Hospitality and Professional Cookery

Our programmes are designed by world-renowned, Michelin-starred chef Heston Blumenthal and his team at the Fat Duck Group.

What sets our catering programmes apart from the rest is the emphasis we place on the fundamentals of understanding ingredients and exploring their tastes, flavours and fusions.

Heston Blumenthal has identified two critical attributes for working in this industry: Restless Perfectionism and Creative Curiosity. To find out more about how these attributes can benefit you and how we develop them, visit our website and search for ‘culinary arts’. Inspired by these critical attributes, you will be provided with a rich variety of learning experiences, including practical exploration, food science experiments, work and industry experience, and employer-led projects.

This is a three-year pathway that starts with teaching you the fundamentals of professional cookery right through to advanced techniques practiced in modern restaurants. You will usually begin your progression at Year 1 (Level 1). However, if you have GCSEs in English, maths and food technology at grade 4 or above, industry experience, or have a relevant professional qualification, it may be possible to start on Year 2 (Level 2) of the course. You will also be asked to attend a taster session to assess your skills.

We have fully operational training restaurants on campus where you will experience working in a live environment serving paying customers.

Across the hospitality and catering industry in the UK there are 2.64 million jobs, with the highest growth forecasts over the next five years for cooks, chefs, and kitchen and catering assistants.

You could progress from this pathway to becoming, among other things, a chef de partie, sous chef or head chef, who creates menus for a restaurant, cafeteria or catering establishment, managing the kitchen, monitoring costs and training staff. You can also progress onto roles outside the kitchen, becoming a restaurant manager, for example, running a restaurant, including hiring staff, scheduling rotas, managing bookings and monitoring budgets.

To be successful in this industry, you’ll need to be committed, resilient, understand that you won’t be working a traditional ‘nine to five’ role and have customer service at the core of everything you do.

Industry partnerships

Eric, Professional Cookery, Level 3 There are a few great chefs who are self-taught and have their own businesses, but in my professional experience, studying is the way to move forward in a career.
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