FdSc Wine Production

Foundation Degree

Apply for 2024

If you are looking to establish a career in the wine production industry, or wish to establish a new vineyard or wine production business then this is the course for you.

In your first year, you’ll focus on vinegrowing, with modules such as grapevine biology, vineyard establishment and maintenance, and vineyard practical skills. In your second semester, you will enjoy spending a day a week in the vineyard, gaining practical experience in tasks such tractor driving, trellis repairs, and winter pruning. Your first year will also give you the chance to discover the foundations of winemaking, with modules in chemistry, grape processing, and wine analysis.

In your second year, you’ll focus on winemaking, working in the College winery for the harvest. You can look forward to completing a work placement in industry plus a research project, in addition to optional modules in business and wine science. 

You will be taught by an expert team whose experience and knowledge closely reflects the course modules. The team consists of leading academics, and experienced industry professionals, along with diverse industrial networks to external international experts who deliver guest lectures on individual modules, and career guidance.

Why chose us?

  1. We are the UK Centre of Excellence in Wine education, training, and research.
  2. We are the only academic provider of studies in Viticulture and Oenology at Undergraduate and Postgraduate levels in the UK.
  3. 90% of graduates are employed after 15 months of completion of the degree, and earn more than the average graduate in Agriculture, Food and related studies in the UK (Discover Uni, Office for Students, 2022)
  4. The FdSc in Wine Production is a stepping stone into grape growing and winemaking

Course details

Dates & Location

The academic year runs from September to June.


Full time: 2 years

Part time: 4 years

UCAS Details

UCAS code: P600

UCAS points required: 56


For the academic year 2024/25 the tuition fees for UK and EU students are:

  • Full-time £9,000
  • Part-time £4,500

Entry Requirements

We consider a wide range of Level 3 qualifications with UCAS Tariff points, specifically:

  • A Level: two subjects (CD).
  • BTEC National: Extended Diploma (MPP).
  • International Baccalaureate: 24 Points overall.
  • Access to HE in Chemistry and/or Biology: 56 Points

We also consider alternative qualifications at Level 3, such as OCR Cambridge Technical, AQA Tech-Level, and a range of international qualifications at Level 3 equivalent.

We also consider applicants with relevant industrial experience if over 21 years of age.

We expect GCSE Mathematics and English at grade 4 or above (grade C or above under the A*-G system), as well as WSET Level 2 Award in Wines (Pass).

Students with English as a second language will be required to have gained IELTS at 6.5 overall with 6.0 in Writing.


Class sizes are small with a high focus on individual engagement and support

First-year courses may be shared across a number of programmes within the wine division, resulting in larger lecture groups of up to 45 students. Subject specific courses are smaller, for example a typical FdSc in Wine Production intake would have 10 students in a dedicated cohort. Similarly, in the second year, some core courses taken by all students will be equally large, while subject specific courses will be smaller, between 5-10 students per group, enabling close interaction with lecturers. Practical groups are always smaller, allowing for much greater interaction with the subject material, and instructors. Many of our Foundation Degree students do choose to transfer to the BSc (Hons) in Viticulture and Oenology at the end of the first year.

Student Support

Higher Education students who have a learning difficulty, disability and/or ongoing health condition may be able to access reasonable adjustments to support their studies. Support is available to help students apply and access Disabled Student Allowance through either the Inclusive Learning and Development Department or the HE Office. One to one tutorial support is available through academic tutors.

The Library boasts a collection of over 8,000 books, covering a range of key subject areas within land-based curriculum. The Library also provides students with access to a variety of magazines, periodicals and academic journals through online databases.  

Learning technology is central to the learning experience of students at Plumpton College and therefore is supported by dedicated staff within the College Teaching and Learning Team.  The responsibilities of this team are to help support students with learning technology to enhance the overall learning experience.   


Will I have a work placement?

Students go to a range of vineyards and wineries of varying sizes for their placements, including large multi-national wine firms, cooperative wineries, and artisanal vineyards and wineries, and this might be undertaken throughout the second year of study.

  • Previous students have worked in: Rathfinny Wine Estate, Winston Estate, Greyfriars Estate, Bolney Wine Estate, Kingscote Wine Estate etc.
  • We have a dedicated hub that informs students about relevant opportunities.


Future Opportunities

Our graduates tend to top-up their foundation degrees within 3 years of graduation, and have been well placed for employment in both in wine production and the wine trade sectors, in addition to teaching, academia, consulting, governmental agencies such as DEFRA and the Food Safety Agency, research including the postgraduate study of wine production, wine tourism, and wine business.

You will develop valuable vocational skills during this programme. Gaining a good depth of knowledge combined with strong practical vineyard and winery skills, you’ll have lots of opportunities to choose from after graduating. You could become a vineyard manager or winemaker either in the UK or in one of the other wine-producing countries across the globe or establish your own vineyard or winery.

Students wishing to progress to the BSc (Hons) Viticulture and Oenology degree on successful completion on the FdSc programme are advised to take the Level 5 Research Methods for Wine module (which is a perquisite for the Level 6 Research Project module). Alternatively, students can undertake a capstone independent investigation.

The Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) Level 3 Certificate and Diploma are offered as optional additional qualifications.

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