Advanced Certificate in Hospitality & Tourism

Learn about the hospitality and tourism industry. Gain skills and understanding in tourism, hotel management, food and beverage management, health, fitness, sales and human resource management, event management, and much more.

Course Code: VTR022
Fee Code: AC
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 900 hours
Qualification Advanced Certificate
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Plan For  Better Future

An excellent qualification to start a career in management in the tourism or hospitality industry. This course develops a diverse and unique combination of valuable skills that will set you apart from graduates of other courses. As with most industries, being different is often what gives you the edge over the competition.


Work in Hospitality and Tourism

  • work locally or overseas

  • be part of this exciting industry

  • start your own business

How Big is the Hospitality and Tourism Industry?

The hospitality and tourism industry is large and significant across many countries, providing a vast array of job opportunities. In some less developed countries, hospitality and tourism accounts for more than half of the economy; and this industry can also be among the largest of all industry sectors in many developed countries.

Hospitality and tourism may encompass a wide variety of career options including:

  • Catering

  • Food and Beverage Preparation and Service

  • Restaurant Operations

  • Hotel Management

  • Working in Resorts and on Cruise Ships

  • Event Management

  • Run Guesthouses, Bed and Breakfasts, Backpackers and more

  • Tour Company Managers 

  • Booking Agents 

  • Tour Guides 

  • Activities Officers 

  • Entertainers

Success in this industry comes first and foremost from having skills and knowledge that are in demand by clients or employers. The value in a course like this will be 90% in what you learn, and only 10% in the qualification you achieve. A Proficiency Award will catch the attention of employers when you apply for a job; but (based on years of watching the progress of graduates), it will be what you know and can do that will make the big difference to succeeding at a job interview, getting a promotion or achieving your goals in your own business.

  • Options to choose electives that you don't find in similar qualifications elsewhere.

  • An in-depth course with a duration of long duration. Study more, learn more, go further in your career or business.

  • A stronger focus on learning (we believe that what you learn is what makes the difference, not assessments)

  • Exceptional tutors with qualifications and experience (see staff profiles here ) After all, it makes sense to know who will be teaching you when you choose where to study.




Core ModulesThese modules provide foundation knowledge for the Advanced Certificate in Hospitality & Tourism.
 Food & Beverage Management BTR102
 Personnel Management VBS107
 Tourism 1 BTR103
 Hotel Management BTR202
 Tourism II Special Interest Tourism BTR204
 Adventure Tourism BTR302
Elective ModulesIn addition to the core modules, students study any 3 of the following 25 modules.
 Industry Project I BIP000
 Bookkeeping Foundations (Bookkeeping I) BBS103
 Ecotour Management BTR101
 Financial (Money) Management BBS104
 Garden Maintenance VHT100
 Health & Fitness I BRE101
 Introduction to Psychology BPS101
 Leadership BBS110
 Marine Studies I BEN103
 Research Project I BGN102
 Sales Management BBS102
 Wedding Planning BTR104
 Advertising and Promotions BBS202
 Aquafitness BRE207
 Bar Service VTR204
 Bed & Breakfast Management BTR203
 Cleaning: Domestic and Commercial VTR207
 Event Management BRE209
 Food Preparation - Foundations of Cooking BRE212
 Leisure Facility Management I BRE205
 Research Project II BGN201
 Ecotourism Tour Guide Course BTR301
 Food Processing and Technology BSS301
 Garden Tourism BTR303
 Leisure Facility Management II BRE306

Note that each module in the Advanced Certificate in Hospitality & Tourism is a short course in its own right, and may be studied separately.

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Many establishments think that variety on the menu means the more dishes offered the better. This is not correct. The extent of the menu can often confuse consumers. It is better to offer less choice and a well-balanced menu. Cutting down on choice can help cut down on waste materials in the production department, and allows the kitchen staff to operate efficiently. Another advantage of reduced choice on the menu is that when customers tire of the present menu, a menu of equal quality is easy to produce. This will help maintain guest and staff interest, and so promote trade.

You may write superb menus, but if the staff cannot prepare them, they are useless. When planning menus, the capabilities of the staff must be considered. Staff may attempt to produce the dishes listed, but they are not likely to produce them to the required standard if they are not well trained, or there is insufficient manpower.


