Professional Baking and Pastry Arts

Watch the bakery in action and find out about our new Baking and Pastry Arts Management Diploma.

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Interested in learning to bake?  Look no further than Vancouver Island University.  We offer two programs:

  • Professional Baking and Pastry Arts Certificate program: 10 months plus co-op
  • Baking and Pastry Arts Management Diploma: 2 years plus two co-ops

Prospective students are welcome to make an appointment to visit the Baking program anytime the program is in session (September to June). Please contact Aron Weber at 250.740.6114 or program support at 250.740.6130 to make arrangements.

Next Assessment Dates - call 250.740.6416 to book your assessment

Certificate Program

The 10-month certificate program is designed to prepare students for a career in Baking using practical assignments in an industrial setting.

In addition to theory courses, the program covers artisan and commercial breads, rolls, sweet yeast products, pies, puff pastry, cookies, cakes, decoration, icing and finishing, French pastries, muffins, cup cakes, marzipan and chocolate. Also covered in the program are safety, conventional kitchen skills, sanitation, personal skills, and elementary management procedures. Students will also be trained in the operation and use of our wood-fired brick oven (the first in a Canadian educational facility).

We deliver face-to-face programming for 80% of the program and the remaining 20% (theory) is delivered online through a blend of synchronous, asynchronous and Zoom activities.

At the conclusion of the program, you will go out on a paid ten week co-op that often results in permanent employment for the student.

VIU's program will give you the foundation you need to become a Professional Baker. In addition, successful completion of the program will provide one year's credit towards the three-year apprenticeship program.

Learn more about the Professional Baking and Pastry Arts Certificate

Diploma Program

The Baking and Pastry Arts Management Diploma program is a full-time two year program that is comprised of the Certificate program (described above) for Year 1, a ten week co-op, and then a second year of advanced pastry courses, an Intro to Culinary course, English 115 and several courses from the Hospitality Management program that are aimed at helping you to achieve your bakery management or entrepreneurial dream.  This year concludes with a second ten week co-op.  At the conclusion of the diploma program, you will have achieved the following:

  • VIU Professional Baking Certificate
  • VIU Baking and Pastry Arts Management Diploma
  • Baker Level 1 and 2 technical training towards your Baker Red Seal
  • 1600 work-based training hours towards your Baker Red Seal

If you are interested in further education, you can then transfer to the third year of the Bachelor of Hospitality Management program after completing a bridging semester.

Check out some of our past student successes on News & Events.

Learn more about the Baking and Pastry Arts Management Diploma


Graduates of these programs may receive credit towards the technical portion of the first year (Certificate program) and second year (Diploma program) of the Baker Apprenticeship program. In order to complete the apprenticeship and become a journey person, graduates would return to VIU for one or two 4-week training sessions.

Learn more about Apprenticeships

Career Options

Certificate graduates find work as baking apprentices in retail outlets, supermarkets, department stores, hotels, resorts, lodges, bakery-related franchises, and camps.

Diploma graduates can find work as baking apprentices and trainee managers in in-store bakeries, institutions, hotels, resorts, large commercial baking enterprises, and bakeries.  Diploma graduates also open their own businesses ranging from farm market stalls, and food trucks to their own store-front businesses.


To become a student in our baking programs, apply to VIU.


Students with a Red Seal Certification in a Trade are entitled to up to 60 credits of block transfer credit towards a degree program at Vancouver Island University.

VIU Baking and Pastry Arts graduate, Kara Sheddon

Kara Sheddon

“My VIU training was vital to my growth in the industry. I have a complete understanding of how ingredients work, which gives me the creative freedom my customers have come to love. Over the past three years, I was laser-focused on gaining as much knowledge as possible. I had endless opportunities to reach out to my instructors for guidance during this time and I know they are still available to support me.”

Read more about Kara's experience