This full-time programme of intensive practical training will give you the most
comprehensive set of culinary skills, knowledge and confidence from which to launch your
You will study both the art of Patisserie, developing the fine technical skills,
precision and creativity of the Pastry Chef as well as the broad cookery skills,
presentation and kitchen management of the Chef de Cuisine.
Upon successful completion of your studies you will graduate with a
Diploma in Patisserie and Diploma in Culinary Arts giving you a full
compliment of skills from which to build your culinary career.
Graduates of this programme have the option of a 3 month work placement in a top
commercial restaurant kitchen to further their experience.
Whatever your ambitions, as a graduate of the Advanced Diploma programme you will leave
with the skills and confidence to make your mark on the culinary world.
Who is this course suitable for?
Typical ambitions of those that take this course include:
The Advanced Diploma in Cuisine & Patisserie incorporates 2 full-time Diploma
programmes of study over an academic year.
With between 40 to 45 hours a week of on-site training, no other course offers so much
training in the same time period.
Diploma in Patisserie
You will spend a total of 14 weeks learning to master the art of the Pastry
which once successfully completed will result in the award of the Diploma
in Professional Patisserie, an accredited, industry recognised
Comprehensive training as a Chef de Cuisine covering foundation to advanced
Successful graduation will result in the award of the Diploma in Culinary Arts.
which is a qualification accredited by the Condferation of Tourism &
Whilst the training at the Chefs Academy is designed to prepare you for a
career as a modern chef, nothing can replicate the real-world experience of
working in a commercial kitchen.
Graduates of the Advanced Diploma in Cuisine & Patisserie
have the option
of undertaking a 3 month work placement in a quality restaurant kitchen to
complete their studies.
The Diploma in Culinary Arts incorporates the following certificates and
Ashburton Chefs Academy Advanced Diploma in Cuisine & Patisserie
Our highest level diploma and one of the most advanced, intensive culinary
qualifications in the UK.
CTH Level 4 Diploma in Professional Culinary Arts
The Level 4 Diploma in Professional Culinary Arts, one of the highest rated
cookery qualification in the UK. This accredited qualification is regulated by
Ofqual and externally accredited by the Confederation of Tourism and
The Diploma in Professional Patisserie is an Ofqual accredited qualification
that reflects your ability to work professionally as a Pastry Chef.
Worth 67 credits on the QCF framework it is a valuable Patisserie qualification.
HABC Level 3 Award in Food Safety
The Level 3 Award in Food Safety is an essential qualification aimed at those working
in a supervisory position in the food business who are not only responsible but also
accountable for food safety. The 3 day course takes place in the first week of the
Diploma with a multiple choice exam required to pass the qualification.
WSET Level 1 Foundation Certificate in Wines
The WSET Level 1 is a 1 day course offered as part of larger wine training
throughout the course. It is a basic course that covers the main grape varieties
and food and wine matching.
The Advanced Diploma is completed over 4 terms, with start dates available in January,
May and August each year.
Covid-19 Update: Chefs Academy courses will be running from July 2020 in line with the most recent UK government advice and adhering to Covid-19 Secure guidelines to ensure the safety of students and staff.
Chefs Academy students come from all over the world and can choose our residential options whilst studying
with us, which offers students a comfortable, secure and affordable stay in shared accommodation with fellow
students (see below).
We also maintain a list of local rooms and accommodation providers that can offer local accommodation and are
happy to help place you in suitable accommodation. Please contact us to discuss your
Finlake Student Lodges
For Diploma level students our residential package for Chefs Academy Diploma students offers a fantastic experience that you won't find anywhere
else. Set in 130 acres of magnificent Devon countryside, Finlake is one of the country's most sought after
holiday destinations just 15 minutes drive from Ashburton.
