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Find answers to the most frequently asked questions

When can I apply?

Registration is now open for the 2023 cohort. The application deadline is 4 September 2023. We can accept registrations until 1 October at the latest.

Is it possible to attend only individual modules?

The program has been designed as a comprehensive curriculum, to cover the whole value chain and highlight interconnection and the holistic nature of coffee. It is therefore strongly recommended to enroll in the full program. In exceptional cases, enrollment in individual modules can be granted upon request.

How does the application process work?

  1. Online application: Complete the application form, upload the required supporting documents and submit it on time.
  2. Confirmation: You will receive a confirmation of receipt by e-mail once you have submitted your online application.
  3. Application screening: If your application is complete and received by the deadline, it will be reviewed by the course management.
  4. Information about admission decision: Admission or rejection.
  5. Registration fee: A processing fee of CHF 600 is charged for participants who have been approved to the CAS program. Payment of the fee is only possible by credit card (Visa, MasterCard) or PostFinance Card.  

What is the payment schedule?

  1. Registration fee: CHF 600.- upon admission by credit card (non-refundable).  
  2. Tuition fee for each module: CHF 2250.- Payment due upon start of the module. Payment by credit card. Discount of CHF 500.- if full course fee (CHF 6750.-) is payed at once before 4 September 2023.

I can't start studying this October, when does the next class start?

This CAS starts every October.

When is the programme completed?

The program is completed after 15 months. Graduates will be awarded their diplomas once all modules are successfully completed, and the final assessments have been passed.

What is the CHF 600 registration fee for?

This program requires a one-time registration payment of CHF 600. This non-refundable fee should be paid prior to the start of the course.

I work full time. How flexible is the study?

This programme is specially designed for working professionals. The workload per week is approximately 6 - 7 hours; and you can plan your studying to fit with your schedule. The 3 online learning modules are divided into 6 sessions, each containing 4 to 6 lessons. Students have 2 to 4 weeks to complete each session. All lessons within a session will be available at once, giving students the flexibility to plan their study time for the next few weeks accordingly. The only fixed appoints in the courses are the "Virtual Classroom" and "Virtual Lab" meetings. These take place once per session (usually on Thursdays 15:00 Switzerland time) for 1.5 hours. These meetings are also recorded and posted to our learning platform, Moodle, so that students can watch them later.

Can I have unrestricted access to the learning material, so that I can study the material at whatever time of day I want?

We work with the e-learning platform Moodle, where you have access anytime. The workload per week is approximately 6 to 7 hours and you can plan your time freely to match your schedule.

What is the difference between the CAS in Coffee Excellence and the SCA Skills Programme?

The postgraduate CAS in Coffee Excellence is an online learning programme offered by the Zurich University of Applied Sciences, and designed at the highest level of the coffee training path. It extends and complements the SCA Skills Programme by providing a science-based curriculum which delves deeper into many topics.

Is this programme accredited by SCA?

We collaborate directly with SCA, however this programme is independent of the SCA courses, and is designed to compliment them. While the SCA training courses focus mostly on practical skills, the CAS in Coffee Excellence provides students with a deeper, science-based curriculum which focuses on the entire coffee value chain, from crop to cup. However, we recommend that you have completed some of the SCA courses or even the SCA Diploma before participating in CAS. For example, some of our students have attained the SCA Professional Level or are Q-graders.

I started studying with a previous cohort, but had to discontinue for personal or professional reasons. Am I able to continue studying where I left off with a new cohort?

Yes, this is possible. Due to course curriculum changes implemented in 2022, there are some new changes to the course material and structure. Please contact us at coffee.lsfm@zhaw.ch to determine your new course plan.

I have registered but cannot start studying after all. Can I get the tuition fees back?

Cancellations received prior to the closing date for enrolment (one month before the start of the course) will result in no additional charges, however the registration fee of 600 CHF is non-refundable. Cancellations received after the closing date for enrolment but prior to the commencement of the course will result in a cancellation charge equal to half the course fees unless the applicant can secure a replacement for the course. 75% of the course fees will be payable if an applicant cancels a course after it has commenced, fails to attend a course, discontinues his or her attendance or is excluded due to non-payment of course fees owed. In any event, if the course is cancelled, the CHF 600 registration fee is non-refundable. However, the registration fee can be carried over to the next year(s) if you need to postpone your start date of the course. All cancellations must be communicated in writing.

What happened to Module D? Is there no longer a face-to-face module?

Module D, the face-to-face module, is no longer a compulsory part of the course. We will be offering workshops and a practical part to the courses in the form of Virtual Lab Sessions where we will be taking you to our lab, virtually. There will be events at the SCA conferences (Expo, WOC) for CAS alumni and current course participants.

Is it possible to have an official university student card?

No, you will not receive a student card for online programmes.

What is the difference between the CAS in "Coffee Excellence" and the CAS in "The Science and Art of Coffee"?

The CAS "The Science and Art of Coffee" is a programme in German and on-site at the ZHAW Wädenswil in Zurich, Switzerland. The CAS Coffee Excellence is an online learning programme in English. The course content is similar, but the CAS Coffee Excellence goes into more depth.