PROFESSIONAL CHEF

FdA

Accredited by University College Birmingham

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Course Award

FdA

Duration

2 years full-time

UCAS Code

D500

Placement

Short work experience placements

Entry

September

Fees

View Fees

College of Food and Hospitality Management
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Access to specialist facilities to boost your practical skills and experience

Engage with industry and start building contacts to support your future career

If you aspire to work in high quality establishments – such as restaurants and pubs featured in the Michelin Guide, or those awarded AA rosettes – our Professional Chef foundation degree is a great way to gain valuable knowledge and hands-on training that will help you craft your culinary career.

Ideal for chefs qualified to Level 3 or those with relevant industry experience, this practical Professional Chef course focuses on culinary skills and will enable you to work with a wide variety of high quality food commodities, as well as developing your food service skills. Working in our industry standard training kitchens under the guidance of our expert chef lecturers, you will also learn about the use of seasonal produce and sustainability, as well as developing transferable skills which will allow you to move between different kitchen styles.

Our College of Food and Hospitality Management has outstanding links with the industry, meaning you will have access to a wide range of guest lectures, visits and other activities. You will further enhance your employability through a work placement in a top industry kitchen, while you will also be able to forge the contacts that could help shape your future career.

Why should I choose this course?

  • WORK PLACEMENT – Gain valuable real-world experience on placements, with past students having worked at Michelin-starred restaurants and top establishments in locations around the globe
  • ENRICHMENT – Engage with the industry through a variety of activities including guest lectures and demonstrations, masterclasses and visits, as well as further employment opportunities
  • EXPERT TUITION – Learn from some of the best chefs and food professionals in the industry while studying in our state-of-the-art kitchen facilities on campus

Our facilities

University College Birmingham is renowned for its outstanding food industry training facilities. Studying our Professional Chef cookery course means you will have access to our professional standard kitchens, award-winning training restaurants and state-of-the-art food development facilities.

Course breakdown

  • Year 1
  • Year 2

Core Modules

Advanced Culinary Skills

This is a practical module that focuses on developing your speed, precision and skill in the culinary arts. You will also develop an awareness of how kitchen operations have evolved over time and an overview of the leadership skills necessary to run a contemporary professional kitchen.

Specialist Patisserie

This module is designed to provide you with a detailed introduction to advanced patisserie, focusing on classical production methods and specialist pastry techniques. You will learn how to produce a wide range of patisserie items and plated desserts to the highest professional standard.

The Gastronomist

As a professional chef, it is important to have a well-rounded understanding of the industry. This module will build on your understanding of the trends, theories and ideas that matter most, from the history of professional cookery, to the importance of sustainability, provenance, and trend awareness.

The Science of Food

Today's food industry is wrestling with the increasing diverse needs of adapting foods to suit different nutritional needs. This module seeks to take a product and reformulate it to develop products which are responsive to the food market and have commercial value.

Core Modules

Advanced Culinary Techniques

In this module you will learn a range of advanced food preparation methods and presentation techniques. In addition, you will gain an understanding of the principles of menu development, product development and the correct substitution of ingredients to meet dietary needs and special requirements. In addition to this you will start to appreciate the styles and ethos of innovative chefs within the hospitality industry.

Innovative Patisserie

This module will concentrate on developing your creative flair. You will learn different methods of adapting classical cuisine to the current market using up-to-date technology. You will become familiar with creative plating techniques and specialist ingredients. Focusing on flavour, texture and aroma, you will learn how to produce a wide range of contemporary boulangerie and patisserie products.

Kitchen Management Techniques

This module will give you a broad overview of the management procedures required in professional kitchens, including supervision, training and legal considerations. You will gain a good understanding of the detailed planning and organisation behind running a successful kitchen team.

Profitable Menu Development

This module is designed to develop your ability to create a menu that responds to customer expectations, culinary trends and the current market challenges. You will also learn about a range of other factors behind successful menu development, including cost control and quality analysis.

The modules listed above for this course are regularly reviewed to ensure they are up to date and informed by industry as well as the latest teaching methods. On occasion, we may need to make unexpected changes to modules – if this occurs, we will contact all offer holders as soon as possible.

Entry requirements

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 our Country Specific Information page.

Key information

Teaching and assessment

Note: Indicative information only – actual timetables and assessment regimes will be issued at your induction.

Teaching

Example of a typical teaching week (up to 20 contact hours):

  • Lectures – 4 hours
  • Small group seminars – 2 hours
  • Practical kitchen sessions – 12 hours
  • Tutorials – 1-2 hours

You will also need to commit around 20 hours per week for individual study time.

Assessment

Estimated breakdown of assessment for this degree course:

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

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 £250-300, 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.)

Kick-Start

As a new student studying this degree full-time, you will receive £300 per year via our Kick-Start Scheme (eligibility criteria applies). This 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.

Tuition fees

UK/EU students

If you are a UK/EU student enrolling on a full-time foundation degree or a BA/BSc in 2020/21, your fee for this academic year will be £9,250 per each full year. A half year tuition fee is £4,625. UK/EU students do not pay tuition fees for any placement periods.

International students

If you are an international student enrolling on a a full-time foundation degree or a BA/BSc in 2020/21, your fee for this academic year will be £11,500 per year.

If you complete a placement year, there will be an administration fee of £500 for a full year, or £250 for a half-year placement.

Percentage
70%

of graduate employers say relevant experience is essential to getting a job with them

Work placements

Work placements are vital for gaining real-life experience and for building your confidence and skills before you finish your course – and they may even lead to a job when you graduate. Our hired@UCB team can help find the ideal placement for you.

You will undertake short work experience placements in the second year of your FdA Professional Chef course, offering a potential stepping stone into a career and providing a valuable boost to your CV.

Work alongside experts in your sector

A snapshot of some of the employers we have worked with:

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

I'm enjoying the added enrichment of the course, including trips and classes such as wine tasting and sensory analysis. The theoretical classes are really interesting and discussion-based. I particularly love The Gastronomist module, which is centred around the food industry as a whole rather than just food and ingredients themselves.

Rebecca Bourne Professional Cookery FdA [Now Professional Chef FdA]

Career opportunities

The example roles and salaries below are intended as a guide only.

Sous chef

Average Salary: £25,000

Head chef

Average Salary: £40,000

Pastry chef

Average Salary: £21,682

Food technologist

Average Salary: £35,000

Product/process development scientist

Average Salary: £36,000

Catering manager

Average Salary: £33,500

Want to earn a full undergraduate degree? Completing this FdA will enable you to move onto our Culinary Arts Management BA (Hons) Top-up course.

hired@UCB

We are here to support your career goals every step of the way. 

 

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