Level 2, Level 3


Course Level

Level 2, Level 3


3 years




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Birmingham College of Food

90% of apprentices will remain in employment after completing their apprenticeship

83% of apprentices say their apprenticeship has improved their career prospects

This apprenticeship is open for 2021 entry only.

Set yourself on the pathway to culinary excellence. If you are aged 16 to 19 and want to receive the highest level of chef training while working alongside top professionals in the hospitality sector, the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts (RACA) Chef’s Apprenticeship is the perfect pick for you.

On this unique three-year course, you will spend the first year on full-time study learning vital skills in our state-of-the-art facilities at University College Birmingham. You will then put your training into practice during 18 months out in industry completing your apprenticeship, returning to the University one day each week for theory and training, practical work and assessments. At the end of the three years, you will receive the coveted RACA Diploma.

Throughout your RACA chef apprenticeship, you will benefit from our fantastic links with local industry, allowing you to draw on the vast knowledge and skills of culinary professionals in Birmingham and surrounding areas. Our unrivalled enrichment programme includes demonstrations and lectures by leading local chefs, ‘stages’ at top restaurants, competition opportunities and field trips to food producers.

Why choose this apprenticeship?

  • BOOST YOUR SKILLS – Learn essential culinary skills studying in our state-of-the-art kitchen and restaurant facilities on campus before applying your training to industry
  • PRACTICAL APPLICATION – Gain valuable experience working at high-end establishments, including Michelin-starred restaurants such as Simpsons, Carters of Moseley, Hampton Manor and The Cross at Kenilworth
  • INDUSTRY APPROVED – By completing this apprenticeship, you will be awarded the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts Diploma and become a Graduate of the RACA
  • MOVE UP TO UNIVERSITY – After your apprenticeship, you can move onto university chef courses such as our BA (Hons) Culinary Arts Management degree

Our facilities

University College Birmingham is renowned for its outstanding food industry training facilities. As an apprentice chef studying with us, you will have access to our professional standard kitchens, award-winning training restaurants and other cutting-edge facilities.

Entry requirements

You will need to be 16 and over and in full-time employment. You will already be working in a suitable role, or we can help you find one. If you are new to the industry or have limited experience, you will need to start at Level 2.

Level 2

You will be required to attend a college interview.

Ideally, you will require a minimum of 4 GCSEs at grade 4 (grade C) or above, or equivalent, including English Language at grade 4 (grade C) and maths at grade 4 (grade C) or Functional Skills Level 2.

Level 3

You will need to have successfully completed the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts Apprenticeship (RACA) Level 2 at University College Birmingham to continue onto Level 3.

Key information

Teaching and assessment

After completing an initial three-month training period at University College Birmingham, you will be employed in selected fine dining restaurants to complete the rest of the apprenticeship. The course is run over three years consisting of Level 2 and Level 3 standards.

Your tutor will guide you through formative assessments in your workplace and at University College Birmingham, including practical assessments, online tests and assignments. Your personal assessor will visit you regularly in your workplace and assist you throughout your training.

You may need to attend College should your employer wish for you to gain additional skills – this will be discussed with you and your employer.

End-point assessment

Completion of your apprenticeship end-point assessment will require the following:

  • Multi-choice questionnaire
  • Practical observation in work
  • Culinary challenge
  • Professional discussion

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

Uniform and kit costs

This course requires a uniform and kit costing approximately £250, depending on the items you purchase. (Prices are subject to change each year – exact costs and information on how to order required items will be provided to you prior to enrolment.)

You may be eligible for the Learner Support Fund, which assists college students with course-related costs such as essential uniform, equipment and travel. For more information, please visit our Financial Support for College Students page.

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