Grand Diploma

in Culinary Arts & Patisserie


The Grand Diploma in Culinary Arts & Patisserie is the most comprehensive chef training programme we offer.

Comprising of our two diploma courses, you will master the broad cookery skills, kitchen management and presentation skills of the Chef de Cuisine, as well as the art of Patisserie, developing the fine technical skills, precision and creativity of the Pastry Chef.

Over 30 weeks and over 1200 hours practical training in small class sizes this full-time programme will give you the most comprehensive set of culinary skills, knowledge and confidence available from which to launch your culinary career.

Who is this course suitable for?

Typical ambitions of those that take this course include:

  • launching a career as a professional chef de cuisine or pastry chef.
  • running a cafe, pub, bistro or restaurant.
  • launching a catering or food business.
  • working as a private chef.


The Grand Diploma incorporates 2 full-time Diploma level programmes of study over 30 weeks with a 2 or 3 week break between the two.

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.

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 Patisserie, an accredited, industry recognised qualification.

Chef Qualifications

All of our courses have been designed in-house by our team of chef tutors to reflect the contemporary skills needed by the modern chef.

Within the courses we incorporate several accredited qualifications that are recognised internationally, but Ashburton courses go above and beyond the requirements of the qualifications to give you the most comprehensive experience possible. You won't find the quality of Ashburton training and experience anywhere else.

CTH Logo

Level 4 Diploma in Culinary Arts

Confederation Of Tourism & Hospitality

This is one of the highest level, practical chef qualifications. This accredited qualification is regulated by Ofqual and carries 84 credits within the government’s Qualifications Credit Framework.

CTH Logo

Level 3 Diploma in Patisserie

Innovate Awarding

The Diploma in Patisserie is an Ofqual accredited qualification that reflects your ability to work professionally as a Pastry Chef. Worth 62 credits on the QCF framework it is a valuable Patisserie qualification.

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Grand Diploma in Culinary Arts & Patisserie

Ashburton Chefs Academy

The Grand Diploma is a record of your graduation at the highest level and our endorsement of your skill and commitment.

Highfield Logo

Level 3 Award In Food Safety


The Level 3 Award in Food Safety is a 3 day course that is an essential head chef food qualification.

Course Dates


2024 Grand Diploma 1

16 Jan to 23 Aug, 2024

Tue 16 Jan to Fri 19 Apr, 2024

Term Break: 2 Weeks

Culinary Arts
Tue 07 May to Fri 23 Aug, 2024

2024 Grand Diploma 2

07 May to 13 Dec, 2024

Culinary Arts
Tue 07 May to Fri 23 Aug, 2024

Term Break: 2 Weeks

Tue 10 Sep to Fri 13 Dec, 2024


2025 Grand Diploma 1

16 Jan to 23 Aug, 2025

Tue 14 Jan to Fri 18 Apr, 2025

Term Break: 2 Weeks

Culinary Arts
Tue 06 May to Fri 22 Aug, 2025

2025 Grand Diploma 2

06 May to 13 Dec, 2025

Culinary Arts
Tue 06 May to Fri 23 Aug, 2025

Term Break: 2 Weeks

Tue 09 Sep to Fri 12 Dec, 2025

Frequently Asked Questions

The minimum age is 18 years old

Yes, Chefs Academy courses are 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 can expect to receive around 34 hours+ direct tuition a week.

Our training programmes are intensive-format, which means you spend more time in the kitchen each day learning to cook. This means we can run more courses in the year, coupled with our efficient operation, lower overheads of being in Devon and the fact we are a not-for-profit company makes us so affordable.

However, there is no compromise in the quality of training, course content or ingredients, in fact we think they are better. The benefits for you are that for the equivalent price of a London course, you can get an Ashburton course with our accommodation option.

  • Small class sizes and individual attention.
  • Full-time courses. Learn more, learn faster, graduate quicker.
  • Expert tuition from experienced, professional chefs.
  • A passion for quality, local, sustainable ingredients.
  • A beautiful part of the world, between Dartmoor and the coast.
  • A quality, shared student accommodation option.
  • An excellent reputation and track record of successful graduates.
  • Amongst the best pricing available.

Yes, we are accredited by the British Accreditation Council so you can study with us for up to 6 months. Find out about overseas students entry requirements here..

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 on this course will mean you feel very much at home.

The skill requirement to take this course is that of a confident home cook. If you have no prior cookery experience at all we recommend you take either our Beginners Weekend or our 5 day Foundation cookery course first prior to taking this course which will teach you the basic cooking skills you need.

You secure your place onto this course with a £1000 deposit. Your balance is then due 6 weeks before the start of the course which is either by bank transfer, or will happen automatically if you have taken out our finance option.

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

All the food we source is from high quality local, food suppliers. Our fish, meat, poultry, dairy and vegetables are sourced from producers within 25 miles of the Academy. 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.
We provide you with 2 chef uniforms and 5 aprons to keep, and all the equipment you will need is provided within the course.

Yes, you will complete a 3 day food hygiene course designed for senior chefs which will be invaluable for your future career.

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 Michelin starred restaurant or cooking for a private function. Graduates of this course have excellent career prospects.

Graduates can expect to be considered seriously for junior chef positions in quality 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.

Of our most recent graduates all those that were 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 regarded.

Course Fees

Everything you need is included in the course fee including chef uniforms, course notes, training and exam registration fees.

Grand Diploma 30 weeks
Option 1: Full Payment £24,995
215 Nights Room (Optional)


You can secure your place on this course with a £2000 deposit. Pay your balance 6 weeks before the start of the course.


Apply online today, and we will contact you to start the enrolment process.

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Chefs Academy Courses

Female chef student making stir fry

Certificate in Culinary Arts

4 Weeks

A foundation course for new chefs. Gain the skills and confidence to start to cook professionally.

Student being awarded a diploma

Diploma in Culinary Arts

16 Weeks

One of the highest level culinary qualifications, our full-time diploma will launch your career as a skilled chef.

Smiling female student kneading dough

Diploma in Patisserie

14 Weeks

Specialise as a Pastry Chef learning the fine art of Patisserie from our expert Chef Tutors.