Summer Schools


Introduction to Wine Science

This blended learning course, hosted by the University of Kent and delivered by experts from the University of Adelaide's School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, aims to provide students with an understanding of basic viticultural, oenological and sensory principles, such as the life cycle and growth of the grapevine, the unit operations involved in winemaking, and the theory and practice of sensory evaluation of wine.


For members of the public with a personal or professional interest in Oenology and both undergraduate and postgraduate students who are interested seeking to supplement their degree with additional skills training to gain a competitive edge when they graduate.

Undertake training within a vibrant, safe, cosmopolitan and stimulating campus environment, located in one of the most beautiful cities in the UK and gain cutting edge research skills and expertise in an ever-growing and increasingly important scientific discipline.

Foundations of Wine Science comprises three broad topic areas: viticulture, oenology and sensory science.

The course aims to provide students with an understanding of basic viticultural, oenological and sensory principles and practices. Topics covered include: grape varieties; grapevine structure and function; the annual growth cycle of the grapevine; the factors that influence crop yield; the source/sink balance of the grapevine; berry development and composition; wine classification; the unit operations involved in winemaking; the taste and olfactory system; and taste and aroma interactions.

Practical sessions will focus on grapevine anatomy, variety identification and berry ripening, and particularly technical wine evaluation (i.e. training in the recognition and evaluation of different wine styles and their characteristic sensory attributes).

Foundations of Wine Science comprises the following modules:

Theory component


  • The taste and olfactory system
  • Taste and aroma interactions


  • The grapevine and grapevine varieties 
  • Grapevine morphology, growth and development
  • Grapevine physiology
  • Berry ripening and composition


  • Wine styles and types
  • Handling the grapes and juice
  • Fermentation
  • Preparing wine for market

Practical component

Residential School:

  • Site visit to local winery and/or vineyard(s)
  • Grapevine Anatomy, Variety Identification
  • Sensory practicals, including:
  • Basic tastes
  • Taste interactions
  • Complexing factors
  • Faults
  • Fruit characteristics
  • Still, sparkling, sweet and fortified wine styles

Find out what our students think of the Summer Schools on our Summer School Blog.

For additional reasons to join us, visit our Canterbury Summer Schools overview.

Dates: Monday 06 May - Friday 21 June 2019 online with residential on University of Kent campus Monday 17 June to Thursday 20 June 2019

Providing School: Kent International Pathways hosting Professor Vladimir Jiranek of the School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, University of Adelaide

Campus: Canterbury

Credit Transfer Option:  Equivalent to 15 Credits (150 hours of study, ECTS 7.5) for transfer purposes.

Price: £1650, including course content and tuition, vineyard visit and wine tastings during residential. For current University of Kent staff and students a launch-year discount of 20% will be applied.


back to top

Programme Content

This course comprises a theoretical component supported by a practical component. The theoretical component will be delivered online and comprises: 2 sensory evaluation modules (~2 hours); 4 viticulture modules (~10 hours); 4 oenology modules (~8 hours). The practical component will involve a 4 -day Residential School for which attendance is compulsory held from 17 to 20 June 2019 in Canterbury at the University of Kent.

The theoretical component of Foundations of Wine Science will be delivered online via Virtual Learning Environment. Modules will be made available as soon as possible and students will be able to work through content at their own pace. However, a suggested timetable for module release/completion is provided below.

Course Timetable



06 May


The taste and olfactory system
Taste and aroma interactions

20 May



The grapevine and grapevine varieties
Grapevine morphology, growth and development
Grapevine physiology
Berry ripening and composition

03 June


Wine styles and types
Handling the grapes and juice
Preparing wine for market

17-20 June

RESIDENTIAL SCHOOL (Canterbury, University of Kent)
(includes revision and examination)


Residential school attendance

It is imperative from an educational rigour perspective that students attend all Residential School practical sessions. This is a compulsory component of the course and so attendance will be monitored. Students who are absent from a session without extenuating circumstances will lose 20% of the marks allocated to the practical component of the course. This policy will also apply to students who attend only part of a session. Students who are absent from two sessions will automatically fail the practical component of the course.

Teaching and assessment

Total number of study hours will comprise 150 hours which will include elements of independent and private study.

