Catering and Hospitality

Course Area Overview

Why choose Catering and Hospitality

The catering and hospitality industry in Northern Ireland is fantastically exciting and diverse, full of wonderful career opportunities – it is youthful, vibrant and rewarding. As a growth industry, catering and hospitality offers a diverse range of job opportunities and career prospects. There are an estimated 1.4 million jobs related directly to catering and hospitality across the country, accounting for five per cent of total UK employment.

Learners are provided with the knowledge and skills in a number of specialist areas of expertise, ranging from professional cookery, customer service, food and beverage service, management and leadership.

Breads, Cakes and Bakes

This is a home bakery programme to introduce you to simple cakes and breads for family and friends.

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City & Guilds Entry Level Award for Introduction to Customer Service (Entry 3)

The Awards/Certificates for Introduction to Customer Service qualifications are for anyone interested in starting a career in the customer service industry. You don't need to have any prior qualifications. The Awards and Certificates will provide you with a basic understanding of the impact of customer service and will equip you with the necessary skills to work and support customer service delivery.

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City & Guilds Level 1 Diploma - Introduction to Professional Cookery (7100-11)

This course introduces learners to the basic and professional skills needed to be employed in the catering industry and is relevant if they are new to the industry. This is a great taster course to determine if learners have the skills, attitudes and behaviours needed and covers the basics required to gain employment in this dynamic sector. It is recommended that everyone starts with this programme regardless of their academic profile and it is the course of choice for school leavers interested in a catering career.

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City & Guilds Level 2 Certificate in General Patisserie and Confectionary

Has television reality shows got your attention? These qualifications cover all the patisserie and confectionery skills and knowledge to show you've got what it takes for a successful career as a pastry chef. Ideal for those looking to become professional pastry chefs or for those wanting to progress in their careers, for individuals who enjoy this area of cookery as a hobby and for those employees looking to further their knowledge and skills in this area.

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City & Guilds Level 2 Certificate in Professional Food and Beverage Service Skills

This qualification meets the needs of learners who want to work front of house within a hospitality environment. It is also for those learners that want a rounded knowledge of both front of house and the kitchen, which will enable them to look at more senior positions in the future. The qualification covers all aspects of food and beverage service. It will deliver the key skills required by the learner to ensure they will have a thorough understanding of the role and expectations that any future employer will expect of them.

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City & Guilds Level 2 NVQ Diploma in Hospitality Services

This course is perfect for beginners and is the programme of choice for anyone wanting to ‘kick off’ their learning journey into the hospitality and catering sector. It opens a world of opportunities and pathways, not just for the workplace but for personal and lifelong skills which will ensure you are never out of work. It will focus largely on the practical skills needed to get you started in a professional kitchen but will also ensure you develop the skills necessary to begin immediate work in customer facing roles such as bar and wine service, barista skills and many types of food service. It is a one-year programme designed to help you make an informed decision about whether the catering and hospitality industry is for you while at the same time ensuring that you pick up transferable skills and make yourself employable in this fun and interesting industry from the outset. The demand for trained people in this sector will give you the edge over your peers and the confidence to embrace the world of work possibly for the first time.

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City & Guilds Level 2 NVQ Diploma in Professional Cookery (7132-08)

Are you an enthusiastic person who loves a challenge and likes to be in a busy, lively and people focused environment? A Professional Cookery Diploma may suit you if you have some basic skills or experience with food, or may just have a genuine interest in learning more about cooking as a career. This course will allow you to develop the practical, industry relevant skills which will equip you with the basics of what is needed to work effectively as a chef in wide variety of service settings. This course is a one-year programme and suitable for anyone over 16 years of age, as a follow on to an introductory course or for direct enrol if underpinning knowledge and experience of the catering industry can be demonstrated. The opportunities in the area of catering are endless, and for every type of learner there is a job role which can be suitably matched to allow for a fulfilled and satisfying career, so please come along and talk to the teaching team to find out more.

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City & Guilds Level 2 NVQ Diploma in Professional Cookery Fast Track

This diploma will suit you if you have some basic skills and experience as a chef, probably from a role where you work under supervision. You may want to gain a formal qualification and increase your skills so that you can take on a more senior role.

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City & Guilds Level 3 Award in Supervising Food Safety in Catering

The Food Safety in Catering qualifications are suitable for anybody, whether in a supervisory position or those working directly with food. For the supervisory qualification you'll have some experience in a full or part time position within the hospitality sector and be looking to take on more responsibility for food safety at work.

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City & Guilds Level 3 Certificate in General Patisserie and Confectionary

This qualification will help you to develop your skills further, perhaps to become a specialist chef or move into a management role. It is designed to equip you with the knowledge, understanding and skills required for success in higher education and/or employment in this globally and economically important sector.

