The Leiths Three Term Diploma is our most famous course and is the industry-leading full-time cookery course for aspiring food professionals. The course duration is nine months and designed for those looking to undertake comprehensive professional training to launch a successful career in food. Our unique approach is grounded in timeless classical techniques, enhanced by the international cuisines and new trends that shape the way we eat today. These are the skills you’ll need to flourish wherever your career may take you; all with top quality, tailored learning in an inclusive and nurturing environment.
Highly esteemed and recognised across the food and hospitality industry, the Leiths Diploma equips graduates with a complete skills training and practical knowledge to excel in whatever career path they aspire to, having given rise to many of the leading food stars and entrepreneurs of today. Our students are trained by our exceptional Diploma teaching staff who are some of the most skilled culinary professionals in the country, unified in their passion for teaching. Students also experience demonstrations from a wide range of guest chefs and food royalty including the likes of Yotam Ottolenghi, Jeremy Lee, Olia Hercules, Ben Tish and Atul Kochhar.
This 9 month course runs annually from September to June (see below for more details on this year’s class dates), five days a week from 9am-5pm.
The course is broken down into 3 terms that progress in complexity. The Foundation Term runs from September to December, Intermediate Term runs January to April and Advanced Term runs April to June.
The full Diploma cohort is divided into 6 classes with 16 in each.
Each day is broken down into a morning and afternoon session. During these sessions, your learning will be divided between practical cooking and teacher demonstrations, led by our expert senior tutors and a host of guest demonstrators. These include leading figures of the hospitality world, featuring head chefs from acclaimed restaurants, caterers, food scientists and other culinary experts. Some of these experiences will be off site.
Our Diploma teaching team are some of the most highly skilled chefs in the UK. Most having completed the Diploma themselves, there is a minimum requirement of 2 years work in hospitality and industry before teaching at Leiths, to ensure all our teachers provide nuanced and informed culinary expertise to all students.
Each class within the cohort will be provided with a dedicated class tutor to support them throughout their Diploma course, providing bespoke feedback and termly performance reviews.
Leiths prides itself in providing a tailored and comprehensive learning experience to all its Diploma students, emphasised by its student to teacher ratio being 8 to 1.
As well as teaching from our expert in-house team, you will also experience guest chef demonstrations by some of the food industry’s most notable individuals. Past and recurring guest demonstrators have included Yotam Ottolenghi, Jeremy Lee, Olia Hercules, Florence Knight, Atul Kochhar, Ben Tish, Fallow, Spring, Osip, Kricket and Forza Win.
Assessment & Coursework
You will be continually assessed during the practical sessions. A theory and practical examination and completion of the coursework will form part of the graduation assessment. Daily reviews with your class tutor will provide feedback and support, throughout the course.
Part of your study will be managed at home – about 4 to 5 hours a week. This will include writing time plans, menu planning and costing exercises. You will also present a final portfolio of recipes and menus to be assessed at the end of the academic year.
- Fundamental kitchen skills including knife skills, seasoning and presentation
- Egg cookery
- Refining of kitchen skills including seasoning, presentation and knife skills
- Technical butchery of meat and game
- Clearing and consommés
- Advanced vegetable garnishes
- Goujons of sole with tartar sauce
- Roast sirloin of beef, Yorkshire puddings and fresh horseradish sauce
- Pan fried mackerel, roasted baby beetroot, lovage, radish and pickled shallot salad
- Braised octopus, paprika sauce and aioli
- Artichoke and green olive pithivier, heritage tomato salad
- Mushroom consommé with pickled mushrooms
A typical day normally starts at 9.15am and finishes at 5pm with up to an hour for lunch. The day is divided between demonstrations and practical cooking sessions. You will also receive lectures and demonstrations from leading figures of the hospitality world and head chefs from acclaimed restaurants, as well as caterers, food scientists and other culinary experts. Some of these experiences will be off site.
Your weeks alternate so on one week, your day begins with a morning demonstration at 10.00am; arrive at 9.45am to be prepared for the start. The next week, your day will start with a practical cookery session; arrive by 9.15am to change into your chef’s whites and start organising ingredients.
During your lunch break a student common room is available. You can also remain in the demonstration room, do some research in the library or sit in the local park. All the food you cook is yours, so if you have a morning cookery session your lunch can be what you’ve cooked.
If you have a practical session in the afternoon, allow time to change and get into the kitchens early to weigh up the ingredients. Classes usually end by 5pm but may finish later on occasions. If you are cooking in the afternoon, the food cooked can be taken home to enjoy for dinner.
The Leiths Three Term Diploma is suitable for passionate cooks who want to undertake comprehensive culinary training to pursue a professional career in food. No previous professional experience is required, but students must display an aptitude and skillset in cookery to sustain the pace of teaching and be awarded a place on this course.
