International Tourism Destination Management MSc



An international programme informed by world-leading research to develop an in-depth knowledge of tourism destination management

Overview

A UNESCO World Heritage Site and home of the world’s largest arts festival, Edinburgh welcomes visitors from across the world all year round. As a result, the city boasts a thriving tourism industry with global connections and is world-renowned for its authentic and innovative tourism experiences. 

Edinburgh Napier University has been teaching tourism for over 25 years and specialises in applied, research-informed learning to provide the graduate employability skills needed for successful careers in the international tourism industry. 

The MSc International Tourism Destination Management programme will equip you with the knowledge you need to successfully operate in an international tourism business. You will study alongside leading tourism academics to build an in-depth knowledge of tourism management, destination marketing and experience design to enhance your career within the sector. This programme is ideal for those with no background in tourism wishing to upskill and move into a vibrant, fast-paced and diverse industry.

Typical entry points to this course are in January and September. Please enquire for more information.

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Mode of Study:

Full-time (available as Part-time)

Duration:

1 years

Start date:

SepJan

Course details

You’ll gain organisational and business skills that take into account the diversity of cultures involved in developing and managing international tourism. Through lectures, guest speakers and case studies, you’ll develop an advanced understanding of the issues and concepts involved in international tourism development, as well as marketing practice and heritage considerations around the world.

We will help you to develop skills, such as formulating policy and planning for the future, as well as developing your abilities in research, time management and presentation methods.

Upon completion of the course, you’ll be able to devise sustainable policies and strategies by understanding the key challenges and issues facing the tourism sector. You will also be equipped with creative, innovative and practical solutions to enhance your employability within the industry. 

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

How will my degree reflect sustainability and sustainable development?

The Principles of Responsible Management Education (PRME) – established under the UN Global Compact – places a clear onus on Higher Education to ‘transform management education and develop the responsible decision-makers of tomorrow to advance sustainable development’. The Business School is a PRME signatory, and we seek to influence professional practice and policy nationally and internationally, helping to drive key societal, economic and environmental impacts.

Our mission is ‘to empower communities to apply business knowledge for positive societal impact’ and we work constantly to embed practical actions into our curriculum, to promote sustainability and relate these to the key ideas of sustainability, as reflected in the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Our undergraduate and postgraduate programmes now reflect one or more of the SDG, and our research is targeted to solve real world problems, mapped against the criteria used in the Times Higher Education’s Impact Ranking. 

The most recent annual league table for Sustainability - compiled by People & Planet, the UK’s largest student campaigning network - again places Edinburgh Napier in a top 3 position among Scotland’s 19 universities. This reflects their assessment of our performance across a range of environmental and ethical considerations, which include carbon reduction and management, and education.

What is distinct about equality, diversity and inclusion?

Edinburgh Napier University is enriched by the diversity of perspectives, cultures and backgrounds brought by all within our global community. We are committed to a positive environment where diversity and inclusiveness is celebrated and everyone is treated fairly regardless of sex, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, disability, age, ethnic origin, religion or belief, marital or civil partnership status or whether pregnant or on maternity leave. We commit ourselves to providing a learning, working and social environment that is free from discrimination, prejudice, intimidation, stigmatisation and all forms of harassment and bullying.

The Business School's vision: 'To be the Business School for empowerment, enterprise and employability for all'.

Our mission statement: 'Empowering our communities to apply business knowledge for positive societal impact'.

Lead academics

Dr Ellis Urquhart is a Lecturer in Tourism & Airline Management and the MSc Programme Leader for the Tourism Suite within the Business School at Edinburgh Napier University, UK. He specialises in visitor attraction management, co-creative experience design and technological mediation in the heritage sector and the wider attraction environment. Ellis teaches tourism management at both Undergraduate and Postgraduate levels at Edinburgh Napier University in addition to overseas programmes delivered in Switzerland, Singapore, Macau and Hong Kong. He currently reviews for a range of tourism publications and currently sits on the editorial board of the Journal of Tourism Futures.
  
Professor Anna Leask is Professor of Tourism Management and a key member of the Tourism and Languages Subject Group in the Business School. Her teaching and research interests combine and lie principally in the areas of visitor attraction management, heritage tourism and destination management. She has co-edited several textbooks including Managing Visitor Attractions (2008; 2022) and Managing World Heritage Sites (2006) and contributed to several key tourism textbooks. She is on the Editorial Board for four international tourism journals and has been actively involved in the Scientific Committees for many international conferences in Europe and USA. She has published in key academic journals such as Tourism Management, International Journal of Tourism Research and Current Issues in Tourism, in addition to publishing a range of case studies, articles and practitioner papers

Dr Dina Anastasiadou is the leading authority in EU tourism policy and has published extensively on the impact of regional trading organisations on international tourism development. She has undertaken research projects on cross border collaboration in tourism in Southern Africa, tourism marketing technologies and community engagement in events. Her main research interests lay in tourism policy, governance, stakeholder engagement and organisational structures in tourism. She is currently involved in comparative research in destination management organisational structures in Scotland and Denmark.