Success in food preparation and service is directly related to the quality of the planning involved, and inversely proportional to the amount of guesswork used instead of planning. One cannot estimate or control wage costs until the quantity and quality of the labour required to produce and serve items on a given menu are known. Therefore the menu is vital to the proper planning of food and beverage operations.

An inadequate menu can result in:

  • Increased food costs
  • Increased labour costs or poorly deployed labour
  • Inadequate and complicated purchasing methods
  • Poor production techniques and poor labour relations
  • Reduced quality and quantity of production
  • Poor service techniques
  • Poor quality control and customer control.

There are several vital factors that contribute to a good menu:

  • The layout and printing (graphics etc) of the printed menu must be well presented.
  • A menu planner must have a thorough knowledge of methods of food preparation and all types of service.
  •  A menu planner must know the potential of food production and food service equipment.
  • Simpler and more convenient purchasing methods for food, equipment and cleaning contribute to a better menu.
  • A menu planner must be aware of the need for form, texture, colours and flavour in food materials and their interaction with acceptable items produced for a menu. This includes knowledge of basic nutrition and simple dietetics.
  • Menu planning depends on management and should not be left to those with inadequate experience, knowledge, or even interest, because menus should be a greater part of the attraction for a restaurant or food facility. Menu planning is the first step in planning the catering side of a new restaurant, guesthouse or food facility. It is the blueprint upon which one bases the plans, equipment and furnishings to give a logical flow system.


There are two types of menus: the set meal or table d'hote and the a la carte menu.

The meal or table d'hote (the hosts table) menu consists of a main meal, which can be breakfast, luncheon, afternoon tea, dinner or supper. The menu is made up of several courses or items and sells at a set price.

The a la carte menu consists of some dishes or items each of which is priced separately. A la carte menus are much more common in hotels, resorts or restaurants. In a guesthouse or bed and breakfast, it is unusual to offer an a la carte breakfast.

The set price table d'hote menu usually offer a choice of dishes; for example, fruit juice or soup, a meat, poultry, fish dish, cold fare, and a sweet, cheese tray, or savoury. The choice is optional. The set menu for a function does not offer a choice, to allow for easier service, especially with large numbers. However, the menu must be planned to appeal to all present.

Another way to structure a menu is to add and price a choice of supplementary dishes to a set meal. Some establishments may include an additional charge for bread, side dishes or condiments.


The menu is an important marketing medium. Menu planning is one of the most skilled tasks that confront caterers. Even the most knowledgeable often find it a challenge to their creative powers. A menu must be properly balanced, it must read well, and it must be practical. One must also price a menu, and this is a critical task. There are serious financial implications to how much the food costs the caterer, and how much it will cost the consumer.

Bearing this in mind, compose the menu to the following considerations:

  • The foods available, the weather, the time and season
  • The type of business, customer tastes and the number to be catered for
  • The balance of dishes, their colour, taste and avoidance of repetition
  • The deployment, occupancy and availability of equipment, and skill in the kitchen.
  • The sequence planning so one can correctly serve the meal and organise service. The menu must be production planned.
  • The selection and portioning of foods and the costing of dishes to the budgeted ratio of profit.

Other factors that should be considered, depending upon the type of operation, the target market, and economic viability are:

  • Nutritional value of the food
  • Selection of wines to go with the foods
  • Language of the menu.

Menus should be seasonal and topical. A heavy meal will not be acceptable during a heat wave, and people are unlikely to appreciate a selection of cold dishes in the depths of winter. Also, traditions often sets certain expectations of the menu, for instance, at Christmas, during Hannukah or Thanksgiving, when some guests might want traditional fare. Different religions and culture of the world tend to associate certain foods with certain festivals or celebrations, and the menu planner should consider whether to meet traditional expectations, at least as one menu option, or not.

Another factor to be aware of is customer perceptions, which are formed, to a large degree by customer expectations and past experience. While food fashions do change, it can be risky to be too innovative with a menu, or to try to educate the customers. On the other hand, as customers become more sophisticated and cosmopolitan in their tastes, some may be happy to try something different, such as unusual combinations of ingredients or much smaller than usual portions of food beautifully presented. Such decisions must be carefully considered.

