Syllabus for Master's Programme in Sustainable Destination Development

Magisterprogram i hållbar destinationsutveckling

A later update of this programme syllabus has been published.

  • 60 credits
  • Programme code: THD2N
  • Established: 2017-11-28
  • Established by: The Faculty Board of Science and Technology
  • Reg. no: TEKNAT 2017/120
  • Syllabus applies from: Autumn 2018

Entry Requirements

Academic requirements
A Bachelor's degree, equivalent to a Swedish Kandidatexamen, from an internationally recognised university.

Language requirements
All applicants need to verify English language proficiency that corresponds to English studies at upper secondary (high school) level in Sweden ("English 6"). This can be done in a number of ways, including through an internationally recognised test such as TOEFL or IELTS, or through previous upper secondary (high school) or university studies.
The minimum test scores are:

  • IELTS: an overall mark of 6.5 and no section below 5.5
  • TOEFL: Paper-based: Score of 4.5 (scale 1–6) in written test and a total score of 575. Internet-based: Score of 20 (scale 0–30) in written test and a total score of 90
  • Cambridge: CAE, CPE

Decisions and Guidelines

According to a decision taken by the Vice Chancellor 2017-06-21, Uppsala University will offer a Master Programme in Sustainable Destination Development, 60 credits, from 2018-07-01.


After completion of the programme the student can receive a one-year master´s degree within the main field of study sustainable destination management. The programme will give the student the knowledge, skills and competences required for a qualified working life within the sector of sustainable destination development. The programme will give the students insights into how sustainable development can be achieved at the intersection between sustainability and destination development, with consideration taken to both regional needs and needs within the tourism industry. The programme will give employability within public development and strategic work as well as administration, in particular regarding natural and cultural resources. In addition, the programme gives employability within public and private destination management organisations, and within business development, sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility work within regional, national and international corporations within the tourism industry and within public administration. The programme also gives competences to start and run tourism companies all over the world in tourism intensive regions.

The programme has three different specialisations and the students choose one of these: ”Applied heritage politics”, Sustainable nature-based destinations” and ”Entrepreneurship for destination development”. The programme connects to current research within the field of sustainable destination management, which gives good possibilities for the student to continue with doctoral studies. The degree project will be conducted within the field of the specialisation. Graduated students are expected to work both nationally and internationally within the private and public sector as well as within academia.

Learning Outcomes

According to the Higher Education Act, the following applies for second-cycle studies:
Second-cycle studies shall be based fundamentally on the knowledge acquired by students during first-cycle courses and study programmes, or its equivalent.
Second-cycle studies shall involve the acquisition of specialist knowledge, aptitudes and accomplishments in relation to first-cycle courses and study programmes, and in addition to the requirements for first-cycle courses and study programmes shall:

  • further develop the ability of students to integrate and make autonomous use of their knowledge,
  • develop the students' ability to deal with complex phenomena, issues and situations, and
  • develop the students' potential for professional activities that demand considerable autonomy, or for research and development work. Ordinance (2006:173).
Objectives for a Degree of Master (60 credits) according to the Higher Education Ordinance, System of Qualifications.

Knowledge and understanding
For a Degree of Master (60 credits) students must
  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding in their main field of study, including both a broad command of the field and deeper knowledge of certain parts of the field, together with insight into current research and development work; and
  • demonstrate deeper methodological knowledge in their main field of study.
Skills and abilities
For a Degree of Master (60 credits) students must
  • demonstrate an ability to integrate knowledge and to analyse, assess and deal with complex phenomena, issues and situations, even when limited information is available;
  • demonstrate an ability to independently identify and formulate issues and to plan and, using appropriate methods, carry out advanced tasks within specified time limits;
  • demonstrate an ability to clearly present and discuss their conclusions and the knowledge and arguments behind them, in dialogue with different groups, orally and in writing; and
  • demonstrate the skill required to participate in research and development work or to work in other advanced contexts.
Judgement and approach
For a Degree of Master (60 credits) students must
  • demonstrate an ability to make assessments in their main field of study, taking into account relevant scientific, social and ethical aspects, and demonstrate an awareness of ethical aspects of research and development work;
  • demonstrate insight into the potential and limitations of science, its role in society and people’s responsibility for how it is used; and
  • demonstrate an ability to identify their need of further knowledge and to take responsibility for developing their knowledge.
Within the framework of the learning outcomes stated in the Higher Education Ordinance, the students within the main field of study for the programme shall be able to:
  • Understand systems and contexts within which destination development takes place, and be able to analyse these in relation to the different dimensions of sustainability; the economical, the ecological and the social (K, S, J)
  • Analyse and evaluate destination development and sustainability to gain understanding of possible problem solving for future destination development (K, S)
  • Use ethical competence, create images of, specify, apply, negotiate and create consensus regarding values, principles, goals and visions for sustainable destination development (S, J)
  • Think strategically, design and implement interventions, transitions, transformative management and innovations for sustainable destination development (K, S)
  • Cooperate and create a positive learning environment, and motivate and support common exploration of and problem solving for sustainable destination development, and be able to communicate orally and in writing with a number of stakeholders (S, J)
K is for Knowledge and understanding, S is for Skills and abilities and J is for Judgement and approach.

