Tourism Studies MA, Tourism and the Sustainability Agenda, 7,5 credits


Tourism Studies MA, Tourism and the Sustainability Agenda, 7,5 credits

General data

  • Code: TR009A
  • Subject/Main field: Tourism Studies
  • Cycle: Second cycle
  • Credits: 7.5
  • Progressive specialization: A1N - Second cycle, has only first-cycle course/s as entry requirements
  • Answerable department: Economics, Geography, Law and Tourism
  • Approved: 3/29/2016
  • Date of change: 2/17/2020
  • Version valid from: 8/20/2020


The aims of this course is to (i) provide students with a holistic understanding of the sustainability agenda (i.e., cultural, economic, environmental, and social dimensions) and the role of tourism in it, (ii) equip students with applied tools to critically analyze, challenge and suggest improvements in current sustainable tourism practices.

Course objectives

Upon successful completion of the course students are expected to demonstrate:
• Theoretical understanding of core socio-economic, political and environmental processes resulting in the emergence of the sustainability agenda; global-local nexus
• Understanding of critical issues and trends in contemporary sustainable tourism practices
• Ability to critically analyze major challenges and opportunities in sustainable tourism
• Knowledge of the major principles of sustainable natural and cultural tourism management
• Knowledge of the major impacts and their management tools within tourism industry
• Understanding of how global processes and general sustainability principles translate into local tourism practices


The course is comprised of three major blocks:
a) understanding sustainable tourism b) sustainable tourism management and c) special issues of sustainable tourism.

a) Understanding sustainable tourism – provides students with a comprehensive theoretical understanding of global social, economic and environmental transformations which resulted in the emergence of the sustainable development agenda. Students will be exposed to critical perspectives on the sustainability agenda and explore the complexity and contested nature of this paradigm. Further, students will learn how sustainability principles are integrated into tourism practices and influence the emergence of new tourism markets.

b) Sustainable tourism management– focuses on concrete practical knowledge about the implications of adoption of the sustainability principles within tourism. This component of the course introduces the economics of sustainable tourism, which includes the costs for environmental and capital stocks induced by tourism. In addition, the sustainable management of nature and cultural resources for tourism (e.g., impacts and management practices) are also explored.

c) Special issues in sustainable tourism – introduces students to areas of special interest within the broad spectrum of sustainable tourism. Case studies, tapping into the focal areas of ETOUR expertise, ongoing projects and beyond will be discussed, helping students with their decision of thesis topic selection.

Entry requirements

A bachelor' s degree of at least 180 credits (ECTS) and English course 6/English course B from Swedish Upper Secondary School (Gymnasium) or the equivalent.

Selection rules and procedures

The selection process is in accordance with the Higher Education Ordinance and the local order of admission.

Teaching form

Lectures, peer learning through group works and field trips.

Examination form

0015: Group work assignment (including oral presentation), 4.0 Credits
Grade scale: Seven-grade scale, A, B, C, D, E, Fx and F. Fx and F represent fail levels.

0016: Take-home exam, 3.5 Credits
Grade scale: Seven-grade scale, A, B, C, D, E, Fx and F. Fx and F represent fail levels.

Written assignments and oral examination. At home examinations or other written assignments, a complementary oral presentation may be requested by the teacher. The student should hence demonstrate the necessary knowledge to ensure that the student is the actual sender and the author of the written work.
Students admitted to the previous version of this course have the right to graduate 3 times within 1 year according to that syllabus. Thereafter the students are transferred to this syllabus.

Grading system

Seven-grade scale, A, B, C, D, E, Fx and F. Fx and F represent fail levels.

Other information

The examiner has the right to offer alternative examination arrangements to students who have been granted the right to special support by Mid Sweden University's disabilities adviser.

Course reading

Required literature

  • Author: Newsome, David., Moore, Susan. & Dowling, Ross.
  • Title: Natural Area Tourism: Ecology, Impacts and Management
  • Edition: Latest edition
  • Publisher: Channel View Publications
  • Author: Ballantyne, Roy. & Packer, Jan.
  • Title: International Handbook on Ecotourism
  • Edition: Latest edition
  • Publisher: Edward Elgar Pub. Ltd.

Reference literature

  • Author: Tim Coles, David T. Duval, & Gareth Shaw
  • Title: Student’s Guide to Writing Dissertations and Theses in Tourism Studies and Related Disciplines
  • Edition: Latest edition
  • Publisher: Routledge
  • Author: Mowforth, Martin. & Munt, Ian.
  • Title: Tourism and Sustainability Development, Globalisation and New Tourism in the Third World.
  • Edition: Latest edition
  • Publisher: Routledge

The page was updated 5/6/2020