WSET Level 1 Award in Spirits

This hands-on course is an ideal starting point for those embarking on a career in spirits or hospitality, or enthusiasts wanting to get to grips with a range of key spirit styles.

Course information

This confidence-boosting spirits course for beginners is the perfect way to gain knowledge of the key styles of distilled beverage found around the world. In a short space of time, you’ll find yourself feeling more confident navigating a drinks list, stocking up your bar, and serving spirits optimally. 

The course will cover:

  • The basic principles of spirit production
  • The main types and styles of spirits
  • Factors affecting the flavour of spirits
  • Tutored tastings of 10 spirits (classroom courses only)
  • How to serve spirits
  • How to describe spirits using the WSET Level 1 Systematic Approach to Tasting Spirits® (SAT)

By the end of the course you’ll be able to taste and describe spirits using a globally recognised approach, identify important styles of spirits and know the raw materials and production methods that define them.

The Level 1 Award in Spirits exam consists of 30 multiple-choice questions to be completed in 45 minutes. To pass you must correctly answer 70% of the questions. Successful students will receive a WSET certificate and lapel pin. All examinations must be sat in person at WSET School London (including students who are studying online).

This qualification is Ofqual regulated.

No prior spirits knowledge is required, just enthusiasm! All our classes are delivered in English therefore a good level of English is beneficial.

You must be at least 18 years old to enrol on any of our courses. 

There is no need to prepare anything before starting your Level 1 Award in Spirits course. However anyone embarking on a WSET qualification should familiarise themselves with the qualification specification - this document will help you understand what to expect and what you will get out of the course. 

Study options

There are three study options available for this course.

Online course | £115

A four-week online study programme that works around your existing commitments. You’ll learn through WSET’s Online Classroom which allows you to study alongside your peers under the guidance of a dedicated educator.

A minimum of three hours study per week is recommended to successfully complete the course and regular participation is essential. Tasting is also an important part of this course, and you will need to taste a minimum of six spirits (not provided as part of the cost, but you will be given guidance on the styles to taste).

This course now comes with the ability to sit your examination online, so you don't need to wait or travel to complete your qualification. More details on how online examinations work will be shared with you once you enrol. 

Technology requirements: To use the Online Classroom, we recommend that you use a laptop or desktop device and have a reliable internet connection. To sit your examination online you will also need one additional smart device such as a smartphone or tablet.

The course fee includes a year of access to WSET's Online Classroom, a dedicated online tutor and your examination (spirits samples are not included). 


Day course | £180

One day, 9.15am-5.00pm
This option allows you to complete the course in just one day, with the exam taking place in the final hour of the day. There are inbuilt recapping and revision exercises throughout the day to help all the information sink in.

The course fee includes your workbook (provided at the start of the course), spirit samples, 6 hours of tuition and your examination. 


Saturday course | £180

Two consecutive Saturdays, 10.30am-2.00pm
The course is split up over two consecutive Saturdays and has the added bonus of including visits to two local Bermondsey distilleries. A popular option with those who want to explore London Bridge’s thriving food and drink culture.

The course fee includes your workbook (provided at the start of the course), spirits samples, 6 hours of tuition and your examination. 

Course dates

Start date Study option: Availability
1 Jun 2020 Online 8
27 Aug 2020 Day release 10+ Book Now
14 Sep 2020 Day release 10+ Book Now
30 Sep 2020 Day release 10+ Book Now
14 Oct 2020 Day release 10+ Book Now
10 Nov 2020 Day release 10+ Book Now
7 Dec 2020 Day release 10+ Book Now
It was such a brilliant experience! From my point of view it was great to taste so many products in an unbiased and marketing-free environment.

Kristiane Sherry, Editor – The Spirits Business