This course is divided into three parts:
- 120 credits of taught modules in both the autumn and spring semesters
- 60 credits research project in the summer.
To obtain a masters, a total of 180 credits is required. A diploma can be awarded to students who choose to take only the taught element worth 120 credits.
In the autumn semester and spring semester students take taught modules normally consisting of 60 credits of food sciences modules and 60 credits of management modules, although some flexibility is allowed to take into account the different backgrounds of students on the course.
Quality Management and Quality Techniques for Industry
There are two main divisions of the material:
a) Quality Management. Historical introduction to the development of quality management thinking. The need for quality, definitions, ideas and concepts of quality. Quality gurus: Deming, Juran, Crosby, Taguchi, etc. Variation and quality improvement, problem-solving tools, Kaizen, Six Sigma. Culture change for Total Quality Management (TQM); empowerment, team-building, motivation. Business excellence awards (MBNQA, EFQM). Quality Management Systems (ISO 9000); auditing and certification. Quality economics, quality performance measures, benchmarking. Supply chain quality. Service quality.
b) Quality Techniques. Process capability: Variation Risk Management, loss functions, capability assessment. PCIs, non-normality, Six Sigma approaches. SPC charts: Shewhart charts for attributes and variables. CUSUM, EWMA. Acceptance sampling for attributes and variables. Advanced quality planning - QFD and FMEA. Quality Data management. Taguchi Statistical Robust Design. Total Preventative Maintenance.
Factory Design and Operations for Food Production
The influence of hygiene, quality and legislation on the manufacture of food will be addressed up to factory scale. Design and layout of factories for low and high risk foods will be explained with examples of Good Manufacturing Practice. Cleaning practices will be explained in terms of theory and in practical sessions using commercial cleaning equipment. The provision of services like steam and water (of the required quality) will be explained along with automation, particularly control using feedback loops. The legal constraints on food producers will be explained with reference to English and EC law, with input from enforcers (e.g. Environmental Health Officers and Trading Standard Officers) and related professionals. A product-development project where students will work as part of a team will provide opportunities to put these skills into practice.
Postgraduate Research Project
This is an individual project undertaken either on campus or as part of an industrial placement, depending on the degree programme. If you are completing your project in industry you will have an industrial supervisor who will determine the topic of the project. You will design the study; gain familiarity with previously published literature, together with the methods/techniques, ethical issues and, where appropriate, safety procedures relevant to the topic; and undertake data collection and appropriate quantitative analysis in preparation for the report and poster presentation.
Core Skills and Technologies of Food Manufacture
This year-long module will equip you to assume Masters degree roles in the Food Industry. The content of this module develops from ensuring that, regardless of scientific and engineering background, you will have a level of core knowledge required for roles in the Food Industry including:
- Appropriate use of data and statistics for quality management
- Hygiene requirements within food factories
- General laboratory skills
- Written documentation used in food manufacture
- Knowledge and use of appropriate terminology used in the manufacture of foods
- Recognition of the key compounds used in food production; to Manufacturing, Preservation and Quality control principles including project work developing the essential skills required for the 60 credit Research Project (D24PRO) such as collection, interpretation and presentation of data
- Project planning and execution
- Literature searching and presentation skills.
Practical activities in the food processing facility and directed reading are included to complement the formal lectures and tutorials.
Food Manufacturing Case Studies
Through problem-based learning (PBL) you will develop skills in diagnosing and solving challenges/problems relating to the manufacture, distribution and/or storage of food products. You will gather relevant information, synthesise an argument, and disseminate a recommendation/solution. No formal lectures are given, but you will be directed to appropriate literature and sources of information necessary for the successful completion of the task in the time available.
PBL Definition: The learning which results from the process of working towards the understanding of, or resolution of, a problem - it is not just solving problems. The most powerful learning comes when you deal with uncertainty. You need to acquire the process skills not just content, therefore they have to participate. You will work on a number of topics in relation to food production.
Supply Chain Management
Module content is divided into four parts.
(1) Supply Chain concepts: Classification of supply chains and networks. The importance of supply chain management. The procurement function. Supply chain dynamics. Supply Chain competition.
(2) Supply chain network design and planning. Buyer-supplier relationships and decisions. Sourcing decisions and lean procurement. Inventory positioning. Coordination and integration. Collaborative forecasting, planning and replenishment. Extended enterprise.
(3) Logistics management: The relationship between logistics and SCM - scope of the logistics function. Transport and distribution management. Technologies for logistics and SC management. Outsourcing the Logistics function - 3PL and 4PL.
(4) Supply chain and reverse logistics strategies. Performance, costs, agility and robustness in SCM and Logistics. Strategic planning for integrated SCM and logistics solutions. Sustainable Supply Chains.
In this module you will gain an appreciation of the importance of operations to business success. The course also provides knowledge and understanding of how the key variables of a business inter-relate, an introduction to the analytical skills to understand business operations and processes and examples of current good practice.
The module introduces fundamental concepts in project management. Students will gain understanding of the scope and variety of project types, understand key variables in project management and learn methods, techniques and approaches that are important in successfully managing projects to meet objectives in a wide range of contexts. You’ll spend two hours in computing sessions and two hours in lectures each week when studying this module.
The Global Food Industry
This module covers a series of business and legal topics that are directly relevant to those working in the global food industry and in particular those trading ingredients and finished products on a management level. Each topic is introduced through the delivery of traditional lectures, podcasts, videoed lectures or directed reading of the subject matter.
Topics covered may include: Global food economics, lean management techniques, supply chain in food practice, regulation and legislation in food, international aspects; import and export food, business planning, innovation management in the food industry, food safety risk analysis, food marketing strategies, business finance and support
This module aims to provide an in depth study of flavour generation by biochemical and chemical means, how flavour is delivered to the sensors and perceived by humans, how flavour can be analysed both instrumentally and sensorally.
The above is a sample of the typical modules that 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. This course page may be updated over the duration of the course, as modules may change due to developments in the curriculum or in the research interests of staff.
Food manufacture is one of the world’s largest industries, offering a broad range of career opportunities to science and engineering graduates in production or technical management within this industry.
The course is ideally suited to those wishing to pursue careers in food companies, including roles such as quality assurance manager and sensory scientist, as well as those planning to advance to higher research degree (PhD) study.
Employers of our graduates include Unilever, Nestle in China and GSK.
Occupations of our graduates include:
- Head of Product Development: Margarines, Oils and Fats SENNA
- Nahrungsmittel GmbH & Co KG, Austria
- Associate R&D Specialist - Product Development & Sensory
- Senior Associate at Intertek Scientific & Regulatory Consultancy
- Senior Sensory Scientist at GlaxoSmithKline
- Food & Agri Business Development Manager - MENA at Intertek
- Business Development at Amber Resources Nigeria Limited
- Assistant Manager, QA & Manufacturing at Maahi Milk Producers Company Limited
Average starting salary and career progression
100% of postgraduates in the School of Biosciences secured work or further study within six months of graduation. £28,000 was the average starting salary, with the highest being £65,000.*
* Known destinations of full-time home postgraduates who were available for employment, 2016/17. Salaries are calculated based on the median of those in full-time paid employment within the UK.
Careers support and advice
We offer individual careers support for all postgraduate students whatever your course, mode of study or future career plans.
You can access our Careers and Employability Service during your studies and after you graduate. Expert staff will 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.