Tourism is changing. It is vulnerable to change but also contributing to it. For example:
- Tourism changes the social fabric of a destination and may lead to overtourism.
- Extreme weather events due to climate change affect the perception of destinations, while tourism contributes to global greenhouse gas emissions.
- New digital technologies affect travel behaviour with the potential for disruptive innovation within the sector.
The continuous change and ever-shorter innovation cycles present tourism companies and tourism organisations with a considerable challenge to position themselves in a dynamic environment. They need employees and managers who think strategically - in order to be able to respond to global changes and to initiate change processes – and who act as socially conscious entrepreneurs.
The current corona situation clearly demonstrates the different change categories: The corona virus is an environmental change which has wide-ranging effects on tourism. As a society we have changed our behaviours due to the risks of COVID-19 and the spread of the corona virus. Political-economic changes such as regulatory measures or the implementation of safe travel systems also affect the tourism sector, while medical advances such as the development of vaccines and improved testing capabilities are key for reducing regulatory measures. These change factors are inter-related which makes an analysis particularly complex, but analysing change is an important step towards managing change.
In the Master Tourism & Change, you will analyse the different drivers of change, evaluate the consequences of change and determine how to manage as well as design change in tourism. Combine this knowledge of change in tourism with a sound understanding of business administration for a crucial basis for a successful career as a change-maker in tourism.
- Benefit from small class sizes, international lecturers and a focus on active and experiential learning with the opportunity to work with practical cases, to practice different behaviours in role-play situations, to experience change on an international fieldtrip, to take part in management simulations and to take responsibility in projects.
- Use the many possibilities to increase your employability such as a personal development programme, a mentoring programme, the international online management simulation or the consultancy projects.
- Take advantage of student life in the alpine city of Chur. With its narrow, winding streets and snow-capped mountains, modern shopping centres and pure, unadulterated nature, Chur offers an active student life, the hustle and bustle of city life and an alpine recreational playground at your doorstep.
DegreeMaster of Science FHGR in Business Administration with Specialisation in Tourism and Change
Study modelFull-time or part-time
Duration of study programme3 semesters full-time or up to 8 semesters
Place of studyChur, optional semester or summer school abroad
Begin of study programmeSeptember 2022
Director of StudiesMosedale Jan More about Mosedale Jan
Application deadline31 May
You must meet the following requirements for admission to the Master of Science in Business Administration with Specialisation in Tourism and Change at the University of Applied Sciences of the Grisons (UAS 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
Do you have 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.
You do not meet the aforementioned admission conditions for the study programme but can demonstrate that you have years of work experience and are in continual professional development? If so, you have the opportunity to apply under given circumstances. The Prorectorate 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 for modules at master's level previously completed at another university may be awarded in consultation with the Director of Studies prior to the start of the programme.
The Master Tourism & Change combines knowledge of business administration with an analytic and comprehensive perspective on the changes affecting and originating from tourism development. These perspectives on analysing, managing and creating change are discussed using examples from the various tourism sectors (hospitality, destination management, airline management, tour operating etc.) and allow for a strategic approach to the future development of tourism.
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 practitioners in lectures, on international field trips, in the mentoring programme and during the consultancy project. Connect theory and practice in case studies and in real-life situations.
The study programme combines knowledge in tourism, business administration and research methods. The research methods modules are offered in the first semester, as they form the basis for the following consultancy and research projects.
The tourism and change modules are offered across the three semesters and thus create the necessary professional identification at an early stage.
The business administration basics (sustainability, digital transformation and leadership) form an important part of the interdisciplinary study in the first three semesters.
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.
Full-time study programme (3 semesters / 1.5 years)*
Major Tourism and Change
Change is ever-present and successful organisations need to adapt to external changes but may also create change. To provide you with a comprehensive perspective on change in tourism, the Major Tourism & Change is organised into three key practices: analysing, managing and designing change. This framework focuses on a critical analysis of change factors, an understanding of change processes and ways to create positive change.
