University of Chester

Programme Specification
Tourism BA (Hons) (Combined Honours)
2014 - 2015

Bachelor of Arts (Combined Honours)



University of Chester

University of Chester

Chester Campus

Undergraduate Modular Programme

Full-time and Part-time

Classroom / Laboratory,

3 years

7 Years

Annual - September




17a. Faculty

17b. Department

Business and Management Marketing, HRM and Events Management

Hospitality, Leisure, Sport and Tourism

Marketing, Tourism and Events Management

Friday 1st January 2010

To provide students with a flexible pathway that allows a student to either major, minor or complete a joint programme of study with their other academic discipline.

To provide students with the opportunity to combine the study of tourism with another specialist academic area.

To provide a broad, analytical and integrated study of tourism focusing on key areas such as destination and organisation management.

To provide a programme of study, which offers students a relevant grounding in the fundamental disciplines, and methodologies of tourism as a subject area and to stimulate a critical awareness of the factors associated with the changing focus of contemporary tourism practice.

To enable all students to develop a critical approach, within an academic context that is relevant to the tourism industry.

To enable students to develop and use a range of generic (transferable), cognitive, intellectual, personal and interpersonal skills required for effective undergraduate study and future vocational needs.

To provide an appropriate base for access to further study or professional qualifications by encouraging the knowledge, skills and attitudes to become life-long learners who recognise the need to engage in Continuous Personal and Professional Development .

To provide a coherent programme of study which will prepare students for post-University employment and careers.

Knowledge and Understanding

  • a critical understanding of the development of knowledge in tourism;
  • an understanding of the need for both a multi-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary approach to study, drawing, as appropriate, from service, research and professional contexts;
  • understanding of the subject through both academic and professional reflective practice;
  • demonstration of research and problem-solving abilities by critically understanding methods of acquiring, interpreting and analysing information appropriate to thestudyof tourism;
  • an understanding and critical awareness of, the moral, ethical, environmental and legal issues which underpin best practice.

Thinking or Cognitive Skills

  • researched and assessed subject specific facts, theories, paradigms, principles and concepts;
  • critically assessed and evaluated evidence;critically interpret data and text;
  • described and analysed information;
  • applied knowledge to the solution of familiar and unfamiliar problems;
  • developedreasoned arguments and challenged assumptions;
  • taken responsibility for their own learning and continuing professional development.

Practical Skills

  • planned, designed and executed practical activities using appropriate techniques and procedures;
  • undertaken fieldwork with due regard for safety and risk assessment;
  • planned, designed, executed and communicated a sustained piece of independent intellectual work using appropriate media;
  • recognised and responded to moral, ethical and safety issues which directly pertain to the subject domain including relevant legislation and professional codes of conduct.

Key Skills
  • Communication
  • Application of Number
  • Information Literacy and Technology
  • Improving own learning and performance
  • Working with others
  • Problem solving

  • Communication - oral and in writing, using a range of media which are widely used in business, for example, the preparation and presentation of business reports;
  • Application of Number - using appropriate quantitative and qualitative skills including identifying, formulating and solving business problems, including data analysis, interpretation and extrapolation;
  • Information Literacy and Technology - use of appropriate information and communication technology in achieving the above outcomes;
  • Improving own learning and performance - including self awareness, independence, the skills of reflective, adaptive and collaborative learning;
  • Working with others - leadership, team building, project management skills, plus effective listening, negotiating, persuasion and presentation;
  • Problem solving - the ability to create, evaluate and assess a range of options together with the capacity to apply ideas and knowledge to a range of situations and tasks/problems.

Transferable Professional Skills

This programme encompasses a wide range of skills for the workplace and addresses them from the perspective of the employer. These are skills evidenced by employers as being of value to them and which they seek when recruiting. In addition students will undertake:
  • Use of information technology and an appreciation of its application in management and business.
  • Application of number (eg research methods and finance).
  • Working with others (eg group work tasks and activities).
  • Communication and presentation skills, both written and verbal
  • Lifelong learning skills and continuous personal and professional development.
  • Effective time management skills.
  • Construction of consistent and sustained argument
  • Managing and developing self
  • Research, evaluation and synthesis of information
  • Managing tasks and solving problems
  • Numeracy, technology and creativity

The programme is a 3 or 4 year degree course offering two pathways of study, tourism and one other named subject area. For example, Tourism may be combined with Business, Events Management, Marketing, Languages or any other allowed combination. It is a Combined Honours programme and students may choose to study tourism as a major, minor or joint pathway. The programme may be extended to 4 years as students can opt to work either at home or abroad for one year, or students can also study abroad for their year out if they are combined with a language.

