Stage 2


Stage 2 is a crucial time for students in the MW Study Programme. It can be intense, but enjoyable and rewarding, as students work towards taking the first two parts of the MW examination. Stage 2 of the Study Programme involves a five-day residential seminar, and at least two non-residential course days. The culmination of stage 2 is the closed-book parts of the MW examination (theory and practical), which take place in early June. 


The seminar

The residential seminar is the major building block of stage 2. It is five days in length and offers very intensive preparation for the MW examination. The seminar is offered in Australia, France, the UK and the US. A stage 2 seminar typically includes a variety of tasting sessions including mock exams. MW tutors lead skills development sessions at advanced level in order to further hone your skills. 

Course days

Course days are held in small groups in order to encourage a high level of interaction and engagement and they are tutored by an MW. Students receive pre course day material to prepare, which is generally developed further in class.Th e programme of course days intends to cover all the theory papers during the year as well as to form a complete whole with the seminar and the assignment marking schemes. The tastings are not always necessarily 12-wine papers: they may be shorter in order to allow for more effective skills development. The wines normally would be selected along the same principals as at the exam, i.e. they are typical of what they are supposed to show whether it is quality, origin, or style. However, course days may also employ a theme for selecting wines, such as oak or level of residual sugar, in order to focus on certain topics in the assessment of wines.


Students get access to the assignment marking scheme (AMS), the practical assignment marking scheme (PAMS) and research paper marking scheme (RAMS) in order to offer them the opportunity for practice and further feedback. Students are expected to submit at least three AMS in order to sit the exam in a given academic year. The assignments are marked by a panel of MWs and they provide written feedback, which is normally returned to students four weeks after submission.


Stage 2 students tend to keep on working with their mentor from stage 1. The beginning of stage 2 is also an opportunity to review the study plan and the progress of the student in order to agree a suitable plan for their studies. The relationship must be driven by the student; mentors are there to advise, support and assist when asked.

Study groups

As in stage 1, study groups provide students with a great deal of energy, enthusiasm, and motivation and are strongly encouraged.

Progression to stage 3

The research paper (RP) is the third and final part of the MW examination. Students need to pass both the theory and practical parts of the exam to progress to the RP.