Culinary Studies

  • Course Code

    MT 655

  • Field of Study

    Culinary Arts,Tourism

  • Type of Course:

    Higher Certificate

  • Type of Qualification:

    Higher Certificate

  • Type of Study:

    Full time

  • Application Closing Date:

Course Duration:

2 years (4 semesters)

Course Summary

This course is designed to meet the requirements of students who wish to pursue careers as Professional Chefs.

Admission Requirements:

For admission to a programme, standard applicants must

  • score the necessary CAO points and
  • meet the minimum entry requirements


Leaving Certificate Examination in five subjects i.e. Grade O6 or H7 in five subjects. The five subjects must include Mathematics*, and either English or Irish.

*The requirement for O6/H7 Mathematics may also be satisfied by Grade F2 or higher in Foundation Level Mathematics.

Info re MTU Mathematics Exam only
Some students who apply to MTU courses may not achieve the required entry standard in Mathematics through the Leaving Certificate. For such applicants, MTU offers a second chance to reach the required entry standard through a MTU Mathematics Exam. This second chance facility allows applicants (depending on their results in the MTU Mathematics Examination) to gain entry to courses with an Ordinary Leaving Certificate Mathematics entry standard, and (with a higher level of performance) courses with a Higher Leaving Certificate entry standard. Please click here for more information.

Work Placement

There is a formal structured work placement over the summer at the end of Year 1.

Leaving Cert Subjects:

Helpful subjects are English, Mathematics, Business Subject(s), and Home Economics.


Tourism & Hospitality

For information on Fees/Student Grants/Scholarships and Financial Assistance, please click here.


What is Culinary Studies?

Culinary Studies is a course designed to meet the needs of students who wish to pursue careers as Professional Chefs.

Graduates go on to take up positions in hotels, restaurants, catering and events, along with many who set up their own businesses such as bistros, café-delicatessens, stylish cafes and restaurants.


Recorded November 2021


About the Course

MT 655 Course Location: MTU Bishopstown Campus

The course is mainly practical in nature and is supported by theory subjects relating to the world of cookery. Approximately 70% of the class time is spent in practical classes and kitchens covering subjects such as cookery techniques, classical and traditional cookery, along with specialist cookery from the Mediterranean, the Orient and other interesting world foods. Pastry, Larder, Buffet Work, and Confectionery are also explored.


Along with practical classes, formal lectures, guest lectures, site visits and group projects are also used to ensure students receive a fully rounded study environment. The formal, paid work placement allows the student to put into practice the skills which they have learned while in college and students are awarded academic marks for this important component of their course.


The tourism and hospitality buildings are of a leading standard and include modern demonstration and production kitchens, IT laboratories, a demonstration theatre, training restaurants, a training bar and well equipped classrooms. In addition students have easy access to the wider University facilities such as an excellent Library, IT facilities, sports and recreation facilities.


Administration and support facilities are offered in an environment where students have direct access to an experienced and qualified lecturing team. Students have participated and succeeded in the “Knorr Chef of the Year”, TV3’s “Head Chef” and the “Dunhill Cuisine Award for Best Commercial Food Product”, along with the annual AEHT, Eurotoque, and CATEX competitions.

Please visit Tourism & Hospitality Awards


Work Placement

Formal work experience is provided over the summer period at the end of year 1. All students will have a formal, paid work placement of a minimum of 12 weeks, in a good quality hotel or restaurant kitchen, which will be matched to the student’s area of interest and skill level, where they will work under the guidance of an expert chef. The work placement is a formal component of the programme and is awarded academic marks and credits.


Further Studies

Suitable qualified graduates can progress to:


Honours degree holders who achieve the specified level of academic performance are eligible to apply for a postgraduate course of study, both at MTU and at other third level colleges in Ireland and abroad.


Question Time

What is the difference between Culinary Arts and Culinary Studies?
Culinary Studies is the course designed for students who aspire to become a professional chef and it focuses on the key skills required by chefs in all kitchen types, whether a large upmarket hotel kitchen or a smaller specialist restaurant operation.

Culinary Arts provides a broad range of learning which combines the skills of business management with the skills of culinary activity. This provides an ideal combination of skills for the successful operation of many food related business enterprises.

What are the facilities like for this course in MTU Cork?
The facilities at the Department of Tourism and Hospitality are of the highest European standard. The Department operates to the highest level of industry recognised Hygiene and Environment management requirements.

If I want to become a chef is CR 655 the best study route to take?
The Higher Certificate in Culinary Studies is the ideal course of study for becoming a professional Chef, the course has a high concentration on the necessary practical skills, provided in some of the best practical kitchen facilities available.

All students are advised to consider pursuing additional and more advanced qualifications, either on graduation from the current course or by pursuing one of the programmes specifically designed for working chefs to attend part-time study.

Graduate Profile

Robert Hales

Restaurant Proprietor

Having graduated from CIT, Robert worked in large hotels in Cork and London, but always had a burning ambition to own his own business. He opened his first restaurant, Amicus, in Cork and quickly went on to establish three further restaurant businesses in the Cork area, Restaurant 14A, La Lavanda, and the Douglas Tea Room.

Robert’s advice to aspiring chefs is to “work hard while studying at CIT, always think positively, plan your career path and set achievable goals for yourself”.





Additional Programme Information


MTU has developed a website which gives full details of all modules for all courses. The website also has information on recommended textbooks, average weekly workload, assessments and exams.

Full details of the modules on this programme of study are available by clicking the following link:

Higher Certificate in Arts in Culinary Studies


Students will graduate as professional Chefs, equipped to embark on exciting careers which will allow them to develop their skills further and to travel extensively if desired.

Our graduates hold exciting positions as Head Chefs and Executive Chefs in a wide variety of hotels, restaurants and other food operations. Artisan food production, food product development, health care, food journalism and large scale catering facilities all offer opportunities to graduates for employment. Other graduates have gone on to set up their own successful businesses.


Potential Areas of Employment

  • Hotels ranging from 5 Star resorts through to smaller family-run hotels
  • Fine-dining Restaurants, local speciality restaurants, bistros
  • Catering companies
  • Event catering
  • Gastro pubs and café-delicatessens

Application for this course are processed by the
Central Applications Office (CAO)



EU Applicants must apply via the CAO - please click on the link above.

Non-EU Applicants - please click here for how to apply.

CAO 1st Round:

Entry 2021: 220

CAO Cut off:

CAO Average:

John Hartnett
021 433 5851

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