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Study programme

Courses at the Hotel Management School Maastricht have a practical focus. We’ll help you to acquire the knowledge, skills and attitudes that will enable you to carry out practical assignments both inside and outside the school.

Hotel Operations

The focus of this module lies on the operational processes of a hotel from both a theoretical and practical perspective. During 5 practical shifts in the Teaching Hotel Chateau Bethlehem (THCB) or in the student restaurant REFRESH, the student will experience first-hand what it is like to run a hotel. Amongst others, the student will run the front desk and manage the housekeeping department. Moreover, the student is going to serve guests in the restaurant and will prepare high-quality meals in the kitchen. Theory classes and practical workshops will provide a thorough preparation for the practical shifts, and the practical learning experiences are later brought back into the classroom. Aspects related to finance, staff, gastronomy and the general organization will be discussed. Furthermore, attention will be paid to innovation and concept development. 'Hospitality' and 'Gastronomy' are the key aspects of the first semester at the Hotel Management School of Maastricht.

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Hotel Business

The first year of the HMSM programme is supposed to reflect the content and courses presented later on. This concept underlines the importance of passing your first year, the so-called propedeutic year, which seems to filter out the real hotel managers of the future and functions as a license for your graduation at the end of the four-year programme.

Whereas Hotel Operations (module 1) concentrates on doing the job and delivering the best service to the guest, in Hotel Business (module 2) the focus changes to the environment of the hotel and, therefore, to managing the business in a competitive, worldwide interconnected world.

To monitor and analyse  the broader context of the hotel business, you will take the first basic research steps. How can we understand economics and marketing in a specific hotel setting, and how can we ever deal with the many international cultural differences, or cope with the  complex legal and political setting?

Once all this is analysed and understood, you will learn to communicate the research results professionally, using writing and presentation skills.  Finally, you will try to capture the financial position of the hotel business. You will learn about  the basics of management accounting and management control, which are crucial and essential for the BBA qualification when graduating. A good start as a guarantee for success!

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People and Business

The module People and Business in the Hospitality Industry is the first module in the second year of the course. The knowledge, skills and experience you acquired during the first-year modules are an important requirement for successfully completing this module. During this phase students acquire competences at level 1 + 2 (operational and tactical level).

At this stage you will be challenged to think as a manager / entrepreneur (on a tactical level). You will operate in the area where people and business meet. To make a company profitable students should be able to :

  • analyse financial and legal aspects
  • analyse  internal processes and the external environment;
  • analyse  the market;
  • set up, manage and improve the business operation;
  • manage HR processes.

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Operational Internship

This module is dedicated to on-site education. You will have the fantastic opportunity to complete an operational internship in a hotel abroad (Front office, Housekeeping, Food & Beverage, Kitchen).

To be ready for this new adventure, you will be supported by the internship team who will help you find the right placement for you as part of the school network. In terms of destinations, the school is offering opportunities in hotels located in the USA (Washington, Miami), in the Caribbean islands, in Europe (Barcelona, Berlin, Brussels, London, Madrid, Malta, Paris), in the United Arab Emirates (Dubai, Abu Dhabi), and in Asia (Thailand, Hong Kong, Indonesia).

The school selection process will take place during module 3 along with other workshops and events to fully prepare you. During your internship, you will be assigned an internship school supervisor who will coach you for the full duration of your placement. The supervisor will not only receive your periodic reports and blogs but also visit you (when possible) at your hotel.

Strategic Hotel Management

The Hotel Management School Maastricht trains entrepreneurs and managers in the hospitality industry. In the Strategic Hotel Management programme, the task set of the hotelier / hotel manager and their management team has been chosen as the starting point. The reason is that this task set can generate possibilities for the graduate, giving admission to a wide range of professions, covered by the description 'manager in the hospitality industry’. After all, the job of the hotel manager includes managing (almost) all processes related to the facets mentioned above. The central objective of the Strategic Hotel Management programme is as follows:

“The development of management skills, both in theory and practice, which focus on creating a strategic advice product for the management team of a hotel. The advice product is focused on the particular areas that are relevant to professional hospitality competencies..”

Since the HMSM trains students for a profession in which the day-to-day activities also reflect the actual situation, it is important to experience real-life situations. To demonstrate this reality as well as possible, the study programme involves working with an existing hotel business.