The balancing of a menu is a matter for the caterer, and it demands his constant attention to providing variety within a menu while ensuring that all parts complement each other. Avoid poor balancing mistakes such as:
  • Having a tomato dish (pasta with a tomato based sauce) following tomato soup.
  • Offering something heavy such as bread immediately after something heavy such as a steak and kidney pie.
  • Following cream of chicken soup with a chicken and rice dish, and finishing with a rice pudding.

It is possible to feature the same foods (eg. potatoes) more than once in a meal, if presented very differently each time; for example a potato and leek soup can be followed by a main meal that has fries. Variety is created also by using a variety of cooking methods, so that the menu does not heavy in fried, boiled, dry or moist foods. Aim for both balance and variety.

Give some thought to the serving of dishes at the table also. You may need to modify what is in the menu in order to minimise the fuss and time required to serve the food. For instance, a traditional Caesar salad is prepared at the table and requires several important steps; this may make it an unsuitable choice for the menu. Also, all dishes should be served with the correct garnishes and the appropriate choice of accompaniments. For example, serve tartar sauce and slices of lemon with fish. Mustards, sauces or gravies are often served with grilled or roast meats, and the time and cost of providing those accompaniments should be considered in menu planning.

Wine and Alcohol Lists

Research has shown that many consumers are ignorant of a wine label. Being afraid to display their ignorance, they often choose wines that are familiar with generic names. A good list will have a range that satisfies all needs, with some generic wines, and others for connoisseurs. There should be variety in the price range and type of wine available, as well, and a good wine list should include dry, medium and sweet, red, white, and sparkling wines. You may also offer Rose.

Consider offering drinks to complement the menu or style of restaurant. A Greek restaurant may serve ‘Ouzo’; an Italian restaurant may ‘Lambrusco’ and a range of good red wines; a Mexican restaurant may feature drinks such as Margueritas and Tequila, while fruit cocktails may be appropriate for a tropical resort-style restaurant.

It is generally illegal to serve alcoholic drinks without a license. You must check out and comply with appropriate laws for the state or country you operate in. It is also useful to be able to offer low alcohol content drinks.

Non-Alcoholic Drinks

Always include some non-alcoholic drinks. There is an increasingly wide range of these available including juices, squashes, cider, non-alcoholic wine, mineral water, carbonated soft drinks, teas and coffees.

You learn lots more about all types of beverages through this course.

Member of Study Gold Coast Education Network.
Member of Study Gold Coast Education Network.
ACS Global Partner - Affiliated with colleges in seven countries around the world.
ACS Global Partner - Affiliated with colleges in seven countries around the world.
Since 1999 ACS has been a recognised member of IARC (International Approval and Registration Centre). A non-profit quality management organisation servicing education.
Since 1999 ACS has been a recognised member of IARC (International Approval and Registration Centre). A non-profit quality management organisation servicing education.
UK Register of Learning Providers, UK PRN10000112
UK Register of Learning Providers, UK PRN10000112

How can I start this course?

You can enrol at anytime and start the course when you are ready. Enrolments are accepted all year - students can commence study at any time. All study is self paced and ACS does not set assignment deadlines.

Please note that if a student is being assisted by someone else (e.g. an employer or government subsidy), the body offering the assistance may set deadlines. Students in such situations are advised to check with their sponsor prior to enrolling. The nominal duration of a course is approximately how long a course takes to complete. A course with a nominal duration of 100 hours is expected to take roughly 100 hours of study time to complete. However, this will vary from student to student. Short courses (eg. 100 hrs duration) should be completed within 12 months of enrolment. Certificates, Advanced Certificates and Awards (eg. over 500 hours duration) would normally be completed within 3 -5 years of enrolment. Additional fees may apply if a student requires an extended period to complete.
If a student cannot submit their assignments for 6 months to ACS, they should advise the school to avoid cancellation of their student
registration. Recommencement fees may apply.

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What do I need to know before I enrol?