Layout of the Programme

The interdisciplinary programme in sustainable destination development has a layout with common courses for all students of the programme, and with three specialisations, from which the students choose. The common courses are an introduction course in sustainable destination development, a project course and a method course, each of 7,5 credits, and a concluding degree project course of 15 credits. The three elective specialisations are:

  • Applied heritage politics
  • Sustainable nature-based destinations
  • Entrepreneurship for destination development
These specialisations are 22.5 credits each. The students choose one of these specialisations and get essentially deepened knowledge within the chosen field.

The teaching is to a large part interactive with practical exercises. The layout of the courses gives the students both relevant knowledge, specialisation within chosen field, and skills to practice their knowledge within sustainable destination development. The students contribute with their respective subject background and experiences in individual and group work. This provides valuable training for working life.

The course content within all specialisations is adapted to suit professional activity within corporations and authorities. Critical thinking and writing skills are essential parts of the programme and are important in professional life. These skills are applied in an independent degree project of at least 15 credits, which can be conducted within the university, at a company or an authority.


The teaching of the master programme builds upon the different experiences and the knowledge that the students bring into the interdisciplinary education. The students are expected to participate and contribute actively to the teaching and take great responsibility for his or her-own, as well as for the other students´, learning. The teachers of the programme have the main responsibility to create good conditions for active individual and collective learning. The teaching is designed and continuously developed through a respectful dialogue between teacher and students, where all contribute to renewal and mutual learning.

The teaching is based on student active pedagogy, and forms of teaching in the programme are lectures, seminars, study visits, problem based and case exercises, research based problems and project works. In a project course the students practice and apply the knowledge gained during previous courses for analysis, leadership and communication. In the project course and in the degree project the students work with current issues of tourism industry and/or regional development, to find concrete solutions. The students will therefore already during the education meet the reality outside the classroom and put their knowledge into practice.

Written and oral communication training occurs during the entire programme to give the students good communicative skills. The language of instruction is English.


Upon request, a student who has received a pass grade in a course is to receive a course certificate from the higher education institution. Upon request, a student who meets the requirements for a qualification is to receive a diploma from the higher education institution.

A Degree of Master is a so called general degree, which means that the student achieve the degree in its main subject according to the criteria below, regardless of the courses being part of the program or not, therefore there is a possibility also to include single subject courses in the degree.

Regulations according to Higher Education Ordinance
A Degree of Master (60 credits) is obtained after the student has completed course requirements of 60 higher education credits with a certain area of specialisation determined by each higher education institution itself, including at least 30 higher education credits with in-depth studies in the main field of study. In addition, the student must hold a Degree of Bachelor, a Degree of Bachelor of Arts in… a professional degree worth at least 180 higher education credits or an equivalent foreign qualification.

For a Degree of Master (60 credits) students must have completed an independent project (degree project) worth at least 15 higher education credits in their main field of study, within the framework of the course requirements.

Local regulations
A Degree of Master (60 credits) may, except for courses on advanced level, contain one or several courses on basic level comprising not more than 15 higher education credits. The course or the courses are meant to provide such additional competence as is needed for in-depth studies in the main field of study and cannot be included in the student’s basic degree.

Last modified: 2022-04-26