Professional Cookery NVQ Diploma Level 3

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    Full Time

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    One Year

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    September 2024


The Level 3 Professional Cookery NVQ Diploma is designed to prepare you for a job in a high-class kitchen or to update your current skills to develop and improve your own establishment’s standards.

You will specialise in professional cookery, an all-round kitchen, larder and patisserie qualification.

At Boston College, we offer up to a full three-year study programme for learners giving a clear pathway to employment within the industry. Key competences including knife skills, commercial food preparation and cooking, table service and beverage knowledge are core catering skills introduced in the first year with formal recognised industry qualifications on completion. Subsequent academic years then build upon these essential competencies, industry qualifications gained each academic year, leading to a level three qualification in a specialist catering subject such as professional cookery, patisserie and confectionery or front of house supervision.

What will I do?

The Level 3 Professional Cookery NVQ Diploma is an all-round kitchen, larder and patisserie qualification and the content can be tailored to suit your individual needs.

You will be required to demonstrate your competence in a variety of different skills. These are called units, and each one has a credit rating according to the degree of difficulty.

Some of the units are compulsory and others are optional. To achieve the Professional Cookery qualification you must complete compulsory and optional units to reach a total of 56 credits.

The following are compulsory units and will accrue 17 credits:

  • Develop productive working relationships with colleagues
  • Maintain the health, hygiene, safety and security of the working environment
  • Maintain food safety when storing, preparing and cooking food

The additional credits can be obtained through the following optional units:

  • Prepare process & finish marzipan, pastillage and sugar products
  • Prepare, cook and present complex cold products
  • Prepare, finish and present canapés and cocktail products
  • Prepare, cook and finish dressings and cold sauces
  • Prepare and cook complex hot desserts
  • Prepare and cook complex cold desserts
  • Produce sauces fillings and coatings for complex desserts
  • Produce healthier dishes
  • Contribute to control of resources
  • Contribute to the development of recipes and menus
  • Ensure food safety practices are followed in the preparation and serving of food and drink
  • Employment rights and responsibilities in the hospitality, leisure, travel and tourism sector

In addition to your course, you may also study either Functional Skills or GCSE English and Maths, dependent on your current GCSE grade.

The entry qualifications for the Level 3 Professional Cookery NVQ Diploma are an NVQ Level 2 in a related subject (or equivalent), plus recent relevant work experience.

The Professional Cookery NVQ Diploma will take you one year to complete. You will attend College for four days a week.

You will also work on set Thursday evenings in the College's restaurants. The dates are to be confirmed upon your course induction.

The Professional Cookery NVQ Diploma is free, if you are under the age of 19 on 31 August of the year you start the course.

If you are aged 19+, this course will cost £3345.
If you are aged 19-23, fee remission may apply depending on personal circumstances, please enquire with the Registry Department for further information on 01205 365701 or email your query to

Aged 19+?
If you are aged 19 years or over on the 1st day of your course, you may qualify for an Advanced Learner Loan to help with your College fees. If you progress to employment you won't have to pay anything back until you’re earning £25,000 per year. Your household income isn't taken into account and there's no credit check. Your eligibility depends on your course, nationality, and age. To find out more contact the College Information Line on 01205 313218.

Fees may vary depending on personal circumstances, please enquire for further information.

Please note that all fees are subject to change.

Assessment on the Professional Cookery NVQ Diploma is continual and is supported by regular progress briefings and action planning.

Each Unit has a formal theory test in which the pass mark is 70%.

You will also be assessed by questions both oral and written.

These assessments will help you to complete the portfolio, which you will need to gain the qualification.

Each student will also study Key Skills in Communication, IT and Application of number.

Successful completion of the Level 3 Professional Cookery NVQ Diploma should enable you to seek employment as a chef de partie in any high class catering establishment world-wide with the prospect of promotion to a senior or executive chef position.

Additional costs include purchasing a suitable set of knives and suitable chefs clothing and footwear. Costs to be advised at your Taster Day/Enrolment.

The College catering staff will always be happy to give advice on this.

There may be an opportunity to complete an Industry Placement alongside your main Level 3 course.

Industry placements give you the chance to put into practice what you have learned and you will have the opportunity to spend an average of 50 days working for an employer, in a role directly relevant to your course.

With an Industry Placement you will gain technical skills, be prepared for the world of work, and gain connections in order to secure a job after your course.

What will I gain?

  • Build your confidence, self-reliance and independence in the workplace.
  • Enhance the learning from your college course.
  • Develop your experience and expand your CV.
  • Give yourself a head start in knowing what type of job you may want to go into after finishing your course.
  • May lead to further opportunities such as paid employment or an apprenticeship on completion of your course.
  • Take a step forward professionally, knowing the behaviours expected in the workplace.

What will I do?

  • You will take part in an average of 50 days placement in a role that is directly relevant to your course, in an external organisation.
  • You will develop the practical and technical skills required for your profession/trade.
  • You will develop employability skills such as communication, teamwork and time management.

An existing part time job may qualify as an Industry Placement if it meets the criteria set by the College.

For more information regarding Industry Placements please contact the Enterprise Zone: or call 01205 365701 ext: 3226/3227

How to Apply.

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Creating an account is easy, just click ‘Apply for this course’ below.

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What you could earn

  • £37,855


  • £25,948


  • £11,453

    entry level

You can download our course guide