Bakery level 2 and Level 3
- Course length
- 1 year full-time per level
You will develop practical skills in bread and confectionery, working in our state-of-the-art bakery areas as you broaden your knowledge of the industry and develop skills to an advanced level.
Why should I choose this course?
- You will get a thorough training in a broad range of bakery products
- You will learn about chocolate work
- You will be able to develop special interest areas such as celebration cakes and artisan bread
- There are opportunities for research into further specialist production
- You will boost your confidence and improve your employment prospects.
Why maths and English are so important to your career
Achieving a good level of English and maths is important so that you can compete in today’s labour market and secure the career you’ve always wanted. Alongside your full-time course, students will continue to develop their English and maths skills. If you haven’t yet achieved GCSE grade 4 (grade C) in English and maths at 16 you will continue to study these by resits or by taking Functional Skills at an appropriate level.
"My time at UCB has been enjoyable, inspirational and hard work. A trip to the sugarcraft, cake decorating and baking show, Cake International, inspired me to become a pastry/patisserie chef or run my own bakery. Choux pasty and chocolate work in confectionery was challenging – it’s tricky to get right – and sugar paste flowers are so delicate."
"The apprenticeship involves lots of practical work, which is perfect for me. You get to see what working in industry will be like. I love working with chocolate, the attention to detail. Everything has to be spot on. The work I am most proud of is making chocolates for the Countess of Wessex when she visited the university."
"The highlights of the course have included the amazing work experience opportunities. I was able to work in a Michelin star restaurant in London and I’ve also visited one of the best chocolatiers in Manchester. I got through to the finals of Le Cordon Bleu’s UK Scholarship Award, which is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to win a £35,000 scholarship at the world famous culinary school."
Mathematics plays a vital role in the culinary arts, bakery and the food and beverage sectors.
- Measurement (including weighing) is important in cooking/baking and serving food and drink properly. This applies in following a recipe or in serving alcohol in the correct measurements. There are many tools, such as measuring cups, measuring spoons and scales, which are used in food/drink preparation.
- Being able to read both temperature and time and make suitable adjustments in both is vital in food/drink preparation.
- Fractions are very important in recipes and determining serving sizes.
- Geometry is used by top chefs and bakers in the presentation of food and baking in order to make them aesthetically appealing.
- Nutritional data informs choices about health and the role of a balanced diet. This includes issues to do with calories, sugar, sodium and fat. This is important for those creating menus.
Maths is also central in successful stock management which is vital in running restaurants, bakeries and bars.
- Accurate spelling and a wide and specialist vocabulary are key in the presentation of quality menus
- Good quality Speaking and Listening skills are needed when communicating with colleagues
- Customer services skills require good English skills in speaking and written communication
- Accurate reading is a vital skill when following instructions and recipes
- Secure English is important when preparing a CV or a business proposal or when advertising/marketing your business.
Bakery and product development laboratories
Take a look around some of our baking and product development laboratories, all of which include specialist equipment such as large planetary machines, industrial ovens, Koma computer-controlled retarder provers, steam ovens and specialist chocolate-production equipment.
One of the UK’s top quality assurance organisations has described University College Birmingham as “one of the best, if not the best, catering colleges in the UK” in its assessment for two of the highest awards for colleges. Find out more about the College of Food's gold accreditations.
Teaching and assessment
The Level 2 course underpins knowledge with an online test in food manufacturing. Practical exams of products relating to the bakery industry are also undertaken. For Level 3, you will be required to complete written exam questions relating to the bakery industry. Assignments and practical exams must also be completed for each unit.
Our teaching and assessment is underpinned by our Teaching, Learning and Assessment Strategy 2015-2020.
Level 2 Bakery
- Ideally, you will require a minimum of 4 GCSEs at grade 3 (grade D) or above. However, our bakery lecturers are looking for students who are enthusiastic and keen to gain practical skills in bread, cake production and decoration, so please contact us if you have not achieved these grades.
- School applicants will be required to provide a good school report, which must include attendance.
