BSc (Hons) Brewing and Distilling

The course

UCAS code
4 years
Delivery type

At the forefront of the Brewing and Distilling industry for the UK.


Got questions about this programme?

Contact our enquiries team.


The course is designed to educate potential managers of the malting, brewing and distilling industries and to provide a full understanding of the science and technology of the processes involved from cereal farming to bottling and packaging.

The programme has been developed in co-operation with senior representatives of the brewing, malting and distilling industries who are members of the Education Board of the International Centre for Brewing and Distilling. Graduates have detailed knowledge and understanding of science and technology, along with the practical skills to become leaders within the food and drink sector.


Heriot-Watt has an outstanding reputation for expertise in Brewing and Distilling, with graduates at the forefront of an ever changing industry.

The International Centre for Brewing and Distilling was formed in1990 and provides a strong partnership between academia and industry, ensuring our graduates are equipped with the skills and knowlege required for a successful career.

Our graduates are employed in a wide range of roles, from plant managers and operators to marketing and sales. Many work at the forefront of innovation, launching new breweries and distilleries and in senior roles in established companies.


Institute of Brewing and Distilling (IBD) offer honours graduates the opportunity for exemption from the Diploma in Brewing or Diploma in Distilling should they later in their career wish to undertake the Master Brewer or Master Distiller qualification
through the IBD.

Student profile

My brewing and distilling degree at Heriot-Watt gave me an end-to-end and deep knowledge of brewing science and technology, centred on current industry needs. Its recognition has helped me in securing and succeeding in my current role as a brewer at Tennents.

William Warriner, BSc Brewing and Distilling and Watt Club Medal recipient 2018

Course content

Year 1

Introduces the necessary Biology, Chemistry, Engineering and related topics that are fundamental to Brewing and Distilling.

Year 2

Continues the study of Biological and Chemical Sciences and Engineering and Process Technologies central to Brewing and Distilling while introducing Business Study concepts.

Year 3

Brings specialist courses in Food and Beverage Process Technology and Biotechnology.

Year 4

Focuses on particular aspects of the industry, including: Cereal Technology; Yeast Biology and Fermentation; Beer Maturation; Distillation; Quality; Packaging Technology; and Commercial Aspects of Brewing and Distilling. The School has a pilot plant brewery and distillery, which is used for teaching the practical aspects of the subject through project work. An independent research project allows students to apply their knowledge and skills gained throughout the programme.

Entry requirements

Year 1

Standard entry requirements

  • Highers ABBB (including B in Chemistry or Biology and C in Maths)
  • A-Levels BCC - BBB (including Maths and either Chemistry or Biology with one at B)
  • Int. Baccalaureate 29 points (with Higher Level Science at 5 and Higher Level Mathematics at 6)
  • BTEC DMM (in a relevant subject)
  • HNC A in graded unit (of an appropriate HNC)

Minimum entry requirements*

  • Highers BBBC (B in Chemistry or Biology)
  • A-Levels CCC (Including Maths and either Chemistry or Biology)

* Minimum: under our Fair Access Policy, we will relax our standard entry requirements for some Scottish students depending on their circumstances. Our minimum requirements will apply if you:

  • live in an area within the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation lowest 20% (SIMD20), or
  • are care experienced.

We can also make exceptions for some Scottish students with grades above minimum but below standard. Read more about our Minimum and standard entry requirements

Year 2

  • Advanced Highers BB (plus Highers ABBB including Higher Mathematics, Chemistry, Biology)
  • A-Levels ABB (including Biology, Mathematics and Chemistry)
  • Int. Baccalaureate 33 points (with a science and Mathematics at Higher Level 6)
  • HND AA in graded units (in an appropriate HND)

Year 3

We only accept entrants to Year 3 with appropriate Associate Degrees

Additional information

English language requirements

  • If English is not your first language, you have to show that your English is good enough to succeed on your course. Please see our English language requirements.


Tuition fees for 2022 entry
Status* Scotland England / Wales / N Ireland / Rep of Ireland** International***
Fee Paid by SAAS £9,250 £20,584

* Your residency 'status' is usually defined as the country where you have been ordinarily resident for the three years before the start of your course. Find out more about tuition fees.

** 'Rest of the UK' (RUK) and Republic of Ireland students entering at Level 1 receive a fee waiver of one year's tuition fee. Normally this will be the final year, or a year during which students study abroad (either at a partnership institution, or at one of Heriot-Watt's overseas campuses).

*** 'International' includes applicants from European Union countries who do not hold Pre-Settled or Settled status in UK. (This does not include students from the Republic of Ireland - see above). Read more about the application process for EU nationals.

Additional costs

You may incur additional costs in the course of your studies at Heriot-Watt over and above tuition fees in an academic year. Depending on your programme of study, these may include: protective equipment, field trips, professional memberships, studio fees, required course texts or other study resources.

The Scotch Whisky Association Scholarship

The Scotch Whisky Association is offering two undergraduate scholarships of £5,000 per year for September 2021 entry into our four-year BSc Brewing and Distilling degree programme. These scholarships are open to UK students from widening participation backgrounds and low income families. The SWA and its members will also help scholars grow their careers with development opportunities.

Apply for the Scotch Whisky Association scholarship

Brewgooder Work in Progress Bursary

Brewgooder's mission is to demonstrate that beer can be a potent catalyst for opportunity and human empowerment. With this scholarship, one BAME student from Scotland entering our BSc (Hons) Brewing and Distilling degree will get a £2000 bursary each year. This scholarship is available to Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic Students in Scotland.

Apply for the Brewgooder Work in Progress Bursary

Scholarships and bursaries

Featured scholarships

Bursaries for students from England, Northern Ireland or Wales starting undergraduate degree courses in 2021

In addition to government loans and grants towards the costs of fees and living costs, we are offering generous financial support to attract and support eligible students from England, Northern Ireland or Wales:

  • Heriot-Watt University Bursary (up to £3,100 per year)
View details about Bursaries

View our full range of undergraduate scholarships.