An innovative new university level course delivered in Newquay, is tackling the growing impact of the tourism sector on our environment.
The one-of-a-kind Ecotourism foundation degree offered by Cornwall College Newquay, is focused on a new form of tourism, intended as a low-impact and smaller scale alternative to standard commercial mass tourism.
Head of Campus at Cornwall College Newquay Ruth Martin said the course was vital “in these times of environmental change”.
“In an increasingly unstable world, a shift in the environmental management of tourism is essential for a sustainable future for the industry,” she continued.
“Our FdSc Ecotourism programme offers a mix of key themes for employment in the growing ecotour industry. It really is the only course of its kind, with a focus on wildlife, business and tourism, enabling students to learn the underpinning knowledge and skills to be a valuable employee or to even set up a business themselves.”
One of the defining principles of the growing ecotourism movement is that tourists have a responsibility to become conservationists to protect areas of importance and beauty for future generations.
“Our graduates in Ecotourism will lead this evolution, inspiring people to conserve and celebrate the world around them,” Ruth explained.
The foundation degree programme is delivered over two years and covers a range of modules including Animals and their Environment, Business & Sustainability, Understanding Tourist Behaviour, Marine Vertebrate Biology & Conservation, Wildlife Education & Media in Practice and Ecosystem Services among others. There is also the opportunity to undertake a period of work experience and to carry out an Individual Research Project on a relevant subject of your choice.
“It’s really about getting hands-on to understand the sector from the inside out, honing your skills while keeping abreast of new technologies and initiatives,” Ruth explained.
“We’re lucky enough to be perfectly located in the beach-tourism capital of the U.K. with myriad experienced businesses to learn from right on the doorstep. We also benefit from our international field trip opportunities, allowing students to experience exotic ecotour locations first-hand.”
Known for its environmentally friendly ethos, Cornwall College Newquay has grown its Higher Education community over a twenty year partnership with Newquay Zoo, offering university level courses in Zoology, Animal Behaviour & Psychology, Husbandry & Welfare and Wildlife Education.
Student Jade Clayson has recently returned from Thailand to study the final year of her BSc degree in Environmental Resource Management at Cornwall College Newquay.
Jade is the co-founder of Thailand Elephants; a registered charity dedicated to educating the public about the importance of the conservation and protection of elephants.
Jade said: “Ecotourism could not be more important in the 21st century, to help protect our wild places and promote ethical wildlife experiences; to conserve, respect and admire. Working in ecotourism shows your leadership and eagerness to make a difference.”
“This Ecotourism course will develop your skills and understanding of the important relationships between wildlife, business and tourism, and you’ll be an advocate for wildlife. Cornwall College Newquay is a wonderful place to study; the location is magnificent, the lecturers are incredibly supportive and the overall community feel really helps you prosper in your studies. I chose to return back to Newquay for my studies, purely because I could not imagine studying anywhere else.”
For more information on the Ecotourism foundation degree, as well as the range of university level Wildlife Education, Animal Behaviour & Husbandry and Zoological, Marine & Ecological Conservation courses available at Cornwall College Newquay visit www.cornwall.ac.uk or call 0330 123 2523.