Ashburton Chefs Academy

Advanced Diploma in Cuisine & Patisserie

Advanced Diploma in Cuisine & Patisserie

The Advanced Diploma in Cuisine & Patisserie is our highest level award combining the study of our Diploma in Culinary Arts and Diploma in Patisserie.

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 culinary career.

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:

  • launching a career as a professional chef;
  • opening a bistro or restaurant;
  • launching a catering business;
Course Content

Advanced Diploma in Cuisine & Patisserie

Training: Full-time
Mon to Fri: 9am to 6pm
Duration: 30 weeks
Attendance: 40 to 45 hours per week

Certificates & Qualifications

  • Ashburton Advanced Diploma in Cuisine & Patisserie
  • QCF Level 4 Diploma in Professional Culinary Arts
  • QCF Level 3 Diploma in Professional Patisserie
  • CIEH Level 3 Award in Food Safety
  • WSET Level 1 Foundation Certificate in Wines

Professional Development

  • 3 Months Work Experience in Top Restaurant Kitchen (Optional)

Course Content

The Advanced Diploma in Cuisine & Patisserie incorporates 2 full-time Diploma level 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 practical 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 Chef, which once successfully completed will result in the award of the Diploma in Professional Patisserie, an accredited, industry recognised qualification.

Diploma in Culinary Arts

Comprehensive training as a Chef de Cuisine covering foundation to advanced level skills. Successful graduation will result in the award of the Diploma in Culinary Arts. which is a qualification accredited by the Condferation of Tourism & Hospitality.

3 Month Work Placement (optional)

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 qualifications:-

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 practical cookery qualification in the UK. This accredited qualification is regulated by Ofqual and externally accredited by the Confederation of Tourism and Hospitality.

Visit the CTH Website

QCF Level 3 Diploma in Professional Patisserie

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.

Visit the WSET Website

Course Dates

Course Dates

The Advanced Diploma is completed over 4 terms, with start dates available in January, May and August each year.


2022 Advanced Diploma 1

Tue 18 Jan to Fri 19 Aug, 2022
  • Patisserie (14 weeks)
    Tue 18 Jan to Fri 22 Apr, 2022
  • 1 Week Break
  • Culinary Arts (16 Weeks)
    Tue 03 May to Fri 19 Aug, 2022
  • Apply

2022 Advanced Diploma 2

Tue 03 May to Fri 02 Dec, 2022
  • Patisserie (14 weeks)
    Tue 10 May to Fri 12 Aug, 2022
  • 1 Week Break
  • Culinary Arts (16 Weeks)
    Mon 22 Aug to Fri 09 Dec, 2022
  • Apply

2022 Advanced Diploma 3

Tue 06 Sep 2022 to Fri 21 Apr, 2023
  • Patisserie (14 weeks)
    Tue 06 Sep to Fri 09 Dec, 2022
  • New Year Break
  • Culinary Arts (16 Weeks)
    Tue 03 Jan to Fri 21 Apr, 2023
  • Apply

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.


Our course fees include everything you need to complete your course, with no additional fees for equipment or uniforms.

We also offer a residential option in shared student accommodation at our lodges at Finlake.

Advanced Diploma in Cuisine & Patisserie

Course Only

Item Cost
Patisserie Diploma Course Fee: £14,850
Culinary Diploma Course Fee: £16,850
Discount: (£1,750)
Total Course Fee: £29,950

Residential Option

Course Fee (see above): £29,950
215 Nights at Finlake: £7,525
Course with Accommodation: £37,475


  • Culinary Training
  • All Course Notes
  • Daily Lunch
  • Equipment & Ingredients
  • Chef Uniforms x 3
  • Field Trips
  • External Exam Fees & 
    Course Books

Course Deposit

Non-refundable deposit to secure place: £2,000.

Full balance due 8 weeks prior to start of course.

Optional Finlake Accommodation

Shared Finlake Accommodation (215 Nights) £7,525

Non-refundable Deposit: £250.


  • Free use of leisure facilities, gym, pool
  • Free mini-bus service to/from Ashburton
Residential Details
Frequently Asked Questions


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.

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.

We have a maximum of 16 places per diploma course running. Demand is high for this course and we would recommend you contact us several months before the start of the course to secure your place.

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.

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 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.

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

We provide you with your own chef uniform to keep, and all the 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.

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.

Apply for this course


To express your interest for the Advanced Diploma simply contact us to speak to a student adviser or fill out the form below.


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

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