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Course overview

The food and drink industry is the biggest manufacturing sector in the UK, larger than the automotive and aerospace sectors combined. The sector is worth more than £20 billion a year. Its aims are to produce high quality, safe and affordable food at the lowest environmental cost.

There is a shortage of people with the skills needed to handle modern changes in food production. These include nutrition, world population growth, Internet of Things, informatics and automation, food personalisation, health, wellness and sustainability.

This course will give you the theoretical and practical knowledge needed in the food industry. Your learning will combine relevant industrial training and experience. This will help you on the path towards becoming a chartered engineer.

Why choose this course?

3rd

in The Guardian University Guide 2021 for Chemical and Environmental Engineering

The Guardian University Guide 2021

7th

in the Complete University Guide for Chemical and Environmental Engineering

Complete Univerity Guide 2020

2nd

highest in the UK for female engineering graduate earnings, five years after graduation.

Course content

This course follows a modular structure, with students completing 180 credits over a 12-month period. Students will complete:

  • 60 credits of core modules
  • 30 credits of optional modules
  • a 30 credit development project providing skills in advanced design practice
  • 60 credit summer project which develops skills in research

The course utilises an integrated approach in which lectures, seminars, laboratories and information technology form key elements.

Modules

Core modules

Advanced Rheology and Materials (autumn) 10 credits

This module will introduce students to the flow properties of complex fluids. It will cover rheological models, outline characterisation techniques and explore selected applications.

Method and Frequency of Class:

Activity Number of Weeks Number of sessions Duration of a session
Lecture 11 weeks 1 week 2 hours
Lecture 12 weeks 1 week 1 hour

Case study supervisions are carried out in groups of 3-5 students and are intended to support the research into the allocated case study into an industrial application of rheology and/or materials.  Case study presentations take place in Week 12.

Method of Assessment: one exam (100%).

Food Processing (autumn) 10 credits

The aims of this module are to:

  • familiarise students with the complex food matrices, their formulation, and performance.
  • provide a level of understanding on a range of food process technologies to enable them to design process methodologies and comprehend current problems and their potential solutions.

Method and Frequency of Class:

Activity Number of Weeks Number of sessions Duration of a session
Lecture   1 week 2 hours
Tutorial   1 week 1 hour

Method of Assessment: one 2-hour exam (100%) 

Accelerated Design Training (year-long) 30 credits

Students undertaking this module will complete a group design project with a large individual component. The module is student-lead under the guidance of a group of academics.

Method and Frequency of Class:

Activity Number of Weeks Number of sessions Duration of a session
Computing 23 weeks 1 week 1 hour
Lecture 23 weeks 1 week 2 hours
Workshop 23 weeks 1 week 4 hours
Workshop 23 weeks 1 week 4 hours

Activities may take place every teaching week of the Semester or only in specified weeks. It is usually specified above if an activity only takes place in some weeks of a Semester.

Method of Assessment:

Assessment Type Weight Requirements
Coursework 1 30.00 A group conceptual design task consisting of: basis of design, a minimum of 3 PFDs for different process configurations and a 3 page report outlining the comparative performance of each configuration. Due in November.
Viva voce    
Coursework 2 70.00 Detailed group design task consisting of 10 separate components. Due in April.
Multiphase Systems (spring) 10 credits

This module will identify the industrial occurrence of the simultaneous flow of more than one phase and highlight the implications for design. It will establish the principles of flow and heat transfer in gas/liquid systems and the principles of design methods.

Method and Frequency of Class:

Activity Number of Weeks Number of sessions Duration of a session
Lecture 12 weeks 1 week 1 hour
Lecture 12 weeks 1 week 2 hours

 Method of Assessment:

Assessment Type Weight Requirements
Coursework 1 30.00  
Exam 1 70.00 2 hour exam
Research Planning (spring) 10 credits

The module develops the skills required to design, plan, implement and manage a research project.

Students will be given instruction and practice in:

  • problem definition
  • collection and synthesis of information from a range of traditional and electronic sources
  • critical review of information
  • definition of scope, aims and objectives
  • development of a project plan and schedule
  • management of project progress

Particular emphasis of the module is towards quality control and quality assurance and how these underpin measurement activities. The use of statistics for the assessment of data quality in measurement is also emphasised. Students will also develop their writing and practical skills through exercises and coursework.

