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The definitive guide to food science courses in the UK

11 min read
AUTHOR: Food Matters Live
Young woman scientist holding lemon and pills at laboratory

Food science is the study of the fundamental scientific principles behind food and nutrition. This field of study applies chemical, biological, and physical sciences to help students solve challenges within the food system. 

Food science courses can also involve aspects of sociology and psychology. By integrating social and consumer-based behavioural studies, solutions can be found to global food production problems.

These courses often dive into the following topics:

  • The design and engineering of innovative food
  • Finding ways of enhancing the texture, taste, and nutritional values of food
  • The development of sustainable ingredients and green processes
  • Discovering how to make food safe and affordable

What can you expect from food science courses?

When studying food science courses, you will develop skills from almost all scientific fields and you will likely be taught via lectures, seminars, laboratory practice, and industrial placements. 

Food science courses often feature the opportunity to flex your problem-solving and team-based skills to work on complex challenges involving real-life scenarios. 

These courses also feature a wide variety of assessment methods to achieve your final grade. This includes written reports, oral presentations, group projects, exams, and a dissertation. 

Food science BSc (Hons)

With a focus on food production, designing new products, the analysis of food, and food safety, this course offers students the opportunity to prepare for a career as a food scientist.

Food affects every person every single day. As such, a significant regulatory framework oversees the food industry. Graduates of food science are needed in jobs across the food chain. From raw material inspection, production and processing, and all the way to the final evaluation of products. 

This course focuses on practice-led teaching. You will develop your analytical and practical skills which are required by employers in this industry. You will also gain a complex understanding of the commercial side of the food and drinks industry, as well as the interactions between the composition of food and metabolism, diet, health, and consumer science. 

Core modules include: 

  • Physiology and Biochemistry for Nutrition
  • Public Health 
  • Chemistry of Foods
  • Food Law and Policy
  • Practical and Academic Skills for Food and Nutrition Sciences
  • Food Preparation and Production
  • Research and Employability Skills for Food, Nutrition and Health
  • Nutrition through the Lifespan
  • Food Microbiology
  • Principles of Food Preparation
  • Food Processing Technology
  • Food Properties and Material Sciences
  • Product Design
  • Food Quality, Safety and Assurance
  • Food Biotechnology

Food science and technology BSc (Hons)

Being accredited by the Institute of Food Science and Technology and endorsed by the National Skills Academy for Food and Drink, this Food Science course will develop essential scientific and technical food knowledge.

This food science course will enable you to tackle the challenge of sustainable food production for a growing global population. Not only will you have the opportunity to study chemistry, biochemistry and physics, but you will also discover more about the nutrition and physiology of the human diet. 

Core modules include:

  • Food chemistry
  • Food safety
  • Principles of Product Development
  • Food Raw Materials
  • Food Product Manufacture
  • Quality Assurance
  • Food Technology
  • Microbiology of Food Processing
  • Sustainable Food Production
  • Food Industry Employability
  • Consumer Nutrition and Health
  • Experimental Design and Analysis
  • Food Biochemistry
  • Food Industry Management
  • Product Innovation
  • Advances in Food Processing and Technology

Food and nutrition science BSc (Hons)

This degree gives students the skills and knowledge they need to be practice-ready food scientists. 

By starting with the core subjects of food and nutrition, human anatomy, physiology, microbiology, biochemistry, and the principles of food and nutrition, students can develop their knowledge to explore more specialist areas of the food industry. This includes clinical nutrition, immunology, food microbiology and biotechnology.

Throughout this food science course, students will constantly gain new knowledge and skills which develop their ability to relate results to relevant theory, whilst obtaining the very latest training in biochemical and molecular experiments within a state-of-the-art laboratory setting. 

Core modules include:

  • Cell Biology 
  • Chemistry 
  • Human Anatomy And Physiology 
  • Microbiology And Biochemistry
  • Molecular Genetics 
  • Biotechnology 
  • Food Analytical Techniques
  • Food Microbiology 
  • Human Metabolism 
  • Human Nutrition
  • Immunology 
  • Medical Physiology
  • Applied Plant Science
  • Clinical Nutrition
  • Food Processing
  • Food Security And Management
  • Nutraceuticals And Health
  • Public Health Nutrition

Food science and innovation BSc (Hons)

This food science course will give you the skills you need to work in a creative, dynamic, and fast-paced profession. It provides the opportunity to not only learn about societal and scientific approaches to food but also theoretical and people-focused processes within dedicated, specialist facilities.