- If you do not have a grade 4 (grade C) or above in English and maths and you are under 19, you will be required to complete an assessment so we can ensure you receive appropriate support. Applicants over 19 are not required to complete maths and English.
Level 3 Bakery
- To apply for level 3 bakery, you will need a relevant level 2 qualification and ideally English and/or maths at grade 4 (grade C) or above.
- Alternatively, at least 2 years’ relevant work experience.
- If you do not have a grade 4 (grade C) or above in English and maths and you are under 19, you will be required to complete an assessment so we can ensure you receive appropriate support. Applicants over the age of 19 are not required to undertake maths and English.
Students are required to buy a uniform and a set of equipment. To help keep costs to a minimum, these items are available to buy through UCB. If you have any concerns about the cost of the uniform, please discuss this at your interview as we may be able to help.
What will I study?
- Chocolate Tempering
- Celebration Cakes
- Flower Making
- Food Safety
- High Volume Manufacture of Bread and Yeast-based Products
- Sugar Craft
- Chocolate Work
- Design and Develop Bakery Products
- Plan and Evaluate Specialist Bakery Products
- Monitor Quality
- Working with Others
We are also happy to accept students who require additional support on the Professional Bakery Level 1 Diploma
Your study programme
In addition to your full-time course every student has an individual study programme which ensures that you develop the right skills and experience to progress onto either higher education or gain employment. What’s included in your individual study programme will vary depending on what you have already achieved and your career aspirations.
For example; if you haven’t yet achieved GCSE grade 4 (grade C) in English and maths at 16 you will continue to study these by resits or by taking Functional Skills at an appropriate level. Achieving a good level of English and maths is important so that you can compete in today’s labour market and secure the career you’ve always wanted.
Work placement will form an essential part of your individual study programme and all students will be expected to complete an appropriate work placement related to their full-time course.
To find out more about the work placement opportunities for this course, click on the ‘Work Placement’ tab above.
Work placement - College of Food
Alongside training in the University’s industry standard kitchens and superb restaurants, you will also gain additional experience on placements with opportunities available within hotels, restaurants, hospitals, conference and banqueting centre, artisan and craft bakeries, food manufacturers, patisserie and cake decoration outlets and in-store bakeries. College of Food placements are generally two to three weeks in duration. The reputation of UCB is such that many of our students are offered part-time employment following a successful placement.
A work placement not only gives you valuable experience, it also:
- Helps you to apply what you’re learning into practice
- It gives you a better understanding of how a company or organisation works
- Helps you to develop essential skills such as time management, social and communication skills and the ability to work as part of a team
- Enriches your CV
- Enhances a UCAS application and personal statement should you wish to progress to higher education
- Helps you to consider wider future employment opportunities
At UCB we have a specialised team of Employability Tutors based in hired@UCB (located on the 7th floor at Summer Row) who will provide you with the necessary skills in order to source a work placement.
If students are passionate about their career choice, work placements are vital.
A set of achievements, skills, understanding and personal attributes make a student more likely to gain employment and be successful in their chosen occupation, which benefits themselves and the work force.
The Level 2 qualification leads to jobs in commercial and artisan bakeries, confectionery manufacturers and the hotel and catering industry.
Career opportunities for Level 3 students include: test and development baker; artisan craft baker; cake decorator; technical representative; quality controller; research and development; and self-employment/starting your own business.
You can also progress to our foundation degree in Bakery and Confectionery Technology or consider degrees in Food Development and Innovation, Hospitality Business Management or Culinary Arts Management, all available at UCB.
The team at hired@UCB – our student placement and careers service – can help you with advice, information and guidance in finding a job. It can help you develop your work-related skills.
Based in new facilities on the 7th floor of our Summer Row campus, the hired@UCB team comprises specialist staff to help with:
- Careers advice and guidance
- Placements, work experience and volunteering
- Unitemps – UCB's recruitment agency
- Employer engagement
- Part-time and seasonal work
- Internships, apprenticeships and traineeships
- Alumni support
Find out more about hired@UCB services.
Read what our current students and alumni love about UCB and how we helped them begin their career in industry.