Ashburton Chefs Academy

Diploma in Patisserie

Train to be a Pastry Chef

Patisserie requires a mastery of technique combined with imagination. Our intensive professional skills courses will teach you the fundamentals skills required by the modern Pastry Chef.

The Ashburton Chefs Academy is one of the few private culinary schools in the UK to offer an Ofqual accredited diploma level qualification in Patisserie and our intensive 14 week full-time course is simply the fastest way to learn the professional skills to launch a career as a Pastry Chef.

Pastry Chefs are always in demand in the catering industry from working in top restaurants, creating breads, pastries and desserts in a catering business, or making the delicate delights of the classic patisserie.

Pastry and baking requires a different skill set from working as chef de cuisine. An attention to detail, precision, patience and organisation are the traits required to be a successful Pastry Chef. This course has been designed to prepare you for the industry and is lead by our highly experienced Pastry Chef Tutors who will teach you the fundamental skills and techniques required to master this exciting craft. 

Whilst our course incorporate the necessary theory required, we maximise the amount of practical training and the majority of your time will be spent in the kitchen.

Who is this course suitable for?

Typical ambitions of those that take this course include:

  • launching a career as a pastry chef;
  • working in a Patisserie;
  • launching a catering business;
  • extending chef skills;
  • personal development

Why Choose Us

  • Expert tuition by experienced Pastry Chef tutors.
  • Industry recognised Patisserie qualification.
  • Small class-sizes.
  • Good career prospects.
  • Quality training experience.

Accreditation Matters

The Ashburton Chefs Academy is accredited and inspected by both the British Accreditation Council and the awarding bodies of the qualifications we offer to ensure we meet the highest standards of educational delivery for our students.

Read our latest report here

Course Content

Diploma in Patisserie

Training: Full-time
Duration: 14 weeks
Hours: 40 Hours/Week
Days: Mon to Fri 9.30am to 6pm

Terms: 1 Term of 14 Weeks

Certificates & Qualifications
  • Ashburton Chefs Academy
    Diploma in Patisserie
  • QCF Level 3 Diploma in Patisserie
  • HABC Level 2 Award in Food Safety

Course Brochure

Brochure Download

Course Content

Our Diploma in Patisserie offers the full spectrum of training to give you the skills to work as Pastry Chef in a commercial kitchen, launch your own Patisserie business, or extend your culinary skills. Under the guidance of our expert Pastry Chef Tutors you will learn the fundamental techniques and disciplines of the modern Pastry Chef, graduating with the confidence and skills for future success.

This is a full-time intensive training program and if you were to take a similar qualification at a traditional catering college can take up to 2 years to cover the same content and qualification level.

You will be taught the relevant theory to understand the underlying science and techniques, plus you will benefit from regular masterclass demonstrations. However this is a practical course and you will learn by "doing", with 90% of your time working in the kitchen perfecting your craft.

You will enjoy working in a modern learning environment with expert tutors offering a wealth of experience who will inspire you to become the best chef you can be.

Course Structure

Across the course you will progressively learn techniques including:

  • Classical French Patisserie
  • Viennoiserie & confectionery
  • Grand bistro plated desserts
  • Gateaux
  • Traditional British cakes
  • Display work

The skills and techniques you will learn become progressively more advanced across each term.

Term 1 (7 Weeks)

At the start of term 1 you will take a 1 day HABC Food Safety course establishing a best practise approach to food hygiene in the kitchen.

The recipes from the first term have been carefully developed to challenge and give a foundation in classical European Patisserie.

Course content for this term includes:

  • Understanding the patisserie kitchen
  • Health, safety and hygiene in the work place
  • Sweet and savoury pastries
  • Breads
  • Breakfast breads
  • Tarts
  • Biscuits
  • Cakes and sponges
  • Desserts and puddings
  • Ice creams
  • Chocolate work

Term 2 (7 Weeks)

This term will include a more in-depth study of bread making, fine-dining plated desserts, pastillage display work and complex sugar work, complex gateaux & moulded chocolates and complex petit fours.

This term will include an assignment covering professional kitchen skills, cost control, menu design and ingredient procurement.

Areas of study for this term include:

  • Kitchen management and costings
  • Menu and event planning
  • Advanced breads
  • Laminated and enriched doughs
  • Dessert sauces
  • Plated desserts
  • Sugar craft
  • Petit fours
  • Advanced chocolate work
  • Display pieces
  • Cooking for allergies

Note: You will be required to submit a portfolio of evidence of all your practical work throughout the course to achieve the qualification. A mobile phone with camera is ideally suited to record your work. Colour printing and computer facilities are provided at the Academy.


Qualifications & Certificates

Ashburton Chefs Academy Diploma in Patisserie

Your record of achievement from an elite culinary school, and our endorsement of your professional skills for future employers.

QCF Level 3 Diploma in Professional Patisserie

The Diploma in 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.

Highfield Level 2 Award in Food Safety in Catering

The Level 2 Award in Food Safety is a 1 day foundation qualification in safe food handling that takes place in the first week of the Diploma. A multiple choice exam at the end of the course is required to pass the qualification.

Visit the HABC Website
Course Dates

Course Dates

The Diploma in Patisserie runs for 14 consecutive weeks.
The course runs from 9.30am to 6pm, Monday to Friday.


2022 Diploma 1

  • Tue 18 Jan to Fri 22 Apr, 2022
  • Full-time - 14 Weeks - Residential Option
  • Apply

2022 Diploma 2

  • Tue 06 Sep to Fri 09 Dec, 2022
  • Full-time - 14 Weeks - Residential Option
  • Apply


2023 Diploma 1

  • Tue 17 Jan to Fri 21 Apr, 2023
  • Full-time - 14 Weeks - Residential Option
  • Apply

2023 Diploma 3

  • Tue 05 Sep to Fri 08 Dec, 2023
  • Full-time - 14 Weeks - Residential Option
  • Apply

Demand for our courses is high so please call us to reserve your place, on (01364) 652784 or click here to apply online.


