Diploma in Food and Wine

6 Months, Full-Time

The Diploma in Food & Wine is our flagship course and has broad appeal. As well as a comprehensive understanding of cooking methods and techniques, the Diploma in Food & Wine equips students with valuable qualifications in wine, food hygiene and business.

Who is the course for?

Our Diploma in Food & Wine is open to students of all ages and abilities. Edinburgh School of Food & Wine accepts students from around the world including gap-year students, school-leavers, and career changers. The cross-section of students that the Diploma attracts helps create a diverse group in which the focus lies firmly on gaining an invaluable introduction to food and wine.

Career Opportunities

Edinburgh School of Food & Wine alumni have gone on to pursue a range of careers in the professional world. These have included professional chefs, private cooks, caterers and food writers. Since our establishment in 1986, Edinburgh School of Food & Wine has created and nurtured strong relationship with industry professionals in the UK and around the world. We work closely with each student to create the right opportunity for the individual.

Culinary Programme

Over the course of our Diploma in Food & Wine, ESFW covers over 700 hours of hands-on, practical experience in all aspects and areas of the kitchen. This includes all of the classical cornerstones of cooking, in addition to the contemporary methods and techniques used in today’s catering industry.

Not only do we equip students with a good knowledge of the ingredients used in each recipe, but we also spend a number of days away from the kitchen meeting suppliers, attending demonstrations, hosting events and taking part in innovative workshops and mock-scenarios.


Topics that we cover include, but are not limited to:

  • Soups, stocks and sauces
  • Butchery, meat preparation and cooking
  • Bread making
  • Cooking for larger numbers
  • Vegetables
  • Pasta, risotto and pulses
  • Fish preparation and cooking
  • Game
  • Smoking, curing and preserving
  • Cooking for diets and allergies
  • Pastry, desserts and puddings
  • Chocolate
  • Menu writing and costing
  • Wine Studies

During the Diploma, students are given a comprehensive short course in wine, tutored by our expert sommelier.

After 18 hours of rigorous study, students sit their WSET Level 2 (Intermediate) Exam, a globally recognised qualification in wine studies.

This course will give students a good understanding of grape varieties, the influence of climate, food and wine pairings, sweet and sparkling wines and will enable informed wine and spirit selections.

This course provides an excellent base to pursue a career in food and wine.

Health & Safety

Before working in any foodservice environment, it is a legal requirement that every employee has a REHIS food hygiene certificate. As a matter of course, all of our Diploma students spend a full day of training with our Health & Safety officer, at the end of which a short exam is taken to gain certification.

Food Writing

Given the fact that hospitality is as much about the experience as the food, we find it invaluable to host a 2-day workshop on food writing. The course is hosted by an experienced and active food writer and blogger and culminates in a group lunch, which is held in a different restaurant each year.

The following day, students are asked to write a short review on their experience, which is assessed by our food writer and makes up part of the Diploma grade.

Business Course

The business module of the Diploma in Food & Wine provides an invaluable insight into the possibilities and opportunities available in the hospitality industry.

Unmatched across the cookery school spectrum in the UK, our business course covers both the creativity and innovation involved in conceiving a business idea, following it up thoroughly with business planning, forecasting and financial projections.

Over the duration of the course, students are asked to either conceive a small business idea, or indeed to table an idea that they currently have. This idea will then be developed, discussed and analysed before the production of a comprehensive business plan, including the necessary financial projections, which would play a hugely important in the development of any business proposal.

Areas covered in the business course are;

  • Income and expenditure
  • Managing your finances
  • Record Keeping
  • Business information gathering
  • Keeping it legal
  • Creativity and innovation
  • Developing the concept
  • Financial planning and forecasting

Diploma in Food and Wine leading to a Degree in Business and Enterprise (BABE)

We are delighted that Edinburgh Napier University has accepted the successful completion of the Edinburgh School of Food and Wine’s Diploma in conjunction with a portfolio of learning evidence as direct entry to the degree in BA Business and Enterprise (BABE).

BABE is an innovative one-year top-up degree programme offered to students in full-time employment or running their own business. Students who choose to study BABE attend university one day per month and have additional online support and informal student learning groups.

The programme is a combination of taught modules and work-based learning. Studying through this route is hugely popular with students and employers alike as the ‘off the job’ time is minimised. The programme uses the full calendar year allowing students to obtain this qualification in one year.

Chef’s Essential Kit

Knives and whites are an essential part of any chef’s kit, given that it is virtually impossible to work without them. Therefore, we equip all students with a full set of knives and equipment, as well as two sets of chef’s whites.

This is included in the Diploma price.

Qualifications & Accreditation

Edinburgh School of Food & Wine is fully accredited by ICAS and is continuously assessed and reviewed to ensure that we are reaching the standards that they set.

Only upon successful completion of our Diploma course, will each student receive:

Diploma in Food & Wine Certificate

REHIS Elementary Food Hygiene Certificate

WSET Level 2 Certificate

Complete Portfolio of Work & Study

Don’t just take our word for it…

“I enrolled at ESFW in 2010 for the 6-Month Diploma course, which signified the end of my career as an engineer in the oil & gas industry and the initial step towards turning my passion for cooking into a profitable business. Integrating cookery and business skills, the Diploma course provided me with the best possible grounding to establish Highland Country Cooking a luxury private chef & specialist catering business, which I run from my home in the Scottish Highlands. During my time at ESFW, I gained invaluable foodie knowledge & technical cookery skills, which developed my unique personal style for flavour combinations and menu design. It is hugely exciting running a small business and incredibly hard work; every day brings a new challenge and opportunity to get involved with, and I certainly have not looked back!”

Sarah Thompson, 2010 6-Month Diploma in Food & Wine

“Paul joined the team at Restaurant Mark Greenaway 11 months ago and has become a valued member of the team, rising to the rank of Chef de Partie. The broad range of skills that Paul brought with him from Edinburgh School of Food & Wine’s Diploma course means that he can work in all sections of the kitchen, which means a great deal to us. Winning our third AA rosette is a massive boost for the whole team here and Paul has played a vital part in making that happen.”

Mark Greenaway, Chef, Restaurant Mark Greenaway

Courses Dates 2017 & Price

  • 4 January – 30 June £9,500 inc VAT (£1500 deposit)
Program taught in:
  • English (US)

See 3 more programs offered by Edinburgh School of Food and Wine (ESFW) »

This course is Campus based
Start Date
Aug 2020
6 months
9,500 GBP
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