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Tourism and Sustainable Development, 15 Credits

Swedish name: Turism och hållbar utveckling

This syllabus is valid: 2022-03-28 and until further notice

Course code: 2KG401

Credit points: 15

Education level: Second cycle

Main Field of Study and progress level: Human Geography: Second cycle, has only first-cycle course/s as entry requirements

Grading scale: VG Pass with distinction, G Pass, U Fail

Responsible department: Department of Geography

Revised by: Head of Department of Geography and Economic History, 2022-04-01


The course focuses on giving an overview of international tourism research including the nexus between tourism and geography, such as human mobility. How societal changes influence traveling, and, on the other hand, how traveling influences society and environment in various geographical contexts is discussed. As part of this, a historical overview of sustainable development addresses how societal changes influence traveling in general as well as in tourism studies is given. Different scientific approaches to research into tourism are presented and the production of tourism, globalization and its impact on different places, various forms of tourism, the nexus between tourism, nature, and society, and finally, tourism policy and planning for tourism are put in relation to current debates on sustainable development.

Expected learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding
1. Describe different forms of tourism and related social, environmental and economic sustainability problems;
2. Understand tourism in relation to different geographical contexts and societal changes based on current sustainability aspects
3. Explain the basic ideas about the concepts of sustainability, sustainable development and of Agenda 2030
Skills and Abilities: 
4. Ability to handle and integrate complex issues with limited information
5. Reflect on, and make research ethical considerations 
6. Ability to discuss and critically review scientific texts both orally and in writing
7. Ability to follow instructions, and both orally and in writing present assignments within given time frames
Judgment and Approach: 
8. distinguish and critically evaluate theoretical perspectives on tourism

Required Knowledge

Univ: 120 ECTS, 60 ECTS of which in human geography or equivalently.

Proficiency in English equivalent to Swedish upper secondary course English B/6

Form of instruction

The course is based on lectures, seminars, and group exercises. Some of the group exercises are more practical in nature, while others are more theoretical. Relevant gender perspectives are integrated into all themes. All teaching on the course is in English.

Examination modes

The course is examined through the following exams: 
- an individually written assignment
- an oral exam
- six literature seminars
- two workshops with written submissions
The individually written assignment is assessed at 0-20 points. The oral exam is assessed 0-30 points. Literature seminars and workshops are assessed with Pass or Fail. To obtain the grade Pass on the entire course, the student must have at least 50 percent of the maximum score on the individually written assignment, the oral exam and on the group assignment and have obtained Pass at each literature seminar and workshop. Late submissions are not awarded more than 70 percent of the maximum points. If additional work is required to be approved on an assignment, it must be submitted within 10 working days of announcement by the teacher. The entire course is awarded one of the grades Fail (U), Pass (G) and Pass with distinction (VG). To receive the grade Pass with distinction (VG) on the entire course, the student has received at least 75 percent of the maximum score.
In case of special circumstances, the examiner has the right to decide on other forms of examination. For students in need of special pedagogical support due to disabilities, individual adaptation of examination forms should always be considered based on the student's needs.  The examination form is adjusted within the framework of the course syllabus' intended learning outcomes. The course coordinating teacher shall, upon request from the student, consult with the examiner to quickly decide on an adjusted form of examination. The decision shall then be conveyed to the student. 
It is not possible to appeal against a received grade, i.e. to get it examined by a higher authority, but a student can always criticize the grading or ask the examiner to reconsider the examination. 
Students who have passed an examination cannot redo the examination to receive a higher grade. For students who have not passed an ordinary examination occasion, a new occasion for examination (a re-sit) is offered according to Umeå University's Grading and examination regulations for first- and second-cycle studies (Regulation FS 1.1.2-553-14). 
A re-sit shall be offered no later than two months after the ordinary examination occasion, but no less than ten working days after the results of the ordinary examination have been announced.   
A student who on two occasions has failed an examination has the right to have another examiner appointed if there are no specific reasons for not doing so (HF chap. 6, §22). Such a request shall be processed as soon as possible. A written request for an alternative examiner should be handed to the director of undergraduate studies. 

Academic credit transfer 

A student has the right to apply for a transfer of credits for previous education or activity. Applications regarding transfer of credits are processed by Student Services

Other regulations

In case a course syllabus is no longer valid or has undergone significant revisions, students are guaranteed at least three examination sessions (including the regular examination session) according to the course syllabus the student initially was registered on, for a maximum of two years.


The literature list is not available through the web. Please contact the faculty.