Digital transformation, continuous change and ever-shorter innovation cycles present tourism companies and tourism organisations with complex and demanding challenges. These challenges have a considerable impact on the necessary skills and knowledge required by successful tourism managers: they need to think strategically in order to be able to respond to changes in the tourism industry and to initiate change processes; they need to think as socially conscious entrepreneurs and be open-minded. The Master Tourism at the University of Applied Sciences of the Grisons has responded to these challenges and offers an innovative study programme incorporating general management and tourism specific modules. Prepare yourself for leadership positions in the tourism and service industries.
DegreeMaster of Science FHGR in Business Administration with Major in Tourism
Study modelFull-time or part-time studies More about the study model
Duration of study programme3 semesters or 4 semesters alongside your job
Place of studyChur, semester abroad optional More about the place of study
Begin of study programme12. September 2019
Director of StudiesMosedale Jan More about Mosedale Jan
You must meet the following requirements for admission to the Master of Science in Business Administration with Major in Tourism at the University of Applied Sciences of the Grisons. Please contact us if you have any questions about the admission requirements. We will be happy to help you.
Do you have one of the following diplomas?
- A bachelor’s degree or equivalent diploma in tourism or other related subject from a university or university of applied sciences
Do you have a good knowledge of English and fulfil one of the following conditions?
- Certificate that proves you have a good knowledge of the English language
- Previous studies undertaken in English
- English is your mother tongue
Knowledge of business administration
Basic knowledge of business administration is required. Should you not have prior knowledge of business administration at bachelor level, you will be able to make up for this prior to the start of the programme. We will provide all the literature you will need for your preparation.
In exceptional cases, you may be admitted to the programme without fulfilling the requirements mentioned above (admission based on your academic record and application). The Prorector and the Director of Studies decide on admissions on a case-by-case basis.
Transfers from other universities
To arrange a transfer from another university, university of applied sciences or PET college, you must contact the Director of Studies. Credits may be awarded, in consultation with the Director of Studies, for modules already completed at another university.
The tourism sector is currently experiencing considerable change. On the one hand, the sector faces increasing competition particularly due to new business models. On the other hand, changing consumer demands due to new markets and demographic change, new technologies as well as immediate and long-term environmental crises are the current challenges for the tourism sector. These changes require a strategic approach to the future development of tourism.
The course provides you with a comprehensive understanding of tourism from a strategic perspective. This will allow you to recognise potential opportunities and associated risks in technological, social and environmental change and to define and implement the necessary actions to turn challenges into opportunities.
International, strategic, applied
The master's degree in tourism enables you to gain an international outlook on tourism development and management. International case studies, an international student body, excursions to international destinations and the experience of your guest lecturers make for an interesting and interactive learning environment. We are the only university in Switzerland to have been accepted as a member of the international tourism master network. The ITMN is a global network of the leading tourism master programmes.
You will learn to identify, interpret and provide solutions for strategic challenges faced by tourism businesses and to make strategic judgements under uncertainty by relying on an in-depth understanding of change processes in tourism.
As a University of Applied Science, the relationship between studying, research and practice forms an important part of the programme. Gain valuable insights from practicioners in lectures, on international field trips, in the mentoring programme and during the consultancy projects. Connect theory and practice in case studies and in real-life sitatuations.
- Join the Master Tourism at the University of Applied Sciences of the Grisons and benefit from small class sizes, international lecturers, a teaching and learning approach that offers more than lectures.
- Use the many opportunities to increase your employability, such as the mentoring programme, the international online management simulation or the consultancy projects.
- Take advantage of the tourism experience in Switzerland and develop into a tourism professional in the birth place of winter tourism and a world-renowned tourism destination.
The study programme combines knowledge in business administration, research methods and is supplemented by specific tourism modules. The research methods modules are offered in the first semester, as they form the basis for the following consultancy and research projects. The tourism modules (International Tourism Management; Strategic Innovation Management; Sustainability) are offered across the three semesters and thus create the necessary professional identification at an early stage. The general management basics (stakeholder management, organisational development, employee management) form an important part of the interdisciplinary study in the first three semesters. In addition to content, the focus is on developing your personal and social skills, especially strategic, decision-making and project management skills.