Method and Frequency of Class:

Activity Number of Weeks Number of sessions Duration of a session
Lecture 12 weeks 1 week 2 hours
Lecture 12 weeks 1 week 1 hour
Practicum 12 weeks 1 week 2 hours

The module will comprise a series of lectures, tutorials and practicals. Students will undertake, under supervision, develop an appreciation and an ability plan and evaluate the requirements for a research project. Directed study to include the preparation of a research plan, individual presentation and a laboratory report.

Method of Assessment:

Assessment Type Weight Requirements
Coursework 1 70.00 3,000 word Laboratory Report
Coursework 2 30.00 1,000 word Critical Review
Research and Design Project (summer) 60 credits

This module provides the student with an opportunity to undertake a substantial personal project appropriate to their interests.

It will normally take the form of a scientific investigation, whether it involves experimentation or an extensive review of work already completed by others.

Typically (but not exclusively) it will include the following:

  • Project definition and aim (choice of subject is at the discretion of the convenor).
  • Literature review
  • Practical experimentation/investigation
  • Critical analysis of findings
  • Presentation of results

Method and Frequency of Class: Tutorial sessions as appropriate throughout the summer period. A typical average period of two weeks between tutorials is expected. Tutorials may be for individuals or small groups locally arranged with supervisor.

Method of Assessment: Dissertation, typically 10,000-20,000 words (100%).

The project area is flexible and will be supervised by an academic member of staff. MSc Students chose a theme from the following:

  • Energy Engineering 
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Sustainable Process Engineering
  • Biochemical Engineering

Projects are then allocated within these themes.

Previous projects have included:

  • Heavy metals removal from drinking water
  • Microbial fuel cells
  • Carbon dioxide capture technologies
  • Removal of pharmaceuticals during wastewater treatment
  • Nanobots for contaminated land remediation
  • Advanced measurement techniques for bubble columns

Optional modules

Water Treatment (autumn) 10 credits

This module introduces students to a range of knowledge and skills applicable to water and wastewater treatment. Students will gain an understanding in water availability, sources of pollution and the legislative framework for water quality from an EU perspective.

Municipal water and wastewater treatment processes will be covered, focusing on key unit processes including sedimentation, filtration and disinfection. Example sheets and case studies on unit operations and processes will support the lecture delivery and provide an appreciation of the benefits of different plant specifications. The module will also be supported by 2 site visits.

Method and Frequency of Class:

Activity Number of Weeks Number of sessions Duration of a session
Field 2 weeks 1 week 6 hours
Lecture 11 weeks 1 week 2 hours
Tutorial 11 weeks 1 week 1 hour

The 2 site visits (field trips) will replace 2 of the 2 hour lectures.

Method of Assessment: one 2-hour examination (100%).

Biochemical Engineering (autumn) 10 credits

This module covers underpinning aspects for bio-processing technologies including: an overview of microbes, including structure, function, kinetics and components; metabolism and biomolecules; microbial technology including industrial biosafety and reactor systems; and industrial enzyme biocatalyst technologies with applications.

 Method and Frequency of Class:

Activity Number of Weeks Number of sessions Duration of a session
Lecture 11 weeks 1 week 1 hour
Lecture 11 weeks 1 week 2 hours

Method of Assessment: one 2-hour exam (100%).

Advanced Computational Methods

The module is designed to give you experience of advanced software applications in chemical engineering, and their potential application to research projects. You will learn how to use advanced features of HYSYS, including:

  • the optimiser for (a) a two-stage compressor (b) an economic assessment of a refrigeration process
  • the dynamics package to simulate (a) fluid flow in tanks in series (b) the control of a separator drum

You’ll spend three hours per week in computing sessions.

Process Risk Benefit and Analysis

The module will explore decision making in the presence of uncertainty. Risks of particular interest are those associated with large engineering projects such as the development of innovative new products and processes. The module will present and interpret some of the frameworks helpful for balancing risks and benefits in situations that typically involve:

  • human safety
  • potential environmental effects
  • large financial and technological uncertainties

Case studies will be used to illustrate key points and these will centre on the use and recovery of plastics, metals, industrial minerals and energy. You’ll spend three hours in tutorials per week.

