Study Hospitality: A Comprehensive Subject Guide

Welcome to the captivating world of hospitality education, where the art of hosting and the science of service converge. In this comprehensive subject guide, we invite you to embark on a journey through the realm of hospitality studies. Whether you’re a prospective student seeking top UK institutions or an enthusiast curious about the diverse facets of this field, our guide will unravel the intricacies and opportunities that lie within the domain of hospitality.


Table of Contents

What is Hospitality?

Hospitality is more than just a service industry; it’s a fundamental aspect of human interaction that spans cultures and continents. At its core, hospitality is the art of making people feel welcome, comfortable, and cared for, often in unfamiliar surroundings. It involves a range of services, from accommodation and dining to event planning and tourism, all with the shared goal of creating positive and memorable experiences for guests.

In the context of education, studying hospitality encompasses the understanding and mastery of these services, as well as the broader principles that underpin them. It’s about learning how to personalise experiences, anticipate needs, and provide impeccable service to guests, whether in a hotel, restaurant, cruise ship, or any other hospitality-related establishment.


Why Study Hospitality?

Choosing a field of study is a crucial decision that can shape your career and future prospects. When considering your options, hospitality stands out as a versatile and rewarding choice for several compelling reasons.

  1. Global Demand: Hospitality is a universal industry that transcends borders. Regardless of where you are in the world, there will always be a need for hospitality services. This global demand ensures that graduates in this field have access to a wide range of job opportunities, both at home and abroad.

  2. Cultural Enrichment: The hospitality industry is a melting pot of cultures. By studying hospitality, you’ll have the opportunity to interact with people from diverse backgrounds, both as colleagues and guests. This cultural exposure can broaden your horizons and enhance your intercultural communication skills.

  3. Career Advancement: Hospitality is a dynamic field with numerous opportunities for career advancement. With experience and further education, you can climb the ranks to managerial and leadership positions, where you’ll have the chance to shape the direction of a hospitality establishment.

  4. Job Satisfaction: For those who enjoy making people feel welcome and creating memorable experiences, the hospitality industry can be incredibly satisfying. Seeing the smiles on guests’ faces and knowing that you’ve contributed to their positive experiences can be immensely fulfilling.

  5. Economic Resilience: The hospitality industry has demonstrated resilience even in challenging economic times. People continue to travel, dine out, and attend events, making hospitality a relatively stable industry with opportunities for growth.

  6. Innovation and Trends: Hospitality is not static; it evolves with consumer preferences and technological advancements. Studying hospitality allows you to stay at the forefront of industry trends and innovations, ensuring that you remain competitive and relevant.

Best Universities for Hospitality in the UK

Here is a list of the top UK universities in this field according to the latest QS World University Rankings:

RankUniversity NameLocation
15University of SurreyGuildford, United Kingdom
19Bournemouth UniversityPoole, United Kingdom
24Oxford Brookes UniversityOxford, United Kingdom
36University of DerbyDerby, United Kingdom
48Leeds Beckett UniversityLeeds, United Kingdom
50Manchester Metropolitan UnivManchester, United Kingdom
51-100Middlesex UniversityLondon, United Kingdom
51-100Sheffield Hallam Universityfalse false
51-100Ulster UniversityColeraine, United Kingdom
51-100University of StrathclydeGlasgow, United Kingdom
101-150Cardiff UniversityCardiff, United Kingdom
101-150Loughborough UniversityLoughborough, United Kingdom
101-150University of ExeterExeter, United Kingdom
101-150The University of ManchesterManchester, United Kingdom
101-150University of BirminghamBirmingham, United Kingdom
101-150University of GreenwichGreenwich, United Kingdom
101-150University of LeedsLeeds, United Kingdom
101-150University of SunderlandLondon, United Kingdom
101-150University of WestminsterLondon, United Kingdom
151-160Cardiff Metropolitan Universityfalse false
151-160Edinburgh Napier UniversityEdinburgh, United Kingdom
151-160Swansea UniversitySwansea, United Kingdom

Entry Requirements for a Hospitality Degree

In the UK, entry requirements for a degree in hospitality may vary depending on the specific university and programme you are interested in. However, here’s a general overview of typical entry requirements for undergraduate and postgraduate hospitality degrees:

Undergraduate Degree (Bachelor’s):

  1. Academic Qualifications: Typically, you will need to have completed your secondary education with A-levels or equivalent qualifications. The specific A-level subjects and grades required may vary by university and programme.

  2. English Language Proficiency: If English is not your first language, you will generally be required to demonstrate proficiency in English through a recognised English language test, such as IELTS or TOEFL. The required scores can vary but are usually in the range of 6.0 to 7.0 for IELTS.

Postgraduate Degree (Master’s):

  1. Bachelor’s Degree: You will typically need a bachelor’s degree in a related field or a degree in any discipline depending on the specific programme. Some programmes may also require a minimum grade or classification for your bachelor’s degree.

