Professional Culinary Arts Level 1

Join us on this journey of culinary exploration and discover methods of applying the principles of food science and cooking to new routes and possibilities.

Whether you want to work in a professional kitchen or become a world-famous food blogger, critic or food stylist, you will be encouraged to interpret traditional cooking techniques and apply these to your own work

A successful journey through this industry is powered by a strong sense of curiosity, a desire to learn, and receiving relevant, authentic, motivating instruction that sparks the imagination. This is aligned with the Activate Learning Philosophy, which is rooted in an understanding of how the brain, motivation, and emotions work together to encourage learning.

In each programme, you will develop your cooking skills and senses using a more experimental and scientific approach. Join us on this journey of culinary exploration and discover methods of applying the principles of food science and cooking to new routes and possibilities.

We add experiences and opportunities to help you get ahead in your career, including:

  • work alongside experienced chefs on live projects
  • the opportunity to compete in regional and national food competitions
  • catering for big events, including awards dinners and functions

This is a three-year pathway that starts with teaching you the fundamentals of professional cookery right through to advanced techniques practised in modern restaurants. You will start your progression at Year 1 (Level 1). However, if you have been in the industry for one year or have a relevant professional qualification, starting in Year 2 (Level 2) of the course may be possible.

Creating a true culinary experience starts and ends in the mind; your skills are simply the tools that will bring that vision to reality.

On this programme, you will learn to prepare and cook food using traditional methods such as boiling, braising, roasting, frying etc. These skills will be vital in building a career in any professional kitchen, anywhere in the world.

However, what sets this programme apart from others is our emphasis on the fundamentals of understanding ingredients and exploring their tastes, flavours and fusions. You will be provided with a rich variety of learning experiences, including:

  • practical exploration
  • food science experiments
  • work and industry experience
  • customer-facing activity
  • employer-led projects

You will benefit from the Activate Learning Attributes curriculum, which will help you develop the key characteristics and skills employers seek in potential employees. We believe that developing attributes for employment is as important as gaining qualifications. This will be achieved through one-to-one support sessions.

If you are still working towards gaining GCSEs in English or maths, or if you need help developing your digital skills, we can help with that too.

Our qualified and professional tutors will provide instruction in our industry-standard, fully-equipped kitchens on-site.

The focus of this programme is experimenting with flavours and culinary experiences. Exploration and failure are key parts of learning; you will be encouraged to take risks and given the confidence and support necessary to do so.

Learning for each module will begin with a playful exploration of ingredients, flavours and methods and end with self-reflective evaluation. In between, there is guided self-assessment, peer review and formal instruction from tutors.

The cornerstone of this programme is the development of your attributes to ensure that at the end of each programme, you are highly employable and can apply your learning practically. This will entail one-to-one guidance from your tutor and self-assessment. Class tutors will manage pair work, group work, placements, and visits.

You will have a personal tutor who will observe your progress and work.

At the end of this journey, you will graduate with a Professional Cookery qualification endorsed by City & Guilds.


You should have GCSE English at grade 2 or above. ESOL English at Level 1 or above.

For students with a disability please refer to faculty for a telephone conversation prior to enrolment.

Explore your career progression options

If you are considering applying for this programme, why not explore your potential career progression routes using our handy tool.

You can explore live job vacancies, next level qualifications and apprenticeship standards in your local area. Not only this but you can also watch videos of real people talking about their experiences of working in your specific industry or occupation of interest.

Why not visit us at an Open Event and find out more about this pathway.

Why Guildford College?

  • Clear routes of progression with qualifications ranging from foundation level to degree level!
  • Industry experienced teaching staff give you the responsibility and independence you need to take charge of your own future.
  • 100+

    Courses available

  • 6000+


  • 79+

    Years of teaching experience

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