By completing this course, you will gain the following qualifications:
- Leiths Three Term Diploma in Food and Wine
- CTH Level 4 Diploma in Professional Culinary Arts
Booking and Interview
Book your one-to-one
Places on this course are offered following a 45-minute informal interview. This is a relaxed discussion between you and one of our friendly teaching staff where we can learn about your unique learning needs and discuss whether the course is right for you. Eligibility will be determined based upon cooking aptitude and suitability for the course. This is carried out via remote video call.
To request an informal interview, click ‘Book a Consultation’ at the top of the page or click here. Fill in the form with your details, selecting ‘Diploma interview’ from the options and submit. Our admin team will then be in touch to set up your interview.
Book an introductory chat
If you are unsure whether this course is right for you and you want to explore your options, we do offer the opportunity to book 15-minute introductory chat. This allows you to speak directly to our teaching team and ask any questions you may have about your opportunities. This is carried out remotely via video call. Please note: places on this course will only be awarded following the informal 45 minute interview.
To request a one-to-one introductory chat, fill in the form here with your details, selecting 15-minute chat from the options and we will get in touch to organise.
Secure your place
You will be contacted by email following your interview by our Principal or Headteacher to offer a place on the Diploma course. To secure your place, a deposit of £2,000 will need to be paid. This is usually done over the phone, organised and facilitated by our Registrar.
You will also need to fill out the enrolment form. This form will be sent over to you by email along with further information after booking by our Registrar. By signing this form, you agree to our course booking terms and conditions. To read our terms and conditions, click here.
Payments for professional courses must be made by either bank transfer, cheque or a debit/credit card payment. We do not accept American Express.
Once the deposit is paid, all remaining professional course fees will be due six weeks before the course starts. We’ll send you an invoice, along with instructions for ordering equipment and uniform closer to the time.
For more information on finance and payment plans, please contact our Registrar at firstname.lastname@example.org or call directly at 020 8749 6400.
Leiths School of Food and Wine is located over 4 floors of a light and airy space on a residential street between Shepherd’s bush and Chiswick in West London.
The school comprises four kitchens, three of which are used for the full time students while the fourth is used for recipe development, corporate team building, one day workshops, photography and filming.
The kitchens are all air conditioned and equipped with gas ovens and hobs of the same design and high standard employed by most professional restaurants and catering kitchens, giving students access to all the equipment needed to learn to cook professionally.
The demonstration kitchen on the ground floor is fitted with LCD screens and cameras enabling students to see the close up details of each step of the dishes and techniques demonstrated by the teachers and outside lecturers.
Students have access to a library of cookery books and magazines for reference, a student dining room, changing facilities and Wi-Fi. There are computers at their disposal.
Uniform and Equipment
Students on this course will require to purchase:
- A knife set (£300 – £445)
- Uniform: chef’s jacket, hat, apron, checked trousers and non-slip kitchen clogs (£100)
- Additional kitchen equipment (approx. £200)
Instructions and order forms for all required items will be sent out before the course begins. Further information can be found in the student handbook or by contacting the Registrar.
What is included:
The school is non-residential, but we keep an accommodation list if you need help finding somewhere to stay while you study. This can be sent to you once you have a place confirmed. Please contact the school for more information.
International students and VISAs
If English is your second language you should have proof that you’ve attained an IELTS (International English Language Testing System) band score of 6.5 which equates to C1 on the CEFR (Council of Europe’s Common European Framework). If you have studied at degree level before in the UK this will not be needed.
If you are a Non-EU prospective student requiring a Student Visa or a Standard Visitor Visa please inform us before your interview. Any Visa related questions can be directed to the Registrar at email@example.com.
Allergies and Intolerances
We are happy to make adjustments where possible.
Please read our full policy on allergies and dietary restrictions here.
The past decade has seen a boom in the varied career opportunities available within food, from private cheffing and hospitality, to recipe developing, media and food start-ups and entrepreneurship. Whatever your aspirations, the Leiths’ professional courses equip you with the lifetime skills, resources, network and solutions needed to kickstart your career.
Our professional students all benefit from our bespoke careers and recruitment agency Leiths List, drawing on Leiths network of alumni and industry connections to provide work experience, job placements and advice from some of the UK’s leading food businesses. Students have access to this support from the point that they begin their course well into their professional careers.
As part of the course Leiths will also support you with access to bespoke training by top chefs, industry placements, career advice and an exclusive network of hospitality businesses partnering with us to offer Leiths students long term job opportunities.
Examples of business we partner with for work experience:
- BBC Good Food
- Soho House Group
- The Delaunay
- Chez Bruce
- Elystan street
- The Stafford Group
- The Glasshouse
- Saturday Kitchen Live
- Taste of London
- Delicious magazine