Course details

Study options

Full-time: 1 year

UK/EU fee

£9,250 per year (2019/20)

International fee

£13,250 per year (2019/20)

UCAS code


Course level



BA (Hons)

Start dates

January, September †


Buxton Campus

Course description

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.

Our hospitality, events and tourism courses have been ranked in the Top 10 in The Guardian University Guide 2019.

Why you should study Culinary Arts and Management at the University of Derby

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.

Fascinating fieldtrips

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. 

What you will study

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)
Students welcoming guests to a Buxton Open Day

Find out more about Professional Culinary Arts (Top-Up)

The best way to find out if studying at Buxton is right for you is to experience an Open Day. Get a feel for the campus, tour our first-class facilities and see where you could be living.

Book your Open DayBook your Open Day

How you will learn

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:

Entry requirements

Typical entry requirements

Entry requirements

You need to have an HND or Foundation degree in a relevant subject.

Relevant subjectsN/A

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.

Fees and funding

2019/20 Fees


£9,250 per year



£13,250 per year


Further information about our fees and support you may be entitled to.

Additional costs and optional extras

How to apply

UK/EU students

Full-time students applying to start in September should apply for this course through UCAS or you can apply directly to the University for an undergraduate course if you’re not applying to any other UK university in the same year.

Full-time students applying to start in January should apply directly to the University.

Part-time students should apply directly to the University.

Apply through UCASApply directly to the University

Guidance for EU students post-Brexit

International students

Full-time students applying to start in September should apply for this course through UCAS or you can apply directly to the University for an undergraduate course if you’re not applying to any other UK university in the same year.

Students applying to start in January should apply directly to the University.

Apply through UCASApply directly to the University

Guidance for international applicants applying for an undergraduate degree


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:

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

Programme leader

Leonard Cseh

Contact us

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 Contact us

† Additional information about your studies

January start is available for Stage 3 entry only

Download programme specification

Teaching hours

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

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.

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