Tourism and Sustainable Regional Development - Management and Geography
Master of Science
Selection procedure: see examination regulations
Application period winter
Place of study
Start of the program
Standard length of the program
Part-time studies possible
The four-semester program leading to a Master of Science degree enables our students to understand regional developments in tourism and their complexity by drawing on theories and models from social sciences, economics and management research. They will be able to recognize underlying challenges for a sustainable development. The program will provide a sound scientific basis on which our students will be able to get active in their future careers. They will be able to precisely analyze practical problem situations in order to be able to develop ideas for creating forward-looking and responsible strategies for a sustainable regional development based on tourism. When developing practical solutions, the degree program particularly focuses on the diverse requirements and conditions of different stakeholders in the field.
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The program in detail
Entrepreneurial Management and Tourism This module touches upon different management and entrepreneurship theories. Entrepreneurial leadership is visualized by drawing on practical examples both from established and start-up companies and students learn exemplary ways of good sustainability practice.
Regional and Urban Economics In this module, students acquire an understanding for theoretical analyses of problems in regional and urban economics and develop an awareness for the significance of regional and urban economics in a globalized economy. Furthermore, they develop skills for carrying out empirical studies using urban and regional economic methods (e.g. shift share analysis).
Tourism and Society This module addresses relevant topics equally involving both society and tourism on a macro level. In doing so, the focus is placed on special topics that are approached in the seminars against the backdrop of current developments and trends.
Economic Geography – Sustainable Regional Development and Planning This module focuses on basic concepts and instruments for measuring, explaining, assessing and designing regional development processes, in particular by taking into account the principle of sustainable development.
Perspectives of Tourism Geography in Cultural and Social Sciences Sustainable development is not only a matter of ecology and economy but also involves a social and cultural dimension. This module introduces perspectives on tourism geography from the field of cultural and social sciences, which are of major importance for understanding the multidimensional character of sustainable regional development.
Basics of Tourism Management, Economics and Sustainable Development The interdisciplinary Master’s degree program is aimed at students from different disciplines. Therefore, the qualification objective of this module is to convey basic skills from disciplines that were not already acquired in the context of previous degree programs. After successfully completing this module, all students will be sufficiently qualified in the fields of economics, tourism management and human geography.
The modules in the second semester of this Master’s degree program are offered in English at the KU’s international partner universities. If they wish, students may also complete this semester in Eichstätt and Ingolstadt.
International Research Seminar - Global and/or Regional Tourist Destinations More details on the contents and topics covered in this module depend on the respective destination. In the context of this research seminar, students investigate the dynamic interrelations between management and development of tourist destinations and site management or regional development by placing particular focus on sustainable development. Students visit selected examples of tourist destinations and analyze the respective regional development paths and discuss them with regional players.
Required elective and elective modules:
Sustainable Tourism - Urban and Rural Dynamics from a Critical Perspective In this module, students acquire knowledge on the basic conceptualizations of sustainable tourism.
Furthermore, the module introduces different theoretical approaches of tourism geography that enable students to understand practical problem situations and conflicts in sustainable development as well as the underlying socio-economic dynamics in urban and rural areas. Students will also learn to discuss conditions and possible solutions towards a more sustainable development.
Theories and Strategies in Destination Management and Marketing In this module, students are invited to deal with new and current concepts in destination management and marketing. Taking new structured approaches in destination management as a basis, they learn to develop a comprehensive understanding and awareness for major problems and perspectives in marketing and management of tourism services in the context of modern strategies.
Innovation and Product Development in Tourism This module offers an introduction to the theories of innovation and product development. Students acquire knowledge on the instruments and methods of Experience Design and Service Design. Furthermore, the module introduces current trends and innovations in the tourism industry. Students apply their knowledge and acquired techniques in product development and innovation to the area of Sharing Economy and other current trends and topics in tourism research.
Instruments of Spatial Tourism Analysis (GIS and IT Technologies) In this module, students look into modern forms of digital information and communication drawing on fundamental research. Selected I&C technologies (e.g. GIS, CMS, LBS) are applied in order to provide students with in-depth insights into spatial information and communication technology and the use of such technology in human geography.
