Ecotourism MSc

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What is special about this course?

Working as an outdoor guide or running a business in the outdoors can be rewarding as well as offer a great lifestyle. This practical, hands-on MSc Ecotourism has been designed to give you the skills and knowledge required to enter this fast-growing global industry. Based in and around Fort William, the Outdoor Capital of the UK, you will have the opportunity to study in the best outdoor environment in Britain.

You will be mentored by subject experts and leading research-active academics who have daily interactions with key players in ecotourism and adventure tourism in the Highlands of Scotland and beyond. There are also opportunities to participate in a range of projects in Iceland, Norway and Spain or to join a field trip to Belize, where the jungles and coral reefs are the settings for many world-class ecotourism businesses.

You will also work with professional outdoor guides, ecotourism business consultants and leading academics in the field, to enhance your knowledge, critical thinking and innovative product development ability in the industry.

Special features

  • The degree is delivered in Fort William in the Scottish Highlands
  • Practical activity and field trips are included
  • You will have access to outstanding ecotourism operations and adventure travel businesses
  • You will join a thriving, supportive student community with seminar groups, clubs and research associations
  • You can work towards the PgCert, PgDip, or full Masters degree

Entry requirements

  • An Honours degree or above, or:
  • Applicants with other qualifications and/or relevant professional experience will be considered on an individual basis



  • Tuition fee loans (for full-time and part-time students) and living costs loans (full-time students only) to study up to PgDip level may be available for eligible applicants from the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS), for more information visit:


Access routes


Core modules are:

  • Ecotourism
  • Tourism policy and management
  • Sustainable tourism
  • Understanding the tourist experience
  • Nature-based destination development

For the PgCert you will study Ecotourism and choose two further modules from the above list.


You will study the remaining two core modules from those listed in the PgCert, ensuring you have completed all five core modules.

You will also choose one option module which may include:

  • People and nature
  • Environmental and social issues in mountain areas
  • Research methods and techniques (required for continuing to the award of MSc


To achieve the award of MSc Ecotourism you must complete a research dissertation.

How will I study my course?

  • Full-time
  • Part-time (Structured)


You will learn through a combination of field work, case studies and face-to-face lectures at Fort William. You will be supported by staff at West Highland College UHI.

How long will my course last?

  • Full-time: 18 months
  • Part-time (structured): 2-3 years



Where can I study my course?

Start date

  • February
  • September

How much will my course cost?

The following fees apply to this taught postgraduate course:

Scottish and EU
Rest of UK
Per module (20 credits) £520 £650 £1,100
Postgraduate certificate (3 modules, 60 credits) £1,560 £1,950 £3,300
Postgraduate diploma (6 modules, 120 credits) £3,120 £3,900 £6,600
Masters degree (6 modules + dissertation)
£4,680 £5,850 £10,300

Fees are payable in advance each academic year unless otherwise agreed.

Enquiries from employers for multiple student registrations are welcome and special fee arrangements may apply.

What funding can I apply for?

Tuition fee loans (for full-time and part-time students) and living costs loans (full-time students only) to study up to PgDip level may be available for eligible applicants from the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS), for more information visit:

External scholarships and financial support may be available. Contact the relevant UHI partner college for more information.

What can I do on completion of my course?

Graduates of the programme will have the specialist knowledge and hands-on experience to succeed in the growing global nature-based tourism industry.

Is there more information available online?

You can use the above QR code to connect directly to the course details.

Apply for Ecotourism MSc

I want to start in Jan/Feb 2017 or Aug/Sep 2017 or Jan/Feb 2018

International applicants should apply using the UHI International application form. Please download and print the form, complete and return using the address indicated. More information is available for international applicants at our international student page

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI). UHI operates a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of gender, age, disability, ethnicity and socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.

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