Diploma FAQ

Do I need to have my official pass for Level 3 to start Diploma?

Yes, WSET will not let you enroll in Diploma until you have officially received your pass grade for the Level 3 Course. If there is an in person Diploma Unit 1 and 2 course offered you may be able to attend those classes if you have taken the Level 3 exam and are awaiting your exam grade. You may not sign up for the Online program, however, until you have officially passed Level 3.

Can I start with a Unit other than Unit 1 and 2?

No, the WSET mandates that you must first sit the Unit 2 exam before doing any other Diploma Unit exam or paper – including Unit 1. That may sound odd, as you would think that you should start with Unit 1, but the Diploma units are not done in order. Units 1 and 2 are sold together, but Unit 2 must come first.

What happens if I don’t pass Unit 2?

You can still proceed to other units as long as you have taken the Unit 2 exam. If you do not pass it we can arrange for a retake, but you do not have to wait until that retake before moving on to other units.

What happens if I can’t make an exam date?

Exam dates are set globally by the WSET headquarters, not by the provider. They are not at all movable. The only exception is for the Unit 2 exam, which the provider does set. Exam registrations are due 8 weeks prior to the exam date. If you are within that 8-week timeline – say 7 weeks – you cannot enroll in an exam or get out of taking it. The only exceptions are for documented medical or legal excuses. If you miss an exam it goes down as a “non-attend,” which is the same as a fail. You will need to pay for the exam when it is next offered, which may not be for a year. Exam dates are published well in advance so you really need to schedule you life around these dates.

Are the Unit 1 exam and the Unit 1 paper connected?

No, these are two separate assessments, each counting for 50% of your Unit 1 grade. They are based on different topics and have unique due dates. They do not have to be completed together. Some people do their Unit 1 exam early in their Diploma studies and wait until all other Units are completed to tackle the Unit 1 paper.

Is it possible to finish Diploma in one year?

No. The basic reason is that it would be impossible to get all the Unit exams completed in a year, given the way they are scheduled. More practically, Diploma is a very comprehensive and difficult course and really takes at least 18 months to complete.

How long do I have to complete all Diploma Units?

When you enroll in Diploma it is for a term of three years. You are able to get an extension beyond that time if needed.

What reading materials come with the tuition and what do I need to get on my own?

For each Unit, the WSET publishes a Study Guide outlining what you need to know for that Unit. You will need minimally to purchase on your own “The Oxford Companion to Wine,” by Jancis Robinson and “Understanding Wine Technology,” by David Bird. We also provide a list of other books and web sites that are recommended.

Can I take some Units Online and others in the in-person traditional course format?

Yes, you may switch formats between units.

Can I switch providers for individual units?

The basic answer is no. The WSET expects you to complete Diploma with the provider you originally enroll with. If that provider is not offering a unit or unit exam that you need it is ok to take it with another provider. If you move to another provider’s area you may also switch to that provider.

When do traditional in person classes meet?

The in person courses meet on select weekends from 9AM-5PM throughout the year. This scheduling allows for people who live a distance from the class location to attend.