Professional Chef Level 1/2/3

Professional Chefs Diploma Level 1: This programme is designed for those wanting a practical career where the development of professional cookery skills and knowledge can contribute towards a fulfilling career in the hospitality industry. Most of the time will be spent in our kitchens, pastry workshops and our public restaurants.

Students will undertake mostly practical work to develop skills. There will also be classroom activity, online learning, visits and assignments to supplement learning. There are coursework assessments throughout the year and two practical assessments at the end of the year.

Professional Chefs Diploma Level 2: This programme is very practical in nature and continues the development of professional cookery skills and associated knowledge learned in level 1. Whereas the Professional Chefs level 1 programme focuses on your understanding and skills development across cookery processes, level 2 refines skills across a broader range of commodities.

You will continue the development of skills through practical work. There will also be classroom activity, online learning, visits and assignments to supplement learning. There are coursework assessments throughout the year and two practical assessments at the end of the year.

Professional Chefs Advanced Diploma Level 3: This programme continues the development of professional cookery skills to an advanced level with associated knowledge. You will need to be well motivated and committed to a career in the catering industry.

Students will refine their skills through practical work in the patisserie, larder and production kitchens. Classroom activity will include dish innovation, restaurant and dish evaluation and online research. There are coursework and practical assessments throughout the year and two practical assessments at the end of the year.

In addition to your main programme, you will also engage in activities to develop your English, maths and employability skills.

***Applications for full-time courses to start in September 2022 are open now!***

We want to make sure you have the best chance of securing a place with us. All full-time applications received by 31st of January 2022 will be guaranteed a place at Colchester Institute, subject to you satisfying the published entry requirements. We still accept applications after this date but may not be able to guarantee you a place on your chosen programme.

Application for this course are made by the ‘Apply Online’ buttons located in the menu further down the page.

Course Info
Do I have to pay a fee?
How to make an Application
Other courses in this area
Year 1 Course Content

Professional Chefs Diploma Level 1

The course comprises of 12 units, six of which are practical and six are industry focused, including:

  • Food Safety
  • Industry Structure
  • Use of Equipment
  • Team Work

The final assessments test skills and knowledge gained across all the units.

Year 2 Course Content

Professional Chefs Diploma Level 2

The course comprises of 14 units, eight of which are practical focused on developing skills against specific commodities. Other units cover:

  • Healthy eating and special diets
  • Kitchen Operations
  • Costs and Menu Planning
  • Applying workplace skills

There are coursework mock practical assessments throughout the year and two practical assignment assessments and a theory exam at the end of the year.

Year 3 Course Content

Professional Chefs Advanced Diploma Level 3

The course comprises 11 units, 6 of which are practical and designed to develop and refine technical skills. There are also 5 units covering areas such as:

  • Sourcing Produce
  • Gastronomy
  • Supervising Food Safety

There are coursework mock practical assessments throughout the year and two practical assignment assessments and a theory exam at the end of the year.

Entry Requirements

Professional Chefs Diploma Level 1: 4 GCSEs (9-3) and an interview

Professional Chefs Diploma Level 2: Satisfactory completion of the Professional Chefs Technical Diploma Level 1

Professional Chefs Advanced Diploma Level 3: Satisfactory completion of the Professional Chefs Diploma Level 2

Career Opportunities

Level 1: Employment as a commis chef in the hotel and catering industry, with the possibility of an accelerated career path.

Level 2: Employment as a chef in the hotel and catering industry, with the possibility of an accelerated career path.

Level 3: Employment as a chef in the hotel and catering industry, with the potential to rise to an accelerated career path.

Course Progression

Level 1: After completion of the Level 1 programme, students will progress to the Professional Cookery VRQ Level 2. Subject to suitability.

Level 2: Subject to suitability and successful completion of the level 2 Diploma,students will progress to the Professional Chef Advanced Diploma Level 3.

Level 3: After completion of the Professional Chefs Intermediate Technical Diploma Level 3 Programme students can progress onto the Professional Chef Advanced Technical Diploma

Careers Advice and Guidance

The Careers Guidance team provides information, careers advice and guidance to students across all campuses. They offer confidential and impartial guidance interviews as well as a daily drop in service.They can provide help and support with a wide range of areas including:

  • Career choice
  • Progression Routes
  • Apprenticeships
  • Higher Education
  • Employability Skills

There is well a equipped Careers Centre containing information on careers and courses as well computer guidance software to help students choose and research suitable careers.

The careers guidance service has achieved the national quality award for the provision of Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance known as the Quality in Careers Standard. The service is also accredited by the matrix Quality Standard for information, Advice and Guidance.

For further careers advice and guidance and support please contact careers@colchester.ac.uk.

All students aged 16-18 on the first day of their course will have their course fully-funded by the government.

