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Advanced Professional Cookery NVQ Level 3

The Advanced Professional Cookery qualification is designed to enable students to fine-tune the skills they have learnt on the Level 1 and Level 2 courses and enable them to leave Richmond upon Thames College fully qualified for a career in Catering and Hospitality.

Whereas Level 2 provides you with the skills required for employment in the industry, Level 3 offers you the opportunity to progress and learn advanced culinary skills. You will be preparing an exciting range of complex dishes and will be involved with the management of the college kitchens. You will be able to use your creative talents in designing menus for our brand new restaurant, The View. On completion, you will be in a position to apply for higher education courses or, alternatively, apply for employment in restaurants, which offer a fine dining experience.

Richmond upon Thames College is one of the few colleges in London to provide high quality training in Catering and Hospitality. Students not only gain experience in our commercial restaurant, they also have the opportunity to gain experience in the college canteen kitchen and at external events in our mobile kitchen. The department has strong links to the industry, which allows student to gain even more experience with employers, enhancing their learning experience and enabling career progression.


All students (16-18 year olds and 19+) on level 3 vocational and technical programmes will study two qualifications over the duration of their two-year course. An example of this is BTEC students will study for a 90 credit qualification in the 1st year. Upon successful completion, they will be able to progress to the 2nd year and study a diploma/extended diploma qualification.


Exam Board: City & Guilds


Search your career options if you study Advanced Professional Cookery Level 3
  • What will I study and learn?

    Much of the course is delivered practically throughout our kitchens and preparing complex menus for our very successful Restaurant. In another practical session you will learn new skills demonstrated by our expert chefs and actively take part in skills sessions. In classroom sessions you will research gastronomy, food culture and investigate how to find the best quality ingredients for your kitchen.

  • How is the course assessed?

    A selection of practical assessments in the kitchen, externally set assignments and written tests will cover the following units:

    • Supervising food safety for catering
    • Team working skills and kitchen management
    • Sourcing produce for the professional kitchen
    • Advanced skills and techniques in producing meat, poultry and game dishes
    • Advanced skills and techniques in producing fish and shellfish dishes
    • Advanced skills and techniques in producing desserts, petits fours and decorative products

    Practical assessments throughout the year will test your ability to produce individual dishes, with a full assessment at the end of the course testing a range of the new skills you have learnt. Practical assessments are conducted under controlled conditions, to reflect the pressures that you will be working under in the industry. You will be given constant feedback on your progress and only be tested when you are ready to demonstrate your skills.

  • What skills will I need for the course?
    • You will have good attention to detail
    • Have good business sense and awareness of kitchen management
    • Demonstrate good cleanliness and kitchen hygiene
    • Be able to be creative
    • Culinary expertise
    • Fast-paced decision making
    • Have good motivational skills and confidence to feedback to your peers
    • Be able to multitask and have awareness of your surrounding
  • What formal entry requirements will I need?

    Minimum requirements - Professional Cookery Diploma NVQ/VRQ Level 2.

  • What could the course lead to in higher education or careers?

    This course could lead to further study in higher education such as an HND or degree programme in hospitality or event management or culinary arts management. Your advanced skills will equip you to progress into working in top range restaurants offering a gourmet experience to their clients.

  • Are there any costs involved?

    Chefs and waiters will need to buy their uniform, costing up to £100. There will also be costs incurred for a range of trips organised throughout the year.

  • Are you aged over 19?

    Students aged 19 or over on 31st August directly preceding their academic year may be required to pay tuition fees for that year of study. Advanced Learner Loans may be available for students studying at Level 3. If you are aged 19-23 as at 31 August and this is your first full Level 3 you may not have to pay fees.

    Students who are 19-24 years old with Education Health and Care Plans (EHCP) issued by the Local Authority are not required to pay course fees (ie tuition fees are free). Students will be required to provide a final copy of their EHCP provided by the LA as evidence.

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