Student Accommodation

We offer a residential option to all students that need a comfortable, quality and affordable room whilst studying with us, from a weekend class to a 10 month stay on our Advanced Diploma. For shorter courses, our Bed & Breakfast option at Ashburton Court is an ideal home away from home, and for our longer courses our shared student lodges at Finlake are the ideal choice.

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 areas.

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 friends.

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 Chefs Academy.

Student Lodges
Shared Lounge
Fitted Kitchen
Indoor Pool
Fitness Room
Restaurant, Cafe and Bar
Horse Riding & Walks
Fishing Lakes & Cycling Path
Tennis Courts

Site Facilities

  • 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
  • Fishing lakes
  • Horse riding
  • Walking and nature trails
  • 9 hole golf course
  • Farm shop
  • Launderette

Lodge Facilities

  • TV with selected Freeview channels/DVD
  • Kitchen including microwave and fridge/freezer
  • Washing machine/dryer
  • 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


Course Duration Price
Certificate in Culinary Arts 26 Nights £910
Diploma in Patisserie 96 Nights £3,360
Diploma in Culinary Arts 110 Nights £3,850
Advanced Diploma 215 Nights £7,525
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.

Note:Finlake Deposit is non-refundable in the case of a cancellation. Please see our terms and conditions for full details. Additionally please read the Rules of Residence.
Note: Smoking is prohibited within the lodges at Finlake and outside of designated smoking zones.


Diploma in Patisserie (14 Weeks)

Item Cost
Course Fee: £14,520
Chef Uniforms, Scales, Course Book: £171
Awarding Body Registration & Exam Fees: £159
Total Course Fee: £14,850

Residential Option

Course Fee (see above): £14,850
96 Nights Finlake Accommodation £3,360
Course with Accommodation: £18,210


  • Training: Monday to Friday 9.30am to 6pm
  • Duration: 14 weeks
  • All Course Notes
  • Equipment & Ingredients
  • Chef Uniforms
  • All Field Trips
  • External Exam Fees & 
    Course Books
ELCAS funding is available to qualifying members of the Armed Services only. Only a proportion of the course fee eligible for funding will be available depending on length of service. For more information please visit ELCAS here.
Total Eligible for Funding Not Eligible
Course Fee - claim from MOD: £14,313 £14,313
Highfield Level 2 Award in Food Safety £207 £207
Chef Uniforms: £171 £171
Awarding Body Registration & Exam Fees: £159 £159
Total Course Fee: £14,850 £14,313 £537
Total Unfunded Fee: £537

Residential Option

Accommodation is not eligible for ELCAS funding.
Unfunded Course Fees (see above): £537
96 Nights at Finlake: £3,360
Course with Accommodation: £3,897

Funded training includes:

  • Training: Monday to Friday 9.30am to 6pm
  • Duration: 13 weeks 4 days
  • All Course Notes


Non-refundable deposit to secure place: (£1,000).

Full balance due 8 weeks prior to start of course.

Optional Finlake Accommodation

Shared Finlake Accommodation
(96 nights):

Deposit: £250
Required to reserve room and acts as damage deposit. Returned at end of course.


  • Free use of leisure facilities, gym, pool.
  • Free morning & afternoon mini-bus service to/from Ashburton Chefs Academy.
Residential Details
Frequently Asked Questions

Academy Open Day

Open Evening

Next Open Day is Mon 27th June, 2022 at 7pm

Register Now


Our student advisors are here to answer your questions 7 days a week.

Contact Us

Course Brochure

Brochure Download


The minimum age to join this course is 18 years old.

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.

Our Patisserie Diploma 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. Academy students receive 40 hours training a week, Monday to Friday 9.30pm to 5.30pm in addition to some home study assignments.

Yes, we are accredited by the British Accreditation Council so you can apply for a student visa to study with us.
Please visit this page for further information for International Students.

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, baking etc as well as the ability to follow a recipe. Absolute beginners would be expected to take the Foundation cookery course at the Ashburton Cookery School to reach the entry level standard for the Chefs Academy.

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.

Yes, Travel Insurance cover is essential for this course. A good policy will insure you against issues such as sickness or accident that would prevent you taking or completing the course.

Be aware that insurance does not cover 'change-of-mind' or any scenario that is not specifically detailed in the policy document. Any claims are initiated and pursued by the student.

Please read the policy document to ensure you understand the cover provided and exclusions - such as pre-existing medical conditions.

If you would like further advice about the travel insurance requirement, please contact us.

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 10 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 10% (see course fees).
  • The balance of payments of course fees are due 6 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.

For full details of our Cancellation Policy please read our Terms and Conditions.

We provide you with your own chef uniform to keep which consists of 3 Chef Jackets, 3 Chef Trousers, 5 Aprons & 1 Chef Cap (students are responsible for laundry of their uniforms). You will also be provided with your own digital weighing scales to keep. All other equipment you will need is provided within the course.

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.

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 only 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.

We differ from Catering Colleges in that we are independent rather than state funded. We can therefore develop the courses we find inspiring that meet our own standards and the skills we know are are required by the industry. Typically this results in better resources, more intensive training with much higher contact hours and smaller class sizes. Our school typically attracts more mature students looking to achieve meaningful results in a fixed period whereas catering college will typically be serving a much younger audience over a longer period of time.

Most students come from outside the local area and require an accommodation solution. 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 joing the Chefs Academy, simply register your details and we will contact you.You will be required to complete an enrolment form as the first step to admission. Click here to apply.

Apply for this course