Academy of Cheese – Level 2

For students who have completed Level One, this next step in your Academy of Cheese journey will be a significant progression in the teaching and application of the Academy’s Make and Post Make Model and our Structured Approach to Tasting.

About this course

Level Two has been designed for cheese industry professionals throughout the supply chain who wish to advance their learning and expertise. It will also appeal to consumers with a profound interest in expanding their understanding of cheese production and varieties.

This is an interactive course, which includes activities such as tasting around 25 different cheeses, cheese making, cheese and drinks matching, cow top trumps and assessing different ages of the same cheese. Students will be encouraged to stay in touch and support each other via a private Facebook group, and will be given clear guidance on how to approach home study and how to best approach the exam.

The Guild of Fine Food is a founding patron of the Academy of Cheese, a not for profit organisation that is establishing a cheese qualification on four levels. The Academy has been set-up to promote cheese knowledge and provide career development, both within the industry and amongst the wider public. It culminates in the highly qualified and industry accredited role of Master of Cheese.

Academy of Cheese Level Two is a two day course covering nine distinct areas:

  • The cheesemaking process
  • An in-depth look at ingredients and production techniques

  • Maturing, Affinage and Grading
  • Evaluate the ripeness and maturity of a range of cheeses and different effects and methods employed

  • Buying and Distribution
  • Recognise an appropriate range of cheeses for particular situations, review the types of supply chain and demonstrate and understanding profit and costs

  • Presentation
  • Select the correct cheese tools to maintain appearance and recognise stock management systems

  • Communicating
  • Understand why certain pairings work and classic cheese recipes, consumption guidelines and learn appropriate descriptors

  • Cheese industry knowledge
  • Develop an understanding of cheese’s evolution and emerging trends

  • Regulation and good practice
  • A close look at HACCP, the role of food enforcement officers, the role of food labelling and the main pathogens

  • Tasting
  • You will use the Make Post Make Model to identify 100 cheeses

  • Assessment criteria
  • Undertaking Level Two requires 16-24 hours of classroom study and 54-72 hours of additional home study and there will be a short exam at the end of the course.

Why do it?

This two day course and home study programme will enable you to:

  • Consolidate your professional understanding and enhance your career opportunities
  • Be more informed and equipped to share and implement your new-found knowledge in a range of settings
  • Be ready to take Level 3 & 4, when they are released


Academy of Cheese Level One must be passed before students can progress to Level Two. Please contact the Guild if you would like guidance on where to take Level 1, if you have not already completed the course.

Your Tutor

Patrick McGuigan is one of Britain’s leading cheese writers and teachers. He has written 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 15-year career in cheese 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.

Patrick has been involved with the Academy of Cheese from its early days, developing the Academy’s cheese library (he is known as the Cheese Librarian!) and teaching both the Level 1 and Level 2 courses. He has taught both courses to hundreds of people from all over the world in person and online. His courses are carefully structured to convey expert cheese knowledge, while also being relaxed, fun and delicious.



Training contact form

Contact the Guild of Fine Food about training opportunities

Return to the top