(Last updated on: 13/10/2021)
Which are the best universities for travel and tourism Choosing which university you study at and indeed which course is best for you is a very important decision. Not only will it affect the next three years (or longer) of your life but it is likely to guide the course of your career and what opportunities will be available to you.
League tables can be really confusing as there are so many different lists out there! One of the most reputable sources is the Guardian, where courses have been ranked according to subject area. Remember, there is more to consider than simply where a university is ranked (like research output, funding opportunities, teaching and excellence (TEF) score etc), but for those of you interesting in studying travel and tourism this list is a good place to start.
Some of the institutions on the Guardian list are not included below. This is because courses are grouped into ‘Hospitality, Leisure and Tourism’. Because of this, courses in nutrition, sports and business are included. Universities that don’t offer any courses related to travel and/or tourism have not been included in this article.
The top 10 best universities for travel and tourism in the UK
Before you read on, you might find it helpful to watch my new video, where I explain which are the best universities for travel and tourism and why!
Based in Leicester, De Montfort offer various courses that fall into the travel and tourism bracket – BA Hons degrees in Arts and Festivals Management can be combined with dance or drama, or you could choose to study Global Arts Management. Another option is Arts and Festivals Management.
The University of Lincoln offers a BA in International Tourism Management. This includes a one-year work placement, so students can get amazing real-world experience as part of the course. They also offer masters degrees in this field, as well as an International Hospitality Management BA degree.
UCLAN, as it is known, offers various courses in the Tourism, Hospitality and Events Management area. International Hospitality Management and International Tourism Management are two popular undergraduate courses here. They also offer ‘top up’ courses in hospitality and tourism management.
This brilliant Scottish university offers International Tourism and Events Management as a full-time, four-year BA hons degree.
Coventry University offers courses in Tourism and Hospitality Management as well as International Tourism and Hospitality Management. You can also study HNCs and HNDs in Tourism and Hospitality Management. They, too, offer top-up courses. This is one of the best universities for travel and tourism in terms of the different levels of study offered.
Located in Cornwall, one of the UK’s most beautiful areas, Falmouth offer a few related courses. One of these is Sustainable Tourism Management. With the boom in sustainable travel, this is a really interesting option. Others include Sustainable Festival Management and Creative Events Management.
You can choose from a variety of courses here. From International Tourism Management to International Tourism and Airline Management there is a wide range of options. International Tourism & Marketing Management, International Festival & Event Management with Tourism and International Hospitality Management & Tourism make it five. For something different, like the airline aspect, this is one of the best universities for travel and tourism.
Based in beautiful Ireland, Ulster offers two relevant courses: International Travel and Tourism Management, and International Hospitality Management. Both are BSc (Hons).
Greenwich University in London offers a Tourism Management course. You can choose to take this with a language, too. There is an extended four-year option, meaning you can walk away with an incredible skill set ready for a job in the tourism industry.
Choose from full or top-up courses here. Options include Tourism Management as well as International Hospitality & Tourism Management, or International Hospitality Management.
The best universities for travel and tourism in the UK: 11-30
Another Southern university, Essex has a wide range of options too. Choose from Hotel Management or opt for Tourism Management, a 3-or-4-year course with a year abroad or placement year included in the latter. They also offer Hospitality Management, Events Management and more.
International Hospitality and Tourism Management, with a business option too, is a great course here. You can choose to take International Tourism Management instead, however, and combine it with French, Spanish or German if you want to. With a range of short courses and top-up available too, it’s no surprise that Sheffield Hallam is on the list of best universities for travel and tourism.
There are fewer options here, but they do offer Business with Travel and Tourism Management as a 4-year sandwich course. You can take Events Management as a full time course, though. This can be a great ‘in’ to the tourism industry!
At Oxford Brookes, you can take International Hospitality and Tourism Management as a full-time BSc (Hons) course. They also offer Marketing and Events Management as a 4-year sandwich course.
Located in one of the cities with the best nightlife in the UK, as well as one of the best music scenes, Manchester Met is a great choice. They offer an International Tourism Management degree, too. You can do this as a 3-year course or make it four years with a foundation year. They also offer an International Hospitality Business Management degree.
This is another uni with a wide range of options. From Tourism Management BSc (Hons) to International Tourism and Hospitality Management you’ll be spoilt for choice. They offer Tourism and Aviation Management too. This is another brilliant specialised degree in the field. Sunderland offers foundation degrees and top-ups too!
Located in Edinburgh, QMU have two related courses. These are Events and Festival Management, and International Hospitality and Tourism Management. Both are full-time, four-year BAs.
Canterbury Christ Church
At CCC, ‘Tourism Studies’ can be combined with many different degrees. These include Business Management, Digital Media, International Relations, Psychology, Sports & Exercise Science, and many, many more. They also offer a standalone Tourism Management course. For combing this with your other passions, this has to be one of the best universities for travel and tourism.
