Stenden endorses both a practical and theoretical approach to learning, believing that a balance between the two is the most beneficial approach. The first year is a foundation phase, and the following two years are the post foundation phase. Each year is divided into two semesters of two modules each.
Real World Learning is the integration of theory and industry (practise) and is extremely important as:
- It prepares students for professional life
- It actively aids in Problem Based Learning, giving students the opportunity to test theories and techniques in real life situations
- It provides students with contacts and assists in networking
- Students are exposed to working life in a top, internationally recognised, learning hotel, such as MyPond Hotel or another partnering institution.
Stenden South Africa offers a three year Bachelor of Commerce Degree in Hospitality Management, and is the only institution in South Africa to do so. Students will experience a critical practical learning experience in their 1st, 2nd and 3rd year of study, by working at a hotel learning facility such as My Pond Hotel for a number of weeks.
Hospitality Operations (HO), Guest Experience (GE), Resources, and Real World Learning (RWL).
In their first year of study, students start at an operational level, working in the kitchen production process, familiarising themselves with essential practical skills such as:
- The basics of hygiene and cooking and cutting techniques
- Waiting techniques
- Learning about wine
- Learning about nutrition
- Cost calculations
- Operating the Reception and Housekeeping Departments
The Second Year focuses on the operational functions of a hotel. This is studied from 3 perspectives:
- Operations Design: discusses how to set up operations which support the service concept of a company.
- Hospitality Operations Performance: the day to day management of operations.
- Hospitality Operations Environment: the context in which operations take place, with an emphasis on financial and legal issues.
To support the student’s further development as a future manager, there is also a choice of Minor specializations. Students may choose from the following Minors:
- Event Management 1
- Lodge Management
- Change and Innovation
- Online Revenue Management
- Wildlife Management
- International Human Resource Management
Strategic Semester (2 modules)
Module 1: Strategic Hospitality Management (8 weeks) – this module challenges students on a strategic level. It enables them to understand why companies adopt certain strategies and make strategic decisions. The module is known as a “capstone module” which essentially means it ties together all previous subjects from Finance and Economics to Human Resource Management and Marketing.
Module 2: Psychology of Management and Organisations (4 weeks) – this component of the Third Year allows students to understand the psychology behind management. It enables students to understand what motivates employees and managers while looking at theory related to teamwork, cohesion, staff satisfaction and general Human Resource Management.
Real World Learning (4 weeks): the final component of the Third Year involves the practical component of the module whereby students take on the role of a manager within the MyPond Learning Hotel. Students will be given full responsibility for a chosen department and work in conjunction with management in order to ensure the hotel is run as efficiently as possible. Students are exposed to the strategic nature of running a live hotel.