Welcome to our Department of Hospitality and Tourism
Thank you for taking the time to come and check out what we offer at University College Birmingham, the highest ranking university in the region as voted by students at the 2023 Whatuni Student Choice Awards. Our student support is award-winning too, as is our provision for international students.
If you are looking at joining us to carve out a career in hospitality, tourism, events or aviation, here is a glimpse into our student and staff community - with insight into the placements and enrichment we offer - to see if we are the right choice for you.
Welcome from Kathryn
If you are considering joining us, great news! Hospitality, tourism, aviation and events are all really exciting industries and demand for skilled managers and leaders in these areas has never been so great. There's so much to look forward to on our courses with exciting industry visits, live projects and placements in fantastic locations in the UK and overseas, along with award-winning support.
Our lecturers are all industry experts and bring the classroom to life with their experiences and excellent industry links. Our graduates include head sommeliers, hotel and airport managers, stadium conference managers, financial controllers and small business entrepreneurs, and have worked for companies including Visit Britain, British Airways, Hotel du Vin, The Ritz, Virgin and more. Many have become regional and managing directors – the opportunities are endless!
*Kathryn worked in the tourism and aviation sectors in a range of roles, including product management, digital and social media marketing and B2B/trade relations, before starting her career in education.
“This really is a university where you will not only receive a high quality teaching and learning experience, but support at the very highest level. We pride ourselves on our industry connections to give you the best opportunities to gain the graduate advantage."
Tia tipped to become "tomorrow's travel leader" after making 30 Under 30
A graduate who is soaring in an incredible career with a global attractions company on the back of her university inte…Read more
Students put live event creation skills to test with series of charity fundraisers
Students on a range of degrees within the University’s hospitality and tourism department created a super se…Read more
Students learn from top businesswoman from Middle East’s biggest convention centre
Dozens of students on University College Birmingham’s hospitality and tourism-focused master’s degrees have…Read more
Partnership with Merlin Entertainments promises diversity boost for tourism industry
A new partnership which promises to provide a major boost for inclusion and diversity in the travel and to…Read more
Flying high! Aviation and tourism students see careers take off with Ryanair
College students training to become cabin crew or make their mark in tourism have reached for the sky and landed d…Read more
James’ booming business ranked among Britain’s fastest-growing firms
Business keeps on booming for a University College Birmingham graduate whose firm has been ranked as one of the fastest-gr…Read more
Ainhoa scoops dream media agency role in Belgian city she fell for on placement
A Spanish postgraduate has scooped a dream job working for a non-profit media agency in the Belgian city she fe…Read more
Business soaring for Shehryar selling luxury holidays to star clients
Business has really taken off for an aviation graduate from University College Birmingham after netting a record commissi…Read more
Visits from the experts
Our travel and tourism students buckled up for an informative talk from the Head of Talent at Ryanair, Mark Duffy. Mark's talk provided an insight into graduate outcomes and what would be expected from students when looking to develop their careers in the industry. Scroll for more >>>
Visits from the experts (cont'd)
We also had a riveting guest talk from two of our Aviation and Airport Management graduates, Maadesh Raveendran and Terencio Afonso Fonseca Silva, who now work in management for TUI airlines. Scroll for more >>>
Visits from the experts (cont'd)
As part of growing links with Merlin Entertainments, we welcomed Dominique Sidley, Global Trade Strategy Director, to talk to our tourism, hospitality, events and business students about careers and placements, as well as discussing the firm's commitment to diversity, equality and inclusion in recruitment.