Located in the North West of England, this small but lovely university offer various related courses. International Tourism Management can be combined with a language, or with Marketing Management. There is also a ‘Professional Placement Year’ option. You can also combine Events Management and Business Management with the above, or opt for Events and Festivals Management as a standalone course.
Up in Scotland, Strathclyde Uni is a popular choice. Hospitality and Tourism Management is a four year course here. It can be combined with various other subjects, like French or Finance, Marketing or Accounting. There is also an International Business degree available.
Here you can take Hospitality, Tourism and Events Management as a BA (Hons). You can also choose from standalone Events Management, or International Tourism Management.
Arts University Bournemouth
There isn’t as much choice here, but their Creative Events Management course still gets great reviews. It’s a 3-year, full-time course.
At Derby, you can study International Tourism Management or International Hospitality Management. Both can include a foundation year. There is also an Events Management course available here.
Choose from Events Management, International Tourism Management or Hospitality Business Management. Some can be combined with marketing, too!
In terms of studying travel and tourism related courses at the University of Birmingham, there isn’t much choice – Applied Golf Management Studies might get you into travelling, though! However, courses like Hospitality and Tourism Management at the University College Birmingham are accredited by UoB.
The University of South Wales is a great choice. Located in Pontypridd, you can choose from a variety of related courses. Hotel and Hospitality Management is an interesting 3-year BA (Hons), and the university also offers International Events Management as a 3 or 4 year course.
The variety of courses at Surrey make it one of the best universities for travel and tourism. International Hospitality and Tourism Management, International Tourism Management and International Tourism Management make up the bulk of this department. These courses can be done over 3, 4 or even 5 years. Combine with a foundation year, or with a course in Transport.
Degrees here are 3 years, or 4 to include a foundation degree. Choose from International Hospitality Management or International Tourism Management.
Located in gorgeous Aberdeen, you can study International Tourism or Hospitality Management here. They are both 4-year courses.
Northampton has a variety of options. You can study International Tourism Management as a top-up, with a foundation year, alongside accounting or just as a standalone 3-year course. They also offer some Events Management degrees.
The best universities for travel and tourism in the UK: 31-45
London South Bank
South Bank offer some really exciting degrees, meaning it could be a great choice if you’re looking for the best universities for travel and tourism. Tourism and Hospitality Management and Events and Entertainment Management are on offer here.
University of West London is easily one of the best universities for travel and tourism in terms of the wealth of choice they offer. From International Tourism Management (wth foundation and placement years available) to Hospitality Entrepreneurship, there is something for everyone. They also offer degrees in Culinary Arts Management and Air Transport Management!
At Hertfordshire, Tourism and International Tourism degrees can be combined with various languages such as Japanese or German. Event Management and Business degrees with tourism aspects are also on offer here.
Liverpool John Moores
In one of the most vibrant cities in the world, LJMU is a popular university choice. Here you can study International Tourism Management or Events Management.
There are three different Event Management degrees on offer at Chichester, which might get you into the tourism sector. However, there are no degrees focused specifically on travel or tourism here.
Bucks New University
At Bucks, you can study International Tourism Management with Air Travel. This is offered as a 3 year course, or 4 years with a foundation year. They also offer Event, Festivals and Venue Management.
ARU offers Tourism Management as part of their Business degrees. This can include a placement or foundation year, and they have an accelerated (2 year) option too.
Here, you can study International Tourism Management as a standalone course or with Spanish or Mandarin.
Trinity Saint David
Located in Carmarthen, Wales, Trinity Saint David offers a wide variety of related courses making it one of the best universities for travel and tourism. These include UK Tourism Management and International Hotel Management with a placement year. Other courses include International Leisure Resort Management and Events and International Festivals Management. There are so many options here.
From Airline and Airport Management to Tourism Management there is plenty of choice here. With courses as specific as Hospitality Management with Revenue Analytics, there is something for everyone!
A tourist hotspot, Brighton also offers some great travel and tourism courses. These include International Event Management and International Tourism Management. Both can be combined with Marketing.
There are a few tourism courses here. These are Tourism Management (also offered as a 1 year top-up course), Tourism & Events Management and Tourism Planning & Management.
Tourism and Travel Management as well as Events Management are on offer here. These can include foundation years, too. Tourism and Travel Management is offered as a top-up course, and Events Management can be combined with Marketing.
West of Scotland
Tourism Management, a 2-year course, and Events Management, a 4-year course, are available here. Both are full-time BA (Hons).
If you want choice, look at Bedfordshire. From Marketing with International Tourism Management to Travel, Aviation & Tourism Management, there are so many options. Courses can be altered to include placement or foundation years too.