Pusat Pengajian Perumahan, Bangunan & Perancangan  |  School of Housing, Building and Planning    USM White


The MSc. Tourism Development programme is distinctive due to its focus on tourism development in the context of sustainability. This programme with its multidisciplinary approach is designed for those with an interest in tourism planning and development. The hybrid School of Housing, Building and Planning has the advantage of a diversity of expertise, whereby can provide different dimensions of knowledge in tourism planning and development.  The strategic location of Universiti Sains Malaysia close to the World Heritage Site of George Town is an added value that provides students with the opportunity to engage with key stakeholders in research projects and academic visits.

The mixed-mode programme provides a balance of taught courses and research project. The main objectives of this programme are to broaden the students’ understanding of the theoretical and applied of tourism planning and development. This program enables the students to focus on both the macro to the micro-level and explore theoretical and practical issues facing the private and public sectors concerning the tourism industry.

The program is delivered in an integrated approach in a wide variety of built environment field specifically; tourism planning, infrastructure and amenities for tourism, tourism business and entrepreneurship, policy and tourism laws, sustainability practice in tourism and different types of tourism such as urban tourism, heritage and culture, ecotourism, rural tourism, coastal and island tourism.


  • Produce knowledgeable and competent graduates who are able to solve problems in tourism development discipline with a global mind-set using sustainable approaches.

  • Produce graduates with impactful communication skills, digital proficiency, good leadership qualities, and effective team players traits.

  • Produce graduates that integrate steadfast dedication and critical thinking in research, lifelong learning, and entrepreneurship for career development.


Applicants should possess the following:

  1. Bachelor's degree in related area.
      • CGPA of at least 2.75 / 4.00; or
      • CGPA between 2.50 - 2.74 with the following additional conditions: or
        • Research experience for at least one year; or
        • Work experience in related field for at least one year; or
        • At least one (1) academic publication in the relevant field; or
        • Grade B for major / elective courses; or
        • Grade B+ for final year project
        1. CGPA between 2.00 - 2.49 (Bachelor's Degree with Honours) with the following additional conditions: or
          • Research experience for at least five (5) years; or
          • Work experience in related field for at least five (5) years; AND
          • At least one (1) academic publication in the relevant field; or
          • Grade B for major / elective courses; or
          • Grade B+ for final year project
      • Preference is given to those who have relevant working experience.

      The MSc. in Tourism Development offers full-time and part-time modes. The full-time mode offers a minimum duration of one academic session (2 semesters) and a maximum duration of two academic sessions (4 semesters). While in the part-time mode, the student may take a minimum duration of 2 academic sessions (4 semesters) or the maximum duration of 4 academic sessions (8 semesters).
      Duration of studies are as below:

      Duration of Studies

      Mode Minimum Duration Maximum Duration
      Full-Time 1 Year
      (2 Semesters)
      2 Years
      (4 Semesters)
      Part-Time* 2 Year
      (4 Semesters)
      4 Year
      (8 Semesters)

      Each course in the program is offered once a year as follows 

      A. Theory Courses (20 units)     

       Code  Title  Unit  Semester 
      RTK 531 Tourism Planning and Development 3 1
      RTK 532 Tourism Policy and Organization 3 1
      RTK 533 The Design of Tourism & Recreational Projects 3 1
      RTK 534 Sustainable Tourism Development 3 2
      RTK 535 Research Methods and Techniques 3 1
      RTK 536 Infrastructure and Tourism Services 3 2
      RTK 537 The Business and Economy of Tourism 2 2

      RTK 531 - Tourism Planning and Development
      This course introduces basic planning principles and tourism development and emphasizes theories, models and fundamentals in the tourism system and development. It covers the topics of tourism sustainable tourism, current trends and future direction of tourism development and its impacts. Discussions also focus on the positioning of tourism product, tourism development process, tourism development strategies at national, regional, state and local levels.

       RTK 532 - Tourism Policy and International Organisation
      This course aims to expose the students to the involvement of government in tourism and tourism policy at a different scale, specifically local (destination), state, national, supranational and global level. The related organisations from macro to micro-level will enhance the understanding of the broad scope of tourism concerning policy. The interrelated organisations and departments at the federal, state and local level in the various setting of tourism destination will be discussed in terms of issues and conflicts in developing the tourism policy and implementation and monitoring mechanism. The module also explains the roles, functions and relationship of the public and private sector in tourism and the power conflict between these two sectors.

