Course details

Study options

Full-time: †

UK/EU fee

£9,250 per year (2019/20)

International fee

£13,250 per year (2019/20)

UCAS points

112 (September 2019 entry)

UCAS code

B350, B301

Course level



BSc (Hons)

Start date



Buxton Campus

If you do not achieve the typical entry points required, you may want to consider studying this course with foundation year.

View with foundation year optionView with foundation year option

Course description

Set your career sights high at a university with a global reputation for excellence in spa management education. We will help you become a high-calibre, confident and work-ready graduate, with all the skills that industry leaders are seeking.

Already working in the profession and interested in improving your career prospects? You can also take this course on a flexible part-time basis.

International Spa Management student, Martya, talks about why she chose to study her course at Buxton, her student experience in England and how her degree will assist her career progression

Impressive facilities, quality teaching, strong industry networks and practical experience that is second to none – these are the hallmarks of our renowned BSc (Hons) International Spa Management.

Blazing a trail with spa management education

With our location in the vibrant spa, wellness and hospitality town of Buxton, it is no surprise that we were the first university to launch a spa management degree.  

For over 500 years, tourists have been coming to sample the healing properties of Buxton’s famed spa water. The town is now building on that legacy with the restoration of its magnificent Crescent as the Peak District’s first five-star thermal spa and wellness hotel.

Against this backdrop, we are fostering the next generation of spa management professionals. Our degree sets the bar high, offering a powerful mix of theoretical knowledge, technical skills and work-related experience.

Prepare for a career in a fast-moving global industry

The spa industry is undergoing remarkable growth worldwide. Between 2013 and 2015 alone, 16,000 more spas opened, creating 230,000 new jobs. The industry now represents a global market worth $98.6 billion*.

To meet an urgent demand for new talent in the sector, our degree is designed in consultation with key employers. You will gain high-level skills in delivering professional spa treatments and first class customer service. At the same time, you will develop management and leadership prowess.

We cover all the trends, values and practices shaping the profession today, drawing on global case studies. You will also join a thriving research community, working with our expert staff on projects which influence the industry’s future direction. 

*Global Wellness Institute

Ideally placed for success

Work experience – not only in our own commercial spa but also with other employers – is central to the BSc (Hons) International Spa Management. Placements and summer internships give you the chance to improve your professional skills and benefit from workplace mentoring.

If you are taking the four-year course, a formal industry placement lasting nine to 12 months is compulsory between your second and final year. You normally work as a paid employee. While placements are not compulsory on the three-year course, we support you to gain experience during your vacation in paid or voluntary roles.

A successful placement is often a route into a permanent job. One of our 2016 graduates, Melanie Gullett, spent a summer working at the exclusive Walled Garden Spa at Loch Lomond Golf Club and has now taken up a role there.

Learn in a world-class commercial day spa

Acclaimed by students, clients and professionals alike, our Devonshire Spa offers you unparalleled experience. No other university boasts such a highly rated real-world learning environment. In 2016 it was named ‘Day Spa of the Year’ by Professional Beauty magazine.

Featuring a sauna, aroma steam room hydrotherapy pool, ice fountain, reflexology foot baths and hammam, it is an inspirational setting where you will deliver the full range of spa experiences to commercial standards. You will also learn more about the different functions which go into the running of a top-class spa, such as budgeting, human resource management, facilities management and retailing.

Your course fees cover the cost of a uniform plus the spa products you use in practical classes.

Employer links to open doors for you

We work closely with leading spa and hospitality providers, including Macdonald Hotels, Six Senses Hotel Resort Spas, Center Parcs, Handpicked Hotels, Neilson Active Holidays, and the Dorchester Collection. Such collaborations pave the way to workplace visits, guest lectures and employer-led projects.

Prominent industry figures regularly join networking events hosted on our campus, taking the opportunity to talent spot their future recruits. You will attend our annual Buxton Spa and Wellness Conference as a delegate, making valuable contacts with professionals from around the world.

Our students have also been invited to take part in the World Spa and Wellness Convention held annually in London, undertaking research into best practice and provide summaries of the sessions for delegates.

Premium brands at your fingertips

Ours is the only UK university approved to use and retail the full treatment offering of prestigious international brands ishga, Caudalie and [comfort zone]. We also work closely with Jessica and Mii.

There may even be the chance to work as brand ambassadors at events such as the Professional Beauty show in London. One group delivered ishga treatments in the VIP area at the Women’s Open Golf Championships.

To add to your portfolio, you will complete a first aid course, which is included in your fees. Qualifications in Swedish body massage, waxing, manicure and pedicure may also be available, subject to demand and at additional cost.

A strong professional profile

We keep you up to date with latest industry initiatives through our associations with the UK Spa Association, the International Spa Association (ISPA), Global Wellness Summit (GWS) and the International Centre of Excellence in Tourism and Hospitality Education (THE-ICE).

When you join us, you automatically become a member of hosco, the world’s leading hospitality network offering access to around 30,000 graduate roles, internships and work experience opportunities from over 1,500 employers. 

A course to take you far

Our programme of fieldtrips will inspire you. Recent examples include a visit to the Roman Bath Museum and Thermae Spa in Bath and a trip to Champneys to explore a prestige spa from a guest perspective. Your course fees cover the cost of two residential fieldtrips.

Optional fieldtrips to spas and resorts overseas broaden your horizons further still, giving you insights into global trends and deepening your inter-cultural awareness. Our students have travelled as far afield as Iceland, Estonia, Hungary and Andorra.