Information Management in Tourism This module offers an introduction to the basics of digital information and information management. Students learn strategic and systematic approaches to digitally available information and the tourism industry for being able to achieve competitive advantages. The scope of application includes e.g. CRM, GDS, Co-Creation and Customer Journey. In addition, this module also addresses the topic area of crisis communication in tourism.
Tourism and Sustainable Regional Development in the Global South This course deals with the different perspectives on tourism in a development context and provides an overview of specific framework conditions. By using case studies, the module takes a closer look at structural, political, ecological and socio-economical aspects of tourism in the Global South. The topic area is integrated into the context of German and international development cooperation. This enables presentation of conclusions drawn from previous activities in development cooperation.
Planning and Consulting Project This module exposes students to current problem situations from the practice. In general, this module is offered in collaboration with external clients from the industry. Students will be able to identify current and complex problem situations in practice and use scientific, theory-based analysis processes and means for coping with such problems and develop and present forward-looking solutions.
Cities, Regions and Economic Policy - Selected Topics in Economics In this module, students discuss current topics from regional and urban economics and general economic problem areas. The content of the module is adapted to current developments in the academic and public debate and can be different in every lecture series.
Advanced Methods and Large Project Study This module is a specialization of the critical-reflective and autonomous application and confident use of methods in social sciences. After completion of this module, students will be able to conceptualize and draft complex scientific research papers independently or within a team and carry out their research work and present the results. Amongst others, this module has the aim of preparing students for the requirements of the Master’s thesis and give them the possibility to carry out research independently as well as teach them to develop a critical approach to scientific practice.
Internship In the context of the four-week internship, students get the chance to gain work experience in a professional field of their choice. The internship should be completed with a focus on either tourism, entrepreneurship or regional development. This module allows students to apply their theoretical knowledge in practice. In addition, students expand on their key qualifications.
Required elective and elective modules:
International Tourism Development and Planning The module includes selected topics dealing with diverse interdependencies between development of international tourism and globalization. At the same time, students are offered insights into how different branches in the tourism industry or in international destinations react to the challenges of globalization with tourism development concepts, measures of spatial tourism planning or specific management strategies.
Sustainable Corporate Governance This course has the aim of clarifying basic terms and concepts and introduce core aspects of internal sustainability management in listed companies and family businesses. Contents include strategic sustainability planning, environmental management as well as communication on sustainability with different groups of stakeholders. Furthermore, the module touches upon areas of sustainability marketing and sustainability reporting and media coverage.
Master’s Thesis The Master’s thesis shows that students are able to solve an advanced research question from the respective specialist fields of the Master’s program by applying subject-specific knowledge, skills and methods independently and within a set period. It also shows that students are able to present and assess the gained results in a formal, linguistically and factually convincing way. In their Master’s thesis, students demonstrate their ability to work scientifically and interdisciplinary and to apply knowledge transfer as well as show their innovative and communication skills.
Accompanying Seminar to Final Thesis In order to prepare students for working on their final theses, the program offers two required elective modules, one of which must be chosen. The accompanying seminars to the final thesis support students in their work on and reflection of their scientific papers. Students take a critical perspective on methodology and content of the selected research project and discuss their work with their fellow students in the seminar. Furthermore, students can choose between two different specializations: The first module focuses on final theses in the topic areas of tourism and entrepreneurship while the second module is designed for papers focusing on human and economic geography within the field of tourism and sustainable regional development.
Rankings and assessments
KU students and alumni have voted for their University to be Germany's most popular university in the 2021 ranking of the online portal StudyCheck. The ranking was based on over 40,000 evaluations for more than 500 higher education institutions and universities. 98 percent of students questioned for the ranking would recommend studying at the KU to others.
"There is no better praise for a university than almost 100 percent of students and alumni agreeing: I can only recommend studying at the KU! That is why we are very pleased with the ranking’s outcome, because it expresses the high level of satisfaction of our students," says KU President Prof. Dr. Gabriele Gien.
