Foundation Degree launched

The hospitality and tourism industry, one of the largest and fastest growing in the country, is worth over £63 billion and employs nearly two million people. We look at the new Foundation Degree in Hospitality, part of a government initiative providing a new, flexible way of achieving a vocational qualification through a combination of study and accredited work experience

Foundation Degrees are a new higher education award launched this year. They are vocational qualifications, designed in conjunction with employers, aiming to develop technical and work specific skills underpinned by rigorous and broad-based academic learning. With the emphasis on work experience, Foundation Degrees are a two-year route to a degree and look set to be highly valued in the job market. They focus on employability for both young and mature students who do not feel that a traditional three-year degree is right for them.

Stratford-upon-Avon College is one of just two educational establishments offering the new award. Tim Astbury, Head of the School for Professional Studies, answers our questions.

Who is most likely to apply for the Hospitality Foundation Degree?

It's for people looking to broaden their managerial skills early on in their career but it will also give more senior managers a greater appreciation of the skills required in all areas of the hospitality industry.

How does it work?

The course, which embraces work based learning as well as new methods such as online learning, runs over two years and is usually split between two days a week at College and at least three days in the workplace.

Subjects studied include:

  • Operations Management
  • People Management
  • Hospitality Management
  • Business Environment
  • Marketing
  • Business Decisions
  • Personal Skills

You won't have to sit any formal examinations, as you will be accredited on the skills and knowledge you gain in the workplace. You can also take advantage of sponsorship opportunities from local employers.

The course is being offered in conjunction with Thames Valley University, who will endorse the degree. You will have access to university materials by email or via their website.

What kind of work will I be doing?

You may be working on a trainee management scheme, working front of house or taking up a post such as head receptionist.

The amount you earn will depend on your employer but you can be sure that you won't be finishing your degree out of pocket!

Can the college help with future employment?

If you are not already working in the hospitality industry, you can still enrol and we'll help you find a suitable part-time job in one of the local hotels.

We are working with local employers, who will find the course highly suitable both for staff development and as a source of recruitment.

What are the entry requirements?

You should have a National Diploma or Advanced VCE/GNVQ in Hospitality and Catering. If you have any other relevant qualifications or experience, you need to speak to the Admissions Officer.

The college also offers guidance for students wishing to enter with A Level qualifications.

Is the course full-time only?

No ­ arrangements can be made to accommodate students who want to study part-time.

For further information

For general information on the new foundation degrees, visit the website at:

Details of the new course at Stratford-upon-Avon College can be obtained by calling 01789 266245

Key Tourism facts

  • The hospitality and tourism industry is one of the largest industries in the UK, worth approximately £63.9 billion in 1999, including:
  • Spending by overseas residents (25.39 million visitors) £12.5 billion
  • Spending by domestic tourists (including day trips and trips lasting 1+ nights) £48.26 billion
  • The industry accounts for between 2.8% and 3.9% of GDP and employs 1.86 million people
  • The UK ranks fifth in the international tourism earnings league behind the USA, Italy, France and Spain
  • There are an estimated 1.85 million jobs in tourism in the UK, some 7% of all people in employment. There are more jobs in tourism than in construction or transport
  • In the first quarter of 2000, the turnover of the hotel and restaurant industry increased by 6.8% compared with the same period the previous year