International Leisure, Tourism & Events Management

(M International Leisure, Tourism and Events Management), Master’s Degree, Full-time

Are you interested in developing sustainable leisure concepts from an economic and management perspective? This programme allows you to do just that.

  • Triple good rating by the Dutch-Flemish Accreditation Organization (NVAO), which makes this programme one of the best in its field. 
  • Combine academic and applied research and benefit from a strong link with the industry through active involvement in real research projects as part of the European Tourism Futures Institute (ETFI).
  • Learn how to work with scenario planning, an essential skill for leisure and tourism managers.



  • Master of Arts

Study start

  • September


  • Leeuwarden


  • English

Standard duration

12 months


Single Degree (60 ECTS)


  • tuition fee EU students Dutch Master of Arts (MA) €1,084
View all costs

Application deadlines

EU students: 15 August 
non-EU students: 31 May
More information


Graduates of our master programme in International Leisure, Tourism & Events Management have a variety of career opportunities in the labour market. These include jobs as policymakers at the local, regional or national level or as managers at a hotel chain, theme park or other venues.

Careers open to graduates include:

  • Policy and Planning
  • Research and Education
  • Consultancy and Development
  • Management

Admission requirements

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 in International Leisure, Tourism & Events Management include Leisure / Tourism / Events Management, Economics and Business Management.

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 through 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 you do not have a relevant bachelor’s degree, please apply anyway through Studielink as we evaluate applications to 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 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.

Proof of English:

• 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). 

A prospect who has passed one of the mentioned secondary education exams, including English language as a part of the curriculum (mentioned by the NUFFIC) can be exempted from the mandatory language test.

Exemptions from the English test: - The prospect is a Dutch havo or vwo graduate - The language of instruction of the secondary school or university the prospect completed is English in a native English-speaking country (i.e. one of the following countries: Australia, Canada (Quebec excluded), Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom or the United States of America) - The prospect has obtained a diploma that is included in the list of diplomas compiled by Nuffic and one of the exam subjects was English.

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 12-month Master’s programme in International Leisure, Tourism & Events Management focuses on sustainability and quality of life within the context of the past, present and future. You will explore established theories relating to leisure and tourism (past), discuss current cases (present) and use scenario planning as a tool for identifying future trends and developments (future). The courses contains different education methods such as 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

Theoretical Perspectives on Leisure and Tourism

You will discuss current theories related to leisure and tourism, based on topics such as games, experience, culture, social class, lifestyle, mobility, the environment, development and economic systems. The objective of the course is to develop your own perspective on leisure and tourism.


Quality of Leisure and Tourism

This module examines quality in all its facets: you investigate the quality of recreation and tourism in relation to the quality of human life in general. You will learn to make connections between society and organisations using multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary methods. If you have opted for the Master of Science programme, it will start in this module.

Policy and Planning & the future of Leisure and Tourism?

This module focuses on the complex and dynamic nature of policymaking in the recreation and tourism industry. You will explore parameters and topics for developing policies, learn how to use scenario planning and how to apply change and project management for this purpose. The Master of Science programme will finish during this module.

Master’s thesis and elective

At this stage of the programme you will choose your minor (specialisation). You can opt for one of the NHL Stenden EFTI projects, Entrepreneurship & Innovation, Managing Event Organisations or Current Issues in Heritage Management.

Electives Event Management

Have you chosen the elective Event Management? Then you will follow your lessons in separate classes, go on specific field trips, meet guest speakers from the industry, and get additional literature.


In this module you can choose between four exciting electives:

1. Entrepreneurship & Innovation

This includes entrepreneur­ ship, innovative concepts and business perspectives. This module is an accelerated research­-based programme designed to provide you with the opportunity to accrue the skills, framework, and learning experiences necessary to create business opportunities in service-oriented organisations, or new companies, by applying entrepreneurial and innovative initiatives.

2. Managing Events Organisations

This module addresses key concepts that help to understand how to manage an events organisation and how to create competitive advantages imperative to success.

3.   ETFI Projects

This module focuses on a research project related to the research programmes of the research unit of the Academy of Leisure & Tourism Management.

4. Current Issues in Heritage

On successful completion of the module you will be able to critically assess the potential of heritage in contemporary society with specified application to the leisure, tourism and events industries in a given situation

Practical learning

As part of your course, you will be working closely with the European Tourism Future Institute (ETFI), NHL Stenden’s research institute dedicated to tourism. The ETFI specialises in developing, researching and applying scenario planning related to tourism and leisure.

International Opportunities

Accreditation and quality labels

The Master’s programme in International Leisure and Tourism Studies has received the following accreditation and quality labels: 

  • Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO): ‘triple good rating’
  • International Centre of Excellence in Tourism & Hospitality Education (THE-ICE)

Additional information

To view the full course programme, please feel free to download the our brochure.

Educational methods

You will discover a variety of educational methods during the programme, including seminars, workshops, lectures, presentations, group assignments and guest lectures.