  • 24 hours contact time during the summer school
  • 126 private study hours during the summer school

    Total: 150 hours

Pass Requirement

To successfully complete the course, students must:
  • Attend all sessions of the Residential School;
  • Gain an overall scaled mark of at least 40% for all assessments;
  • Gain a minimum mark of at least 40% for the sensory examinations
  • Gain a minimum mark of at least 40% for the written examination

Course Assessment

Assessment Tasks


Due Date


Practical Reports – Grape ripening (1,200 words)




Online variety identification (1,200 words)




Assignment – Winemaking process of an allocated wine style (800 words)




Sensory examinations


Held during the Residential School


Written examination


Held during the Residential School





Requirements and Policies


To gain entry on to the Introduction to Wine Science Summer School you will need to:

  • be over 18 years of age
  • demonstrate an interest in Oenology
  • have a basic understanding of Biology or Chemistry (we recommend a minimum GCSE C in Biology, Chemistry or Science)

You will also need to:

  • feel confident reading, writing and liaising in English to attend this course, i.e. have the equivalent of IELTS 6.0 or equivalent with a minimum of 5.5 in each skill. If you have an alternative test/proof of your English language ability then you can mention this is your application and upload this instead.

Admissions tutors reserve the right to require evidence of previous relevant study, if this is considered necessary.


Serving of Alcohol at the University of Kent - Policy
During the course, samples of alcohol are provided for tasting exercises or laboratory analyses as course requirements. It is vital, therefore, that students are aware of the responsibilities and rights of the University when providing alcohol to students, and their own responsibilities in this regard.

The University is committed to safeguarding the health, safety and welfare of its students, and accepts its responsibility to promote good health by raising awareness of the risks of alcohol and drug misuse.

The University of Kent policies and penalties associated with drug and alcohol related offences are outlined in the following policies:

  1. University Policy Statement concerning Alcohol
  2. University Policy Statement concerning Drugs (substance abuse)


These are a part of the general regulations.

If you or any of your friends have any concerns about these issues, you can access support via Student Support and Wellbeing and the Masters' Offices.

University of Kent alcohol policy

Alcohol served by the University of Kent during practical classes is for tasting only.

Students are required to be legally fit and in control of themselves at the beginning and end of practical sessions. Devices for the measurement of blood alcohol level (breathalysers) may be provided to allow students to monitor their blood alcohol level. Students may make use of these devices, however they are provided for guidance only and are not absolute and legally binding measures of blood alcohol level. You are advised not to drive a motor vehicle immediately after classes, even if you feel you will be fit to do so. Likewise, you must also be in a fit condition to attend classes following wine tasting practicals. Note that even though actual ingestion of alcohol may not occur, some alcohol will be absorbed and enter the bloodstream through tasting and expectoration. Also note that individuals’ uptake of blood alcohol varies considerably, depending on a number of factors such as sex and body mass, hence a student cannot assume that since they have expectorated all alcohol samples that they will be fit for further class participation or other activities.

We also have a representative from Turning Point, an organisation that provides specialist and integrated services to help people recover from addiction and gain control of their lives, available with our Wellbeing Team in Keynes College every Thursday. Appointments for Turning Point or for general counselling can be made via the Student Wellbeing Service.

A reminder that you can apply for more than one Summer School, and also combine with our Paris and Brussels Summer Schools.

Fees: £1,650

Fees Include all course content and tuition, a vineyard visit, and all wine tasting during the Residential School.

For current University of Kent staff and students a launch-year discount of 20% will be applied. Please note that you will need to provide proof of registration or employment at the University of Kent for this offer to apply.

The final deadline for payment to secure your place on this course is Friday 19 April 2019

Scholarship Opportunities

We have 20 x £500 Internationalisation Scholarships available for the Canterbury Summer Schools available to students not currently studying at the University of Kent. If you wish to apply for a scholarship you will need to select 'School scholarship' at application and apply by Monday 01 April 2019. We will use your Reasons to study as part of the application form as the scholarship application. If you are a current student at another institution you may also wish to enquire about any mobility scholarships within your home institution or Government.


You must email to notify us of your withdrawal from a course as soon as you know that you will not be attending the course and before travelling to the UK. We will charge a £250 administration fee, unless there are exceptional extenuating circumstances for the withdrawal.

Accommodation details

En-suite accommodation is available on the University of Kent campus and will need to be booked separately. If you require accomodation for the Residential School please indicate this at application and we will help you with your booking. Details of our accomodation can be found on our Accommodation webpage. The accommodation reserved for this Summer School is in Keynes College.

Course information:

Please note that in order for the course to run a minimum of 10 registered students is required. Please do not make arrangements for travel until you have received your welcome and induction pack.

Getting here

You will find useful directions to the Canterbury Campus on our Directions page. Students who wish to arrange a taxi transfer from one of the London airports may wish to visit our Booking a Taxi in the UK page.


Every effort is made to ensure that the information contained in publicity materials is fair and accurate at the time of going to press. However, the courses, services and other matter covered by web pages and prospectuses are subject to change from time to time and changes may need to be made following publication and/or after candidates have been admitted to the University. Please see our institution wide Terms and Conditions / Disclaimer page for further information. Please note that modules shown are based on the current curriculum, but are subject to change.

University of Kent - © University of Kent

The University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NZ, T: +44 (0)1227 764000

Last Updated: 05/02/2019