WSET Diploma Program

The WSET Diploma is a top qualification in the wine and spirits industry. It offers in-depth study into the business, winemaking, and consumption trends of the world’s wine and spirit production regions. Students are required to have first passed the Level 3 certificate before entering. 

The Diploma is primarily intended for people already working in the industry who wish to advance their skills and professional responsibilities, and is a pre-requisite to the Master of Wine.  Wine enthusiasts not working in the industry but who have passed Level 3 are also welcome in the Diploma program.

Our Diploma graduates have the knowledge and confidence to take on leadership and advisory roles in their respective fields, and often occupy senior-level positions in hospitality management, marketing, buying, and sales.  The Diploma also serves as a good fit for professionals in other fields looking to transition to a career in wine and spirits, as well as for dedicated wine enthusiasts who wish to acquire the highest levels of knowledge when it comes to understanding, appreciating, and discussing wine and spirits.

Diploma Program Units

The Diploma is broken into 6 units which are taught at various times and locations (including online) over the course of two years.  Units 1 and 2 are sold together. The fee for Units 1 and 2 registers you for three years with WSET and grants access to the proprietary Global Campus—a unique site with critical study support and special offers.  WSET mandates that students sit the Unit 2 multiple-choice exam before they may take any other exam or write the required Unit 1 paper.

Unit 1: The Global Business of Wine

This unit explores the key drivers defining today’s wine and spirits markets and how they will shape the economic future of the industry.  Students must write one 2500-3000 word paper and complete one closed-book exam.

Unit 2: Viticulture and Winemaking

This unit is a thorough review of all the elements that viticulturalists and winemakers must consider when planting and maintaining a vineyard, and making wines.  Students must complete one multiple-choice examination of 100 questions.

Students may then take Units 3-6 in any order that they are offered (note that this may not be sequentially, depending on students’ start dates).  Students only pay for the units they are planning to take in advance of receiving books and registration.  See the full schedule of upcoming courses below.

Unit 3: Light Wines of the World

This unit reviews the history, trends, regulations, and natural and human factors relating to producing wine in the major production countries and regions around the world.  Students must pass a written theory exam of 5 questions and written tasting exam covering 12 wines.

Unit 4: Spirits of the World

This unit covers the production and style options in all of the major spirit categories: fruit spirits, whiskeys, rum, tequila, vodka, gin, and other white spirits.  Students must complete a written tasting exam of 3 spirits and respond to three short essay-style theory questions. 

Unit 5: Sparkling Wines of the World

This unit is a thorough review of the production techniques of the major types of sparkling wines, as well as an in-depth examination of the major producing countries and regions.  Students will take a written tasting exam of 3 sparkling wines and respond to three short essay-style theory questions.

Unit 6: Fortified Wines of the World

This unit reviews the Port, Sherry, Madeira, and other major wines that are made by adding spirit to influence the final wine style.  Students must pass a written tasting exam of 3 fortified wines and respond to three short essay-style theory questions. 

Diploma Course Schedule:

Online Courses: Students may choose to do some units online and others in person.  Online courses require in-person participation in an induction day that covers Diploma basics and tasting technique.

Exam Schedule: With the exception of the Unit 2 exam, all exam dates are set by WSET and cannot be rescheduled.

Prerequisite: Candidates are required to hold the WSET Level 3 certificate in Wines and Spirits to study for the WSET Level 4 Diploma in Wines and Spirits.  

Please Note: Prices are subject to change. There are no refunds for Diploma courses.

We recommend that all students considering the Diploma take a look at our Frequently Asked Questions, but please do not hesitate to contact Adam Chase with any further queries.  For more information on the Diploma program from a global perspective, we recommend browsing the WSET website.