Studying hospitality at MDIS


Whenever someone tells me they’re in a hospitality course, my mind goes “Oh, so you study about hotels.” While that isn’t entirely false, I’ve since learnt that hospitality is so much more than that. 

We chatted with Angela, a former student of MDIS’ Higher Diploma in Tourism, Hospitality and Events Management course and found that students are taught wide-ranging aspects of the service industry, from marketing and management to even human resource and financial planning. 

If you’re interested in a career in the hospitality industry, here’s some insight into what you can expect from this course and some cool stuff she’s learnt from it.


It’s a recognised diploma-to-degree course you can enrol in immediately after ‘O’ Levels 


MDIS Hospitality - Angela

Right after her ‘O’ Levels, Angela was stuck in the predicament of studying in a course she had no interest in; in her case, Aeronautical Engineering. Imagine memorising the intricacies of planes when your passion lies in attending to customers and making people happy. Luckily for her, she found out about the programme and quickly made the switch.

MDIS Hospitality - Progression

Image credit: MDIS

This is Angela’s projected MDIS journey:

  • International Foundation Diploma in Travel, Tourism and Hospitality Management (7 months)
  • Higher Diploma in Tourism, Hospitality and Events Management (16 months)
  • Bachelor of Science (Hons) International Tourism and Hospitality Management (9 months)

To put things in perspective, Angela will go from an O-Level holder to a degree holder in 2 years and 8 months, less than half the duration of the average Singaporean student if you consider the usual JC/polytechnic routes.


There are practical lessons + excursions to hotels and country clubs


One of the highlights of Angela’s MDIS journey is the friendships she has forged as a result of her tutorials. She shares that the interactive lessons in MDIS allowed her to engage with both students and teachers, some of whom have been in the industry for 30 years.

MDIS Hospitality - Lobby

Image credit: Millennium Hotels and Resorts

As hospitality encompasses many fields, every term, students will be brought on field trips to various industries like hotels, country clubs and even event management companies. There, they’ll get to interact with industry insiders and learn about the requirements and day-to-day workings of each field, giving them practical insights when choosing their specialisation. 

Past excursions included trips to St Regis Singapore and international events company, Kingsmen.


You’ll be placed in a 6-month long internship at the industry of your choice


MDIS Hospitality - JetQuay

Image credit: JetQuay

MDIS students will get the same practical experience as their polytechnic peers, with a 6-month long internship as a prerequisite before graduation. However, they get the benefit of choosing the particular industry they want, and are even given mock interviews by lecturers before heading down for their real ones.

As Angela’s interest lies in tourism, she indicated an interest in working at the airport and voila; she got an internship at the prestigious Jet Quay – the private terminal at Changi Airport reserved for VIPs.

Angela managed Jet Quay’s public counter in T3 and handled main services in Jet Quay itself, including greeting guests at the gateway and arranging for their transportation (i.e swanky limos). Angela has fond memories of her internship as she got to work independently and fulfilled her need for helping people. Her advice for students going on hospitality internships: be observant and learn as much as you can from full-timers.


You’ll pick up skills your friends will be jealous of


One standout feature of MDIS’ hospitality programme is their practical module which spans over the course of 2 terms, unlike other institutions. Coupled with its small class ratio of 10 students to 1 tutor, this allows for more personalised, hands-on sessions and a wider breadth of topics to be covered. 

Having “graduated” from these modules, Angela gave us some ad hoc hands-on training in a few areas: being a barista, table setting and front desk management.

You’ll learn to be a barista…

MDIS Hospitality - Barista

Enjoying a freshly made cuppa

 MDIS Hospitality - Coffee

Students will be taught how to operate a coffee press and learn to make more than 5 types of coffee drinks like espresso, flat white, cafe latte, cappuccino and americano. From getting the exact ratio of coffee to milk and practicing frothing techniques, students who graduate from this course know that they’ll at the very least be employable. 

… and how to be a magician at setting tables 

MDIS Hospitality - Table setting

This was hands down the most impressive part of the walkthrough. Students are taught table-setting skills which includes learning how to replace a dirty tablecloth with a new one in under 10 seconds! This has to be done in a single movement without the new tablecloth touching the ground for hygiene reasons. The trick, as Angela shares, is to arrange your fingers in the folds of the cloth.

You’ll also learn to manage tough clients

MDIS Hospitality - Managing Front Desk

MDIS Hospitality - Front Desk

Students are trained in the Opera Fidelio Property Management System which is the standard software used by top hotels worldwide. They’ll learn how to check guests in & out, handle payments and take turns to simulate being a customer and staff, with lecturers roleplaying as difficult guests. This teaches them how to properly react to customers of different temperaments in the working world. 

If all that sounds tough, that’s because it is! Angela had difficulties with this component due to its stringent requirements. Fortunately, her barista and table setting skills were so zai that they pulled up her final grade.


Sign up for MDIS’ Higher Diploma in Tourism, Hospitality and Events Management


 MDIS Hospitality - MDIS Statues

The thought of a 9-to-5 office job might be disheartening to those who prefer going out and meeting different people daily. If you’re someone who derives satisfaction from social interaction and is trying to kickstart a career in hospitality, look no further than MDIS’ Higher Diploma in Tourism, Hospitality and Events Management

The course will give you a thorough oversight across various industries, which will help you with standing out from your peers when you’re on the job. Graduates’ and diploma holders’ pay get bumped quite a bit from tier to tier as well, making it a worthwhile investment in the long run. 

MDIS Hospitality - MDIS Signage

Here are the requirements to enrol in these programmes:


Applicants must be of age 16 and above, and meet at least one of the following requirements:

  • Obtained at least a Grade ‘C6’ at GCE ‘O’ Levels in any 2 subjects (excluding English), 
  • Obtained at least a Grade E in minimum 1 ‘A’ or obtained at least a Grade C6 in 1 ‘AO’ (H1) Level subjects,  
  • Relevant NITEC / Higher NITEC qualifications,  
  • International applicants must have completed 10 years of formal education.

Higher Diploma:

Applicants must be of age 17 and above, and meet at least one of the following requirements:

  • Obtained at least a Grade ‘E’ at GCE ‘A’ Levels in any 2 subjects, 
  • MDIS International Foundation Diploma in Travel, Tourism and Hospitality Management,  
  • International applicants must have completed 12 years of formal education. 


The programme is available to both local and international students as long as you meet one of these requirements:

  • Diploma in Tourism/Hospitality/Events Management related from local polytechnics,
  • Higher National Diploma (HND) in Tourism/Hospitality and Events Management-related disciplines,
  • Other PEI’s qualifications in Tourism/Hospitality/Events Management related (equivalent to 1st & 2nd year EDP) with entry requirement of 12 years of formal education.

Find out more about MDIS School of Tourism and Hospitality programmes!

This post was brought to you by MDIS.

Drop us your email so you won't miss the latest news.