      RTK 533 - The Design of Tourism and Recreational Projects
      This course enhances the understanding of the process, important aspects and analysis of tourism and recreational projects. Elements such as physical aspects and competitiveness of projects will be discussed. Discussions on the concept, principle, site-analysis of tourism and recreational projects will be covered in this module. The students will be exposed to tourism impact assessment; environmental impact assessment and social impact assessment. It is essential for design evaluation and analysis to be sustainable to attract tourist interest by taking into consideration several factors such as land area, environment, population density and other criteria.

      RTK 534 - Sustainable Tourism Development
      Tourism development generates local economy, businesses and employment opportunities as well as increases national revenue through taxation and foreign exchange. This module enables the students to establish an understanding of the principles, concept and approaches of sustainable tourism. Sustainable tourism development recognises the necessity to ensure a sustainable future, meets the needs of the tourism industry today and does not compromise the ability of this and future generations to consume the environment. This course aims to stimulate critical thinking and the ability to analyse the current trend of sustainable tourism development such as culture and heritage tourism, community-based tourism, rural tourism and ecotourism.

      RTK 535 - Research Methods and Techniques
      This course introduces students to the concept, principles, and elements of scientific research; vis-à-vis the planning process, research execution and report writing. It also focuses on the formulation of research design and methods for data collection and data analysis. This course exposes students to the norms and style of academic writing.

      RTK 536 - Infrastructure and Tourism Services
      The course objective is to introduce the main aspects of the development of infrastructure and service for tourism projects. Elements such as design, feasibility and competitiveness of projects are included in the lecture. Students are also exposed to the socio-economic aspect of projects through consideration of tourist and local needs.

      RTK 537 - The Business and Economy of Tourism
      This course introduces tourism as a form of economic activity, types of business activity (different sectors and business models) and form of business organisation (multinational and SMEs). Aspects of tourism management such as marketing, promotion, tourism satellite account, networking and linkages will be exposed to the students. The course provides inputs from the major industries panels in the tourism sector. An evaluation of the main components of the economy is essential to identify the source of finance, expenditure and contribution of the tourism sector to the national revenue.

      B. Workshops (2 units)

       Code  Title  Unit  Semester 
      RTK 538 Tourism Workshop 2 2

      RTK 538 - Tourism Workshop
      This course involves students in hands-on projects such as workshop, seminar, forum, small project, and others. Students, on their initiative, are required to plan and execute the project. The selection of the project theme is based on the current issues in the field of tourism planning and development. The project involves participation by experts from the industry, academics, and NGOs as resource person, supervisor, or keynote speaker. The course enhances student’s problem solving, communication, teamwork and leadership skills. The engagement with participants and the delivery of the project will be evaluated.

      C. Research (22 units)

       Code  Title  Unit  Semester 
      RTK 572 Research Project in Tourism 22 1,2 &KSCP

      RTK 572 - Research Projects in Tourism
      This course is designed to provide students with the necessary skills to do a research in the tourism field particularly and in other fields generally. In detail, this course helps students to understand the implementation of theories/models in a research framework, and the suitability of a research method with the selected research objective(s); to achieve research objectives and to answer research questions.

      1. The specialisation in tourism planning and development gives our graduates the edge in professionally dealing with various stakeholders.
      2. This programme equips students with the knowledge and skills to advance their career at the managerial level, secure employment in specialist areas, either private or public sectors and prepares them to pursue their PhD degree. 
      • Full-time: Min 2 semesters / Max 4 semesters
      • Part-time: Min 4 semesters / Max 8 semesters

      Semester 1 and 2

      Malaysian (MYR) International (USD)
      • Registration Fee : 310.00
      • Tuition Fee : 260.00 X 44 Units = 11,440.00
      • Convocation Fee : 200.00
      • Registration Fees : 222.50
      • Personal Bond : 1,000.00
      • Tuition Fees : 97.50 X 44 Units = 4290.00
      • Convocation Fee : 50.00

      ** Fees are subject to change


      To apply for this program, please visit our official admissions portal at https://admission.usm.my/postgraduate. Follow the straightforward application process to submit your application and explore the possibilities of joining our vibrant academic community. We look forward to welcoming you to School of Housing, Building and Planning, Universiti Sains Malaysia and helping you embark on a transformative educational journey.

      Program Briefing


      Note: This programme is offered full-time and part-time. However, the classes will be conducted during weekdays. The schedule of classes is 2 to 3 days a week but the part-timer students may take 1 day a week (duration time to graduate will be longer).