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Diploma Exam/Assessment Information & Resources

Unit 1 Course Info

Unit 1 and 2 Class Topics

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WSET Diploma Unit 1 Assessment

Unit 1's grade comes from one 2,500-3,000 word coursework assignment and one closed-book essay exam.

The Coursework Assignment

You can't submit a coursework assignment until after you have taken the Unit 2 exam. It is not necessary to have passed the Unit 2 exam, only to have taken it.

The coursework assignment topics are set by WSET in London and change each academic year. The assignments will all include a business focus, requiring you to address concepts from the Unit 1 course materials and/or classes. Due dates for submission of coursework assignments are in November and April each year.

Coursework assignment topics for the current academic year are available at the WSET website. Please note that you have one topic for the November date and a different topic for the April date. WSET will reject any November submissions of the April topic and will fail any April submissions of the prior November's topic.

You may find the WSET Examiners' Reports, which are available from our Diploma Exam & Resources page, to be a helpful resource when preparing for Unit 1 coursework assignments.

Coursework Registration and Submission Due Dates

The papers are graded by the WSET in London. Papers are due (to us in hardcopy format, with a signed cover sheet) on either of two dates each year, generally the second Tuesday in April and the second Tuesday in November. (See our schedule for upcoming due dates.) We send submitted papers on to London by express courier immediately after the due date.

We must register you for a coursework assignment of your choice (and pay WSET for it) at least 13 workdays before the due date so you must let us know you want to do an assignment -- and pay for it -- at least 3 weeks before the due date. Once you have registered to submit one or more papers on one of the due dates, it is imperative that you submit them by that due date, as WSET will not accept late coursework assignments, and will give you a "fail" grade for that assignment. You will lose not only the money you paid to register for that assignment, but you will also have wasted whatever time you put into research and writing the assignment, because WSET will not let you submit that assignment on a later due date.

You can begin researching and writing your coursework assignments as soon as they are posted by WSET (usually in May for the following academic year), but we can't submit them to WSET until the specified due dates.

Cover Sheets for Coursework Submissions

When submitting your coursework assignments to us, please fill out and include a cover sheet:

Phillywine Unit 1 Coursework Cover Sheet for 2013-14 (Word document)

The Closed-Book Essay Exam

You can't take the Unit 1 closed-book exam until after you have taken the Unit 2 exam. It is not necessary to have passed the Unit 2 exam, only to have taken it.

This is a 75 minute exam, given on the same dates as the exams for Units 4-6 are given (WSET-specified dates in November, March and June each year). Its reporting time is 10 a.m.

Please note that we do not usually offer the exam on the March date.

You must register and pay for the unit 1 exam approximately two months before the exam date (see our current schedule for current deadlines). At that point we will send a list of participant names to WSET and we will become liable for full payment for the exam. After that point if you do not take the exam you will forfeit the payment fee unless you can provide WSET (through us) evidence of what they consider a valid excuse for missing the exam. In the past they have excused proven jury duty on the day of the exam, hospitalization on the day of the exam, and the death of a close relative on the day of the exam. They do not accept any work-related reason for having missed the exam.

Four weeks before the exam date the WSET website will post the general topic for the exam, and you will have the four weeks to learn as much as you can on that topic. The exam will consist of one or more essay-type questions related to that topic.

You may find the WSET Examiners' Reports, which are available from our Diploma Exam & Resources page, to be a helpful resource when preparing for the Unit 1 closed-book exam.

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