Online Cheese School with Patrick McGuigan: Associate Certification (2 session course) January 2024

Join cheese expert Patrick McGuigan for an online cheese odyssey from the comfort of your own home, exploring everything from how cheese is made and how to taste like a pro to the history of cheese and the ultimate drinks matches.


This course is no longer available - View available courses here


Patrick’s Academy of Cheese Level One classes have been tailored specifically for online learning to be accessible to both UK and overseas delegates. Fun, interactive and packed with information, they draw on Patrick’s 15-year career in cheese, which has seen him visit and learn from the best cheesemakers, maturers and cheesemongers in the world.

The online cheese course is taught across two webinars, hosted live by Patrick using powerpoint, video and interactive tasks. Students are taught in small groups of a maximum of 12 in a virtual ‘classroom’ with participants able to ask questions and interact with each other and Patrick.

Meet the cheesemaker and the cheesemonger. This year’s online classes will be joined by guest cheesemakers and cheesemongers for exclusive Q&A sessions with students to help bring cheese making, maturation and retailing to life. 

Tutored tastings are a key part of the course. We can deliver a tasting pack containing 12 cheeses to delegates in Great Britain (Northern Irish delegates should contact Patrick for delivery rates). For delegates who prefer to source their own cheese and/or are based overseas, the course can be purchased without the cheese delivery option at a reduced rate. Patrick will send a list of cheeses that he will be tasting. Most are easy to buy anywhere in the world (eg, cheddar, Parmigiano Reggiano, brie, gouda, pecorino)

Who should take part?

Anybody who loves cheese! Level One is popular with a huge range of people, including foodie members of the public, who want to increase their knowledge to share with friends and family, but also industry professionals: chefs, sommeliers, retailers, cheesemakers, wholesalers and food and drink writers.

Patrick has taught students from countries including India, Barbados, Nigeria, Singapore, Bosnia, India, Australia, France, Denmark, Germany, Canada and the US.

He is also happy to organise and run bespoke online courses for private groups, tailoring either Level 1 or Level 2 to your interests. Patrick has taught bespoke classes to cheesemakers, cheesemongers and major retailers.

Previous private classes run by Patrick have included a group of sommeliers in the Far East, an overseas family cheese business and a group of friends with a keen interest in wine in Manchester. Just drop him a line with your requirements and he will get right back to you.

What’s included?

  • Two, three-hour webinars, taught by Patrick McGuigan 6.00pm – 9.00pm (UK time)
  • 12 cheeses delivered to your home (only for GBR delegates who sign up for the full-price course. Delegates in Northern Ireland please contact Patrick for delivery rates). Please note, many of the cheeses are made with raw milk and animal rennet and can’t be changed.
  • The Academy of Cheese Delegates’ pack (pdf format for printing at home). This includes the Level 1: 25 Cheese Profiles Book (written by Patrick) and Cheese Tasting Sheets. Hard copies can be bought separately direct from the Academy. 
  • 12 months access to the Academy of Cheese Level One Learning Road and Cheese Library
  • The Level One Exam
  • Upon successful completion of the exam you will also receive a pin badge designating you as an Academy of Cheese Associate and a professional certificate suitable for framing

About Patrick McGuigan 

Patrick McGuigan is one of Britain’s leading cheese writers and communicators. He writes about cheese for titles including The Telegraph, The Financial Times and Delicious, and has contributed to BBC Radio 4’s The Food Programme. His first book, The Philosophy of Cheese, published by The British Library, was published in October 2020. His new book – The Cheese Life, co-written with Mathew Carver – was published in October 2023.

Patrick’s15-year career in cheese has has seen him visit and learn from cheesemakers, affineurs and cheesemongers everywhere from the Swiss Alps to the pastures of Vermont, and throughout the UK.

He is also a senior judge at the World Cheese Awards, a member of the Guilde des Fromagers and the co-founder of the British Cheese Weekender and London Cheese Project festivals. He holds the WSET Level 3 Award in Wines. 

What delegates are saying

”You have been a fantastic teacher! It has been a pleasure to share your experience and passion and I have appreciated your good sense of humour throughout. Thanks once again Master Gouda (like my Master Yoda)!” Stephaine H.

“Patrick is a walking cheese encyclopedia and, most importantly, he can teach.” Richard J.

“Huge thanks to Patrick for being an awesome online tutor!” Megan H.


Please note, once the course is booked it is non-refundable. All bookings are final, however, if you are unable to attend you can reassign your booking to a new available date or to another person. We require 14 days’ notice prior to original booking date.

We reserve the right to cancel a course at short notice should events beyond our control make this unavoidable. Should this occur, delegates will be offered a place on our next available scheduled course or a full refund.

Includes instant access to the Associate learning road and certification

  • How to describe the key ingredients used in cheesemaking and their purpose
  • Have an overview of the steps involved in cheesemaking and maturation
  • Understand the Academy of Cheese Make/Post-Make (MPM) Model
  • Understand how milk is produced
  • Recognise the condition of a soft mould-ripened cheese in terms of degree of ripeness
  • Understands cheese grading and its relevance
  • Understands the role of maturation and affinage in adding value to the product
  • Knows the different techniques to accelerate and decelerate ripening in soft mould-ripened cheese
  • Understand of how cheese is bought and transported including the term “chill chain”
  • Understand the importance of offering an appropriate range of cheeses for a cheese board
  • Select and use appropriate packaging, to wrap and re-wrap cheese
  • Be able to cut cheese using appropriate tools
  • Understand the importance of caring for, cutting and serving cheeses appropriate to the variety
  • Understands the key descriptors of cheese i.e. country of origin, species of milking animal, vegetarian/animal rennet, raw/pasteurised milk, MPM Model, protected status, age
  • Understands the principles of pairing cheese and drinks
  • An overview of the history of cheesemaking
  • Understand the differences between large scale and artisan production
  • Understand an overview of the nutritional value of cheese
  • Demonstrates good hand-washing techniques
  • Understand how to handle cheese safely
  • Understand the difference between “use by” and “best before”
  • Understands how to use the Academy of Cheese Level 1 Structured Approach to Tasting Model
  • Practical assessment of cheese using the model

At Level One you are required to study and taste 25 iconic cheeses. You will find details on each cheese in your delegates pack and in the online Cheese Library. Whether you attend an online or classroom course you will be expected to have tasted the 25 cheeses on the Level One list by the time of your assessment.

Use the Structured Approach to Tasting Cheese (SATC) sheet to record your tasting notes.

Whichever way you chose to study, you’ll need to take the online exam to become a certified Academy of Cheese Associate. It’s 30 questions in 30 minutes, you’ve got this! 


There are no reviews yet.

Be the first to review “Online Cheese School with Patrick McGuigan: Associate Certification (2 session course) January 2024”