This set of modules combines change theory and diagnostic tools with an analysis of the main drivers of change in tourism. You will learn how to monitor and analyse the internal and external environments of tourism organisations, skills that are crucial for detecting early signs of change and for identifying opportunities and threats. Practical examples from tourism will focus on actions and outcomes.
Tourism is experiencing a period of considerable change. The ability to successfully manage the changes affecting tourism is therefore crucial and a much valued skill. Both practical and action-oriented, the modules will provide you with the tools to deal with the messy reality of change in tourism.
Change emerges from complex, dynamic, iterative processes. But how can you create positive change? How are ideas developed into successful projects, products, services or new ways of doing things? How can you influence behaviours so that they benefit individuals and communities for the greater social good? We know that just providing information to the public does not really lead to systematic changes in behaviour. Otherwise no one would climb Uluru, take a cruise or fly short-haul. Learn about innovation and social marketing in tourism and acquire the ability to create positive change.
The Business Administration modules focus on three key topics of change: sustainability, digital transformation and leadership.
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.
Explore the impact of digital transformation on products, services and processes and become acquainted with digital business models such as online platforms, e-commerce, digital services, web 2.0 and social media applications. Understand their revenue mechanics as well as how online marketing can support digital business. Analyse 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.
You can choose five modules from the following elective modules:
- Corporate Communication (taught in English)
- Corporate Responsibility (taught in English)
- Sustainability Management (taught in German)
- Data Analytics (taught in German)
- Data Management (taught in German)
- Digital Business (taught in English)
- Leading Change (taught in English)
- Organisational Development (taught in German)
- Organisational Leadership (taught in German)
- Talent Management (taught in English)
The entire Master Tourism & Change can be studied in English. While some elective modules are taught in German, the assessments for these modules can be undertaken in English.
In the module category research methods, you will study how practical challenges can be addressed 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 programme. In the consultancy project you will apply the knowledge acquired in your studies to real-life challenges. You will work in a small group for an external client. This client will expect you to develop solutions relevant to their particular challenge.
The pinnacle of your study is the master thesis. It expands your in-depth knowledge in a topic that particularly interests you. Choose your topic strategically and you may demonstrate to future employers 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.
The consultancy project allows you to learn by doing and to understand and experience the connections between theory and practice. You will be part of a small team of consultants working for a real client to develop a solution for their particular challenge. As part of the module you will learn project management skills which you can practise during the project. A recent example is a project mandated by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs in the context of the Swiss SDG Tourism Dialogue to identify gaps in the flow of information within the network.
Every module in the Major Tourism and Change includes an input from an experienced industry speaker. Learn from their experiences and gain an understanding of the implications of theory on practice and hear riveting stories about the challenges of implementation. We invite different industry experts every year in order to provide students with current thinking in the tourism industry. Learn from the examples of change leaders and become adept at leading change.
You will have the opportunity to join a field trip in order to combine theory and practice in a particular destination. This could be as an extra-curricular activity or as a free elective module worth 4 ECTS. Gain insights in interviews with local business owners, tourism destination managers and locals and experience the challenges of tourism management. Past destinations have included Athens, Dubai, Dubrovnik, Mallorca, Morocco and Sri Lanka. The pictures shows students during a visit of the AIDAblu cruise ship in the port of Dubrovnik. The next field trip to Cuba is currently in the planning stage.
Competences & Skills
“The pace of change … is ever increasing, so graduates need to ensure they are developing skills and abilities that will not only empower them to land the job of their choice, but also allow them to thrive as their career develops” Stephen Isherwood, CEO of the Institute of Student Employers.
Knowledge alone is not sufficient to make a difference in the tourism sector; employers are also looking for specific skills and competences. We therefore extend your learning beyond the mere transfer of knowledge.
