Professional Pastry (SCQF level 7) PDA

Course code 94N8

What is special about this course?

With a growing spotlight on baking and patisserie, via tv shows like the Great British Bake Off and outstanding local talents such as award-winning patissier and chocolatier, William Curley, there is a growing demand for experienced professionals to bring their skills to the kitchen.

This PDA Professional Pastry (SCQF level 7) has been 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. It is 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

  • Achieve a Level 7 qualification in one semester
  • Blended delivery including face-to-face practical classes and online theory
  • Intermediate Food Hygiene unit included
  • Develop a high level of professional Patisserie 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 a 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:

  • Fermented patisserie
  • Food hygiene intermediate
  • Patisserie
  • Production cookery: sweets and desserts

How will I study my course?

Additional information for course delivery in 2021-22

From September 2021, it is our intention that physical campuses will be open to all students for access to study facilities, support services and social activities, subject to Scottish Government guidance. Our priority is to provide a safe learning environment for all students and staff. We will continue to review government guidance as restrictions shift and will inform you of any further changes to the information provided below about your course. You will study the course through our blended learning approach. From September, where practical and safe to do so, on-campus practical delivery will be prioritised in line with the Scottish Government guidance, including social distancing, where this is not possible alternative options will be available. The theory elements may be delivered online through a combination of tutor-supported study, video-based seminars and self-directed study using the university's virtual learning environment. You can access your online and video-based classes from home however it is our intention to provide on-campus space for individual students where required as far as possible. International students requiring a Student Route visa to study with us must access scheduled classes on-campus. Further information will be provided by your home campus. You will have an opportunity to attend an online, face to face or blended induction at the start of the 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?

  • Moray College UHI
  • Perth College UHI

Start date

  • September


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


External scholarships and financial support may be available. Contact the relevant UHI partner college for more information.

Additional costs

Students may be required to purchase Chef Whites for relevant practical sessions (approx £30).

What can I do on completion of my course?

On completion of your course you might like to consider Pastry Chef or 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 Pastry (SCQF Level 7) to the following courses:

Is there more information available online?

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Apply for Professional Pastry (SCQF level 7) PDA

I want to start in Aug/Sep 2022

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.