Finally, the master thesis provides you with the opportunity to create a distinctive profile and allows you to strategically position yourself for management level positions. The current master thesis brochure (in German/English) gives you an impression of possible topics for your thesis.
Are you working for a company and would like to commission a master thesis or consultantcy project? Find out about the possibilities.
In the module category International Tourism Management, you will learn about and analyse tourism in an international context. In particular, networks and partnerships have become important strategic elements for corporate success in the global tourism industry. As future tourism managers, you also need to be aware of the various strategies employed by political institutions to support tourism development.
The module category Strategic Innovation Management focuses on the dynamic nature of tourism. New consumer trends and new relationships between consumers and producers require certain innovative changes and adaptations. You will learn how to develop innovative products and business models, how to unlock new markets and how to refine business processes.
The module category Sustainability focuses on the sustainable management of tourism. As future tourism managers, you will learn to analyse local contexts, to be mindful of changes in social attitudes, norms and behaviours of tourists and locals and to improve the sustainable track record of tourism businesses.
The General Management modules concentrate on the topic of business administration at three different levels: stakeholders, organisations and people. You will learn to deal with conflicting expectations of stakeholders, to strategically develop organisations and to motivate employees for common goals.
In this module category, you will critically examine the role of businesses in society, the expectations of different stakeholders and the aspiration to deliver economically, socially and ecologically sustainable services. In addition, you will learn how companies can develop credible internal and external communication strategies and what rules apply when dealing with the media.
You will explore the impact of digital transformation on products, services and processes. You will become acquainted with digital business models such as online platforms, e-commerce, digital services, web 2.0 and social media applications. You will appreciate their revenue mechanics as well as how online marketing can support digital business. You will analyze how companies develop and the tools that can be used to facilitate and control business development.
You will learn how to manage your employees, discover the prerequisites for successful managers, obtain the skill to set and achieve common goals with your employees and learn how to adjust your management style to different situations? You will analyse how companies can attract talented employees, how they want to be treated and how they can be tied to the organization.
In the module category research methods, you will study how applied challenges can be addressed in via academic research. You will design research projects, choose appropriate research methods and learn how to manage challenging projects. You will also gain new, advanced skills in qualitative and quantitative research methods. You will thus be able to critically analyse the appropriateness of a project’s research design and to undertake your own research project.
The interaction between academic studies, research and industry is an important element of the master’s programme. Consultancy projects give you the opportunity to apply the knowledge acquired in your studies to real-life problem situations. You will work in small groups on consultancy projects for external clients. These clients will expect you to develop solutions relevant to their particular challenges.
The pinnacle of your study is the master thesis. It expands your in-depth knowledge in a topic that particularly interest you. You demonstrate that you are able to provide answers to applied challenges in the tourism sector and that you are a specialist in that particular topic. The master thesis allows you to choose a particular profile and thus to position yourself in the job market. A good choice of topic is critical for your job prospects. Write the master thesis with a tourism organisation or company, extend your network and improve your chances on the job market.
More than lectures
While lectures are a good tool to transfer a certain kind of knowledge (explicit knowledge) between lecturers and students, we place a lot of importance on you also gaining tacit knowledge (for example intuitive knowledge and know-how). We reinforce this by focusing on co-learning and co-creation in the classroom and by offering active learning opportunities outside of the classroom.
Inside the classroom
- You will be able to learn from the experience of international guest lecturers; experts in their field who are able to guide you in the development of knowledge and skills.
- The diverse study body (in terms of culture, disciplinary background, work experience and age) is a great opportunity to learn from the experiences of your fellow students.
- You will be involved in the learning process and will work with practical case studies, will practice different behaviours in role play situations, will take part in management simulations and will take responsibility in projects.
- We are able to use the service innovation lab of the University of Applied Sciences of the Grisons with its advanced visualization and prototyping techniques in order to explore, visualise and test possible innovations.
- You will acquire knowledge and learn new skills that you will be able to transfer to similar situations and challenges in your career.
Outside the classroom
We also offer a variety of different opportunities to engage in active learning outside the classroom. This is a very important aspect of the programme as we think that you learn best by applying knowledge and skills!