There are no entry requirements that you need to meet to enrol in our courses, our courses are for everyone.
If you are under 18, we need written permission from your parent/ guardian for your enrolment to continue, we can arrange that after you have enrolled.

You don’t need to purchase any additional resources to complete our courses.

We aim to teach you the essentials without you having to purchase any specific computer program.
We recommend that you have access to a word processing program, such as Microsoft Word or Google Docs, so that you can easily complete and submit your assignments.

You sure can. We are here to help you learn whatever your abilities.

Yes, if you are enrolling in a Certificate or Advanced Certificate, you might be eligible for credits if you have evidence of your previous studies or relevant experience. More information is here.

We recommend that you are able to browse websites, send emails and conduct online research. You will need to be able to type and submit your assignments.
If you have limited computer skills, we can make special arrangements for you.

This is possible, it depends on the institution. We recommend that if you would like to use our courses that you contact the institution first. Our Course Handbook is a good resource for this.

Our courses are written in English and we only have English speaking academic staff. If you can read and complete your assignments in English, our courses are ideal for you.

Our courses are designed to build knowledge, hands on skills and industry connections to help prepare you to work in the area, running your own business, professional development or as a base for further study.

This course is aimed at providing you with a solid understanding of the subject. It has been designed to take 600 hours, which includes your course reading, assignment work, research, practical tasks, watching videos and more. When you complete the course, will have a good understanding of the area/ industry you want to work in.

It’s up to you. The study hours listed in the course are a rough guide, however if you were to study a short course (100 hours) at 10 hours per week, you could finish the course in 10 weeks (just an example). Our courses are self-paced, so you can work through the courses in your own time. We recommend that you wait for your tutor to mark and return your assignment before your start your next one, so you get the benefits of their feedback.

The course consists of course notes, videos, set tasks for your practical work, online quizzes, an assignment for each lesson (that you receive feedback from your tutor from) and ends in an exam (which is optional, if would like to receive the formal award at the end), using our custom built Learning Management System - Login.Training.

Our courses are designed for adults to gain professional development and skills to further their careers and start businesses.

Our custom online learning portal allows you to conduct your learning online. There may be practical tasks that you can do offline. You have the option of downloading your course notes or print them to read later.

There is also the option to pay an additional fee for printed course notes and or USB (availability limited to location and deliverability).

Yes, if you don’t have access to the internet, you can receive the course as paper notes or on a USB stick for an additional fee. We can also make alternative arrangements for you to send your assignments to us.

We offer printed notes for an additional fee. Also, you can request your course notes on a USB stick for an additional fee.

Yes, your tutor is here to help you. Simply post any questions you have in your portal or contact the office and we can pass on a message to your tutor.

We are more learning focussed, rather than assessment focussed. You have online quizzes to test your learning, written assignments and can complete an exam at the end of the course (if you want to receive your certificate). You will not receive a pass/ fail on your course work. If you need to add more details on your assignment, we will ask you to resubmit and direct you where you need to focus. If you need help, you can ask your tutor for advice in the student room.

Each module (short course) is completed with one exam.

Exams are optional, however you must sit an exam if you would like to receive a formal award. You will need to find someone who can supervise that you are sitting the exams under exams conditions. There is an additional cost of $60 incl. GST for each exam.
More information is here

There are practical components built into the course that have been designed to be achieved by anyone, anywhere. If you are unable to complete a task for any reason, you can ask your tutor for an alternative.

When you complete the course work and the exams (8-9 exams) and you will be able receive your course certificate- an Advanced Certificate. Otherwise, you can receive a Letter of Completion.

You can bundle the short courses to create your own customised learning bundle, Certificates or Advanced Certificates. More information is on this page.

Yes, our courses are built to be applicable for people living anywhere in any situation. We provide the fundamentals, and each student can apply their own unique flair for their own interests, region and circumstances with the one-on-one guidance of a tutor. There is also a bit of student directed research involved.

Employers value candidates with industry skills, knowledge, practical skills and formal learning. Our courses arm you with all of these things to help prepare you for a job or start your own business. The longer you study the more you will learn.

