The Swiss Hotel School South Africa Degree in Hospitality Management

By | October 23, 2022

The Swiss Hotel School South Africa Degree in Hospitality Management

Overview & Objectives
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 focuses 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 to 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 develop 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.
Work Integrated Learning:
In response to the need for students to become competent in the foundation skills of the industry, the degree programme offers:
On-Campus Practicals. These take place each year –
In the first year predominantly during the second term, where students in small groups work in the kitchen, restaurant, and housekeeping during the middle of the day. In the second year, through planning and delivering a series of functions and events. In the third year, through involvement in The Capstone project which challenges students to create, organize, deliver, and review a commercial “pop-up restaurant”.
The foundation skills internship – This takes place in the third term of the first year and requires time to be spent in a local hotel working (unpaid) in the kitchen, food service, and rooms departments. This is a 12-week internship.
The Long Stage – Taking place in the last term of the second year and the first term of the third year creates the opportunity for students to work further afield. Many will look to Switzerland, UAE, UK, and the USA as possible work destinations, through those that remain in the region are more likely to achieve junior management or supervisory positions. This paid internship requires the student to choose an aspect of the industry of special interest and develop a deeper understanding of hospitality management practice prior to embarking on final year studies.
Business Management Stream
Hospitality Business Management 1
HBM 1 (NQF 5)
Prepares the student with skills and inculcates attitudes to enable them to perform in a professional business setting. Students are introduced to the concept of managing themselves, acting timeously, being organized, displaying discipline and having the confidence to ask questions in order to meet the goals of their employer. The first step of successfully managing others is successfully managing yourself. This module will focus on two perspectives. Internal communications look at the process of communicating with colleagues within the organization. External communications examine dealing with other stakeholders such as guests – potential and actual, suppliers, government and competitors.
Hospitality Business Management 2a: Management Fundamentals
HBM 2a (NQF 6)
Focuses on managing people and groups within an organization. This module will mostly focus on an internal perspective from the position of supervisor or line manager within a hospitality organization. Students will be introduced to the fundamentals of management such as organizing, planning, directing and controlling. Leading teams and projects are aspects that supervising managers are required to do. Developing plans for both internal and external communications will also be covered in the establishment of a winning organizational culture.​
Hospitality Business Management 2b: Human Resources and the Legal Environment
Moves on from HBM2a focusing on managing the human resource within the hospitality environment. This module involves an exploration of processes, procedures, and disciplines that govern and influence how an organization works, the legal boundaries and rules regarding managing people. This module will address general labour laws, but with a focus on hospitality-specific legislation that influences hospitality operations.
The third year of this stream is delivered in two separate modules that run throughout the third year, namely, Leadership and Hospitality Sales and Marketing. Each will comprise its own content and assessment that together give the third-year student an in-depth understanding of the internal and external perspectives of communication within the hospitality business environment. At the higher levels of management, internal communication focuses on inspiring, motivating, and integrating different aspects of the business towards organizational growth and success. External communication, in this case, deals with customer-facing communication – sales and marketing specialization. External communication as it applies to the greater stakeholder group is covered in another final year subject – Ethics and Corporate Governance.
Finally, though this module is completed early in the year, there is also an Internship Report (LIR) that focuses on the application of management theory within the context of the long internship between years 2 and 3.​
Takes the next step by focusing on dealing with people within a hospitality organization from a position of leadership. This module addresses different concepts of leadership in the leading and developing an organization through strategic organizing, structuring of the human resource. This module asks the student to evaluate various leadership styles and decide on which is most appropriate for the young hospitality manager.​
Hospitality Sales and Marketing
engages students in the understanding and creation of external communication strategies within the hospitality industry. At higher levels of management, there are a number of key factors to consider when developing external communication strategies.
The Internship Report
A deliverable that is created during the long internship that takes place between 2nd year and 3rd year. The report requires students to identify, investigate and analyze the different business disciplines of the hospitality organization in which they have worked for 22 weeks.  They then need to propose improvements to the systems that they have experienced in order to improve the results of the organization. Departments include rooms’ division, food and beverage service, kitchen and food preparation, sales and marketing, financial control and human resources. Specific aspects will be explained during the internship briefing that takes place in August before the commencement of the internship.    ​
Hospitality Operations Stream
It is the educational perspective of The Swiss Hotel School that good managers require a working level of competence and experience in the operational aspects they are to manage. As a result of this, each student will be required to demonstrate theoretical and practical competence in the 3 fundamental operations of hospitality.
Food Preparation
FP (NQF 5)
Aims to provide students with theoretical and practical knowledge of the fundamental principles of food preparation and cookery. As one of the 3 fundamental operations of the hospitality industry, hospitality managers will need a working knowledge of the processes, procedures, and structures of food production. ​
Food and Beverage Services
F&B (NQF 5)
Aims to provide students with theoretical and practical knowledge of the fundamental principles of food and beverage service. As one of the 3 fundamental operations of the hospitality industry, hospitality managers will need a working knowledge of the processes, procedures, and structures of service.​
Accommodation Services
AS (NQF 5)
Aims to provide students with theoretical and practical knowledge of the fundamental principles of accommodation services. As one of the 3 fundamental operations of the hospitality industry, hospitality managers will need a working knowledge of the processes, procedures, and structures of managing reservations, preparing and maintaining rooms, housekeeping, as well as front desk services.  ​
Hospitality Operations Management 1a: Supervisory Management
HOM1a (NQF 6)
Once the fundamentals are in place, HOM 2 engages the learner in the supervision and management of such hospitality operations. The student is now required to plan, organize and implement theoretical management principles in real-world hospitality events, which not only involves the management of people, but the management of finance, developing basic marketing strategies, and application of operational theory.​
Hospitality Operations Management 1b: Cost and Revenue Management
HOM1b (NQF 6)
Stays within the field of supervision of hospitality operations, but focuses more on financial controlling. Being responsible for financial outcomes is a key differentiator between operator and supervisor – supervisors in hospitality are generally responsible for handling money, promoting sales and controlling expenses within their sphere of influence. To this end, this module engages students in the fundamental aspects of managing operational finances.​
Hospitality Operations Management 2: The Restaurant Project
HOM 2 (NQF 7)
This capstone project requires students to call on all their gathered knowledge and experience in order to develop their own hospitality organization – a pop-up restaurant. They will need to analyze and evaluate competition, design and develop products, and then implement within the public domain. Developing and integrating organizational strategies from finance, marketing and human resources (these have been covered in other subjects in the course) is a key aspect of this module.​
Finance Stream

