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ICATS has been providing distance learning courses into the global Aroma Trades (perfumes and flavours) industry for over a decade.

The ICATS Perfumery programme is validated by the International Federation of Essential Oils and Aroma Trades (IFEAT) and the British Society of Perfumers (BSP).

Successful completion leads to the award of the IFEAT Diploma in Aroma Trades Studies.


Perfumery Education at the University of Plymouth, UK

Distance Learning Courses in Perfumery leading to an IFEAT Diploma in Aroma Trades Studies (Fragrances or Flavours)

  • A fully flexible open learning programme for participants at any level of the perfumery value chain in any part of the world
  • No attendance necessary; assessment by assignment reports & dissertation
  • Successful completion leads to the award of the “IFEAT Diploma in Aroma Trades Studies”
  • Study the whole course or just some of the modules
  • Discount for IFEAT members
  • Complete learning pack contains all necessary learning materials (CDs, textbooks, & odour activity kit)
  • Open entry for both technical and non-technical applicants
  • No prior extensive scientific knowledge required
  • Sponsored and supported by IFEAT and the BSP

Distance Learning for the Aroma Trades Industry

In distance learning the normal university approach of lectures, tutorials and workshops are replaced with reading and activities. The approach has proved its worth over 30 years. All the necessary materials are included in the learning pack (ICATS module workbooks on CDs, textbooks, monographs, aroma reference standards, smelling strips and IFEAT expert papers). There is a lot of flexibility. There is no fixed exam at the end of the academic year or fixed hand in dates for assignments. Students can work through the material at their own pace.

Modules are assessed by Tutor marked assignment reports and a final dissertation submitted to the IFEAT External Examiner. Support is provided throughout study by Personal Tutors who are only an email away from students.

The foundation module of this programme covers the basic science and mathematics needed in the Aroma Trades. This provides the necessary underpinning for those without a technical background and a refresher for those with science qualifications.

Course overview:

Units 1 and 2 provide the necessary foundation knowledge and skills. Units 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 cover specific technical aspects of the Aroma Trades (Perfumery and Flavour pathways). Units 8, 9, 10 and 11 cover the business aspects of the Aroma Trades. The concluding units (12 & 13) is a researched based dissertation of the participants own topic selection with tutor support and guidance... Read more

Continuing Professional Development (CPD).

Some people do not wish to take the full ICATS programme. A senior technical person moving into higher management, with new commercial responsibilities, may wish to take selected business modules. A non-technical person moving into the ‘Aroma Trades’ sector may just want to take selected technical modules, to understand what aroma materials are and how are they used.

ICATS Aroma Trades modules may be taken as single modules.

Next find out about Continuing Professional Development

ICATS has been developed by a remarkable team of experts including:

Dr. Tony Curtis
Tony has more than 40 years of industry experience, 25 of those with Bush Boake Allen where his work included aroma materials R&D and Quality Assurance / Regulatory Affairs for both Flavours and Fragrances. Tony has been teaching at the University of Plymouth for 20 years. Tony’s PhD was for work on sesquiterpene aroma materials.

John Ayres
John is author of Fragrance Unit 4 ‘Creation and Evaluation of Fragrances’ and Fragrance Unit 5 ‘Application of Aroma Materials’. John has more than 35 years in the fragrance industry, 24 of those with Givaudan.

John Wright
John is author of flavour Unit 4 ‘Flavour Creation and Evaluation’ and Flavour Unit 5 ‘Application of Flavouring Materials in Flavoured Products’ (available spring 2011).

Brian Lawrence
Brian is author of the essential oil overviews (available summer 2011) linked to Unit 3 ‘Aroma Materials of Natural and Synthetic Origin’

To find out more about the team click here

Internationally Recognised Professional Qualification

Over 30 years experience of distance learning in the industry.

Course workbooks are written by internationally acknowledged experts with depth of industry and teaching experience.

All the required learning material is included the course pack.

The syllabus has been developed in close collaboration with the industry and is accredited by IFEAT (International Federation of Essential Oils and Aroma Trades) and the BSP (British Society of Perfumers).

There is individual support from a Personal Tutor by email.

To read more click here

The Aroma Trades consists of the aroma material producers, the aroma material distributors, the flavour / fragrance creative houses, the product manufacturers, retailers and consumers. To find out more about the supply chain of the Aroma Trades industry click here

The Aroma Trades, Perfumery and Flavour industry covers many areas and employs people in a wide range of roles. People from the job roles below have found ICATS learning useful in building their career success. To find out more about the exciting opportunities available within the industry click here, read testimonials from those who have already completed the course.

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