Aviation and tourism highlights
In recent years, aviation students have had an Airbus factory tour in Hamburg, reviewed aircraft handling at New Istanbul Airport and visited Turkish Airlines for a conference on the airline and its Aviation Academy. Scroll for more >>>
Aviation and tourism highlights (cont'd)
Our final year undergraduates visited Iceland and experienced the Blue Lagoon and tour of the Golden Circle tourist attraction. Second year tourism students spent four days in Palma, Mallorca, visiting a major hotel and the famous Coves del Drach and Macia Batle winery. Scroll for more >>>
Aviation and tourism highlights (cont'd)
In spring 2023, our tourism students got to visit the Titanic Museum and incredible Giant's Causeway in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Events and hospitality highlights
Final year students went to Budapest, Hungary, visiting a top spa hotel, a Hungarian folklore experience and Gellert Spa, as well as enjoying a cruise along the River Danube. Second years travelled to the city of York, visiting York Racecourse, Castle Museum and the National Railway Museum. Scroll for more >>>
Events and hospitality highlights (cont'd)
Hospitality students visited Edinburgh, including Edinburgh Castle, a half-day guided tour and the Scotch Whisky Experience, as well as a food tour in Glasgow. In Barcelona, students enjoyed a guided city bus tour, visited Montserrat caves and Freixenet Cava house and cellars (with tasting) and Palacio del Flamenco.
Beyond the classroom
At University College Birmingham, we offer education and training that goes far beyond everyday classes and lectures. We are committed to providing additional enrichment opportunities for our students, from industry trips and expert visits to linkups with local charities, entry into competitions and much more.
Scroll through the slides to find out more about what's been going on recently in our department:
Meet Nicky Millard
We’re really proud of our links and partnerships with employers and alumni. At the heart of what we do is preparing you for a graduate career in your industry. Our industry partners regularly visit to speak to students, set projects and provide job graduate employment opportunities.
We’re also really proud of the outstanding support we’ve been recognised as providing for students while on their journey with us. It gives us great pleasure to pass on our skills to the next generation and your future starts here. We are ready to kick-start your career and we look forward to seeing you soon!
*Nicky gained her degree with us before launching a career in hotel business management in the USA and the UK before moving into HR and lecturing
Our teaching and learning
Whether you want to manage a hotel, plan marketing for a tourism destination, plan new flight routes or manage world-class events, our aim is simple - to support you on the journey. We have an award-winning reputation for a learning experience that sets us apart from bigger universities.
Our degrees are designed to develop you personally and professionally, with graduate advantage, employability and enrichment sessions threaded throughout the curriculum, sitting alongside really interesting theory modules. Our partnership with the University of Warwick, a top-ranking Russell Group university, also brings extra opportunities including access to guest speakers and additional resources.
Our courses are developed and taught by experienced lecturing staff with diverse backgrounds working in various industries. Lecturers can draw on their industry expertise and years of experience to make scenario-based discussions, debates and concepts come to life, supporting the linking of theory to practice within the context of global trends and challenges.
You will learn so much from our lecturing teams, who are passionate about their profession and eager to inspire and nurture the next generation of hospitality and tourism professionals.
This is enriched by an international body of guest lecturers who share their knowledge and experiences to inspire you and enhance your learning. Students also have a lot to bring and as a team, we will also learn a lot from you! We encourage you to share your perspectives and viewpoints, especially when reflecting on your own life and placement experiences.
Industry live projects feature in many modules and this provides students with a hands-on opportunity to work with an industry client to propose solutions to a current issue or challenge. Examples of past live projects have included the planning and management of live charity events, sustainable airport practices at Birmingham Airport and Commonwealth Games legacy planning with the West Midlands Growth Company.
Students have access to industry software platforms such as Opera Property Management Systems and HOTS (hospitality), CAPA (aviation) and Cvent (events planning). Furthermore, as an Institute of Travel and Tourism (ITT) Centre of Excellence, students benefit from attending our annual ITT Future You student conference to network with industry professionals.
We have a fully functioning aviation suite – a specialist teaching facility where, in some modules, students (aviation and tourism programmes) can learn about cabin crew operations and management, and ground handling operations within a realistic airport/airline environment. In addition, our award-winning on-site restaurant is the base for students on hospitality programmes developing their front-of-house skills.
