Whether you're looking to enter the tourism sector faster or enhance your existing experience in the travel industry, accelerate your career with industry-recognised qualifications

Further education travel and tourism qualifications

Higher National Diplomas (HND, Level 5) and Higher National Certificate (HNC, Level 4) qualifications in travel and tourism provide a direct route into industry. These programmes, typically lasting one to two years, equip you with the knowledge and skills to navigate the travel sector.

The HNC can act as a stepping stone to the HND or directly qualify you for entry-level travel industry positions, while the HND prepares you for supervisory roles or qualifies you to top up your qualification with a final year of a relevant university degree.

Example courses include:

Travel and tourism degrees

In the travel and tourism industries, degrees aren't always required, but relevant qualifications can help you stand out from the competition. For those seeking management roles, degree programmes are highly recommended, since they cover key topics such as risk analysis, attraction management, cultural knowledge, and sustainability, preparing you well to manage travel experiences.

Examples of travel and tourism degrees include:

  • BSc Business with Tourism Management
  • BSc Tourism Management
  • BA International Hospitality and Tourism Management
  • BA International Tourism and Events Management.

For example, the University of Birmingham's full-time BSc International Tourism Management course which takes three years to complete, or four with a placement year. You'll need CDD at A-level, or 80 UCAS points for entry. The first two years feature compulsory modules including digital tourism and sustainable tourism practices, followed by a 48-week paid placement. The final year includes an independent research project and several optional modules such as crisis communications management. Tuition fees for UK students are £9,250 per year.

The University of Sunderland's BSc (Hons) Tourism and Aviation Management is also available as a four-year course with a placement year, and you'll need 112 UCAS points to be accepted into the programme. The curriculum focuses on practical skills like the fundamentals of tourism, leisure and hospitality. The second year has opportunities for a Tourism Fieldwork module, while the final year culminates with a major project on a topic of your choice. UK students pay £9,250 per year.

See what you can do with a travel and tourism degree.

Postgraduate travel and tourism courses

While a postgraduate degree isn't essential to enter the travel and tourism industry, a Masters degree can significantly boost your career progression. These programmes equip you with specialised knowledge, advanced research skills, and industry connections, making you a highly sought-after candidate for management roles.

Some examples of courses include:

  • MSc Tourism Management
  • MSc Sustainable Tourism
  • MSc Tourism and Hospitality Management.

For example, the University of Plymouth offers the MSc in Tourism and Hospitality Management that can be taken part time or full time, lasting two years or one year respectively. This course combines tourism knowledge with expertise in hospitality operations for a well-rounded management skillset. You'll need a second-class honours degree for entry, and tuition fees are £10,900 for UK students in the 2024/25 academic year.

The University of East London's MSc Sustainable Tourism Development and Management takes one year of full-time study or two years part time. You'll need at least a 2:2 in business, tourism or hospitality, and the fee is £12,720 for UK students in the 2024/25 academic year.

The course includes modules such as:

  • Culture Heritage and Creativity in Tourism
  • Destination Governance and Tourism Planning for Resilience and Sustainability
  • Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Regenerative Tourism Economies.

Search postgraduate courses in tourism.

Professional travel and tourism qualifications

Professional qualifications offer a flexible and industry-recognised path to gain the practical skills you need to succeed. These focused programmes are an excellent extra-curricular pursuit or alternative to a university degree, allowing you to enter the workforce faster or enhance your existing skills.

These qualifications come in various levels, catering to diverse career goals. Organisations like the Confederation of Tourism and Hospitality (CTH) offer a comprehensive suite of programmes, including:

  • Level 3 Foundation Diploma in Hospitality Practice
  • Level 4 Diploma in Tourism Management
  • Level 5 Advanced Diploma in Hospitality Management
  • Level 6 Professional Diploma in Tourism and Hospitality Management
  • Level 7 Executive Diploma in Hospitality and Tourism Management.

The Institute of Hospitality also provides foundation and undergraduate qualifications, such as:

  • Level 3 Diploma in Hospitality and Tourism Management
  • Level 4 Diploma in Advanced Hospitality and Tourism Management.

Find out more

How would you rate this page?

On a scale where 1 is dislike and 5 is like

success feedback

Thank you for rating the page