How can valuation and management of nature-based destinations contribute to sustainability? After graduating from the Master's Programme in Sustainable Destination Development, specialising in Sustainable Nature-Based Destinations, you will be able to answer this question. You will be working together with researchers and lecturers to build a strong career in sustainable destination development.
The programme is held at Uppsala University's Campus Gotland, in the World Heritage City of Visby - one of the most appreciated tourist destinations in the Nordic countries.
Why this programme?
Tourist destinations across the world face major challenges. With less 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? You should study this specialisation in Sustainable Nature-Based Destinations, within the Master's Programme in Sustainable Destination Development, if you want to develop cross-border, international key competencies in this field.
In close collaboration with the tourist industry, regional authorities and the community, you will be requested to perform theoretical, strategical 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, entrepreneurship or decision-making.
During the programme you can expect to:
have a close collaboration with the tourist industry, regional authorities and the community,
explore what is required to achieve sustainable visitor locations,
be able to handle all the challenges visitor-intensive regions across the world will be facing in the future.
If you opt to study for two years at Uppsala University you can select one of the other specialisations within this Master's Programme in Sustainable Destination Development during the second year:
Student profile Regardless of what you have been studying before, you are interested in sustainable tourism and how to preserve both nature and history in a sustainable way. You are now looking for an education that gives you both a theoretical understanding and practical experience in working with sustainable destination management.
You are used to working independently but you are also a good team player. You always see education as an opportunity to learn as much as possible, whether it is in the classroom or not. You are curious and ambitious.
You, as we, believe that experts in this field will be in high demand since the tourism sector is facing more and more serious sustainability challenges, socially, ecologically and economically. Therefore, starting to work right after graduation is something you are considering. A future PhD education is also a possibility you might have thought about so you would value an opportunity to get in closer contact with current research.
Campus Gotland This one-year Master's programme is held at our campus on the island Gotland.
The island of Gotland is located in the Baltic Sea between the mainland of Sweden and the Baltic States. It has a unique natural environment and is the centre of early Swedish wind power development. There are frequent flights and ferries between Gotland and Sweden's capital Stockholm, so getting to and from the island is easy.
The programme leads to a Master of Science (60 credits) with Sustainable Destination Development as the main field of study.
Name: Aida Alonso From: Mexico Programme: Master’s Programme in Sustainable Destination Development
How did you choose your programme?
I always knew that I wanted to study a Master’s degree related to sustainability somewhere in Europe, so I started to ask my friends and people in my network which programmes were good. I had my options narrowed down to universities in the Netherlands and Scandinavia. Then, one of my Swedish friends told me to check Uppsala University’s website to see if there was something that would interest me and once I did it I was completely hooked with the programme in Sustainable Destination Development as it was everything that I was looking for – a Master’s that combines sustainability and tourism. I knew that I had to apply immediately. Now that I’m here I think it is the best decision I’ve ever made.
What is it like to be an international student?
It is a mixture of excitement and stress. It is quite rewarding being a foreigner in a new country because I get to know and learn new things not only at the university and in the classes, but also about the culture, language, and the people I get to interact with. On the other side of the coin, it can also be very stressful, especially when it comes to administrative processes, such as enrolling in classes, getting student housing and so on. When I first arrived in Sweden, I didn’t quite understand what I needed to do and how and it was frustrating. However, when I look back I think of all of those experiences as part of my learning and adjustment to Swedish society.
What is the best thing about studying at Uppsala University?
Studying on Campus Gotland has been quite rewarding, especially since it’s a smaller campus, you get to feel a sense of community and togetherness. I get to interact with my fellow students very often and that makes working with them much easier, also teachers are much more accessible and that means I can ask questions and talk to them in a more relaxed environment. I like how open the education system is at Uppsala University, there are no strict demarcations between students and teachers. I feel my opinion matters and I can work together with my teachers to get the best out of my programme.
How did you experience your first few days in Sweden?
It was a mixture of all kinds of feelings. When I made the decision of studying a Master’s programme I had already been working in Mexico for more than eight years and I had a stable life. Therefore it was quite nerve-racking having to quit my job to move along with my dog (yes, I brought my dog all the way from Mexico) to a new country to study. As soon as I arrived in Sweden, I felt a sense of relief and happiness of finally being here after more than a year of planning. That sense of calm lasted a few days until I had to worry about applying for my personal number, opening a bank account and registering for classes. Luckily for me, since I already had Swedish friends, I was able to accomplish all my tasks fairly easily with their help.
