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.
The perfect course to round off your degree
The culinary arts sector has witnessed an upturn in recent years, with burgeoning interest in the sourcing, preparation and production of food.
With 70,000 restaurants in the UK alone, there has never been a better time to advance your career. The hospitality industry faces severe skills shortages, especially for managers and chefs, and it is estimated that a further 300,000 skilled staff will be needed by 2020 to keep pace with growth.
Devised in response to current and future industry demands, this one-year top-up course puts you in prime position to seize the opportunities ahead. It fosters all the key professional, technical and managerial skills you need.
You will deepen your existing knowledge of both the food service and the food production sides of culinary operations. There is the chance to develop specialisms within culinary arts and to gain long-term views of kitchen management and product development. We will also take your organisational, planning and decision-making abilities to the next level.
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.
Your course fees will include a full set of kitchen whites, knives and safety shoes,
Immerse yourself in a professional operation
From the outset of your studies, you will deliver and manage fine dining, off-site catering and event catering. This includes taking up both operational and supervisory roles at events ranging from intimate dinner parties to large-scale weddings and banquets for up to 900 people in the Dome.
Because our course portfolio features hospitality and events management too, there is ample opportunity to see how different professionals work together.
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 set by employers will broaden your expertise further still. Our students work regularly 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 expert chefs. In just one example, students enjoyed a two-day workshop with a top pastry chef to develop their skills in patisserie, confectionery and chocolate art.
We regularly organise interesting fieldtrips to give you insights into different aspects of the industry. Recent trips have included visits to a brewery, a cheese-making company, a high-quality chocolate production business, and the Restaurant and Bar Show in Manchester. All the fieldtrips that form part of the course are included in the course fees.
There are optional international fieldtrips as well. A recent example was a visit to Florence to place the food and drink of Tuscany in a cultural and sociological framework. Our 2017 programme featured Iceland for the first time.
We also encourage you to take advantage of our Go Places, Go Further initiative. It means that you can apply for a grant for an overseas training internship for up to one year once you have graduated.
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 supportive and expert team to guide you
You will learn from a teaching team who have vast experience in hospitality and culinary management roles, including award-winning chefs.
We regularly bring in culinary experts who are at the top of the profession, so you will benefit from intriguing demonstrations, workshops and masterclasses. Recent guest sessions have been led by Mick Burke, the renowned pastry chef, and Nando Belmonte, Executive Chef with Loews Resorts in Florida.
Our reputation for influential hospitality research also opens doors for you. We encourage you to present your own research at important international conferences, with full support from your tutors. This experience will give you exposure to industry employers and academic peers across the globe.
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.
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 on the University’s virtual learning environment
- A sustained piece of independent study
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
- Simpsons in Birmingham
Some of our graduates have also drawn on the entrepreneurial skills they gained during their studies to launch their own hospitality enterprises, including a gastropub and craft brewery, an off-site catering venture and a celebration cake making business.
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
† Additional information about your studies
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.
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.