Description

WSET Level 4 Diploma in Wines

Our flagship qualification, the WSET Level 4 Diploma in Wines is offered as a lectured course with the IWEC being the only provider to offer this course in Africa & the Middle East. It is designed to prepare people for senior positions within the wine industry and not only develops product knowledge to a specialist level, but also enables students to acquire skills that will be of use to them beyond the course itself.

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Course Entry Requirements
You must be over 18 at the start of the course.

You will be required to hold the WSET Level 3 Award in Wines & Spirits or WSET Level 3 Award in Wines. No other qualifications can be accepted.

The course is of a high-level and students will need to possess competencies in research, analysis and report writing similar to those required for a first year degree course. Basic computer literacy, internet navigation skills and a good level of English are also required.

Overview

The course is based around a 2 year structured programme consisting of blocks of lectures leading up to exams and assignments in 6 different units. You will be lectured by Masters of Wine (MW’s), MW students, qualified winemakers, Diploma graduates and other industry experts. Each unit requires students to look in depth at the wine industry, applying subject knowledge and professional skills to analyse key issues and make recommendations. Tasting is an essential part of studying for this course, as such you will be tasting wines from around the world and applying your theory knowledge to draw conclusions about the wines described.

WSET Level 4 Diploma in Wines is universally viewed as a stepping-stone to the MW programme. Upon successful completion of all Units students will receive a WSET certificate and lapel pin and may use the post nominal DipWSET.

Cost
Please contact us for further details at courses@thewinecentre.co.za or using the form above.

Students acknowledge by signing up for the course that they understand exam dates and lecture dates are set and cannot be re-scheduled.

Further information on the course can be found on the pdf Download Course Specifications in the right hand column.

Topics Covered

The course will be delivered in a series of lectures held in Stellenbosch, Western Cape. We have structured the learning so as to cause the minimum amount of disruption to your work commitments as well as to reduce travelling costs for those outside the Western Cape. Lecturers will include Masters of Wine (MWs), MW students, level 4 Diploma graduates and winemakers. However – it is important for you to understand that these lecture and exam dates are non-negotiable. If you choose not to attend lectures, then there will be no alternative sessions available, and if you do not attend the exams, no refunds will be made.

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

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.

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)

D6 – Independent research assignment
  • A research assignment of 3,000 words.

Included with this course

  • All classroom tuition
  • All course materials
  • 12 x tasting glasses
  • Welcome study pack that includes:
    • WSET Systematic Approach to Tasting Wine card
    • WSET students discounts for subscriptions and wines
    • Blank tasting sheets
  • Exclusive access to private Diploma social media groups
  • All wines for specified Tasting Days
  • All wines for specified Exam Days
  • Exam Fees
  • Certificate with metal lapel pin when you pass
  • International Courier Costs (exams are marked in London)
  • Domestic courier costs for your certificate and lapel pin

Exams

D1 – Wine production – 1.5 hour closed book examination consisting of open response questions.

D2 – Wine business – 1 hour closed book examination consisting of open response questions.

D3 – Wines of the world – Day One – a two-part theory examination consisting 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 (2 papers of 1.5 hours each)

D4 – Sparkling wines – a 1.5 hour closed book examination consisting of open response questions and a blind tasting of 3 sparkling wines.

D5 – Fortified wines – a 1.5 hour closed book examination consisting of open response questions and a blind tasting of 3 fortified wines

D6 – Independent research assignment – a research assignment of 3,000 words.

Course Dates

Our next annual intake will be April 2024. Confirmed dates are below, please contact us for more details.

DATE
ACTIVITY
DURATION
08 Apr – 10 Apr 2024
Course introduction + D1 training
3 days
06 May – 07 May 2024
D1 exam + D2 training
2 days
12 Jun 2024
D2 exam
1 day
12 Aug – 13 Aug 2024
D4 training
2 days
22 Oct – 23 Oct 2024
D4 exam + D5 training
2 days
22 Jan 2025
D5 exam + D3 + D6 training
1 day
Feb 2025
D3 training
3 days
Apr 2025
D3 training
3 days
Jun 2025
D3 training
3 days
31 Jul 2025
D6 Submission
Aug 2025
D3 training
3 days
Sep 2025
D3 revision days
3 days
Oct 2025
D3 exams
2 days
The value lies in the extremely in-depth global wine knowledge that will ensure employability across all channels, locally and abroad
Stefan Reinmuth
I have gained much insight and confidence and received many opportunities through my studies.
Elzbeth du Plooy
I highly recommend the IWEC for the quality of expert knowledge and teaching
Liz Hedley-Smith
I am incredibly proud of this achievement which serves as a testament to my passion and dedication to the wine industry
Nicolò Pudel
The WSET Diploma was one of the toughest and most enjoyable things I have done in my life
Abrie du Preez
WSET Diploma certainly equips you with a deep understanding of the viticulture, viniculture and marketing of wines on a global level.
Janet Rowsell
I have personally found that as soon as someone in the industry heard I was working on my DipWSET our conversations immediately became much more interesting, detailed, and engaged
Sam Adams
The Diploma pushed me way out of my comfort zone, and it’s taken my knowledge and understanding of wine to another level.
Shon Kumar
WSET Diploma gives one a solid grounding in all aspects of wine.
Graham Cohen
Both arduous and spellbinding, it armours you with critical thinking that will indisputably change your relationship with wine
Samarie Smith-Meletiou
Once the wine bug bit me the rest was history.
Amy Grobbelaar
From a career perspective, it’s very well recognised around the wine trade, around the world.
Deidre Taylor
The in-depth knowledge acquired through my experience and studies has brought a new found appreciation for the fascinating word of international wines
Helena Melis
The Diploma requires hard work, determination and many hours of studying, but is 100% worth it
Chantelle Gous
What I enjoyed most was being able to taste wines of a specific region or country after theory lectures and then to truly understand why the wines taste the way it tastes.
Albert Marais
It takes complete commitment and consistent hard work. It was honestly worth every minute.
Jacke Campbell
Make no mistake, I questioned my sanity many times along the way – it’s tough but it’s just so rewarding!
Carolyn Barton
Although certainly challenging, I found the WSET Diploma hugely enjoyable and stimulating
Olive Hamilton-Russell
Having this recognition will increase my credibility and help me gain more trust from our international wine buyers
Cyril Meidinger
WSET Diploma helped me understand, rather than just knowing, the WHERE, WHAT and WHY of wine across the globe
Jeanne-Marie De Villiers