Master in Tourism Studies


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Program Description

The master of tourism studies programme is designed to prepare students for career entry or positions in commercial, public, or non-profit organisations that provide visitor services at the local, national, or international level. The programme also provides students with necessary academic foundations to proceed to a PhD.

Programme description

Tourism is an increasingly important global phenomenon, which involves social, cultural, economic, political, and environmental opportunities and challenges. Expanding economies enable more people to travel frequently and over longer distances to experience landscapes, townscapes, cultures, and peoples. Globalization and technological developments enable increased mobilities, and thus tourism activities. Tourism development and growth also challenges the sustainability of ecologies in the era of climate change.

This study program seeks to provide students with thorough knowledge about how to balance environmental, economic, and socio-cultural benefits ans concerns in tourism. In particular, students will adress how to meet tourist markets' demands for nature and heritage experiences, without compromising future generations' access to these. Throughout the program, students will obtain specialized insights into the complexities of tourism in relation to experiences, in how tourism is performed and marketed, and how it shapes - and is shaped by - cultural, social, economic, temporal and spatial power relations. The specialized insights should enable students to analyze tourism in ways that give nuanced understandings of sustainable tourism in a variety of settings. By the end of the program, students should be able to employ such scholarly understandings in a Master's thesis, based on social-scientific and humanities-oriented theoretical approaches.

Upon successful completion of the program, students should have obtained the following:


The student should have

  • a thorough knowledge of seminal and contemporary theories within the field of tourism studies
  • an in-depth knowledge of research processes and methods adapted to issues within the field of tourism studies
  • advanced knowledge of sustainability and responsibility in tourism, in particular as relevant to nature and heritage tourism
  • the ability to apply theoretical and methodological knowledge of new areas within tourism studies
  • the ability to analyze professional issues based on the history, tradition, specialization, and role of tourism in society


The student should be able to

  • critically consider the solidity of information on and descriptions of tourism gained from various sources
  • demonstrate analytical capacity by structuring and formulating professional arguments that contribute to innovative solutions in sustainable and responsible tourism
  • analyze and relate critically to existing theories, methods and intrepretations within tourism studies, as well as apply tourism perspectives in practical and theoretical problem solving
  • make use of relevant research in an independent manner, to contribute to the development of strategies and new opportunities in nature and heritage tourism
  • develop research questions and make use of relevant research methods to collect and analyze data concerning tourism objectives
  • carry out an independent research project in the field of tourism, under supervision and in accordance with current norms for research ethics.

General competence:

The student should be able to

  • design, plan, develop and carry out tourism research projects
  • critically analyze the tourism industry, tourists' practices and tourism relevant policies as well as consider the ethical concerns and potential dilemmas they imply
  • apply reflexive thinking to contribute to innovative processes in heritage and nature tourism development
  • contribute to a sustainable and responsible tourism industry and governance of tourism development
  • apply knowledge and skills independently and innovatively through cooperation in research, government and industry contexts

Applicants must have a bachelor's degree (180 ECTS), or an equivalent qualification, with a minimum of 80 ECTS within tourism, outdoor recreation, event studies, marketing and communication, social sciences, humanities or education.

International applicants who hold a bachelor's degree or equivalent issued in Europe, Canada, USA, Australia and New Zealand: An average grade C as a minimum requirement,

International applicants who hold a bachelor's degree or equivalent issued in countries other than the above-mentioned region/countries: An average grade B as a minimum requirement in addition to fulfilling formal admission requirements for Master's level entry.

Non-EU applicants need to have a Higher Education Entrance Qualification from their home countries and certified fulfilment of English language requirements.

For more details on admission requirements (GSU-list etc.):

  • Proof of English Proficiency (International Admissions)
  • Formal admission requirements - Master's level

Please visit the website of The Norwegian Directorate of Immigration for information regarding Norwegian residence permits.

Study permit

The maximum number of students accepted per year is 15.

The course activities consist of different teaching methods. Research-based teaching takes place in seminars with lectures in classroom and fieldwork, and further relies on students' participation in group work, discussions, and presentations. The courses, Philosophy of Social Sciences, Qualitative and Quantitative methods contribute to the students' development of theoretical understanding and reflection, which students will continue to develop throughout the program.

Students will analyze, discuss, and position their knowledge in light of relevant contexts. Through group work, students will be able to discuss subjects to gain a deeper understanding. In individual tasks, students will use theoretical literature and examples from the tourism industry. Students will receive supervision and individual guidance in writing papers and assignments. Students are expected to study independently, including curriculum not specified in the scheduled teaching. Canvas is used for the online learning platform and Wiseflow for the examination platform.

Examination methods will vary from course to course, and will generally be written home exams and school exams as well as oral exams.

A good student environment is achieved through academic and social activities, close contact between lecturer and students during teaching weeks and skype meetings with remote students.

To achieve the learning outcomes, students must expect to work 40 hours a week in their studies, including lectures, seminars and self-study.

An individual Master's thesis will consist of approximately 30000 words. The exam will consist of a written Master's thesis and an oral exam.

The Master of Tourism Studies forms the basis for a range of fields of work associated with:
  • Development of sustainable tourism and adventure products
  • Marketing and communication of tourism and adventure products
  • Establishment of culture-based and nature-based enterprises
  • Travel Life's organizational unit (Norwegian Hospitality, Innovation Norway, etc.)
  • International organizations (NGOs)
  • Public affairs and regulatory frameworks for tourism
  • Consultancy work for the tourism industry
  • Investigative work
  • Research and development
  • Teaching

UiT - The Arctic University of Norway cooperates with international universities regarding student exchange at the Master's level in line with NOKUT's requirements. Student exchange is possible in Semester 3.

Last updated January 2019

About the School

UIT The Arctic University of Norway is the northernmost university of the world. Its location on the edge of the Arctic implies a mission. The Arctic is of increasing global importance. Climate change ... Read More

UIT The Arctic University of Norway is the northernmost university of the world. Its location on the edge of the Arctic implies a mission. The Arctic is of increasing global importance. Climate change, the exploitation of Arctic resources and environmental threats are topics of great public concern, and which the University of Tromsø takes special interest in. At UiT The Arctic University of Norway you can explore global issues from a close-up perspective. Read less
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