What’s unique about your programme?
One of the things I like about the programme is that we are a very heterogeneous group of mostly international students. We all have varied backgrounds and ages. It is very rewarding to have discussions and talk about our classes with people who have different perspectives from mine. I think I have learned a lot by just listening to what other people have to say. Also, there’s a big emphasis on working in groups and that makes the learning outcomes much more fruitful.
How would you describe the relationship between you and your teachers at the University?
As I mentioned earlier, it’s nice that teachers on Campus Gotland are very accessible since it is a smaller campus and thus communication is easier. I like the opportunity that I can talk to them not only about my classes but also about my plans and expectations. I have been my class representative, so I act as a liaison between the students and the teachers. This has given me the possibility to interact directly with them in my programme and understand how they plan things and execute them. Being part of this type of interaction has made me feel like my ideas and those of my fellow classmates matter in the development of our courses.
How is your student life?
Being able to be part of an active community of students that care about environmental and social causes is the best part of my student life. As part of my class, I have the chance to interact with a varied group of people and form strong relationships with them. I was able to organise a trip to Denmark with some of my classmates, where we attended a conference related to sustainable tourism. We also participated in the BUP (Baltic University Programme) symposium in August as presenters and now we’re looking for the opportunity to publish an article we wrote together.
What is your reason for studying and your ultimate goal?
I believe I’ve always had this curiosity to keep learning new things and to be capable of contributing in a positive manner in my environment. That’s the main reason why I decided to quit my previous job and go back to my studies. I reached a point where I asked myself where I saw myself in five or ten years and I knew that I wanted to do more with my life than just having a corporate job. I want to be able to work as a project manager or consultant in the tourism industry and develop projects that are aimed at improving environmental sustainability and social responsibility. I like living in Sweden, so I wouldn’t mind developing my future career path in this lovely country.
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.
The first semester starts with an introductory course in Sustainable Destination Development. After this, you will engage in a course on Environmental Sustainability of Tourism and a second one on Nature-Based Destinations and Sustainable Development.
The second semester starts with a hands-on project course for multidisciplinary teams. You will be using a so-called design-thinking methodology working with a sustainability challenge. This is followed by a methods course. After this, you will write a Master's thesis to complete your degree studies.
In the classroom we use lectures, seminars, group and individual work, with both theory and practice. Important parts of the teaching and learning take place outside the classroom, in the real world, with excursions and working together with public and private actors on Gotland. During your studies you will also meet many of these researchers and get the opportunity to contribute to their projects.
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 and 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.
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 work with tourist visits.
Examination varies from written exams, oral presentations and independent writing.
The language of instruction is English, as is all course literature.
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.
You can choose a career focused on development, strategy and management, business development, sustainability and corporate social responsibility (CSR), and innovation in both the private and public sector. You will learn how to push innovation processes targeted at the tourism sector, and you will become familiar with how to start and operate tourism enterprises in any part of the world, especially in tourist-intensive regions.
The tourism sector contributes with 9% of the world GDP and is becoming more important outside the industrial world and therefore increasingly crucial to the development of the world as a whole. However, the tourism sector is also facing more and more serious sustainability challenges, socially, ecologically and economically. There is thus great need for the competences you get from the Master's Programme in Sustainable Destination Development.
You may also continue to research and doctoral studies. At Campus Gotland there is an interdisciplinary research environment with focus on sustainability, and you may do research within industrial engineering and management, ethnology, geology, history, heritage studies or business.
Career support During your time as a student, UU Careers offers support and guidance. You have the opportunity to take part in a variety of activities and events that will prepare you for your future career. Learn more about UU Careers.
Below you will find the details about eligibility requirements, selection criteria, and tuition fees. For information on how to apply and what documents you need to submit, check the application guide. For this programme, besides the general supporting documents, you also need to submit one programme-specific document: a statement of purpose.
Requirements: Academic requirements A Bachelor's degree, equivalent to a Swedish Kandidatexamen, from an internationally recognised university.
Language requirements Proficiency in English equivalent to the Swedish upper secondary course English 6. This requirement can be met either by achieving the required score on an internationally recognised test, or by previous upper secondary or university studies in some countries. Detailed instructions on how to provide evidence of your English proficiency are available at universityadmissions.se.
Students are selected based on:
an overall appraisal 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.