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University College Birmingham

Professional Chef

UCAS Code: D500

Foundation Degree in Arts - FdA

Entry requirements

UCAS Tariff


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

About this course

Course option


Full-time | 2021


Food and beverage production

**Course snapshot**

This practical foundation degree will develop and refine your culinary skills under the tuition and guidance of our expert chef lecturers. The course has been designed with industry partners to aid employability, promotion prospects and culinary creativity.

**Who’s the course for?**

This foundation degree will appeal to chefs qualified to Level 3 and those with relevant industry experience. You will gain the practical skills and industry insights required to move into senior positions in high quality restaurants (of AA rosette and Michelin Guide standard) including the pub sector, contract catering and hotel sector.

**Why should I study the course?**

- **WORK PLACEMENT** – Gain invaluable industry experience on placements, with our past students having worked at Michelin-starred restaurants and top establishments in locations around the globe

- **ENRICHMENT** – Engage with the industry through a range 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 business while studying in our state-of-the-art kitchen facilities on campus

**Great. Tell me some more**

Our professional training kitchens are used by the likes of Michel Roux Jr. to find his yearly scholar, plus there is a fine dining restaurant and bistro to perfect your real-life skills, a Food Science and Innovation Suite for cutting-edge research and award-winning chef lecturers to teach, support and guide you.

The knowledge and skills you develop will be linked to best practice with an emphasis on the use of seasonal produce and food sustainability.

The College of Food and Hospitality Management has superb industry links that will enable you to gain valuable insights into the culinary sector at this level, allowing you to forge connections and contacts that may influence your career. As part of this, there are diverse work experience opportunities at Michelin-starred restaurants and you will benefit from masterclasses with renowned experts.

There is a cost of about £250-300 for uniform and specialist equipment. However, eligible students can get £300 a year to cover this via our Kick-Start scheme.

**What skills will I gain?**

You will develop your professional attributes to become a highly-skilled and employable chef capable of thriving in top kitchens and producing a high standard of cooking.

You will focus on classic techniques and learn how these approaches have been refined and complemented by contemporary practice. Teaching is supplemented with lectures, demonstrations, masterclasses and visits.

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.

You will also have opportunities to compete in the biggest and best competitions for young chefs, mentored and guided by experienced lecturers. This will not only test your skills, but your ability to work under pressure.

**What about the future?**

The course will give you the confidence and know-how to move into a wide range of areas in professional cookery including new product development and the health sector. You can also continue your education to postgraduate level.

In addition to professional cookery, you will be able to pursue a career in:

- Food innovation

- Culinary development

- Food and diet research


**Year 1**

- Advanced Culinary Skills
- Specialist Patisserie
- The Gastronomist
- The Science of Food

**Year 2**

- Advanced Culinary Techniques
- Innovative Patisserie
- Kitchen Management Techniques
- Profitable Menu Development

Assessment methods


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 per week, including a mixture of personal, group and academic tutorials

**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. Our Virtual Learning Environment, Canvas, 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.

Tuition fees

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The Uni

Course location:

University College Birmingham


College of Food - FdA/FdSc

TEF rating:
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What students say

We've crunched the numbers to see if overall student satisfaction here is high, medium or low compared to students studying this subject(s) at other universities.

Food and beverage production

How do students rate their degree experience?

The stats below relate to the general subject area/s at this university, not this specific course. We show this where there isn’t enough data about the course, or where this is the most detailed info available to us.

Food and beverage studies (non-specific)

Teaching and learning

Staff make the subject interesting
Staff are good at explaining things
Ideas and concepts are explored in-depth
Opportunities to apply what I've learned

Assessment and feedback

Feedback on work has been timely
Feedback on work has been helpful
Staff are contactable when needed
Good advice available when making study choices

Resources and organisation

Library resources
IT resources
Course specific equipment and facilities
Course is well organised and has run smoothly

Student voice

Staff value students' opinions

Who studies this subject and how do they get on?

UK students
International students
Male students
Female students
2:1 or above
Drop out rate

Most popular A-Levels studied (and grade achieved)


After graduation

The stats in this section relate to the general subject area/s at this university – not this specific course. We show this where there isn't enough data about the course, or where this is the most detailed info available to us.

Food & beverage studies

What are graduates doing after six months?

This is what graduates told us they were doing (and earning), shortly after completing their course. We've crunched the numbers to show you if these immediate prospects are high, medium or low, compared to those studying this subject/s at other universities.

Average annual salary
Employed or in further education
Employed in a role where degree was essential or beneficial

Top job areas of graduates

Food preparation and hospitality trades
Other elementary services occupations
Managers and proprietors in hospitality and leisure services

What about your long term prospects?

Looking further ahead, below is a rough guide for what graduates went on to earn.

Agriculture & related subjects

The graph shows median earnings of graduates who achieved a degree in this subject area one, three and five years after graduating from here.







Note: this data only looks at employees (and not those who are self-employed or also studying) and covers a broad sample of graduates and the various paths they've taken, which might not always be a direct result of their degree.

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This is the percentage of applicants to this course who received an offer last year, through Ucas.

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This is what the university has told Ucas about the course. Use it to get a quick idea about what makes it unique compared to similar courses, elsewhere.

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Course location and department:

This is what the university has told Ucas about the course. Use it to get a quick idea about what makes it unique compared to similar courses, elsewhere.

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Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF):

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This information comes from the National Student Survey, an annual student survey of final-year students. You can use this to see how satisfied students studying this subject area at this university, are (not the individual course).

We calculate a mean rating of all responses to indicate whether this is high, medium or low compared to the same subject area at other universities.

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This information is from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA).

You can use this to get an idea of who you might share a lecture with and how they progressed in this subject, here. It's also worth comparing typical A-level subjects and grades students achieved with the current course entry requirements; similarities or differences here could indicate how flexible (or not) a university might be.

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Post-six month graduation stats:

This is from the Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education Survey, based on responses from graduates who studied the same subject area here.

It offers a snapshot of what grads went on to do six months later, what they were earning on average, and whether they felt their degree helped them obtain a 'graduate role'. We calculate a mean rating to indicate if this is high, medium or low compared to other universities.

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Graduate field commentary:

The Higher Education Careers Services Unit have provided some further context for all graduates in this subject area, including details that numbers alone might not show

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The Longitudinal Educational Outcomes dataset combines HRMC earnings data with student records from the Higher Education Statistics Agency.

While there are lots of factors at play when it comes to your future earnings, use this as a rough timeline of what graduates in this subject area were earning on average one, three and five years later. Can you see a steady increase in salary, or did grads need some experience under their belt before seeing a nice bump up in their pay packet?

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