  2. English Language Proficiency: As with undergraduate programmes, you will need to demonstrate your English language proficiency through tests like IELTS or TOEFL.

  3. Work Experience: Relevant work experience in the hospitality industry may be beneficial, especially for more competitive programmes.

Jobs for Hospitality Graduates

Here are the career prospects for graduates in this field:

1. Hotel Manager: Hotel managers oversee the day-to-day operations of hotels, including managing staff, ensuring guest satisfaction, and optimising the hotel’s performance.

2. Restaurant Manager: Restaurant managers are responsible for the efficient operation of restaurants, ensuring excellent customer service, managing staff, and maintaining the financial health of the establishment.

3. Event Planner: Event planners coordinate and execute a wide range of events, from weddings and conferences to festivals and corporate events, ensuring they run smoothly and meet client expectations.

4. Tourism Officer: Tourism officers promote tourist destinations and attractions, working for local governments, tourism boards, or private companies. They may also work as travel agents or tour guides.

5. Food and Beverage Manager: These professionals are responsible for the food and beverage operations within hotels, restaurants, and catering services, ensuring quality and profitability.

6. Resort Manager: Resort managers oversee the operations of resorts, including accommodation, entertainment, and recreational facilities, to ensure a positive guest experience.

7. Cruise Ship Manager: Cruise ship managers oversee various aspects of cruise ship operations, including hospitality, guest services, and safety.

Salary for Hospitality Graduates

Check out the average salary for graduates in this field: 

Low skilled: £21,000

Medium-skilled: £20,900

High-skilled: £23,000

Topics for Hospitality Dissertation

Below, we present a diverse array of research areas, each offering an opportunity to delve into the complexities of hospitality and make a significant contribution to its advancement:

  1. The Impact of Sustainable Practices on Hotel Operations: Investigate how adopting sustainable practices in a hotel, such as energy conservation and waste reduction, affects its operations and profitability.

  2. Culinary Tourism and Destination Development: Explore the role of culinary experiences in attracting tourists and contributing to the development of specific destinations.

  3. The Influence of Online Reviews on Hotel Booking Decisions: Analyse how online reviews and ratings impact consumers’ decisions when booking hotels and explore strategies for managing online reputation.

  4. Event Management in the Post-COVID-19 Era: Examine the changes and challenges faced by event managers in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the strategies for recovery and resilience.

  5. Cultural Sensitivity in Hospitality Service: Explore the importance of cultural sensitivity and cross-cultural communication in providing exceptional hospitality services to diverse guests.

Hospitality Graduates Employment Rate

The hospitality industry employs 3.2 million people, produces £130 billion of economic activity, represents 10% of UK employment and is experiencing a skills shortage.

How Much Does it Cost to Study in the UK

One of the most important things to consider is how much the degree is going to cost. Here is a general guide for 2023/2024:

  • For home students in England, universities can charge up to a maximum of £9,250 per year for an undergraduate degree.
  • In Wales, institutions can charge up to £9,000 for home students. However, Welsh students can apply for a fee grant to cover some of the cost of their tuition fees. This grant is currently not repayable or income-assessed.
  • Northern Irish universities will charge up to £4,275 for home students and may charge up to £9,250 for students from elsewhere in the UK.
  • Scotland does not charge home students fees at the undergraduate level; however, students from England, Wales, or Northern Ireland are expected to pay up to £9,250 per year. International students from outside of the UK will pay significantly more to study in Scotland.
  • International students can expect to pay between £10,000 and £26,000 annually for lecture-based undergraduate degrees at universities across the UK. An undergraduate medical degree can cost overseas students up to £58,600 per year. As for postgraduate degrees, the average cost is estimated to be around £17,109 per year.
Besides the tuition fees, there are also several other cost considerations such as food, accommodation, phone bills, books, social life, memberships, and others. Remember to check out our free student budget calculator

Other Subjects to Consider

Given that you are interested in this subject area, you might also want to consider the following options: 

  1. Business Management
  2. Marketing
  3. Culinary Arts
  4. Event Management
  5. Tourism Management
  6. Hotel and Tourism Management
  7. Hospitality and Tourism Marketing
  8. International Business
  9. Hospitality Finance
  10. Sustainability Studies
  11. Human Resource Management
  12. Language and Cultural Studies

Frequently Asked Questions

Consider your interests, passions, and career goals. Research various degree programmes and their content to see which aligns best with your aspirations.

While earning potential is important, it’s also crucial to select a degree that you’re passionate about and suits your skills. A balance between your interests and potential career prospects is ideal.

Location can impact your overall university experience. Consider factors like cost of living, proximity to industry hubs, and personal preferences.

Evaluate tuition fees, available scholarships, and potential for part-time work. Create a budget to ensure you can manage your finances during your studies.

Consider combining your passions with practical skills. For example, if you love art but want job security, explore fields like graphic design or digital marketing.

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