As a student in the Master Tourism and Change you will receive ample opportunities to develop skills critical to the tourism labour market. Competences in business administration and tourism coupled with the development of key skills and the opportunity to gain practical experiences (see page 14) enhance your employability so that you may excel in a competitive, fast-moving tourism sector.
We take a holistic approach to skills development. This means that we focus on a combination of different skills that will help you to lead change projects: imagine a destination that has experienced a sudden fall in tourist numbers. Critical thinking and research skills will allow you to determine the reason for the decreasing numbers of tourists. Data analysis may show that climate change mitigation measures in one of the main source markets led to increasing travel costs to the destination. Problem-solving and creativity skills will help you to come up with different solutions such as changing the marketing focus to the regional domestic market (no need to fly), to the luxury market (price does not matter), to budget tourists (price of airline ticket is relative to longer length of stay). Innovation techniques will allow you to encourage teamwork and creativity in your team.
Weighing different alternatives and examining the effects of possible solutions is key in decision-making and strategy development. You will then need to communicate (verbally and in writing) the decision to employees, managers and customers. You will need strong leadership skills to negotiate with and convince key stakeholders in the destination to back your strategy. Project management skills will allow you to implement the chosen strategy and to determine whether the actions are leading to the desired result: an increase in tourist numbers. Should the actions not be the required solution, you will need to be adaptable enough to change strategy as soon as it becomes apparent. Being resilient will allow you to bounce back in the event of adversity and see challenges as part of lifelong learning.
As a graduate of the Master programme Tourism and Change you will:
- have knowledge in business administration and tourism.
- be able to plan, lead, carry out and evaluate change projects.
- possess skills in analysing, managing and designing change processes.
- have combined the knowledge and skills to gain competences in entrepreneurship, innovation management and sustainability.
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 ground-breaking solutions.
How much does it cost to undertake a master’s programme at the UAS 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 UAS 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. For more information see the International Office.
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
The University of Applied Sciences of the Grisons promotes equal opportunities and gender quality among its students. To this end, it breaks down cultural and structural barriers and supports its students in expressing their individuality. It implements legal principles of equality and prevents discrimination.
If you are living with a disability or chronic illness that makes studying difficult, you can apply for assistance measures. You can find more details on the website of Assistance Measures Office.
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 UAS Grisons is an innovative and entrepreneurial higher education institution with around 1,700 students and places great emphasis on individuality.
The UAS 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
Tourism 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 the changes affecting and created by tourism and are able to devise appropriate strategies for the future. The Master Tourism & Change 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.
Gain tourism & business competence, hone your personal skills, apply them in practice to become a change maker in destination management, tourism marketing, tour operation, hotel management, aviation, etc.
Enhance your employability
The programme offers you a variety of different opportunities to enhance your employability. The relationship between studying, research and practice forms an important part of the programme. You will be able to combine theory and practice in various modules and deal with current challenges experienced by tourism businesses.
Personal contacts, connections and interpersonal relationships are a crucial part of business life. We pair our students with experienced managers from a variety of different tourism sectors. These mentors support the student with career planning, networking and personal development. Benefit from insights into professional life, an expansion of your network and a transfer of know-how. Previous students have had mentors from Singapore Airlines, Zurich Airport, Graubünden Tourism, Intercontinental Davos, TUI Suisse, FIS Marketing (International Ski Federation) among others.
Work experience is a key requirement for a career in tourism. Gain experience, apply the knowledge acquired in the programme and further develop professional and social skills during a work placement. ‘Trying out’ a new career role will give you an insight into the operations of a specific employer and give you new ideas about career options. Act as a reflective practitioner and position yourself in the job market upon graduation. Non-EU/EFTA students on a student visa may not undertake their work placement in Switzerland.
Symbolon profile and personal development
The Symbolon profile offers you the opportunity to get to know yourself better and to judge your talents, strengths and motivations more accurately. In a follow-up coaching session you will develop the necessary steps for your personal development. Know yourself to work on your weaknesses during your studies but also to highlight your strengths.
