Select Page


Applications for the 2024/25 academic year are open from May 6 2024. You can find everything you need to know about applying here.

“There are as many reasons for deciding to tackle the Master of Wine examination as there are Masters of Wine. Some do it to improve their career prospects, others because they want to better their wine knowledge, some because they have a desire to have that knowledge bench-marked. 

What all MWs will tell you is, at some point during their campaign, they discovered that it wasn’t just about being able to recall facts and figures, names and places, smells and tastes and textures, it was about understanding. Understanding why, appreciating when, knowing how, coming to grips with what, and the impact each has on the wine in their glass and its place in the world of wine.. 

The examination is tough, but doable if you recognise your strengths and weaknesses, and work to turn your weaknesses into strengths, your strengths into superpowers. It is doable if you adapt to the challenges the journey will throw in your path. Take a chance on yourself, you deserve it.”

Cathy van Zyl MW
IMW Chair


To be eligible to apply for the MW study programme:

  1. You must have active professional involvement in the wine industry. For the purposes of the application, active professional involvement means that this is your primary professional livelihood and/or involvement of at least 20 hours/week. The IMW is a membership organisation for wine trade professionals and so this is essential for your application to be progressed.
  2. You must already hold a wine qualification of at least WSET Diploma in level or equivalent and be able to provide the full certificate of completion upon application to the programme.
  3. You should have a minimum of three years of current and continuous active professional involvement in wine at the time of submitting your application. That activity may span the broad diversity of wine professions including, but not limited to: the production of raw materials to winemaking, selling wine, wine writing and wine education.

If you feel you fall outside of the definitions of points 2 and 3, but within the spirit of the IMW mission, you can request permission to apply from the admissions committee. The decision of the committee will be final. No exceptions can made for active professional involvement in the wine industry.

In order to apply, you must complete an application form, followed by a practical and theory entrance exam. In addition, a reference must be submitted to confirm your credentials. The reference should be provided by a Master of Wine or another senior wine trade professional with over 15 years of experience in the trade.

Each applicant is looked at holistically, and all parts of the online application will be taken into consideration. It is, therefore, important that each part of the application is carefully completed. Historically, the quality of answers to the open-ended questions in the application form has varied widely in quality. Poor, incomplete or hurried responses will put your candidacy at a disadvantage.


6 May 2024: Applications open

3 June 2024: Deadline for the completed application form, including payment (part one)

3 June 2024: Deadline for your referee to complete the reference (part one)

4 June 2024: Online entrance exams become available

1 July 2024: Deadline to complete the online entrance exam (part two)

11 September 2024: Outcome of your application

We encourage applications from all backgrounds and communities and in particular those who are underrepresented within the wine trade, such as women, disabled and Asian, Black, and ethnic minority candidates.

As part of our mission to promote excellence, the IMW is committed to fostering a culture of diversity, inclusion, and ongoing transformation. We believe diversity makes organisations more successful and communities more fulfilling. By actively cultivating a diverse community of professionals, we benefit from a richer mix of ideas, perspectives, and life experiences that expands our thinking and our possibilities.

We value and respect diversity of all kinds – within our staff, our membership, our students, and the global wine industry. For more information, see here.


The application form will ask for:

  • Personal/contact details
  • Details of a minimum of three years’ work experience within the wine industry (including dates worked at each position)
  • Overview of work history
  • Details of wine qualifications
  • Details of academic qualifications (degree level and above)
  • Supporting documentation for your application, such as copies of your WSET Diploma (or equivalent) certificate
  • A short biography (maximum 150 words)
  • A statement of motivation on why you wish to join the MW study programme (maximum 150 words)
  • A statement regarding your wine tasting experience and how you intend to access wines throughout your studies, in preparation for the MW exam (maximum 150 words)
  • A statement regarding how you intend to dedicate sufficient study time to be fully prepared for the MW exam (maximum 150 words)

All applications must be made in the English language only.

The following documents must be read and understood. You will be asked to agree to these documents within the application form.


IMW assessment irregularity policy

IMW exam rules

IMW terms and conditions

IMW learning agreement

Student code of conduct


The referee that you provide will be asked to confirm that you:

  • Would eventually be a suitable member of the IMW (a Master of Wine)
  • Have a sophisticated tasting ability
  • Have knowledge of what the study programme entails, and that you have a reasonable chance of success in it.

The form can be completed on a laptop, desktop or smartphone. Once complete, this will be automatically sent directly to the IMW and we will include it as a part of your application. The reference and its contents will be kept confidential and you will not receive a copy.


Without tax
(if EU VAT number provided)
With tax
(UK VAT at 20%)
Standard feeGBP 240GBP 288


The entrance exams comprise one theory and one practical (tasting) exam which are designed to assess your wine knowledge, experience, understanding and ability to communicate effectively. The videos below provide some useful advice from Richard Hemming MW about how to approach the entrance exams. You can download the 2021 and 2020 entrance exam questions below.

The entrance exams must be completed under timed exam conditions and written in English.

We ask that candidates complete their entrance exams as “closed book exams”. This means you should not have resources like books, articles or notes to hand while you write your paper, in the same way as if you were taking the MW exam in one of our exam centres.

We also have a zero-tolerance policy regarding plagiarism which you can find out more about in our assessment irregularity policy. We regard plagiarism to be any instance of writing down someone else’s words or ideas without acknowledging the source of the material or citing its origin. If you are going to quote someone or explain their ideas in your theory paper please make sure that you are citing them appropriately to avoid any ambiguity or concern that you may be passing someone else’s work product off as your own. The IMW uses the plagiarism detection software Turnitin to check the exam papers of applicants and students. You may find it useful to look at their plagiarism spectrum here to help you understand different examples of plagiarism that Turnitin will report on.

Previous practical entrance exam


Previous practical entrance exam


Previous practical entrance exam


Previous practical entrance exam


Previous theory entrance exam


Previous theory entrance exam


Previous theory entrance exam


Previous theory entrance exam







During the practical entrance exam, you will be asked to respond to a range of questions about four wines which you will purchase in advance, and taste during the entrance exam.

The wines that will be used for the 2024 practical entrance exam are:

  • Wine 1: Sauvignon Blanc, Sancerre, France, approximately 20-25 GBP
  • Wine 2: Chenin Blanc, Savennières, France, approximately 25-30 GBP
  • Wine 3: Ruby Port, Portugal, approximately 15 GBP
  • Wine 4: Moscato d’Asti, Italy, approximately 10-15 GBP

You can choose vintages that are available on the market where you are located.  The most recent available vintage in your region is suitable. We ask that you indicate both the actual wines tasted as well as the vintages of the wines when completing the test.

If the wines cannot be purchased, the exam can be completed as a ‘dry tasting’ exercise.


If you have questions about the MW study programme, please contact Sarah Harrison