Available in clearing

 - Call +44 (0)1332 592019

Course details

Study options

Full-time: 2 years

UK/EU fee

£9,250 per year (2019/20)

International fee

£13,250 per year (2019/20)

UCAS points

48 (September 2019 entry)

UCAS code


Course level




Start date



Buxton Campus

Course description

Join a university which has led the way in spa management education. Highly regarded by employers, our FdSc International Spa Management has a strong focus on work-based learning to give you the edge in your career.

Study Spa Management at the University of Derby

The spa industry is big business, employing 2.1 million people worldwide and representing a global market worth $98.6 billion*. If you would like to work in this fast-growing sector – and join a profession which offers immense personal satisfaction – our FdSc International Spa Management gives you an excellent head start.

*Global Wellness Institute

Glorious heritage, sparkling futures

Buxton is a vibrant spa, wellness and hospitality town where people have been coming to ‘take the waters’ for over 500 years. Today it is equally famed for its role in nurturing a new generation of spa management professionals.

In 2001, the University of Derby pioneered spa management degrees in the UK. Since then we have built an international reputation as a centre of excellence for the subject.

By joining the FdSc International Spa Management, you will benefit from all the advantages which have helped make our name – outstanding facilities, innovative teaching, strong links with industry leaders, impressive student support and practical experience at its best.

A powerful combination of skills

This course equips you with all the theoretical knowledge, technical skills, practical experience and professional attitudes you need to succeed in supervisory roles in the sector.  It gives you a thorough understanding of the spa environment from every angle, with a strong international dimension running throughout your studies.

You will learn not only about treatments and therapies but also about managing people, business strategy, marketing, communications, sales and promotions to maximise your career opportunities. Research skills will deepen your insights into the industry too.

Work placements are an essential feature of this course. You will spend time gaining invaluable professional experience at our own commercial spa and with other employers in the sector. 

Your study programme offers maximum flexibility. At the end of the two years, you can choose to leave with a highly regarded FdSc qualification or – if you have a minimum of a merit profile – can progress to the final stage of our BSc (Hons) International Spa Management or BSc (Hons) Wellness Management.

Study in an award-winning day spa

We offer a real working environment for your studies: our world-class commercial day spa. In 2016 the Devonshire Spa was named ‘Day Spa of the Year’ by Professional Beauty magazine, triumphing over some of the top names in the country. We have now reached the finals of this prestigious competition on three occasions and Spa has recently been named Best Luxury Emerging Spa in Northern Europe at the World Luxury Spa Awards 2017.

The spa includes sauna, steam room, aromatherapy room, hydrotherapy pool, ice fountain, reflexology foot baths and hammam, so you will gain insights into the full range of spa experiences and treatments. You will also undertake a variety of roles within the spa for a broad overview of the profession. Your course fees cover the cost of a uniform plus the spa products you use in your practical classes.

It all means you are guaranteed a real-world learning experience which is second to none. No other university boasts such exceptional spa facilities: your ‘classroom’ will be a commercial facility which the professionals have rated as first class.

Make connections that count

We have forged strong partnerships with some of the world’s foremost spa and hospitality providers, including Macdonald Hotels and Six Senses Hotel Resort Spas plus many more. These collaborations open doors to fact-finding visits, case studies, guest lectures, work-based projects, placements and internship opportunities.

You will meet influential figures from the profession at industry days and other networking events hosted on our campus. The annual Buxton Spa and Wellness Conference, for instance, gives you the chance to take part in a major international conference, network with keynote and workshop speakers, and broaden your professional contacts at the gala dinner. Organisations often use this event to talent spot their future employees.

Our staff play a key role in the UK Spa Association, the International Spa Association (ISPA) and the International Centre of Excellence in Tourism and Hospitality Education (THE-ICE). This means you will keep up to date with latest initiatives to ensure high standards and professionalism at all levels of the industry.

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

Work with exclusive brands

Our associations with premium product brands bring an extra dimension to your studies.  We are 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.

Our students regularly gain experience by working as brand ambassadors, representing the companies at events countrywide, such as the Professional Beauty show in London. Some students had the chance to deliver Ishga treatments in the VIP area at the Women’s Open Golf Championships.

Fieldtrips near and far

Your course fees cover a residential fieldtrip each year, including travel, accommodation and spa use. These take in innovative new spas as well as more traditional spas steeped in history. Recent examples include the Roman Bath Museum and Thermae Spa in Bath and a trip to Champneys Springs to experience a destination spa from a guest perspective.

