Immersive hospitality education that gives students the edge

Hospitality is the third largest employer in the UK, employing 3.5 million people, but challenges in recruiting and retaining high skilled managerial talent puts it at risk. 

Edge Hotel School, the first hotel school of its kind in the UK, has redefined what hospitality and events education should look like.

It’s unique hotel school model and industry-engaged education delivers graduates, with the right skills, experience and professionalism to step straight into roles providing a swift return on investment.

A unique model of education

A group of smiling Edge Hotel School students, all wearing smart black suits and white shirts, line up in front of a BRIT Awards 2019 back drop

When it opened in 2012, Edge Hotel School was the UK’s first hotel school. Edge students come from around the world to work, alongside professional staff, in the fully-commercial four-star Wivenhoe House Hotel. 

Edge students are professionals the minute they enrol, taking on the roles and responsibilities required to work in a four-star hotel where customers expect the very best. 

Alongside lectures, students rotate across five hotel departments, developing critical customer skills in a hands-on professional setting. One minute our students are delivering an event and the next they can review, evaluate and analyse the quantitative and qualitative data from that event in the classroom. 

Our model ensures a seamless transition on graduation from a structured academic setting to the demanding real-life environment of a successful hotel. 

It’s a model that sets our graduates apart. 

Two young hospitality professionals laughing as one holds a tray of wind glasses

"[Edge Hotel School graduates] have a unique combination of a strong theoretical understanding which underpins an ability to do a job as required. We find they have progressed faster through our ranks as they adapt more quickly to managing people and teams."

Danny Pecorelli, Former Chair of the Master Innholders 2019-20 and Hotelier of the Year 2014

What sets an Edge Hotel School education apart from the rest

Two young hospitality professionals, smiling, sitting on a low wall outside Wivenhoe House Hotel


International partnerships

We work with over 70 commercial hospitality and events organisations who assist us in delivering a range of educational activities including masterclasses and workshops.

Industry support for our students

Industry-sponsored student scholarships, each worth up to £3,000, help support the next generation of hospitality professionals. In total, over £163,000 from 20 different organisations have benefitted 92 students.

Fast-tracked two-year degrees

We know from industry partners that they need graduates ready to step straight into roles and provide a swift return on investment. That’s why we offer two-year fast-tracked degrees, delivering graduates into the industry a year ahead of other institutions.

Student consultancies

Final-year students work with industry clients on consultancy projects exploring and reporting on an issue, opportunity or situation identified by the client.

Over 40 consultancy projects have been successfully completed, allowing students to explore contemporary industry innovations and develop their professional network.

A tailored learning environment

Six of Wivenhoe House Hotel’s suites are designed to replicate the style and service level of a specific hotel chain - such as Hilton International. This provides students with an insight into the nature and house-style of industry leading organisations.

Industry-engaged career development

Our students don’t just enrol as undergraduates, they are also early career professionals from the minute they join and we give them the career development opportunities you would expect in any business.

We host an annual Hospitality and Events Careers Fair and Industry-Sponsored Student Conference - sponsored in 2024 by Marriott International - at which senior representatives talk about the most significant challenges and issues affecting the industry. We also run an Employability Upskilling Day.

Spearheading sustainability

In 2022, we launched a new sustainability teaching module, to ensure our graduates are equipped with the skills to drive the change the hospitality and events industry needs to respond to climate change.

The module provides students with an overview of emerging industry concerns and requires them to plan, conduct and present a meaningful project relating to sustainable practices.

Philanthropic approach

Not only are our students young professionals, learning from the industry, they are also encouraged to contribute back to that industry.

Our students have supported sector charity Hospitality Action in a number of ways. This includes running charity dinners, undertaking fundraising challenges, and delivering charity events all with support and involvement from members of the hospitality industry.

Three young hospitality professionals walking outside Wivenhoe House Hotel
A young hospitality professional adjusts bedding in a plush looking hotel room
A young hospitality professional serves afternoon tea
Two young hospitality professionals engage with a stand holder at a conference

"Edge Hotel School has successfully developed the curriculum to meet the requirements of the hospitality industry. Due to this innovative approach, graduates have the right attitude and a good balance of intellectual and practical professional skills and have been embraced by the industry."

Harry Murray MBE MI FIH, formerly of Lucknam Park Hotel and Spa, President of the Hospitality Professionals Association and Governor of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts

Industry recognition

Two women, smiling and looking relaxed, chatting at a conference in a plush hotel

The founding ambitions of Edge Hotel School were to challenge the higher education status quo, to provide innovative and transformative solutions and to achieve recognition for excellence.

There is no doubt we have excelled and the impact on the hospitality and events industry is clear.

No other higher education institution has made such a clear financial and educational commitment to the development of managerial talent for the hospitality and events industry. 

Just three years after foundation, Edge Hotel School gained accreditation from the Institute of Hospitality. In 2019 it became only the second higher education institution to host a prestigious Catey Award winner when Principal Andrew Boer was recognised for “an innovative approach to continuous learning with particular regard for the needs of the hospitality industry in the UK. They will have developed initiatives in training that have added value and demonstrated an ability to adapt to the changing needs of the market”.

Edge Hotel School has a proven track record in inspiring and delivering innovation within the higher education landscape. It also provides consistent support and engagement for the industry it works so closely with.

Young hospitality professionals chatting at a conference

Graduate success

Two young professionals, one holding a microphone, speak on a panel of experts

Edge Hotel School graduates have won prestigious Acorn Awards an unprecedented seven times.

The highly competitive Acorn Awards, awarded to the top 30 hospitality professionals under 30, recognise those considered to be the brightest prospects for the UK’s hospitality industry, which employs 3.5 million people.

Over four consecutive years, from 2020, seven Edge Hotel School graduates have scooped an Acorn.

“Given that we have only had ten years of graduates, and no other academic or commercial organisation can match this record of consistency, our success at the Acorns is testament to the exceptional personal and professional development that Edge Hotel School gives its students.”
Andrew Boer, Head of Department, Edge Hotel School

Graduates at an alumni event

"Edge Hotel School is truly unique and consistently one of the very best. Our industry desperately needs highly-skilled, professional young people in order to maintain its global reputation for excellence and Edge directly fulfils that need, giving us the best graduates we could hope for. Edge Hotel School has set the benchmark for what excellence in hospitality education looks like."

Kate Nicholls OBE, CEO of UK Hospitality

Find out more

A group of young hospitality professionals chatting at a conference

Do you want to study hospitality and events in a unique, immersive environment at a four-star country house hotel?

Student talking into a microphone

Find out why students and industry professionals think an Edge education sets our graduates apart from the rest

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