Advanced Diploma

The School of Artisan Food offers the UK’s first advanced diploma qualification in artisan baking.

Since 2010 the School has been offering its unique 10-month full-time vocational course. Almost 100 graduates now work in the flourishing artisan food sector - many with their own successful, award-winning businesses.

Students receive unrivalled tuition from some of the industry's most recognised producers and experts, and benefit from an average of 30+ hours of tuition per-week.

The School was recently recognised at the British Cookery School Awards, when it was awarded the prestigious title of School of the Year and the award for Best Large and Professional School.

If you’re furthering your education, wanting to change career direction, or following a lifelong passion, the School of Artisan Food offers the academic excellence and practical application required for you to fulfil your personal and professional goals.

Applications for September 2016 enrolment are now being recieved. To apply click here


The School secured national recognition for the Advanced Diploma in May 2016. FDQ, the specialist awarding body, confirmed their accreditation of the School which endorses the quality and integrity of the course.

FDQ are pioneers of the most innovative qualifications in the food industry. As a regulated qualification, recognised by the FDQ, students can be confident that the course will meet challenging standards.

The Practical Choice

The diploma's hands-on classes have been developed to give students a solid foundation and the practical skills in bread baking, long fermentation, patisserie and viennoiserie to succeed in their chosen career.

Students complete three full days of bread baking and one full day of patisserie in each week. Classes are taught by widely recognised industry experts, bakers and patissiers including Wayne Caddy, Mickael Jahan and Graham Dunton, as well as a wide range of guest lecturers, artisans and industry professionals.

From understanding the functionality of ingredients and the associated science, to mastering sourdough and long fermentation students cover a diverse range of topics and methods including, but not limited to;

  • Dough rheology and key stages
  • Iconic breads and recipe balance
  • Traditional British baking and shaping
  • Classic Continental baking
  • Yeast types including wild yeast, sourdough and long fermentation
  • Baking with non-wheat and gluten free flours and grains
  • Baking with heritage flours
  • Wholemeal, rye and grain baking
  • Super-hydrated doughs
  • World breads
  • Classic and contemporary patisserie
  • Viennoiserie

Classes provide a detailed understanding of how to bake iconic British, European and International products as well as contemporary breads and pastries. Innovation days are also scheduled to encourage creativity and allow students to develop their own unique range of products.

Practical Training

Students follow a course of hands-on sessions in state-of-the-art training rooms, fully equipped with bakery equipment, to gain a thorough working overview of bakery production which amounts to around 65% of the course.

Experienced teachers work closely with students to teach both the science and practical application of artisan baking, with classes supported by a number of tutorials.

Assessments take a variety of forms and include practical exercises, oral and written exams and ongoing coursework.

Contextual Studies

In addition to practical training, students complete classes in the context of today’s food landscape. In recent years there has been a growing interest and demand for artisan food. The qualification allows students to develop a special appreciation of the significance of artisan food and drink in today’s world and prepares them for rewarding career in their chosen field.

At the heart of the renaissance in artisan food are micro start-up businesses. From traditional artisan bakeries to pop-up stalls, farmers markets, online services and cooperatives, producers can now service customers like never before.

The Creating an Artisan Business course modules provides students with the key principles of establishing a food business as well as an appreciation of various business concepts, as well as an understanding of key drivers influencing the food industry and classes covering small-business marketing and finance among other topics.

This interactive element of the advanced diploma is led by Yvonne O’Donovan and a number of guest speakers, and delivered with a series of presentations, lectures and practical workshops including live-trading at local markets.

Students benefit from developing their own comprehensive business plan as they work through the multiple steps to start-up, mapping milestones and designing a route to a successful launch.

A number of additional classes, seminars and activities are available to support students in their training and development. These include guest lectures by leading artisan food producers.

Work Placement

Gaining experience within the artisan food and drink industry is an integral part of the advanced diploma. Placements offer students valuable insights into the practice of artisan producers. These placements help to develop skills that support the theoretical and practical modules of the diploma, whilst providing an opportunity to forge industry links for the future.

Placement providers have included;

The Welbeck Bakehouse www.welbeckbakehouse.co.uk

Hambleton Bakery www.hambletonbakery.co.uk

Pump Street Bakery www.pumpstreetbakery.com

Daylesford www.daylesford.com

E5 Bakehouse www.e5bakehouse.com

Bettys of Harrogate www.bettys.co.uk

Holtwhites www.holtwhitesbakery.co.uk

And many more...

What Next

The advanced diploma equips students with the practical and theoretical knowledge to work within a variety of employment sectors. Students may pursue careers with existing artisan food producers, or create their own artisan food businesses. Alternative options include the food distribution and retail sector, food journalism, developing food, health and wellbeing policy and managing and implementing food education initiatives.

Graduate Success

A number of graduates have set up their own businesses, including:

Two Magpies Bakery, Suffolk. www.twomagpiesbakery.co.uk

The Bakehouse at 124, Kent. www.thebakehouse124.co.uk

Seven Hills Bakery, Sheffield. www.sevenhillsbakery.co.uk

Forge Bakehouse, Sheffield. www.forgebakehouse.co.uk

Modern Baker, Oxford. www.modernbaker.com

Viviane's Artisan Bakery, London. www.vivianesartisanbakery.com

Rutland Charcuterie Company, Rutland. www.rutlandcharcuterie.com

The Sherwood Charcutier. www.thesherwoodcharcutier.co.uk

Bean Hill Farm, Derbyshire. www.beanhillfarmcastleton.co.uk

Mike's Fancy Cheese. www.mfcheese.com

To apply for an Advanced Diploma click here

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