Level 4 Diploma in Professional Culinary Arts

An advanced level course, that teaches learners how to prepare, cook and finish a variety of complex dishes, as well as learn other essential skills needed in a professional kitchen.


Programme overview

A career as a professional chef is challenging but also immensely rewarding. Professional cookery, as many celebrity chefs have shown, is a highly creative activity and one that demands dedication, creativity and flair.

The CTH Diploma in Professional Culinary Arts was carefully developed in partnership with Gordon Ramsay's Tante Marie Culinary Academy, to provide students with an excellent advanced set of skills for food preparation in a professional environment - a perfect first step to a rewarding culinary career.

It has since been updated further in collaboration with our industry partners Ashburton Chef Academy and Leiths School of Food and Wine.

The qualification is a mix of practical and theoretical sessions but with a strong emphasis on the practical element. As well as the key cooking subjects, the curriculum also covers menu planning and budgeting, food safety and other professional kitchen skills.

The qualification develops culinary skills by working in a kitchen environment which will be enhanced through demonstrations, appropriate theory sessions. Students develop knife skills, familiarity with produce, and master many professional skills such as butchery, fish preparation and pastry work, to an appropriate level.


The assessment methodology for Menu Planning & Costings, Self-Management in the Professional kitchen and Nutrition, allergens and sustainability is by project/assignment. All other units by practical examination.

Admission requirements

Admission to the CTH Level 4 Diploma in Culinary Arts is only for those students that have the determination and aptitude to achieve the very highest standards of culinary achievement. Applicants will be expected to be joining a programme that is specifically approved by CTH as being of sufficient rigour to bring students to a highly professional standard of culinary proficiency commensurate with Level 4 Diploma achievement. Students must have sufficient English to complete their written assessments for this qualification.

Syllabus overview

The course covers a wide range of skills including; Prepare, Cook, and Finish;

  • Complex Farinaceous Dishes
  • Complex Fish and Shell Fish
  • Hors d'oeuvres and canapés
  • Complex Meat, Poultry and Game
  • Complex Pastries, Desserts and Confectionary
  • Complex Sauces and Dressings
  • Terrine, ballotines, galantines and pâtés
  • Complex Vegetables and Salads
  • Complex Yeast Products
  • Menu Planning and Costings
  • Self-Management in the Professional Kitchen
  • Nutrition, Allergens and Sustainability

This Level 4 Diploma in Professional Culinary Arts is regulated by People First, the Sector Skills Council and Ofqual and carries 84 credits within the government’s Qualifications Credit Framework. This enables students to gain credit towards any future qualifications they may wish to take, be they at university or CTH accredited colleges around the world.

Centre requirements


A commercial kitchen environment, including associated food storage areas is essential for the delivery of this qualification. The kitchen may take the form of a full production kitchen and/or a skills based kitchen, these would need to be completely furnished with the professional equipment and tools to teach culinary arts at this level. A cookery demonstration area would also be a great advantage. Access to a range of cookery and food related books is an essential. Colleges will need to meet these specialist resource requirements when they seek approval from CTH.

Teaching staff:

Staff delivering and assessing the Diploma in Professional Culinary Arts should be fully familiar with current practice standards in the sector and have experience of cooking at the very highest level. A teaching qualification and experience of teaching is also desirable. CTH will require to see the CV’s of all teaching staff when the centre seeks approval to run the qualification.

Student equipment:

Students will be required to wear suitable protective clothing during all practical sessions throughout the course to meet the requirements of the Food Safety Act 1990. Chef’s whites, headwear and safety shoes would be the preferred option. Knives will be an essential requirement of the course and provision of a personal set will be necessary. These could be made available through the college to ensure suitability.

View endorsements

"Our professional qualification is designed in consultation with some of the industry's leading chefs. Throughout this qualification, students will learn the skills and knowledge required to cook in a professional kitchen environment, and gain the keys to a successful career in the industry"

Gordon Ramsay and Tante Marie


Gordon Ramsay Holdings


Absolute Taste

Sample Certificate


Syllabus Overview:

CTH Level 4 Diploma in Professional Culinary Arts (QAN: 603/3601/8)

Students must achieve:
  • All 12 mandatory units, providing a combined 84 credits, all at level 4
Credit Value (CV): 84
Guided Learning Hours (GLH) for Qualification: 720 Total Qualification Time (TQT) for Qualification: 840
Mandatory Units
Unit Code Unit Title L CV GLH URN Assessment Method
4FD Prepare, cook and finish complex farinaceous dishes 4 7 60 R/506/4319 Practical exam
4HD Prepare, cook and finish hors d'oeuvres and canpès 4 7 60 L/506/4353 Practical exam
4FSH Prepare, cook and finish complex fish and shell fish 4 7 60 L/506/4321 Practical exam
4MPG Prepare, cook and finish complex meat, poultry and game 4 7 60 D/506/4100 Practical exam
4PDC Prepare, cook and finish complex pastries, desserts and confectionery 4 7 60 J/506/4110 Practical exam
4SSD Prepare, cook and finish complex sauces and dressings 4 7 60 L/617/2187 Practical exam
4TD Prepare, cook and finish terrines, ballotines, galantines and pates 4 7 60 J/617/2186 Practical exam
4VS Prepare, cook and finish complex vegetables and salads 4 7 60 K/506/4374 Practical exam
4YP Prepare, cook and finish complex yeast products 4 7 60 R/506/4370 Practical exam
4MP Menu planning and costings 4 7 60 T/506/4376 Project/assignment
4SM Self-management in the professional kitchen 4 7 60 A/617/2184 Project/assignment
4N Nutrition, allergens and sustainability 4 7 60 F/617/2185 Project/assignment
Diploma Total (12 units) 84 720