Course overview

This specialist Master's course will equip you with the skills, knowledge and experience to secure your first destination role in the Brewing industry.

We focus on developing both practical and technical skills, enabling our graduates to enter a variety of roles ranging from production to R&D, Technical, or further study (e.g. a PhD in Brewing Science). Our expertise means you'll understand in-depth the scientific principles behind the brewing process.

We'll give you the skills to innovate, problem-solve, and carry out robust research at laboratory and pilot plant scales.

  • Learn at the International Centre for Brewing Science
  • Expert guidance from teaching staff and specialist brewing practitioners
  • Build your practical brewing experience
  • Learn how to design, brew and market your own beers
  • Develop career skills and networking opportunities

Brewing research project

You'll apply the knowledge, skills and experience gained throughout the course. It gives you ownership of your particular piece of research. Design, conduct, evaluate, report and communicate a piece of time-limited academic research.

Ideally, the research area should be of value to the company hosting the project. You should use appropriate experimental design strategies and statistical methods of analysis. This will also develop your skills in writing research papers.

Key facts

  • Brewing is a vibrant global industry with excellent employment prospects for graduates. Multi-national companies operate graduate employment schemes from which you can progress into a variety of career functions.
  • This program will equip you with the hands-on practical brewing skills and scientific knowledge to transition into the industry
  • Strong links with industry and provide training and support with employability skills, including careers workshops with key employers.
  • Learning is supported by industry trips to observe practice at craft and industrial scales of operation, as well as developing knowledge of brewing raw materials production and processing.
  • The Midlands region has strong historic links to brewing and is close to the famous brewing centre of Burton-upon-Trent

Why choose this course?

Blended learning

Access additional resources like videos and e-learning between classes

Expert teaching

Learn from experienced brewers and leading academic researchers in the field 

Practical skills

Learn how to design and brew beers and develop practical research skills 

Build your career

We have strong links to the brewing industry and a high percentage of graduates whose first destination job is in brewing

Course content

Brewing research project - 60 credits

Typically, projects are conducted in partnership with industry providing opportunities for work experience. You'll use the skills and knowledge gained from taught modules to devise and carry out an innovative piece of research.


Brewing Raw Materials and Wort Production 20 credits

This module focuses on the raw materials, practice and processes used to manufacture wort in a modern brewery. It develops understanding of the key quality factors of the principal raw materials and how these impact on the quality of wort produced in the brewing process. You will develop knowledge and specialist skills related to the unit operations used in wort production. Learn about how the technologies are controlled to meet the operational objectives of a modern brewhouse such as:

  • production schedule
  • wort strength and fermentability specified for a brand
  • meeting environmental targets through minimising inputs of energy and water.
Beer Finishing and Packaging 20 credits

This module teaches the biological, chemical and engineering processes that are involved in transforming fermented beer into a wide range of finished beers, as well as the principles and practice of packaging beers in small-pack and large-pack formats. Key topics include:

  • flavour maturation and allied industrial practices
  • beer stabilisation to prevent non-biological hazes
  • beer filtration, carbonation, packaging and pasteurisation

You will learn theoretical and legal aspects of packaging, together with consideration of the design and operation of modern high speed packaging lines.

Brewery Yeast Management 10 credits

This module considers brewing yeast management in relation to brewery fermentations. You are introduced to scientific principles and their relevance to industrial practices:

  • Brewing taxonomy
  • Brewing yeast cell biology
  • Brewing yeast genetics
  • Brewing yeast biochemistry
  • Brewing yeast replication and growth
  • Yeast culture maintenance and supply
  • Methods of analysis (genetic, biochemical and physiological)
  • Brewing yeast propagation and pitching
Fermentation and yeast handling 10 credits

This module considers brewing fermentations and the importance of yeast within the process. It considers:

  • pitching and yeast quality
  • fermentation and flavour metabolism
  • fermentation systems and operations
  • yeast flocculation, cropping and storage

Operational practice and challenges as well as potential innovative technologies are discussed.

