BSc (Hons) Ecotourism

Why choose this course?

  • The BSc (Hons) Ecotourism is the UK’s only undergraduate degree which explicitly examines the complex relationship between tourism and the environment.
  • You will study in the amazing surrounding of Oaklands Manor in Buxton, our 58 acre outdoor leadership centre, making it a perfect place for you to study ecotourism, right in the heart of the Peak District.
  • The degree utilises field based learning at its core, with national and international fieldtrips running every year.
  • In year three you will spend up to six weeks in Botswana working on tourism conservation projects.
  • The subject area at Buxton is rated fifth in the The Guardian University Guide 2014.

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Fact file

UCAS code: N8C0

Start date: September

Course length: full time: three years.

Campus: Buxton Campus and Oaklands Manor

Faculty: University of Derby Buxton

This course is available to international students

You can also study Ecotourism (Joint Honours Buxton) as part of a Joint Honours degree.

About this course

The widely publicised threats to the ecosystem of the planet are making more people aware of the need to achieve an ecological balance in all our activities. This has led to a wide acceptance and understanding of the need for a more sustainable version of tourism or ‘ecotourism’.

As a result there is a demand for knowledgeable and skilled professionals who understand the impact tourism can have on the environment. The BSc Ecotourism has been developed and is delivered with these issues in mind.  Field based learning lies at the core of the degree and you will take national, European and African fieldtrips over your three years. You will face challenging case studies; including examining land-use conflicts, development impacts, resource management, species conservation and human-environment relationships.

We're a proud member of The International Ecotourism Society (TIES) a non-profit industry association committed to promoting responsible tourism practices that benefit conservation and communities.

Representing the voices of stakeholders from all corners of the world, TIES' global network supports and is supported by members from over 120 countries, who are leading the vital efforts to make travel and tourism more sustainable.

Through its various programmes TIES is committed to helping organizations, communities and individuals promote and practice the principles of ecotourism.

What you will cover

On the BSc Ecotourism students look specifically at tourism and ecology, sustainable development, tourism and poverty and outdoor and nature-based education. You will study tourism modules which will include aspects of tourism, ie the cultural, social and economic importance of travel, hospitality, ethics, and business. You will learn about natural resources, environmental history, conservation and community growth and development, as well as the practical aspects of ecotourism, such as planning trips, wilderness training and safety, financial and business management and operating under the 14009 environmental standards.

You will study all this in natural locations, locally, nationally and internationally, including in forests and wilderness areas, in the heart of Peak District as well as at Oaklands Manor, our outdoor leadership centre.

Year one

Term one Outdoor Research and Professional Development 1 Introduction to the Natural Environment Introduction to Ecotourism
Term two Introduction to Managing the Ecotourism Business Tourism and Ecology*

Adventure Geography

Year two

Term one Outdoor Research and Professional Development 2 Managing the Ecotourism Business Ecotourism Consumption
Term two GIS and Applied Mapping Nature Conservation Ecotourism Conservation in Practise*

Year three

Term one Ecology Sustainable Management Systems Current Issues and Professional Development Independent Study
Term two Critical Reflections on Ecotourism*

*Modules contain national, European and African fieldtrips respectively. The majority of fieldtrip costs (airfares, accommodation and ground transport) are included in your fees.

Entry requirements

Our entry requirements are usually 260 UCAS points, of which at least 220 will be from your core A2s (full A levels) or equivalent qualifications such as BTEC Diploma, International Baccalaureate, Scottish Highers etc.

We'll accept up to 40 points towards the total from level 3 qualifications such as AS levels (where those AS levels are not taken on to A2 level), the Extended Project or Music qualifications.

We don't accept points from Key Skills Level 3. If you have any questions about what is or isn't accepted, please contact our Admissions team.

We also accept the Access to HE Diploma.

Your points at level 3 will be in addition to 5 GCSEs at grade C or equivalent level 2 qualifications.

The UCAS tariff points are a guide - we'll also consider all the information that you've included in your application. We'll also want to see that you're enthusiastic and motivated to take this course and that you have the potential to benefit from coming to university.

General undergraduate entry requirements

How to apply

UK/EU students

  • Full time students should apply for this course through UCAS.

International students

Information for international applicants

Applying for an undergraduate degree

Fees and finance

This is a premium course.

UK/EU students

  • Full time: £9,000 (each year)

International students

  • Please contact us for fee information.

The majority of fieldtrip costs (airfares, accommodation and ground transport) are included in your fees.

*These fees apply if you're starting this course between September 2013 and August 2014. We recommend you check fee details with us though, as they can change. Costs can increase each year.

Careers and employability

There are lots of exciting career options open to you when you complete this programme in Buxton. Undergraduate study in ecotourism will allow you to progress into the tourism sector: specialising in sustainable/responsible tourism initiatives, both in the public and private sector. Combining ecotourism with another pathway on the Joint Honours programme will also diversify the nature of your skills, allowing you to progress into other sectors of employment (For example: outdoor recreation, countryside management or adventure tourism).

This course has been developed using guidelines from the Hospitality, Leisure, Sport and Tourism (HLST) Network.

Through our links with regional, national and international tourism organisations this course is supported by employers and and the Tourism Management Institute.

During the course you can make professional links with the International Tourism Society.

Contact details

Course enquiries

Course leader: Dr Tony Johnston
T: +44 (0) 1298 330441

If you are a UK or EU student, contact us

T: +44 (0)1332 591167

If you are an international student, contact us

T: +44 (0)1332 591698

Where will I study?

Buxton Campus and Oaklands Manor