Tourism Research Dissertation

Module description


This module will enable students to follow up a specific area of interest to them within the tourism industry and research it in detail. It will also encourage students to communicate with other stakeholders in the industry and manage their own time and mode of study.

Additional Information:

Previous projects have explored sustainability relating to tourist demand (e.g. motivation, perceptions and behaviour) and to supply side management (e.g. corporate social responsibility, fair trade tourism and eco-tourism).

External Engagement
Depending on the project, there is the opportunity for a high level of external engagement with policy makers, corporate elites (e.g. chief executives) and consumers. Previous examples include research into: marketing airlines across the EU;CSR at British Airways; tourism development in the Philippines (the students interviewed the Secretary of State for Tourism); volunteer tourism in the UK; luxury hotel branding in Istanbul.

Students develop skills in project management, interviewing, statistical analysis and writing to specific aims and objectives.

Full module specification

Module title:Tourism Research Dissertation
Module code:BEM3028
Module level:3
Academic year:2017/8
Module lecturers:
  • Professor Tim Coles - Convenor
  • Dr Joanne Connell - Lecturer
Module credit:30
ECTS value:



BEM1012 and BEM1013 and BEM2017 and BEM2012



Duration of module: Duration (weeks) - term 1:


Duration (weeks) - term 2:


Module aims

The dissertation invites the student to pursue a programme of independent research of his/her determination but approved by the module convenor. The aims of the dissertation are to:
• nurture your skills in formulating appropriate research aims objectives and research questions
• help you to plan and conduct a research programme
• develop your ability to analyse and interpret data you have generated
• foster your skills in communicating your findings by a fixed deadline

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. demonstrate a full comprehension of the complexity, lacunae and contradictions associated with a specialized study of tourism, tourists, and tourism environments
  • 2. confidently apply in writings deep understanding of concepts and theories from the taught part of the programme to a particular research problem
  • 3. draw valid conclusions based on an ability to synthesize and prioritize relevant data from methods and techniques appropriate to the research problem

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 4. able independently to conduct an entire programme of research on a chosen topic on travel and tourism from definition through investigation to written defence
  • 5. form constructive dialogues with research partners and stakeholders (peers, mentors and skilled professionals) in the field of travel and tourism

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 6. construct a clearly structured, well-written and appropriately illustrated major document by a fixed deadline
  • 7. work as an independent research worker to collect, analyse and prioritise data and evidence from several sources to solve clearly-defined research questions
  • 8. develop problem-solving skills in a highly specialized manner based on the ability to adapt to the often complex, unpredictable and particular demands of the research process
  • 9. reflect on the research process and evaluate the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats associated with the approach adopted

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Contact hours5Supervision

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Proposal2,000 max1-9Written and verbal

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
DissertationDissertation (100%)1-9-

Syllabus plan

Final Year:  Semester 1

  • Meetings with module tutor to finalise topic and receive feedback on research proposal.
  • Conduct formal training on the Tourism Research Methods Module.
  • End of semester progress meeting

Final Year:  Semester 2

  • Mid Semester progress meeting
  • Write-up dissertation
  • Other meetings with tutor, as required

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Barbour, R. (2008) Introducing Qualitative Research: a Student Guide to the Craft of Doing Qualitative Research. London: Sage.
Brotherton, B. (2008) Researching Hospitality and Tourism: A Student Guide, London: Sage
Clark, M., Riley, M., Wood, R. C. and Wilkie, E. (1998) Researching and Writing Dissertations in Hospitality and Tourism. London: International Thomson Business Press.
Finn, M., Elliott-White, M. & Walton, M. (2000) Tourism & Leisure. Data Collection, Analysis and Interpretation. Harlow, Longman.
Phillimore, J. and Goodson, L. (2004) Qualitative Research in Tourism. Ontologies, Epistemologies and Methodologies. London: Routledge.
Ritchie, B.W., Burns, P. and Palmer, C. (2005) Tourism Research Methods. Integrating Theory with Practice. Wallingford: CAB International.
Ryan, C. (1995) Researching Tourist Satisfaction. London, Routledge.
Veal, A.J. (2011) Research Methods for Leisure and Tourism: A Practical Guide, Prentice Hall (4th edition)
Walle, A.H. (1997) 'Quantitative versus qualitative tourism research.' Annals of Tourism Research 21(3): 524-536.

Module has an active ELE page?


Origin date


Last revision date