Academy students share a luxury, 3-bedroomed woodland lodge which is fitted to the highest standards. Featuring a
spacious shared lounge and dining area, tv, fitted kitchen & bathrooms, as well as outdoor deck and bbq
Finlake offers a wealth of activities to help you relax after your training in the kitchen. Start the day with an
early morning swim in the heated indoor pool, keep fit in the extensive fitness room, or enjoy one of the many
woodland walks. Enjoy a fresh coffee in the park cafe, or unwind with a drink in the bar and restaurant with
Accommodation includes access to all leisure facilities and free minibus transport between Finlake and the
Ashburton Cookery School. Finlake is truly an inspirational setting from which to complete your studies at the
Restaurant, Cafe and Bar
Horse Riding & Walks
Fishing Lakes & Cycling Path
Indoor heated swimming pool
Outdoor heated swimming pool with giant water slide
Gym and Tennis courts
Health and Leisure club including sauna, steam room
Bar and restaurant
Walking and nature trails
9 hole golf course
TV with selected Freeview channels/DVD
Kitchen including microwave and fridge/freezer
Bath and/or shower
Decking area with patio furniture
Double glazed and heated throughout
Gas and electricity included
Bed linen, duvets & towels
Free Car Parking
Free minibus shuttle to and from Academy
Diploma in Patisserie
Diploma in Culinary Arts
Advanced Diploma (Sep to Apr)
206 Nights Less Nights due to Christmas Break
Finlake Deposit: £250 Required to reserve room and acts as damage deposit. Returned at the end of course upon successful checkout.
Typically we see age ranges from 18 to 55 years old with a 60% male to 40% female split. There will be a broad range of people from different backgrounds and different life experiences on our courses. We have people that are retraining after a long career in public service or the forces, professionals making a sea-change and planning to open up their dream bistro, people planning to launch an outdoor catering business, or keen amateur cooks that want to develop their skills.
This course is full-time, with intensive practical training. This is one of the reasons why our students can achieve so much during their time with us. Advanced Diploma students receive between 40 and 45 hours tuition a week.
UK & EU citizens can study with us on this course without restriction. The Ashburton Chefs Academy is not a Tier 4 visa sponsor, so International students cannot apply for Tier 4 (General) student visa with us, however you may take the course in 2 stages.
For example, taking the August course, you would
return home for the Christmas holiday period to your country of origin and rejoin the course when it starts in January. Please Contact us for further details.
As a private culinary school, government grants or student loans are not available for our courses, however we have several student finance options available to UK residents that can help spread the cost of our courses. Please visit our Finance page for further details, or contact a student advisor on (01364) 652784 to discuss your requirements.
Whilst you do not need any professional cookery experience, you should be able to demonstrate a passion for cookery and so we would expect you to be familiar with common kitchen equipment, and basic cookery concepts, such as frying, grilling, baking etc as well as the ability to follow a recipe. Absolute beginners would be expected to take the Foundation cookery course to reach the entry level standard for the Professional Culinary Diploma
Not at all. This is a common question we get from mature students who are considering retraining in a new career and are concerned that they are going to feel like they are going back to school. Our courses are not like those offered by a traditional catering college - both in the style of training we offer and the environment you will learn in. The broad range of ages and backgrounds of students at the Ashburton Chefs Academy will mean you feel very much at home.
No, travel insurance is not included within the course fees. To ensure you are able to recoup your course fees in the event that you are prevented from completing the course due to sickness or bereavment, you should arrange to have a suitable travel insurance policy in place for the duration of your course. Due to the length of the course you may need to take out a policy for each of the 3 terms.
You should be committed to complete the course prior to enrolling. Demand is high for places on this course and late cancellations can deprive other potential students of a place. We will always aim to be as flexible as possible and work with you to help find the best solution to any challenges you might face.
Please note that if you book your course using our Course Finance option, you have a 14 day cooling off period where you may cancel your finance agreement and course. After this period, or if the course starts before this period is over, you will be bound by our Cancellation Policy which is described below.
Cancellation Policy in a Nutshell
To secure your place on the course requires a non-refundable deposit of approximately 10% (see course fees).
