Guide to Studying Hospitality, Leisure, Recreation & Tourism

By Fiona, Course Leader, Business Hospitality Management BA (Hons), University of Huddersfield.

  • This guide focuses mainly on Hospitality Business Management, and Travel & Tourism. Be aware that this subject can embrace a wide range of courses, such as Heritage Studies (but this could, for example, be combined with Archaeology or History or Art), Travel (land, sea, air), Event Management, Recreation and Leisure Studies, and Sport Management (but not the science and study of sport itself which is included under Sports Sciences). You should key into the specific areas you want to study and research the variations offered at different universities.
Hospitality word cloud
© aihumnoi - Fotolia

What is Hospitality Business Management, and Travel & Tourism?

  • The courses in Hospitality Business Management and Travel & Tourism equip you with the knowledge and skills required for an exciting and challenging career.
  • Hospitality and tourism are some of the fastest growing global industries and the rewards for talented and focused individuals are high.
  • Exhibitions, trade shows, corporate hospitality, awards dinners, conferences and team building days all have business objectives.
  • You’ll need energy and enthusiasm but once you have the knowledge and experience the opportunities are endless.

Tourism is all about the 'experience' received by the client, both during the journey and once the final destination is reached.

  • A happy holidaymaker is one that will return, so a hassle free experience is essential in building brand loyalty.
  • This type of course focuses specifically on providing knowledge and business skills to be able to work in a sector which includes tour operators, travel agencies, on-line retailers, accommodation providers, visitor attractions and tourist boards.

Specific or general skills developed

  • The skills that you’ll develop include organisational, communication and operational expertise, equipping you with the confidence to be able to shape situations and deliver success. It could include managing a conference centre in London or the concept development of a new boutique hotel in New York.

Coursework, assessments and exams

  • Both teaching and learning will generally be enhanced by a wide range of methods intended to stimulate and encourage active participation in a variety of learning environments. These include seminars, lectures, workshops, live business case studies and field trips.

What degree can I get? 

Examples of degrees available within Hospitality, Recreation and Tourism include:

  • Hospitality Business Management BA (Hons), 3 years full-time or 4 years including a placement year.
  • Hospitality Business Management with a Modern Language BA (Hons), 3 years full-time or 4 years including a placement year.
  • Hospitality Business Management (Top-up) BA (Hons), 1 year.
  • Travel & Tourism Management BA (Hons), 3 years full-time or 4 years including a placement year.
Pine wood pic
Pine Forest Pathway © Ross C - Fotolia
Hospitality, Recreation and Tourism
can include environmental and
heritage studies.

Other and related degree courses:

  • Archaeology and Heritage BA (Hons)
  • Museum and Heritage Studies BA (Hons)
  • Culture and Heritage Studies BA (Hons)
  • Maritime Museums and Heritage Management BA (Hons)
  • Geology with Ocean Science BSc (Hons)
  • Environmental Sustainability MA (Hons) NB: 4-year degree in Scotland

What qualifications do I need?

  • Entry requirements vary between each university and course. Make sure to check with the institution.

Use our Course Chooser to search through Hospitality, Leisure, Recreation & Tourism courses.

What are the postgraduate opportunities?

Students can take opportunities to progress to Master’s level through a range of specialist or generalist business management and marketing courses such as:

  • Business MSc
  • International Business Management MSc
  • International Hospitality Management MSc
  • International Marketing MSc
  • Marketing MSc
  • Marketing Management MSc

Again there will be related postgraduate courses available in areas such as Archaeology, Heritage, Museum Studies, and Culture.

Graduate job prospects



*Professional employment refers to a job or occupation which normally requires a degree.
**Non-professional employment refers to a job or occupation which doesn't normally require a degree.

What are the job opportunities?

  • Opportunities for hospitality graduates are varied and always challenging with students taking up positions both nationally and internationally.
  • Many of our students have firm graduate offers from leading employers such as Hilton, Marriott, Park Plaza, Red Carnation and Mitchells and Butler before they leave us and increasingly employers are approaching the university actively seeking graduates to fill challenging and rewarding positions.
  • Recent graduates have taken up a wide range of positions in areas such as Training and Development, Front office and Reservations, Marketing, Sales and Events, Product Development and Business Operations.
  • Additionally because of the strong business focus which underpins the hospitality programme, graduates are also recruited by a wide range of businesses where a strong service focused background is increasingly required in global markets.
  • Away from jobs in the travel, tourism and related industries, the skills gained by students of this subject area will be welcomed in many different industries.