Food Production Management MSc


Fact file

MSc Food Production Management
1 year full-time
Entry requirements
At least a second class (2:2) honours degree (or international equivalent)
Other requirements
6.5 (no less than 6.0 in any element)

If these grades are not met, English preparatory courses are available
Start date
Sutton Bonington Campus
Tuition fees
You can find fee information on our fees table.


This course is designed to equip students with knowledge of the special factors associated with food processing and food quality assurance, as well as the management skills required to contribute to the industry in both the developed and developing worlds.
Read full overview

Food manufacture is one of the world's largest industries. The MSc Food Production Management is an exciting and challenging degree that equips science and engineering graduates for a career in production or technical management in this industry.

You will acquire a basic knowledge of the special factors associated with food processing and food quality assurance. You will also be equipped with management skills that will enable you to contribute to this industry in both the developed and developing worlds.

A feature of the course is the strong interaction with the food industry. There will be an opportunity to visit a number of food factories and speakers from industry will make a significant contribution to the course. Many of the research projects will involve links with industry.

Key facts

  • The course is co-run by the School of Biosciences and the Business School. The Business School is an international leader in finance and management education and a research pioneer in entrepreneurship, innovation and sustainability. The School of Biosciences is ranked the number one research environment in the UK for food science in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework.
  • Facilities available in the Food Processing Facility include the plant, equipment and test facilities that you would expect to find in a number of different food industries, for example: extrusion, bakery equipment, retorting facilities, a development kitchen, QC laboratory and sensory analysis area. The combination of these facilities in one building allows the development of new products from conception to consumption. An innovation area can be set aside for discreet development. 
  • The Food Sciences Division is well-equipped with a number of centres:

Starch and Lipid Processing Centre
EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Food
National Centre for Macromolecular Hydrodynamics
Food and Biofuel Innovation Centre
Sensory Science Centre
Food and Feed Analysis Consultancy and Training Service 
Microbiology Investigation Centre
International Centre for Brewing Science

  • The opportunity to do an industry placement in a food company in line with your individual career aspirations.
  • A series of off-site visits to food industries and events expose our students to a variety of real life experiences and the latest technologies in the food industry. 
  • External speakers with expertise in specific research areas and/or leadership in industry are often invited to give lectures, attend networking events or to supervise project work.


Course details

This course is divided into three parts: 120 credits of taught modules in both the autumn and spring semesters, followed by a 60 credits research project in the summer. To obtain an MSc a total of 180 credits is required. A Diploma can be awarded to students who opt to take only the taught element (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.  Details of some of the modules normally available are given below.

Over the summer period (June to August) students undertake their project (60 credits). Most summer projects are in conjunction with the food industry. These can either be within the University or working within a company. Projects can involve practical work or be survey or literature based. Students are expected to take full responsibility for their project schedule but assistance and advice will be provided by academics within the school and/or the industrial sponsor.  The project will provide an insight into the scientific principles of food production processes or the application of modern management techniques to food manufacture. 

We also offer a PGDip Food Production Management, which has the same taught modules as the MSc but does not include a research project module.

Key elements of the course include:

  • Taught concepts on factory layout with emphasis on hygienic design, positioning and management.
  • Lectures and practical activities examining the food journey from base ingredients to packaged high quality and safe-to-eat products.
  • New Product Development in small groups including quality control and sensory evaluation leading to a showcase with industry judges.
  • Marketing strategies conveyed by industry experts.
  • Developing problem solving skills using real scenarios from industry.
  • Understanding of quality management, and knowledge of the techniques of quality improvement.
  • An insight into supply chain management and logistics in the context of contemporary operations, taking into account the major competitive drivers of efficiency and responsiveness and the solutions enabled by new technologies.
  • Many research projects involve collaboration with the food industry, either within the University or working within a company. The project will provide an insight into the scientific principles of food production processes or the application of modern management techniques to food manufacture.

Students benefit from state-of-the-art teaching and research facilities, including a purpose-built food processing facility, specialised laboratories, sensory science centre and a 24-hour learning resource centre.

Course venue

The course is based on the Sutton Bonington Campus, a self-contained site only 20km south of Nottingham. Sutton Bonington is an easy bus or car journey to University Park Campus and on to Nottingham city, with a free bus service between campuses. Two other cities, Derby and Leicester are nearby. East Midlands International Airport is 7km away, plus there are fast rail links close by to London.



Modules are subject to change. More details can be found in the University's module catalogue.

