International Hospitality and Service Management

M International Hospitality and Service Management, Master’s Degree, Full-time

Do you have a service-minded attitude and are you critical and curious? Do you always have the customer's interest in mind? Are you looking for the best possible preparation for a successful career in the hospitality industry? Then you will find that this master's degree in International Hospitality and Service Management is perfect for you!

  • Study outcomes aligned with the World Forum’s list of Top skills of 2025.
  • Highly international programme with students and staff from diverse backgrounds.
  • Close connection with the industry through projects and collaborations, as well as practical backgrounds of lecturers.
  • Awarded with highest rating by the Dutch Flemish Accreditation Organization.
  • Supportive environment of NHL Stenden and especially in the thesis process.
  • High degrees of individual freedom with project, assignment and thesis topics, as well as with Elective offers.



  • Master of Arts

Study start

  • September


  • Leeuwarden


  • English

Standard duration

14 months


Single degree (60 ECTS)


  • Master of Arts EU and NON-EU: €10,716
View all costs

Application deadlines

EU: 15 August
Non-EU: 31 May
More information

More information?

  • Visit the website of Stenden Hotel Management School for more information
Visit the website of Stenden Hotel Management School


A master’s degree (MA) in International Hospitality and Service Management prepares you for a successful career in the service or hospitality industry. This industry is growing at a tremendous pace with an expected increase of more than 30% of jobs worldwide by 2022. The hospitality industry is undergoing constant change, not least driven by shifting customer demands. These changes add to the complexity of the role of hospitality manager, and as a highly skilled graduate of this course you will be in high demand at a variety of companies all over the world.

Strategic job

As a hospitality and service management professional, you will have an interesting job in a dynamic and exciting industry. You will be trained for a strategic management position, managing all aspects of the services provided. You will help develop the organisational structure, strategies, processes and corporate culture from the customer’s perspective.

Careers open to you after graduation include:

  • General Manager
  • Head of Research & Development
  • Sales and Marketing Manager
  • Corporate Policy Advisor
  • Lecturer/Academic staff member
  • Academic Programme Leader
  • Director of Human Resources
  • Entrepreneur

Accreditations and quality labels

The master’s programme in International Hospitality and Service Management has received the following accreditations and quality labels:

Academic Requirements

To be admitted to this master’s programme, you will need to meet admission requirements as outlined in Dutch Higher Education law. For an international master’s programme at NHL Stenden, you will need a relevant bachelor’s degree that is at least equivalent to an NLQF 6/EQF 6 level (Dutch/European Qualifications Framework)*and comparable to an admissible Dutch bachelor diploma.

In general, you will need a relevant bachelor’s degree (NLQF 6/EQF 6) from a recognized university to be admitted to this master’s programme. Relevant fields of study for the master’s programme in International Hospitality & Service Management include Hospitality Management, Leisure / Tourism / Events Management, Economics and Business Studies.

Your qualifications will be assessed by an Admissions Officer at the Central Student Administration (CSA) department at NHL Stenden once you have applied for the specific programme in Studielink. In addition to the degree you have obtained, CSA will also consider your motivation letter and CV as part of the admissions procedure.

If you wish to apply but do not have a relevant bachelor’s degree, please apply anyway through Studielink as we evaluate applications for master’s programmes on a case-by-case basis. In all cases, an interview may form part of the admissions procedure. 

If it is unclear what the equivalent level of your bachelor diploma is within the Dutch education system, NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences will have your diploma evaluated by the Nuffic, a Dutch organisation specialised in the assessment of international qualifications. For an indication of how your educational system compares to the Dutch system, please visit the Nuffic website.

* The European Qualifications Framework (EQF) is a tool for understanding and comparing qualifications awarded in different countries and by different education and training systems. Its eight levels are described in terms of learning outcomes: knowledge, skills and competences. The levels of the Dutch Qualification Framework (NLQF) are linked to the levels of the EQF.

All non-EU/EEA applicants are required to submit an English proficiency test with their application to show that their English language skills are at a high enough level to succeed in their studies.

Exceptions can be made for students who have had their preparatory education in a country where English is the only official educational language.

If you are applying for a master’s degree and hold a diploma listed here, and English was included as part of the final exam curriculum, then the additional English language test is not required. The same applies to students who have attained General Certificates of Secondary Education (enough O and A/AS levels with the sufficient score), the European Baccalaureate Certificate, International Baccalaureate Diploma, or an IB career-related programme taught fully in English.

All other applicants need to submit a valid and adequate English language test result with their application.

NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences accepts four kinds of official language tests in accordance with the Code of Conduct International Student in Dutch Higher Education:
• Academic IELTS 6.0 ** (with an advised minimum of 5.0 for each skill) 
• TOEFL 550 ** (paper-based), 213 (computer-based) or 80 (internet-based). Original test results must be sent directly from the Educational Testing Service to NHL Stenden. The TOEFL institution code for NHL Stenden is C652. 
• Cambridge ESOL score FCE-C (169, or higher). 
• TOEIC *670 (Listening and Reading) and 290 (Speaking and Writing). 

