Please visit the TourDC Programme webpage on the University of Glasgow listing of postgraduate taught degrees.

The degree

The MSc Tourism Development & Culture (TourDC) is an Erasmus Mundus Joint Masters Degree programme. It is a 24 month full-time programme with three mandatory mobility periods and an optional summer school. It has been designed to maximise your learning outcomes through both student and staff mobility and is innovative in the interconnectedness of the curriculum. You will receive a single parchment of MSc Tourism Development & Culture jointly awarded by the partner universities (depending on your chosen pathway). 

The programme has a work-based learning placement built into some of the European Union mobility periods. The placements are designed to provide relevant experience of the tourism industry. Opportunities for credit bearing placements are available at Malta University. The University Institute Lisbon may also offer a non-credit-bearing placement.

There is also an optional, non credit bearing 10-day summer school placement at Wageningen University in the Netherlands.


MSc Tourism Development & Culture draws mainly on the social sciences, including anthropology, economics, environmental science, geography, management studies and sociology; it also uses historical approaches. You will receive a good introduction to the tourism industry and types of tourists as well as a deeper understanding of contemporary issues relating to development and culture as well as the environment and sustainability. Opportunities to learn from professionals in the sector and to undertake work experience are available to enhance your experience, relate theory to practice and develop suitability for the job market.

Aims of the programme:

To develop tourism professionals, researchers, academics, business consultants, and planners of the future with a wide level of experience, including the possibility of work placements, to enable them to deal with the challenges ahead posed by societal and cultural change.

  • To provide theoretical knowledge of central models and concepts, including authenticity, cultural involution, carrying capacity, zoning, destination life-cycle, multiplier effect, as well as skills applicable to real world scenarios including protecting vulnerable cultural attractions and locations.
  • To develop a critical approach to problems and concepts, which also enhance the ability to analyse in-depth aspects of tourism as professionals.
  • To address contemporary issues (especially pertaining to culture and sustainability), such as resource exploitation and cultural protection, provide relevant examples and examine innovation and development in the sector.
  • To develop skills in, and knowledge of, research methods including preparing questionnaires and interviews.
  • To develop a range of practical skills to improve oral and written presentation of research findings, and foster methods of effective communication.

Intended learning outcomes and skills

The programme provides opportunities to develop and demonstrate knowledge and understanding, skills, qualities and other attributes designed to prepare you for future academic and/or professional careers. 

Knowledge and understanding

By the end of this programme, you will be able to:

  • Analyse and critically evaluate concepts and models of sustainability in relation to cultural tourism and the natural environment, as well as central theories and key concepts in tourism studies such as authenticity, destination life cycle and carrying capacity, showing an awareness of contemporary developments and the evidence based approach. 
  • Critique the concept of authenticity giving examples, and analyse the impact of tourism on cultural heritage together with the social issues involved. 
  • Demonstrate a knowledge of different research methods.
  • Analyse aspects of city tourism as a global phenomenon.
  • Understand elements of sustainable tourism industry management, and business innovation.
  • Critically evaluate cultural development through tourism as it impacts societies.
  • Comprehend the growing trends in tourism such as large events and e-tourism.
  • Understand a chosen topic in great depth through the dissertation experience.


By the end of this programme, you will be able to:

Subject-specific/practical skills

  • Apply the concept of sustainability to practical examples such as considering how to control the number of tourists visiting a sensitive cultural site and manage them; or how to develop zones in a protected heritage area.

Intellectual skills

  • Handle and use primary and secondary materials at an advanced level, critically evaluating findings.
  • Evaluate and critique different academic ideas, concepts and models, including authenticity, the tourist gaze, tourist typologies, tourist motivation models, the destination area life-cycle.
  • Utilise interdisciplinary approaches towards tourism development and cultural issues.
  • Utilise various research methods, including questionnaires, interviews, observation, secondary research and sources and methods of sampling populations.
  • Engage with and employ innovative ideas and models at the forefront of the discipline.

 Transferrable/key skills

  • Utilise personal skills in oral and written communication, through the presentation of research findings in a structured, clearly written and analytical manner.
  • Apply theory to practical situations, such as carrying capacity to specific examples, the notion of zoning to protected areas; the idea and uses of authenticity for attractions.
  • Build an awareness of personal attributes and skills to enhance career prospects.
  • Promote an ethical and social awareness in the workplace. 
  • Manage your own time and deadlines, through planning efficiently to deal with the workload, organising for delivery of essays and other assessments.
  • Utilise experience gained from information management to improve organisational efficiency.