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City & Guilds Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Hospitality Supervision and Leadership

Do you love working with people who want to deliver outstanding customer experiences and do you want to lead a team of people to be the best they can be? How would you like a great career in one of the most interesting and dynamic industries in the world. The driving force behind great hospitality is great hospitality management and the industry needs the right people to lead teams and individuals to who come from a variety of backgrounds make up one of the most diverse workforces of any industry in the world. Are you that person? The nature of hospitality allows many of its key personnel to drift into their roles and often they may not have undertaken any formal training. This programme allows participants to take on a course of study which is designed to be 100% job-related and makes an immediate and measurable impact on the job they are doing. The skills and attributes needed to tackle junior, trainee, supervisor or team leader roles across a range of hospitality sectors such as restaurants, bars, cafés, hotels, hospitals, schools, cruise ships, etc. will provide the perfect, hands-on, practical experience so learners can develop work-ready and relevant skills. Graduates become more capable employees with a standard of professional practice which will enhance their employment opportunities. They will be more confident and competent as they provide for the needs of customers and build strong teams of operatives by taking on some responsibility for the management and learning of others. This programme will suit you if you've worked in the hospitality industry for some time - you may have plenty of experience, and you might already supervise others or manage resources but you also might want to develop your knowledge and skills further to move into a higher management role.

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City & Guilds Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Professional Cookery

If you are keen to make your mark in the world of culinary excellence, then a Level 3 Professional Cookery Diploma is a must in order to demonstrate skill and commitment to this industry. The programme builds on a sound understanding of cooking and commodities and moves you to a higher repertoire of complex dishes and technical ability, increasing your knowledge of advanced tools and techniques. Highly experienced tutors help you develop practical and interpersonal skills and competitive edge. They will ensure you have a thorough knowledge of up to date culinary and ethical trends along with the necessary operational management skills to be successful in a catering environment. This is an immersive learning experience designed for those who are serious about cooking at a higher level and progressing to the management and strategic roles within hospitality. This course is a two-year full-time programme offered as progression to the Level 2 Diploma in Professional Cookery or for those who can demonstrate commensurate experience and knowledge.

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City & Guilds Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Professional Cookery Fast Track

This course is an intensive one year, part-time, will suit you if you have worked in a professional kitchen for some time, or have a Level 2 qualification. Your work might involve supervising others. You want to develop your skills further, perhaps to become a specialist chef or move into a management role. It is designed to equip you with the knowledge, understanding and skills required for success in higher education and/or employment in this globally and economically important sector.

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City and Guilds Level 2 Award in Barista Skills

This qualification provides learners with specialist skills and knowledge in one of the major growth areas of the hospitality industry – the beverage sector. The unit is aimed at all first line operatives where coffee is served – this includes coffee bars, coffee houses, cafes, hotels and restaurants.

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Cooking for Christmas

This short programme is a week by week development of skills for a range of food and dishes that you may wish to use when entertaining family and friends over the Christmas period.

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Cooking on a Budget

Make culinary delights from the most basic ingredients that can be found in your store cupboard. A short course that encourages you to use what you have in your larder and fridge.

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Foundation Degree in the Professional Practice of Culinary Arts

This course throws open the kitchen door and explores the principles and practices of a modern 21st century kitchen environment. You will be taken on a journey which will better define your career options of the depth and scope of what the world of culinary arts has to offer. It will also prepare you for, or support you in, a leadership role. The course content will give practical skills and techniques while broadening the learner's knowledge and understanding of what it is to work in a modern ethical kitchen environment. The programme is supported by outstanding physical resources supplemented with sector leading digital capability.

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Students have travelled with us from level 2 and level 3 to Foundation Degree and then beyond. Past students now have careers as Cabin Crew, Event Managers, Receptionists, Chefs, Hotel Managers, Restaurant Managers, and Service Handling Agents etc.

The aspiring chef will gain confidence in cooking and presentation, and understand the many factors which influence or dictate food choices and trends. For those who have a passion for customer facing roles, a variety of skills and attributes will be uncovered which will transfer to so many industries locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.

About the qualifications

The range of qualifications covers a number of pathways enabling learners to boost specialist skills and knowledge needed in catering and hospitality.

On completion at every level, a number of options are available to suit personal learning and assessment preferences. As skill level increases and opportunities within the industry present, the level and type of qualifications become more adaptable to meet the needs of the learner, supporting them to achieve a successful and rewarding career.

Level 1 Introductory Diploma in Professional Cookery with Certificate in Introduction to Food and Beverage Service.
Level 2 NVQ or VRQ Diploma in Professional Cookery
NVQ or VRQ Diploma in Food and Beverage Service
Culinary Skills Diploma with Certificate in Food and Beverage Service
Certificate in Patisserie and Confectionary
Level 3 NVQ or VRQ Diploma in Professional Cookery
Level 4 Principles of Hospitality Management
Level 5 Ulster University International Hospitality & Tourism/ International Travel and Tourism Management
Degree in International Culinary Arts

Who is it suitable for?

Because of the diverse nature of the industry, training programmes are designed to meet the needs of a variety of learners; school leavers embarking on a new career path, those taking time out from other industries or studies, adult returners upskilling to gain part or full time employment at all levels of the public or private sector. In short, anyone from new entrant to skilled professional with drive and passion to succeed.​

Core areas of study

Undertaking one of these programmes will provide you with the opportunity to gain knowledge and skills in:

Catering & Hospitality
  • Kitchen and Larder principles and produce
  • Patisserie and confectionary
  • Principles of cooking methods
  • Sustainability and waste management
  • Healthier foods and special diets
  • Nutrition in Food Production
  • Costings, menu and kitchen design
  • Food Safety
  • Health, Safety and Security of the workplace
  • Principles of working relationships
  • Customer Service
  • Food and Beverage service
  • Barista
  • Front desk operations