Water Treatment Engineering (spring) 10 credits

This module will concentrate on water treatment technologies covering those applicable to both the treatment of wastewater and the treatment of water for potable (drinking water) use. The beginning of the module will review current practice and scientific principles in water treatment.

Case Studies across the water industry will be utilised to demonstrate problems and potential solutions and gain an understanding of design considerations and operation of water treatment processes. Emerging issues in water treatment and the developing technologies to address these issues will be presented. Guest speakers from industry and 2 site visits will support the module delivery. 

Method and Frequency of Class:

Activity Number of Weeks Number of sessions Duration of a session
Field 2 weeks 1 week 6 hours
Lecture 12 weeks 1 week 2 hours
Tutorial 12 weeks 1 week 1 hour

The 2 site visits (field trips) will replace 2 of the scheduled 2 hour lecture sessions.

Method of Assessment:

Assessment Type Weight Requirements
Coursework 1 30.00 Individual report, Max 2,000 words
Exam 1 70.00 2 hour examination
Water Treatment

This module will introduce you to a range of knowledge and skills applicable to water and wastewater treatment. You'll gain an understanding in water availability, sources of pollution and the legislative framework for water quality from an EU perspective.

Municipal water and wastewater treatment processes will be covered, focusing on key unit processes including sedimentation, filtration and disinfection. You’ll spend three hours per week studying for this module. Teaching is also complemented by site visits.

Advanced Computational Methods

The module is designed to give you experience of advanced software applications in chemical engineering, and their potential application to research projects. You will learn how to use advanced features of HYSYS, including:

  • the optimiser for (a) a two-stage compressor (b) an economic assessment of a refrigeration process
  • the dynamics package to simulate (a) fluid flow in tanks in series (b) the control of a separator drum

You’ll spend three hours per week in computing sessions.

Process Risk Benefit and Analysis

The module will explore decision making in the presence of uncertainty. Risks of particular interest are those associated with large engineering projects such as the development of innovative new products and processes. The module will present and interpret some of the frameworks helpful for balancing risks and benefits in situations that typically involve:

  • human safety
  • potential environmental effects
  • large financial and technological uncertainties

Case studies will be used to illustrate key points and these will centre on the use and recovery of plastics, metals, industrial minerals and energy. You’ll spend three hours in tutorials per week.

Water Treatment Engineering

This module will concentrate on water treatment technologies covering those applicable to both the treatment of wastewater and the treatment of water for potable (drinking water) use. The first part of the module will review current practice and scientific principles in water treatment.

Case Studies across the water industry will be utilised to demonstrate problems and potential solutions and gain an understanding of design considerations and operation of water treatment processes. You’ll study emerging issues in water treatment and how developing technologies are addressing them. Guest speakers from industry and two site visits will support the module delivery. You’ll spend three hours in lectures per week.

Biochemical Engineering
This module aims to introduce to students and build fundamental knowledge and skills in the utilisation of biological systems in bio-manufacturing and bioconversion. Students will learn basic biological science applied to the exploitation of living systems and their components. Fundamentals of bioprocess safety will be developed. You'll spend three hours in practical sessions each week studying for this module.
Industrial Process Analysis

This module aims to provide you with a thorough understanding of how process, hygiene and material characteristics influence the total transformation design of chemical process plants via the reverse / forensic engineering based analysis of examplar plant designs. You'll learn how to:

  • assess the physical-chemical basis for safe process design, including handling of extremely hazardous materials, appropriate safety and control measures and the effect that such considerations have upon influence of scale-up
  • evaluate the basis for selection of construction material based on the characteristics of the materials being processed, conditions required to achieve the transformation, etc.
  • critically evaluate physical-chemical basis for application of novel/alternative processes and plant designs (e.g. green chemistry/process intensification/process integration)
  • explain the physical-chemical and practical factors which influence process economics, for example achievable yields, economies of scale of process, work-up and purification, sue stages
  • demonstrate what influence whole system thinking, total life-cycle and critical analysis have upon the physical-chemical basis of process designs
  • explain control choices with respect to the material, physical and chemical properties of the process relating them to product specifications and legislation requirements etc.
  • evaluate interactive risk within a complex system
  • understand the potential influence of that environmental impact and societal opinion has upon process design

Every week you'll have two hours of lectures and a one hour tutorial.

