Research course

International Centre for Brewing and Distilling

Heriot-Watt University · School of Life Sciences

Entry requirements

Minimum second class honours degree in a related subject. Contact the School to discuss

Months of entry

January, December, November, October, September, August, July, June, May, April, March, February

Course content

Since 1989 the brewing and distilling interests of Life Sciences have been incorporated into the International Centre for Brewing and Distilling (ICBD), which has received substantial financial support from the industries. Overall, research activities highlight qualities and molecular genetics of cereals, yeast and fermentation processes, beer and spirit stability and flavour.

The ICBD has its own research laboratories within the School of Life Sciences and can draw on facilities elsewhere in the School and University. The micromaltings allow the production of sufficient raw materials for up to a 200 litre brew-length. The experimental plant includes three brewing vessels which can be used for the production of ale or lager wort, and malt or grain distillers mash. The fermentation and conditioning tanks are designed for beer or spirit production. A full range of analytical equipment lies alongside the experimental plant in neighbouring laboratories.

Department specialisms

The research programme emphasizes the biochemical and microbiological aspects of brewing and distilling, especially cereals, including malting, and fermentation.

Fees and funding

Research Council, University, Industry

Qualification and course duration


full time
36 months
part time
48 months


full time
24 months

Course contact details

Prof Paul Hughes
+44 (0)131 451 3619