UWTSD online initiative brings students insights from world-leading mixologist


Giorgio Bargiani, the head mixologist from the 2020 Best Bar in the World is among top hotel industry experts who have been sharing their knowledge with University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) International Hotel Management students online.


Giorgio Bargiani, The head mixologist from the 2020 Best Bar in the World is among top hotel industry experts who have been sharing their knowledge with University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) International Hotel Management students online.

The initiative began in lockdown and has been such a success that the university has now made the online sessions a key part of its teaching. This has enabled it to offer its Hotel Management CertHE and degree programmes to students living across the UK.

The course accepts students in September, January and April, making it possible for them to begin their studies as soon as they are ready.

“The programme first started running in September 2016, and has gone from strength to strength,” says International Hotel Management lecturer Dr Jayne Griffith-Parry. “This September brought our biggest intake to date, with students encouraged to embrace the 'blended learning' approach.”

She adds that she has been delighted by student responses to the online sessions, with many of them keen to ask questions, pass on their thanks to the speakers and learn more.

“The UK wide lockdown coincided with the start of our summer term and Module Lead Ryan Peters and I were faced with a challenge of how to adapt a practical module into impactful online delivery for their students,” she says.

"I decided to contact a few of my industry friends and colleagues and was overwhelmed by the response from industry influencers and the quality of video content they provided, sharing the passion for their profession and our Industry, from rum, Champagne  and whisky producers to sommeliers and an aspiring mixologist, they all brought their wealth of experience exclusively to our UWTSD students.”

Speakers included Scott James, founder of Coaltown Coffee, Gilles Dumangin, a renowned Champagne producer with links to Welsh whisky brand Penderyn, Ambre Vilnet, Champagne sommelier at Champagnotheque in Brussels, and Giorgio Bargiani, head mixologist at The Connaught Bar in The Connaught Hotel, London, which has since been crowned Best Bar in the World in the Perrier-sponsored 50 Best Bars 2020 Awards.

“Giorgio spoke with passion about his career journey and his job and left our students awe struck by what he could do, and had achieved to date,” says Jayne. “He was truly inspirational. Little did we realise that as Giorgio spoke to our students from his home, the industry was also recognising the achievements of Giorgio and the team at The Connaught Bar.

"As a staff and student team we would like to thank Giorgio for his continued offer of support to our students and congratulate him and the team at The Connaught Bar for their win. We are very proud that our programme provides content from and contact to industry influencers such as Giorgio - a member of one of the longest standing bar teams in the World. His is an important message for our students, particularly at this time because it shows longevity within the industry and gives inspiration to our International Hotel Management students at UWTSD."

Giorgio says he was delighted to be able to pass on some of his knowledge and experience to the students.

“I believe that sharing personal experiences is one of main pillars of the hospitality industry, especially when you do it to inspire younger generations that are about to start their own new journey,” he says. “Presenting to the students of the International Hotel Management programme at UWTSD made me feel that there is a lot of hope and future for this industry and made me feel proud of sharing this uncommon passion for taking care of others.”

As well as continuing its online sessions, UWTSD incorporates a strong practical element into its International Hotel Management programmes, working in collaboration with The Marriott Corporation to give students placements in its hotels.

“Our relationship with the Marriott Corporation is a key component in the success of UWTSD’s International Hotel Management programmes,” says Multi-campus Director John Howells.  “The degree was designed in collaboration with Mr Michael Downie, General Manager of the Swansea and Cardiff Marriott Hotels and his senior management team, as we wanted to ensure that our International Hotel Management degree programmes were industry focussed and prepared our graduates for a career in hotel management within the hospitality industry.

“The Marriott Corporation has long been applauded within the hospitality industry for the quality of its staff training programme. Our degree students spend about one third of their degree gaining practical experience at Marriott hotels across the UK on a training programme based on the outstanding training that the Marriott Corporation employs to prepare their associates for a career in the hospitality industry.”

Further developments for the programme next year will include the introduction of a new International Hotel Management MBA from September 2021.

“This will give our graduands an opportunity for post graduate study while promoting our MBA programme within the International community,” says Jayne.

Further Information

Rebecca Davies

Swyddog Gweithredol Cysylltiadau â’r Wasg a’r Cyfryngau

Executive Press and Media Relations Officer

Cyfathrebu Corfforaethol a Chysylltiadau Cyhoeddus

Corporate Communications and PR

Mobile: 07384 467071

Email: Rebecca.Davies@uwtsd.ac.uk