Oxford Brookes University logo
  • Tuition Fee:
  • Local: $ 8.64k / Year
  • Foreign: $ 15.8k / Year
  • Languages of instruction:
  • English


    The MSc in Tourism: Environment and Development has been designed to ensure that the long-term futures of the tourism industry and the environment are safeguarded through the effective use of tourism planning and sustainable development. The programme explores topical issues in the development of tourism destinations. It is designed to equip graduates with the knowledge and critical understanding necessary to plan for tourism development, without imposing unnecessary change or damage on the natural, socio-economic and cultural environments of the destination.

    Why Brookes?

    Oxford is an internationally renowned tourist destination which provides a rich historic and cultural setting in which to study tourism. At the same time, the city is constantly reinvigorating itself with new events and redevelopment opportunities. The natural attractions of the River Thames and the Chilterns and Cotswolds, together with the World Heritage Site of Blenheim Palace, ensure that all aspects of tourism are available for study.

    This proximity to an important tourist destination means that you can study current issues in tourism in a local setting. The academic staff on the programme are actively involved in research and consultancy both locally and internationally, ensuring that practical aspects of sustainable tourism are integral to the course.

    Career prospects
    Students who have successfully completed this programme have gone on to work in a variety of positions including:

    * tourism destination managers
    * tourism and environment consultants
    * tourism researchers
    * tourism development managers
    * environmental pressure groups
    * travel and tourism operators
    * academics - both lecturers and researchers

    The destination organisations have been in the public, private and not-for- profit sectors.

    Course length

    Full-time: 12 months, concentrated with lectures delivered on two to three days per week. This depends on the options chosen.
    Part-time: 24 months, delivered on day release over two years

    The course is offered as a master's degree (MSc), a postgraduate diploma (PGDip) or a postgraduate certificate (PGCert).

    The MSc course is based on the completion of the compulsory element, plus three elective modules and a 15,000-word master's dissertation. The PGDip level of the course is based on the successful completion of the compulsory element (except Research Methods and the MSc Dissertation) and three elective modules. The PGCert levelof the course is based on the successful completion of the compulsory element (except Research Methods and the MSc Dissertation).

    Please note: as courses are reviewed regularly, the module list you choose from may vary from that shown here.

    Compulsory element:

    * Sustainable Tourism Planning examines and analyses the growth, development and impacts of tourism. It introduces the broad issues affecting the planning and development of tourism which forms a basis for understanding tourism planning and sustainable development.
    * Destination and Event Development identifies, examines, analyses and evaluates the factors that influence and impact on destination management organisations and events, in terms of the development and management of tourist destinations.

    Compulsory for the MSc only:

    * Research Methods (Public Policy) provides a critical knowledge of methods and skills of research and their application to investigative work that informs public policy.
    * MSc Dissertation is an individual research study of up to 15,000 words. It reveals abilities to define and research an issue or problem of relevance to the discipline of tourism and to make a contribution to knowledge in the chosen area of specialisation (see below).

    MSc students are offered a high degree of choice and flexibility in terms of their elective specialisation, including the following:

    * Tourist Consumer Behaviour investigates the theoretical frameworks derived primarily from the marketing discipline that underpin patterns of consumer demand and usage. The main focus is the tourist decision process, but the nature of the product as an extended experience necessitates consideration of on-site consumption and post-experience behaviour.
    * Tourism Interpretation examines the role of interpretation and the interpretative process as a tool for managing the visitor experience in tourist places. The module explores the origins of interpretation, its application in different settings, moral and philosophical arguments and popular misunderstandings, as well as the mechanics of interpretation, standards of presentation, design and electronic media.
    * Environmental Law and Decision-Making examines the international, European and UK legal context of environmental decision-making, including the development of environmental law from international treaties and conventions into European and UK legislation.
    * Globalisation: Environment and Development examines, analyses and evaluates the globalisation processes and global environmental problems and issues, including tourism, and their relationships with the development process.
    * Environmental Management Systems introduces environmental management to the systems and approaches which are being increasingly used in industry and commerce to meet the challenge of sustainable development and to monitor and improve their environmental performance.
    * Independent Study (Tourism) allows you to pursue a specific tourism topic of interest that is agreed with the course leader or to attend relevant research and practice seminars and prepare and deliver a seminar on a current topic that is agreed by the course leader or to go on one of the field trips organised by the Department of Planning. The final format can be a report, seminar or multimedia presentation.

