Master of Arts/Post Graduate Diploma Tourism Management and Destination Leadership

MA/PgDip in Tourism Management and Destination Leadership

Course Overview

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Why take this course?

The MA/PgDip in Tourism Management and Destination Leadership is a one/two-year part-time programme of study designed to align education, research, and engagement agendas with key global development issues in tourism. Students may exit after one year with a PgDip or complete two years for the MA qualification.

Many academics, policy makers and practitioners have called for leadership in tourism and destination management to rethink how tourism can best serve our communities post the pandemic. The industry needs to reduce exposure to crises, needs to develop resilience and encourage adaptability.


This is a part-time, online course. The below timetable will run for Term 1. The course is delivered fully online and runs with the following model in Term 1 (Jan-April), Term 2 (Sept - Dec).

Module 1: Tourism Environment, Society and Development

Every Friday 9.30-11.30AM from early/mid January for 12 weeks

Module 2: Destination Management and Marketing

Every Friday 2-4PM from early/mid January for 12 weeks

Module 3 Tourism Careers Lab and Internship

Module 4: Digital Visitor Economy

Every Friday 9-11AM from early/mid Sept for 12 weeks

Module 2: Research Methods

Every Friday 2-4PM from early/mid Sept for 12 weeks

Industry context

Tourism accounts for some 10% of global GPD and employment. Tourism is an industry beset by many challenges and opportunities, including how destinations are managed and developed, how its deal with crises, how it negotiates sustainable development issues and specific opportunies such as technological change. We cover these themes and more on our programme, utilising Irish, EU and global examples.

What will I experience?

  • The PgDip programme fee is €4,950 for eligible EU participants

Students who complete 60 credits will achieve a PgDip in Tourism Management and Destination Leadership.

  • The MA fee is €2,350. You must have completed the PgDip to enrol on this.
  • Students who complete the additional 30 credit dissertation module will achieve an MA in Tourism Management and Destination Leadership. This is an optional add-on.

This programme of study is situated within the Faculty of Business and Hospitality, in the Department of Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure and thus places a strong focus on the development of graduate competences relevant to the tourism industry throughout the programme.

Two additional teaching and learning strategies employed include 1) the use of a Tourism Careers Lab and 2) a dissertation project based on primary research. In both a focus will be placed on encouraging learners to become engaged in the content and commence on a pathway to independent learning and application of critical thinking.

What opportunities might it lead to?

The programme aims to prepare graduates from a variety of academic backgrounds for rewarding careers (both nationally and internationally) in tourism and related sectors. Career opportunities such as in Destination Management & Marketing Organizations; Governments, NGOs, and Tourism Industry Associations Transportation & Accommodation companies; Event Management & Conferences; Corporate Travel Management; Tourism Research & Consultancy.

This program encourages hand on experience and interaction between academics and industry practitioners from the national and international tourism sector. By the end of the programme students are expected to have knowledge and critical awareness of:

  • International toursim and development
  • Relevant theories that inform international tourism management decisions
  • Ethical, corporate social responsibility and sustainability dilemmas that arise in the tourism professional practice
  • The interrelationships between the various stakeholders and sectors of the visitor economy with a particular focus on the digital
  • Professional and organisational practices acquired from a tourism and destination internship
  • Methodologies for effective practical research in national/ international tourism

Graduates who complete the Level 9, 90 credit Master of Arts in Tourism Management and Destination Leadership.may be eligible to pursue postgraduate research at doctoral level or further taught postgraduate study in complementary areas of study.

Additional Information

Please contact the programme leader, Sean Connell at if you have any queries about the course.

Assessment Information

You will take a range of assessments on this programme, including presentations, written reports and essays, group work, a dissertation and an internship. The Institute offers excellent supports to all learners.

Course Details

Course Fees:
PG Dip - €4,950. Additional fee for M.A. €2,450 for all students who wish to progress (optional)
Course Duration:
2 Years
Registration Closing Date:

Applications open in 2023

How to apply to this programme at TUS Athlone Campus:


Course Commencement Date:

January 2024

Course Award:
Master of Arts/Post Graduate Diploma
Course NFQ Level:
Level 9
Dept of Hospitality, Tourism & Leisure
Minimum Entry Requirements:

This is a conversion programme aimed at a wide range of disciplines which cover tourism modules at undergraduate level;

Graduates are likely to come from the following programmes:
Tourism as a broad discipline welcomes candidates with expertise in various fields. Candidates will have a minimum of a Level 8 Honours degree and will have to complete an interview to obtain admission.

  • Bachelor of Arts degrees in humanities/ social science related subject areas – e.g. sociology, geography, history, anthropology
  • Bachelor of Business/ Commerce/ Arts degrees in the business subject area – e.g. business management, marketing
  • Bachelor of Arts/ Business degrees in the hospitality, tourism, leisure, sport, food sectors

Student Testimonial

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Anna Kurowska, Tourism Attraction Manager, National Wax Museum

I find the PG Dip course content to be relevant and interesting, particularly in terms of post Covid-19 recovery. As a General Manager of two tourist attractions, I feel that I now have a more extensive understanding of the tourism sector.

Student Testimonial

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Tracey Coughlan, Fáilte Ireland

I am thoroughly enjoying the Tourism Management Masters at TUS. I am particularly enjoying learning how other destinations approach Sustainable Development, Creative Placemaking and Destination Management in good and challenging demand periods.

Student Testimonial

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Olive Farrelly Tourism Officer, Offaly County Council

I enjoyed my experience on the PG Diploma. The programme helped me to enhance my skills and knowledge within the tourism realm. I now have an extensive understanding of destination management and apply my learnings to everyday situations in my work.

Student Testimonial

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Anne Marie Flynn, Mayo North Tourism Destination Marketing Manager

. For me in my role in Mayo North Tourism, located in a peripheral and relatively small-scale community operation, it offered an opportunity to learn from and apply some of the solutions implemented in other destinations and showcased during the programme.

Student Testimonial

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Michelle McManus, Purchasing manager for a busy 145-bedroom hotel

The thought of returning to formal education 20 years after completing my degree was daunting, but the faculty were on hand to guide me through any doubts I had. Lectures were delivered online once a week on a Friday, recorded if you couldn’t attend.

Course Structure

Year 1


Tourism Careers Lab

We will assist you in finding an internship in the tourism planning, management and destination sector

Taught modules

  • Tourism, Environment, Society and Development
  • Research Methods
  • Destination Management and Marketing
  • Digital Visitor Economy

Year 2

Students who wish to complete the MA will complete a Dissertation module in Y2. You will be assigned a supervisor and with 1-1 guidance you will write a thesis on a topic of your choice.

Course Facilities

Atlas logo
Certificate in Hotel Industry Analytics
Association of European Hotel Schools

Careers & Opportunities

Career Prospects

Tourism Planning

Tourism Management

Destination Leadership

Public and private tourism industry roles

Work Placement

20 credit internship in tourism/ destination planning organisation.

The Institute assists all students finding an appropriate internship.

For those already in employment in a relevant sector, your employment may be appropriate for the internship and this will be decided on a case by case basis.

Further Study

Graduates who complete the Level 9, 90 credit Master of Arts in Tourism Management and Destination Leadership.may be eligible to pursue postgraduate research at doctoral level or further taught postgraduate study in complementary areas of study.

Facility Gallery

HTL Building - TUS Athlone