San Francisco, Boston & Online: WSET Diploma

New Diploma Student Information 

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 two years.  Units 1 and 2 are sold together and must be taken first. 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. Note that Diploma Units are not taught in numerical order.

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.


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.  


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.  


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.  


This unit reviews the Port, Sherry, Madeira, and other major wines that are made by adding spirit to influence the final wine style.  

Students only pay for the units they are planning to take in advance of receiving books and registration.  

Upcoming Classes

Diploma Calendar San Francisco - New Students

Units 1 and 2 possible start dates:

Online – cost is $1900

  • August 5 – deadline to enroll is July 21
    • First Exam is November 3 at 10AM

Diploma Calendar Boston - New Students

Units 1 and 2 possible start dates:

Online – cost is $1900

  • August 5 – deadline to enroll is July 21
    • First Exam is November 8 at 2PM

Traditional Course – cost is $2175

  • October 21-22, 2017 
    • First Exam is December 1 at 10AM