Students are encouraged to spend their second semester at an international partner institution. We see this as an integral part of a comprehensive, holistic education with an international orientation, which also helps students in developing their cultural skills.
This Master’s degree program is designed internationally and cooperates with universities from Northern, Eastern and Central Europe. Our Master’s students have the possibility to participate in an ERASMUS exchange program to study abroad at one of our international partner institutions that offer equivalent modules. All modules at our partner universities are offered in English.
Since the 2013/2014 winter semester, we are proud to be able to offer our students the possibility to complete a double degree either in collaboration with Matej Bel University in Banska Bystrica (Slovakia) or Oulu University (Finland). In the context of the exchange program, students have the possibility to obtain two academic degrees. In this program, students spend two semesters at their respective “home universities” (60 ECTS), one semester at the “partner university” (30 ECTS) and write their Master’s thesis in English in the fourth semester (30 ECTS) in close cooperation with both locations. In particular when drafting the Master’s thesis, students benefit from comprehensive support and guidance both from KU professors and lecturers from the partner universities. Both in Banska Bystrica and Oulu, five students per institution will be given the possibility to pursue this extraordinary course of study. At the Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt, five students per year group for each partner university will get the chance to take advantage of this opportunity. Successful graduates of the double degree program will obtain the Master of Science degree in Tourism and Sustainable Regional Development— Management and Geography (KU Eichstätt-Ingolstadt) and the title“"inžinier“ (Ing.) (engineer)  / “Master study in Economics of Tourism Businesses” (Banska Bystrica) or Master of Science “Geography— Specialisation on Tourism Geographies” (Oulu).
 This degree is awarded by Slovak and Czech universities on completion of a graduate program in technical as well as economics and business disciplines and is equivalent to Master of Science. By bearing the title „inžinier“(Ing.) (engineer)“ the professional regulations in the Federal Republic of Germany have to receive attention and are legally binding (due to the so called “Engineering Acts” in German Federal Lands („Ingenieurgesetze der Länder“)).
Joint research activities with collaborating universities complement the international orientation of the Master’s degree program. Our students independently choose the partner university at which they would like to study on the basis of their subject-specific and geographical interests (in doing so they are supported and guided by the KU). Our partner universities guarantee a place for every KU student of the program.
University of Oulu, Finland
Matej Bel University Banska Bystricá, Slovakia
University of Tartu, Estonia
College of Business Studies in Prague, Czech Republic
Poznan University of Economics, Poland
Guram Tavartkiladze Teaching University Tbilisi, Georgia
Semester abroad in Prague and Georgia
A semester abroad at the VSO in Prague provides insights into new research approaches and positions in the tourism industry. The city is a welcome contrast to Eichstätt and offers numerous opportunities to experience tourist trade and destination management in practice. (Tobias A.)
No other degree program makes it so easy to go abroad. That's why I took the opportunity to study in Prague for a semester. From very small course groups at the university to field trips to museums and nature to cosy pub evenings, the time in the Czech capital was full of interesting impressions. Where else can you gather so many professional, cultural and personal experiences, if not during a semester abroad? (Stefanie H.)
Mountains, adventure, wine, underground parties and the dearest people on earth. These are the things that immediately come to my mind about Georgia. An absolute insider tip for the semester abroad. The life between pulsating city, relaxed university atmosphere and a quick hike in the Caucasus Mountains was incredibly fun and created memories for life. The fact that Georgia lies right on the border between Europe and Asia made the cultural experience even more exciting. (Magdalena M.)
Combining science, teaching and practice
The degree program is characterized by its practical orientation and its collaboration with companies, universities and research institutions and is very well networked in the region, throughout Germany and internationally. The teaching formats, such as the Planning and Consulting Project or the Large Project Study, offer a particular benefit in this context. These types of projects take place in close exchange with practical partners and enable an exciting transfer of knowledge.
Presentations & international activity
Guest lectures are an important opportunity to enter into a multidisciplinary dialog with professional experts. Within the framework of the international visiting professors’ program, we welcome the most renowned professors on a regular basis.