Compulsory modules

  • Core Competences in Food Production Management
    This module ensures that students from different backgrounds have the core knowledge to allow them to participate fully in all modules on the course. Teaching directly relates to the scientific aspects of food production and the skills required to communicate this information.
  • Preservation and Manufacture of Food
    This module covers the manufacturing of selected industrially manufactured food products from the ingredients used to the final packaged food. An emphasis on product preservation and quality control, and the underpinning scientific principles that can be applied to a number of food manufacturing systems will also be covered. 
  • Factory Design and Operations for Food Production
    This module is designed to make students aware of a range of operations used in food manufacturing. Emphasis will be placed on the hygienic and legal requirements for the production of foods. Student, when working in a food factory, should have sufficient understanding to contribute, at managerial level, to a production team. Students should be able to contribute to the development of novel food products under factory time scales and limitations.
  • Manufacturing Case Studies
    In this module you will develop problem solving skills; consolidate the principles and understanding developed in the rest of the course; promote the application of theoretical knowledge to real problems in the food industry.

  • Project Skills
    The aim of this module is to prepare MSc students with the skills necessary for completion of their research project. It will cover all aspects from designing a hypothesis to time management, to successful writing and presentation of findings.

  • Quality Management and Techniques for Industry
    Quality and its management are key aspects of modern business, and have a great impact on both industrial and service sector enterprises. This module aims to develop an understanding of the issues involved and the approaches employed in quality management, and knowledge of the techniques of quality improvement.

  • Supply Chain Management
    The module aims to give an in-depth coverage of supply chain management and logistics in the context of contemporary operations, taking into account the major competitive drivers of efficiency and responsiveness and the solutions enabled by new technologies. The module addresses the scope, impact and importance of SC and Logistics management and the major decisions that need to be made in today's world of global supply and global markets. 

Optional modules

  • Food Flavour
    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.
  • Global Food Industry
    This module aims to increase theoretical knowledge of business skills required in the global food or associated industries; consolidate learning from other areas of the course by putting them into a business framework.
  • Managing Projects
    This 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.
  • Managing Operations
    In this module students should 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.  

Research Project and Industry Placement

Students will complete a three month research project in the field of food production management, supervised by an experienced member of academic staff. The majority of projects involve collaboration with the food industry as an industry placement within a company.

Previous students have completed placements with Kellogg’s, Nestle and Premier Foods. Dedicated professional staff works on a one-to-one basis with students to help them source and prepare for the industry placement. Academic support is also provided throughout the process in order to maximise research outcome.  

The project will provide an insight into the scientific principles of food production processes or the application of modern management techniques to food manufacture. Some example projects:

  • Study of the rheological properties of ice cream in Unilever
  • The development of baked moreish snacks in United Biscuits 
  • Reduction of sugar level in soft drink and natural sweetener replacement in Coot Beverage 
  • Line Zero Bourbon width and length in Fox’s Biscuit 
  • Develop a new liquid chicken bouillon to focus on the customers in certain areas in Nestle 
  • Usage and Attitude study analysis  of tea based on UK market 
  • Improve traceability system in Kellogg’s
  • Improve labelling, product specification, and supplier management in JK food.

The modules we offer are inspired by the research interests of our staff and as a result may change for reasons of, for example, research developments or legislation changes. This list is an example of typical modules we offer, not a definitive list.



UK/EU students

General information on funding for both research and taught degrees, applicable to UK/HEU students is available from the University's Graduate School at this page.

Government loans for masters courses

The Government offers postgraduate student loans of up to £10,609 for students studying a taught or research masters course. Applicants must ordinarily live in England or the EU. Student loans are also available for students from Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.

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 your course application is submitted in good time.

Information and advice on funding your degree, living costs and working while you study is available on our website, as well as country-specific resources.



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, e.g. 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, 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

In 2016, 94% of postgraduates in the School of Biosciences who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £24,495 with the highest being £37,000.*

*Known destinations of full-time home undergraduates 2015/16. Salaries are calculated based on the median of those in full-time paid employment within the UK.

Career prospects and employability

The University of Nottingham is consistently named as one of the most targeted universities by Britain’s leading graduate employers* and can offer you a head-start when it comes to your career. 

Those who take up a postgraduate research opportunity with us will not only receive support in terms of close contact with supervisors and specific training related to your area of research, you will also benefit from dedicated careers advice from our Careers and Employability Service

Our Careers and Employability Service offers a range of services including advice sessions, employer events, recruitment fairs and skills workshops – and once you have graduated, you will have access to the service for life.

* The Graduate Market 2013-2016, High Fliers Research.

Explore it - Virtual Nottingham

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.

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Dr Jianhua Jia
School of Biosciences
The University of Nottingham
Sutton Bonington Campus
LE12 5RD
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