Dr Ross Tinsley is a Tourism Lecturer and Programme Leader Edinburgh Napier University. He is currently interested in the identity and evolution of counter-culture festivals and the role of spirituality within such events. He has also researched and published on small tourism businesses and destination development within developing country contexts. His PhD investigated networking between small tourism businesses and its contribution to destination development. His current work centres on the evolution of the Beltane Fire Festival, of which he was a past performer.

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    How you’ll be taught

    This full-time course will take up to a year (18 months if you are a January start) to complete and will be structured to support the student through their journey. You’ll learn by a variety of teaching methods including lectures, guest lectures, tutorials and independent study.
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    Assessments

    The programme is predominantly assessed with coursework assignments including: reports; projects; essays; presentations; and portfolios. You will also complete a standalone research proposal and an in-depth MSc Dissertation to complete the programme.
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    Facilities

    Home to the Business School, Craiglockhart campus blends the old and the new. Set within attractive grounds overlooking Edinburgh, facilities include 200- and 400-seat lecture theatres and language and multimedia labs. It's also home to our innovation and enterprise centre.

Modules

Modules that you will study* as part of this course

Case Studies in International Tourism ( TSM11105 )

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

Further information

Contemporary Issues in Festivals and Events ( TSM11123 )

This module provides a varied and stimulating programme of study that enables you to understand and appreciate the extensive range of contemporary issues facing festival and event organisations across the world; and to critically examine research and emerging themes in the study of festivals, events and related areas. The module moves beyond the business and marketing-driven approaches of events management towards a more conceptual analysis and understanding of events from a socio-cultural perspective.
The module will examine junctures between the social sciences and the field of festivals and events. It applies and contextualises theories within the discourse of events to provide a greater understanding of the significance of events in contemporary society. Studying this module provides you with a structured and detailed examination of issues pertaining to, for example, event tourism, festival and events in society, events ritual and performance, consumption, place and representation, social movements, and mobilities; along with emerging trends such as ‘pop-up’ events, the sharing economy, and changing demographics. Moreover, it enhances your ability to critically review the influences of such issues and trends upon the international festivals and events industry.

Further information

Destination Marketing ( TSM11120 )

The aim of this module is to introduce and explore the significance of destination marketing as a subject of crucial importance within the wider field of tourism, and related fields of hospitality and festivals & events. Areas which will be examined during the course of this module include, but are not limited to, marketing tourism destinations including festivals and resorts, destination image and branding, semiotics of promotional materials, consumers and consumption, marketing research, planning and audits, marketing communication tools and strategies, as well as the importance of popular media and digital marketing. Importantly, through a wide range of international case studies and examples referred to within this module’s main themes, you will also explore the application of some of the key marketing theories in the context of tourism as well as in the context of related sectors of hospitality and events.

Introduction to destination marketing
Destination marketing (and management)
Destination image and branding
Semiotics of destination promotional materials
Destinations and digital marketing
Destination communication strategies
Popular media and destination marketing
Destinations and service dominant logic
Destination planning and audits

Further information

Developing Intercultural Competence in the Workplace ( IBC11102 )

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. Participants are encouraged to collaboratively create a peer-supported learning environment and reflect upon their own intercultural learning in this environment.

Further information

Dissertation ( TBS11130 )

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.

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

New Venture Planning ( ENT11101 )

Description of module content:

The module covers the following:
The importance of new businesses to a thriving economy
Entrepreneurial thinking and aspirations
Entrepreneurial role models
The business planning process
Idea generation / development / evaluation
Market identification including exposure to market players
Researching the resources required including equipment, people, funding
Segmentation / positioning & differentiation / targeting
Developing the marketing Mix (7 P’s),
Financial planning leading to development of financial statements and realistic related assumptions
Growth aspirations of entrepreneurs

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

Skills for Success ( TBS11108 )

Module is designed to ensure all TPG students are equipped with a longitudinal induction which ensures ‘How to be here’ foundation moves through Professionalism in classroom and beyond to Careers awareness and guidance as part of pass/fail attended module. This ‘levelling-up’ will provide an enhanced student experience for those with identified skills gaps, and provide more skills balances for all students within individual cohorts

Further information

Tourism Concepts and Issues ( TSM11111 )

The overall aim of this module is to provide a stimulating programme of study that enables you to determine and evaluate the current trends and contemporary debates and developments in international tourism, events and hospitality management and their implications for tourism business. This module therefore aims to introduce and evaluate the tourism phenomenon, current trends and developments in international tourism and their implications for tourists, tourism businesses and destination populations. The effects on international tourism of the global economic downturn and the recovery are reviewed but in the wider context of key issues: problems involved in monitoring, measuring and defining tourism; the complexities of stakeholder relationships; visitor demand and behaviour; current issues and trends including environmental concerns, the ethics of the globalisation of tourism and the development of alternative forms of tourism. Furthermore, issues and trends in related sectors, namely hospitality and festivals and events, are also discussed.

