Edinburgh Whisky Academy

Introduction to Whisky Certificate (Online)

Are you longing to learn more about the water of life? The Introduction to Whisky Certificate is a fun and accessible SQA-awarded online course exploring the fundamentals of whisky across eight engaging modules.

From the history, business and raw materials to production, distillation and maturation, you can access our award-winning material and industry expertise, learning at your own pace, wherever you are in the world.

The course material mixes interactive explanations with illustrated activities and videos. There are pop quizzes at the end of each module, too, so you can measure the knowledge you’re distilling along the way.

 “We can heartily recommend it:  It’s fun and entertaining at the same time”
Hans Offringa, Charleston Mercury

There is a self-assessment at the end of the course and, if you’re interested in gaining the SQA certificate (at an additional cost of £180), you can opt to take the formal assessment at your nearest Prometric centre.

Whether you’re curious to know more or consider yourself a connoisseur, The Introduction to Whisky Certificate will give you a comprehensive overview of whisky as a subject and is the perfect way to start your journey in whisky education.


  • Introduction to Whisky Certificate Online

“Really informative, practical, large amount of knowledge in relation to the first steps in whisky industry” 
Nikolaos Karanikis

“The interactive exercises are particularly helpful in understanding the material” 
Erik Wait

“Very impressive, detailed and well-presented material” 
Hans Strenge

“Very good course with great content and varied learning methodologies” 
Paer Johansson

“Excellent content… incredibly interesting and informative” 
Jamie Boyle

“Very good content perfectly explained” 
Ralf Hankewitz

“Great opportunity to get acquainted with the whisky making process” 
Kaspars Mitka  

  • Course Overview

  • Course Length: 8 modules
  • Preparatory Reading: None
  • Who is it aimed at? Enthusiasts
  • Venue: Online
  • Price: £120
  • Modules Included

  • Historical Development
  • Business of Whisky
  • Raw Materials
  • Production Process
  • Batch Distillation
  • Maturation
  • Bottling
  • Grain Distillation & Blending

Frequently Asked Questions

How does the course work?

Upon purchase, you’ll receive an email invitation to our online learning platform. You’ll need to click on the link to create your account and then you’ll be able to login and learn straight away. Once you’ve logged in, you can access the course material for 180 days. (Be sure to check your Junk folder, in case your welcome email gets lost in there).

How does the SQA work?

Upon completion of the course, you’ll receive an Edinburgh Whisky Academy certificate. Should you wish to take the formal assessment and gain your SQA Certificate, there are a few things to note:
1. There is a cost of £180 to cover the SQA and assessment centre fee which you can pay here.
2. You’ll need to take a test in your local Prometric centre which you can find here.
3. The test covers four modules: Pre-production, Production Process, Warehousing & Bottling.
4. The test is in a multiple-choice format and you have one hour to complete it.
5. You can read more about the learning outcomes of the assessment here.
6. You’ll need to achieve at least 60% in each of the four modules to gain the SQA Certificate.
7. Upon successful completion, your SQA Certificate will be sent to you by post.
8. A resit will be required for any module in which you do not achieve 60%.
9. There is an additional charge of £120 should you need to resit.

Do you need any prior knowledge?

No, an enthusiasm for whisky is all you need.

How long does the course take?

It depends! If you set aside an hour to each module, you’re looking at about eight hours work in total.

Can you buy the Introduction to Whisky Certificate as a gift?

Yes, gift vouchers are available here.