Tourism Management & Destination Leadership - Athlone

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.

Industry context

Up to 2019 tourism was one of the world's largest industries, accounting for some 10% of global GPD and employment. At this point growth looked certain to continue into the medium term future, with new inbound and outbound markets developing worldwide. The COVID-19 pandemic caused the industry to collapse overnight, with closure of borders, collapse of airlines and new procedures and protocols configuring the industry.

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.

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

Subjects taught


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.

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.

Entry requirements

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

Application dates

Registration Closing Date: Applications open in 2023


2 years part-time, online.

Post Course Info

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.

Career Prospects
Tourism Planning
Tourism Management
Destination Leadership
Public and private tourism industry roles

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.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Postgraduate Diploma (Level 9 NFQ),Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Part time

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    Course provider