TM9537 - Understanding Tourism

What will I learn on this module?

In this module you will develop a general understanding of tourism as both an economic and cultural practice. You will gain a basic familiarity with some of the main theories and concepts in tourism management. You will also become aware of the state of tourism in the 21st century as well as the different components that constitute the tourism complex including tourist, destinations and business.

Some of the topics you will cover include: understanding tourism, tourism demand and supply, tourist behaviour, attractions and destinations, the interrelationship between tourism, culture, Island tourism & the resort, environment and society and tourism impacts.

With this module you will develop critical, practical, academic study and information literacy skills to enable the full achievement of learning outcomes at the module and programme levels. In particular you will learn to develop a sustained reasoned argument where you research and assess theories, principles, concepts and factual information, and apply such skills in explaining and solving questions.

How will I learn on this module?

You will learn through lectures, seminars and independent learning. The two hour weekly lectures will provide you with a theoretical underpinning of the module content, relating theory to practice. The one hour weekly seminar will give you the opportunity to apply the knowledge you gained in lectures to the analysis of international tourism and to discuss critically some of the key issues in the sector.

The module will include a range of student led activities which will help you to appreciate the extent of tourism industry and its impacts, both regionally as well as internationally. Through these activities you will be equipped with skills of intellectual autonomy, collaborative working and critical and independent inquiry skills. Self- directed inquiry, autonomy and authenticity are key to your learning in this module.

Your directed study will support the work you have undertaken in the contact sessions. You will be expected to keep up-to-date with your workshop activities and readings. To aid with self-assessment on progress, a guide to these activities will be made available to you on the e-learning portal.

Independent learning time is set aside for learning activities, self-identified by you, to gain a deeper and broader knowledge of the subject.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Support will be provided to you by a member of academic staff leading the module and providing the lecture input. Other academics will contribute to the teaching of the module based on their subject expertise. The activities of the teacher and the learner will be aligned towards the co-creation of knowledge. You will be taking responsibility for your own learning through active and self-directed learning activities that are supported by academic staff.

Your module is supported by an e-learning portal, which houses lecture materials, seminar exercise, alongside assessment details and various support facilities such as recordings of certain lectures through Panopto and IT applications, alongside other electronic support facilities such as indicated above.

You will be provided with a wide-ranging electronic reading list that comprises of academic reports, books sections and journal articles. The readings have been carefully selected to help you better understand the main concepts and ideas in tourism.

The module assessment consists of an individual essay and a group poster presentation. All the necessary information for the assessment will be uploaded to the e-learning portal prior to the deadline. This includes guide and model answers. Specific time will be allocated in class to support the assessment.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
• understand the nature and defining characteristics of tourism as an academic discipline as well as a sector of the economy. (MLO1)
• Appreciate and evaluate the changing role of tourism in the 21st century as well as its influences and impacts within the wider community. (MLO2)

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
• Communicate effectively a reasoned argument informed by theories, concepts and factual information. (MLO3)

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
• Develop a responsible approach to learning that is underpinned by ethical values. (MLO4)

How will I be assessed?

The module assessment consists of an individual essay, counting for 75% of the mark and a group poster presentation, counting for 25% of the mark

The essay assesses your understanding of the key concepts and ideas in tourism (MLO 1, 3 and 4). You will have to choose a topic from a choice of three. Topics will be available in the e-learning portal prior to the deadline.

The group poster presentation assesses your appreciation of the changing role of tourism in contemporary societies (MLO 2, 3 and 4). The presentation on a contemporary issue of your choice should be 7 minutes long allowing 3 extra minutes for questions.

Formative assessment will be carried out on a continuous basis within the seminars. This will take place through group work, assignment discussion and reflection together with theory/practice related discussions





Module abstract

This module provides you with a general overview of the increasingly complex and ever exciting world of tourism. The module seeks to stimulate your tourism imagination whilst minimising the stress of the experience. You will develop a clear understanding of modern thought on tourism and engage in thoughtful discussions of some of its key questions and issues. The module addresses three basic questions. First it asks how we can understand tourism both as economic and cultural practice. The second question is concerned with the extent of the tourism sector in the 21st century as well as its impacts on and influences to the wider community. The final question looks at the different components of tourism including tourists, businesses and destinations. This is a comprehensive module that emphasises the multiple connections and dimensions of tourism. With this module you will develop critical, practical, academic study and information literacy skills to enable the full achievement of learning outcomes at the module and programme levels.

Course info

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 16 months

Location Singapore

City Singapore

Start September or March

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing.

Full time Courses starting in 2023 are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but may include elements of online learning. We continue to monitor government and local authority guidance in relation to Covid-19 and we are ready and able to flex accordingly to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with additional restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors, potentially to a full online offer, should further restrictions be deemed necessary in future. Our online activity will be delivered through Blackboard Ultra, enabling collaboration, connection and engagement with materials and people.


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