Bachelor Degree (BSc Hons) Viticulture and Oenology

UCAS code: D636
Duration Full-time: 3 years
Part-time: 6 years

The Bachelor of Science degree in Viticulture and Oenology explores the science of grape growing and winemaking and provides graduates with the knowledge and skills to succeed in a career in wine production. Unique to Plumpton College, this undergraduate science degree provides a world-class education in wine  that is based in Europe and delivered in English.

Originally from Spain and working in IT development, I decided to change career after moving to the UK and starting a family. I’ve always been interested in wine, and my interest has become a passion through studying on the amazing wine courses at Plumpton College. The more I learn about wine, the more convinced I am that I made the right choice. The BSc Viticulture & Oenology course covers operations in the vineyard and winery, wine analysis, wine tasting and the science behind it all. I love the practical aspects of the course; I now understand much better the consequences of winemaking decisions.

There are many professional opportunities, but I want to work in winemaking and wine analysis. There are not many courses where you gain so much experience to prepare you for finding a job. Other aspects that I love about what I am learning is the variability of the tasks involved in working in the winery; such as sampling in the vineyard, grape reception, must adjustment, inoculation, fermentation monitoring and bottling.

I love the idea of being able to make wine in amazing places around the world like Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Chile….My first destination will be California; they are producing premium wines, and I would like be part of it.

Inma Ollero-Bianchi
Current student
BSc (Hons) Viticulture & Oenology

Course Structure

The course is normally studied over three academic years, but can be completed in a part-time mode. Total timetabled sessions are from 10–16 hours a week. Students actively participate in the maintenance of Plumpton College Estate vineyards and in the production of its award-winning wine.

Areas of study

The course covers all aspects of wine production and related biological sciences, including practical vinegrowing and winemaking, advanced viticulture and oenology, wine sensory evaluation and wine analysis. The course includes vintage winery experience and an honours project.

Career and progression opportunities

Graduates from this course have become vineyard managers, winemakers, wine buyers, cellar managers, wine educators, project scientists and oenologists. Other students have also progressed onto post-graduate study at Masters and PhD level in oenology and viticulture. They are very active in the burgeoning English wine industry and are also employed in other wineproducing countries including France, Germany, Portugal, Greece, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Module in focus

Winery Engineering and Practical Skills

This module teaches the practical skills required for the transformation of grapes into wine, starting with the processing of the fruit, through fermentation and finally onto blending and bottling. It enables you to participate in all aspects of the production of Plumpton’s award-winning wines using the College’s vineyard grapes in the well-equipped College winery. You will also develop a theoretical understanding that will enable you to play a key role in the purchase of winery equipment and in winery design.

By the end of the module you will be able to:

  • undertake key winemaking operations that optimise wine quality
  • effectively monitor and record the development of a particular wine
  • relate winemaking theory to practical situations in a commercial winery
  • evaluate important elements of winery design.

You will develop skills and knowledge in:

  • grape, juice and wine handling in a commercial winery situation
  • operation of winery machinery including destemmers, crushers, presses, pumps, filters and bottling equipment
  • safe and accurate laboratory analyses needed to monitor winemaking processes
  • keeping records for legal and quality assurance purposes

Please note that students will normally need 280 UCAS points, in at least one Science subject, and the Wine & Spirit Education Trust Level 2 qualification, to be accepted onto this programme.
However, students from the Foundation Degree in Wine Production can transfer across to the BSc (Hons) Viticulture & Oenology at the end of either the first, or the second year, if they have sufficiently high grades in key modules.

In the National Student Survey, the 2012-13 Wine Production and Business graduates wrote:

  • Friendly classmates
  • The practical aspects of the course and availability of resources are a great strength
  • Plumpton Wine Department has amazing lecturers, who are enthusiastic and very helpful. I get excellent support from my course tutor
  • The compulsory work experience module was particularly helpful, in allowing learnt skills to be put into practice in a professional, real life environment 

This course is validated by the University of Brighton and delivered by Plumpton College

For Full time applications please apply via UCAS at
For CPD/Part time course please complete this application form (pdf) Download Adobe PDF
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