Costs of studying

If you are/will be aged 16, 17 or 18 on the 31st August in the calendar year when you begin a programme of study, you DO NOT pay tuition fees, College registration fees or examination/board registration fees. However, there are some courses which have additional costs which could include:

  • equipment costs – such as uniforms, kits, boots, etc.
  • trips and enrichment activities
  • DBS checks (formerly CRB checks)

For students with an identified low household income, there may be financial support available. Bursary awards can help with your course related costs such as travel, books and equipment and much more.

Aged 19+ - Fees and Funding

If you are aged 19 and over, in certain circumstances you may be eligible for a fee waiver and therefore you will not have to pay for this course. 

Eligibility for a fee waiver will depend your age at the start of the course, your previous qualifications, your employment status and whether you claim certain benefits.

If you do not meet the criteria for a fee waiver, you may be eligible for some assistance from the College’s Bursary Funds, depending on the household financial circumstances.

If you do not meet the criteria for a fee waiver, and are not eligible for assistance from the Bursary Fund, you will have to pay for this course.

Published course fees for this course are located further down this course information page.

Level 1 - Do I have to pay a fee?

The information in this section applies to this course, and may not apply to other courses with different funding criteria.

You will not pay tuition fees if you are:
aged 19-24 on the 31st August 2022 and have an active Education, Health and Care Plan
aged 19-23 and are required to undertake this level 1 qualification in order to progress onto level 2, provided you have not previously achieved a level 2 qualification in any other subject (or 5 GCSEs grades 9-4) by the start of the course
over 19, unemployed and in receipt of benefits
over 19, employed and have a gross annual salary under £17,374 per annum
If you are aged 19-23 and have previously achieved a Level 2 qualification, if you do not meet the low income or unemployment criteria you will not be eligible for a fee waiver
You will not meet the low income or unemployment criteria if you:
are aged over 19 at the start of the course, unemployed and are not in receipt of benefits
are aged over 19 at the start of the course, employed and have a gross annual salary over £17,374 per annum
Therefore you will pay tuition fees

In certain circumstances, the College’s discretionary bursary fund maybe able to assist with a contribution towards tuition fees. Eligibility to the fund depends on the household’s financial circumstances.  Further information regarding the discretionary bursary fund can be found further down this page.

Level 2 - Do I have to pay a fee?

The information in this section applies to this course, and may not apply to other courses with different funding criteria.

You will not pay tuition fees if you are:
aged 19-24 on the 31st August 2022 and have an active Education, Health and Care Plan
aged 19 – 23, and already have a level 2 qualification in another subject (or 5 GCSEs grades 9-4) and are unemployed and in receipt of benefits
aged over 24, unemployed and in receipt of benefits
aged 19-23, already have a level 2 qualification in another subject (or 5 GCSEs grades 9-4) and are employed with a gross annual salary under £17,374 per annum
aged over 24 and are employed with a gross annual salary under £17,374 per annum

You will pay the published fee (where part of the fee is paid by the government) if you are:
aged 19-23, already have a level 2 qualification in another subject (or 5 GCSEs grades 9-4) and are unemployed but do not claim a benefit
aged 19-23, already have a level 2 qualification in another subject (or 5 GCSEs grades 9-4) and earn over £17,374 per annum
aged over 24 and are unemployed but do not claim a benefit
aged over 24 and are employed with a gross annual salary over £17,374 per annum
If you are aged 19-23 and do not already have a level 2 qualification in any other subject or 5 GCSEs grades 9 – 4, you will not qualify for any government funding and will pay a considerably higher amount than the published fee.

In certain circumstances, the College’s discretionary bursary fund maybe able to assist with a contribution towards tuition fees. Eligibility to the fund depends on the household’s financial circumstances. Further information regarding the discretionary bursary fund can be found further down this page.

Please note that if you have to pay the full-cost fee, you are unable to access any financial assistance from the College Bursary Fund.

Level 3 - Do I have to pay a fee?

The information in this section applies solely to this course and the criteria for a fee waiver is not transferable to any other course offered by the College.

You will not pay tuition fees if you are:
under 19 at the 31st August 2022
aged 19-24 at the 31st August 2022 and have an Education, Health and Care Plan

Learners aged 19 and over at the start of this course can either self-fund and pay for the course themselves or apply for an advanced learner loan to cover all or part of the tuition fees for this course. The minimum loan you can get is £300, but the maximum will depend on how much the fees are and the type of course you take.

What if I am on a low income or unemployed?

Discounted fees or fee waivers for those on low income or who are unemployed are not available for this course.

For students with an identified low household income, there may be financial support available through the College’s discretionary bursary fund. Although the funds cannot be used to pay for course fees they can be used to contribute towards other course related costs such as travel, childcare, books and equipment.

Advanced Learner Loans

Am I eligible for an Advanced Learner Loan?