Brewery Operations and Beer Design 20 credits

This module covers topics related to brewery operations at industrial and craft level. You will develop an understanding of brewery design and layout, and the engineering principles involved in selection of equipment and construction materials. You will learn how to operate a brewery in compliance with relevant legal requirements (UK). A further key objective of this module is to train you to be proficient in beer design. The necessary skills and calculations are taught and then assessed through an innovative beer design project which is conducted in small teams.

Beer Analysis and Quality Management 10 credits

Development of the key chemical & physical properties of beer which determine its’ quality & the analytical techniques which are used to measure them. When & where in the process should measurements be taken using a Brewery Analysis Plan and how are these measurements integrated into the necessary Brewery Quality Systems?

Brewing Microbiology 10 credits

This module considers the occurrence, frequency and biology of non-brewing microorganisms that are associated with spoilage during the brewing process or the final product. The impact of microorganisms on process and beer will also be considered. You will be introduced to:

  • 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 (CIP) operations
  • The principles and practice of brewery hygiene
Beer Flavour Development and Sensory Analysis 10 credits

Flavour quality across the brewing process, examining the key materials, processes & quality parameters which influence beer flavor from grain to glass. Develops understanding of multisensory flavor perception & theoretical aspects of the sensory evaluation of beer.

Beer flavour development:

  • Key components of beer flavour (volatile / non-volatile flavour components & balance; sweetness-bitterness balance; chloride-sulfate ratio; trigeminal effects: temperature/ carbonation; mouthfeel (e.g. beer foam, viscosity) influence of pH; multisensory considerations). Interactions between the senses.
  • Range of beer styles and their flavour characteristics.
  • Development & control of key beer flavour characters or off-notes throughout the brewing process.
  • Trouble-shooting flavour defects in beer
  • Flavour stability / staling of beer during storage: oxidation/ maturation. To include methods for monitoring beer staling; current theories of beer flavour stability; separate contributions of materials & process to flavour stability; potential markers for beer staling

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/ QDA of beer
  • Ethical considerations/ consumer testing and behaviour.
  • Experimental design and analysis of sensory data; ANOVA
Sustainable Beverage Production 10 credits

The sustainability of production is a critical topic for any brewer. This module will examine resource usage in brewing, with a focus on key performance indicators such as specific energy and water usage. The use of life cycle analysis (LCA), carbon foot printing and water foot printing as tools to achieve a more sustainable process will be discussed.  There is also a focus on brewing co-product streams (e.g. effluent, recovered beer, spent grain, spent yeast, trub, cleaning-in-place residues and kieselguhr) and how these can be reduced and/or treated to minimise their impact on the environment.

Other topics include the utilisation of solid waste (spent grains, yeast and hops) to produce co-products and approaches to reduce packaging, which represents a significant part of the carbon footprint of beer.   

Brewing Research Project (full-time) 60 credits

You will be required to carry out a practical project in brewing science which involves the application of contemporary concepts, theories and methodologies relevant to a selected topic. Content will be agreed with the course supervisor (and where appropriate industrial supervisor) appointed to the project to ensure that the academic content is suitable for a postgraduate course. Ideally the project will be carried out as a placement in industry to address a real situation; however, where this is not feasible or dependent upon the requirements of the research project, a laboratory-based project may be undertaken. Although an individual responsibility, the project will usually involve working with others and may be part of a team project (e.g. developing, brewing and marketing a new beer brand in collaboration with a local brewer).

The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for information on available modules. This content was last updated on Tuesday 09 April 2024.

Due to timetabling availability, there may be restrictions on some module combinations.

Learning and assessment

How you will learn

  • Lectures
  • eLearning
  • Tutorials
  • Practical classes
  • Problem-based learning
  • Workshops
  • Field trips

All taught modules comprise of a lecture program which is built around online study for flexible learning. Laboratory and pilot plant classes teach core practical skills. Industry visits offer key learning opportunities for this applied field of study. You'll learn the practical, technical and engineering skills required in modern industry.