Financial Management takes place over 2 years starting in the second year of the course. The key rationale for having FM is the recognition that management in hospitality – and any business sector – requires an understanding of financial concepts.​
Financial Management 1: Introduction to accounting
FM1 (NQF 6)
Students are introduced to the fundamentals of accounting. FM1 sets the foundation with the basic knowledge of accounting practices – specifically focused on the compilation and understanding of income statements.
Financial Management 2: Hospitality Accounting
FM 2 (NQF 7)
Moves on from the fundamentals of income statement accounting to a consideration of valuing businesses and balance sheet accounting. This will necessitate the study of business funding, cash flow management, depreciation, and taxation.
Supplementary Subjects
Supplementary subjects represent a series of supporting modules that engage students in broader, more generalised knowledge and skillsets. The purpose is to provide students with the opportunity to develop and improve supporting skills that have proven to be highly beneficial within the hospitality industry.
End-user Computing
Focusses on end-user computing. Make sure students feel comfortable using generic computing software for their studies, research, and business management. Being exposed to the online learning environment helps promote self-directed learning, while exposure to hospitality-specific software such as Fidelio Opera PMS software adds to their ability to integrate more quickly into a hospitality organization.​
introduces students to the broader context of the hospitality industry and views tourism through the lens of a supply and demand model. Managing a hospitality organisation requires an understanding of the regulations, trends and other players within the tourism sector. This module looks at tourism from both a local and international perspective. Students will explore the history of Tourism in South Africa and how it has shaped current tourism trends, as well as the impact of developing technologies, communication pathways and consumer behaviour. This supplementary module will help students understand the tourism supply chain and how to reach international tourists.   ​
the next supporting module is that of learning an additional language. In line with the heritage of the school, the students have an option of learning either French or German. Having an additional language is highly advantageous in the hospitality sector and opens students up to greater work opportunities all over the world and improves empathy when dealing with foreign guests.​
Students engage with the broader aspects of business management through the lens of Macroeconomics. Hospitality is a global industry that conducts business in every country in the world. Macroeconomics explores the variables and factors that impact the management of businesses around the world and in South Africa.
Ethics and Corporate Governance
The final aspect of student support is engagement with ethics and corporate responsibility. More and more there is a need for ethical leadership from managers in the hospitality sector as well as ethical organizational practices from hospitality organizations. Aspects such as sustainability, ecological impact, addressing previous imbalances of rights and education all contribute to good leadership practices. Through case studies and in-depth analyses of ethical leadership and corporate responsibility, students are able to engage with these concepts to add to their business management knowledge.
Looks to engage students in a different area of hospitality business management and operations which is the designing and development of their own business. This support module focuses the students on the processes and legal procedures of opening your own hospitality business in South Africa. Moreover, the module engages students in the analysis of new business ventures both locally and internationally in order to establish common traits of success and failure. This will also cover the concept of innovation and how to turn imagination into a working business plan.
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Bachelor of Hospitality Management Programme: AdmissionTo be eligible for admission to the Bachelor of Hospitality Management, applicants need to meet the following minimum requirements: need to add in all criteria – chef qualifications and the advanced certificate.

  • Applicants holding a South African National Senior Certificate (NSC) with a University Degree Endorsement as certified by Umalusi. Applicants holding a South African Senior Certificate need matriculation endorsement.
  • English language at an achievement rating of 4 (50 – 59%) or above.
  • Mathematics at a rating of 4 (50 – 59% ), Mathematical Literacy at 5 (60+)

Applicants will be CONDITIONALLY ADMITTED based on their Grade 11 or equivalent results, subject to them meeting all the minimum requirements. FINAL ADMISSION to the programme will depend on the final Grade 12 results.
If the applicant’s Senior Certificate was received prior to 2008 or if they completed a different school leaving qualification or if they completed their formal high school qualification at an international institution, a separate arbitration will be made by the Registrar based on this qualification levels of parity with the APS system.

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Application Process

Applications are welcome from all qualified, interested students regardless of race, religion, national origin, or sexual orientation.  The School aims to conclude most of its registration work by November each year but recognizes that with matriculation results being published in early January there may be some last-minute activity.