Master in Sustainable Tourism and Hospitality Management

Student life


Study environment

The program has an annual intake of only 40 students to provide a strong sense of collaboration and commitment – as well as to create a strong bond and network between students. It is assumed that students from the Nordic countries will be the majority of the cohort. However, a substantial share of students from Europe and other parts of the world are targeted, to ensure the international perspective on tourism and hospitality. Belonging to this fairly small group of students also means that you will also have a good student-supervisor ratio.

CBS students are generally very ambitious which can create a stimulating and cooperative atmosphere, as the students often use each other as peers to discuss build on different aspects of the program. Many students also combine their studies with a student job, which may take up a lot of their leisure time. The program encourages (and try to help) you to find a student job fitting to the tourism and hospitality industry, to make it also part of the holistic learning experience, where you can apply your new skills or reflect on knowledge acquired during the program.

CBS and our program in particular demands strong discipline, independence and working ethics from our students. We want you to be critical in your reflections, constructive when collaborating with other students and businesses. You will not only sharpen your analytical skills when working with different types of data, but also and try to make you curious about ambiguity and complex challenges. We want you to grow by constant learning progression and by teaching others to do the same. This means CBS and this program focus highly on collaboration, group learning and interactions – together with your student colleagues, supervisors and external business partners or societal stakeholders.

What to consider?

The program often uses written group and/or oral exams (e.g., group presentations). It is not uncommon for students to underestimate the time it actually takes to really understand how to use the theories and tools to the extent where you can explain and discuss them at such an exam. Finding the right study technique can be challenging and requires good time management skills, especially if you also have a student job.

Working with data is a big part of this program, but it is more calculus than math, and there is also a strong focus on understanding data in context. This could mean bringing in both psychological and sociological perspectives. To be able to work with data, and at the same time understand how people are motivated, and why they behave in certain ways, can be a challenge to some because of the big differences in the approaches to creating knowledge in these areas. But it will also be rewarding as the ability to make data-driven decisions is one of the important skills you acquire.

To be a good match for this program, you should have an interest in working with (quantitative) data, but also in understanding the principles and logic behind these numbers. Furthermore, another important ambition is to better understand the strategic and application of data: how numbers can be used for data-driven business decisions. So having a good basic understanding of quantitative methods and statistics will be a strong advantage. During the introduction time, you will have the opportunity to catch up and refresh your knowledge of basics methodical skills in a condensed voluntarily online quantitative method course – preparing you for the more advanced analytical tools you will work with.

The curriculum is fairly comprehensive and research-based. The mix of theoretical perspectives and application requires that you are able to perform the necessary calculations, to put them into context, and to explain and discuss why and how this should be done. Events like the data-hackathon, or your project thesis, for instance, will help you to apply and test your newly achieved skills in a real business-world environment.


Courses in STHM are showing a large variety of pedagogical methods: Some will be lectures, some combined with case exercises, and others will include a studio-learning approach including project work. To a large extent, we will use real-life company cases, including fieldtrips, innovation projects, data hackathons and other group-oriented learning modules. This makes collaboration and joint learning a key pedagogical focus. Therefore, student interaction is important, and the quality often depends on the attitude of the students and their willingness to participate and collaborate. For this reason, it is also mandatory to work in changing and diverse learning contexts and project groups together.

Due to the exclusive amount of program seats (40 students), the student-supervisor ratio is fairly high and it is much easier to build a cohesive team of students.


At CBS each course is concluded with an examination. This means that you will have examinations after each quarter/semester. The STHM-program has both written and oral exams – with a special focus on group exams (2-3 students). Five out of nine courses can be done in groups. The program is strongly focused on collaborative learning and project management, which mobilizes different perspectives and skills to solve complex challenges.

Work, life, study balance

Compared to other international programmes, compulsory physical presence at CBS is not that high, so that students can be quite flexible for combining studies with a (relevant) student job. However, the general workload (e.g., self-studies) and especially the high-density projects are very time consuming. This program is designed as a very intensive, full-time degree, so prioritising studying and managing your time will be essential to be able to cover the curriculum in time for the exams/project. Working in study/project groups also needs a good time management and strong coordination skills.

The program also will assist you to initiate contacts and consolidate your relationships within the Danish tourism and hospitality industry. Networking platforms will entail smaller conferences, round-tables or social/informal get-togethers. It is expected that you participate in these STHM extra-curriculum events.

CBS in general also offers a large variety of clubs, interest groups, and social gatherings. This is considered particularly helpful if you are new to CBS, Copenhagen, or Denmark, to also build and strengthen your social network here and meet other students outside of your specific profession.

Studying in English

Before studying a programme taught in English, you might want to consider the following:

  • All literature, lectures, exams, projects and group work are in English.
  • Academic English differs from the English used in everyday language – so it might be a challenge even if you are used to speaking English in other situations.
  • You may have to spend more time on reading and understanding the material in English.
  • You may find it challenging to express yourself with the same ease as you would in your mother tongue.
  • Some will feel uncomfortable and shy when speaking English – especially when in a crowd or among native speakers.

Practice makes perfect

There is a big difference between reading and understanding texts and expressing yourself in English both orally and in writing. This is a challenge for some students. Even if you are used to reading English texts on your bachelor programme, it is still a good idea to practice your English. Try to speak it on a regular basis, watch the news, movies and TV series in English. You should also read books and newspapers in English, as this will help you read faster and increase your vocabulary. A good command of English is essential for getting the maximum learning outcome of your programme.


The annual intake of the program is rather exclusive (40 students), making it easy to create a strong internal group. Introduction and other social events will further help you to become part of the STHM family. Through other CBS clubs, interest groups and social gatherings it is fairly easy to expand your network here at CBS.

The program revolves around constant knowledge exchange with our business partners and societal stakeholders. Therefore, the program also includes some extra-curriculum events (to build and improve the students’ business network), where active participation is expected.

STHM also wants to stay in close contact with program graduates and link them to the current students (e.g., through a joint LinkedIn group). There are also a number of associations and organisations for students at CBS to proactively create your own social and business network.

Sidst opdateret: Student Affairs // 26/10/2020