1 year full time

2024: January, July


2024: A$9,043*
* fee per semester

Application due dates:
We are currently accepting applications for this course.
Materials fee:
$651 (indicative fees per course)


Make your culinary dream a reality, with this hands-on commercial cookery course at VU Polytechnic. 

This commercial cookery program is suitable for school leavers with little or no relevant work experience and mature-aged participants who are interested in developing a career in the hospitality industry.

Using a blend of online and practical skills development, this cooking course provides you with essential skills in the following areas:

  • food preparation (poultry, meat, seafood, vegetables, dairy, fruits)
  • desserts (cakes, pastries)
  • menu planning and costing
  • basic knife skills
  • basic methods of cookery
  • teamwork
  • sustainable work practices
  • food hygiene, food safety and OHS.

You will learn a range of practical skills and the latest trends and techniques used in the industry under the guidance of experienced chefs.

All non-apprentice students studying full time or part time are required to complete 48 service periods of work placement in a commercial kitchen.

On successful completion, you can choose to continue your cooking studies, and may find employment as a:

  • commis chef
  • sous chef.

It is important to note that students will be expected to follow standard recipes to prepare meat dishes using each of the following meat items: beef, game (kangaroo, venison, specialty meats), lamb, pork, veal and offal (kidney, liver). Students will be unable to successfully complete unit 'SITHCCC036: Prepare meat dishes' without meeting this requirement.

The part-time training option (for domestic students only) is designed to accommodate participants already working in the industry and workers in other fields who are interested in developing a career in the hospitality industry.

The course is delivered through face-to-face workshops, structured learning activities in text-based units and work integrated learning. In workshops, students learn in classroom and in kitchen learning spaces. The course will be delivered in an interactive, hands-on model to engage learners and support skills development.


The part-time course duration is 18 months, delivered over three semesters. Face-to-face workshops will be held every Saturday, 8am–4pm at our Footscray Nicholson hospitality training centre, VenU Restaurant.

You'll gain hands-on experience working with the latest cooking equipment in the Footscray Nicholson hospitality training centre, VenU Restaurant, including:

  • three state-of-the-art commercial kitchens with the latest cooking equipment
  • two demonstration kitchens
  • a training bar
  • VenU: a 150-seat training restaurant.

VenU restaurant was awarded best training restaurant in Victoria at the Restaurant and Catering Awards.

During your course you'll be exposed to our high-profile industry partners including:

  • Delaware North
  • Sebastian Restaurant and Bar
  • Lucas Restaurants
  • Melbourne Convention Exhibition Centre
  • Contiki
  • Riverland Group.

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A cook (commercial) works under the instruction of the chef/sous chef/chef de partie in a commercial kitchen.

Possible career opportunities after completing this course include cooking and food preparation roles in:

  • restaurants
  • hotels
  • clubs
  • pubs
  • cafes
  • coffee shops.


Course structure

The course structure comprises the following core and elective units. These electives have been selected based on industry needs, graduate pathways and/or student and teacher feedback.

To be awarded the SIT30821 Certificate III in Commercial Cookery, a student must successfully complete a total of twenty-five (25) units of competency, comprising of:
* twenty (20) core units, and;
* five (5) elective units, of which:

  • three (3) units must be from Group A or Group B; and
  • two (2) units must be from Group A, Group B or Group C.

VU Polytechnic delivers the electives listed in the ‘course structure and units’ below. These electives have been selected based on industry needs, graduate pathways and/or student and teacher feedback. Alternative suitable electives are only available via Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) and Credit Transfer (CT).



Group A - Cookery and Catering

Group B - Asian Cookery

Recognition of Prior Learning and/or Credit Transfers:

Alternative suitable electives are only available via Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) and Credit Transfer (CT) approved by VU Polytechnic.

This qualification reflects the role of commercial cooks who use a wide range of well-developed cookery skills and sound knowledge of kitchen operations to prepare food and menu items. Using discretion and judgement, they work with some independence and under limited supervision using plans, policies and procedures to guide work activities.Completion of this qualification contributes to recognition as a trade cook.

Admission & pathways

Victoria University is committed to providing a transparent admissions process. Find out more about how to apply for our courses, and our commitment to admissions transparency.

Applicants for this course will need to have met the academic requirements and prerequisites for this course outlined below.

Meeting the minimum admission criteria does not guarantee entry into this course. Past academic performance may be considered.

Entry requirements

As part of the application process, applicants must complete a Pre-training Review (PTR) and undertake a literacy and numeracy (LN) assessment to determine suitability.
International students must meet the IELTS entry requirement of 5.5 (Academic) with no band less than 5.0. Where literacy and/or numeracy needs are identified during course delivery, students have access to a range of supports including:
•support from an LLN specialist through the open access sessions offered at each campus library learning hub or on an individual basis through the Victoria University Polytechnic Learning Support team,
• embedded support where an LLN specialist is engaged in a team teaching model with vocational teachers
• access to resources within Victoria University Polytechnic such as library-based student mentors and online support which is available on a 24/7 basis.

Find out if you meet the entry requirements, including English language and academic requirements.

There are many ways you can start your education journey at VU. Pathways offer an easy transition between courses at different levels, so that you can start with a certificate and progress right through to postgraduate study.

Find out more about pathways and credits.

Use our credit calculator to find out how much credit you could get towards your course, based on your previous study.

You may be able to complete your qualification sooner through formal recognition of your existing skills. This is known as Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).

To receive RPL, we assess your previous work, education and life experiences against recognised qualifications. Applications for RPL can be made prior to enrolling.

Call us on 1300 TAFE VP (1300 823 387) to discuss RPL options with the course manager.

How to apply

Prior to enrolment, all applicants will be required to complete a literacy and numeracy assessment to assist with determining eligibility and to identify learning support needs.

We are currently accepting international applications, and we welcome you to apply for this course.

Click 'apply' to begin, and we will guide you through the application process.


If you have questions, please get in touch:

Information and fees listed above are for non-resident students. Fees are accurate at the time of viewing and will be subject to annual increases. Some courses require students to purchase equipment or clothing that they will need in the course. These equipment or clothing costs are not included in the course fees listed above – check your Letter of Offer for an estimate on non-tuition-fee-related expenses.

VU takes care to ensure the accuracy of this course information, but reserves the right to change or withdraw courses offered at any time. Please check that course information is current with the Student Contact Centre.