WSET Level 4 Diploma in Wines and Spirits

Specialist-level knowledge in wines and spirits, for both the trade professional and the serious enthusiast.

About the course

The WSET flagship Diploma will arm you with specialist-level skills and knowledge, plus recognition as an expert in the field of wines and spirits. The course not only develops advanced product knowledge but will also develop your skills in research and analysis, which will continue to be of use to you in the future.

All classes are delivered by highly qualified educators, many of whom are MWs, and all of whom are subject matter experts.

The Diploma is universally viewed as a stepping-stone to the MW programme.

Upon successful completion of all Units students will receive a WSET certificate and lapel pin and may use the post nominal DipWSET.

  • Evenings

  • Day release

  • Consecutive

  • Saturdays

  • Regional block release

  • Block release

What’s covered

The Diploma is comprised of six units of study, each designed to develop expertise in a specific area. The course includes tutored tastings of over 250 wines and 50 spirits; all samples are carefully selected to build analytical tasting skills and supplement theoretical knowledge.

Throughout the course you will have access to our Online Classroom with on-going educator support.

Unit 1: The global business of alcoholic beverages

  • The dynamics of the global market for alcoholic beverages
  • The local market
  • The marketing of alcoholic beverages

Unit 2: Wine production

  • Viticulture
  • Vinification
  • Maturation, treatments and packaging

Unit 3: Light wines of the world

  • Northern and Western Europe
  • Central, Southern and South-Eastern Europe
  • Africa, Australasia and Asia
  • The Americas

Unit 4: Spirits of the world

  • Production of spirits
  • Types and styles of spirits

Unit 5: Sparkling wines of the world

  • Methods of production
  • Types and styles of sparkling wines

Unit 6: Fortified (liqueur) wines of the world

  • Methods of production
  • Types and styles of fortified wines

Do I need any prior knowledge?

To enrol on this course you must have successfully completed the WSET Level 3 Award in Wines or the WSET Level 3 Award in Wines and Spirits. Students from outside the UK who hold the WSET International Higher Certificate and have passed the Diploma entry exam may also enrol. WSET School London will not accept any other previous learning for enrolment on this course.

The course is of a high-level, students will need to possess  competencies in research, analysis and report writing similar to those required for a first year degree course. All classes are delivered in English therefore a good level of English is required.

What study options are available?

The WSET Diploma has a minimum requirement of 600 hours study time, including approximately 100 hours classroom or online class time. Students therefore should be prepared to dedicate substantial amounts of study time to successfully complete this course.  

To assist you in completing the Diploma a number of study options are available. The course can be completed as two separate semesters or as a one continuous programme.

Students are advised to select the study option that best suits their own timetable, factoring in both attendance time and self-study requirements.

The same syllabus is covered in all delivery options.

 

Two Semester Delivery

This delivery option breaks the Diploma course into two semesters of study to be completed over two academic years. Semester One must be completed before you may enrol onto Semester Two. Semesters can be taken as either day release or block release.

This study option has the benefit of allowing you to spread the cost and commitment of the Diploma over two years.

Day Release

  • One day a week from 9.00am – 5.30pm over three to six months
  • Semester One: 9 attendance days plus examination days
  • Semester Two: 9 attendance days plus examination days

Block Release

  • 9.00am – 5.30pm weekdays
  • Semester One: One block of 5 consecutive days and a second block of 4 consecutive days plus examination days
  • Semester Two: One block of 5 consecutive days and a second block of 4 consecutive days plus examination days

Regional Block Release

This delivery option is only for the WSET School London’s regional centres: Dublin, Edinburgh and Manchester.

  • 9.00am – 5.30pm weekdays
  • Semester One: One block of 5 consecutive days, a second block of 3 consecutive days and a third block of 3 or 4 consecutive days, plus examination days
  • Semester Two: One block of 3 consecutive days and a second block of 4 consecutive days, plus examination days

Continuous Delivery

This delivery option is a continuous study programme of 12 or 18 months. This delivery option can be taken on Fridays or Saturdays as day release, or as an evening or a single block delivery.

