Set your career sights high at a university with a global reputation for excellence in spa management education.
- Gain management and leadership skills which you can apply directly to the rapidly growing international spa and wellness industry
- Develop your practical and management skills to the highest professional standards in our award-winning commercial day spa.
- Study in the striking Devonshire Dome at Buxton, a town with a glorious spa heritage bordered by the Peak District National Park
- View the industry from a global perspective, with exciting opportunities to study abroad or go on placements overseas
Already working in the profession and interested in improving your career prospects? You can also take this course on a flexible part-time basis.
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.
Prepare for a career in a fast-moving global industry
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Industry Placement Year (optional)
This course offers an ‘Industrial Placement Year’ option, giving you the opportunity to enhance your practical skills by putting theory into practice, network in your industry and stand-out in the graduate job market. The placement year takes place in your third year, once completed, you would return to University to complete your final year of studies.
- 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.
Teaching and learning is accomplished through a variety of modes including traditional lectures, tutorials, seminars, and workshops. In addition, you will put theory into practice by working in the University’s Devonshire Spa, which provides hands-on experience within all areas of spa management, leadership and practical theory in action.
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.
A variety of assessment methods are used to provide you with skills ready for industry. Methods include:
- Essays and reports
- Industry case studies
- Oral presentations
- Academic posters
- Group work
- Independent intellectual study
September 2019 typical entry requirements
|UCAS points||112 (up to 16 from AS-levels)|
|Specific requirements at A-level|
No specific subject requirements
|Specific requirements at GCSE||GCSE Maths and English Grade C/Grade 4 (or above) or equivalent qualification|
|Interview / Audition||N/A|
Alternative entry qualifications:
- BTEC - DMM
- Access to HE Diploma 60 credits: 45 at level 3 with a minimum of Dist: 15 Merit: 24 Pass: 6
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.
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:
- Sophie Thorne secured her first role as Spa Manager for the Shrewsbury Club under Imagine Spa Management Services
- Lelia Fiastru became an Account Development Executive for Elemis
- Poppy Robinson took up a position as Spa Manager for Bannatynes
- Ieva Glaveckaite is undertaking a management internship with Four Seasons Hotels in Prague
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.
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.Contact us
† Additional information about your studies
3 years, or 4 years with optional placement year
January start is available for Stage 3 entry only
Download programme specification
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
- One spa uniform. Approximate value £60
- All spa products required for pratical classes
- A Year 1 residential field trip including all essential travel, accommodation and breakfast, and spa use
- A Year 2 residential field trip, including all essential travel, accommodation and entry fees
- First Aid certificate Approximate
Mandatory costs not included in your fees
- Flip flops
- Black and flat back shoes for practical training
Optional costs not included in your fees
- Optional international field trip to a new destination annually, approximate cost £500. Including travel, accommodation and breakfast, and any entry fees
- Any travel to and from airport must be funded and organised individually
- Study & work abroad opportunities, costs vary depending on destination. If travelling in Europe, students may be eligible for up to €250 a month maintenance grant through the Erasmus programme
- Optional attendance at the Spa Life Conference, approximate cost £100
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.