City & Guilds NVQ Level 3 in Professional Cookery

What is the Course About?

Department: Catering, Hospitality and Food Service

Faculty: Creative and Leisure Industries

This full time course is designed to take your professional cookery skills to the next level to help you to progress in your career to a sous chef or executive chef.

You will develop your knowledge, understanding and skills to work in a professional cooking environment, specifically you will learn how to maintain the health, hygiene, safety and security of the working environment and develop productive working relationships with colleagues. You will also learn how to maintain food safety when storing, preparing and cooking complex food dishes. The optional units that make up this qualification will allow you to tailor your learning to your personal needs, interests and preferences.

What subjects/units/modules* will I study?

NVQ Level 3 Diploma in Professional Cookery comprising mandatory and optional units such as:

Prepare, cook and finish complex bread and dough products

Prepare, cook and finish complex fish or shellfish dishes

Prepare, cook and finish complex meat and poultry dishes

Prepare, cook and finish complex sauces, soups and dressings

How to produce healthier dishes and for special dietary requirements

Menu design and development

Contribute to the effective control of resources

Highfield Level 3 Award in Food Safety

Will I need a DBS check for this course?


How can I find out more about the course?

If you apply for this course, you will be invited to an Information Sharing Appointment (ISA) when you will be given more detailed information about the course and when you’ll be able to ask any questions you may have.

Will I need any specialist uniform and/or kit?

Protective Kitchen Uniform (Hat, Jacket, Trousers, Apron, Non Slip Shoes)

Set of Professional Chef Knives

When will I get a timetable?

If you receive an unconditional offer you will receive your timetable during induction in September

Useful links

A quick guide to course fees

Student Awards (Grants)

Free School Meals


International Applications

Student Emergency Fund

What happens once I have applied?

We will send you an email to let you know we have received your application. If you are new to the course area you have applied for, you will be invited to an Information Sharing Appointment (ISA) along with all other applicants to the course.

Please note: applicants are invited to ISAs depending on the date the application was received (there is limited capacity for each ISA so you may not be invited to the same one as other applicants who have applied for the same course). You will receive your invitation via email, to the email address you used when setting up your UCM Learner Portal.

Popular Courses

Sometimes we get a high volume of applications for particular courses. If your first choice course is popular, we’ll let you know and ask if you would like us to process your second choice course as well. This doesn’t mean you won’t be considered for your first choice it just provides you with a back-up plan.

International/UK Applicants

If you are an international/UK applicant someone from UCM will contact you remotely. It is essential that you have uploaded copies of your results/ certificates and relevant translations of grades/ certificates. Please note, if you are an international applicant and your application is received later than the end of May (i.e. three months before the start of the academic year) we will not be able to process it as the immigration processes would exceed the timescale required to start in September.

What do I need to know about Information Sharing Appointments (ISAs)?

Do I have to attend an ISA?

If you are invited to an ISA, you must attend!

What happens if I can’t attend the ISA I’m invited to?

Please let us know and we will make sure you are invited to an ISA on a different date.

What happens if I don’t attend an ISA?

If you fail to attend two ISAs without letting us know why, we will assume you don’t want us to continue with your application.

How long will the ISA take?

The ISA will start at 4:30 p.m. and last approximately 1 hour

(If parents/carers bring you to the ISA, they can wait in the UCM refectory; there are vending machines available.)

What can I expect at the ISA?

A talk from lecturers within the Catering, Hospitality and Food Service Team detailing the structure of the course, the end qualification and answering any questions. They will also host a guided tour of the production kitchen, bakery and UCM restaurant; Oastan.

What should I wear?

Smart / Casual Clothes

What will I need to bring?

Record of Achievement or any professional qualifications

Who do I contact if I have mobility or additional educational needs that I would like to discuss before the ISA?

Please email

What happens once I’ve attended an ISA?

We will contact you within 5 working days of the ISA to either:

make you an unconditional offer (i.e. a definite place on the course);

make you a conditional offer (i.e. a place on the course IF you get the results required in the summer exams);

suggest you apply for another course because the one you have applied for is not suitable for you (if this is the case it is likely we will have discussed this with you during the ISA).

What happens if I get an unconditional offer?

You will be invited in to enrol, which is when you are given your student card. This may happen in the summer, if not you will be enrolled at the start of your course.

What happens if I get a conditional offer?

If you have applied for an FE course, you will need to upload your results to your UCM Learner Portal, once you get them (e.g. GCSE, BTEC). We will then check to see you have got what is needed for the course and, if you have, we will convert your offer to unconditional, which means you definitely have a place on the course. You will be enrolled at the start of your course (that’s when you get your student card).

If you are unlucky and don’t get what you need for the course you applied for, you will be invited in to find out what else is available to you at UCM.

When will I get a timetable?

If you receive an unconditional offer you will receive your timetable during induction in September.

What are my progression and career options?

Successful completion could lead to full-time employment at a supervisory level such as a sous chef, commis chef or chef de partie.

How will I be assessed?

Assessment will take place by 2 methods;

• Tutor observation of practical tasks in which candidates develop menus items, complying with professional standards and health and safety, for the UCM public restaurant.

• Short underpinning knowledge papers assessed by the awarding body, City & Guilds.

Assessment will only take place when the candidate feels confident and ready.

Entry requirements

• NVQ Level 2 Professional Cookery Qualification

• A keen interest in Hospitality & Catering

• A successful UCM progression interview

• Sufficient relevant work experience for mature learners