    * Place-Making introduces students to the theories, processes and practice of place-making and key economic concepts applied to the land and built environment. It enables students to evaluate critically competing theories and design alternatives applied in place-making and to assess the impact of urban form on different sectors of society.

    * Design for Conservation is intended to enable you to develop a critical understanding of the processes involved in design management and brief formulation in the context of historic conservation. It enables you to develop skills to analyse historic townscapes, understand basic principles of urban design and formulate design guidance and codes for sensitive historic areas. Many of the case studies and examples are tourism related.
    * Environmentally Sustainable Business reviews the role that business has in reducing the burden on the natural environment. It considers the pressures on business to contribute to this challenge and the range of management frameworks and techniques that are evolving in response.
    * Applications in Regeneration: a lecture and seminar programme developing regeneration issues explored in Vernacular Architecture, Culture and Environment. Students will be introduced to the principles that underlie sustainable regeneration and the key players involved in the process, from planning and management through to evaluation. Applications of regeneration will be examined though practical case studies and interdisciplinary participatory projects.
    * Strategic Environmental Assessment introduces the concept of strategic environmental assessment (SEA), its principles and the status of SEA around the world; the links between SEA, environmental impact assessment and strategic decision-making; and a wide range of SEA tools and techniques, and their advantages and disadvantages in various settings.

    Past dissertation topics have included:

    * A comparison of the brief, location, site and product requirements of boutique hotels and chain hotels
    * Eco-tourism in the developed and developing world: does one size fit all?
    * The effectiveness of eco tourism accreditation schemes on the Great Barrier Reef
    * An analytical study of tourism in Saudi Arabia
    * Analysis of the significance of codes of conduct for boat operators in the Pembroke Coast National Park
    * The role resource audits in tourism development
    * The role of sustainable tourism planning in the reconstruction of cities destroyed by conflict
    * Nightlife: 'A typology of tourism'. Context, impacts and policy recommendations.

    UK requirements for international applications

    Universities in the United Kingdom use a centralized system of undergraduate application: University and College Admissions Service (UCAS). It is used by both domestic and international students. Students have to register on the UCAS website before applying to the university. They will find all the necessary information about the application process on this website. Some graduate courses also require registration on this website, but in most cases students have to apply directly to the university. Some universities also accept undergraduate application through Common App (the information about it could be found on universities' websites).

    Both undergraduate and graduate students may receive three types of responses from the university. The first one, “unconditional offer” means that you already reached all requirements and may be admitted to the university. The second one, “conditional offer” makes your admission possible if you fulfill some criteria – for example, have good grades on final exams. The third one, “unsuccessful application” means that you, unfortunately, could not be admitted to the university of you choice.

    All universities require personal statement, which should include the reasons to study in the UK and the information about personal and professional goals of the student and a transcript, which includes grades received in high school or in the previous university.


    Tourism attracts students from a wide range of backgrounds and nationalities. Applicants are welcome from any academic discipline, as well as from those in work and seeking continuing professional development. Admission is normally open to those with a good undergraduate honours degree (or equivalent); applicants with suitable experience of the tourism industry who do not have a degree may be considered.The course provides the opportunity to attain formal academic training and qualifications based on a diversity of professional backgrounds. Applications will also be considered from those who seek to formalise their prior experiential learning or qualifications. English Language Requirements IELTS band: 6 TOEFL iBT® test: 78 IMPORTANT NOTE: Since April 2014 the ETS tests (including TOEFL and TOEIC) are no longer accepted for Tier 4 visa applications to the United Kingdom. The university might still accept these tests to admit you to the university, but if you require a Tier 4 visa to enter the UK and begin your degree programme, these tests will not be sufficient to obtain your Visa. The IELTS test is most widely accepted by universities and is also accepted for Tier 4 visas to the UK- learn more.


    Accreditation: partial exemption from the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) is being sought.

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