BA (Hons) International Tourism Management with Placement Year

Key information

Why choose this course?

  • Learn a new language
  • Get involved in designing and creating the visitor experience from your first year
  • Benefit from the experience and expertise of almost three decades running this course

Immerse yourself in the dynamic and varied world of international tourism as you discover the products, people, places and the organisations that bring them all together.  

Increasingly, tourists are looking for well-planned and smooth-running experiences that impress with high levels of customer service. Develop the knowledge and skills to confidently design and deliver such experiences. 

The focus of this BA (Hons) International Tourism Management course is on understanding the practical considerations as well as the theory, and you get many opportunities to work as part of a team to deliver an experience. This may be a small scale, on campus event, or a short, guided excursion to a local destination.    

This business-relevant programme includes field trips in every year of study to bring your learning to life. There is a local destination in your first year, an international field trip (additional cost) in your second and a UK destination field trip in your final year.   

We pride ourselves on delivering a fantastic experience for you from the start with a supportive, fun and experienced team. A caring and friendly university, you will get great pastoral support alongside engaging teaching.   

You’ll also benefit from exceptional industry links as the course has been running for 28 years. Plus, we have many alumni and sector relationships, and on this course, you’ll also be able to study a language.  

It is one thing to learn about a culture, and a totally different thing to experience it. You can live in another country for a truly enriching and life changing adventure, studying at one of our worldwide partners. 

Boost your CV and employability with our work placement and study abroad opportunities, available on a global basis.   

This course sits within the Hertfordshire Business School which maintains strong relationships with alumni and business connections. Meet entrepreneurs–in–residence, business ambassadors and industry leaders at networking events or in guest lectures through our Business Academy.    

Our staff 

Your teaching team has experiential, enthusiastic and experienced tutors alongside expert guest lecturers, thanks to our strong alumni base and exceptional industry connections.  

You also benefit from an academic support team, wellbeing team and personal tutor to help you adjust to the demands of university learning and living.   

What's the course about?

Develop an understanding of the products, structure, operation, marketing and management of the tourism industry with an international perspective.  

Explore the nature and impact of tourism activity, and strategies for responsible tourism.  You will assess current industry challenges such as the environmental, sociocultural and financial impacts of tourism on a global basis.   

Put theory into practice, developing your employability skills including customer service skills. Spend time reflecting on these experiences to further enhance your abilities. 

Engage with industry practitioners and professionals through guest lecturers, and workshops within modules giving you real life insights. 

As an international course, you gain an awareness of, and sensitivity to different cultural backgrounds and influences. Your learning is enhanced with global case studies and opportunities to study and work abroad. 

Assessments are very much based on your future working environment, and include posters, videos, debates and event delivery. Final year students are expected to deliver a presentation at the student conference. 

We actively support you to go out on an industry placement, study abroad or do an internship (including the latest online bite-sized digital experiences) to help you find your direction and to boost your CV to secure your first graduate role.    

Where you'll study 

Your teaching is on our modern de Havilland Campus, with our24/7 Learning Resources Centre, featuring open and private study spaces. You also get online self-study materials to further support you. 

There are dining options, a bar, and a recreational space on campus where you can shoot some pool or play video games. It also houses Hertfordshire Sports Village, which features a gym, swimming pool, coffee shop, and a climbing wall. 

Discover the Enterprise Hub, a vibrant destination where local firms and students work and learn in comfort. 

The Student Union bar and additional facilities are only a 20 minute walk (or short bus ride) away at our College Lane Campus. Student housing is available at both campuses. 

What will I study?

The course takes either three or four years, depending on placements/study abroad and you cover everything you need to be effective in tourism management.  

There are core modules such as in marketing, management and professionalism. You also have the option to choose modules in specialist areas, allowing you to tailor the course to your own interests and career direction. 

In your first year, you engage in designing the visitor experience and delivering the visitor experience as core modules as well as professionalism in tourism. 

In your second year, you focus more into key areas for the sector such as sustainability and technology. There is also the opportunity to enjoy an international field trip as a key learning experience.  

Your final year has a strong focus on global tourism planning, attraction management and contemporary issues. You’ll also deliver your own visitor experience, working alongside events students.  

There are also opportunities to further enrich your personal development through our Go Herts certification program, placements, internships, study-abroad and Future Success team events. 

Student Blogs

Kira - Week at a glance

My week at a glance

On a Sunday night, I’ll always write out plans for that week in a calendar on my wall to remember by lecturers, seminars, meetings with lecturers and classmates for group work, including my shifts for work. After I’ve got down the compulsory activities, I’ll enter all the social events or fun things I want to do, meeting with friends, lunches, activities to attend on-campus like Active Student roller skating parties or course parties where us students and lecturers get together. Then I’ll enter allotted times to work and study, concentrating on specific modules or assignments but trying to encompass some fun things to do throughout the day, or least some wellbeing time, whether it is going to the gym, reading, or doing my hobbies. Throughout the week, I try to stick to the calendar as much as possible, ensuring I do enough uni work to balance with the social activities, attending lecturers and office hours with staff. Between working a part-time job and having an active social life, I aim to get six hours of uni work done per day, depending on how close deadlines are.

