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International Diploma in Cookery

Level 5

Learn how to produce advanced dishes in a professional kitchen in UCOL's International Diploma in Cookery.

A student rolling pastry at our Whanganui campus
Quick info

Level: 5

Locations: Whanganui

Duration: 18 months, full-time

2 Aug 2017 - 21 Dec 2018
19 Feb 2018 - 2 Aug 2019

Domestic Fees:*
Not applicableScholarship info

International Fees:*
$29,430.00 (2017) $30,318.00 (2018)

* Fees are indicative only, and are inclusive of the student services levy and GST (goods and services tax). The fee shown is for one year of study.

Take your culinary arts skills to the next level with UCOL’s International Diploma in Cookery. This programme is ideal for chefs seeking a credential to enhance their employment opportunities in a professional kitchen across the hospitality sector.

Career & Study Outcomes

Successful graduates of UCOL's International Diploma in Cookery will be able to work in intermediate chef positions producing complex dishes in a professional kitchen, and be able to:

  • Apply staffing strategies to meet performance targets
  • Monitor and maintain health and safety, food safety and security practices to ensure own safety and minimise potential hazards for customers.
  • Monitor and maintain interactions between colleagues, managers and customers.
  • Monitor and maintain the application of standard operating policies and procedures to work roles in a commercial kitchen.
  • Plan and monitor workflow and supplies in a commercial kitchen
  • Prepare, cook and present a range of cold larder dishes , hot kitchen dishes and a range of patisserie and deserts employing complex preparation and presentation techniques.

Employment opportunities include:

  • Fine dining restaurants
  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Bars
  • Hotels
  • Function catering
  • Cruise liners
  • Catering companies
  • Airlines
  • Commercial catering businesses
To find out more about possible job prospects and salaries, see Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment's Occupation Outlook for Chefs.

Education pathway

Graduates who wish to further specialise can enrol in:

Course Information

  • Cookery Fundamentals
  • Applied Complex Cookery Skills
  • Restaurant Cookery and Professional Practice
  • Industry Cookery Skills
  • Culinary Supervision
  • Advanced Cookery Preparation and Presentation Techniques
  • Kitchen Operations Management
  • Menu Planning and Development
  • Advanced Larder Practices
  • Industry Placement

Student & Staff Profiles

Industry Connections

UCOL Hospitality Schools are members of NZ Chefs, Restaurant Association of New Zealand, and Baking Industry Association of New Zealand. We are active participants in Manawatu Hospitality Awards and each campus is well supported by our local industries.

Learning Facilities

Our students learn from industry experienced professionals and get practical experience in our training kitchen and Visions restaurant in Whanganui.

Domestic Entry Requirements

Not applicable.

International Entry Requirements

English proficiency entry requirements:
International student applicants whose first language is not English must have an IELTS (or equivalent including TOEFL) score of 5.5 with no band score lower than 5. UCOL is a TOEFL iBT testing centre. The English Proficiency test is accepted for English language entry into all UCOL programmes.

Under 20 years of age
For international applicants under 20 years of age who do not hold NCEA, International Academic Qualifications Entry Criteria apply.

Advice & Guidance

UCOL's International Diploma in Cookery comprises 240 credits. 

Full attendance is encouraged to maximise learning opportunities and to optimise success for students. To meet external examination requirements, 80% attendance of practical classes is compulsory. This programme will require students to complete 105 hours of off-campus work experience, which requires compulsory attendance. Students will be required to pay for associated travel costs.
Students need to be aware of the physical requirements for operating in a commercial kitchen environment and will be expected to handle and prepare dishes that contain animal products. Students will be advised to put any special needs or requirements in writing and advise the Head of School before the programme begins.

Your personalised timetable will be available just prior to classes starting, and will comprise a weekly commitment of:
  •  23 hours of lecturer supported learning (in UCOL's professional kitchen, theory, computer and project work)
  •  10 hours of self-directed learning (your own time spent on practical skill development, theory and computer work to complete your assignments)
Work experience
As part of your studies you will be required to complete 105 hours of off-campus work experience.  

Recognition of prior learning
Applications for Recognition of Prior Learning, including Cross Credit, Credit Transfer and Assessment of Prior Learning may be made on the Recognition of Prior Learning Form where a student believes all learning outcomes for a course or unit standards have already been met.

Application checklist
It will make the process easier if you prepare the following before you apply:

  • National Student Number (NSN) (If you don't have a NSN, you may request one from NZQA, or you can supply a verified copy of your birth certificate, passport or Whakapapa statement.)
  • Evidence of your highest level of academic achievement (and evidence of prior learning, if applicable)
  • Evidence that you meet the entry requirements of the programme
  • Check if you're eligible for additional support or a scholarship. If you're 19 years or younger, you may be eligible to enrol in one of our free Youth Transition programmes.

Note that you will need to provide any verified documents in person, via post or email.

Additional Costs

Please note that there are additional costs associated with the International Diploma in Cookery of approximately $580 as follows:
  • UCOL uniform
  • Knives
  • Safety shoes

The London City & Guilds Diploma in Food Preparation examination fees are approximately $400.

The subscription fee for Futura online resources is approximately $300.

Please allow approximately $1,100 for insurance, and travel costs associated with the off-campus work experience.


The programme is approved by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority under the provisions of the Education Act 1989, and Universal College of Learning (UCOL) Trading as Universal College of Learning (UCOL) is accredited to teach it.