Friday or Saturday Day Release

This delivery option is designed for those who want more classroom time and would like to complete the programme in just over a year.

  • 33 classroom days plus examination days
  • Fridays or Saturdays from 10.00am – 2.30pm

Evenings

This delivery option is ideal for those who are unable to attend daytime sessions

  • 48 evenings plus examination days
  • One evening per week from 6.30pm – 8.30pm
  • The course is completed in 18 months

Single Block

This delivery option is ideal if you are able to concentrate your study time and wish to complete the Diploma in just over one year.

  • 20 continuous classroom days plus exam dates
  • Online study prior to, during and after the classroom attendance block
  • 9.00am – 5.30pm Monday to Friday
  • Includes a visit to an English vineyard and winery
  • Enrolment must take place before the first online study period has commenced

Online Delivery

The WSET Level 4 Diploma is also available for online study through the WSET School London. For further details please click here.

Day release

9.00am – 5.30pm

London Semester One, 9 days once a week

View course dates

Day release

9.00am – 5.30pm

London Semester Two, 8 days once a week

View course dates

Fridays

10.00am – 2.30pm

London, 33 days once a week

View course dates

Saturdays

10.00am – 2.30pm

London, 33 days once a week

View course dates

Block release

9.00am – 5.30pm

London Semester One, 9 days in two blocks

View course dates

Block release

9.00am – 5.30pm

London Semester Two, 8 days in two blocks

View course dates

Evenings

6.30pm – 8.30pm

London, 48 evenings once a week

View course dates

Regional block release

9.00am – 5.30pm

Dublin Semester One, 11/12 days in three blocks

View course dates

Regional block release

9.00am – 5.30pm

Dublin Semester Two, 8 days in two blocks

View course dates

Regional block release

9.00am – 5.30pm

Edinburgh Semester One, 11/12 days in three blocks

View course dates

Regional block release

9.00am – 5.30pm

Edinburgh Semester Two, 8 days in two blocks

View course dates

Regional block release

9.00am – 5.30pm

Manchester Semester One, 11/12 days in three blocks

View course dates

Regional block release

9.00am – 5.30pm

Manchester Semester Two, 8 days in two blocks

View course dates

How much does it cost?

The diploma costs start from £3,100.00, depending on your location and course delivery option.

The cost includes all tuition, Online Classroom support, wine and spirit samples, study packs, Unit study guides, the WSET Level 4 Systematic Approach to Tasting Wine, the Oxford Companion to Wine and examination fees. Only the first attempt at each exam is included, re-sits and transfers are subject to additional charges.

Additional fees are applicable for make-up or transfer classes, starting from £25/hour.

The Level 4 Diploma may be paid for in instalments. To be eligible for this payment method you must be a permanent UK resident with a UK bank account. 

Assessment

Each Unit is examined separately and the assessment format varies by Unit. Over the duration of the course you will be required to complete written theory exams, tasting exams and a coursework assignment. Your selected course delivery option will have set examination dates for each Unit.

For full details on examination format and requirements please see the Level 4 Specification.

For re-sits and transfers information please see our Exam Information and Re-sits page.

How can I book?

Provided you meet the prior knowledge requirements and are 18 years of age or over, bookings can be made online by first selecting your preferred course date from our calendar. Alternatively, you can complete and return the booking form (included at the back of the prospectus below) or call our Student Services team on +44 (0)20 7089 3841.

Please read the terms and conditions before making a booking.

If you are unsure if you meet the entry requirements please contact Student Services on +44 (0)20 7089 3841 or courses@wset.co.uk

Confirmation, joining instructions and study materials will be sent to you in the post once payment has been received. Students booking less than ten working days prior to the course will collect materials on the first day of the course. Alternatively materials may be delivered within the UK by special 24hr delivery upon payment of the appropriate fee

Unit 3 Exam Technique Workshop

Tasting and Theory Examination Workshops will be scheduled for students sitting Unit 3 Examinations in June 2016. The dates for these sessions will be given below when they are available and can be booked by contacting Student Services on +44 (0) 20 7089 3841 or by e-mail. Please note that two dates are given for each of the workshops, the material covered in these sessions will be the same.