WSET Level 3 Award in Sake

The quintessential sake course for anyone seeking to develop their expertise in this fascinating beverage, whether for work or pleasure.

Course information

The WSET Level 3 Award in Sake allows you to delve deep into this fascinating product and gain a new specialism. Through a combination of online and classroom-based learning, the course is designed to give you a thorough understanding of the factors that account for the style, quality and price of sake as well its cultural and commercial importance in the Japanese and export markets. 

The qualification is ideal for anyone who is required to make professional evaluations of sakes regarding their quality and value, or for enthusiasts keen to immerse themselves in a new subject.

Prior to arriving in the classroom, you will complete a monitored online learning module which has been designed to give you a strong grounding in the terminology and culture of sake - perfect preparation if you are new to the subject. 

In the classroom, our specialist educators will work with you to develop your knowledge and understanding of sake. Your sake tasting skills will be honed through tutor-led tastings of a carefully selected range of sakes, including some rare, specially imported bottles.

Throughout the course, you'll cover: 

  • The main techniques that are used in the production of sake and how they influence style and quality
  • The principal and speciality categories of sake
  • The sake industry and the commercial importance of sake in the Japanese and export markets
  • The principles behind the storage, selection and service of sake
  • Tutored tastings of approximately 37 sakes
  • How to taste sake and evaluate quality, identity and price, using the WSET Level 3 Systematic Approach to Tasting Sake® (SAT)

On successful completion of the course, you’ll be able to describe the characteristics of the principal sake categories and give information on the key factors influencing style, quality and price. If you work with sake, you will be in an excellent position to advise management, to answer customer queries authoritatively, and to make informed selections of sakes in a broad variety of situations.

Please click here to download the Level 3 Award in Sake course specification.

The Level 3 Award in Sake is comprised of two essential units of study. Unit 1 focuses on providing you with a deep theoretical and technical understanding of sake while Unit 2 focuses on developing your tasting skills. Both units are examined in person at WSET School London on the same day, with a short break between the papers.

Unit 1

Unit 1 is assessed by a closed book theory examination in two parts and must be completed in one hour and 45 minutes.

  • Part 1 comprises 50 multiple-choice questions designed to assess your knowledge.
  • Part 2 is a question paper requiring short written answers. This part will consist of three questions of 25 marks each.

A minimum mark of 55% in both parts is required to pass Unit 1.

Unit 2

Unit 2 is assessed by a blind tasting of two sakes which must be completed in 30 minutes. This is designed to assess your ability to accurately describe sake and draw conclusions based on your observations.

A minimum mark of 55% across the two sakes is required to pass Unit 2.

Pass marks

  • Pass: mean average mark of 55% - 64%
  • Pass with Merit: mean average mark of between 65% - 79%
  • Pass with Distinction: mean average mark of 80% or above (with no individual examination paper below 65%)

All students who pass the examination will receive a WSET certificate and lapel pin and will be able to use the associated certified logo. 

No prior knowledge of sake is required to enrol on this course, however if you are completely new to the subject, you may wish to study the Level 1 Award in Sake first (this is not essential).

All classes are delivered in English and the assessment requires your answers to be written 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. 


You will be required to complete a monitored online 'Introduction to sake' module which you will have access to two weeks before attending the classroom-based element of the course. You will also be expected to have read your textbook prior to arriving on the first day. 

Anyone embarking on a WSET qualification should familiarise themselves with the course specification - this document will help you hugely when preparing for the course and the examination. 

Study options

There are two study options available for this course. Both options combine online and classroom learning. 

Consecutive (intensive) course | £530

The course takes place over four consecutive days, with the examination on the fourth day. The online learning module will be available to you two weeks prior to the course start, please plan in enough time for this element of the course. 

We recommend booking in advance and completing the majority of the 24 recommended private study hours before arriving on the first day. Be prepared for a fun yet intensive four days with lots of sakes to taste, information to take in and concepts to grasp.

The course fee includes your study pack, sake samples, tuition, a marked mock tasting exam, access to online resources, your examination and a box of six tasting glasses for you to keep. Delivery charges may apply.

Evening course | £530

The course takes place one evening a week for nine weeks, with the examination on the ninth evening. This allows you to spread out your learning and gives you time to complete the recommended private study hours between classes. It is also a great option for those who are unable to attend classes in the daytime. The online learning module will be available to you two weeks prior to the course start, please plan in enough time for this element of the course. 

The course fee includes your study pack, sake samples, tuition, a marked mock tasting exam, access to online resources, your examination and a box of six tasting glasses for you to keep. Delivery charges may apply.

Course dates

No courses could be found.

This is a very well organised and detailed sake education course. You will gain valuable insights into the world of sake from many different angles. 

Honami Matsumoto – Director, House of Sake