- Mentoring programme: We pair our students with experienced managers from a variety of different tourism sectors (e.g. airlines, destination marketing, event management etc.) and these mentors support the student with career planning, networking, personal development etc.
- Networking opportunities: We offer a number of networking opportunities such as the Tourismus TrendForum, an annual event organised to bring together leading tourism stakeholders and discuss trends and research undertaken at the institute. Another homegrown networking opportunity are our alumni who have found jobs in the various fields of tourism all over the world. You will join this network upon graduation.
- Field trips: Every October, students in the third semester organise a field trip for all the Master students. The destination in 2018 is Croatia! These field trips offer the opportunity to experience tourism in new destinations, to learn outside the classroom and for the new incoming students to get to know each other and the students from the previous cohort.
- International Online Management Simulation: Compete with other tourism student teams from various international universities. Work on challenges based on real-life situations and take business decisions in the areas of finance, marketing, HRM, CRM, Strategic planning.
- Consultancy Projects: You will be part of a small team of consultants working for a real client to develop a solution to their particular challenge. You will learn valuable skills such as client management, project management and teamwork.
- Learn a language: The University of Applied Sciences of the Grisons offers language courses in German, French, Italian, Spanish, Russian and Chinese. Learn another language and improve your employability.
- Speaker’s series: This series of guest lectures by eminent national and international speakers feature unconventional, innovative and creative thinkers in order to provide you with the newest trends in the tourism industry.
- International exchange opportunities: A semester abroad provides an ideal opportunity to immerse oneself in a foreign culture, to enhance language skills, to develop intercultural and social competencies and to improve your employability.
The teaching at the University of Applied Sciences of the Grisons is research-led. This means that our lecturers, assistant lecturers and academic staff are also involved in a number of research and consultancy projects at the Institute for Tourism and Leisure. Because we collaborate closely with companies in the tourism and leisure industry, we are aware of the latest challenges facing the industry and are able to come up with groundbreaking solutions.
How much does it cost to undertake a master’s programme at the University of Applied Sciences of the Grisons? Where does the programme take place? How many ECTS credits will I receive? On what days will I have lectures and seminars? What degree will I be awarded after completing the programme?
There is a one-off enrolment fee of CHF 300, which is deducted from the tuition fee for the first semester. If you do not take up the offer of a place on the programme, the enrolment fee will be forfeited.
The tuition fee per semester is CHF 960 for students with Swiss citizenship or the Principality of Liechtenstein citizenship. The tuition fee per semester for all other students is CHF 1,550.
Foreign students who have resided in Switzerland for at least two years before the start of their studies and who are financially independent and not in education may be able to benefit from the reduced tuition fee of CHF 960. The reduced tuition fee has to be reviewed and approved by the University of Applied Sciences of the Grisons on the basis of documentation provided by the students.
Students not from Switzerland, the Principality of Liechtenstein, the European Union or the European Free Trade Association are charged a deposit of CHF 3,000.
The tuition fees do not include textbooks, travel, food or accommodation in connection with field trips, multiday seminars and the bachelor thesis.
You will need a suitably powerful laptop (Windows recommended).
The universities of applied sciences are recognised by the Swiss Confederation and the cantons, which means students may be entitled to grants. For further information, please contact the grants department of the Department of Education for the canton in question.
Students from outside Switzerland can contact the relevant public funding institutions in their home country.
Place of study
The taught modules of the study programme are held in Chur, Switzerland. Individual events may take place in other locations and will be communicated in good time.
An international exchange may prove an asset for your personal development. Analyse tourism in a different and international context and learn a new language at the same time. We maintain a network of universities worldwide and can help you organise a semester abroad with our partners.
Duration of study programme
The master’s degree programme takes three semesters and can be extended individually up to eight semesters. Non-EU students with a student visa are not eligible for part-time studies. An academic year consists of two semesters lasting 14 weeks each and three examination weeks. In addition, examination weeks and single block weeks with no lectures take place which typically last from Monday to Friday.
You can find exact dates and details in the academic calendar.
