This qualification has a minimum requirement of 500 hours* of study time:
- 116 hours of delivery time with a WSET course provider (classroom or online)
- 370 hours of personal study and revision, including preparing an independent research assignment (D6)
- Examinations for each unit (excluding D6) totalling 11 hours 50 minutes.
It normally takes between 18 months and 3 years to complete the Diploma. Each unit is weighted differently in terms of hours of study required, the table below shows the minimum guided learning time, private study time and the weighting applied against each unit.
*Delivery will vary by course provider; however, this is the minimum requirement that should be met.
To complete the Diploma you must pass all six units, successfully meeting the rigorous assessment requirements across the syllabus. Assessment varies by Unit:
D1 – Wine production
1½ hour closed-book examination made up of open-response questions
D2 – Wine business
1 hour closed-book examination made up of open-response questions
D3 – Wines of the world
A theory and tasting examination to be held over two consecutive days:
- Day one – A two-part theory exam formed of open-response questions to be completed in 3 hours 20 minutes (one 2-hour paper and one 80-minute paper).
- Day two – A two-part blind tasting examination of 12 wines to be completed in 3 hours (two papers of 1½ hours)
D4 – Sparkling wines
1½ hour closed-book examination made up of open-response questions and a blind tasting of three sparkling wines
D5 – Fortified wines
1½ hour closed-book examination made up of open-response questions and a blind tasting of three fortified wines
D6 – Independent research assignment
One research assignment of 3,000 words
Those who successfully complete the Diploma will receive a WSET certificate and lapel pin and will be able to use the post-nominal “DipWSET” and associated WSET certified logo. You will also become a member of our Alumni Body, with access to our quarterly reports and a number of exclusive events.
Changes to the WSET Level 4 Diploma
Although the Level 4 Diploma in Wines is available to book now from some of our course providers, it will not be possible to sit the examination until after the 1 August 2019.
* * * * *
The WSET Level 4 Diploma in Wines and Spirits is permanently withdrawn from 31 July 2019, with the launch of the new WSET Level 4 Diploma in Wines (1 August 2019). All students enrolled on the current Diploma will be automatically transferred to the WSET Level 4 Diploma in Wines in September 2019.
Spirits is not part of the new Diploma, but there will be one final Unit 4 Spirits examination for resit-only candidates in March 2020. All students transferring with a pass in Unit 4 or who gain a pass in March 2020 will graduate with the WSET Diploma in Wines and Spirits upon completion of all Units.
Please note this will not be available in the German language. For more information on the German-Language Diploma in Wines and Spirits, please see the German-language announcement on this page and contact your course provider if you have any queries.
For more information about the WSET Level 4 Diploma in Wines and transitional arrangements please view the video and document below.
Please contact your course provider if you require further information.
Pub: 25 April, 2018