Professional Chef FdA

This degree course is accredited by University College Birmingham.

*This course was previously entitled Professional Cookery FdA

Overview (NV)


Course length
2 years full-time
UCAS code
Fees (Home/EU)
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Fees (International)
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This course has been designed with industry partners to boost employability, promotion prospects and creativity, with expert chef lecturers to help you develop your professional training.

This practical foundation degree focuses on culinary skills and will appeal to chefs qualified to Level 3 as well as those with relevant industry experience. It is ideal for chefs aspiring to work in high quality establishments (AA rosettes and Michelin Guide) including the pub sector.

Throughout the course you will work with a wide range of high quality food commodities and have the opportunity to develop food service skills.

The industry links of College of Food and Hospitality Management will enable you to gain valuable insights into the culinary sector at this level – and allow you to forge connections and contacts that may influence your career.

The knowledge and skills you develop will be linked to best practice with an emphasis on the use of seasonal produce and sustainability. Transferable skills, allowing you to move from one kitchen style to another, is a key focus and is linked to developments in food science and technology.  

What our staff and students say

Why choose this course?

  • Cutting-edge facilities - You will be taught by some of the best chefs and food professionals in the industry in UCB’s state-of-the-art kitchen facilities
  • Work placement experience - Your employability will be enhanced through a short and intensive work placement in one of the country’s best kitchens. For example, Michelin-starred restaurant Carters of Moseley and city centre eaterie Opheem
  • Access to industry - UCB has fantastic links with industry, which means students have access to guest lectures, demonstrations, master classes, visits and employment opportunities
  • Develop your knowledge - You will broaden and refine your culinary skills and knowledge – and increase your awareness of contemporary industry practices
  • Learn valuable technical skills - You will focus on classic techniques and learn how these approaches have been refined and complemented by contemporary practice
  • Boost your career prospects - On completion of the course, you will be a highly skilled and employable professional capable of thriving in top kitchens and producing a high standard of cooking

Course-specific facilities

The University has a total of nine industry-standard training kitchens which regularly are used for prestigious chef competitions and demonstrations. View virtual tour.

Practical sessions are also held in the 'Create It' and 'Innovate It' kitchens in the Food Science and Innovation Suite.

Kick-Start scheme

As a new student studying this degree full-time, you will receive £300 per year via our Kick-Start Scheme (eligibility criteria applies). The scheme will support your studies and future career by contributing to course-related materials, uniform or selected items on campus. You might even qualify for an additional £500 per year.

Uniform and kit costs

This course incurs additional costs for uniform and kit. The approximate cost is £258-£303, depending on the particular items you purchase. Please also be aware that prices are subject to change each year. Exact costs, as well as information on how to order the required items, will be provided prior to enrolment.

Open days

Our open days are designed to give you as much information as possible about UCB and the areas you are interested in studying. Come along and we may make you an offer on the day.  

Teaching & Assessment (NV)

Teaching & assessment

Teaching is carried out by experienced chef lecturers and a typical teaching week will have 18-20 teaching contact hours made up as follows:

  • Lectures -4 hours of lectures in lecture rooms and classrooms for theory
  • Practical kitchen session -12 hours of teaching in practical environments for skills development and realistic working practice
  • Seminars -2 hours of seminars in small groups discussing topics presented in lectures
  • Tutorials -1-2 hours of tutorials, being a mixture of personal, group and academic tutorials per week

Individual study

In addition, you are likely to need to commit 20 hours a week of your own study time in preparation for teaching sessions and preparing for and completing assessment. UCB Online provides 24 hour access to learning and support material.


Assessment gives you an opportunity to demonstrate your strengths in a number of ways and a variety of assessment methods are used. There is a strong focus on the practical nature of this course including live project work and team-based assessment. An estimated breakdown of the assessment for this course is as follows:         

  • Coursework - 50%              
  • Practical assessment - 35%                                                                      
  • Written examinations - 15%                                                

Please note that the information provided above is indicative only and actual timetables and assessment regimes will be issued to students at induction.

Our teaching and assessment is underpinned by our Teaching, Learning and Assessment Strategy 2015-2020.

Entry Requirements (NV)

Entry requirements 

A relevant level 3 qualification in Chef Catering, Professional Chef/Cookery or Food Preparation and Cooking (NVQ, VRQ, VTCT etc.)

EU/international students

For entry requirements for EU and international students, please visit the Country Specific Information page.

Modules (NV)


Year 1

Year 2

Advanced Culinary Techniques Innovative Patisserie Kitchen Management Techniques Profitable Menu Development
  Please note
The modules listed on the website for this course are regularly reviewed to ensure they are up-to-date and informed by industry as well as the latest teaching methods. Unless otherwise stated, the modules listed above for this course are for students starting in the academic year 2020/21. On occasion, we may need to make unexpected changes to modules and if this occurs, we will contact all offer holders as soon as possible.
Placements (NV)

Work placement

You will undertake short work experience placements in the second year of your study. The experience could provide an amazing stepping stone into a career and give you valuable work experience for your CV.

Placement locations have previously included:

  • Carters of Moseley
  • Clayton Hotel (formally Hotel La Tour)
  • Opheem
  • Sky by the Water
  • The Edgbaston Boutique Hotel

The placement provides an opportunity to develop the skills, knowledge, experience and practices that you will develop during the course and relate them to the work environment. This will be organised by our dedicated hired@UCB team.

Work Placement - College of Food and Hospitality Management - University College Birmingham

What our employers say

At UCB, we understand the importance of work placements within academic study, and our employer contacts say they give preference to students with qualifications who also have experience within the field. Our hired@UCB team will assist you in finding a placement that gives you the relevant experience to support your future career plans.



If you do well on your placement, there are additional opportunities available such as recommendation for industry-supported mentoring schemes to guide you through your future career.

Employability (NV)

Graduate careers 

Upon successful completion of this course, graduates will be able to move into a wide variety of areas including new product development and the health sector. 

It will be possible for you to enter a wide variety of graduate roles, for example:

  • Professional Cookery
  • Food innovation
  • Culinary development
  • Patisserie
  • Food and diet research

Successful graduates may choose to continue with further postgraduate studies. UCB offer a range of postgraduate degrees and you may be eligible for a postgraduate loan.


hired@UCB is our student and alumni support service designed to provide a single reference point for information, advice and guidance regarding opportunities to develop and demonstrate employability and enterprise skills.

Based in new facilities on the ground floor of Moss House, the hired@UCB team comprises specialist and qualified staff with knowledge and experience of:

  • Careers advice and guidance
  • Placements, work experience and volunteering
  • Employer engagement
  • Part-time and seasonal work
  • Internships and apprenticeships
  • Graduate schemes and alumni support
  • Unitemps – UCB's recruitment agency

Find out more about hired@UCB services.

Profiles (NV)

Student profiles

Read what our current students and alumni love about UCB and how we helped them begin their career in industry.



Luke Hayward

Professional Cookery FdA

Read more

Millie Tibbins

Millie Tibbins

Professional Cookery FdA

Read more


Rebecca Bourne

Professional Cookery FdA

Read more


Course Stats Data (NV)