The balance of payments of course fees are due 8 weeks before the start of the course. (This date is called the Enrolment Threshold)
Should you wish to cancel your place before the Enrolment Threshold we will refund all course fees minus the deposit. If you wish to defer your booking to a future course (and we are able to sell your existing booking), we may also agree to transfer your deposit to the future course date.
After the Enrolment Threshold you will have paid the remainder of your course fees.
If you wish to cancel the course booking for a non-insurable reason after the Enrolment Threshold, such as 'change of circumstance' or 'change of mind', we will attempt to resell your place for you. If we are able to resell your place, you may request a full refund of course fees (minus the deposit) or transfer your fees (and deposit) to a future course date. If, despite best efforts, we are unable to resell your place, you would lose the full cost of your booking.
Confidence and self-belief come from mastering the fundamentals of cooking. No qualification can replace years of experience in a commercial kitchen of course, but we will prepare you to be a skilled chef with a good technical ability, excellent presentation skills and the confidence to be able to cope in a pressured and commercial environment, be that a michellin starred restaurant or cooking for a private function.
Ashburton Chefs Academy courses incorporate professional qualifications that are highly regarded within the catering industry. Graduates can expect to be considered seriously for entry level chef positions in top restaurants. Your training at the Chefs Academy is aimed at preparing you for a future head chef position, but of course this is dependant on your own ambitions and the opportunities that come your way.
The Academy will be able to support you in your search for employment with references and introduce you to the vacancies offered by partner companies at hotels, restaurants, chalet and yacht crew agencies.
Recent graduates seeking to enter a professional kitchen were offered jobs at some of the leading restaurants in the UK since their commitment to the industry and their level of skill was highly valued.
We are blessed with some of Europe's finest food producer's in Devon and Cornwall, and all the food we source is from high quality local, food suppliers. It is our policy to reduce food miles, to source seasonal organic ingredients at every opportunity, and to only use sustainable food stocks. We audit the provenance of all of the produce we use. Your training and your food will benefit substantially from our approach which is in contrast to many other institutions.
There are a small handful of well established Culinary Schools in the UK offering a similar standard of training. Whilst some of the qualifications and aspects of the course may appear the same, the courses are delivered in a way unique to each establishment. Some focus on classical French training for example, whereas our focus is on developing broader skills, passion and thinking relevant to the modern chef, designed to fast-track your career.
You can choose to stay in our accommodation option at Finlake which offers a quality, affordable environment for our students. We also maintain a list of affordable local bed and breakfast options that will give you a comfortable home from home while training in Ashburton. Please contact us for further details.
If you are ready to take the next step to joining the Chefs Academy, complete our online enrolment form here. We will contact you to arrange an informal phone interview with a senior chef tutor who will discuss the course with you and answer any questions you may have about the course. Once we have established your suitability for the course, you will be offered written acceptance to the Chefs Academy.
This entitles you to enrol on any Diploma level course scheduled within the next 2 years. We will also send you an enrolment pack which you would complete and return back to us. Once you have paid your deposit your place will be reserved on the course date of your choice.
For several weeks in response to the coronavirus outbreak we have been enforcing a rigorous hand hygiene policy at the school, extra cleaning schedule, and monitoring & isolation of symptomatic staff or students. There have been no incidence of coronavirus at the Cookery School or in the area.
For peace of mind we have introduced a new Reschedule Guarantee so you can have confidence there is no-risk to your booking.
If you feel unwell and/or are required to self-isolate, or are in a high-risk group, you can now reschedule your course up to 24 hours prior to arrival and transfer to any future available course date - we are updating our course schedule with dates through to Dec 2021 - you would have 12 months to choose a date to reschedule.
You can choose the same course or any other that suits (to the same value) or if you prefer you can convert to a full credit to spend in our online cookery shop. We have over 40 cookery courses and we run 7 days a week so you will have plenty of options.
Whilst we know that many people are concerned by the situation, we would like to reassure you that we are following government guidelines and best practice to ensure you have a safe and enjoyable time with us. In the meantime, all courses are running as normal and it is very much business as usual for us.