WSET Level 4 Diploma in Wines and Spirits

A specialist level qualification providing expert level knowledge in all aspects of wine and spirits.
The WSET Level 4 Diploma is WSET’s flagship qualification and will provide you with an in-depth knowledge and understanding of wines and spirits. Topics covered include wine and spirit production, wine regions and styles, and the global trade in wines and spirits. The diploma is also universally viewed as the stepping stone to the Master of Wine qualification. Upon successful completion you will receive a WSET certificate and lapel pin, and will be able to use the post-nominal DipWSET and associated WSET certified logo.
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

What you'll learn

Unit 1: The global business of alcoholic beverages

  • The dynamics of the global market for alcoholic beverages
  • The local market
  • The marketing of alcoholic beverages

Unit 2: Wine production

  • Viticulture
  • Vinification
  • Maturation, treatments, and packaging

Unit 3: Light wines of the world

  • Northern and Western Europe
  • Central, Southern, and South-Eastern Europe
  • Africa, Australasia, and Asia
  • The Americas

Unit 4: Spirits of the world

  • Production of spirits
  • Types and styles of spirits

Unit 5: Sparkling wines of the world

  • Methods of production
  • Types and styles of sparkling wines

Unit 6: Fortified wines of the world

  • Methods of production
  • Types and styles of fortified wines

Course delivery

This qualification has a minimum requirement of 600 hours of study time, including 118 hours of classroom or online delivery time with a WSET course provider.*

Available to study in these languages:

*Delivery will vary by course provider; however, this is the minimum requirement that should be met.

Important information for German-language students: German-Language Diploma announcement 1 June 2017

 

Assessment

 Unit 1: The global business of alcohol beverages

Assessment is by a coursework assignment and a theory exam. Both are based on topics chosen by the examiners.

 

Unit 2: Wine production

Assessment is by a multiple-choice exam paper of 100 questions.

 

Unit 3: Light wines of the world

Assessment is by two tasting exams and one theory exam. Students are required to assess 12 wines using the WSET Level 4 Systematic Approach to Tasting Wine® and complete five long-written answers.

Unit 4: Spirits of the world

Assessment is by a combined theory and tasting exam. Students are required to assess three spirits using the WSET Level 4 Systematic Approach to Tasting Spirits® and complete three short-written answers.

 

Unit 5: Sparkling wines of the world

Assessment is by a combined theory and tasting examination. Students are required to assess three wines using the WSET Level 4 Systematic Approach to Tasting Wine and complete three short-written answers.

 

Unit 6: Fortified (liqueur) wines of the world

Assessment is by a combined theory and tasting examination. Students are required to assess three wines using the WSET level 4 Systematic Approach to Tasting Wine and complete three short-written answers.

Entry requirements

You must be over the legal minimum drinking age for alcoholic beverages in the country where the course and examination is taken. You will be required to hold the WSET Level 3 in Wines and Spirits, Level 3 Award in Wines or an equivalent wine qualification to enrol on the WSET Level 4 Diploma.

Qualifications Update: The new Level 4 Diploma in Wines

Changes to the WSET Level 4 Diploma

The WSET Level 4 Diploma in Wines and Spirits will be permanently 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. 

Spirits will not be part of the new Diploma, but there will be one final Unit 4 Spirits examination for resit-only candidates in March 2020.  All students transferring with a pass in Unit 4 or who gain a pass in March 2020 will graduate with the WSET Diploma in Wines and Spirits upon completion of all Units.  

Please note this will not be available in the German language.  For more information on the German-Language Diploma in Wines and Spirits, please see the German-language announcement on this page and contact your course provider if you have any queries.

For more information about the WSET Level 4 Diploma in Wines and transitional arrangements please view the video and document below.

Please contact your course provider if you require further information.

pdfTransitional arrangements

Pub: 25 April, 2018