Master’s studies

Master Programme in Sustainable Destination Development 2018/2019

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How can destination development contribute to sustainability? This is what you will learn in this programme. Master Programme in Sustainable Destination development is an international Master's programme in which you will be working together with researchers and lecturers in a wide range of subjects with the objective of a career in sustainable destination development. The programme is held at Uppsala University Campus Gotland, in the World Heritage city of Visby, one of the most appreciated tourist destinations in the Nordic countries. 

In close collaboration with the tourist industry, regional authorities and the community, you will be requested to perform theoretical, strategic and practical work, including all the challenges visitor-intensive regions across the world will be facing in the future. The aim of the programme is to familiarise yourself with issues relating to sustainable regional and destination development from many different perspectives for use in your future occupation, encompassing supervision, community planning, education, research, communication, management of natural resources or decision-making. 

Why this programme?

Tourist destinations across the world face major challenges. With fewer visitors, their economies will be threatened; with more visitors, their social, cultural and ecological sustainability will be threatened. How can visits become sustainable? What is required to achieve sustainable visitor locations, and how can we ensure they will remain this way? Sustainable Destination Development is a new Master's programme aimed at those who want to develop cross-border, international key competencies in this field. You choose two of three specialisations – entrepreneurship, cultural heritage policies and nature-based tourism – to develop your desired academic profile. You will be studying themes such as ecological and cultural sustainability, the shape and importance of locations, management of natural and cultural resources, the principles of environmental assessment, entrepreneurship and strategic leadership. You will also have the opportunity to develop your own projects within the scope of the programme themes. Campus Gotland offers a truly unique academic environment with dedicated researchers and lecturers who work with sustainability from a broad, critical and cross-border perspective, and in close proximity to all the players who in one way or another work with tourist visits.
The programme will prepare you for a career focusing on sustainability issues in tourist-intensive regions anywhere in the world, in public administration, at state, county and municipal level, in destination companies, in private tourist enterprises or as an independent entrepreneur. The interdisciplinary design of this programme will promote the understanding of other subject areas and will strengthen knowledge on the opportunities and limitations within sustainable development. Interaction with students from different countries will also stimulate the understanding of the complexity of sustainability challenges as well as boost the knowledge of possible solutions to the issues, while it will provide you with an invaluable network of like-minded people in this field. 


The programme leads to a Master of Science (120 credits) with Sustainable Destination Development as the main field of study.


The first semester starts with an introductory course on Sustainable Destination Development. For the remainder of the semester, you will study your chosen specialisation: “Applied heritage politics”, “Sustainability, assessment and management of nature-based destinations” or “Entrepreneurship for sustainable destination development” (see below for the courses of each specialisation).
The second semester starts with a hands-on project course for multidisciplinary teams studying design-thinking related to a sustainability challenge, followed by a methods course. During the second part of the semester, you will choose a course of your own choice at Uppsala University or prepare your thesis.
The third semester begins with an advanced course in Sustainable Destination Development. After this, you will study one of the other two specialisations.
The fourth semester is dedicated to writing your thesis, which should be based on your two specialisations.
The three specialisations cover the following courses:
Applied heritage politics:
Cultural heritage
Natural heritage
Immaterial heritage
Sustainable Nature-Based Destinations:
Environmental sustainability of tourism
Nature-based destinations and sustainable development
Entrepreneurship for destination development:
Introduction to the tourism business, leadership, organisation and CSR
Business development, financing, market analysis and customer understanding
Immaterial rights, business law and financial governance of entrepreneurial enterprises

Learning experience

The language of instruction is English, as is the literature. The teaching takes place on Campus Gotland. In the classroom we use lectures, seminars, group and individual work, with both theory and practice. Important parts of the education takes place outside the classroom, in the real world, with excursions and working together with public and private actors on Gotland.

Teaching is closely related to the large, multidisciplinary research programme "Sustainable Visits", in which 30 researchers from 9 disciplines are studying and developing sustainable destination development on Gotland. During your studies you will both meet many of these researchers, and get the opportunity to contribute to their research projects.

Examination varies from written exams, oral presentations and independent writing. 


The tourism sector contributes nine percent to the world’s GDP and is continuously growing. As such, the tourism sector is becoming increasingly important outside the industrial world and hence it is increasingly crucial to the development of the world as a whole. The tourism sector, however, is also increasingly facing ever more sustainability challenges, socially, ecologically and financially. There is thus a great need for the competences you will acquire by completing this programme.
This programme prepares you to work on sustainability issues in the tourism sector in regions across the world: within public administration locally, regionally and nationally, at destination companies, within the private tourism sector or as an entrepreneur. You can choose a career related to development, strategy and management, particularly regarding natural and cultural resources, or in public and private destination companies. Your work could cover business development, sustainability and CSR to push innovation both in the private and public sector. You will acquire skills covering supervision, community planning, education, research, communication, management of natural resources and decision-making related to sustainability issues.

This is also an opportunity to prepare for research and doctoral studies. Campus Gotland offers an interdisciplinary research environment with a strong focus on sustainability, as is the case in Gotland. You can choose to perform research within industrial engineering and management, ethnology, geology, history, heritage studies or business. 


Master Programme in Sustainable Destination Development

120 credits

Autumn 2018 - 100 % - Campus

Location: Visby

Application Deadline: 2018-01-15

Enrolment Code: UU-M1465 Application

Language of Instruction: English

Academic requirements
A Bachelor's degree, equivalent to a Swedish Kandidatexamen, from an internationally recognised university.

Language requirements
All applicants need to verify English language proficiency. This is normally attested by an internationally recognised test such as TOEFL or IELTS with the following minimum scores:

  • IELTS: an overall mark of 6.5 and no section below 5.5
  • TOEFL: Paper-based: Score of 4.5 (scale 1–6) in written test and a total score of 575. Internet-based: Score of 20 (scale 0–30) in written test and a total score of 90
  • Cambridge: CAE, CPE
Exemptions for students from certain countries.

Selection: Students are selected based on:

  • a total appraisal of quantity and quality of previous university studies; and
  • a statement of purpose (1 page).


If you are not a citizen of a European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA) country, or Switzerland, you are required to pay application and tuition fees. Fees cover application and tuition only and do not cover accommodation, academic literature or the general cost of living. Read more about fees.

Application Fee: SEK 900

Tuition fee, first semester: SEK 72500

Tuition fee, total: SEK 290000

Contact and further resources

Department of Engineering Sciences

Ångströmlaboratoriet, Lägerhyddsvägen 1

Box 534, 751 21 UPPSALA

Ulrika Persson-Fischier