Postgrad.Cert. Brewing: Optimization Using Technical Approaches (E Learning)

  • Blended
  • 16 months
  • GBP6150 per Year (International

    Tuition fee for the international students.

    GBP6150 per Year (EEA

    European Economic Area tuition fee is applicable to the students from EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

  • English ( Take IELTS test or Find a course )
University of Nottingham | Nottingham, United Kingdom
The Postgraduate Certificate in Brewing: Optimisation Using Technical Approaches is designed for individuals in the brewing and allied industries who would like to develop problem-solving skills to investigate and resolve Brewing process and beer quality issues.



The course is highly suited to those wishing to advance a production or technical management career and individuals with responsibility for theimplementation of technical governance.

The course has been specifically designed for part-time distance learning so that you can acquire and practise skills in your work environment. Modules are delivered by a combination of interactive elearning and intensive advanced residential courses.

The course is taught by staff from the School of Bioscienceswith expertise in brewing and related sciences, together with invited contributions from specialist brewing practitioners; all are internationally renowned leaders within their field.

Our Postgraduate courses were developed with the support of the EPSRC and the BBRSC Modular Training for Industry Scheme.

Key facts
  • The UK Midlands region has strong historic links to brewing and our campus is situated just a short drive away from the famous brewing centre of Burton-upon-Trent.
  • The School of Biosciences is one of the largest and strongest schools of its kind in the UK. The school has consistently achieved high ratings in independent UK assessments of both research and teaching quality.
  • A new dedicatedBrewing and Bioenergy Buildingopened on campus in 2011.
  • The Sutton Bonington Campus is a self-contained, 16-hectare site in the beautiful countryside of South Nottinghamshire and it offers a number of dedicated facilities applicable to this course.
Course delivery

75% of course materials are delivered by distance learning, designed to be studied part-time and to fit around your work. The latest innovations in web-based learning are used to ensure an interactive feel to the course and promote deeper learning of the scientific principles of brewing – these innovations include:

  • e-lectures, featuring streamed video presentations by Brewing Science academics on key subjects; the slide presentation and a written transcript of the lecture can also be downloaded.
  • structured learning through a combination of virtual directed reading, self tests of understanding, animations and video footage of processes and a virtual library.
  • group work and directed discussion events via dedicated chat rooms.
  • one week per semester (based on 20 credits of module study) is spent at an intensive residential course held at The University of Nottingham. This provides the opportunity to develop theories and practice through traditional face-to face teaching techniques such as lectures, seminars, workshops, laboratory practicals, industrial visits and tutorials. Typically, a formal assessment (usually a written exam) is taken on completion of the residential course.
Average starting salary and career progression

In 2012, 87.5% of postgraduates in the School of Biosciences who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £23,361 with the highest being £33,000.

Career prospects and employability

The acquisition of a masters degree demonstrates a high level of knowledge in a specific field. Whether you are using it to enhance your employability, as preparation for further academic research or as a means of vocational training, you may benefit from careers advice as to how you can use your new found skills to their full potential. OurCareers and Employability Service will help you do this, working with you to explore your options and inviting you to attend recruitment eventswhere you can meet potential employers, as well as suggesting further development opportunities, such as relevant work experience placements and skills workshops.

Detailed Course Facts

Start dates and application deadlines

Starting in

  • There is no deadline for this start date.
Tuition fee
  • GBP 6150 per year (International

    Tuition fee for the international students.

  • GBP 6150 per year (EEA

    European Economic Area tuition fee is applicable to the students from EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

Credits 60 credits
Duration full-time 16 months
Delivery mode Blended
Educational variant Part-time
Intensity Flexible
Duration part-time 16 months
Part-time variant Flexible
Structure Fully structured
Student interaction Online group works/assignments
Attendance Regular mandatory meetings
Teacher support Continuous support with feedback on request

Course Content


Brewery Waste Management and Environmental Issues

This module considers water effluents and waste treatments and disposal. Students are introduced to scientific principles and relevance to industrial practice of · Sources of water, forms of treatment and the characterization of waste water · The disposal of brewery effluents · Disposal and potential uses of spent grains · Disposal and potential uses of spent yeast · Reduction in energy consumption in the brewery and other topics related to maturation of beer as deemed appropriate.