Year 1

In year 1 you will take 60 ECTS of taught courses.

Semester 1 at the University of Glasgow (Dumfries Campus)

  • Tourism and regional development (10)
  • Heritage interpretation and development (10)

And one of the following:

  • Reading the environment (10)
  • Ecology, Environment & Conservation (10)
  • Environmental communication (10)

Semester 2 at the University of Malta

  • Cultural tourism and the European dimension (5)
  • Marketing and management of culture (5)
  • Research methods in cultural tourism (5)
  • Cities of culture (5)
  • Traditions and the tourism product (5)

And one of the following:

  • Cultural legislation and policy (5)
  • Religious heritage and niche tourism (5)
  • Placement in the cultural sector (5)

Summer School at Wageningen University 

Possible Topics:

  • Circular Tourism. (The concept of circular tourism is derived from the Circular Economy (CE), which can be defined as a system that is designed to be both restorative and regenerative).

Year 2

In year 2 you will take 30 ECTS of taught courses at one of two universities, and a 30 ECTS dissertation.

Semester 1 at Lund University in Sweden 

  • Sustainability in service organisations (15)
  • Value creation and innovation in tourism (15)


Semester 1 at University Institute Lisbon in Portugal

  • Large events and event management (6)
  • Tourism and urban worlds (6)

And three of the following:

  • E-Tourism (6)
  • Shopping tourism and luxury retail management (6)
  • Wine tourism and wine business (6)
  • Hospitality business design and operations (6)

A non-credit bearing placement may also be available.

Semester 2 dissertation

In semester 2 you will complete an independent study dissertation.  Students will be based at their semester 1 university and will be under the supervision of at least two of the Partner univerisities.


The language of instruction is English.

However, you are strongly encouraged to undertake second language training (Swedish, Portuguese, Maltese or others where available) during your mobility periods.

Language classes will be provided free of charge to all students in Semester 1 at the University of Glasgow. 

Relevant classes will be highlighted by each partner institution in semesters 2, 3 & 4.


Mobility refers to periods of study or research undertaken during the two years of the programme and can be broken down as follows:

1st mobility 

Year 1, semester 1 at the University of Glasgow (Dumfries Campus, Scotland)

2nd mobility

Year 1, semester 2 at the University of Malta

3rd mobility

Year 2, semester 1 at Lund University (Sweden) or ISCTE - University Institute of Lisbon (Portugal)

4th mobility

Students will remain at their Year 1 semester 2 university. 


You may choose to attend the summer school between years 1 and 2, in July (exact dates tbc) at Wageningen University (Netherlands). 

Assessment methods

The TourDC Consortium Management Board will have overall responsibility for safeguarding the common standards and mechanisms for the examination of students (European and Third Country).

Each of the course components of the Masters’ programme has its own form of assessment. These are outlined in the individual course handbooks. In order to calculate the final mark achieved, the marks for each component are weighted according to their credit rating. 

In year 1 you will be permitted to progress to dissertation only if you have obtained an average aggregation score of 12 (equivalent to Grade C3 on the University of Glasgow grading scale) or above in the taught courses described above, with at least 75% of the credits at a score of 9 or above (Grade D3 or above) and all credits at a score of 3 or above (Grade F or above). 

Each partner university will take responsibility for marking according to its own criteria and you will be assessed in the same manner as local students. A system of moderation will be employed. Each partner university will provide assessment to the TourDC Consortium’s Board of Examiners, along with detailed additional descriptors. This will enable the Board of Examiners to translate the University of Glasgow, the given partner university and the ECTS grading systems to facilitate the production of the joint degree transcript and diploma supplement issued by the consortium.

All examination results will be discussed and finalised by the Board of Examiners and formally approved by the TourDC Consortium Management Board. The marking systems for each partner university and how these relate to the University of Glasgow and ECTS systems will be made clear to you in advance.


Sample Reading List

You will use a variety of sources throughout the programme. Our sample reading list ‌has been designed to give you a flavour of the programme and will be supplied in due course.

Programme structure