WSET Level 4 Diploma in Wines

Study for WSET's market-leading Level 4 Diploma in Wines at WSET School London and gain global recognition as an authoritative wine specialist.

About the course

Why study for the Diploma?

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

All our classes are delivered by highly qualified educators, many of whom are MWs, and all of whom are subject-matter experts. You'll learn alongside like-minded individuals in a stimulating classroom setting, with all theory underpinned by tutored tastings of an extensive variety of still, sparkling and fortified wines from all over the world.

You will gain the distinction of the 'DipWSET' postnominal, making you recognisable as one of just over 10,000 individuals worldwide who have gained this prestigious qualification.  If your ambitions are to continue to the Master of Wine programme, no other course will prepare you to a higher standard.

Beyond the Diploma: WSET Alumni Body                        

Upon successful completion of the Diploma, you'll join a global community known as the WSET Alumni Body. This will offer you fantastic opportunities for continued learning, including a unique programme of tasting, networking and career events and access to market reports. You’ll join ranks with many of the wine world’s most well-respected figures and build long-lasting relationships with your fellow Diploma alumni.

  • Evenings

  • Day release

  • Consecutive

  • Saturdays

  • Regional block release

  • Block release

What you'll learn

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 light, sparkling and fortified wines, all carefully selected by our buying team to build your analytical tasting skills and supplement your theoretical knowledge.

D1 – Wine production

  • Vine requirements
  • Anatomy of the vine and grape
  • Grape growing options, explaining and evaluating the different approaches and how these options affect grape yields, quality and the final wine produced
  • Natural factors in the vineyard and how they influence the vine’s ability to produce grapes for wines of different styles, quality levels and price
  • Winemaking and post-fermentation options and how they influence the style, quality and price of wines

Hours of study weighting 20%

D2 – Wine business

  • The types of businesses engaged in wine production and the options for getting wine to the point of sale
  • Factors that contribute to the price of wine
  • Key considerations in wine marketing

Hours of study weighting 10%

The full specification for the WSET Level 4 Diploma in Wines will be published here in May 2019. 

D3 – Wines of the world | D4 – Sparkling wines | D5 – Fortified wines

In each of these units you will learn:

  • How grape-growing, winemaking, maturation, wine law and wine business influence the style, quality and price of the principal still wines (D3), sparkling wines (D4) and fortified wines (D5) of the world.
  • How to taste and evaluate still wines (D3), sparkling wines (D4) and fortified wines (D5) using the WSET Level 4 Systematic Approach to Tasting Wine® (SAT)

D3 Wines of the world: hours of study weighting 50%
D4 Sparkling wines: hours of study weighting 5% 
D5 Fortified wines: hours of study weighting 5% 

 

D6 – Independent research assignment

  • How to research a specified wine-related subject

Hours of study weighting 10%

Do I need any prior knowledge?

Wine knowledge

To enrol onto the Diploma, you must have successfully completed the WSET Level 3 Award in Wines (previously known as the WSET Level 3 Award in Wines and Spirits or WSET Advanced Certificate). We do not accept any other previous learning for enrolment on this course.

Written English language skills

While many people successfully complete the Diploma in their second or third language, a strong grasp of written English is required for this course - assessment for the Diploma requires an ability to write long- and short-form answers.

Students whose first language is not English are strongly recommended to have an IELTS score of 6.5 or above or be able to demonstrate an equivalent ability level. If you have any concerns about your English language skills, please don't hesitate to get in touch.

What study options are available?

The WSET Level 4 Diploma in Wines has a minimum requirement of 500 hours study time. For courses delivered by WSET School London, this is inclusive of approximately 125 hours classroom or online delivery time. No matter which study method you choose, it is important that you're prepared to dedicate a substantial amount of study time to successfully complete this course.  

We offer a broad range of study options across four locations and online. Whether you are a wine professional or a dedicated enthusiast, London-based or living on the other side of the globe, we hope that you will find an option that works for you.

The study materials, syllabus and learning outcomes will be the same, regardless of which study option you choose. Your choice will typically come down to which option is the most appealing, convenient and financially viable for you. 

Semester Delivery Options

These study options split the six units of the Diploma into two separate semesters. This has the benefit of allowing you to spread the cost and commitment of the Diploma over two years. You must enrol for and complete the study hours for Semester One before you can enrol on Semester Two. However, you are not required to have received your results or passed all the examinable units of Semester One before you enrol on Semester Two.

Day Release (London only)

Designed for those with full-time commitments but with the flexibility to attend classes for one day per week. A popular choice for employers looking to train staff with minimal disruption to their working week. 