The coherence of the programme is reinforced by progression between levels and within disciplines allowing the development of thematic strands between levels. The programme has been designed to reflect the changing nature of tourism, offering a dynamic and contemporary programme of study to enable the student to reconcile the traditional theories of tourism with new thinking. 

At level 4, students will develop an understanding of the key tourism concepts. There will be an emphasis on experiencing the tourism industry both at academic and practical levels. In line with the QAA Framework for Higher Education Qualifications, Level 4 modules are designed to provide students with a sound knowledge of the basic concepts of tourism, with opportunities to take different approaches to solving problems, demonstrate accurate communication, and to develop qualities needed for employment requiring the exercise of some personal responsibility.  In addition to tourism modules designed to provide a theoretical underpinning, students will also have the opportunity to experience the tourism industry through visits, guest speakers, and practical activities.  

At Level 5, students will explore the relationships and the contexts in which tourism operates. The module Sustainable Tourism in Practice is a link between the study of destinations and organisations and is designed to develop the student's holistic view of the industry. Key aspects of tourism destination planning and management in a sustainable context will be developed. Level 5 culminates in a period of Work Based Learning in which students will have the opportunity to transfer acquired skills, knowledge and understanding. 

At Level 6, students will develop an understanding of how organisations and destinations undertake tourism management at a strategic level. For those students who opt to choose tourism as a major pathway they will have the opportunity to complete a dissertation.  For students on a joint or minor pathway, all modules will be taught. Contemporary issues form an important part of study at Level 6 and all taught modules reflect the contemporary nature of the industry. The Level 6 modules will enable students to demonstrate that they have developed an understanding of the complex and contemporary body of knowledge relating to tourism, have developed analytical techniques and problem-solving skills that can be applied in many types of employment, and will be able to evaluate evidence, arguments and assumptions, to reach sound judgements, and to communicate effectively. 

Students graduating with a Tourism Combined Honours degree will be able to demonstrate that they have the qualities needed for employment in a range of organisations.

BA Tourism Combined Programmes: Barred and excluded module combinations.

At level 4 the following applies:

Events Management and Tourism combined: as TM4020 Marketing for Tourism and is common to both programmes, students will take TM4003 Managing Customer Service.

Tourism and Marketing combined, Tourism and Business combined, Tourism and International Business combined : as Marketing and Business students take TM4001 Marketing Principles, Tourism students will not take TM4020 Marketing for Tourism and Events. Instead they will take TM4003 Managing Customer Service. For International Business - if students choose TM4001 as an option, they cannot do TM4020, this will be replaced by TM4003 Managing Customer Service.

At level 6 students may only take one of: BU6002 Strategic Management; TM6002 Strategic Marketing Management; BU6302 International Strategic Management; TM6006 Strategic Management for Tourism & Events. Where two of these modules are core for combined programmes, the following general rules apply:

1. For major/minor combinations, the module core to the major programme should be taken, and an approved alternate chosen for the minor programme strategy module.
2. For joint combinations, students may choose which strategy module they wish to take, and then choose an approved alternate module to replace the barred module from the other programme.

For the Combined Honours students (Equally Weighted programme ONLY) at level 6, the following will also apply: TM6003 International and Global Marketing will be available as an option.

