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UPDATE 15.30pm 01/07/2022: Online Applications Update
We are currently experiencing an intermittent availability issue with online applications for full-time courses, apprenticeships and part-time courses. If you are trying to make an application or if you are having trouble logging in, we kindly ask that you try again a few hours later

*This issue does not affect applications for University Centre Colchester Degree level courses

Professional Cookery Level 1/2/3

This hands-on course is for those who wish to pursue a career as a professional chef. Your progress will be measured through continuous practical assessment and theoretical understanding via online multiple choice questions. You will also be expected to collect evidence via a diary during the course, in preparation for assessment.

***Applications for full-time courses and joint apprenticeship applications will close at midnight on Sunday 3rd July 2022.

If you have not yet made an application then we encourage you to do so before this date, as we are unable to process any applications received after this time.

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

The Professional Chefs Certificate: Introduction to the Hospitality Industry – Chef and Restaurant Service Level 1 is designed for those applicants who have practical strengths but find the more academic aspects challenging. Student progression will be motivated via tutorials and discussions with the specialist subject lecturer.

Professional Chefs Certificate Level 1 course units include:

  • Food Production and Creative Cookery
  • Cookery Methods and Food Preparation Techniques
  • Patisserie Work – Desserts
  • Food Safety Studies

Please note that the course at Colchester campus incorporates a Restaurant Service qualification as a mandatory element. In addition, you will study at least one Functional Skill in English, maths, or ICT as part of your main programme. This is mandatory for any learner who hasn’t achieved Grade 4 in English and maths at school.

Year 2 Course Content

The Professional Cookery NVQ Diploma Level 2 course is designed for students who are enthusiastic about cookery and want to improve their career prospects in a fast-moving industry.
Practical work is recorded in course documents. Assessments will take place when each individual is ready. Practical assessments can also take place in the workplace by arrangement.

Learning activities include practical work centred around evidence gathering and assessments in the kitchen. Tutorials and tracking sessions will enable students to compile their own workbook that will help when completing underpinning knowledge questions.

Year 3 Course Content

The Professional Cookery Diploma Level 3 programme is aimed at students who would like to learn advanced methods of food preparation and cooking. The professional Cookery NVQ Diploma course consists of units, covering food safety, health hygiene and safety as well as the development of positive working relationships. The practical units cover a range of commodities including fish, meat, poultry and vegetable dishes as well as the production of sauces, soups and dough products.

Practical skills development whilst working in the College’s excellently resourced training kitchens. Related theory will also be covered via numerous learning packages. Knowledge is tested through a specifically designed online assessment package.

Entry Requirements

Professional Chefs Certificate: Introduction to the Hospitality Industry – Chef and Restaurant Service Level 1: 4 GCSEs (9-1) and an interview

Professional Cookery NVQ Diploma Level 2: Satisfactory completion of the Professional Chefs Certificate: Introduction to the Hospitality Industry – Chef and Restaurant Service Level 1

Professional Cookery NVQ Diploma Level 3: Satisfactory completion of the Professional Cookery NVQ Diploma Level 2

Career Opportunities

Upon completion of the Professional Cookery NVQ Diploma Level 3 students can progress onto Foundation Degree Level study or employment as a chef in the hotel and catering industry, with the potential to rise to a senior position on an accelerated career path.

Course Progression

Upon completion of the Professional Cookery Level 1 Certficate, students may potentially progress onto the Level 2 Professional Cookery Diploma and from the Level 2 programme onto the Professional Cookery Level 3 Diploma or an Apprenticeship. Progression to the second year and third year of the programme depends on achievement during the first year and on punctuality, attendance, interest and effort demonstrated.

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 £18,525 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 £18,525 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 at the 31st August 2022 and have an active Education, Health and Care Plan
aged 19-23 and have not achieved a level 2 qualification in any other subject (or 5 GCSEs grades 9-4)
over 19 at the start of the course, unemployed and in receipt of benefits
over 19 at the start of the course, employed and have a gross annual salary under £18,525 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 £18,525 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 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 on the 31st August 2022
aged 19-24 on the 31st August 2022 and have an active Education, Health and Care Plan
aged 19 – 23 and have not already achieved a full Level 3 qualification* (In some cases, if you need to first enrol on a lower level course, before progressing to a Level 3, this may also be fully funded by the government)  

* This means that you have not previously attained a full Level 3 or equivalent (2 A Levels or 4 AS Levels, or QAA Access to Higher Education (HE) Diploma at Level 3, or a Level 3 Tech level or applied general qualification (e.g. BTEC)).
You will pay tuition fees if you are:
aged 19 and over at the start of this course and have previously achieved a full Level 3 qualification
Learners required to pay tuition fees can either self-fund (whereby you or your employer pays for the course) 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.

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!

***Applications for full-time courses and joint apprenticeship applications will close at midnight on Sunday 3rd July 2022. If you have not yet made an application then we encourage you to do so before this date, as we are unable to process any applications received after this time.
Professional Cookery Level 1/2/3
LevelLevel 1
Level 2
Level 3
LocationColchester
DurationThree Years
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): £3,143
Year 3 (Level 3): £5,421

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.