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 in 1990 and provides a strong partnership between academia and industry, ensuring our graduates are equipped with the skills and knowledge 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.

Brewing and Distilling Scholarships and Industry Engagement

We work closely with the Brewing and Distilling industry and every year key partners offer scholarships and industry experience opportunities to our students. These are the organisations who offered opportunities to our most recent intake of students:

  • Brewgooder 
  • Scotch Whisky Association 
  • Diageo 


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.

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

Semester one

  • Introductory Biology (one)
  • Practical Skills in Biology
  • Shaping Tomorrow Together (one)
  • Introduction to Process Engineering

Semester two

  • Introductory Biology (two) 
  • Chemistry for the Life Sciences
  • Shaping Tomorrow Together (two)
  • Introduction to Process Engineering

Year 2

Semester one

  • Research Methods in Biology
  • Science and Exploitation of Plants
  • Bioprocess Engineering for Brewing and Distilling (one)
You'll choose one optional course from:
  • Management in a Global Context
  • Introduction to Accounting and Finance
  • Mathematics for Scientists (one)

Semester two

  • Introduction to Microbiology
  • Cell and Molecular Biology
  • Bioprocess Engineering for Brewing and Distilling (two) 
  • Industrial Practice for Brewing and Distilling

Year 3

Semester one

  • Concepts in Beverage Science
  • Beverage Microbiology and Biochemistry
You'll choose two optional courses from:
  • Biotechnology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Introduction to Process Technology 
  • Introduction to Food Microbiology
  • Sustainable Development and Engineering Management

Semester two

  • Advanced Industrial Practice
  • Bioprocessing
  • Research Studies in Malting, Brewing and Distilling
You'll choose one optional course from:
  • Process Health and Safety 
  • Operations Management
  • Enterprise: Concepts and Issues

Year 4

Semester one

  • Advanced Brewing and Distilling (one)
  • Advanced Brewing and Distilling (two) 
  • Honours Research Project - Execution 
  • Qualitative and Quantitative Analytical Skills (one)

Semester two

  • Advanced Brewing and Distilling (three)
  • Advanced Brewing and Distilling (four) 
  • Honours Research Project - Dissemination
  • Qualitative and Quantitative Analytics Skills (two)

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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 2024 entry
Status* Scotland England / Wales / N Ireland / Rep of Ireland International**
Fee Paid by SAAS £9,250 £24,048

* 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.

** '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.

Scholarships and bursaries

Featured scholarships

Bursaries for students from England, Northern Ireland or Wales

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 undergraduate students from England, Northern Ireland or Wales:

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

View our full range of undergraduate scholarships.