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Culinary Skills

Culinary Skills

Immerse yourself in the fast-paced world of the commercial kitchen and get the skills you need to start your cooking career.

Program Image
Start Date:
Typical Length:
1 Year
$3,515 (Domestic) • $11,350 (International)
Tuition is valid for the 2020-21 academic year. Program costs and fees (textbooks, supplies, etc.) are additional.
+Locations & Availability

September 2020
Campus/Location DeliveryIn-class – Complete your program through courses that are held at a campus.

Online – All program courses are delivered online.

Blended – Complete your program through a combination of online and in-class courses (some courses are delivered 100% online). In-class courses are held at a campus.

Collaborative – program is delivered virtually on campus
Akerley Campus • Dartmouth Full time • In-class Waitlist
Kingstec Campus • Kentville Full time • In-class Seats available
Lunenburg Campus • Bridgewater Full time • In-class Seats available
Marconi Campus • Sydney Full time • In-class Seats available
Pictou Campus • Stellarton Full time • In-class Seats available
Strait Area Campus • Port Hawkesbury Full time • In-class Seats available


Develop the skills you need to launch a career in the food service industry. This one-year Culinary Skills certificate prepares you for work as an apprentice commercial cook and gives you a pathway to becoming a professional cook.

Grow your passion for food, and appreciation for both classic and emerging culinary trends and nutrition. You learn:

  • Basic cooking principles
  • Food preparation
  • Food culture and tradition
  • International cooking techniques
  • Farm-to-table food sourcing
  • Food cost control
  • Culinary history
  • Recipe management

You spend most of your time putting the theories you learn to test in a real, commercial kitchen on campus.

Ship's Cook Certification Training
Enroll at Strait Area Campus and add to your skillset with this Transport Canada-approved certification that prepares you for an in-demand culinary career at sea.

Admission requirements

  • High School Graduation Diploma or equivalent.
    • International students – High school diploma equivalency and English language requirements vary by country. View details

Program requirements

  • You're required to complete industry seminars and certifications, including Basic Food Safety Training and Emergency First Aid & CPR – Level A.
  • Students wishing to take Ship's Cook are required to take Marine Basic First Aid instead of Emergency First Aid & CPR.
  • As part of your studies at NSCC, you develop a portfolio of your work; the portfolio captures your achievements and profiles your skills to employers.

Tuition, fees and program costs

In addition to annual tuition, there are program costs (books, tools, etc.) and student fees for college services, health and dental plans, your student association and parking.

View detailed program fees page(s). Please note that tuition values on these pages are for 2019/20 and are meant for planning purposes only. They don't represent final amounts owing.

Work experience

  • Field experience (work placement) is a mandatory credit course completed at the end of your program. It provides you with the opportunity to apply your knowledge and skills outside of the classroom.
  • Opportunities are typically unpaid and last approximately 5 weeks.
  • Transportation, accommodations and other costs related to work placements are your responsibility.
  • For more information, visit Work Experience Opportunities.

Career options

  • Nova Scotia is experiencing a shortage of skilled cooks. Entry-level employment opportunities exist in a range of areas, including:
    • Hotels, resorts and restaurants
    • Public institutions (e.g., schools, colleges, universities, hospitals, nursing homes, correctional facilities, etc.)
    • Private institutions (e.g., golf clubs, yacht clubs, long-term housing, etc.)
    • Catering
    • Marine industries

Choose NSCC

  • NSCC is proud of our strong working relationship with Sobeys. Each campus with this program is a Sobeys Culinary Centre.
  • Our instructors have a long tradition of success in the culinary industry and have worked around the world.
  • This program is responsive to industry's needs and demands, ensuring your skills are current and relevant.
  • Take the first step on the path towards Journeyperson Certification in the Cook trade. Graduates of this program are eligible for transfer credit upon registration in the Provincial Apprenticeship Program.

Other info

  • If enrolled in the Canadian Armed Forces Non-Commissioned Member Subsidized Education Plan, your tuition fees, books and academic equipment will be paid by the military, in addition to receiving a salary and benefits while attending NSCC.
  • Red Seal – Cook is a designated trade that qualifies for the Interprovincial Standards Red Seal Program. The Red Seal allows qualified tradespersons to practise the trade in any province or territory in Canada – where the trade is designated – without having to write further examinations.
  • Students who complete the Culinary Skills certificate may apply for second-year entry into Culinary Management.
    • Only a limited number of seats are available. If you're accepted into the program, you must complete a mandatory co-operative education (co-op) credit course before starting. Co-op provides an opportunity for paid employment (of at least 12 weeks) – in a field related to your program – between your first and second year.

Courses may include

Course descriptions
Code Course
COMM 1227   Communications I
COMP 1230   Computer Essentials
COOK 1328   Introduction to Human Relations
COOK 2995   Work Experience
CULS 1020   Kitchen Essentials
CULS 1040   Stocks and Soups
CULS 1060   Vegetables, Fruits and Carbohydrates
CULS 1070   Protein and Sauce Foundations
CULS 1080   Quick Breads and Yeast Doughs
CULS 1100   Cold Kitchen
CULS 1120   Eggs and Breakfast
CULS 1140   Cakes and Pastries
CULS 1160   Cooking for Health and Culture
CULS 1170   Career Readiness
CULS 1180   Plant Based Cuisine
CULS 2070   Protein and Sauce Essentials
MATH 1020   Applied Math for Food Service
SAFE 1000   Introduction to WHMIS (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information Systems)
SAFE 1001   Introduction to NS OH&S Act

Next Steps

  1. 1

    Visit NSCC

    Visit NSCC » Campus Tour
  2. 2

    Application Process

    Who Can ApplyHow to Apply
  3. 3

Have questions?

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