Island Tourism and Tourist Guiding (STGA Accredited) SCQF Level 6

What is special about this course?

This exciting course includes a varied mix of lectures, tutorials, e-learning, practical training, site visits private study and assignments. The course is based on the National Certificate and NPA awards and will provide access to the Tourism and Tourist Guiding Industry.

The course is based on the National Certificate and NPA awards and will provide access the Tourist Guiding Industry in the Islands.

Entry requirements

There are no formal entry requirements, however it would be helpful if students had either a Nat 5 in English, Travel & Tourism at SCQF5 or a Social Science subject at Nat 5 (Business Management, Geography, History or Modern Studies).

The course includes lectures, tutorials, e-learning, practical training, private study and assignments. The course is based on the National Certificate and NPA awards.

The course includes area-specific subjects and will include theoretical core knowledge. 

Semester 1 will include theoretical knowledge units on General Heritage, Human History and Culture of the Islands, the Environment, Natural History and Sustainability, Economics and Contemporary life. 

In addition, the course will also include common subjects such as presentation techniques and communication techniques, microphone techniques including group management. The tourism business element of the training will also include the fundamentals of economics, the tourism industry worldwide, the tourist guiding profession, sustainable tourism, commercial and legal aspects of the profession, research, planning and development of guided tours, management of health & safety and first aid training.

The majority of semester 2 will be spent on the practical training aspect of the course including tours and field trips including all the major heritage sites in Orkney. The field trips shall include coach, site and walking tours including both rural and urban environments including museums, art galleries, historic sites, archaeological sites, places of architectural and cultural importance and natural heritage sites.

How will I study my course?

  • Full Time

The course will be available via blended learning with the option in semester 1 of attending in person or online. Semester 2 will require attendance at the College to undertake the practical training and work experience.

How long will my course last?

1 Academic Year

Where can I study my course?

    • UHI Orkney, Kirkwall

Start date

26th August 2024


Full time

If you are studying a full time Further Education course (NCs, NQs etc.) the College claims your fees from the Scottish Funding Council for students who are under 18 on the first day of the course. Students over the age of 18 on the first day of the course have to apply to Orkney Islands Council (OIC) for a tuition fees bursary.

Information on the tuition fees bursary is available on the OIC website.

Part time

Normally you are responsible for your course fees but if you are in receipt of certain benefits you may be eligible for a Part Time Course Fee Waiver. Not all part-time courses at Orkney College UHI are covered by the Fee Waiver Scheme and only certain benefits are acceptable as a basis for a Fee Waiver. Please contact the college to enquire.

If you are eligible, you may be entitled to an ILA of up to £200 a year towards a course.


£1008 (full course cost if Scottish domiciled) students from the rest of the UK should contact for information on course fees.

Full-time course is eligible for the bursary as well as any fees related to materials. Students will be advised of material costs at the start of there course.

If you have any queries on course fees and funding, please contact


Orkney Islands Council Local Bursary funding and Educational Maintenance Allowance may be available.

Contact: School Place, Kirkwall

Tel: 01856 873535

or visit

Students may also be eligible to have their course fees waived.

What can I do on completion of my course?

Possible areas of employment include:

  • Airports
  • Airlines
  • Shipping, ferry and cruise companies
  • Car rental firms, coach companies
  • Tourist boards, tourist information centres
  • Visitor attractions
  • Guiding Accommodation providers
  • Travel agencies and Tour operating firms (domestic, inbound and outbound)

The potential income generation potential for tour guides can be found here.

Is there more information available online?

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Apply for Island Tourism and Tourist Guiding (STGA Accredited) SCQF Level 6

I want to start in 2024/25

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at Orkney College UHI. Orkney College UHI operates a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of age, disability, gender identity, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity status, race, religion and/or belief, sex, sexual orientation or socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.