Your course will also feature optional fieldtrips to observe spas and resorts overseas, broadening your cultural awareness and global outlook. Estonia and Iceland are the latest to figure on our action-packed calendar of events. 

5thfor Hospitality, Events & Tourism**The Guardian University Guide 2020
University of Derby athlete overlaid on neon green chevrons pointing right on a black background

Our Clearing hotline is now open

It’s not too late to secure your place for September. Call our Clearing hotline on +44 (0)1332 592019 to secure your place for 2019.

Contact our Clearing teamContact our Clearing team

What you will study

To complete the FdSc International Spa Management, you will study modules such as:

  • Academic Study Skills
  • Marketing and Communications
  • The Global Spa and Wellness Concept
  • Treatment Application and Physiology
  • Advanced Treatment Application and Physiology
  • Work Placement 1: Spa
  • Research Skills
  • Business Development
  • Managing People
  • Spa Facilities and Operations Supervision
  • Spa Sales and Promotions
  • Work Placement 2: Spa

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.

Students welcoming guests to a Buxton Open Day

Find out more about International Spa Management

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

Book your Open DayBook your Open Day

How you will learn

The FdSc International Spa Management gives you a thorough understanding of the practical and professional aspects of spa and wellness, including how to deliver a range of treatments. Allied to this, you will also build your management, marketing and business development know-how.

You will learn through lectures, tutorials, seminars and practical experience in workplace settings. Real industry-based case studies show you how research can be used to support decision-making within the industry.

Your contact with the spa and wellness industry will also be strengthened via field work, visiting speakers, industry days, competitions, challenges, employer events and the chance to work with various product brands.  

Placements within our own commercial spa and the wider industry will help you put theory into practice, boost your confidence and raise your professional profile. 

Who you'll meet

Our enthusiastic team of lecturers will inspire and motivate you to excel. All have strong industry backgrounds, together with extensive contacts across the sector.

We pride ourselves on being approachable, taking the time to get to know you and your career aspirations. Class sizes are small, which means you receive more one-to-one support and can make your voice heard. You will have a personal tutor to give you advice and guidance throughout your studies.

Research expertise to inspire you

Our staff enjoy a growing international profile for quality research and contribute regularly to major conferences and high impact journals. Their interests span subjects such as the evolution of spa and wellness experiences; management skills in the spa industry; customer service; and wellness tourism.

Members of the team have also collaborated on a major textbook – International Spa Management: Principles and Practice – which is the first of its kind to provide a thorough insight into the world of spa management and the industry’s phenomenal growth worldwide.

Your programme leader

Lorraine Baker is an experienced practitioner who has worked in hotels and spas across the UK. She has run her own successful business and is passionate about the industry, regularly attending conferences, exhibitions and networking events with other leading spa professionals. She has particular research interests in guest services and the guest journey. 

Entry requirements

September 2019 typical entry requirements

UCAS points48 (up to 16 from AS-levels)
Specific requirements at A-levelN/A
Specific requirements at GCSEGCSE Maths and English Grade C/Grade 4 (or above) or equivalent qualification
IELTS6.0 (with 5.5 in each skills area)
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.

Non-UCAS tariff based Level 3 qualifications from subject related areas will also be considered for entry.

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.

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.

Part-time students should apply directly to the University.

Apply through UCASApply directly to the University

Guidance for EU students post-Brexit

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

Guidance for international applicants applying for an undergraduate degree


As demand for professional, skilled recruits continues to grow in the spa and wellness industry, the FdSc International Spa Management will help you stand out from the crowd. Boasting a strong employability track record, the course is the ideal platform for you to start out at a supervisory level and then progress to management positions or to launch your own business.

Student success stories

Our students have gone on to roles in many locations in the UK and overseas, securing jobs at organisations including the five-star La Residencia Spa Hotel in Mallorca and Elemis. Sophie Thorne, for instance, is now manager at Imagine Spa at The Shrewsbury Club.

Take your learning to the next level

The FdSc also provides a firm foundation for you to gain an honours degree with one additional year of study. Providing you achieve a merit or distinction profile at Level 5, you can progress directly to the final stage of our BSc (Hons) International Spa Management or BSc (Hons) Wellness Management. On average, at least 60% of our FdSc students decide to advance their learning in this way.

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.

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. 

Isobel Stockdale
Programme leader

Isobel is Head of Discipline of Applied Management. She has been in education for over 25 years but started her career in Beauty and Spa. Isobel was involved in the development of the first degree for Spa Management. She has responsibility for our Devonshire Spa, which has won several industry awards. 

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.

Contact us Contact us

† Additional information about your studies

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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