WSET Frequently Asked Qs


WSET and Thames Valley Wine School
Level 1 and Level 2 Qualifications
Information for Students

Who are the WSET?
Founded in 1969, The Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) is the foremost international body for wine and spirits education, providing globally recognised qualifications suitable for industry professionals and wine enthusiasts.

What are the benefits of these courses?
These qualifications have become a must have for those seeking to develop their career in the wine and spirits industry. In what is a very competitive sector, having a WSET accreditation is the best way to stand out.

Whilst the WSET is known as the professional training body for the wine trade, an increasing number of wine enthusiasts not employed in the drinks industry are also taking the qualifications as a hobby. They are perfect for broadening your knowledge in a structured way, with the added benefit of a qualification at the end.

I represent a hospitality business - what are the benefits of investing in courses?
Increased profitability, improved customer service, improved staff retention and highly engaged staff!  

Who teaches the courses?
The courses are taught by Phill Hood – founder and head tutor of Thames Valley Wine School. Phill has been involved in the wine trade since 2005, with a wealth of experience particularly in the retail, wholesale and education sectors. In 2015 Phill founded Thames Valley Wine School to share his expertise, and now conducts over 100+ teaching events a year. In this time he has successfully passed over 100 WSET students.

What are the current Pass Rates for Thames Valley Wine School?
Level 1 = 99% (vs. National Average of 93%)
Level 2 = 100% (vs. National Average of 89%)
(NB – 90% of Level 2 students have passed with either Distinction or Merit)

Level 1 and Level 2 Qualifications:

Where can I get the course specifications and sample exam questions?

Level 1 – download here
Level 2 - download here

Which Qualification is right for me?
Level 1 is a 1-day course suitable for candidates who are new to wine and want to learn as much about the subject from scratch in a day. There is a 30 question multiple choice exam at the end to attain the qualification.

Level 2 is a 3-day course suitable for candidates who are slightly more experienced around wine and want to learn about the subject in greater depth either for career development or personal interest. There is a 50 question multiple choice exam at the end to attain the qualification. Click here for more information about candidates who should consider studying for Level 2.

Both courses are open to everyone with no pre-requisites required (ie you can go straight to Level 2 if you wish)

Information for Students

Do I need to study in advance of the course?
Level 1 – No
Level 2 – It is not mandatory but we recommend students read the first six chapters of the textbook which is sent prior to course start. 

Do I need to bring anything with me on the day?
Level 1 – No
Level 2 - Students will need their study pack which is posted out in advance of the course

What is the structure of the teaching days?
WSET days begin at 10am and finish at 5pm – there are 2x 15min coffee breaks and a 45 min break for lunch.

Is there parking available?
We would recommend parking at NCP Garrard Street, or alternatively the hotel is a 300m walk from Reading Train Station

Is lunch provided?
Lunch is not provided, however students are welcome to either bring their own and eat at the hotel or get something from Reading town centre.

When do I get my results?
Results are usually released about 2 weeks after the exam – We email candidates with the result and the certificate and pin badge follow shortly afterwards in the post.







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