Postgraduate taught 

Sustainable Tourism & Global Challenges (Dumfries campus) MSc

The Economics of Circular Tourism DUMF5146

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: No

Short Description

This course addresses the current academic and policy debate advocating the transition from tourism as a value extractive, polluting industry, to one promoting a human-centred approach, establishing the wellbeing of people and places at the heart of any recovery plan. Transforming tourism in this perspective means rethinking tourism as an ecosystem contributing to inclusive economic growth, communities' wellbeing and resilience, and nature regeneration. The course will introduce students to the novel concept of circular tourism and the role that non-market valuation techniques can play in the above paradigm shift.


Two hours per week plus one fieldtrip

Excluded Courses





30% Oral Presentation: Students will work in teams to develop an in-depth understanding of a case study (e.g., a tourist site). This will involve identification of research themes, which will inform the individual report (see below, second summative assessment). Students will gather secondary data and produce an analysis of the assigned case study. Each student will present their analysis during the group presentation. Students will be graded individually and as a group. (ILO3, ILO4)


70% Report: A 3,000-word report (prepared as a submission to a Governmental Agency) on the theme(s) of analysis identified in the oral presentation task. The report will include the presentation and discussion of a non-market valuation exercise or other relevant assessment techniques in support of decision-making. (ILO1, ILO2, ILO4)

Course Aims

The aims of this course are to:

1. Introduce students to the international academic and policy debate about the future of tourism and the UN 2030 agenda, within a circular economy perspective.

2. Engage with current theoretical arguments and methodological approaches to assess impacts of tourism policies.

3. Develop students' understanding of non-market valuation techniques, their current relevance at UK governmental level and their potential to support policy making in different national contexts.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

1. Assess the debate around the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the role of tourism

2. Critically reflect on the role played by International organizations (UNESCO, ICOMOS, ICCROM, UNWTO) in the practice of sustainable cultural tourism

3. Synthesize and communicate knowledge of the circular economy paradigm and its tourism implications in the UN 2030 Agenda

4. Critically evaluate current principles and methods of tourism economics

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.