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Master degree program (1 year of education):

Spa culture, eastern and aqua practices


I. Argumentation of the need for such specialists

During the last decade SPA and wellness-industry have entered the individual's schedule.
It is especially widespread among people of active age the application of SPA and wellness methods, aquatic activities or ancient Eastern practices in specialized centers in search of effective anti-stress effects. The hotel business is unthinkable without offering a modest SPA recreation center.

The quality of services in SPA centers directly affects the state of health, functional activity, working capacity and self-confidence of the citizens. In a pan-European way, SPA and Wellness methodologies contribute to "... improving the quality of life of the European citizen ...." ("Charter of Fundamental Rights of European Citizens", EC, 2007).

Bulgaria has rich traditions in the use of aquatic influences from ancient times to the present day. The natural diversity of mineral waters with different content of chemical elements, the many years of successful application of hydro, herbal and mud treatment and healthy motor prophylaxis in the aquatic environment have established our country as a leader in SPA practices.

The statistics show that in the last few years more than 2000 specialized SPA centres have been created in the winter and summer tourist resorts in Bulgaria. Unfortunately, only 10% of the specialized staff of the SPA centres has higher education or specific management knowledge. The profession SPA-manager, consultant, expert or advisor is at empirical level, which requires improving the quality of educational programs in higher education institutions to increase training and staffing of SPA facilities.

In this regard, the training program is aimed at acquiring interdisciplinary knowledge and specialized training in the problems of modern SPA influences, Eastern and aqua practices. The legal basis for the necessity of such specialists is justified by the articles and sub-paragraphs included in the Tourism Act (Article 3 (1), (2)) Article 137 (1), (2) and the Additional Provisions in Paragraph: 1. T. 39, 40, 41).

One of the main objectives of the program will be the conclusion of a partnership with the World and European SPA associations and issue a recommendation to work well performing students in some of the most prestigious SPA centres.


II. Professional Standard

II.1. Area and scope of knowledge

As a result of the Master's program "SPA Culture, Eastern and Aqua Practices" specialists acquire interdisciplinary knowledge and specialized scientific preparation on the problems of modern SPA effects as follows:

knowledge of the medical-biological, psychological and pedagogical disciplines aimed at the research and management of aquatic activities, SPA practices and health-functional prophylaxis in the aquatic environment;
knowledge about the theory of modern SPA culture and the methodology for individual diagnostics in different forms of eastern and aqua-practicing;
knowledge of the means and methods of impact and control of SPA practices, eastern techniques and therapies;
knowledge of conducting independent scientific research, application of scientific control over SPA factors, duration and intensity of the eastern and aquatic impacts;
Fluency in at least one foreign language and free use of specialized terminology.

II.2. Area and scope of skills

Professional skills:

transfer of good practices for the effective management of Wellness & Spa methods in aquatic environment;
individual diagnosis and application of effective SPA and eastern impacts in accordance with functional status;
acquainting with the world achievements in the SPA culture through information exchange in the global electronic network and their application in the Bulgarian practice;
conducting research and applied research and processing results using modern information technologies;
continuous improvement of theoretical and practical professional qualification, participation in scientific forums for exchange of experience and distribution of SPA culture through the networks of European and world SPA associations.


Personal competences:

To make decisions regarding the health status of the client;
Follow the code of ethics when communicating with clients;
Ability to work in team;
Skills for organizing, managing and controlling specific SPA activities.


III. Professional development of staff

Graduates of the Master Program "SPA Culture, Eastern and Aqua Practices" have the opportunity to become managers and executives or representatives in expert boards in different professional fields:


SPA resorts and hotels;
SPA and wellness centers or Day Spa;
Hospitality business;
Thermal centers;
Summer and winter tourist resorts;
Passenger water transport;
Company Brand for recreation and tourism;
Recovery centers for elite athletes;
Recreational or rehabilitation centers;
Post-traumatic and prophylactic centers, etc.

The graduate can work as a: SPA analyst-manager, SPA-methodologist, SPA-expert, SPA manager, SPA-consultant, Wellness advisor, Wellness Agent and others.

IV. Requirements for acquiring the qualification

The program has duration of at least one year (3 semesters - 60 credits: 2 semesters the main program + adaptive education). All individuals with a Bachelor or Master's degree from university of an academic type (for which the adaptive semester is included) may apply. Graduation in Master Program "SPA Culture, Eastern and Aqua Practices" is realized with defence of diploma work or state exam.

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