ACS has an arrangement with OAMPS (formerly AMP) who can arrange Professional Indemnity from Australian and New Zealand graduates across all disciplines. Ph: 1800 222 012 or email

Who are ACS Distance Education?

ACS Distance Education have been educating people for over 40 years.

We are established and safe- we have been in education for over 40 years.
We are focused on developing innovative courses that are relevant to you now and what you will need to know in the future.
We are focused on helping you learn and make the most of your experience.
You can enrol at any time, you can work on your course when it suits you and at your own pace.
We are connected to many industry bodies and our staff participate in continuous improvement and learning activities to ensure that we are ahead of what learning is needed for the future.

Our courses are not accredited by the Australian Government. However many of our courses are recognised and held in high regard by many industry bodies.

Our courses are written by our staff, who all have many years experience and have qualifications in their speciality area. We have lots of academic staff who write and update our courses regularly.

How do I enrol my staff/ sponsored students?

Yes, you can do a request for a bulk enrolment and request an invoice on our Invoice Request Form

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We can arrange bulk discounts for your course enrolment, please get in touch with us to discuss your needs.

Yes, we have many students who are in locked facilities, such as prisons or hospitals. We can cater by also offering paper notes at an additional cost.

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Course Contributors

The following academics were involved in the development and/or updating of this course.

Martin Powdrill

25 years working in Telecommunications, IT, Organisational Development, and Energy Conservation & Efficiency, prior to setting up his own Permaculture consulting business. Martin has a Bsc (Hons) Applied Science (Resources Option), MSc Computer Studies, Permaculture Design Certificate.
Martin volunteers with many local environmental and community groups, and facilitates discussions on climate change, peak oil, and transition towns. Martin has an allotment, and is currently enrolled in the Scottish Mountain Bike Leader Award programme.
Martin’s goal as a catalyst for sustainable change brings together his strengths and experience in his environmental, project management, and business backgrounds.

Lyn Quirk

M.Prof.Ed.; Adv.Dip.Compl.Med (Naturopathy); Adv.Dip.Sports Therapy
Over 30 years as Health Club Manager, Fitness Professional, Teacher, Coach and Business manager in health, fitness and leisure industries. As business owner and former department head for TAFE, she brings a wealth of skills and experience to her role as a tutor for ACS.

Karen Lee

Nutritional Scientist, Dietician, Teacher and Author.
BSc. Hons. (Biological Sciences), Postgraduate Diploma Nutrition and Dietetics.
Registered dietitian in the UK, with over 15 years working in the NHS. Karen has undertaken a number of research projects and has lectured to undergraduate university students. Has co authored two books on nutrition and several other books in health sciences.


Meet some of the tutors that guide the students through this course.

Jenny Bragg

Jenny has experience across many different business areas including marketing, operations management and human resources, her specialty fields are events, hospitality and tourism. She has worked in a number of different service sector organisations including hotels, restaurants, bars and specialist event providers. Jenny is a trained teacher and has worked with different educational bodies in the UK, as well as providing a consultancy service to the business and events sector.

Melissa Leistra

Melissa has a Masters Degree in Human Nutrition from Deakin University and Bachelor's degree specialising in personal development, health and physical education. She has enjoyed teaching Hospitality in the areas of commercial cookery and food and beverage. Her experience includes 16 years teaching health and nutrition and working in the hospitality industry. Melissa enjoys living a self-sustainable lifestyle on a farm and raising all types of animals. She is an experienced vegetarian/vegan cook and loves to create wholesome food using her slow combustion wood stove.

Rosemary Davies

Originally from Melbourne, Rosemary trained in Horticultural Applied Science at Burnley, a campus of Melbourne University. Initially she worked with Agriculture Victoria as an extension officer, taught horticulture students, worked on radio with ABC radio (clocking up over 24 years as a presenter of garden talkback programs, initially the only woman presenter on gardening in Victoria) and she simultaneously developed a career as a writer.

She then studied Education and Training, teaching TAFE apprentices and developing curriculum for TAFE, before taking up an offer as a full time columnist with the Herald and Weekly Times and its magazine department after a number of years as columnist with the Age. She has worked for a number of companies in writing and publications, PR community education and management and has led several tours to Europe.

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