Especially in the final year, it’s so easy to get caught up in assignments and workload but staying physically and mentally active goes further than procrastinating at a screen for an hour on end. With the girls on my course, we always make time for Friday lunch where we sit in the de Hav café and catch up before our final lectures of the week. We often catch up with other mates in there, making it a social area and a nice end to the week and we try to book study rooms in between lecturer gaps to have some downtime or catch up with notes together. There plenty to do on the weekends too, including EleHouse and the forum on College Lane Campus, St. Albans has a great nightlife with all sorts of bars and pubs and Hatfield has the Galleria, a massive outlet shopping area which is great to walk around. I’ll normally work a few hours over the weekend at the gym and finish my shift off with a swim before going to Aldi or Asda to get my shopping for the week. My girls and I sometimes meet up in the evenings to enjoy a film and wine night too which is a fantastic way to replenish for the week ahead.

Student Blogs

Kira - Choosing my course

What I love most about my course

As a final year tourism management student who take a placement year, I’ve had four years to experience the university and strength my course offers. One of the best things about my course must be the lecturers. It’s a very cliché thing to say but the team are so strong and friendly! Referred to as the THEM team (Tourism, Hospitality and Event Management), the lecturers are all good friends and it shows; and I would genuinely consider many of the lecturers my friends too. They are always down for a chat, helping with assignments and lecture notes wherever possible. Our module leader, in particular, is fantastic and we have little social events with the THEM team, such as Christmas parties fueled with prosecco and orange juice, career networking with hundreds of job opportunities and it is always someone’s birthday within the tourism management course so there is a constant supply of cake! The team are professional, knowledgeable but super approachable and kind-hearted too with our interest in the forefront of their mind.

My course has so many aspects to it as well, so I’ve covered modules such as tourism planning, HR (Human Resources), strategic business management, data analysis, international field trip and niche tourism. The best module was the international field trip whereby we went to Marbella in the second year and undertook a photograph observation assignment. Not only did we go but we were able to plan our own trips and ended up in this really secluded, beautiful village called Ojen, which lead to a shift in my career path and influenced my placement year which I’ll talk about a bit more in a second. The course also entails a whole load of trips, ranging from The British Museum, World Travel Market, Signature Airport (a private airport where we viewed the operations, apron and guest suites - we even sat in the same chair as Beyoncé), Shakespeare’s Birthplace and loads more. The opportunities within this course are endless. My placement year was one of the best opportunities I had too, where students take a year out to work in an industry-related role, having a hands-on experience learning from industry experts. This is not a mandatory part of the course either so students can simply do a three-year course or take the placement or study abroad choice. I worked within an organization called Wendy Wu Tours, designing tailormade holidays and ended up setting up my own team, managing and training days which gave me a heap of experience. In the meantime, my course mates went off to all corners of the world including Japan, Spain, Singapore, and Disneyworld so there are endless opportunities.

Student Blogs

Kira - Why I chose Herts

Why I chose Herts

There are a plethora of reasons why I chose Herts but the main one, for me, was the opportunities available within my course, Tourism Management. With a sandwich year available, I was granted the opportunity within a dream job which has helped with my career direction post-graduation, which wasn’t necessarily available at other universities. In addition, 80% of the tourism management course also took a placement/study abroad year meaning we can all graduate together! Secondly, the teaching staff at Herts are highly knowledgeable, professional and had great connections from a quick LinkedIn search, which, upon reflection, was fully used throughout my degree with many networking events, guest speakers and course trips.

Moreover, geographically, Herts is in a great position. Central London is only a 20-minute train ride away and I was close enough to home for some of my mum’s classic roast dinners. Based just a few minutes walk from campus, the Galleria has some awesome shops and restaurants to check out if you fancy some time off, which is also great for job opportunities for students. Herts also has some cool socials and nightlife; from EleHouse, The Star Bar and The Forum, there’s always something going on to get involved in. The Forum does theme nights too which are always a crack, such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, 90s classics and the Christmas party is always a highlight. Aside from partying, the Active Student events were super appealing, from sunrise yoga to roller-skating, these free events allow students to meet new people and get active together, alongside over 100 societies to get involved in.

Alumni headshot

Alumni Stories

Ellie Fowler

Meet Ellie Fowler who has excelled professionally since graduating in 2019. Ellie currently works as an Operations Communications and Activity Executive for Greene King.

Read more stories Find out more about this course
Current job roleOperations Communications and Activity Executive
Year of graduation2019
Course of studyBA (Hons) International Tourism Management
Ellie Fowler in graduation gown

University experience

Ellie emphasises how her course really helped her to progress professionally and land her current role. She says, 'My studies helped me by teaching me all I needed to know about business and how different businesses work/operate. I didn't just learn about "how to go on holiday," I learnt how these travel companies run their businesses from all different levels and it made it clear to me to see I was interested in working in the Head Office side of things rather than front facing.'

She thoroughly enjoyed her course and highlights how useful the skills she learnt were in furthering her career. She continues, 'The travel knowledge you learn is very helpful. I like being able to educate and help people with all things to do with the travel industry.'

Ellie encourages students to embrace their studies with open arms and notes, 'The advice I'd give to new students is to be motivated and more organised from the beginning. I would definitely recommend doing a placement year abroad with this degree because not only does it give you vital industry experience, it also shapes you as a person. Without this experience I wouldn't be where I am today, and I definitely wouldn't have friends all over the world!'

Aspirations for the future

Ellie plans to progress in her role and take on more responsibilities. She says, 'I aim to get higher into operations for Greene King and then hopefully move to work for a bigger tour operator, as the tourism side is more suited to me.'