The students work in teams (5 or 6) with specific management roles per student (GM, F&B, RD, Sales and Marketing, HR and Finance. The team is responsible for the entire organization, with the task of looking at the organization on the basis of the SWOT analysis and the marketing Ps and making an in-depth study of the necessary specific information and/or indicators such as number and type of guests, revenue and revenue distribution, level and type of services, personnel base both quantitative and qualitative, trends, etc. The team must also maintain an overview of the position and relevance of employees and guests. In the end, each group will write a report in which they make recommendations and give possible solutions for situations that exist within the organization and that may require improvements or modifications in order to improve the operating results in the future. This report will be presented to the project hotels.

The aim of the programme is that, during the 20-week period, an average of 32 hours per week will be spent on the study programme, which will primarily consist of a large proportion of practical exercises/activities and individual study, with a limited number of lectures and workshops. Hours will be available every week for the coaching of the advisory groups by tutors in various roles, both as content supervisor and as process coach.

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Minor 1

In your third year at the Hotel School, you will sit two ten-week elective courses. Choosing a minor means specializing in a particular field of your choice.

Minors at the Hotel Management School Maastricht:

Minor 2

In your third year at the Hotel School, you will sit two ten-week elective courses. Choosing a minor means specializing in a particular field of your choice.

Minors at the Hotel Management School Maastricht:

Exchange programme

In your third year you will be able to take part in an international exchange programme. This is particularly interesting if you want to acquire more international experience. If you choose this option, you will not take minors.

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Management project

During module 7 (the first semester of year 4), students demonstrate that they are able to analyse a management problem, consult relevant sources, carry out practice-based research and, on the basis of that research, make appropriate recommendations to a client in the field of work, which is all done on a relatively independent basis. It is here that all of the threads of the educational programme come together: in preceding modules and minors, students have acquired the knowledge and skills they need in order to successfully complete this assignment.

In this module, students are primarily trained for the role of consultant/practice-based researcher. They acquire a number of competences listed in the Professional and Course Profile (PCP) at the highest level, which is the level that HMSM graduates need to attain. It is the last module before the management internship, which rounds off the HMSM study programme.

Students work with a number of other students to carry out the assignment. Being able to work with others, learning from each other, making the best use of each other's capacities, bringing out the best in each other, working under pressure, both timewise and socially, and dealing with stress are indispensable skills in practically every professional environment that HMSM graduates will find themselves in.  

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Management Internship

This module is dedicated to on-site education. You will have the opportunity to complete an internship in a hospitality-related company for your final module.

You will be able to choose from various companies related to the 3 tracks offered at the school (Hotel Management, Horizons in Hospitality, Food Service). You can do this internship in the Netherlands or choose one of the destinations abroad offered by the school such as the USA (Washington, Miami, New York), the United Arab Emirates (Dubai, Abu Dhabi), Europe (Barcelona, Berlin, Brussels, London, Madrid, Malta, Paris) or Asia (Hong Kong).

To be ready for this new adventure, you will be supported by the internship team who will help you find the right placement for you as part of the school network. The school selection process will take place during module 7, along with other workshops and events to fully prepare you. During your internship, you will be assigned an internship school supervisor who will coach you for the full duration of your placement. Your supervisor will not only receive your periodic reports and blogs but also visit you (when possible) at your company.

Finally, you will be required to perform an individual research project at your internship company, which will be a great learning experience for you and will certainly add value to your placement for the company.

At the end of the module, you will have a final assessment to look back on the last 1,5 years at school as well as to reflect on your learning and career objectives.

First, you will apply what you have learned in the Teaching Hotel, and later on in company-based practical and management interships. And you’ll gradually acquire the professional competence that will enable you to make a brilliant start to your career.

The assignments that you are set will become more challenging as the course progresses. And they will also be closer to ‘real life’. Which means that it won’t just be teachers assessing you but that also real clients are involved, i.e. people from the industry who have come to you or your project group with a question or problem.

The Hotel School also hosts a lot of guest lecturers – often alumni – who can give you an insight into the latest developments in their field. In the second phase of the course, you will be able to choose a track, which will give your degree from the Hotel Management School Maastricht an entirely individual aspect.

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Student Lonneke de Graaf talks about her studies at the Hotel Management School Maastricht.