Vocational Qualification in Restaurant and Catering services


OSAO is offering a study programme in restaurant and catering services delivered completely in English. You can graduate as a cook, and gain diverse skills for cooking, baking, and customer service roles. After graduation you have strong language skills and the skills to work or study in international environments in the restaurant and catering sector.

Career and studies

As a cook you will be working in various tasks in the restaurant and catering business. Working in this field of services requires independent and responsible attitude. As a cook, hygiene is a matter of honor for you, and you know to utilize good interaction and teamwork skills. This education provides good skills for working in diverse positions in this profession in Finland and abroad. Studies consist of contact and independent studies and work-based learning. Possibility to include international work-based studies.

Optional units provide you to build your own professional skills. Your professional skills consist of gastronomic skills, attitude, language skills, flexibility and creativity.

Employment and opportunities for further studies

After completing the degree, you will be able to work in cooking positions in restaurants with different business ideas and missions. The course of study provides you with vocational as well as language skills that are an advantage when working in international restaurant environments.

Vocational qualification gives students eligibility for further education in universities and universities of applied sciences in Finland.

Details and application

Studies and applying

Rolling admission is aimed especially at upper secondary school graduates and those who are changing career direction and already have some previous studies or work experience. Applicants with upper secondary or higher level qualifications completed abroad are also suitable for the programme if their Finnish language skills are not sufficient for Finnish-language vocational education (Ravintola- ja cateringalan perustutkinto). The studies require both good English language skills and good study skills.

Who can apply

Basic entrance requirements for studying Vocational qualification in Restaurant and catering services:

  • Completed Finnish comprehensive school or other basic education (approximately nine years, age 7-16)
  • Good written and oral command in the English language
  • 18 years of age

Applicants from outside Finland

The education is mainly targeted at Finns, citizens of the EU and applicants possessing residence permit in the EU. If you have a residence permit in the EU, please attach it to the application.

We can yearly accept a few applicants without the Finnish national qualifications in basic education. In this case we require that the applicant has the necessary capacity to study in the programme and has a well-grounded reason to study in Oulu Vocational College. Well-grounded reason could be e.g. family reasons.

Application period

The next application period starts in March 2024.

Start and planned duration of studies

Studies start on 4 September 2023. Planned duration is approximately 2 years. You will have a personal competence development plan (PCDP). Duration of your studies depends on your prior competence and PCDP.

Place of study

OSAO, Kaukovainio unit, Services, Teaching restaurant Hilikku, Kasarmintie 8 H, 90100 Oulu

Selection criteria

Students are selected based on an interview.

Admission points (10) are awarded for an interview as follows

  • prior competence, max 1 points
  • need for education, max 4 points
  • motivation, max 5 points

Applicants will be contacted and invited to a selection interview within a week after the application period has ended.

Language proficiency assessment

Language requirements:

  • Language skills are tested in a selection interview.
  • Good written and oral command in the English language.

Selection criteria concerning language requirements has changed since 1st of September 2022.

Form of studies

The study is carried out as full-time education in accordance with the personal competence development plan. It is not possible to complete the studies as online studies. Teaching and guidance is provided as face-to-face, online and distance learning (Teams). Studies also include independent study.

Structure of studies

Scope of qualification is 180 competence points (cp)

Compulsory units 85 competence points
  • Working in catering services 20 competence points
  • Preparing lunch dishes 40 competence points
  • Preparing plated dishes 25 competence points
Optional units, 60 competence points
  • Preparing à la carte dishes 30 competence points
  • Food preparation for catering services and special occasions 25 competence points
  • Street and fast food services 10 competence points
  • Using natural produce in catering services 15 competence points
  • Working in an international work environment 15 competence points
Common units, 35 competence points
  • Communication and interaction competence
  • Skills in mathematics and natural sciences
  • Societal and working life competences

Read more https://eperusteet.opintopolku.fi/#/en/kooste/4038059 at Studyinfo

Cost of studying

There are no tuition fee but, you must purchase kitchen clothing, work shoes and other studying material.

Further information

Lecturer in Food Production, Riikka Vanhala tel. +358 50 5432836, riikka.vanhala@osao.fi

Study Counsellor, Mervi Savela, tel. +358 40 4858604, mervi.savela@osao.fi



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