The Swiss Hotel School 2018 Graduate, Bianca Hilzinger.
11th November 2019
Bachelor of Hospitality Management Programme: Modules
11th November 2019

In terms of the number of people it employs, Hospitality and Tourism is the world’s biggest industry. In South Africa it accounts for 1,636,400 direct or indirect jobs and for the last six years it has also outpaced GDP growth and sectors such as Financial & Business Services, Manufacturing, Public Services, Retail and Transport (World Travel & Tourism Council, 2017). Of the various sub-sectors that comprise Travel & Tourism, the Hospitality sectors (i.e.  Accommodation, Food & Beverage, Conferences & Events and Adventure Tourism & Recreation) provide by far the majority of jobs. As an industry that provides service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week every day of the year, the hospitality industry relies on the ability of its management to provide leadership through all the service processes. This then emphasizes the need for well-educated and experienced young managers with confidence and energy to drive the industry forward towards organizational and national growth.   

For a three year investment of time and money, a degree has clear advantages over a diploma. It offers a number of purposes for personal and career development.  Currently, the majority of Hospitality Management Diploma holders are denied entry into further education programmes such as Post-Graduate Diploma in Management and MBA, as degrees are the minimum requirement for entries into such qualifications. There is a strong argument to develop specific post-graduate qualifications in hospitality management in the future, but the development of a quality degree is our first step.

This Bachelor of Hospitality Management programme is targeted at individuals who are service-minded, who possess good commercial insights and the potential for entrepreneurship. It is designed for students who want to pursue career paths in top management positions within the hospitality industry. Students will acquire the knowledge needed to lead a financially sound business, develop strong management and communication skills as well as develop sound business strategies for achieving organizational growth. 

Graduates of a Bachelor of Hospitality Management will gain detailed knowledge of specific management topics – restaurant management, food & beverage management, room division management, and human resources. Also in-depth knowledge of economics, accounting and sales, and marketing applicable to the hospitality business environment.

Graduates will target different management positions within a wide range of organizations – from more traditional management positions – initially departmental management roles such as Restaurant Manager, Events Coordinator, Banqueting Manager, Front Office Manager and Head Housekeeper to specialist positions such as HR Manager, Sales and Marketing Manager, Food & Beverage Controller and Purchasing Manager. Some will aspire to senior management positions, Hotel General Manager or Regional Manager of a restaurant group but those with a strong element of entrepreneurship will be looking to start up their own enterprise, be it a restaurant, country lodge, catering company, training provider or event Management Company.  

The Swiss Hotel School vision for the industry is to produce a number of well educated, critically skilled and independently capable young professionals to not only meet the requirements of the South African tourism and hospitality sector but to take up leadership roles to drive future growth.

Programme / Exit level Outcomes

This programme focusses on the qualities required to make a success of responsible positions and establishing in the graduates the tools to continue learning and adapting to the changing needs of the industry.

Qualifying students should be able to:

1.  To demonstrate a high level of independent capability indicating the confidence and ability to analyze unfamiliar problems in a dynamic and unfamiliar environment, synthesize potential solutions and evaluate the most appropriate solution.

2.  Establish managerial confidence through understanding and applying fundamental aspects of management in the hospitality industry as well as demonstrating a high level of competence in core hospitality operational sectors. These are food preparation and production, food and beverage service, industry-relevant IT software and accommodation services.

3.  Understand and apply the fundamental principles of business finance in strategic financial decision making within the hospitality sector, including (but not limited to) the ability to create and analyse budgets, income statements and cash flow reports for small, micro and medium enterprises (SMMEs) as well as for individual business units within larger organisations.

4.  Analyze, evaluate and synthesize appropriate sales and marketing strategies for SMMEs or individual business units within larger organizations within the hospitality sector demonstrating clear-sightedness on market segmentation, value for money, as well as micro and macro-economic influences.

5.  Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of Human Resource Management within the hospitality sector and being able to create and implement HR strategies to meet strategic objectives with respect of recruitment and selection processes, training and development programmes as well as disciplinary and legal procedures in order to create an equitable, positive and productive workplace.

6.  Understand and apply principles of business and developing business strategies across a variety of contexts. Students must also demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of service-oriented leadership theories and business ethics that promote supportive leadership and sustainable organizational development.

7. Analyze and develop solutions to overcome communication barriers and problems while applying effective communication and interpersonal strategies within a hospitality business environment.


The curriculum consists of core modules and supplementary modules. All these are compulsory as part of the programme with one elective being a choice of French or German language which takes place in the 2nd year.  The core modules are grouped into academic streams (Business Management, Hospitality Operations, and Finance) that indicate progression from one year to the next. Where there are semester modules (indicated with “a” and “b”) students must successfully finish the former before continuing with the latter. All modules must be passed (50% or more) in order to graduate. See the Course Outline below followed by the module descriptions.