This course explores consumer needs, nutrition, production of food, development of new products, supply chains, approaches to marketing, research and development, and sustainability. You will also learn a broad range of skills to help address food challenges across the globe. 

Core modules include:

  • Food, Industry and Consumer Insights
  • The Science of Food
  • Food Formulation and Ingredients
  • Introduction to Human Nutrition
  • Tools and Techniques for Food Evaluation
  • Food Innovation
  • Food Quality and Safety
  • Managing People and Processes
  • Food Product Processing
  • Food Marketing and Retail
  • Contemporary Issues in Food
  • Innovation in Food Technology
  • Sustainability Solutions for the Food Industry
  • Global Food Policy

Food and consumer science BSc (Hons)

This food science course explores the relationships between food and the consumer, whilst teaching you how healthy, safe, and nutritious foods are developed.

This course covers all of the essential factors you need to know about in terms of the makeup of the supply chain and food choices. You’ll learn the techniques to make new products, how to innovate and make healthy and delicious foods, and even how to meet the needs of an ever-growing society – including sustainable food development. 

Core modules include:

  • Applied Biological Sciences for Food and Human Health
  • Social Science for Sport and Exercise
  • Nutrition and the Consumer
  • Safe Food Handling
  • Properties of Food
  • Food Design and Promotion
  • Nutrition through the Lifespan
  • Public Health Nutrition and Health Promotion
  • Food Characterisation
  • Quality and Safety Management Systems
  • Food Processing
  • New Product Development
  • Current Topics in Food

Food science postgraduate courses in the UK

Are you interested in exploring food science at a postgraduate level? Whether you’re looking for Masters degrees, PhD certifications, or something else, check out our list of food science postgraduate courses which explore exciting, interesting, and innovative food themes and sociological topics. 

Food science MSc

This food science course offers advanced study opportunities which are designed to build upon previous experience in a relevant first degree. 

Typically focusing on food analysis, food microbiology, product development, and quality control, choosing a masters in food science guarantees teaching from staff who are active members of the Institute of Food Science and Technology. This means you will receive first-hand knowledge from those regularly involved in the industry as the most expert consultants. 

The structure of this course provides the essential knowledge for your future food science career, whether you choose laboratory-based subjects or you’d prefer to focus on microbiology, analysis, or development. 

Advanced modules include:

  • Advanced Food Analysis
  • Food Microbiology and Safety
  • Food Product Development and Processing
  • Food Safety and Quality Management
  • Food Science Research Dissertation
  • Scientific Research Methodology
  • Food Science Industrial Placement
  • Nutrition and Food Policy

Food and nutritional sciences (MRes)

For those with a strong interest in a specific food or nutritional sciences topic and desire a research-focused career, the food & nutritional sciences research-based masters is the ideal programme. 

Acting as the ideal starting point for careers in academia, the public sector, or the wider food industry, this food science course provides extensive research training in methodology and further research skills required for a successful career. 

Throughout your time on this course, your studies will be tailored to your personal food industry interests to help you develop in-depth expertise in your chosen subject area. 

Advanced modules include:

  • Core Skills for Developing as a Researcher
  • Food and Nutrition Research Methods
  • Independent Research Project

Food systems and management MSc

For anyone with a passion for improving major worldwide problems, such as sustainability, food security, and food safety, this food science course has been developed specifically for entry to the food and drinks industry. 

This course will involve the integration of scientific, technological, and managerial aspects, and you will discover how to use and manage food resources efficiently to achieve a sustainable, secure, and safe food supply chain nationally and across the globe. 

Advanced modules include:

  • Quality of Food and Beverages
  • Postharvest Technology
  • Food Diagnostics
  • Food Chain Resilience
  • Leading Corporate Sustainability
  • Food Safety and Quality Management and Certification
  • Agrifood Business Innovation

Food science and biotechnology MSc

This innovative food science course is ideal for graduates seeking career enhancement and developing their knowledge and skills in food biotechnology, safety, management, and the latest analytical techniques. 

