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? Do you want to earn a dual Master’s degree while doing so? 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. 
  • Earn a dual degree and get a Dutch Master of Arts (MA) and British Master of Science (MSc) in 14 months.
  • Our partner the University of Derby, UK, is ranked number one in the Guardian University League 2015 in Hospitality, Tourism and Events education.
  • 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 and Master of Science (Dual Degree)

Study start

  • September


  • Leeuwarden


  • English

Standard duration

12 months


Single Degree (60 ECTS)
Dual Degree (75 ECTS)


  • tuition fee EU students single degree (MA)€2,078
View all costs

Application deadlines

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


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

You require a bachelor’s degree to be admitted to International Hospitality and Service Management or International Leisure and Tourism Studies. If you do not hold a bachelor’s degree in Economics, Business, Management, Hospitality, Tourism, Leisure Studies or a related course but would like to enrol in either master programme, please send an email to Your application will be assessed on individual merits. In this case, a personal interview will be part of the application process.

All applicants for a master programme at NHL Stenden are required to submit an English proficiency test with their application. Exceptions are made for EU applicants and students who have completed their bachelor degree entirely in English at an accredited institution.

NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences accepts three kinds of official language tests: IELTS, TOEFL and the Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English.

  • Academic IELTS 6.0 (with a minimum of 5.0 for each skill).
  • TOEFL 550 (paper based), 213 (computer-based) and 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 9215.
  • Cambridge ESOL score FCE-C (169, or higher).
  • TOEIC 670 (Listening and Reading) and 290 (Speaking and Writing).

View the comparison between the different scores.

Please note: If you do not have the appropriate level, it is possible to enrol in our English Preparatory Language Course.


University Of Derby

This programme is run in partnership with the University of Derby.

About the course

Master of Arts (MA)

The 14-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.

Master of Science (MSc)

NHL Stenden offers the option to accomplish a Dual Degree. Additionally to the MA programme you can enrol for a Master of Science International Leisure and Tourism Studies issued by the University of Derby, which is a leading university in the UK for Hospitality, Tourism, and Events Management. 

What to expect?

  • Lecturers from the University of Derby will regularly be visiting NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences (NL) to conduct lectures and seminars with Master students in preparation for the field trip.
  • Three-week field trip to the University of Derby (UK) - students will be able to visit the UK and participate in an intensive two-week workshop schedule at the University of Derby. Lectures will be conducted using a variety of classroom-based activities as well as venturing into the heart of the Peak District National Park to build operational skills such as communications and teamwork. 
  • You have access to resources at the University of Derby, including library services for academic studies, and the industrial placement office, which can help to advise and direct students to prospective future placements and employers around the world.

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 ETFI projects, Entrepreneurship & Innovation, or Managing Events Organisations. The master’s thesis is the final part of your Master’s degree in International Leisure and Tourism Studies.

1. Critical Issues in Hospitality and Tourism

Together with students from the University of Derby in the UK, students examine and critically evaluate a range of contemporary issues in Hospitality, Tourism, and the wider service industries. It explores the dynamic nature of the service sector and the need to identify, understand, and prepare for the impact of the external environment on business practices.

2. Team Building in Action

The module considers the important role of team development in organisations, but more importantly, how individuals learn and become more effective within that team. A team’s ability to achieve and sustain high performance is determined by interpersonal qualities of trust, communication, and mutual accountability.


Specialisation Event Management

Have you chosen the specialisation 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 three 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.

Certificate in Events Management

A special track on Events Management is implemented within the MA/MSc International Leisure and Tourism Studies. Contemporary literature on events will be discussed, event field trips are organised and guest speakers from the industry will be invited. In total, about 35% of the programme is focused on the event sector. You will receive an NHL Stenden certificate Event Management, in addition to the Master of Arts/Master of Science degree, if you successfully complete the elective in Managing Events Organisations, and write your thesis on an events related topic.

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.

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.