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Top Universities to Study Hospitality Management in the UK

This article gives a brief description of the top three institutions in the UK offering courses related to the hospitality industry; costs of studying, admission requirements and career options.

Mahesh Ramani

The School of Hospitality and Tourism Management at the University of Surrey has been ranked number one in the UK for its courses related to the hospitality industry, by the Times for five years.

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The tourism and hospitality industry is amongst the fastest growing industries in the world. Despite multiple economic meltdowns and economic recessions in the past decade; man’s urge to travel has not subsided. Every year we notice that more and more people travel to various countries and take vacations in exotic places. Plus the ‘back-pack traveller concept’ is encouraging a whole new generation of youngsters in Asia to explore Europe, the Americas and Australia. Across the world, there is a huge demand for well-trained staff members in a variety of roles in the hospitality and tourism industry; this ranges from chefs specialising in different cuisines to bartenders, ticketing staff and front-desk managers. Hence if you have a pleasing personality; love meeting new people and have a penchant for making strangers comfortable then a career in the hospitality industry would be a great idea.
This article gives a brief description of the top three institutions in the UK offering courses related to the hospitality industry; costs of studying, admission requirements and career options. 

Head to the UK?

The UK is amongst the top destinations to study hospitality management and related courses designed for the tourism industry. The UK has some of the finest culinary training institutions starting with Le Cordon Bleu, London and is one of the world’s top tourism destinations with Heathrow Airport being one of the busiest airports in the world. Thus it makes good sense to choose the UK to study hospitality management courses.

The Creamy Layer:

As per ‘The Guardian University Guide 2014’ the top three institutions in the UK to study courses related to the hospitality industry are:
  • University of Surrey
  • University of Birmingham
  • University of Strathclyde 

University of Surrey:

The School of Hospitality and Tourism Management at the University of Surrey has been ranked number one in the UK by the Times and the Sunday Times Good University Guide and for five years in a row, by the Guardian University Guide. The School offers a number of undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral courses in hospitality management. The MSc International Hotel Management course is a highly popular course.

University of Birmingham:

The University of Birmingham is one of the ‘redbrick universities in the UK,’ was founded by Joseph Chamberlain in 1900. ‘The Times’ and ‘The Sunday Times’ awarded the prestigious ‘University of the Year - 2013-14 Award’ to the University of Birmingham. The University is known for its high-quality research output, excellent academic staff and offers job-centric courses in tourism and hospitality management.

University of Strathclyde:

The University of Strathclyde Business School (SBS) offers a number of top-ranked MBA programs undergraduate and postgraduate courses in various aspects of business and industry. SBS also has academic partnerships with other leading institutions from all around the world. SBS offers a variety of courses in Hospitality and Tourism Management, which are accredited by the Institute of Hospitality.

Entry Requirements:

International students from non-EU countries need to demonstrate their proficiency in English before they can enrol in the ‘Tourism and Hospitality management’ courses. There are slight differences based on the level of study, course specialisation and the institution selected. The basic entry requirements are as listed below; applicants are advised to contact the institution or department for exact details.
  • IELTS - an overall score of 7.5, with at least 7.0 in each component.
  • TOEFL iBT (internet-based) - an overall score of 110 with minimum component scores of: Listening (22), Reading (24), Speaking (25) and Writing (24).
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) Grade B

Fees and Living Costs:

The course fee depends on the duration of the course and the level of study. A one-year postgraduate course in Hospitality Management would roughly cost between GBP 9000 and GBP 10,000. Students would have to earmark between GBP 15000 and GBP 17000 a year on food, living and entertainment costs. Living costs can be considerably reduced if the students share accommodation with other students and decide to buy grocery and vegetables and cook on their own. The money saved on food and accommodation can be used for other activities like taking a trip across the UK or visiting Paris, etc.

Career Options:

The demand for well-trained professionals in the hospitality and tourism industry is at an all-time high. A recognised degree from a top-ranking institution in the UK is a sure-shot way to ensure that the student has a good start in a career in the hospitality industry. Courses such as an MBA in Hotel Management; MBA in Tourism and Hospitality Management; and MBA in International Tourism are gaining popularity and are designed to offer students practical knowledge in the day-to-day workings of hotels and resorts. In India, a graduate trainee in a top five-star hotel can start with an annual salary of about INR 8 to 10 lakhs. The salaries will increase as the student gains experience and completes in-house training. Jobs in luxury-liners and cruise ships are also well-paying.
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