During this course, you will develop a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the latest food science and bioprocessing techniques. This course also focuses on the production and processing of food, including sustainability, food quality, and management of the supply chain. 

Depending on your desired career pathway, you will have the option to explore product development in more depth than undergraduate study, enterprises, microbiology, safety, and project management. 

Advanced modules include:

  • Advanced Practice in Sciences
  • Food Biotechnology
  • Food Chemistry Composition and Analysis
  • Food Product Design and Manufacturing Process Development
  • Food Safety Engineering and Management

Food science and innovation MSc/PgDip

Explore sensory evaluation, food law, and the effects of global trends on trade, regulation, policy, sustainability, and the food chain with the knowledge from this food science course. 

From 21st-century food manufacturing processes to enhancing your understanding of food’s biochemical components, this course offers the knowledge necessary to complete your very own innovative food development project – including working on everything from marketing to legal requirements. 

Additionally, you’ll learn the vital technical skills needed to survive in the food industry within dedicated technology and biochemistry laboratories – all with practical sessions in a range of areas in food production and analysis. 

Advanced modules include:

  • Molecular Nutrition And Biochemistry
  • Food Composition And Analysis
  • Food Microbiology
  • Food Processing
  • Food Safety And Quality Management
  • Innovation In Npd
  • Future Food Sustainability

Food science and technology – MSc/PgD/PgC

Designed to provide masters students with the professional training needed to enhance the food industry in the UK, this food science course offers professional training combined with comprehensive theoretical and practical knowledge within a range of food science and technological fields. 

Unlocking career pathways into manufacturing, commercial, governmental, and research-based roles within the food industry, students will be presented with a diverse range of tasks designed to test, develop, and strengthen their essential skills to meet global food industry challenges. 

Advanced modules include:

  • Food Technology with Food Chemistry and Biochemistry
  • Food Technology with Food Safety Management
  • Food technology with Food Innovation and Product Development
  • Global Food Safety
  • Global Food Quality Management Systems
  • Global Food Product Conformity

Agroecology, water and food sovereignty MSc

This food science course is a multi-disciplinary degree which is designed to address the global challenge of the procurement and design of environmentally sustainable and socially just food and agricultural systems.

Holding agroecology and other non-conventional approaches to food and farming at its core, this food science course provides the knowledge of some of the biggest problems facing modern food and farming systems – whilst also discussing the solutions required for their betterment to ensure a more sustainable and efficient food future. 

Advanced modules include:

  • Policies and Institutions for Food and Water Sovereignty 
  • Global Processes for Water Sustainability and Resilience 
  • Community Self-Organisation and Resilience 
  • Resilient Food and Water Systems in Practice 
  • Participation, Power, and People’s Knowledge 
  • Agroecological Techniques and Practices
  • Gender, Food Systems and Natural Resources
  • Stabilisation Agriculture
  • Leading Diverse Workforces 

Global food security and nutrition MSc

This food science course is a multidisciplinary programme which focuses on the wide range of challenges posed by improving the availability of food sustainably, including the access to food and nutrition. 

During this course, you will learn about food security, and that this issue is not just a matter of policy and production issues, but also elements such as land tenure, immigration, demographics, diet and nutrition, technology, natural resources, and climate change. 

By the end of your time on this course, you will have the skills necessary to critically evaluate and assess main theories and concepts related to the agronomic, environmental, nutritional, and socio-political factors which massively influence food security across the globe. 

Advanced modules include:

  • Nutrition for Food Security
  • Sustainable Food Production
  • Frameworks to Assess Food Security
  • Interrelationships in Food Systems

Find out about roles in the food sectors, and get tips and information about the career of your future with Food Matters Live’s free Inspiring Careers in Food guide.

The Inspiring Careers in Food Guide offers an unmissable opportunity to reach your target audience. Improve your Employer Brand Awareness, promote your opportunities to the future talent of the F&B industry, and spotlight the fantastic career pathways available with your business.


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