Travel and Tourism Curriculum

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Due to the current situation, departmental curriculum plans are not currently available.

Here is the Cowley COVID resuming plan as an interim guide.

Curriculum aim

At Cowley, the BTEC First and BTEC National qualifications in Travel and Tourism have an essential core of knowledge and applied skills. There is an external assessment in which the students have to explore the travel and tourism sector. This provides independent evidence of learning and progression alongside the predominantly portfolio-based assessment.

Our curriculum should give learners opportunities to link education and the world of work in engaging,

relevant and practical ways. It should enable learners to enhance their English and mathematical competence in relevant, applied scenarios as well as support learners’ development of transferable interpersonal skills, including working with others, problem solving, independent study and personal, learning and thinking skills. Ultimately, it should give learners a route through education that has clear progression pathways to further study or an Apprenticeship.

Fundamentally, after completing this qualification we want our students to have an insightful understanding of travel destinations worldwide and in the UK in terms of their location and appeal. We want our students to have developed a competence when dealing with customers/other professionals in a face to face, over the phone or written context. And they should have an appreciation of the factors that can affect tourism and its economic importance.

Curriculum structure

Our curriculum is organised to give our learners a core of underpinning knowledge, skills and understanding, and a range of options to reflect the breadth of pathways in a sector. This gives learners the opportunity to gain a broad understanding and knowledge of the travel and tourism sector as well being able to investigate areas of specific interest. The curriculum is designed to develop essential skills and attributes prized by employers, further education colleges and higher education institutions.

Students studying Travel and Tourism at Cowley will start their learning by studying towards and externally assessed unit which underpins their knowledge of the travel industry. Following that they study portfolio based units which culminate in a synoptic internal assessment which will require them to utilise all of the skills and knowledge they have acquired in previous units of work.

Curriculum in action

Curriculum Beyond the Classroom
Experience of travel and tourism organisations is vital to understanding and developing skills in this sector. As a result we take our students on several industry visits including David Ogden Travel (local independent tour operator), Hilton Hotel (large multinational organisation), Manchester Airport (large gateway airport and employer for the region), Southport Pleasure land (traditional local visitor attraction).

Subject Expertise
All staff delivering Travel and Tourism have delivered the curriculum at Level 2 and Level 3 for over five years. All have relevant business qualifications to at least degree level with one member of staff studying Leisure and Tourism to post graduate level. All new members of staff are given a full set of resources and are supported in assessment via the internal verification process.

There are mandatory units and optional units. Mandatory units, developed in consultation with employers and educators, give learners the opportunity to gain a broad understanding and knowledge of a vocational sector. Optional specialist units focus more closely on a vocational area, supporting progression to a more specialised Level 3 vocational or academic course or to an Apprenticeship.

Staff delivering Travel and Tourism will have an ongoing dialogue with students about career choices and opportunities. Very often staff receive latest information about new courses, work experience and employment opportunities. This is relayed to students and staff facilitate students in their application process.

The sector-specific skills and knowledge will provide a sound basis for progression to further study of this sector at level 3 through a vocational qualification such as a BTEC National in Travel and Tourism, an apprenticeship in travel and tourism or a Degree programme such as Tourism Development or Event Management.