Projects Banner Image

Diploma in Single Malt Whisky

Course Itinerary

Day 1

Candidates will be collected from central Edinburgh at 7.30am.  The pick-up point is Motel One Royal, 18 Market Street which is very close to Waverley Startion.  A breakfast of bacon rolls is served on arrival.

The material covered on this day is Raw Materials, Batch Distillation and Maturation.

A private tour of the local distillery finishes the day with candidates arriving back in Edinburgh at approximately 5.30pm.

Day 2

Pick up will be the same time and place as Day 1.  

Day 2 starts with revision on the material taught on Day 1 before looking at sensory aspects of whisky tasting.  Candidates will then taste a selection of world whiskies whilst learning about the different distillation methods.

After lunch there is a revision session on all material before candidates sit the formal assessment.

Candidates will be dropped back in Edinburgh at approximately 4.30

Venue: About Arniston House

The Whisky Diplomas are taught at Arniston House, a magnificent Palladian-style mansion located near Gorebridge, just to the south of Edinburgh.  An architectural gem, the house was designed in 1726 by William Adam on a site that has been home to the Dundas family for over 400 years. Set in extensive gardens and parkland, Arniston House is a truly idyllic venue, providing a relaxing and inspirational setting in which to learn. Learn more about Arniston House.

  • Diploma In Single Malt Whisky Arniston House, Midlothian

The Diploma in Single Malt Whisky is the only one of its kind - a fully SQA awarded qualification that is written and delivered by whisky specialists, offering you the benefit of their extensive experience, insights and judgment.

Single Malt Whisky is the jewel in whisky’s gleaming crown and over two days you will learn about its fascinating history, its commercial development, all the subtleties of production and maturation, the effect of different casks, as well as other techniques for creating and enhancing flavour.

You will also be taught how to ‘nose’ a whisky – your nose is, after all, far more sensitive than the most sophisticated equipment – how to describe it in detail, and the all-important skill of conducting a tasting session.

  • Course Overview

  • Course Length: 2 days
  • Preparatory Reading: 6 hours
  • Who is it aimed at? Brand ambassadors, whisky professionals, hospitality professionals, spirits retailers, whisky enthusiasts, whisky writers and bloggers and distillery guides.
  • Venue: Arniston House (or, for groups, a venue of your choice)
  • Price: £850
  • Modules Included

  • The Historical Development of Distillation & Whisky
  • The Business of Whisky
  • The Raw Materials & Their Preparation
  • The Batch Distillation Process
  • Maturation
  • Sensory aspects of tasting whisky
  • World Whiskies

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need prior knowledge?

There is no requirement of prior knowledge for this course.  However, it is an indepth look at whisky and we recommend that those with minimal knowledge undertake the Introduction to Whisky Certificate in advance of attending this course to ensure they get the most out of the Diploma.

Is the course residential?

No, this is a non-residential course.  Transport Is provided every day from central Edinburgh to Arniston House.  Edinburgh offers a wide range of accommodation choices to suit all budgets.

Is food provided?

Yes. A breakfast of bacon rolls is provided on arrival, followed by a 2 course lunch.  Teas, coffees and fruit are available throughout the day.

Is there any preparatory work I need to do?

Yes, candidates need to read and understand the pre-course reading modules that will be emailed to them upon payment of the course.  The modules cover the History of Distillation and Whisky and the Business of Whisky.  They are delivered in pdf format and via podcast.

These modules are assessed so we recommend 6 hours study time for these modules.

How long is the assessment and does it cover everything?

The assessment is 2 hours long and is in multi-choice format.  It covers all 7 modules and candidates must achieve 60% in each module in order to pass the Diploma.

If I do not pass 1 of the modules do I need to retake the whole exam?

No, candidates only need to resit the modules where they did not achieve 60%.

Do I have to come to the Academy to retake the assessment?

No. Where possible we will use our network of invigilators to assist in invigilating a retake. On the odd occasion where this isn’t possible we can use the Prometric assessment centres although there will be an additional fee of €115 for use of the assessment centre.