Research seminars & field trips
The degree program includes various study trips and excursions. Costs incurred are announced by the lecturers beforehand and must be borne by the students themselves.
By participating in research projects, you will be given the opportunity to carry out research for yourself during your studies. We do not limit ourselves to simply imparting knowledge, but also create new knowledge through research.
The degree program is characterized by its practical orientation and its collaboration with companies, universities and research institutions and its extensive network in the region, throughout Europe and internationally. Here, you get an insight into selected examples.
Career possibilities and professional fields
Career in tourism and regional development
The sectors and professional fields in which former students of the program are employed reflect the degree program’s interdisciplinary character. Graduates effectively network their multidisciplinary knowledge and work in different areas of tourism and regional and location development after having completed their studies.
Numerous indicators influence the attractiveness of a vacation region, which means that tourist destinations must also adapt to new market conditions in order to remain a popular destination. The specialized knowledge acquired in the context of the degree program gives you an overview and understanding of all necessary factors for the tourist-related success of a destination.
Regional and urban development
Factors such as migration, globalization and Europeanization have a major impact on regions and entail new challenges for urban and regional development. the study program provides in-depth knowledge in the field of sustainable urban and regional development and thus creates the necessary conditions for understanding the current needs of the regions.
With the acquired methodical knowledge and analytical approaches, graduates of the degree program are ideally equipped starting a career in tourism consultancy. Through their acquired expertise, they are able to contribute to holistic concepts and solutions in the field of tourism.
The degree program provides all the necessary foundations for further research work and ensures that graduates have all the prerequisites for successful doctoral studies in one of the subject areas covered.
“The Master’s degree program at the KU is unique because it offers a semester abroad and an international field trip, which are not required components in every Master’s degree program, in addition to imparting substantiated theoretical foundations. Personally, I learned many things during the field trip in Georgia that you cannot learn at university – and I also made great friends. Overall, the entire study program has given me a broader horizon of knowledge in tourism and geography, which I would like to pursue in my professional future.”
What students say about the program
„The small number of students makes it easy to grow together as a group quickly and there is always someone there to listen. This sense of community is further strengthened by various projects and stays abroad.“
„Small courses and personal support and supervision by professors and lecturers allow studying in a friendly and informal atmosphere. Project work in the context of the studies is always very application-oriented with a practical focus.“
„The uniqueness of the degree program as well as the combination of various topics of tourism and regional development convinced me and appealed to me right from the outset. Other convincing factors are the international orientation of the program and its high practical relevance.“
Short distances on campus at the KU save time and avoid stress. The KU is a campus University with modern facilities. The buildings on campus are located close to the Eichstätt old town. Although the University and its campus has grown, it is still characterized by short distances: In Eichstätt, everything can be reached within ten minutes’ walking distance. On campus, green spaces such as the Hofgarten are the perfect places to relax. The garden of the Kapuzinerkloster is also used by different student initiatives for their projects. The canteen is located at the heart of the Eichstätt campus and has a sun deck and cafeteria that leave nothing to be desired.
What sets the KU apart
Studying at the KU is more than just acquiring specialist knowledge. We broaden our horizons together and take on responsibility in and beyond the individual degree programs. The KU has a particular focus on topics such as personal development, sustainability, social skills and social commitment.
It offers its students the possibility to study and work in a welcoming atmosphere and benefit from outstanding support and comprehensive service offers, a well-stocked library, a broad range of sports and leisure activities and a large global network of approx. 300 partner universities. Our team at the International Office helps you to plan your semester abroad and the KU Career Service provides comprehensive advice and support for embarking on your professional career.
Eichstätt and the surrounding Altmühltal natural park are not only a popular destination for culture enthusiasts and nature lovers, but also for cyclists, climbers, canoeists and fossil collectors. Located between Munich and Nuremberg, the city impresses with its Baroque setting and southern flair combined with modern and prizewinning architecture as well as a broad variety of cultural offerings and leisure activities.
The Baroque park at the heart of the campus and the nearby banks of the Altmühltal river are the KU’s “green living room”. Another big advantage: all University facilities are just a short walk away from each other.
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