New international business degree homes in on Australian wine, spirits and tourism sectors

Riposte Brand manager Nick Knappstein travels the world expanding the profile of his Adelaide Hills family wine brand in a crowded international market.

Nick could tell the difference between Sauvignon Blanc and Gewürztraminer by 10 years of age – but despite decades of industry experience, he acknowledges the advantages of having formal business qualifications in a competitive export industry.

“Attempting to upskill while working full time is a huge challenge.  Flexibility and the ability to complete intensive blocks utilising leave is a great initiative,” said Knappstein.

“I also firmly believe that some subjects such as sensory evaluation in particular are immersive and best approached in intensive blocks.”

The Bachelor of International Business (Wine, Tourism and Spirits) is a new 3- year undergraduate degree for people looking to start a career in the wine, spirits and tourism sectors or existing wine, export and tourism industry professionals, like Knappstein, seeking to upskill, with intensive blocks of study delivered online to suit his busy schedule.

The degree includes hands-on experience with 4-week industry placements, practical field trips and study tours across Australia’s leading wine tourism regions and travel to international wine and spirits trade fairs like ProWein and Vinexpo Hong Kong as part of the degree.

Students fresh to the sector will also learn how to judge the quality of wines and spirits and understand their history and heritage in a dedicated sensory lab built specially for the degree at the Bedford Park campus.

Flinders embeds the WSET Level 2 Award in Wines qualification as part of the degree in partnership with TAFE SA Wine & Spirits School, an approved program provider for the globally recognised WSET courses.

Flinders University Professor and Director of their MBA and Wine Business programs, Roberta Crouch says the degree has been designed to maximise graduates’ employment opportunities and enhance the sector’s global competitiveness, by developing the curriculum in conjunction with leading academics, industry experts and feedback from extensive market research.

“The result is a partnership with the TAFE SA Wine & Spirits School where they co-teach into our Wines of the World course that embeds a WSET Level 2 in Wines qualification,” said Crouch.

“This is done in the first year of study and provides our students with a solid foundation for the more advanced, globally oriented, sensory studies in wine and spirits done later in the course.

“This exciting combination of expertise provides our students with practical, internationally recognised qualifications, well regarded by employers around the world and in industry.

“It also provides the graduates from the TAFE SA Wine & Spirits School with a pathway to our full bachelor’s degree and, importantly, it provides our graduates with a pathway to advance their WSET qualifications later if they wish.

“The diversity in the degree, encompassing a sound foundation in international business knowledge along with sector focused wine and wine tourism-oriented courses mean our graduates can apply for many types of exciting jobs domestically and internationally.”

Bachelor of International Business (Wine, Tourism and Spirits):

  • Learn from real-life industry experts based in Australia and all over the world.
  • Learn how to judge the quality of wine and spirits and understand its history and heritage in a dedicated sensory lab.
  • Receive a business education that is ranked number one in Business & Management for learner engagement and overall quality of educational experience
  • Leverage the strength of Flinders’ international-award-winning New Venture Institute
  • Study online

TAFE SA Education Manager Patricia Colbey says WSET qualifications are a fantastic avenue for those involved with wine and spirits at all levels to develop comprehensive product knowledge and tasting skills, covering the significant wines and wine regions of the world.

“TAFE SA is excited to partner with Flinders University to provide a WSET Level 2 Award in Wines embedded in the Bachelor of International Business (Wine, Spirits and Tourism),” Colbey said.

“This collaboration will allow students to gain a WSET qualification within their degree providing a global foundation of in-depth wine knowledge and practical tasting elements that will give students the edge in industry.”

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Image: Flinders University Professor, Roberta Crouch.