The full-fledged English curriculum of the wine industry combines scientific, cultural and economic knowledge with various field activities and applied case studies. The curriculum was designed to help students develop:
- Technical skills in: vineyard establishment and terroir management, grape and wine quality improvement, winemaking techniques and sensory analysis, dealing with changing environmental issues.
- Strategic skills in: defining wine identity and diversity, wine markets and brands, wine firms and sectors, national and international wine business strategies.
To help students meet these standards, the curriculum is based on a strong partnership between partner universities, associated partners and various public and private professionals in the wine sector. Indeed, these professional actors play an active part in the master through classroom teaching, field excursions and case studies, enabling students to understand and address current issues in the wine industry, while likewise beginning to define their own professional career projects.
First year (M1, 60 ECTS credits)
During the first and second semester, the teaching curriculum provides students the opportunity to acquire and develop knowledge and skills across the following key areas of:
- Viticulture Fundamentals
- Advanced Wine Science
- Sensory Analysis & Tasting
- Grape Varieties & Terroirs
- Vine Physiology & Sustainability
The first semester (S1) takes place in Valencia (Spain) or Budapest (Hungary), from September to December, and the second semester (S2) from February to June, in Piacenza (Italy) or Vila Real (Portugal). The choice of universities varies each year and the academic committee reserves the right to change the list of universities offering the courses of the first two semesters.
The 2018-2019 academic year starts on September 4, 2018 at Valencia (Spain). For more information on the academic calendar, see here.
The first year end with a 2-week study trip in two European wine producing countries, which changes each year on committee’s decision. This study trip is dedicated to visiting wine producers in different regions, allowing students to learn more about local practices and products (quality, typicality, economic and cultural values…).
Winter and Summer internships: at the end of each semester of the first year, students are encouraged to undertake practical internships in wine trade or production. During the winter holiday (6 weeks), students may decide to work in the hosting country, or travel to another country, to work in wine trade or production (e.g. pruning internship). Likewise during the summer holiday (12 to 14 weeks), students may travel to different countries or regions to work, for example, as a harvest or cellar intern in a winery.
Second year (M2, 60 ECTS credits)
The third semester occurs in Angers (France), from October to February. Two weeks before the start of this semester, all non-French speaking students can attend French language lessons. During the third semester, the students will apply their first-year knowledge and skills to:
- Wine Terroir & Culture
- Wine branding & Marketing
Applied field and case studies are likewise essential components of the third semester curriculum, where students will deal with real-life situations from public or private wine companies and organizations. These studies allow students to gain experience in an actual working environment, and gain more insight in the wine industry.
Likewise, students will use the third semester to finalize their master thesis projects. Students have to find their own study internships, yet offers from partner universities are regularly sent to students.
The fourth and final semester is devoted to the professional thesis project (30 ECTS credits). This 6-month study internship can take place in a private company, research laboratory or public institution, in any country of choice. The thesis project provides students with an in-depth and hands-on professional experience in the field of viticulture, oenology or wine marketing. Throughout the project, each student is supervised by two advisors, a tutor from the hosting company or structure, and a supervisor from the academic committee. After handing in a written thesis of the research work, the professional project is finalized through an oral dissertation.
The completion of the International Vintage Mater’s programme leads to a National French Master Degree of Science (MSc, French DNM), as well as to double degrees depending on student mobility pathways. For more information, see here.
The 2018-2020 course guide will soon be available (See general overview of Curriculum structure).