WSET Wine & Spirit Education Trust

WSET Level 4 Diploma Online

Study for your WSET Level 4 Diploma in Wines in the ONLINE format

WSET Level 4 Diploma in Wines ONLINE STUDY

The online Diploma Program is managed directly by the WSET, with the online classroom housed directly on the WSET Global website. Your instructors are WSET Certified Educators, many of whom are top Diploma graduates, Master of Wine candidates, and Masters of Wine. Each unit will also include enrollment in the Feedback Test program in which you will be able to submit mock exam essays that are graded by WSET Educators.

You will complete each unit one at a time, beginning with Unit 2. The online classroom duration for each unit is designed to follow the WSET’s recommended amount of learning hours as follows:

Unit 1: 7-week course
Unit 2: 9-week course
Unit 3: 28-week course
Unit 4: 7-week course
Unit 5: 5-week course
Unit 6: 5-week course

Each course has weekly assignments such as required reading in the study guide or other materials, participating in forum discussions on key topics, and participating in individual and group projects. You can log-in to the online classroom any time of day, any day of the week to complete your course activities, so long as you complete each activity by its due date. You will not have required days or times that you need to be present online. This allows you the flexibility to study as best fits your schedule.

While the online classroom itself is managed by the WSET, we at the Napa Valley Wine Academy will also provide these additional resources to supplement your studies:

  • Diploma Advisor to provide administrative and study guidance
  • Exam Coordinator to provide administrative assistance on all exams
  • NVWA’s Director of Education to answer learning or theory questions
  • Webinars on study tips, exam strategy, and tasting technique for each unit (the same as the webinars provided to our in-person Diploma students)
  • Private Facebook group to meet, network, and form study groups with other Diploma students in your cohort. Your Diploma Advisor and instructors are Admins of the group and are available to answer questions.

We will be in regular communication with you throughout the program, ensuring that you have all the resources you need to succeed in the program.

Online Schedule

Unit 2 Course:
August 11 – October 12, 2018
  • Unit 2 Exam: November 3, 2018
Unit 1 Course:
January 5 – February 22, 2019
  • Unit 1 Case Study Exam: March 12, 2019
Unit 5 Course:
April 6 – May 10, 2019
  • Unit 5 Exam: June 12, 2019
Unit 6 Course:
June 22 – July 26, 2019
  • Unit 6 Exam: October 2019 **
Unit 3 Course:
October 2019 – May 2020
  • Unit 3 Exam: May 2020**
D6 Research Paper*:
Submit July 31, 2020

* Please note that the Unit 4 Spirits course and exam will no longer be a part of the Diploma starting August 1, 2019. D6 will replace this unit.
**Please note that dates after August 2019, have not been set by the WSET yet, so the 2019 dates you see here may change slightly. The 2019 dates will be set in mid-2018.


WSET Level 4 Diploma in Wines Intensive ONLINE Program (Tuition $6,900**)

Tuition Payment Options
  • Option 1: Payment in full upon accepted enrollment $6,900
  • Option 2: $1,900 due at time of accepted enrollment with 5 quarterly payments of $1,040 beginning December 1, 2018. (Total payment $7,100)

**All tuition paid, and enrollment in the course is valid for 3 Academic Years as per the WSET Level 4 Diploma Wines specifications to cover exams and exam re-sit opportunities. Most students complete the program in two years, but the three-year academic period allows for any necessary exam re-sits. Tuition includes all first attempt exam registration fees for each unit.

Registration Deadline:

The final day to submit your registration application & tuition is July 31, 2018. Please note that we are required to verify that you passed the WSET Level 3 exam before notifying you of your acceptance into the program and processing your payment. If you took your Level 3 exam at an Approved Program Provider other than the Napa Valley Wine Academy, it can take up to 2 weeks for us to verify your candidacy and approve your application. Please keep this time-frame in mind when submitting your application so that you have enough time to meet the registration deadline.

Application :


Step 1 of 5

  • WSET® Level 4 Diploma in Wines Online New Student Application


    Important Note: Please ensure that you read the enrollment terms and conditions, and complete all sections of this application which are applicable. Applications that are not complete or unsigned will not be accepted.

  • ...

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Do I need to hold the WSET Level 3 prior to starting diploma?

Yes, WSET will not let you enroll in Level 4 Diploma until you have officially received your pass grade for the WSET Level 3 Award in Wines Course.

Can I begin my Diploma studies with a Unit other than Unit 1 and 2?

No, the WSET requires you to first sit the Unit 2 exam before doing any other Diploma Unit exam or paper – including Unit 1. That may sound odd, as you would think that you should start with Unit 1, but the Diploma units are not done in sequential order. Unit 2 must come first.

What happens if I don’t pass Unit 2?

You may still proceed to other units as long as you have taken the Unit 2 exam. If you do not pass the exam you are able to schedule a retake, however, you do not have to wait until that retake before moving on to other units.

What happens if I can’t make an Exam date?

Exam dates are set globally by the WSET headquarters, not by Napa Valley Wine Academy. Thus they are not flexible. Exam registrations are due to WSET 8 weeks prior to the exam date. If you give less than 8 weeks notice to opt out of your scheduled exam you cannot get out of taking it. The only exceptions are for documented medical or legal excuses. If you miss an exam it goes down as a “non-attend,” which is the same as a fail. You will need to pay for the exam when it is next offered, which may not be for a year. Exam dates are published well in advance so you really need to schedule your life around these dates.

Are the Unit 1 Exam and the Unit 1 paper connected?

No, these are two separate assessments, each counting for 50% of your Unit 1 grade. They are based on different topics and have unique due dates. They do not have to be completed together.

Is it possible to finish Diploma in 12 months?

No. The reason for this is that it would be impossible to get all the Unit exams completed in 12 months, given the way they are scheduled by the WSET. More practically, The Level 4 Diploma is a very comprehensive and challenging course of study and thus it takes at least 18 months to complete.

How long do I have to complete all Diploma Units?

When you enroll in the LEvel 4 Diploma it is for a term of three years.

What study materials come with my tuition and what do I need to get on my own?

For each Unit, the WSET publishes a Study Guide outlining what you need to know for that Unit. You will also need to purchase your own copy of “The Oxford Companion to Wine,” by Jancis Robinson and “Understanding Wine Technology,” by David Bird. We also provide a list of other books and websites that are recommended.

Can I switch providers/schools for individual Diploma Units?

The WSET expects you to complete the Level 4 Diploma with the provider you originally enroll with. If that provider is not offering a unit or unit exam that you need it is ok to take it with another provider. If you move to another provider’s area you may also switch to that provider.