - art and tourism; - tourist experiences: visual consumption, the tourist gaze and photography; - impacts of contemporary tourism and its visual culture on societies, cultures and the industry.

Further information

* These are indicative only and reflect the course structure in the current academic year. Some changes may occur between now and the time that you study.