Teaching is provided by experienced academic staff, supported by regular guest speakers from across the brewing and allied industries, including a team of Honorary Professors who are acknowledged experts in their field. Technical staff, PhD students and post-doctoral researchers provide additional support in small group and practical classes.

How you will be assessed

  • Examinations
  • Coursework
  • Presentation
  • Essay
  • Lab reports
  • Dissertation
  • Poster presentation

Modules are assessed using a variety of individual assessment types which are weighted to calculate your final mark for each module. Typically all taught modules have one or two pieces of coursework and/or an exam.

You will need an average mark of 50% to pass the MSc overall. You will be given a copy of our marking criteria when you start the course and will receive regular feedback from your lecturers and tutors.

Contact time and study hours

Each 10 credits of taught module comprises 20-25 hours of formal contact time and an overall study time of 100 hours (inclusive of e-learning, self-directed study, coursework and revision time).

You will work on your research project between June and September, either based at the University or via an industry placement.

Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2024 entry.

Undergraduate degree2:2 (or international equivalent) in biological, chemical, or biochemical engineering or another relevant science subject
Work experience

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


Our step-by-step guide covers everything you need to know about applying.

How to apply


Qualification MSc
Home / UK 9,700
International 30,200

Additional information for international students

If you are a student from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, you may be asked to complete a fee status questionnaire and your answers will be assessed using guidance issued by the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) .

These fees are for full-time study. If you are studying part-time, you will be charged a proportion of this fee each year (subject to inflation).


There are many ways to fund your postgraduate course, from scholarships to government loans.

We also offer a range of international masters scholarships for high-achieving international scholars who can put their Nottingham degree to great use in their careers.

Check our guide to find out more about funding your postgraduate degree.

Postgraduate funding


We offer individual careers support for all postgraduate students.

Expert staff can help you research career options and job vacancies, build your CV or résumé, develop your interview skills and meet employers.

Each year 1,100 employers advertise graduate jobs and internships through our online vacancy service. We host regular careers fairs, including specialist fairs for different sectors.

International students who complete an eligible degree programme in the UK on a student visa can apply to stay and work in the UK after their course under the Graduate immigration route. Eligible courses at the University of Nottingham include bachelors, masters and research degrees, and PGCE courses.

Graduate destinations

This course is primarily aimed at science graduates who wish to pursue a career in the brewing and allied industries.

Our graduates would typically follow a career in:

  • process, production and technical governance
  • hypothesis-led problem solving and innovation in brewing
  • brewery management
  • the craft brewing sector

Recent employers have included AB InBev, Molson Coors, Carlsberg Marston's, Robinsons and Camden Town Brewery amongst others.

You will also be ideally placed to continue your research to PhD level, for example, and to pursue an academic career in the field of brewing science.

Career progression

94.1% of postgraduate taught students from the School of Biosciences secured graduate level employment or further graduate level study within 15 months of graduation. The average annual salary for these graduates was £32,173*

*HESA Graduate Outcomes 2019/20 data published in 2022. The Guardian Outcomes % is derived using the Guardian University Guide methodology. The average annual salary is based on data from graduates who completed a full-time postgraduate taught degree with home fee status and are working full-time within the UK. 

Two masters graduates proudly holding their certificates
" My expertise is in malting science and technology, and flavour development and stability. I investigate the sensory impacts of raw materials and process on the finished beer quality. I lead a team of researchers working on these areas. I sit as a Trustee on the board of the Institute of Brewing & Distilling (the global professional body for Brewers and Distillers) and am a member of the European Brewing Science Group, which advises the Brewers of Europe on scientific aspects of importance to the industry. "
Professor David Cook, School of Biosciences

Related courses

This content was last updated on Tuesday 09 April 2024. Every effort has been made to ensure that this information is accurate, but changes are likely to occur given the interval between the date of publishing and course start date. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply.