Professional Baking and Pastry Arts

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Plated dessert workshop at Barry Callebaut Chocolate Factory in Belgium.

About Our Students

  • Kara Shedden has always wanted to own her own ice cream shop, and now that her dream has come true, life is pretty sweet.
    After graduating from Vancouver Island...
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  • For Paul Aboud, owner of the Hearthstone Artisan Bakery in south Nanaimo, his training laid the foundation that has earned his...
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  • Making quality products is what it’s all about for Medina Mayes, owner of Nanaimo’s only artisan cupcake shop. A Wee Cupcakery opened in 2010...
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VIU Baking Program -Shaw TV Nanaimo Channel 4

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:

1. Professional Baking and Pastry Arts Certificate program: 10 months plus co-op

2. Baking and Pastry Arts Management Diploma (new for Fall 2021): 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 - waived during Covid). Please contact Rita Gower at 250-740-6137 or program support at 250-740-6130 to make arrangements.

Professional Baking Certificate: VIU Program and Course Calendar Information & How To Apply

Baking and Pastry Arts Management Diploma: VIU Program and Course Calendar & How To Apply

Start date for certificate – August 30, 2021

Start date for diploma Year 1 - August 30, 2021

Start date for diploma Year 2 - September 6, 2022

Next Assessment Dates - call 250-740-6416 to book your assessment (waived during Co-vid)

Certificate Program Description

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.

Diploma Program Description

New for Fall, 2021, 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 at our News & Events page.

Program Costs

See Program Costs for details regarding current fees.
(All fees are subject to change without prior notice.)

Admission Requirements

See Admission Requirements for details.


A Vancouver Island University Certificate will be awarded to each graduate of the Professional Baking and Pastry Arts program.

A Vancouver Island University Diploma will be awarded to each graduate of the Baking and Pastry Arts Management program.

Graduates of these programs may receive credit towards the technical portion of the first year (Certificate program) and seond 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. See our Apprenticeship page for more information.

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.