Professional Cookery (SCQF level 7) PDA

Course code 93N8

What is special about this course?

This Professional Development Award (PDA) Professional Cookery (SCQF level 7) is designed to support continuing professional development for individuals in professional kitchens and to help address the well-documented and ongoing skill shortages for highly skilled chefs and pastry chefs.

They are suitable for learners who:

  • have relevant experience in the industry but no formal qualifications
  • wish to develop knowledge and skills in new areas to enhance career progression
  • have partly completed a relevant HNC/HND and want recognition for the units they have successfully completed

Many chefs in the sector have been promoted to positions of Chefs or Sous Chefs on the basis of their experience but without qualifications. This PDA will allow you to gain practical and specialist skills at a high level, along with certification for the level of work that you are performing.

Special features

  • Potential to complete a level 7 qualification in six months
  • Blended delivery including face-to-face practical classes and online theory
  • Relevant supervisory and management skills covered
  • Provide recognition of existing skills for experienced staff
  • Develop a high level of professional culinary skills

Entry requirements

  • 1 Scottish Higher at Grade C or above OR
  • 1 A Level at Grade D or above
  • Alternatively, current or prior experience as a chef in a professional kitchen (centres may wish to apply diagnostic practical skills test to establish the current level of skill of learners)
  • A relevant SVQ at SCQF level 5 or above, eg SVQ 2 Professional Cookery
  • National Certificate in Professional Cookery at SCQF level 5 or 6
  • Different combinations of relevant National or Vocational qualifications and equivalent qualifications from other awarding bodies
  • You may be invited to attend an interview

Year 1 - PDA

Modules will include:

  • Food hygiene intermediate
  • Hospitality: financial and control systems
  • Professional cookery: cold kitchen
  • Professional cookery: hot kitchen

How will I study my course?

  • Part-time
  • You will learn through a combination of face to face practical lessons learning in the college restaurant and kitchen. In addition there will be video-conference tutorials, and online study via the university's virtual learning environment (VLE), with support from your tutors.

How long will my course last?

  • Part-time: 6 months @ 12 hours per week

Number of hours per week indicates the total number of hours you should dedicate to the course, which includes time spent in lectures and your own time spent on individual study and research.

Where can I study my course?

  • North, West and Hebrides - Dornoch campus (September start only)
  • Perth

Start date

  • September
  • January


For information on costs for this course please contact the campus where you wish to study.


UHI has a number of scholarships, bursaries, awards, and discretionary fund opportunities available to new and current students. Please use the A-Z of funds or use the filter to see which ones may be relevant to you. All students are welcome to apply.

Further information on funding your studies is also available, please see the attached link or contact the relevant UHI partner.

Additional costs

Students may be required to purchase Chef Whites and Restaurant Uniform for relevant practical sessions (approx £50).

What can I do on completion of my course?

On completion of your course you might like to consider Supervisory Kitchen positions in:

  • Hotels
  • Restaurants
  • Industrial catering
  • Banqueting
  • Pubs
  • Cafes
  • Residential homes

Can I progress into further study?

You may wish to progress from PDA Professional Cookery (SCQF Level 7) to the following courses:

Is there more information available online?

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Apply for Professional Cookery (SCQF level 7) PDA

I want to start in Aug/Sep 2024 or Jan/Feb 2025

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at the University of the Highlands and Islands. We operate a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of gender, age, disability, ethnicity and socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.