To qualify for an advanced learner loan to cover the fees for this course you must be:

  • 19 years old or over on the first day of your course (there’s no upper age limit)
  • A UK national or have ‘settled status’ (this means there are no restrictions on how long you can stay)
  • Living in the UK on the first day of your course, and have lived in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man for three years immediately before this

Most learners that fall into this bracket will be eligible, it doesn’t depend on your household income and there’s no credit check!

If your nationality or residency status is different to the above, then please contact the national Advanced Learner Loan helpline on 0300 100 0619 or check the Advanced Learner Loan website where you will be able to find further information on eligibility.

How do I apply for an Advanced Learner Loan?

Once you have applied and been offered a place on the course, the college will provide you with a ‘learning and funding information letter’. These are normally sent out in early July.

You need this to complete the loan application and you cannot apply for a loan until you have received this.

Once you have applied for a loan and it has been approved you will receive an official letter from Student Finance England.

Am I eligible for a bursary?

Applicants thinking of enrolling on this course can apply for funding to help with the costs associated with attending college.  Bursary funds are targeted at students where there is an identified low household income.

The bursary fund cannot provide help with costs unrelated to your course, such as general living expenses, nor can it be used as an attendance incentive.

Applications to the fund are not normally considered if the household income exceeds £25,000 but may be considered in some instances if the household is experiencing severe financial hardship.

If you are aged 19 at the start of the course, unemployed and not in receipt of benefits, or employed and earning over £17,374, you may be eligible for assistance with your tuition fees from the College Bursary fund.

If you are assessed as being eligible for a bursary award to assist with your tuition fees, the award will not exceed 75% of the fee payable and you will be responsible for paying the balance of the fee.

Students of all ages can apply for assistance from the bursary fund for other course related costs, such as transport, meals, books and equipment.

The 16-19 Bursary Fund is aimed at helping:
Students who are aged 16, 17 or 18 on the 31st August 2022
Students aged 19 who started a two-year programme before their 19th birthday
Students aged 19 or over on 31st August 2022 who have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)
If you do not meet the above criteria then you are likely to be eligible for support through either the:
19+ Bursary Fund 
or
Advanced Learner Loan Bursary Fund (for students paying Level 3 tuition fees for with an advanced learner loan)*

*Awards from the Advanced Learner Loans Bursary Fund can only be made to students who have received an Advanced Learner Loan. If you do not intend to apply for an advanced learner loan or if your application has been unsuccessful you will not be eligible for an award from this particular fund.

Funds are targeted at course related costs such as travel, childcare, books and equipment.

Regardless of income or employment status, students self-funding (including where an employer is covering course fees), are not eligible for financial assistance through any discretionary bursary funds.

When can I apply?

Bursary Fund applications for courses starting in the 2022/23 academic year will be open from June 1st 2022.

For courses starting in September 2022, applications should be made by 1st November 2022. If you find yourself in financial hardship after this date it is important that you still contact Student Services. Applications received after 1st November will be considered on a pro-rata basis subject to need and the availability of funds.

Payment Options

Can I pay in instalments?

Where total course fees exceed £200 you (or your employer, if they are paying your course fees) can choose to pay your fees in instalments through a monthly payment plan.

40% of the fee or £500 (whichever is lower) will be payable at enrolment.

The balance must be paid within 6 months or by the end date if the course is less than 6 months in duration.

Payment in full in advance

Payment should be made in full at the time of enrolment. Acceptable payment methods include Debit Card and Credit Card (excluding American Express). Please note that we are no longer able to accept cash or cheque payments.

How to make an Application – Watch our video guide!

We have also prepared a step-by-step video guide – please view this video which will guide you through the application process.

Professional Chef Level 1/2/3
LevelLevel 1
Level 2
Level 3
LocationColchester
DurationThree years
Year 1: Level 1
Year 2: Level 2
Year 3: Level 3
Study ModeFull-Time
CampusColchester Campus
Start DateSeptember 2022 - Applications open on 1st October 2021
Fee(s)16-18 year olds: Free
Year 1 (Level 1): £2,659
Year 2 (Level 2): £3,119
Year 3 (Level 3): £3,345

Disclaimer

All fees, prices and funding information shown on this page are for courses starting in the 2021-22 academic year unless stated otherwise, and are correct at the time of entering/printing information, however these may be subject to change due to factors outside of our control. The College cannot accept legal or financial liability as a result of any such changes.

Courses fees are generally not confirmed for September until June / July due to the above factors.

The course information describes programmes offered by Colchester Institute. The College takes all reasonable steps to provide courses as described, but cannot guarantee provision. The information is for guidance and does not form any part of a contract.

The College reserves the right to update and amend information as and when necessary. Colchester Institute will do its best to provide the courses shown, but may have to modify or withdraw a course depending on customer demand and other factors.