Keen to take the next step in your culinary career? We offer an exciting opportunity to ‘top up’ your existing qualification to a full honours degree in the space of just a year.
- Set your sights on a career in a world-renowned kitchen, restaurant or hotel: our graduates are now succeeding with top names like Loch Lomond and Gleneagles
- Finesse your craft in our state-of-the-art kitchens, fine dining restaurant and bistro
- Draw on our strong professional links with Michelin-starred restaurants and leading hotels in the UK and overseas
- Showcase your talent in prestigious competitions which raise your profile within the industry
- Meet the highest professional standards on a course accredited by the Institute of Hospitality (IoH)
- Become a member of hosco, the world’s leading hospitality careers network for students and graduates
Our hospitality, events and tourism courses have been ranked in the Top 10 in The Guardian University Guide 2019.
The BA (Hons) Professional Culinary Arts (Top up) is ideal if you already have an appropriate foundation degree or HND with at least a merit grade profile. It leads to a highly regarded degree which will raise your professional status and give fresh momentum to your career plans.
A superb learning environment
You will refine your skills in the magnificent grade II* listed Devonshire Dome at our Buxton campus. A prestige events venue, it includes seven high specification kitchens, a fine dining restaurant, a bistro and two licensed bars.
This is an inspiring setting to bring a new dimension to your culinary art. The Dome Restaurant received the highest possible rating in the AA College Rosette scheme, with our students applauded for their enthusiasm.
Our facilities are designed to meet the latest professional standards. We have, for instance, invested in a new induction powered training kitchen, reflecting the increased use of induction power over gas in the industry. We also have mobile equipment for off-site events and pop-up restaurants.
Make invaluable industry contacts
You will be enthused and motivated by our thriving employer partnerships with organisations such as Michelin-starred restaurants and luxury hotels. One of the highlights of the year is our Industry Networking Day where you can make new connections which will serve you well in future.
Real-world projects will broaden your expertise. Our students have worked with national hotel chains, international corporations and the local food producers, breweries and restaurants which lure countless visitors to the nearby Peak District National Park.
You will also be able to participate in masterclasses delivered by visiting experts.
Challenge yourself in prestigious competitions
You can showcase your culinary artistry in renowned competitions. Our students have shone in high-pressured challenges under the watchful eye of leading industry figures. They have reached the finals of the Toque d’Or three times and excelled in other events such as the Country Range Student Chef Challenge, Zest Quest Asia, Hotelympia and the Tabasco Student Street Food Brunch Challenge.
Taking part in such competitions tests your front-of-house and back-of-house skills as well as your knowledge of food provenance, sustainability, costings and menu development – all of which are covered on your course.
A degree with professional credibility
Our BA (Hons) Professional Culinary Arts (Top up) is accredited by the Institute of Hospitality, which lends credibility to your qualification and ensures your learning is up to date and relevant. You will have access to the Institute’s Educational Membership Scheme and can join local branch events.
When you join us, you will also automatically become a member of hosco, with access to around 30,000 graduate roles, internships and work experience opportunities from over 1,500 employers.
To complete the BA (Hons) Professional Culinary Arts (Top up), you will study modules such as:
- Professional Kitchen 3
- Patisserie and Confectionery
- Managing the Customer Experience
- Contemporary Issues in Culinary Arts
- Anthropology of Food
- Independent Study in Culinary Arts (double module)
The BA (Hons) Professional Culinary Arts (Top up) equips you with advanced technical knowledge as well as a deeper understanding of your market, food philosophy, and brand awareness.
You will learn through practical demonstrations, lectures and tutorials, along with hands-on practical experience in our commercial facilities.
Other work-related learning experiences on the course include guest lectures, conferences, industry days, fieldtrips, networking events, competitions, challenges and employer-led industry projects.
You will be assessed in a number of ways including:
- Written assignments: essays and reports
- Practical assessments
- Product development
- Individual and group oral presentations
- Problem-based case studies
- Individual and group work
- A sustained piece of independent study
Typical entry requirements
You need to have an HND or Foundation degree in a relevant subject.
When you apply, please send us a transcript of the modules you have already studied so that we can make sure that the HND or Foundation degree is compatible with the top-up programme.
Our entry requirements for this course should be read together with the University's general entry requirements, which details subjects we accept, alternative qualifications and what we're looking for at Derby.
As a BA (Hons) Professional Culinary Arts graduate, you will be equipped with all the real world experience that today’s employers expect. Leading names in the industry seek out our graduates because they are professional, talented and ‘work-ready’.
Our graduates typically secure progressive careers in kitchen, restaurant and hotel management. They are now succeeding in senior roles everywhere from large international hotel chains to Michelin-starred properties, independent restaurants and conference venues.
On completing this course, you could take up positions such as food and beverage supervisor, commis chef, commis pastry chef, chef de partie, graduate trainee restaurant manager, sales executive, licensed retail manager or contract catering manager – to name just a few.
Graduate success stories
Our graduates are now excelling in world-renowned Michelin-starred restaurants and kitchens. Their destinations include:
- Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons
- Fera at Claridge’s in London
- Restaurant Marcus in London
Take your learning to the next level
You can consider progressing to postgraduate studies in related subjects, including our own MSc International Hospitality Management which prepares you not only for senior management but also for roles in academia and research.
Ongoing careers support
We’re committed to improving your employability at every stage of your studies. Our teaching staff join forces with the Careers and Employment Service to deliver workshops on subjects such as networking, CV writing and effective use of social media.
The support continues once you’ve graduated too: you are entitled to further help and guidance for up to three years after leaving the University. This includes signposting towards internships which you can undertake on completion of your degree and which often lead to job offers.
You can also take full advantage of the hosco careers network to discover opportunities and share good practice with other professionals
If you need any more information from us, eg on courses, accommodation, applying, car parking, fees or funding, please contact us and we will do everything we can to help you.Contact us
† Additional information about your studies
January start is available for Stage 3 entry only
Download programme specification
Like most universities, we operate extended teaching hours at the University of Derby, so contact time with your lecturers and tutors could be anytime between 9am and 9pm. Your timetable will usually be available on the website 24 hours after enrolment on to your course.
Additional costs and optional extras
We’re committed to providing you with an outstanding learning experience. Our expert teaching, state-of-the-art facilities and great employability prepare you for your future career. As part of our commitment to you we aim to keep any additional study costs to a minimum. However, there are occasions where students may incur some additional costs.
Included in your fees
- Full set of kitchen uniform
- All food and beverages required for practical classes
- Wine and Spirit Education Trust certificate course OR level 3 supervising food safety certificate course
Please note: Our courses are refreshed and updated on a regular basis. If you are thinking about transferring onto this course (into the second year for example), you should contact the programme leader for the relevant course information as modules may vary from those shown on this page.