*We only accept TOEIC® certificates from public programs and not from institutional programs. Public programs are organized in public centers and delivers an official score report which is recognized worldwide.
** IELTS, TOEFL and TOEIC certificates more than 2 years old (at the start date of the study), will not be accepted.

View the comparison of the different scores.

Please note: If you do not yet have the necessary level in English, you may enrol in our Preparatory English Language Course or the Pre-Master Programme.

About the course

Master of Arts (MA)

The 14-month master programme in International Hospitality and Service Management introduces you to key concepts such as service, hospitality, service concepts and customer satisfaction, as well as covering areas as diverse as sustainability, entrepreneurship, globalisation and working with multicultural teams. You will be trained as a specialist in these areas over a 14-month period, taking four ten-week modules. Additionally, you can acquire real-life work experience during your studies at the Stenden Hotel, a 4-star property owned and operated by Stenden Hotel Management School and used as a training venue for its students. You will attend classes based on a variety of teaching methods, including seminars, workshops, lectures, presentations, group assignments and guest lectures.

As part of your studies, you will take three modules that prepare you for the process of writing your final-year thesis. You will learn how to develop a research proposal and how to collect and analyse data. 

Module 1: Setting the framework

Principles of Hospitality & Service Management

This module is designed to enhance your knowledge and understanding of hospitableness, service quality, customer satisfaction and other principles relevant to the hospitality industry and the broader service industry.

Service Performance Improvements

This module aims to provide a broad introduction to the topic of performance, operations analysis and performance measurement. The leading theme is the analysis of operations. In their operations, service businesses create value for their customers.

Sustainable Value Creation in the Hospitality Industry

This module emphasises the important aspects of sustainable development, the intrinsic contribution of corporate social responsibility, the key role of ethics and the imperative use of stakeholder analysis in the management of hospitality organisations in the transition towards sustainability.

Strategic Human Resource Management

This module seeks to challenge the notions of Strategic Human Resource Management in the global hospitality and service industry. Strategic Human Resource Management plans and their implementation will be examined within the context of the challenges posed to the industry.

Financial Decision Making

The module Financial Decision Making presents the key principles of finance necessary to understand and implement the finance function in an organisation and carry out the financial analysis that justifies the decision-making process. 

Three research modules parallel to modules 1-3 prepare you to write your thesis by exploring how to define a contemporary hospitality/service management research topic, how to write a well-balanced and detailed research proposal, and how to perform appropriate data collection and analysis.


In this module you can choose between three exiting electives:
Please check our specialisations for details.

  1. Entrepreneurship & Innovation
  2. Managing Events Organisations
  3. AIHR Projects

Thesis analysis & writing

The thesis finalises the master stage of the programme and is a major piece of individually researched work. This is your opportunity to complete in-depth research into an issue or problem derived from and planned in your previous modules.


In module 4 you can choose between three exiting electives:

  1. Entrepreneurship and Innovation. This elective specialisation focuses on the development, implementation and management of innovations in the hospitality and service industries. New hospitality and service concepts are constantly appearing on the high street and online - even as a result of Covid19 restrictions! This module will take students through the skills, frameworks and learning experiences required to develop and launch new initiatives in small and large service organisations, whether they are small pop-up food and beverage facilities, one-off or regular stand-alone events or about creating a spirit of intrapreneurship within large hospitality, airline or healthcare environments.
  2. Managing Events Organisations. Global events such as the Leeuwarden 2018 European Capital of Culture have a major impact on the local community in financial but also social, cultural and infrastructure terms. As such, students need to be potential for development that such events provide for the organisers, participants and the wider community, while at the same time being aware of sustainability challenges and the potential for harm to cultural artifacts and traditions. This module addresses these and supports students in developing and managing events which are a success for all stakeholders within the service sector. 
  3. AIHR Projects. Students on the MIHSM are fortunate to be able to collaborate with internationally qualified and experienced researchers within the Academy of International Hospitality Research. They have published in peer-reviewed academic journal on topics such as Hospitality, hostmanship, hospitals, sustainability, leadership, food waste, artifical intelligence, the gig economy, hospitality education, emotional labour, diversity, food and beverage, slow tourism, social entrepreneurship and service quality.

Practical learning

International Opportunities

Problem-based Learning (PBL)

Problem-based learning (PBL) is a style of active learning in which you learn by solving problems, as well as develop your practical abilities, including cultural skills, management skills, and meeting and presentation skills.

Design Based Education

All NHL Stenden programmes are working towards a system of Design Based Education (DBE), which puts co-creation with professionals in the field front and centre. You will be working in small teams of students, teachers, researchers, and industry professionals.