Further information

Tourism, Society and Visual Culture ( TSM11109 )

Tourism, Society and Visual Culture involves the study of core elements of visual culture in the context of tourism; and it allows you to develop a practical understanding of tourism’s visual cultural. The module is underpinned by current theories in visual consumption and analysis, drawing from: the arts, social sciences, tourism studies, and tourism management. It facilitates a critical understanding of the significance of visual culture in the context of tourism studies; and across the tourism sector, including: destinations, attractions, and festival and event settings. The module opens with an introduction to, and overview of, visual culture and its relationship to the tourism sector. It continues by considering key theories and concepts such as: the history of travel, tourism and visual culture; visual representations of tourism places and cultures, across a range of media; literary and film induced tourism; cultural tourism; art and tourism; visual consumption - the tourist gaze and photography; the semiotic paradigm and its role in tourism’s visual culture; visual analysis of tourism imagery; and the influence of visual cultures on societies, cultures and the tourism industry. In studying this module you will develop: an understanding of the relationship between the tourism sector, culture and society; skills to understand and analyse visual media in the setting of tourism; and knowledge and experience of how managers across the tourism sector can apply theories around visual culture and tourism in their practice.

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.

Disclaimer

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

Full information is available in our disclaimer.

Entry requirements

What are the entry requirements for International Tourism Destination Management?

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. Please note this is a conversion programme and may not be suitable for those with an academic background in tourism.

We may also consider lesser qualifications if you have sufficient professional work experience within the industry.

Can I get admission into International Tourism Destination Management based on my working experience in this sector?

This course has academic entry requirements which are assessed alongside relevant work experience. Full details of any relevant work experience, including references should be submitted with your application and may be considered for entry where the minimum academic entry requirements are below those required.

Usually, unrelated work experience is not considered sufficient for entry without meeting the minimum academic entry requirements. Please contact us with your specific circumstances by submitting an enquiry form above and we will be happy to discuss your options.

Can I make an appointment with an advisor to discuss further about the admission process?

If you want to get more information on the admission process, please get in touch with the Postgraduate admissions team by submitting an enquiry form above.

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.

We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.
Entry requirements by country

Please note that international students are unable to enrol onto the following courses:
  • BM Midwifery/MM Midwifery
  • All Graduate Apprenticeship courses.

See who can apply for more information on Graduate Apprenticeship courses.

We’re committed to admitting students who have the potential to succeed and benefit from our programmes of study. 

Our admissions policies will help you understand our admissions procedures, and how we use the information you provide us in your application to inform the decisions we make.

Undergraduate admissions policies
Postgraduate admissions policies

Fees & funding

The course fees you'll pay and the funding available to you will depend on a number of factors including your nationality, location, personal circumstances and the course you are studying. We also have a number of bursaries and scholarships available to our students.

Tuition fees
Students from 2024/25 2025/26
Scotland, England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Republic of Ireland £8,715 £tba
Overseas and EU £18,800 £tba
Please note tuition fees are subject to an annual review and may increase from one year to the next. For more information on this and other Tuition Fee matters please see Frequently Asked Questions about Fees Click this link for Information of Bursaries and Scholarships
The University offers a 20% discount on Postgraduate Taught Masters programmes to its alumni. The discount applies to all full-time, part-time and online programmes. The discount can only be applied to year one of a full-time Postgraduate degree, any additional years are exempt from the discount. For part time Postgraduate degrees the discount will apply to years one, two and three only and any additional years will be exempt from the discount.
Please note that the tuition fees liable to be paid by EU nationals commencing their studies from 1 August 2021 will be the Overseas fee rate. The University offers a range of attractive Tuition Fee bursaries to students resident in specific countries. More information on these can be found here.


Please note:

The discount for Edinburgh Napier alumni can only be applied to year one of a full-time Postgraduate degree, any additional years are exempt from the discount.

For part time Postgraduate degrees the discount will apply to years one, two and three only and any additional years will be exempt from the discount.

Please read our full T&C here

Careers

Sculpture of Greyfriars Bobby
As a wide-reaching industry, a Postgraduate degree in tourism provides a variety of career pathways including: 
• Destination development, marketing and promotion 
• Cultural services management
• Operations management
• Tour operations 
• Airline and airport management 
• Public sector organisations, policy and tourism governance 
• Retail and hospitality

Further study beyond Postgraduate is also available through our Research Degrees at Edinburgh Napier University.

Edinburgh Royal Mile on a sunny day