Placements are also key to success as employers want you to have real experience. We have excellent links with international hotel chains, world-leading airlines and attraction venues across the region and beyond, as well as globally.
Our support is exceptional, so much so, our students voted to make us the winner of the Student Support award at the Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2022.
Throughout your studies, you will not only have a personal tutor, but a link tutor during placements and module leaders to support you through academic modules. And we have a whole range of additional support services available, providing you with as much or as little support as you need to succeed in your degree. Our smaller teaching groups enable all students to grow and flourish, with strong peer support and friendship.
Our Learning and Teaching Strategy 2021-24 is key to how we approach the educational journey, focusing on three main pillars that set out our commitment to your learning and teaching experience while you are studying with us.
- Pillar 1 – Provide accessible and inclusive teaching and learning across a wide range of vocationally-led courses
- Pillar 2 – Develop next generation opportunities and skills through innovative, future-focused curriculum and pedagogy
- Pillar 3 – Shape local and global sectors, promoting sustainable futures and global citizenship
Retired from the British Navy through injury, Kanyi was working for HM Customs and Excise in London when he made a key life decision: to go back into educationRead more
Phil ventured into a master’s in Aviation Management at University College Birmingham to expand on knowledge he gained while studying tourism.Read more
Kerry fell in love with the aviation industry after travelling abroad from an early age.Read more
The accreditation of Laura’s course by the University of Warwick was a real selling point when choosing her degree.Read more
Now working for a top travel company, Raphael chose to build on his degree from a French university with an internationally-focused top-up.Read more
Attending a hospitality careers event during her degree quickly led to a foot in the door for budding events planner Whitney.Read more
As a business leadership graduate for Collins Aerospace, Samuel is flying the flag for industry improvement – and it all started at University College Birmingham.Read more
From a game-changing Whitbread operations manager to talent recruiter, Rhys has carved out a diverse career since completing his course.Read more
Our university facilities were shortlisted in the 2022 Whatuni Student Choice Awards and in our department, they include:
- Our state-of-the-art Aviation Suite – part of a real Boeing 737 cabin, a check-in and departure lounge and live links to Birmingham Airport
- Restaurant at Birmingham College of Food - our AA Gold-accredited training restaurant, where students get to put their training into practice with real guests
- Virtual reality – we can’t visit everywhere, but we can bring some of this to you! Our students experience airports and a range of destinations through our VR headsets
- 100-seat and smaller lecture theatres, workspace pods, ThinkSpace glazed study pods to discuss projects, 150+ brand new top-spec computers
Cabin Crew Level 2
Set your sights on the skies with our aviation college course. Studying in our state-of-the-art mock plane cabin and other training facilities, you can gain the essential s…Read more
Food and Beverage Service Supervision Level 3
If you have previous training or education in food and beverage service, this Level 3 course will further enhance your skills and knowledge to en…Read more
Professional Food and Beverage Service Level 2
Take your first step into the world of hospitality. This Level 2 course will get you started on learning the essentials of bar tending, cocktail…Read more
Tourism, Aviation, Events and Hospitality Level 3
Love travel, or considering a future in the tourism and hospitality sectors? This course introduces you to these dynamic industries, with opp…Read more
Aviation and Airport Management BA (Hons) / FdA
Take off on an exciting international career by studying our Aviation and Airport Management course. Gain in-depth knowledge of how the aviatio…Read more
Events Management (with placement) BA (Hons) / FdA
From managing sporting events and festivals to wedding planning or resorts, this degree course will give you the skills to create exceptiona…Read more
International Hospitality and Tourism Management BA (Hons) / FdA
Want to work in hotels, resorts, attractions or events? Our International Hospitality and Tourism Management course gives you…Read more
International Tourism Management BA (Hons) / FdA
Do you have a passion for tourism and travel? Featuring a year-long placement, this course will give you the skills to launch an exciting care…Read more
Aviation Management MSc / PGDip / PGCert
Our Aviation Management postgraduate course enables you to specialise in a range of management areas for the dynamic global aviation industry, with gr…Read more
