Program Description

The global tourism industry demands passionate entrepreneurs and leaders with advanced, industry-specific training. The Master of Arts in Tourism Management (MATM) program is designed to help you fulfill that demand by empowering you to lead and adapt to change.

If you have a passion for travel, sustainability, community development, culture or any other facet of the tourism industry, the MATM program can help you acquire the skills and experience to thrive in any number of exciting and highly rewarding career paths.

With the support of industry experts, the MATM program equips you with leadership skills, advanced knowledge specific to tourism research, and immersive opportunities. Together these learnings help you to better understand and navigate current tourism trends. Together with your cohort, you’ll develop individual resiliency and strong collaboration within your learning community.

The MATM program is built around three central themes: leadership, sustainable community development, and global understanding of travel and culture. The course content expands upon a conceptual foundation in the social sciences and business. These areas of academia help to enhance your personal development and provide unique insights into tourism, both as an adaptive economic engine and a global social instrument for change. A variety of engaging elective courses and specializations allow you to customize your educational journey and align it with your desired research interest and future career path.

Learn the skills you need to respond, pivot quickly and lead change. You’ll examine real-life case studies that showcase different approaches to sustainable tourism development, engage with knowledgeable, highly experienced faculty and learn how to address workplace challenges within tourism and hospitality organizations. Our field-study invites you to apply your theoretical and applied learnings from your program in global communities. In addition, our internship option offers you the opportunity to build valuable industry experience both domestically and internationally.

The MATM program is offered in two delivery models: on-campus or blended delivery that combines online learning with two one-week residencies on our stunning Victoria campus.
If you’re unsure about committing to a master’s level program, Royal Roads also offers a Graduate Certificate in Tourism Management that fully ladders into the MATM program.

You may be able to transfer previously earned credits from a RRU Graduate Certificate program. For more details contact an enrolment advisor.

Who It’s For

This program is for anyone with a tourism-related background who wants to obtain the skills, confidence and strategic vision to lead change in an exciting career in the global tourism industry.

To learn more about the application requirements for the program visit our Program Admissions page.

Key Features

The Master of Arts in Tourism Management is a 36-credit program that covers a wide array of topics integral to your success in the highest levels of the tourism industry. The program, which combines team-based work and online learning, consists of six required courses, a range of electives courses, field studies, semester abroad opportunities, an optional internship, three optional specializations and three completion options.


The MATM on-campus program includes a field study to a world-renowned destination. During this trip, you’ll conduct field research on a topic of your choice while connecting with local agencies and experiencing the destination from a tourist’s perspective. This week-long trip includes both group activities and individual time to explore on your own. The field study is an optional component for our students in the blended MATM delivery. Please note, there’s an additional field trip cost associated with the field study.


As part of the MATM program, you’ll have the chance to develop valuable industry connections and experience during an optional 420-hour internship. Your internship is an opportunity to intimately explore a specific career path - either in Canada or abroad. Students are required to seek out their own internship positions however RRU staff and faculty support the search process through career learning and development workshops, community networking events and skill building.
Learn how our Career Learning and Development office supports Royal Roads students.


The MATM has three specialization options: Social Entrepreneurship, Disaster and Emergency Management or Sustainability. Selected due to areas of high demand in the market, these specializations allow you to personalize your learning experience, customize your program, and gain the knowledge and practical experiences in areas that interest you most. Learn more…


You’ll be able to choose from three different program completion options: course-based, major research project (MRP) or thesis option. Both the major research project and thesis options are recommended if you’re considering pursuing a doctorate in the future.


The course-based option includes the six required courses plus five elective courses that you’ll choose depending on your research interests. You’ll complete the program with a capstone course which consolidates your program. Through this completion option, you’ll have the opportunity to customize your learning by focusing on themes within the tourism and hospitality industry and expanding your consulting and entrepreneurial skill sets.

Major Research Project (MRP):

Following the six required courses, you’ll select three elective courses and complete a major research project. This research project integrates both theory and applied research. You’ll complete your project with guidance from a faculty advisor. An MRP includes 1) a paper 2) a video, spoken presentation, forum, or other approved presentation medium

If you’re looking to apply your research learnings in your current workplace or if you’re interested in getting some applied project experience, this path is ideal for you. This completion option gives you an opportunity to deep-dive into a specific topic of interest.


In addition to the six required courses, you’ll choose two elective courses as well as develop a thesis. The thesis option requires approval from the program head. This approval process is in place to ensure you are committed to finishing the thesis within the duration of your program.

You'll complete a comprehensive research paper which includes both primary and secondary research on a particular topic of interest. You’ll work with your faculty advisor to identify your topic, methodology, theoretical framework and appropriate literature. In addition, you’re required to select an academic committee and are expected to defend your thesis at the end of your program.