All options will only run when sufficient numbers have signed up for the modules

Combined Honours only
Mod-Code Level Title Credit Major Equal Minor
TM4004 4 Tourism Concepts 20 Comp Comp Comp
TM4006 4 Experiencing the Tourism Industry 20 Comp Comp Comp
TM4020 4 Marketing for Tourism and Events 20 Comp Comp Comp
TM5000 5 MTSM Placement Year 120 Optional Optional Optional
TM5004 5 Destination Planning and Management 20 Comp Comp Comp
TM5005 5 Sustainable Tourism in Practice 20 Comp Comp Comp
TM5009 5 Researching the Visitor Economy 20 Optional Optional Optional
WB5002 5 Introduction to Entrepreneurship Skills 20 N/A N/A N/A
WB5004 5 Learning in the Wider World 20 Optional Optional Optional
WB5007 5 International Exchange Module – Full academic year 120 Optional Optional Optional
WB5101 5 Enhancing your Employability through Work Based Learning 20 Optional Optional Optional
BU6001 6 Business Dissertation 40 Comp N/A Optional
TM6006 6 Strategic Management for Tourism & Events 20 Optional Optional Optional
TM6007 6 Contemporary Issues in Tourism 20 Comp Comp Comp
TM6008 6 Tourism Impacts and Planning 20 Optional Optional Optional

Level 4: 120 credits
Level 5: 120 credits
Level 6: 120 credits
Total: 360 credits

Applications to the programme are to be made through UCAS Route A.

Entry requirements are:

  • A minimum of 240 UCAS points, of which 200 points must be obtained from GCE and/or VCE A Levels (12 or 6 unit awards), including a grade C in one subject. The remaining points may be achieved from GCE and/or VCE A/AS Levels, VCE double award, or Level 3 Key Skills certification;
  • BTEC National Diploma/Certificate: merit profile;
  • Irish Highers/Scottish Highers: B in 4 subjects;
  • International Baccalaureate: 30 points;
  • European Baccalaureate: a minimum of 70%;
  • QAA approved Access course, Open College Units or Open University Credits.

Applicants will not be required to attend an interview.

The design of this programme has been informed by the Unit 25 benchmark statements for Hospitality, Leisure, Sport and Tourism, 2000.  These statements are in the process of review but the updated version has not yet been published.  These statements include generic comment relevant to all subjects subsumed within unit 25, as well as specific statements relating to each of Hospitality, Leisure, Sport and Tourism programmes.

Tourism Knowledge and Understanding.      

The potential contributions of disciplines that help to explain the nature and development of tourism.TM4004

Theories and concepts which are used to understand tourism. TM4004

The definitions, nature and operations of tourism.     TM4004

The domestic and international nature and dimensions of tourism.  TM4004

Utilise a range of source material in investigating tourism.    TM4004, TM4006, TM5009

The dynamic nature of tourism in modern societies. TM4006, TM6007

The inter-cultural dimensions of tourism.       TM4004, TM5004, TM6008


The products, structure of and interactions in the tourism industry. 

The structure, operation and organisation of the public, private and not-for-profit sectors and their activities.       

TM4004, TM4006

The factors that influence the development of organisations operating in tourism. TM4006

Relations between consumers and tourism and the providers of tourism services.TM4020, TM4004, TM5005, TM6006

The role of tourism in the communities and environments that it affects     

The relationship between tourism and the communities and the environments in which it takes place.TM4004, TM5004, TM6008

The contribution and impacts of tourism in social, economic, environmental, political,  cultural and other terms. TM4004, TM5004, TM6008

The approaches to managing the development of tourism through concepts of policy and planning. TM4004, TM5004, TM6008

 Appreciate the ethical issues associated with the operation and development of tourism.  TM5005


The nature and characteristics of tourists.    

The patterns and characteristics of tourism demand and the influences on such demand.  TM4004, TM5004

The ways in which tourists behave at destinations.   TM4004, TM4006, TM5004, TM6008

The cultural significance of tourism for tourists and their societies.  TM4004, TM4006, TM5004, TM6008

The methods of learning and teaching are geared to progression and integration through the levels of the programme.  The individual module descriptors provide details of learning outcomes as well as methods of teaching and learning.  The major forms of teaching methods will be lectures, seminars and workshops.  Other methodologies will be employed as appropriate.  These may include; field trips, visits, directed reading, interactive learning via the University computer network, case study analysis, individual research, group learning activities, reflective log/portfolio (e.g. utilising student progress files in relation to personal development planning) and presentations.  Industry practitioners will also be used wherever possible, as repositories of up to date, expert knowledge in their specialist or functional areas. 

