'Brewing and Distilling' MSc (Heriot Watt)

Discussion in 'General Beer Brewing Discussion' started by Dom0815, May 16, 2019.

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  1. May 16, 2019 #1

    Dom0815

    Dom0815

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    Hi,

    are there people around who're doing the 'Brewing and Distilling' MSc at the Heriot Watt University?
    Is it worth doing it? How do potential employers see this certification?
    I'm thinking about doing it, but don't want to waste 10 grand obviously :-)

    Cheers,
    Dom
     
  2. May 16, 2019 #2

    JonBrew

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    I believe it's a well known and well respected course within the industry.

    You should join the Scottish Craft Brewers Facebook group and post your question there. I know for certain that a few IB&D members are on that group and should be able to offer some input.
     
  3. May 16, 2019 #3

    krispn

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    It's internationally recognised (it is a masters after all) and I'm aware of people having went on to get jobs with big names across the world such as Odell, Beavertown etc. etc.
     
  4. May 17, 2019 #4

    HarryFlatters

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    The entrance requirements are extremely tough, but as mentioned it's a well recognised course that can get you places in the industry.

    It's a great uni too.
     
  5. May 17, 2019 #5

    Sadfield

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    Would love to do this, and become one of those irritating 'mature' students that prolonged seminars with tedious questions.

    @Dom0815 have you looked into the IBD, that appears to be a common way to move into, and up, in the industry.

    https://www.ibd.org.uk/qualifications/
     
  6. May 17, 2019 #6

    kelper

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    What post-graduate degree(s) do you hold now?
     
  7. May 17, 2019 #7

    Hoddy

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    Yes the degree in brewing and distilling is a very very good qualification to have. While it wont allow you to waltz into a head brewers role it will put you right in the que for a brewers job especially in large commercially brewing companies as that is where allot of the attendees come from or go directly into.

    I have the IBD general certificate in brewing and distilling that i did about 6 months ago. A very intensive 5 day 8hr a day course that isnt for the faint hearted and your really do need a good few years HB to back it up. On my course there was a number of guys who hadnt even HB brewed before and 80% of it went straight over their heads.

    The exam is also hardcore and very expensive (£400 just for the exam and the course was £800) but it did, for me at least, prove to me that i am in a good place on my brewing science. As that is exactly where the IBD qualification is focused. Brewing science, and that is very much worth noting. At this level it is a very much science and chemical/engineering led at this nitty gritty academic end of things.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2019
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  8. May 17, 2019 #8

    Dom0815

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    Thank you very much for all the replies. Sounds indeed very interesting and thorough. I have a Msc in bioinformatics, but we had quite a bit of biotechnology in our studies (microbiology, process engineering, analytics, etc.). Although many years ago, I hope it won't be too hard to get back into it again.
    I've been brewing various things offer many years, with the last few years focussed on beer. That's just the most exciting area :-) Also had a few foolish attempts with distilling. I'm not 100% sure yet if I want to spend so much money on the Msc course. But I'd like to take the hobby to a more professional level and like the idea of a potential career change. I'll see... Thanks again!

    Cheers,
    Dom
     
  9. May 17, 2019 #9

    Wynne

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    I looked at the Heriot Watt MSc but opted for the University of Nottingham MSc in Brewing Science instead as it is focused on brewing and is more convenient geographically. I am studying part-time over 3 academic years with a project and dissertation after that. I’m approaching the end of the second academic year. I find the course interesting and challenging. Study is mainly distance learning but the part-time students meet up with the full timers for a week of lectures and labs, followed by exams twice each year. The students are a wide mixture of nationalities and backgrounds including new graduates, some working in craft breweries and others in multi-nationals. The academic staff all have backgrounds in the brewing or related industries so have a practical as well as a scientific understanding of their subjects and seem keen to help students find good positions in the industry.
     
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  10. May 17, 2019 #10

    evm3

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    Hi Dom,
    I did the PgDip course at heriot watt which is the same as the MSc minus the Masters project. I ended up doing it via distance learning over 2 years and didn't want to pay for the Masters conversion in the end. I loved it and found the content really interesting. The different modules covered all aspects of brewing science and the professional side regarding equipment etc. The course involved lots of essay writing, reading journals and a fair few exams.... Not for the faint hearted. One module was a practical element which meant going up to Edinburgh for two weeks- I met a lot of other people doing the course via DL - many were international ( lots American) working for a range of breweries already ( small micros to Coors- Miller). The course seemed to be highly respected abroad. I also met a few students doing the full time course and to my knowledge they all got jobs in the industry . My experience regarding employers was that the larger the brewery, the more respected the qualification is....I got told by a couple of well known smaller breweries that there were not interested in it TBH but that was only my experience and by no means definitive.
    As Wynne mentioned the course at Nottingham is meant to be excellent too but wasn't available when I did the Heriot- Watt course.

    Cheers
    Ed
     
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  11. May 17, 2019 #11

    krispn

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    @Hoddy Was the certificate more for personal learning or did you use it to further some work/career aspirations? Is it worth doing as part of a wider in to working in the industry?
     
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  12. May 17, 2019 #12

    Hoddy

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    So I found it a great way to confirm that allot of my learning over the last 6+ years of home brewing, and my 20 years in the process industry, and the 4 years I worked in brewing in my late teens, was correct and I am on the right track with my understanding and knowledge.

    But...... yes it does help me in a possible change in career......
     
  13. May 17, 2019 #13

    krispn

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    Thanks for that :) I might give the syllabus a look.
     
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  14. May 17, 2019 #14

    Hoddy

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    It’s well worth it. It’s tough, but worth it. I felt validated after getting mine. But then again the tutor on my course was a total legend.
     

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