Culinary Arts Major - Bachelor of Arts

Passionate about food? Study the Culinary Arts major in the Bachelor of Arts and prepare yourself for a career in culinary arts.

This culinary arts degree brings together key culinary techniques and advanced theoretical concepts in food science, technology and ethics. It’s designed to develop your creativity and provide the springboard for your career in culinary arts. It's suitable for a wide range of students - from students who are coming directly from secondary school to industry professionals wanting to further their skills.


This is part of the Bachelor of Arts.

There’s an emphasis on practical and professional skills. You can tailor the degree to your interests and include papers from related disciplines like food science, hospitality, tourism, event management, human resource management or marketing.

In your first year, you become familiar with culinary arts as a discipline. You collaborate with your classmates to discuss culinary arts culture and explore concepts of sensory appreciation. This year, you choose a single major, minor or a double major to study in your second year. In Year 2 and 3 you take more advanced culinary arts papers.

Core papers

All students in the Bachelor of Arts complete core papers that cover effective communication, critical thinking and other transferable skills you'll need for your future career.

COMM570 Academic Communication: Conventions and Expectations
CLSY500 Culture and Society
CLSY504 Knowledge and Inquiry
CULN795 Advanced Culinary Showcase

Culinary arts papers

Papers you could take over your three years of study include:

CULN510 Professional Culinary Arts
CULN511 Commercial Culinary Practice
CULN602 Contemporary Cuisine in Aotearoa
CULN603 Nutrition and Wellbeing
CULN702 Food Ethics and Sustainability
FOOD501 Food and Senses
GAST601 Gastronomy
MGMT721 Leadership Principles, Perspectives and Practice
SOSC701 Sociology of Food

Practical industry experience

The Advanced Culinary Showcase paper is at the heart of your final semester, giving you the opportunity to create an event. This practical experience helps you build further skills for the workplace and consolidate your decision on your professional career after graduation.

Final-year Bachelor of Arts in Culinary Arts students hosted Hope, Strength & Love; a charity fundraising dinner for Breast Cancer Cure. The dinner, a 5-course degustation, was designed with the support of celebrity chefs Ray McVinnie, Ben Baley and Des Harris. The event raised over $3,000 for the charity.

Skills you will develop

The outcomes for graduates of this major are outlined in the Graduate Profile below.

Graduate Profile

Other requirements for this major

The practical side of this programme involves using commercial kitchen tools and equipment and requires you to demonstrate a level of skill that doesn’t compromise any health and safety standards for yourself and others.

Skills needed for culinary arts courses

  • Artisan food producer
  • Consultant
  • Owner/operator small business
  • Food and beverage manager
  • Food stylist
  • Product developer
  • Professional chef
  • Teacher

Find out more about industry trends, job descriptions and what employers may be looking for.

Culinary Arts Careers

The information on this page was correct at time of publication. For a comprehensive overview of AUT qualifications, please refer to the Academic Calendar.