Global Meetings and Events Management MSc / PGDip
Set yourself on the path to high level careers in the dynamic global meetings and events industry on our exciting postgraduate course, featur…Read more
Hospitality with Tourism Management MSc / PGDip
Want to combine studying hospitality with tourism? This postgraduate course offers two study pathways depending on your background in these fie…Read more
International Hospitality Management MSc / PGDip / PGCert
Our International Hospitality Management postgraduate course will develop your knowledge to enter managerial positions across the sec…Read more
International Tourism Management MSc / PGDip / PGCert
Passionate about travel and tourism? Our International Tourism Management postgraduate course enables you to develop specialist tourism m…Read more
Meet your lecturers
My academic and industry experiences have spanned a number of decades, predominantly in tourism, aviation and education.Find out more
I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and an experienced lecturer with expertise in developing industry-relevant tourism and aviation programmes which focus on collabora…Find out more
My background is long and varied, serving in the Royal Navy for seven years, followed by another seven years of solo travel and work around Africa. I worked in lesser deve…Find out more
I have been a lecturer at UCB since 2004, following a career in destination management with Bristol City Council, Leeds City Council and Marketing Manchester. My key responsibilit…Find out more
After originally studying Physical Education, I have spent many years working in the hospitality and tourism industry for international companies such as STA Travel and Camp Counse…Find out more
Kathryn Hayat (Associate Professor)
I am a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and an experienced lecturer in digital and social media marketing, teaching students studying both tou…Find out more
I joined the Events Management teaching team at University College Birmingham in 2008, as a Lecturer, and I am currently a Final Year Manager of the BA (Hons) Events Manage…Find out more
I originally studied International Tourism Management and International Marketing Management. Having finished my BA Hons Degree, I studied for my PGCE in Post Compulsory Educat…Find out more
I originally studied at University College Birmingham when it was known as Birmingham College of Food. After completing an OND in Hotel and Catering Operations I went onto study t…Find out more
I started my professional career in hotels. My initial experience was within room division of a 5-star city hotel, and then followed on to food and beverage and events withi…Find out more
My aviation career started when I took a placement year at university to work at British Airways. Since then I have spent more than five years working in the aviation industry i…Find out more
I joined University College Birmingham in January 2022. I have more than three decades of industry experience working in different areas of airline and airport operations.Find out more
I have studied Tourism Management at both undergraduate and postgraduate level as well as working in various roles within the tourism industry. This has included working as a…Find out more
I am the Year Manager for the Year 1 Aviation and Airport Management tutor group. I am also the Module Leader for Airline Crew Resource Management and Developing People in Tour…Find out more
After graduating, I was employed as an actor, writer, and director by a Stirling-based arts and entertainment company. Other work during this period included stints as an actor/s…Find out more
My journey at University College Birmingham started as an Events Management student. In the years prior to and during my study, I spent six years at a large scale specialist eve…Find out more
I joined University College Birmingham as a lecturer in March 2015, which is my first teaching job. Prior to this, I have primarily worked within luxury hotel sector including Gro…Find out more
After graduating from Manchester Metropolitan University with a Masters in Hospitality Management, I joined Bass Taverns’ Graduate Management Scheme. After working in hotel and…Find out more
Dr Olga Kampaxi
An experienced HR professional and educator with industry experience, I have worked with Rotana Hotels as the area director of Human Resources in UAE, as well as InterContinen…Find out more
I developed my business and commercial acumen while helping to support my family’s travel agency business and working part-time in retail for Marks and Spencer. I originally stu…Find out more
My academic and industry experience lies in business, tourism, hospitality and events management, spanning almost two decades. I was discovered by the University of Wolverhampton…Find out more
I started my professional career as a chef working in 5-star hotels in London and Switzerland. I studied Food Management at University College Birmingham (then called the Birm…Find out more