Hospitality Studies (Higher Certificate) (Level 6)

  • Course Code

    CR 657

  • Field of Study

    Hospitality Management

  • Type of Course:

    Higher Certificate

  • Type of Qualification:

    Higher Certificate

  • Type of Study:

    Full time

  • Application Closing Date:

Course duration:

2 Years (4 Semesters)

Admission Requirements:

For admission to a programme, standard applicants must

  • score the necessary CAO points and
  • meet the minimum entry requirements

Leaving Certificate in five subjects i.e. Grade O6 or H7 in five subjects. The five subjects must include Mathematics*, and either English or Irish.


*The requirement for O6/H7 Mathematics may also be satisfied by Grade F2 or higher in Foundation Level Mathematics.


QQI awards accepted: Holders of QQI Level 5 awards may apply through the CAO. Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) operates within the National Framework of Qualifications, and has awards (formerly FETAC awards) placed at Level 5 (Certificate) or Level 6 (Advanced Certificate) of the Framework.


Info re MTU Cork Mathematics Exam only:
Some students who apply to MTU Cork courses may not achieve the required entry standard in Mathematics through the Leaving Certificate. For such applicants, MTU Cork offers a second chance to reach the required entry standard through a MTU Cork Mathematics Exam. This second chance facility allows applicants (depending on their results in the MTU Cork Mathematics Examination) to gain entry to courses with an Ordinary Leaving Certificate Mathematics entry standard, and (with a higher level of performance) courses with a Higher Leaving Certificate entry standard. Please click here for more information.


Work Placement

There is a formal structured work placement over the summer at the end of Year 1. Students will have a formal, organised work placement in a good quality hotel or restaurant under the guidance of an experienced hospitality professional. The placement will be matched to the student’s area of interest and skill level. The work placement is a formal component of the programme and is awarded academic marks and credits.

Leaving Cert Subjects:

Helpful subjects are English, Mathematics, Business Subject(s), Home Economics, and a European Language.


Tourism & Hospitality

For information on Fees/Student Grants/Scholarships and Financial Assistance, please click here


Hospitality Studies is a broad programme of learning which provides an introduction to all of the operations areas in the hospitality sector. Students get an opportunity to study and practice the areas of restaurant service, bar service operations, front office, rooms division, accommodation, event organisation, introduction to culinary skills, along with a range of business subjects.

The combination of practical skills and theoretical subjects gives the student the opportunity to identify their area of preference in the sector and to subsequently develop a valuable career in their chosen field.

About the Course

CR657 Course Location: MTU Cork Bishopstown Campus

The Higher Certificate in Arts in Hospitality Studies is designed to meet the skills requirements of students who wish to pursue careers within the hospitality sector. Graduates typically work in contact with the customer in hotels, restaurants or bar operations or associated areas such as conferences and events. The strong element of practical learning involved in this course is appealing to many candidates.

Practical classes, formal lectures, guest lectures, site visits and group projects are all used to ensure students receive a fully rounded study environment. A formal work placement allows the student to put into practice the skills which they have learned while in college, under the guidance of an experienced hospitality professional, and students are awarded academic marks for this important component of their course.

The Tourism and Hospitality buildings are of the best modern standard and include modern Demonstration and Production Kitchens, IT Laboratories, a Demonstration Theatre, Training Restaurants, a Training Bar, Training Reception and fully equipped classrooms. In addition students have easy access to the wider Institute facilities such as an excellent library, IT facilities, sports and recreation facilities and other student supports, such as a large range of student clubs and societies.

Administration and support facilities are offered in an environment where students have direct access to an experienced and qualified lecturing team.

Work Placement

There is a formal structured work placement over the summer at the end of Year 1. Students will have a formal, organised work placement in a good quality hotel or restaurant under the guidance of an experienced hospitality professional.


The Placement will be matched to the student’s area of interest and skill level. The work placement is a formal component of the programme and is awarded academic marks and credits.

Further Study

Suitable qualified graduates can progress to: 


Honours Degree holders who achieve the specified level of academic performance are eligible to apply for a postgraduate course of study, both at MTU Cork and at other third level colleges in Ireland and abroad.

Question Time

What is the difference between Hospitality Studies and Hospitality Management?
Hospitality Studies focuses on the day-to-day operations within the hospitality sector, where positions require a hands-on customer centred focus.

Hospitality Management focuses on the successful operation and profitable management of the overall business and its resources.

What are the facilities like for this course in MTU Cork?
The facilities in the Department of Tourism and Hospitality are of the highest European standard. The Building is run with the leading standards relating to both hygiene and the environment in mind at all times.

The Department is located within its own building on the campus and provides excellent facilities to enhance student learning including a range of Kitchens, Classrooms, Labs and other training facilities.

The work placement sounds exciting. Is it based in Ireland or can you be placed abroad?
The work placement takes place in a quality hospitality establishment in Ireland and it is supported by a Department of Tourism & Hospitality staff member together with a workplace mentor. However, on qualification, graduates possess a skillset which they can use to gain employment in many different roles abroad.

Graduate Profiles

Sinéad McCarthy
General Manager


“This course gave me the opportunity to gain valuable work experience in a Killarney hotel and, in turn, I decided to pursue hotel management specifically. I was confident in my choice having had the chance to study various aspects of the industry. I went on to complete a degree in business studies and hotel management, and I began work as a Trainee Manager at The Clarion Hotel in Cork. Within two years I had progressed to conference and banqueting manager. I am currently the General Manager of the Brehon Hotel in Killarney.


The Higher Certificate in Hospitality Studies provided me with the foundations to pursue a worthwhile and rewarding career.”




Louise Lyne
Restaurant Supervisor

Having graduated from CIT with her Higher Certificate in Hospitality Studies, Louise decided to progress and pursue a degree in Hospitality Management in the Department of Tourism & Hospitality. During her time in college, Louise represented CIT at the final of the National Skills Restaurant Service Competition.


Louise is currently the Restaurant Supervisor in the 5 Star Park Hotel in Kenmare, where she works daily with the Brennan brothers of televisions ‘At Your Service’.

MTU Cork has developed a website which gives full details of all modules for all courses. The website also has information on recommended textbooks, average weekly workload, assessments and exams.


Full details of the modules on this programme of study are available by clicking the following link:

Higher Certificate in Arts in Hospitality Studies



For the student who is prepared to work hard and who brings flair and passion to hospitality, the opportunities are endless. Hotels, restaurants, bars, events and work place catering are all areas which are an ideal career choice for graduates. Many of our graduates travel overseas to gain experience and to enhance their skills or go on to embark on further studies in the area of hospitality.

Potential Areas of Employment

  • Hotels, Restaurants, Licenced Premises
  • Accommodation Providers
  • Catering and Events Companies
  • Specialist functions such as Reservations, Training and Human Resources

Application for this course are processed by the
Central Applications Office (CAO)



EU Applicants must apply via the CAO - please click on the link above.

Non-EU Applicants - please click here for how to apply.

CAO 1st Round:

Entry 2020: 180

CAO Cut off:

Entry 2020 Round 2: 163

CAO Average:

Joe O'Donovan
021 433 5841

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