You could even spend part of your course studying abroad via our Go Places, Go Further scheme. Thanks to our partnerships with universities in other countries, you can explore spa management from fresh perspectives and see more of the world.


What you will study

To complete the BSc (Hons) International Spa Management, you’ll study modules such as:

  • Marketing and Communication
  • The Global Spa and Wellness Concept
  • Spa Consumption: Theory and Practice
  • Treatment Philosophy and Physiology
  • Advanced Treatment Philosophy and Physiology
  • Introduction to Higher Education and Professional Development for Spa Managers
  • Research Skills
  • Business Development and Entrepreneurship
  • Management and Leadership
  • Spa Facilities and Operations Supervision
  • Spa Financial Performance
  • Employability and Supervision
  • Contemporary Issues in Professional Practice
  • Applied Professional Practice 

Choose to take an optional placement year, or continue straight to the final stage of your degree.

  • Consumer Behaviour
  • Strategic Management
  • Spa Operations Management
  • Wellness Tourism
  • International Spa Design
  • Evolution and Innovation in Spa
  • Independent Study

Throughout the course you will have the opportunity to complete short courses to expand your skills, including:

  • Emergency First Aid (included in course fees)
  • VTCT courses in: Swedish Body Massage, Waxing, and Manicure and Pedicure - available subject to demand and at additional cost.

How you will learn

The BSc (Hons) International Spa Management equips you with a balance of academic, practical and professional skills. You will learn through lectures, tutorials, seminars, workshops and applied practice sessions.

Throughout your studies, you will put theory into practice by working in the University’s Devonshire Spa and other commercial environments. Your connections with employers will also be underpinned by guest lectures, industry days, competitions, challenges and the chance to work with various product brands.

If you choose the four-year course, your industrial placement will take between nine and 12 months. It is structured, relevant and designed to improve your academic performance as well as boosting your employability. Our dedicated and well connected placement team will help you find just the right position to match your career aspirations and professional interests.

Our graduates are also well prepared to contribute to new knowledge and understandings for the benefit of the industry. From the outset of the course, you will build research skills. Your final year culminates in an independent study or project where you will plan, deliver and communicate a substantial investigation into a theme of your choice.


Assessment methods include:

Entry requirements

September 2019 typical entry requirements

UCAS points112 (up to 16 from AS-levels)
Specific requirements at A-level

No specific subject requirements

Specific requirements at GCSEGCSE Maths and English Grade C/Grade 4 (or above) or equivalent qualification
Interview / AuditionN/A

Alternative entry qualifications:

We usually consider an A-level in General Studies as a supplementary qualification. A good application/performance will be taken into account if you do not meet the criteria/offer conditions.

Our entry requirements for this course should be read together with the University's general entry requirements, which details subjects we accept, alternative qualifications and what we're looking for at Derby.

Smiling girl with scarf sitting in cafe with cup of coffee

Find out more about International Spa Management

The best way to find out if studying at Derby is right for you is to experience an Open Day. Get a feel for the city and campus, tour our first-class facilities and see where you could be living.

Book your Open DayBook your Open Day

Fees and funding

2019/20 Fees


£9,250 per year



£13,250 per year


Further information about our fees and support you may be entitled to.

Additional costs and optional extras

How to apply

UK/EU students

Full-time students applying to start in September should apply for this course through UCAS or you can apply directly to the University for an undergraduate course if you’re not applying to any other UK university in the same year.

Apply through UCASApply directly to the University

International students

Full-time students applying to start in September should apply for this course through UCAS or you can apply directly to the University for an undergraduate course if you’re not applying to any other UK university in the same year.

Apply through UCASApply directly to the University

Information for international applicants

Applying for an undergraduate degree


Concerted efforts are being made to bring greater professionalism to the spa industry. Demand is rising for skilled spa professionals with a strong portfolio of qualifications and practical experience. At the same time, the associated wellness industry is on the cusp of becoming a major area of employment in the UK.

Our BSc (Hons) International Spa Management therefore places you in prime position to seize the opportunities ahead. You could progress to roles such as spa manager, spa operations supervisor or head therapist. There are also opportunities in areas like brand account management, marketing and promotion, training and consultancy. Some graduates decide to launch their own businesses, drawing on the enterprise skills they have developed during their studies.

Graduate success stories

Employers often recruit our students immediately – or even before – they have graduated. Among many success stories from our latest group of graduates:

Take your learning to the next level

Once you have achieved your honours degree, you may also want to consider a postgraduate course, such as our MSc International Spa Management which was the first of its kind in the world. Around 10% of our graduates progress directly to the MSc and others choose to return later to upgrade their qualifications and support their move into more senior roles.

Ongoing careers support

We’re committed to improving your employability at every stage of your studies. Our teaching staff join forces with the Careers and Employment Service to deliver workshops on subjects such as networking, CV writing and effective use of social media.

The support continues once you’ve graduated too: you are entitled to further help and guidance for up to three years after leaving the University. You can also take full advantage of the hosco careers network to discover opportunities and share good practice with other professionals.

Tony Loynes
Programme leader

Tony Loynes is the course director for the Applied Management programmes at the University of Derby.

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

3 years, or 4 years with optional placement year

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.

Additional costs and optional extras

We’re committed to providing you with an outstanding learning experience. Our expert teaching, state-of-the-art facilities and great employability prepare you for your future career. As part of our commitment to you we aim to keep any additional study costs to a minimum. However, there are occasions where students may incur some additional costs.

Included in your fees

Mandatory costs not included in your fees

Optional costs not included in your fees

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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