The Department seeks to deliver varied, high-quality learning experiences, teaching and assessment in order to develop appropriate knowledge and understanding, and to enhance a variety of key/transferable skills.  This is facilitated through the outcome-directed nature of learning, teaching and assessment, in a student-centred environment, which provides incremental opportunities for independent and autonomous learning.

The assessment strategy for this degree will serve three purposes:
  • To test the level of knowledge and skills acquired, measured against the specified learning outcomes, and applied to tourism;
  • To provide the vehicle for modular integration within a tourism context;
  • To promote teaching and learning, which will assist students in the achievement of academic goals and imbue them with skills and attitudes which will assist in life-long learning.
Assessment will follow the university model of a 4,000 word equivalency per module.  Each module will be summatively assessed by a minimum of two assessments, with formative assessment also employed throughout.  Student assessment will employ rigorous, objective testing to ensure that learning outcomes are met.

Assessment tasks will grow in sophistication and complexity as a student progresses on the programme.  For example:

  • at Level 4 a student may be asked to describe, discuss, compare, and outline;
  • at Level 5 a student may be asked to evaluate, analyse, justify, and differentiate; 
  • at Level 6 a student may be asked to criticise, synthesise, appraise, formulate.
However, it is expected that students will begin to use and develop critical skills from the beginning of the programme.

Students will be assessed in a number of ways, including essays, industry-related reports, presentations, poster displays and presentations, assessed seminars, reflective reports, examinations. 

The departmental assessment strategy has been created in accordance to the University's Teaching, Learning & Assessment strategy.

The tourism industry in the U.K. is flourishing and the management of tourism has become increasingly important within many sectors, including hospitality, attractions, accommodation, tour operators and transport.  Publicity and media coverage of high profile issues such as 9/11 and Foot and Mouth at both national and international level has brought the industry to the forefront.

The industry is, therefore, in continuous need of graduate status employees and as such offers varied, challenging and rewarding careers for enthusiastic and committed staff.  These skills are also valuable for any organisation involved in tourism, whether small or large scale.  It is anticipated that the programme will contribute to the University’s employability strategy by producing students with sound and well-articulated skills for the workplace and supplying suitably prepared graduates to meet the needs of the local, regional and national economy.  This is particularly significant in the light of recent government reports emphasising vocationalism in higher education.  The curriculum, through carefully planned modules, will respond to the needs of individual students seeking rewarding employment as well as employers seeking to employ graduates with relevant, generic, transferable and specialist skills.  

In accordance with the QAA Framework for Higher Education Qualifications descriptor, typical holders of the BA Combined Honours Tourism  would be able to:

apply the methods and techniques that they have learned to review, consolidate, extend and apply their knowledge and understanding, and to initiate and carry out projects; critically evaluate arguments, assumptions, abstract concepts and data (that may be incomplete), to make judgements, and to frame appropriate questions to achieve a solution - or identify a range of solutions - to a problem; communicate information, ideas, problems, and solutions to both specialist and non-specialist audiences;

display qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring:

  • the exercise of initiative and personal responsibility;
  • decision-making in complex and unpredictable contexts; and
  • the learning ability needed to undertake appropriate further training of a professional or equivalent nature.  

Consistent with the University’s commitment to widen access and participation, the Department has a flexible admissions policy, and encourages applications from mature students and from groups normally under-represented in higher education. The general policy is to look for a good level of literacy, together with proven interest and/or experience in an appropriate subject.

The Department has considerable experience in successfully addressing the practical and learning needs of a wide range of students.  This includes mature students, those entering education with a non-standard academic background and those with a wide range of disabilities. 

Equality and diversity issues are embedded and addressed in all departmental modules.  Specifically, those modules preparing students for work in the tourism industry deal with diversity and equality issues in relation to the management of tourism. 

Students will benefit from a number of key visits to local, national and international tourism organisations and destinations. The department has very strong links with numerous employer organisations including local authorities and the sub-regional tourism board Marketing Cheshire. These organisations are utilised in a number of ways ranging from guest speakers, placement & research opportunities for students and site visits. The department is also a member of the Association of Business Schools and the European Foundation for Management Development.

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