Days of classes
The programme starts with an introductory, two-day kick-off event. The curriculum is structured into separate modules that may take place as weekly lessons or in a block of lessons, usually only on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturday mornings. Lessons are held between 9.45 a.m. and 4.45 p.m.
European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS)
The European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) is a tool of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) for making studies and courses more transparent and thus helping students to move between institutions of higer education. ECTS credits are awarded based on the student workload required to achieve the objectives of a course or a programme. ECTS credits are the basis for the recognition of course or programm achievements and diplomas between institutions of higher eduction.
An ECTS credit point corresponds to a student workload of 30 hours. The student workload includes the lectures but also time needed to pre- and postprocess the lectures, prepare exams and for self-studying. 60 credits a year are acquired in a full-time study course, which corresponds to a student workload of 1800 hours. At University of Applied Sciences of the Grisons a bachelor's degree course is comprised of 180 ECTS credits, a consecutive master's degree of 90 ECTS credits.
Study and examination regulations
Switzerland is the land of the Alps, Heidi and yodelling, right? If this is your perception, you’re in for a big surprise. Sure, St. Moritz might have been one of the world’s first destinations to develop tourism. But Switzerland is still playing a leading role in defining global tourism as it is today. The University of Applied Sciences University of Applied Sciences of the Grisons is an innovative and entrepreneurial higher education institution with around 1,700 students and places great emphasis on individuality.
The University of Applied Sciences of the Grisons offer various services to support your studies and to guide you in your personal and professional development. Take advantage of the wide range of sports opportunities, make use of the job and housing exchange or seek advice.
Information for international students
Services for students
Studying and living in a Swiss tourism destination
Did you know? Tourism is Switzerland’s pride. Destinations like St. Moritz, Zermatt and Gstaad already intrigued international visitors in the 19th century. However, the locals learnt fast that the natural beauty alone would not do it in the end. Long before the term ‘location marketing’ was created, they got James Bond to promote skiing in major movies. Later they created events like the Montreux Jazz Festival or the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, which attract visitors, business people and celebrities from all over the world. Today, Switzerland is a dynamic tourism destination that has learnt how to reinvent tourism in its urban centres and alpine playgrounds.
The tourism industry is subject to a pronounced dynamics of change, which requires strategic thinking and the utmost professionalism at all levels. Required are graduates who not only have profound knowledge in their respective fields, but who understand tourism in an international context and are able to devise appropriate strategies for the future.
The Major Tourism provides this expertise and thus prepares graduates for the tourism labour market, either as responsible employees at middle management level in larger tourism businesses or as consultants. As a graduate of the Major Tourism, you will also have the necessary strategic knowledge in tourism to assess the potential of tourism, for example in destination management or regional development, and to be able to harness its impacts.
The interdisciplinary approach of the Master Tourism opens up a broad range of employment opportunities for graduates in destination management, tour operation, hotel management, tourism marketing and public relations and consultancy but some graduates also focus on the business administration part of the programme to gain employment outside of the tourism sector.
Our recent graduates are doing these jobs
- Chief administrative officer, small tour operator in South America
- Assistant to the Executive Board, regional tourism organisation, Switzerland
- Account manager, global construction technology company
- Consultant, market entry of a travel agent from Switzerland into Germany
- Buyer and business development manager, wholesale trade company, Switzerland
- Hotel reservations executive, wholesale tour operator, Romania
- Hotel manager, Switzerland
- Graduate programme Marriott Hotel, near London
- Manager PR an communications, regional tourism organisation, Germany
- Alumni director at a tourism school, Switzerland
- Project leader mountain bike infrastructure, destination in Switzerland
- Management and marketing consultant, specialist for risk management, consultancy in Switzerland
If you would like to apply for a place on the programme, please send your completed application form and the required documents to the University of Applied Sciences of the Grisons.
The deadline for applications is May 31st in the year you intend to start your course of study.
Applications received after the application deadline may also be considered if there are still places available on the programme. Please contact the programme administrator for information.
Do you have any questions about the study programme? Would you like any advice, or are you still unsure? Do you have any administrative questions? We will be happy to help you.
University of Applied Sciences of the Grisons
Join an information event for the Master's degree Tourism – we hope to see or talk to you soon! The presentation about the Master Tourism will be held in English.