Course details may be subject to change
This introductory course for professional cookery will prepare you for further study.
You will gain knowledge and skills in areas such as how to prepare, cook and finish various basic dishes with the emphasis being on cooking methods, how to maintain the health, hygiene, safety and security of the working environment, how to maintain food safety when storing, preparing and cooking food and food service, and identifying kitchen equipment.
You will also be involved in the operation of our commercial restaurant, which sets high standards of customer service and delivers excellent food to members of the public.
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Catering and hospitality students get hands-on experience of serving customers in our fantastic on-site restaurant.
This course offers you an introduction to the hospitality and catering industry. It will provide you with multiple opportunities to investigate a range of areas of study. You will develop an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the skills required for progression into employment or a higher level of study.
To visit The Nationwide Caterers Association website, click here
The following units and elements are mandatory:
- Introduction to the Catering & Hospitality Industry
- Food Safety
- Health & Safety in the Catering & Hospitality Industry
- Healthy Eating and Special Diets
- Introduction to Kitchen Equipment
- Boiling, poaching and steaming
- Stewing and braising
- Roasting, baking and grilling
- Deep and shallow frying
- Regeneration of pre-prepared foods
- Cold Food Production
- Synoptic Craft Assessments.
You will develop the skills to make the following dishes:
- Puree soup with croutons
- Roast poultry with sauce
- Poached or stewed fruit with biscuit
- Baked bread and dough products
- Fish and chips and stir fry
- Canapés and compound salad
- Five savoury dishes (in 3 hours)
- Three baked products (in 3 hours).
Average number of hours per week
*Days and times of study are subject to change. Timetables are confirmed at the start of term.
Teaching & assessment
You will be assessed using the following methods:
- Group assessment
- Food safety assessment (multi-choice)
- Observational assessment
- Written assessments.
Exams will include:
- 6 x B Craft assessments (cookery tests)
- 2 x C Craft assessments (cookery tests)
- 7 x short answer question papers.
Maths and English
Maths and English skills are essential for the workplace and university.
If you have not achieved a new grade 9-4 or do not hold an A* to C in GCSE maths or English, do not worry, your study programme at college will include teaching that will support you to progress your skills in these subjects. If you achieved a grade 3 or hold a D in either maths or English, you will have the opportunity to re-sit your GCSE qualification with us. If your grade was lower than a 3, or your qualification is below a D, you will study Functional Skills. These qualifications will help you enhance your maths and English skills and can be taken at levels between Entry Level 1 up to and includ
Both maths and English are embedded into the main study programme. You will need maths in order to understand weights and measures – this is important when weighing and measuring ingredients for a recipe as it must be done accurately. You will use basic maths when working out budgets and customer bills, such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and percentages. You may be required to calculate ratios of recipes if they need to be adjusted – likewise, if you are adjusting a cooking temperature, you will need to calculate how long it will take to ensure the food is cooked correctly.
English is important in the workplace as it allows efficient and effective communication with colleagues, customers and staff. You will be required to speak and listen when completing group lunches, answering the restaurant’s telephone, taking customers’ food and drinks orders, and during practical sessions in the RWE. You will use English a lot during classroom based sessions as you will be required to take notes, and complete research for assignments and presentations. When you take bookings and orders, and complete food temperature records, allergen sheets and food order sheets, it is important to get accurate information and write it down effectively so you can understand it at a later date.
Maths and English skills are essential for the workplace and university.
Our hospitality and catering department hosts an annual national competition, in association with the Craft Guild of Chefs which is sponsored by Major International.
You will be offered the opportunity to be inspired by guest speakers, and go on a range of one day educational visits. These could include:
- Durham Marriott Royal County Hotel
- Radisson Blue Hotel Durham
- Durham University
- DH1 Restaurant
- Finbarrs Restaurant
- Major International
The above organisations help through delivery and invigilating of the main programme and competition.
You will complete a ten day placement at the Royal County Durham Marriott Hotel or the Radisson Blue Hotel Durham. The practical nature of the course means you will also gain experiences working in the training kitchen at the College, and kitchens and restaurants at the higher end of the market within Durham.
If you are a front of house student, you will also complete Barista training with Costa. This will allow you to gain an insight into higher standards within hospitality and catering.
You will be encouraged to push yourself and gain the most out of any work placements. It has been known for employers to follow up this trial period with an employment offer.
You could progress to Level 2 in a relevant area.
You could become a member of the Institute of Hospitality. Click here
to visit their website.
Progress onto further study
This course will help you develop the basic skills and knowledge for further study or to prepare for a career within catering and hospitality.
Careers could include a sous chef or pastry chef.
If you want to know more about food standards, click here
You can find out how to make it into baking by visiting the Craft Bakers Association
Find out more about course fees and financial support for UK, EU and non-EU students, plus how to pay your fees.
View our refund policy for further and higher education programmes (page 2) and full cost courses.
You will be required to buy a kitchen/restaurant uniform and knives from the College’s supplier, Russums – this will cost approximately £112.
It is advised that you purchase the Level 1 Practical Cookery book at £23.99p - this can be purchased online via Russums or through the College’s media shop.
The catering department arrange local, national and international trips which will come at an additional cost.
You will be invited to attend an interview at the College. This will provide you with an opportunity to meet your tutor and take a tour of the facilities.
Find out more information about your college interview.
In order to access this course, you must possess four GCSEs at a minimum of grades D (or equivalent).
Alternatively, it may be possible to enter the course with two years relevant industrial experience in hospitality and catering.