It is the department‘s mission to train students to be professionals and prepare them for active participation in policy making and development of the tourism sector and for research based graduate programs. The department provides the industry with well educated people who will improve the professionalism and quality of Icelandic tourist services.
This is achieved by two main emphases: An emphasis on teaching methods based on student involvement and training communication skills, analytical thinking and critical evaluation. Students are expected to participate in the on-line educational community in a professional manner, and they are expected to participate actively in the quality measures and course development. An emphasis is placed on providing practical education that leads to employment opportunities. Many of the courses have practical components. The diploma programs both have an extended practicum (15 and 30 ECTS respectively) where students are expected to be reflective practitioners in the field under supervision of faculty as well as a workplace mentor.
In the program offerings these aims are addressed by course offerings on four foundations of tourism: Infrastructure and development; Management, marketing and business skills; tourist experience – demand, expectations and experiences; Supply of services, events and products. Quality, sustainability and professionalism are the underlying principles of the programs.
Each of those four streams offers both general courses as well as courses focused on more specific matters. Tourism is a very diverse sector and offers range of opportunities to engage in specialized fields. The aim of the diploma programs is to give the students a broad overview of the sector and insight in topics of relevance. Specific subjects are more common during the second half of the BA program, in particular with a focus on various types of niche tourism.
The programs progress from the general to the specific. The diploma programs open with an overview course; Tourism and Festivals and events, respectively. There the practicum and for the Event management, the final project are the in-depth, individual study components. The first year offers the overview and in years 2 and 3 more specific issues are raised and the demand for personal input and individual research increases.