PGCert Sensory Science is aimed primarily at individuals working in the food or related industries. The programme has been designed to meet a need for structured sensory science training in the UK food industry but is also relevant to those working within home, personal care and pharmaceutical sectors.
The course will provide you with comprehensive training in a variety of areas related to sensory science, including:
- sensory techniques
- statistical analysis
- psychology, physiology and perception
- consumer studies.
The PGCert in Sensory Science comprises six compulsory modules. Each module is assessed by a formal examination and/or a piece of coursework. The flexible nature of the course enables you to study on a part-time basis, typically two modules per year, completing the course within three years.
The start date for the PGCert is recommended as September or February, although registration is possible at any time throughout the academic year.
Modules are supported through the University’s virtual learning environment which provides access to a wealth of electronic resources to facilitate learning. You will also have full access to the University’s extensive online and in-house library facilities.
- The Sensory Science Centre is well known for its research and training in sensory science
- The Sensory Evaluation and Sensory Techniques module is delivered at Campden BRI, the UK’s largest food research association. The Sensory Group at Campden BRI has substantial experience in providing sensory services for industry
- The School of Biosciences is ranked the number 1 research environment in the UK for agriculture, veterinary and food science in the Research Excellence Framework 2014; 97% of our work in the Schools of Biosciences and Veterinary Medicine and Science was judged to be of international quality
2:2 (or international equivalent) in a relevant subject
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.
Sensory Evaluation and Sensory Techniques
This module provides an introduction to sensory evaluation techniques, data analysis and panel selection. Many companies appreciate just how valuable sensory evaluation can be to their business. However, it is crucial that it is implemented with a thorough understanding of panel training methods and interpretation of results. Campden BRI’s team of sensory scientists draw on their own industrial experiences to demonstrate how sensory best practice is implemented in the workplace.
Sensory Evaluation and Sensory Techniques
Sensory Evaluation - Statistical Methods and Interpretation
You will gain a deeper understanding of the routine univariate and multivariate techniques used to analyse sensory data, but also the consequencesof making particular choices and hence develop confidence in the analysis and interpretation of sensory data. Through the use of lectures and a series of practical activities delegates gain hands on experience of data analysis and the sensory and statistical packages available.
Advanced Sensory Science and Topical Techniques
The biological basis of sensory perception is covered including receptors, psychophysical laws, and associated sensory testing including, threshold measurement, d’ and R-index measures. Variation in sensory perception due to physiological factors such as genetics, age and gender will give delegates deeper understanding into factors underpinning sensory perception. Temporal measures e.g. TI, TDS, TCATA and rapid descriptive methods e.g. napping, flash profiling will give delegates insight into the relative merits of such methods. Understanding multimodal perception will bring together the concept of interactions between the senses.
Consumer Sensory Science
The course considers the impact of expectation and context before reviewing both qualitative, such as focus groups, and quantitative techniques. We reflect upon emotional response and the methods used to capture this before moving on to more advanced approaches such as conjoint analysis and a review of the techniques available in the preference mapping toolbox.
Sensory Science Project
The sensory science project requires delegates to research and report on a practical project carried out to address a commercial or technical issue currently challenging their organisation. Delegates are supported by a tutor from University of Nottingham or Campden BRI. The practical element is usually carried out at your place of work.
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.
Teaching methods and assessment
A formal examination and/or a piece of coursework assess each module. The flexible nature of the course enables delegates to study on a part-time basis, typically two modules a year. Most delegates complete the course in 2 to 3 years.
Careers and professional development
Retailers and suppliers are increasingly looking to include consumer research and objective sensory tests in the product development process, as one crucial part in reducing the risks associated with existing and new product development activity.
The PGCert will equip you with the skills and experience necessary to competently conduct qualitative and quantitative consumer research and a variety of sensory evaluation methods, for companies within the food and related industries.
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.
Fees and funding
Scholarships and bursaries
Government loans for masters courses
Masters student loans of up to £10,906 are available for taught and research masters courses. Applicants must ordinarily live in the UK or EU.
International and EU students
Masters scholarships are available for international and EU students from a wide variety of countries and areas of study. You must already have an offer to study at Nottingham to apply. Please note closing dates to ensure you apply for your course with enough time.
We provide guidance on funding your degree, living costs and working while you study. You can also access specific funding opportunities, entry requirements and other resources for students from specific countries.
This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.