One day a week from 9.00am – 5.30pm
Semester One: 11 attendance days plus 3 examination days
Semester Two: 13 attendance days plus 2 examination days

Block Release (London, Dublin, Manchester, Edinburgh) 

Designed for those with irregular schedules who find it hard to dedicate a specific day each week to attend classes, but are able to dedicate blocks of time for consecutive-day attendance.

Consecutive weekdays from 9.00am – 5.30pm
Semester One: 11 attendance days (split into three blocks) plus 3 examination days
Semester Two: 13 attendance days (split into three blocks) plus 2 examination days

Online Delivery

WSET Level 4 Diploma in Wines semester courses are also available for online study through WSET School London. For further details please click here.

Continuous Delivery Options

These study options allow you to enrol on one single course that covers all six units of the Diploma. Only one enrolment is required for the whole course and you will learn alongside the same classmates throughout.

Evenings (London only)

This delivery option is ideal for those who are unable to attend daytime sessions, as well as those looking to spread out their study hours over a longer period of time.

One evening per week from 6.30pm – 8.30pm
61 evenings plus 5 examination days

Saturdays (London only)

Designed for those who prefer to attend classes at the weekend. Delivered between 10:00am-2:30pm, you’ll still get most of the weekend to yourself. 

Saturdays from 10.00am – 2.30pm
32 attendance days plus 5 examination days

Mondays (London only)

Designed with hospitality staff in mind, but also ideal for anyone who wants to start the week off with some specialist-level wine education. 

Mondays from 10.00am – 2.30pm
32 attendance days plus 5 examination days

Intensive Block (London only)

This intensive course allows you to complete the course in just over a year. It best suits those who are able to dedicate a large amount of private study hours per week in a concentrated period.

Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays) from 9.00am – 5.30pm
24 attendance days plus 5 exam dates

Evenings

6.30pm – 8.30pm

London, 61 evenings once a week, in six blocks

View course dates

Saturdays

10.00am – 2.30pm

London, 32 days once a week, in six blocks

View course dates

Consecutive

9.00am – 5.30pm

London (Intensive), 24 days in six blocks

View course dates

Day release

9.00am – 5.30pm

London Semester One, 11 days once a week, in three blocks

View course dates

Day release

9.00am – 5.30pm

London Semester Two, 11 days once a week, in three blocks

View course dates

Block release

9.00am – 5.30pm

London Semester One, 11 days in three blocks

View course dates

Block release

9.00am – 5.30pm

London Semester Two, 11 days in three blocks

View course dates

Regional block release

9.00am – 5.30pm

Dublin Semester One, 11 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 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 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

Please note that the dates listed under the above headings are for scheduled attendance days at WSET School London's centres in London, Dublin, Edinburgh and Manchester - they do not include examinations which may fall after these times.

How much does it cost?

Continuous courses (classroom): £3,990

Semester courses (classroom): £1,995 per semester

Semester courses (online): £1,290 per semester

The cost includes all tuition, Online Classroom support, wine samples, course materials and examination fees. Please note that only the first attempt at each exam is included - re-sits and transfers are subject to additional charges. Additional fees are also applicable for make-up or transfer classes.

To make these costs more manageable, the Diploma may be paid for in instalments if you are a permanent UK resident with a UK bank account. For more information on payment by instalment, please contact our student services team at StudentServicesTeam@wsetglobal.com. 

Assessment

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

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 to book

Provided you meet the prior knowledge requirements, bookings can be made online by selecting the preferred delivery option and course dates from our calendar

Please read the terms and conditions before making a booking.

If you have a UK bank account and would like to pay by instalment, please email us to request a booking form: studentservicesteam@wsetglobal.com

If you have any enquiries or are unsure if you meet the entry requirements, please don't hesitate to contact our Student Services team on +44 (0)20 7089 3841 or studentservicesteam@wsetglobal.com

Confirmation, joining instructions and study materials will be sent to you once your booking has been received.

“The WSET Diploma has played an invaluable role in my professional development. I encourage anyone who is serious about a career in the wine trade to pursue this qualification.”

Mike James DipWSET, Wine Buying Director, ALDI Stores

Changes to the WSET Level 4 Diploma 

The WSET Level 4 Diploma in Wines and Spirits will be withdrawn on 31 July 2019, with the launch of the new WSET Level 4 Diploma in Wines on 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. 

Please watch the video for details and refer to the transitional arrangements below. 

pdfTransitional arrangements

Students interested in studying Spirits will be able to study for the new WSET Level 3 Award in Spirits from 1 August 2019. 

Pub: 11 April 2019