Brewing Microbiology

This module considers the occurrence, frequency and biology of the non-brewing yeast microorganisms that are associated with the spoilage of the process or final product. The impact of occurrence of microorganisms on process and beer will be considered. Students are introduced to scientific principles and relevance to industrial practice of · Spoilage microorganisms associated with the brewing process and final beer product · Sampling, Detection and Identification of brewery microorganisms · Disinfection of brewery yeast · Cleaning- in - place operations · The principles and practice of brewery hygiene · HACCP and other topics related to brewing microbiology as deemed appropriate

Sensory and instrumental analysis of beer

This module covers elements of sensory science and instrumental analysis, both at a theoretical level and as they are applied to evaluate beer quality. Experimental design and data analysis are covered as an integral part of analytical and sensory best practice. Topics include: Instrumental Analysis: Basic principles of instrumental analysis (sensitivity, selectivity, resolution, signal to noie, reproducibility, reference methods & standards...) Separation science: chromatography theory & applications (particularly HPLC/GC) Experimental design and data analysis Beer analyses (chemical & physical): e.g. Ethanol( ABV, SG, OG etc); Beer colour & flavour attributes; Bitterness (IBU); VDK; DMS; acidity; bulk composition (protein/carbohydrate/ash/minerals) dissolved gases (CO2/O2); foam stability/head retention; viscosity mesurement; polyphenols. Output specifications, tolerance and monitoring. Brewery Quality Systems Sensory analysis: Theory of sensory analysis/designing and running sensory trials. Facilities and recruitment of assessors Introduction to main sensory methodologies (e.g. discrimination testing/quantitative methods/ descriptive/ profiling, threshold determination/ hedonic tests) Beer flavour wheel/ Quantitative descriptive analysis of beer Ethical considerations/consumer testing and behaviour Experimental design & analysis of sensory data: ANOVA, PCA and other topics related to instrumental and sensory analysis as deemed appropriate.

Beer flavour development

This module looks at flavour quality across the brewing process, examining the key materials, processes and quality parameters which influence beer flavour from grain to glass. · What is flavour? · Flavour perception (including basic mechanisms of the senses of taste, aroma, trigeminal chemoreception, somatosensation, vision) Flavour as a human experience. Interactions between sensory modalities. · The key components of beer flavour quality (volatile/ non volatile flavour components and balance; sweetness-bitterness balance; chloride-sulfate ration; trigeminal effects: temperature/ carbonation; mouthfeel (e.g. beer foam, viscosity) influence of pH; multisensory considerations) · Freshness - what is it? What does it mean in beers? How might it be maintained? · The development and control of key beer flavour characters or off-notes throughout the brewing process. In this section of the course a cross-process approach will be used to identify key control points and examine the inter-play between raw materials and process in determining each factor (e.g. DMS, di-acetyl, fusel oil, t-2-nonenal, acetaldehyde...) · Trouble shooting flavour defects in beer · Flavour stability/ staling of beer during storage: oxidation/ maturation. To include methods for monitoring beer staling · Flavour stability and beer storage: oxidation/ maturation; staling of beer and its control. · Developing products with flavour `balance´

Beer Quality Development

This module looks at flavour quality across the brewing process, examining the key materials, processes and quality parameters from grain to glass. · Introduction: components of beer flavour quality (volatile / non-volatile flavour components; sweetness-bitterness balance; chloride-sulfate ratio; mouthfeel; effects of pH; multisensory considerations) · Contribution of the mineral / ionic composition of water to beer flavour · Flavour generation during malting (Part 2) · The flavour chemistry of mashing/ wort production · The flavour chemistry of hops: iso-á-acids; hop oil components / late hopping · Flavour formation pathways during fermentation (yeast biochemistry & microbiology) · Key aroma compounds for beer quality: (DMS, di-acetyl, fusel oil, t-2-nonenal, acetaldehyde....) · Flavour stability and beer storage: oxidation/ maturation; staling of beer and its control. · Developing products with flavour `balance´ and other topics related to flavour quality as deemed appropriate.

English Language Requirements

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TOEFL iBT® test (read more)

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  • 2.2 (Lower 2nd class hons degree or international equivalent)
  • Including:Biological, chemistry, biochemical engineering or other relevant sciences

Other requirements:Relevant workplace experience may, in some circumstances, be accepted as qualification for entry to this course.

Work Experience

No work experience is required.

More Information


QAA assessment

The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) works with higher education institutions to define, safeguard and improve academic standards and the quality of higher education in the UK.
In the most recent QAA Institutional Audit (2009) the University received the highest possible commendation and was praised for a number of features, including the contribution of our Graduate and Student Service Centres to supporting and enhancing the student experience and the University's systems for listening and responding to the student voice.

Quality standards

The University is committed to maintaining quality standards with the following approaches praised by the QAA.

  • Quality Manual: This University publication identifies quality systems and provides a reference point for staff and students
  • School review: These reviews include systematic checks on Schools’ level of understanding and compliance with the Quality Manual. A process which includes strong student participation

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