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Leiths Virtual School Visit

Welcome to Leiths
Virtual School Visit

Welcome to Leiths

Meet our Managing Director, Camilla Schneideman, as she welcomes you behind the scenes of Leiths School of Food and Wine.

Leiths is the Oxbridge of the Food World.

– Tim Hayward, British Food Writer & Broadcaster, Restaurant Critic – FT Magazine

Leiths Diploma in Food and Wine is our most comprehensive, professional course preparing you for any career in food. Our industry-leading chefs and tutors also run a wide range of professional courses, on and offline, with flexibility to suit any lifestyle and training needs.

Details of all of these courses can be found via our homepage

Take a Virtual Tour of the School

Take a virtual tour, guided by Camilla, and find out what it’s like to cook in the Leiths professional kitchens, get a feel for the school and the facilities, and hear about how the professional courses run.

Teacher’s Cooking Demonstration

Meet one of Leiths’ head teachers, Michael Cropp, experience a true to life intermediate term cooking demonstration, and learn more about our teaching style and diverse curriculum.

Everybody looks up to Leiths to produce the best graduates.

– Yotam Ottolenghi - Chef, Restaurateur & Food writer

The Leiths Culture

Leiths wouldn’t be Leiths without its connected network of passionate, approachable people. Hear from our current students, alumni and staff as they describe the culture at Leiths in their own words and share their personal experiences.

The Leiths Effect

Filmed at the Leiths 40th anniversary celebration, hear from leading industry professionals and some of our most inspiring alumni, as they discuss what it means to be trained at Leiths.

If ever anybody comes to me for a job and I hear they’ve trained at Leiths, I want them.

– Rick Stein - Chef, Restaurateur & Broadcaster

Leiths Alumni; The Panel Talk

Camilla catches up with three of our alumni; author and chef, Olia Hercules, Sunday Times food editor, Lisa Markwell, and chef and restaurateur, Michael Lavery. Listen to the panel reminisce and reflect on their time at Leiths, their aspirations going into the diploma, and their inspirational industry achievements since graduating.

I still remember the exact moment I made the decision to go to Leiths - I was really ill and overworked, at home, the swine flu epidemic was happening and it all felt pretty momentous. Then the advert for Leiths came on TV. I said, “I wonder if I could do this,” and my best friend said, “I’m surprised you are not already doing this!” Within three months I quit my job and enrolled to do the Leiths intermediate and advanced diploma. Needless to say, it changed my life completely. My third cookbook is about to come out and most importantly - my job brings me so much joy every day.

– Olia Hercules - Author, Chef & Leiths Alumna

Health & Safety

Camilla introduces our full health and safety policy, which can be downloaded using the link below and will be regularly updated.

View more health & safety information (PDF) >

Leiths Three Term Diploma

Other Professional Courses


Take a look through our professional course resources to find out more about how to enrol, student finance, our online professional courses and more.

Leiths Professional Course Price List 2021-2022

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Professional Student Handbook 2021-2022

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Professional Student Handbook 2022-2023

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How to Enrol

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Sample Curriculums

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How to Enrol & Requirements by UKVI for Short Term Study Visa

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Student Accommodation

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Online Professional Courses

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Leiths List (Careers)

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What expectations do you have of my cooking when I start the course?

We expect our professional students will be really good home cooks and passionate about food, but we don’t expect them to have any specific skills. Students tend to be very good at cooking the things they like eating but have gaps in their knowledge - so a student might be great at baking but never have filleted a fish before. So we assume nothing and start every subject from the beginning to ensure students leave confident in all subjects.

Do any students work while they study?

Lots of students work during their course. Some will do occasional jobs through our agency Leiths List and some will do regular shifts, often at pubs or restaurants local to them. We advise you not to commit to work shifts in the first two weeks of your course until you get a feel for how long the home preparation work takes you and how much time spare you will have. But it is great practice for students to work while they study and good for their CVs.

Can I book the foundation term and see if I enjoy the style of course before booking for the full diploma?

Although booking onto all three terms to begin with is the only way to absolutely guarantee your place, it is usually possible to continue onto the Intermediate and Advanced term after your Foundation course. We advise that you let our Registrar know that you are considering staying on so that she can be aware of how many places we need to hold. We tend to have 16-20 Foundation students each year who decide to stay and complete their Diploma.

The price for the Foundation Certificate followed by the Two Term Diploma is greater than the price when committing to the full Diploma from the start.

The Foundation Certificate is the same as the first term of the Diploma. If you are enrolling for the Foundation Certificate alone, you will normally be in a class with some students doing just the Foundation and some doing the full Diploma. However depending on the ages of the student applicants you may be in a group of just Foundation students initially.

What is the normal age range of the students, will I be in a group of people my own age?

Students on Leiths Diploma usually range in age from 18 into their 60’s. Students join us when they leave school, leave university, change careers, return to work after having children, after redundancy or after other life changes. They are ex-teachers, lawyers, academics, architects, builders, nurses, marketing, journalists, sportspeople to name a few; a very interesting and diverse group. They tend to learn in similar aged groups and are united by their love of food and cooking.

We tend to put students at a similar life-stage and age into groups together. Classes tend to bond well and graduates have often gone into business together and formed strong networks. However this obviously depends somewhat on the ages of the applicants each year. If you have any strong feelings about what class make-up would suit you, then you can discuss this with the Registrar.