Water Treatment Engineering (spring) 10 credits

This module will concentrate on water treatment technologies covering those applicable to both the treatment of wastewater and the treatment of water for potable (drinking water) use. The beginning of the module will review current practice and scientific principles in water treatment.

Case Studies across the water industry will be utilised to demonstrate problems and potential solutions and gain an understanding of design considerations and operation of water treatment processes. Emerging issues in water treatment and the developing technologies to address these issues will be presented. Guest speakers from industry and 2 site visits will support the module delivery. 

Method and Frequency of Class:

Activity Number of Weeks Number of sessions Duration of a session
Field 2 weeks 1 week 6 hours
Lecture 12 weeks 1 week 2 hours
Tutorial 12 weeks 1 week 1 hour

The 2 site visits (field trips) will replace 2 of the scheduled 2 hour lecture sessions.

Method of Assessment:

Assessment Type Weight Requirements
Coursework 1 30.00 Individual report, Max 2,000 words
Exam 1 70.00 2 hour examination
The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for information on available modules. This content was last updated on Monday 23 November 2020.

Learning and assessment

How you will learn

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Lab sessions
  • Group study
  • Practical classes
  • Independent study
  • Self-study

How you will be assessed

  • Coursework
  • Examinations
  • Group coursework
  • Presentation
  • Research project

You will be assessed through a variety of ways, relating to the module learning outcomes and activities. You must pass each module with at least 50% to progress.

Contact time and study hours

On average, you will have around 20 contact hours a week. This include lectures, practicals, meeting with project supervisors and personal tutors. Combined with coursework and self-study, you may spend over 50 hours a week on your studies. Class sizes depends on the nature of the module (e.g., compulsory or optional) and can be  between 50-100.

Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2021 entry.

Undergraduate degree2:1 (or international equivalent) in a relevant subject. Applicants with a high 2.2 (or international equivalent) may be considered. You will require design experience in process engineering.
Work experience

Applicants who do not meet the entry criteria, but have significant work industry experience may be accepted on to the programme.

Applying

Our step-by-step guide covers everything you need to know about applying.

How to apply

Fees

Qualification MSc
Home / UK £10,500
International £25,000

If you are a student from the EU, EEA or Switzerland starting your course in the 2021/22 academic year, you will pay international tuition fees.

This does not apply to Irish students, who will be charged tuition fees at the same rate as UK students. UK nationals living in the EU, EEA and Switzerland will also continue to be eligible for ‘home’ fee status at UK universities until 31 December 2027.

For further guidance, check our Brexit information for future students.

Additional costs

As a student on this course, you could factor some additional costs into your budget, alongside your tuition fees and living expenses.

You should be able to access most of the books you’ll need through our libraries, though you may wish to purchase your own copies or more specific titles.

Funding

There are many ways to fund your postgraduate course, from scholarships to government loans.

The University also offers masters scholarships for international and EU students. Our step-by-step guide contains everything you need to know about funding postgraduate study.

Postgraduate funding

Careers

We offer individual careers support for all postgraduate students.

Expert staff can help you research career options and job vacancies, build your CV or résumé, develop your interview skills and meet employers.

More than 1,500 employers advertise graduate jobs and internships through our online vacancy service. We host regular careers fairs, including specialist fairs for different sectors.

Graduate destinations

Chemical engineering and food science at Nottingham has a long history of collaboration with industry. Our graduates consistently gain top jobs with major companies. This course equips students with a solid understanding of food process engineering. Providing transferable skills for the development of food processes and products.

This programme can provide a strong foundation for further study at PhD level, and the pursuit of a career in research.

We have a dedicated staff in the department to work with the Careers and Employability and Industrial Placements Teams, helping support our students to find summer and graduate jobs.

Two masters graduates proudly holding their certificates
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Food Process Engineering at UoN

Discover more about our Food Process Engineering MSc from students and our academics.

Related courses

The University has been awarded Gold for outstanding teaching and learning (2017/18). Our teaching is of the highest quality found in the UK.

The Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) is a national grading system, introduced by the government in England. It assesses the quality of teaching at universities and how well they ensure excellent outcomes for their students in terms of graduate-level employment or further study.

This content was last updated on Monday 23 November 2020. Every effort has been made to ensure that this information is accurate, but changes are likely to occur given the interval between the date of publishing and course start date. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply.