The National Bakery School in Dublin is setting a precedent in Irish bakery education by starting a new baking degree course in September of this year.

The three-year course will lead to a BSc qualification in Baking and Pastry Arts Management. According to Derek O’Brien, head of the school, it is designed to equip people to become professional managers in the industry.

O’Brien said that bakers and pastry specialists need to have a combination of talents rolled into one - they need to be "artists, business visionaries, marketing experts and technologists".

Development of the course reflects rapidly changing consumer tastes in Ireland, he said. As people travel abroad more frequently and dine out more often, their tastes are now for speciality breads and Continental-style pastries.

The course is in a modular format. Successful students who leave after the first or second year will be awarded a higher certificate. Those that complete the full three years will be awarded a BSc.

The National Bakery School is part of the Dublin Institute of Technology.