Foundation Diploma

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This two-year part-time course will deliver the framework for completing the WSET Level 4 Diploma in Wines and Spirits and is aimed at people who are currently engaged in the wine industry or those who demonstrate a real passion for wine and want to pursue further education relating to the subject. In order to complete the Foundation Diploma in Wine Business, students must achieve a minimum of 120 credits overall, including at least 60 credits in year 2. There are between 6 and 8 hours of timetabled sessions per week, and classes include both theory and practical-based sessions.

Course outline

In year one of the Foundation Diploma in Wine Business students will study about wines of the world, the wine trade and the principles of grape growing and winemaking in their compulsory studies.  Optional modules include food and wine matching and developing a deeper understanding or the sensory evaluation of wine. In the second year of study the world’s wine regions are studied in a much greater depth as well as material covering the principal fortified and sparkling wines plus spirits, beers and ciders. Options at this level include a detailed investigation into English wine, wine communications, wine sales, the world of specialty wines, or a research project.

Entry Requirements:

Typical entry requirements are 2 A-levels (grade D) or L3 Extended Diploma (MPP) or IB (min 24 points) or Relevant industrial experience if over 21 years of age.

Added to our normal entry requirements, you'll need to have successfully completed the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET) Level 2 award (see for further details).

Dates & Location:

Date: September 2017

Location: Plumpton


2 years part-time

I have been delighted by the enthusiasm, knowledge and professionalism of the staff as well as the content of the modules which is entirely relevant to my goals.

Rob England

Recent Wine Business Foundation Diploma graduate


  • Studying at Plumpton gives you the chance to enjoy time at the heart of the South East of England’s wine production industry.
  • We’ve got 10 hectares of vineyards producing 40,000 bottles of award-winning still and sparkling wines each year at Plumpton.
  • We’ve also got a purpose-built Plumpton Wine Centre which includes a commercial winery, research winery, laboratories and a sensory evaluation room for you to experience.
  • Combined with our team of international expert lecturers, you’ll certainly gain an excellent all-round experience at Plumpton.

Future Opportunities

The compulsory modules offered as part of the Foundation Diploma (FDip) Wine Business directly relate to the syllabus of the Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) Level 4 Diploma, apart from the Wines of the World 1 module which is linked to the Level 3 award.  This gives you the option to also attain the internationally-recognised WSET qualifications whilst completing the FDip Wine Business.  Progression routes include the Institute of Masters of Wine qualification. A range of career options exist within the global wine trade. Typical first placements will range from wine trade or retail sales management positions to students opening their own specialist businesses in wines and spirits.

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