Apply for the Study Programme

Applications to join the 2017-18 academic year will open on 1 June and close on 17 July 2017. Applicants will be required to complete an online Practical and Theory assignment and will need to provide a reference to confirm the applicant's credentials and abilities to either an MW or another senior wine trade professional.

Study Programme requirements

Reference information

Online application form

Online entrance examination

Application fee

MW Study Programme requirements

Applications must meet the following entrance requirements:

  • Applicants must hold a wine qualification. This should at least be at WSET Diploma in level or equivalent. A Bachelors' or Masters' degree in wine (e.g. oenology, viticulture, wine business etc.) or an appropriately high level sommelier certificate would also be accepted.
  • Applicants should have a minimum of three years prior professional work experience in the global wine community.
  • The completion of an application form, including the provision of satisfactory responses to a number of questions.  
  • The provision of a reference confirming the applicant’s credentials, submitted directly and in confidence to the Institute by the referee. Please note the reference form will change from one year to the next and so a new reference is required each time someone applies to join the programme. References should be provided by a Master of Wine or another senior wine trade professional with over 15 years experience in the trade.

Each applicant is looked at holistically, to consider their application as a whole. It is therefore important that each part of the application is carefully completed. Please note, that historically the quality of answers to the open-ended questions in the application form have varied widely in quality. Poor, incomplete or hurried responses will put your candidacy at a strong disadvantage.

Information for referees

The references provided to support an applicant should certify in writing that the referee thinks the candidate, if ultimately successful, would be a suitable Member of the Institute of Masters of Wine. It should be clear that the referee has interviewed the candidate in relation to the MW Study Programme. 

The reference form should be submitted directly to the Institute and its contents will be kept confidential.

Referee's can submit the reference directly to the Institute via this link or email to using this template [2017 reference form ]. It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure their referee submits the reference to the Institute in the correct manner.  

Online application form

The application form requires the following information:

  • Personal/contact details.
  • Details of three years’ work experience within the wine industry (including dates worked at each position).
  • Details of wine qualifications.
  • Details of academic qualifications (degree level and above).
  • In no more than 500 words provide a statement of motivation on how you see yourself contributing to the Institute's mission: "Through our Members and our activities, The Institute of Masters of Wine promotes excellence interaction and learning in the global wine community."
  • Brief details on your wine tasting experience and how you intend to access wines throughout your studies, in preparation for the MW Exams.
  • A statement regarding how you intend to dedicate sufficient study time to be appropriately prepared for the MW Examinations.
  • Confirmation of your first and second choice of residential seminars.
  • Send documents supporting your application, such as copies of your WSET Diploma certificate.

Online entrance examination

During the application process the applicant is required to complete a Practical and Theory assignment. Assignments are assessed holistically to establish whether the applicant has sufficient knowledge, expertise and requisite communication skills to commence the programme. In 2015 students were asked to complete the following assignments under timed conditions using our online exam software. Applicants receive the list of wines prior to applying but only see the questions upon beginning each assignment. There was a time limit of 1.5 hour for the Practical Assignment and a 1.5 hour time limit for the theory assignment.  

The Institute reserves the right to make exceptions, which will be at the discretion of the Chair of Education and subject to a detailed written recommendation from a Master of Wine.

2017 Study Programme application fees

Without tax (if EU tax number provided)

With tax (Vat at 20%)               



Application fees must be paid in order to access the online entrance examination - a link to download the examination software will be sent once the application fee has been received. Please note, the fee is non-refundable.  

For the latest Study Programme prospectus, please click on the following link:

Study Programme Prospectus

If you have questions about the Study Programme that are not addressed on the website, you can contact Angus Brook, the Institute's Education Officer.

More Information

Please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions area for more information.

Any other questions regarding the study programme or the application process should be addressed to the Institute by email.