Will Leiths help me to find a job?

Yes. Our Leiths List job agency and careers service will meet all students near the start of their course to understand what they are looking for and help both with recommending jobs and making connections with Leiths alumni. They also offer advice to students about how to go about getting the types of job they want.

I don’t want to have a career in a restaurant kitchen – is the Diploma the right course for me?

Yes absolutely - the Leiths Diploma is a culinary qualification designed to make our students the most employable graduates entering all areas of the food industry. More than half our students go on to careers outside of restaurant kitchens.

Would I be able to get a job in a Michelin starred restaurant after the course?

Hard-working students who achieve high standards throughout their course will be able to achieve the necessary level of skill required for jobs in Michelin starred restaurants.

I don’t want to taste wine. Will I still be able to take the wine course?

Yes - for those who are interested in wine but not able to taste it, it is possible to take the WSET wine courses without tasting wine.

If you do not wish to attend the wine lectures you will be eligible to achieve ‘Leiths Diploma in Food’.

Will I have recipes for all the dishes I see and cook?

You will always have the recipes for the dishes shown in demonstrations and for the dishes you cook in class. The only time you won’t be given a recipe to follow is when you are doing creative cooking and developing your own dish or accompaniment.

Will I know what I’m doing in advance so I can plan other commitments around my course?

You will be given all relevant dates at the beginning of each term (including school trips, late morning starts or health and safety courses). Every Thursday you will be given the timetable for the following week with full details of timings and recipes to be cooked. If you need information about specific dates further ahead you can ask your teacher or the Principal.

Will Leiths help me find accommodation?

Leiths does not provide student accommodation. However we have a list of local rental properties near the School that is updated regularly. We also have a list of student halls that are within easy commuting distance. See resource section above. Once a student is enrolled they are invited to the Diploma students Facebook group which is designed to put you in touch with your future classmates so that you can get to know each other, discuss accommodation options and keep in touch throughout the course.

How do other students fund this course?

Unfortunately as the government has not yet replaced the ‘career development loan’ with a different system, there is not one specific place we can advise students to go for funding. Some students take out personal bank loans or pay in installments. Please speak to your Registrar if you need us to be flexible in receiving your fees.

Some students have help from relatives or friends to pay their fees. When filling out your enrolment form, you would need to ensure that the relevant section is filled out by the fee payer. If you have more than one fee payer, just let the Registrar know.

Regrettably we are currently not offering any bursaries or scholarships. We can however help with spreading fees over an instalment plan.

Depending on your individual circumstances, some students may be eligible to apply for charitable funding, grants or a bursary elsewhere. Below you’ll find some useful links.

How do you deal with dietary restrictions?

We need to speak to you before you enrol on a course if you have a severe allergy, mild allergy, severe dietary intolerance, or are unable to eat any meat, a specific meat or animal products.

Students do not need to taste everything they cook if they have specific dietary requirements, allergies or intolerances. However it may be necessary to cook with some of these ingredients in order to satisfy the assessment requirements of this professional course. Alternatives are offered where possible and where a student’s learning will not be affected. Please contact the Principal to discuss.

Can I apply for a student card?

We have our own student cards which should enable you to get student discounts at some shops and cinemas. You will need to provide a passport sized photograph.

TOTUM is the new name for the NUS extra card providing discounts on various brands. A 12 month card available for our students costs £12

Student Travel Card

Those students on the Two or Three Term Diploma are eligible for a discount on London Transport by applying for an 18+ Student Oyster card. Fill in the appropriate form online (you will need your Leiths Student Number from the Registrar). Your application must be electronically verified by the Registrar before you are granted a card. Further details on travelling in London and Student oyster cards can be found on the Transport for London website at

You can also apply for a student railcard online.

The form must be stamped by a member of our administration team.

The International Student Identity Card (available for Three Term Diploma students only) will give you access to a network of specialist student travel offices around the world. You will also have access to the ISIC Helpline 24 hours a day from anywhere in the world which is designed to give special information to plan a trip, such as vaccination advice, and legal and visa advice when you are abroad. As an ISIC holder you will also receive a free copy of the ISIC World Travel Handbook.

The card currently costs £12 and is obtainable from Student Travel Offices around the world. The closest one to Leiths is STA travel on High Street Kensington. Leiths can supply you with a letter as proof of full-time student status so that you can obtain your ISIC.

Council Tax

For those of you paying Council Tax, Leiths can provide you with a letter confirming your student status and

you may be eligible for a reduction. Please ask the Receptionist or Registrar.

Leiths are proud to provide sponsorship for international students subject to criteria set out by the UKVI.

We feel it is important to bond with your fellow peers and so we host events such as a quiz night. The School also holds a charity canapé evening at the end of the Intermediate term, before assessments, to which students are welcome to invite a limited number of guests. Each class will also have a designated class rep who meets frequently with the Principal to discuss any matters.

We are members of UK Council for International Student Affairs ( UKCISA gives information on lots of topics including visas and immigration, work during and after studies, home or overseas fee status regulations and sources of funding. Look at their website first for answers to your questions. If you cannot find the information you need after looking at the website, you can telephone the Student Advice Line on +44 207 788 9214 between 1pm and 4pm (UK time).


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