Tourism is subject to 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 the changes affecting and created by tourism and are able to devise appropriate strategies for the future.
We have designed the Master Tourism and Change to equip you with the necessary skills and knowledge in business administration and tourism. In addition, the UAS Grisons offers various extra-curricular opportunities to strengthen your employability, such as a mentoring programme, and personal development on the basis of a personal profile. This strong foundation consisting of knowledge and skills will prepare you for middle management positions or as consultants.
The flexibility of the programme to integrate a part-time job and the combination of theoretical and practical perspectives enable graduates to assume responsible management functions in tourism during and immediately after graduation.
The practical and social skills acquired, as well as the language skills developed during a semester abroad at one of our partner universities, contribute significantly to increasing your employability.
Upon graduation you will have demonstrated the necessary skills and knowledge to work in the tourism sector but also, more generally, in business administration within other sectors.
Your generalist knowledge and skills set allows you to work in hotel management, tour operating, destination management/marketing or travel agency services in areas such as, but not limited to, change management, customer services, front and back office, product management, marketing, HR / organisational development, business development, sustainability management etc. With the relevant work experience, you will be able to take on leadership roles, e.g. as head of business units, members of the executive board or regional managers.
Our recent graduates are doing the following jobs
- Event manager, Swiss sports event company (graduated in 2019)
- Head of tourist centre and mountain Lab, Switzerland (graduated in 2019)
- Operations manager groups and events, Swiss inbound tour operator (graduated in 2019)
- Sales and marketing support, working outside tourism (graduated in 2019)
- Marketing and reservations manager, Swiss cable car company (graduated in 2017)
- PR and communications manager, regional tourism organisation, Germany (graduated in 2016)
- Project manager for marketing and student recruitment, Swiss hotel school (graduated in 2016)
If you would like to apply for a place on the programme, please fill out and submit the online application with the required documents.
You will then be invited for an interview with Prof. Dr Jan Mosedale, Director of Studies, for which you will need to prepare a 10 minute presentation on any topic related to the subject of change in tourism.
Visa and Residence Permit issues
Conditions for Non-EU/EFTA students
- Student requires an entry visa as well as a residence permit for Switzerland. The International Office initiates this process once the application fee and the tuition fee for the first semester has been received. The student is responsible for paying the costs for the entry visa and the residence permit.
- Student must be under 30 years old when entering Switzerland.
- Student must provide a language diploma (IEL TS/TOEFL, etc.) for the visa application.
- Student must provide evidence of sufficient funds for living expenses in Switzerland (approximately CHF 2'000.00 per month) for the visa application.
- Student must have a sufficient health & accident insurance policy for Switzerland and personal liability insurance.
- Student is not permitted to work in Switzerland and the place of residence must be in the Canton of Grisons.
Conditions for EU/EFTA students
- Student requires a residence permit for Switzerland. The International Office applies for such permits on arrival in Switzerland. The student is responsible for paying for the residence permit.
- Student must have sufficient funds for covering living expenses in Switzerland (CHF 2000.00 per month).
- Student must provide a sufficient health & accident insurance policy for Switzerland and personal liability insurance.
- Student is currently permitted to work up to 15 hrs per week. The employer must apply for a work permit and the University of Applied Sciences of the Grisons must agree that the employment workload is manageable in addition to the workload of the study programme.
For further information regarding the requirements for student visas, refer to website of the cantonal migration authorities (only available in German).
For general information concerning entry & residence to Switzerland please consult the website of the State Secretariat for Migration SEM.
The application deadline is 31 May of the year in which you would like to start your studies. The study places will be allocated after an examination of your documents and an interview with the director of studies. Applications will still be considered after the application deadline, provided that study places are available.
Join an information event for the Master's degree Tourism & Change – we hope to see or talk to you soon! The presentation on the Master Tourism & Change will be held in English.