Welcome to

The International Centre for Brewing & Distilling

A unique teaching & research facility meeting the needs of the brewing, distilling & malting industries worldwide

Graduate Profiles

MSc Brewing & Distilling (On Campus, SFC Funded): Leon Webb

MSc Brewing & Distilling (Independent Distance Learning): Eric Ryan

Degree Courses



BSc (Hons) Brewing & Distilling


We currently have 100 students on campus and approximately 200 independent distance learning students completing the MSc/Postgraduate Diploma in Brewing & Distilling.

The on campus programme starts in September each year and consists of 9 months of taught courses followed by a 3 month research project. Students can elect to graduate with the Diploma following the taught section, or carry on to complete the research project to gain the MSc (provided all courses have been passed successfully with an average of 50% or more).

The distance learning programme follows the same syllabus as on campus but is carried out part-time over 2 to 4 years. For each taught course, material is available through our online blackboard along with lectures and notes given on campus. The assessment for each course typically consists of 2 assignments and a final examination which is taken at a University or Consulate near the student. At some point during studies, distance learning students must attend a 2 week summer-school in order to gain practical experience using our brewing, distilling and malting facilities (the next one is scheduled for August 2019). There are 2 entry dates each year, September (Semester 1; application deadline 1st September) and January (Semester 2; application deadline mid-December) with learning materials issued at the start of the Semester and lecture notes available online when classes are held on campus. Examination dates are in December or April. The courses available are:

1. Cereals, Malting & Mashing (Semester 1)
2. Wort Boiling, Fermentation & Beer Maturation (Semester 1)
3. Project Studies (Semester 1)
4. Distilling & Whisky Maturation (Semester 2)
5. Filtration & Packaging (Semester 2)
6. Management in the Food & Beverage Industries (Semester 2)

1. Introduction to Process Technology (Semester 1; required if no Chemical Engineering background)
2. Beverage Microbiology & Biochemistry (Semester 1; required if no Biology/Biochemistry background)
3. Foundations of Energy (Semester 1)
4. Renewable Energy Technologies (Semester 1)
5. Environmental Impact Assessment (Semester 2)

On campus we run a series of events entitled "fit for work" which include seminars/talks, networking and recruitment exercises. We have had a range of people in - from graduates with their own companies, to representatives from the major breweries and distilling companies. A number of our distance learning students have attended these events and details are provided to those unable to attend. We also regularly arrange placements and assist with job applications. 

The entry requirement is an Honours level Degree in a biological science, chemistry or engineering subject. The course covers a broad range of subjects, from brewing science and chemical engineering to business studies and production management so very few students enter the course with experience in all areas. For students without a first Degree consideration is made of work experience and any other qualifications, with each case being considered on its own merit. Such students enter the course initially as "non-graduating" and then move to "graduating" status once the first 3 courses have been completed successfully (coursework and examinations passed). Many people have entered the course and successfully gained the PG Diploma this way. Students with no background in biology are required to take a course titled "Beverage Microbiology and Biochemistry".

The fees for the 2018/19 academic year on campus are £5,360 (Scotland/England/NI/Wales/EU)/£18,120 (international) and for distance learning fees are £1100 per taught course (8x = £8,800), plus £2,400 for the MSc course. For distance learning there is an examination fee of £125 per examination.

Scholarship information is available on the main Heriot Watt website at:

For overseas students scholarships for studying abroad may be available locally and for UK students a range of government grants may also be found locally, including Individual Learning Accounts. Recently, partial fees paid places have been made available from the Scottish Government for the on campus MSc programme.

Details of open days will be advertised on the main Heriot-Watt website and applications may be made online through:


PhD Opportunities

Opportunities for PhD research will be posted when available.


For further information on our programmes or individual courses please contact