Available for January start

Course details

Study options

Full-time: 1 year, Part-time: up to 6 years

UK/EU fee

£850 per 20 credits* (2019/20)

International fee

£14,250 for the full programme (2019/20)

Course level




Start dates

January, September


Buxton Campus

Course description

Described as ‘the best in the world’ by ‘Master of Spa’ and Six Senses Vice-President Anna Bjurstam, this is the only course of its kind in the world to prepare you for a management career in spa and wellness.

Your MSc International Spa Management studies will prepare you for work in key management roles in spa and wellness as you develop a critical understanding of the global spa industry, its practices and the changing nature of consumer behaviour. You will increase your understanding and appreciation between academic theory and research and its practical application in the workplace, studying spa operations, project management, sustainable management systems, risk management, marketing, financial planning and strategy.

You will devise strategic and operational plans for the management of spa related organisations and explore the increasingly complex nature of the industry in relation to customisation and commodification, globalisation and glocalisation. As well as all of this you will have the opportunity to test your research ideas in the Devonshire Spa, our onsite commercial day spa.

Links with employers and industry 

We have strong links with the world’s leading spa and hospitality providers and have an enviable teaching reputation.

We also host a range of industry events at our Buxton Campus including:

Throughout you will meet key industry representatives from organisations such as Six Senses, Danubius, Mandarin Oriental and Elemis and you will study alongside international students to help you to develop your knowledge of global practice.

This means you can be confident you are learning the latest techniques and practices for today’s industry, and that you will be networking and developing links with the sectors leading employers.

Placements - Available to UK/EU students only

Study full time and you have the option to include an integrated work placement of up to 12 months as part of your Masters qualification. By choosing this option you will study your Independent Scholarship module ‘on-the-job’, allowing you to research real world issues faced by your company.

If you are not currently employed, we can support you to find a suitable placement.

Study while you earn

Our teaching and learning strategy allows you to study while you remain in employment. You will complete ‘blended learning modules’ where most of your learning is undertaken online with the support of module tutors.


Our award-winning academic team specialise in international spa management. Passionate and enthusiastic, they are active members of research groups and professional bodies such as the Global Spa Summit. They have strong international links and partners in teaching and research, including universities in Estonia, Italy, Hungary and New Zealand.

Programme leader - Dr Iride Azara
Iride is the Masters Scheme Leader for Postgraduate courses in Spa and Wellness Management, Tourism Management, Hospitality and Culinary Management and Events Management. She has extensive industry experience having worked in several award-winning 4*and 5* star hotels as well as for Meridiana Fly, one of Italy’s leading airlines. Iride is a published author and is an active researcher in the spa and wellness field. She is a member of ISPA International Spa Association.

What you will study

To complete the MSc Events Management, you’ll study modules such as:

  • Spa Operations and Project Management
  • The Spa Consumer
  • Research Methodologies
  • Integrated Business Management (double module)
  • Strategic Directions
  • Independent Scholarship (triple module) - on this module you will develop your analytical and critical skills while investigating in detail a service sector topic of your choice. Independent study forms the entire Masters stage of the programme.

Please note that our modules are subject to change - we review the content of our courses regularly, making changes where necessary to improve your experience and graduate prospects.

How you will learn

The teaching and learning methods we use include lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops, practical fieldwork exercises and online learning materials. Whether you are studying full or part-time, independent learning will account for around 60% of your time.

On average, 20 credit modules take 200 hours to complete, 40 credit modules take 400 hours and 60 credit modules take 600 hours.

All modules are taught within the academic calendar (September through to July), but the pattern of delivery is flexible depending on the needs of the cohort, industry and university. It may include weekends, a block study week, weekly during the academic year or blended learning.

The assessment methods we use are designed to hone your professional skills and include briefing reports, pitches, presentations, essays, unseen examinations and case studies.

Entry requirements


Every applicant is assessed individually on their merits and will need to attend either a face to face or Skype interview. Students applying for the MA with integrated work placement will need to attend an additional interview with a prospective industry organisation.

English language requirements

Fees and funding

2019/20 Fees (August 2019 - July 2020)


£850 per 20 credits*

£850 per 20 credits*


£14,250 for the full programme


*Note – at postgraduate level, you’ll need to gain the following number of credits in total to obtain the awards below.

Postgraduate Certificate60 Credits
Postgraduate Diploma120 Credits
MA or MSc180 Credits

This means you will gain 180 credits in total to complete the full MA or MSc. If you are studying part time you will normally complete your studies over two or three years, depending on the course structure.

Please note that all fees may be subject to annual increase.

How to apply


Whether you are a recent graduate looking to enhance your industry knowledge and career prospects, or a current industry practitioner wanting to retrain or obtain a formal qualification in international spa management, this  MSc International Spa Management course provides the knowledge, professional skills and practical tools necessary to excel at management level.

Many of our students have accessed senior management positions in spa and wellness organisations or moved into academia and the research arena.

Dr Iride Azara
Programme leader

Dr. Iride Azara is a Senior Lecturer in Tourism and Events, and active researcher across several University research groups and International recognised research associations. Dr. Azara has extensive experience in undergraduate and postgraduate MSc programme management in Tourism, Events, Hospitality and Spa.

View full staff profileView full staff profile

Contact us

If you need any more information from us, eg on courses, accommodation, applying, car parking, fees or funding, please contact us and we will do everything we can to help you.

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† Additional information about your studies

1 year, or up to 20 months with integrated placement (UK/EU students only)

Part-time option only available to UK/EU students.

Download programme specification

Teaching hours

Like most universities, we operate extended teaching hours at the University of Derby, so contact time with your lecturers and tutors could be anytime between 9am and 9pm. Your timetable will usually be available on the website 24 hours after enrolment on to your course.

Please note: Our courses are refreshed and updated on a regular basis. If you are thinking about transferring onto this course (into the second year for example), you should contact the programme leader for the relevant course information as modules may vary from those shown on this page.

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