Hospitality and Professional Cookery

Learn in an operational training restaurant on campus and experience working in a live environment serving paying customers.

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.

We believe that developing attributes for employment is as important as gaining qualifications. Our award-winning Learning Philosophy helps us all understand how best our students learn and how we teach our learners effectively with our attributes for success: Resilient, Aware, Enterprising, Professional and Confident—all essential in the hospitality and catering sector. Inspired by these critical attributes, we have created a rich variety of learning experiences, including practical exploration, food science experiments, work and industry experience, and employer-led projects.

You will learn to view challenges as problem-solving opportunities, making decisions, and finding new solutions. Regularly asking for feedback will allow you to consider how to keep fine-tuning and improving your skills and celebrate your successes. Gaining a clear idea about your strengths and skills will help you identify the areas you would like to improve, so you can explore and experiment to continue developing. You will learn to plan and organise your work so that you can take responsibility and contribute to your team’s deadlines, achieving your allocated tasks to high standards.

This is a three-year pathway that starts with teaching you the fundamentals of professional cookery and continues through to advanced techniques practised 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 a relevant professional qualification, starting in Year 2 (Level 2) of the course may be possible. You will also be asked to attend a taster session to assess your skills.

You could progress to a wide range of roles, including chef de partie, sous chef, or head chef who creates menus for a restaurant, cafeteria, or catering establishment, manages the kitchen, monitors costs, and trains 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.

Across the hospitality and catering industry in the UK there are 3.18 million jobs, with the highest growth forecasts over the next five years including cooks, chefs, and restaurant managers.

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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