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Study Hospitality Abroad - the Definitive Guide

The Tourism and Hospitality industry has grown year on year and there is a huge demand for trained professionals to work in posh hotels across India.

Mahesh Ramani
Hospitality Programmes

Did you know that 40% of all motels in the USA are owned by Indians?

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Subject modules & entry requirements

The hospitality industry covers a lot of specific skills. From being a chef specialising in different cuisines, a pastry chef, wine connoisseur, to managing spas within luxury hotels, front office personnel and food and beverage managers; a top-class hotel offers a variety of job opportunities.

In India, students traditionally start with an undergraduate programme in Catering Technology or opt to study a BA in Tourism and Hospitality. At the postgraduate level, a number of universities offer a specialised MBA that focuses on Tourism and Hospitality.  

Postgraduate programme options

The Master of Arts, the Master of Science and the MBA are the most popular postgraduate degree options available for students looking to study Hospitality as a subject.

How long will you study?

The duration of the programme varies from one year to two years based on the subject and the university.

What will you study?

Typically a postgraduate programme in Hospitality would help prepare students for a full-fledged career in the hospitality and tourism industry. Based on the specialisation and the specific subject that the student picks, modules would vary. On completing the programme, students would be able to manage a group of people working in a hotel or restaurant competently.

View all postgraduate programmes in Hospitality.  

Typical entry requirements

Applicants should have a relevant undergraduate degree in Hospitality or Tourism. Those looking to join a programme in Catering Studies or Culinary Arts should have completed a relevant undergraduate programme or trained under a chef and demonstrate proof of work experience.  

English language proficiency

A score of 6.5 on the IELTS or 79 on the TOEFL is usually considered to be fair enough for admission into a postgraduate programme in Hospitality.

GMAT and GRE scores

Those looking to study an MBA in Hospitality Management would have to write the GMAT and submit their scores. Other programmes would require applicants to submit GRE scores. Students are advised to cross-check with the university where they aspire to study about the exact entry requirements and test scores.


The average cost of completing a postgraduate degree in Hospitality ranges from INR 10 lakhs to INR 35 lakhs. 

Subject specialisations

Some of the most popular postgraduate subject specialisations are:

Hospitality Management

This continues to be the most popular area of specialisation. The University of Central Lancashire offers a popular MSc in International Hospitality and Tourism Management programme. This is a full-time one year programme and is priced quite well with the annual course fees working out to under INR 10 lakhs. Modules taught include – Tourism, Hospitality, Events, Sustainable Tourism and Management Principles. View all postgraduate programmes in Hospitality Management.

Hospitality Operations

This specialisation is specifically designed for those looking to find employment in the operations aspect of running a large scale hotel. The Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Management at Florida International University offers a popular MS in Hospitality Management with a specialisation in Hospitality Real Estate. With three admission intakes every year, the programme focuses on enabling students to get a keen idea of high stakes deals in real estate dealings of posh resorts and hotels.   

Catering Studies

Well who does not love good food right? One of the most important parts of the hospitality business is the promise of good food. With television shows like “Masterchef” demystifying the fine art of cooking, a number of institutions abroad offer a variety of programmes that focus on various cuisines and cooking techniques. Most universities offer undergraduate programmes in Catering Studies on whose completion students can specialise in a specific skill like pastry-making or vegan cooking.

Restaurant Management

Focused on handling the day-to-day operations of a restaurant, right from managing personnel to estimating costs and ensuring customer satisfaction, this is a popular specialisation among students. Centennial College, Canada offers a popular Graduate Certificate in Hotel, Resort and Restaurant Management. This is a full-time one year programme and offers an ideal foundation for a career in restaurant management.

As per the latest Complete University Guide rankings, the top five universities to study a Hospitality & Tourism programme are:

Career prospects

A postgraduate degree in Hospitality from a recognised university opens up many avenues for a career in the Tourism and Hospitality industry in India. Be it a working in luxury hotels or starting up a quaint little café in a tourist hot-spot, the possibilities are endless. Additionally, luxury-liners and premier airlines also recruit students with a degree in Hospitality. This article on career opportunities in the Hospitality industry will offer further insight.  

Salaries vary based on skills and the specific job-roles. In India, starting salaries are in the region of 3 to 4 lakhs per year for management trainees with a postgraduate degree in Hospitality Management. For a student with a degree in Hospitality from a reputed university abroad, the starting salaries abroad are in the range of INR 8 to INR 10 lakhs. This again varies with salaries aboard crusie-ships and luxury-liners and the world's finest hotels being much higher. For a similarly qualified student of Hospitality working abroad, the average salaries start at around US$40,000 a year. This once again highlights the importance of studying abroad and finding a job abroad.


Over 40% of motels in the USA are owned by Indian Americans. This is a distinct pattern and Gujarati immigrants lead the charge in the industry which has led to the coining of the “Patel Motel” phenomenon. This demonstrates the immense good will that Indians have earned in the USA and the business acumen and management skills of the community.  

Professional associations

FH&RA India

The Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India (FH&RA India) was established in 1955 and has four regional associations integrating the various states in the country. The organisation works towards improving the efficiency of various hotels and restaurants that are part of the apex body and addresses the concerns of those in the hospitality and tourism industry.

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