Food Science and Engineering MRes


Fact file

MRes Food Science and Engineering
1 year full-time
Start date
Sutton Bonington
Tuition fees
You can find fee information on our fees table.


This programme is designed to equip students with the knowledge and ability required to solve development and research challenges in the food industry.
Read full overview

Food Sciences sits at the interface of chemistry, physics, biology, nutrition and engineering. If you have already graduated in food or nutritional science or chemical engineering, this course offers the opportunity for further study in your chosen area.

There is a shortage of individuals trained in a systematic approach to solving development and research challenges in the food industry and and allied industries such as cosmetics and pharmacy. Graduates from this degree should have a wide spectrum of job opportunities.

You will acquire advanced understanding of food sciences enabling you to face product development and technical challenges encountered in the food industry to manufacture high quality foods. 

This course includes a laboratory and/or pilot production facility based research project. Most projects will be integrated with an industrial sponsor, although others will be available. Project proposals by applicants to the course will be considered.

Key facts 

  • The course is co-ordinated by the School of Biosciences's research group in Food Sciences. This is the highest rated University Food Sciences Research Group in the UK, based at the Sutton Bonington Campus.
  • The school is ranked the no.1 research environment in the UK (for Agriculture, Veterinary and Food Science) in the 2014 REF (Research Excellence Framework). 97% of our work (in the Schools of Biosciences and Veterinary Medicine and Science ) was judged to be of international quality. 

Course details

This MRes requires 180 credits for completion, within one year's full-time supervised study or a maximum of two years part-time supervised study.

You will study specific training modules in food sciences and related industries and modules in other generic training up to 60 credits.  

Your research project (accounting for 120-140 credits) will be laboratory and/or pilot production facility based. Most projects will be integrated with an industrial sponsor; other projects will be closely aligned to topical research in food sciences.  This will be carried out at Sutton Bonington Campus or at your place of employment. 

Course venue

The School 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 to Nottingham City, with free bus service connections between campuses. Two other major UK cities, Derby and Leicester are nearby. East Midlands International Airport is 7Km away, plus there are fast rail links to London close by. 



Compulsory taught module

Food Topics 2 (ATP)

Food Topics will offer a variety of one-day workshops, covering the breadth of raw materials through to production and assessment, deemed to be of relevant interest to the food industry.

Subjects covered include sensory science, emulsions, thickeners, product design, flavour, salt, sugar and fat reduction, starch, labelling and statistics. Students can choose from the available list of topics. A choice of 10 workshops with relevant assessment will constitute 20 credits.

Other compulsory training

Generic modules may be chosen from the Research Training Programme run by the School of Biosciences, the University's Graduate School and other areas within the University. Typical modules are:

Statistics and Experimental Design for Bioscientists 

Principles of experimentation in crop science, basic statistical principles, experimental design, hypothesis testing, sources of error, analysis of variance, regression techniques, presentation of data, use of Genstat for data analysis. There are two routes through the module; one focusing on crop improvement and one focusing on more general issues.

 Food Factory Designs and Operations

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. 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

Industrial and Biomedical Macromolecules

What is a macromolecule? Fundamental properties of macromolecules. Sizes and shapes of macromolecules. Fundamentals of protein structure. Fundamentals of nucleic acid structure. Hemogoblin – affects of mutation on a protein.  Enzyme action. RASMOL.  Fundamentals of lipid structure. Fundamentals of polysaccharide structure.  Gelatin. Hydrocolloids. Viscosity & rheology of macromolecular solutions. Gel filtration and size exclusion chromatograpy.  Light scattering and SEC-MALS.  Cellulose derivatives.

Polysaccharide and Drug Delivery Biotechnology

Polysaccharides and their potential for biotechnology; structural polysaccharides; storage polysaccharides: starch and fructans; marine polysaccharides; some bacterial and synthetic polysaccharides. Polysaccharides and other macromolecular drug delivery systems. "Smart" hydrogel and encapsulation and controlled release technologies. Therapeutic Polysaccharides 

Basic Laboratory Techniques

This module will provide practical experience in basic laboratory techniques including microbiological methods (media preparation, sterile technique, growth measurement etc), basic biochemical methods (buffer preparation and centrifugation) and molecular biological techniques (preparation and analysis of DNA). Practical work will be supported by lectures to provide an understanding of the basis of the techniques, the limitations of the methods and the appropriate methods of analysis. 

Fundamentals of Biomolecular Sciences

The module will cover the following: Macromolecular size and shape. Basic Physical Biochemistry (1st & 2nd laws of thermodynamics). Water as a solvent: pH, ionic strength. Concentration of solutions of macromolecules and its measurement. Dilute solutions. Solubility: Raoult's & Henry's laws. Colligative properties: Osmotic pressure. Non-ideality of macromolecular solutions. The volume and charge effects of macromolecules. Basic Laboratory Skills, handling experimental data, Error and approximations. Criteria for rejecting data. Indices, logarithms. Statistical funtion keys on calculators. Macromolecular hydration. Heterogeneity of macromolecular solutions - molecular weight averages. Flexibility of linear macromolecules - persistence length and radius of gyration. Absolute and relative methods for determining the molecular weight of macromolecules. Hydrodynamic and imaging techniques. SDS PAGE, Analytical Ultracentrifugation. Basic Colloidal Science, Phase Separation.

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

School of Biosciences Awards and Funding may be available for some taught postgraduate courses.

The University Graduate School operates two schemes of its own to help support current postgraduate research, these are, the Graduate School Travel Prize and Universitas21 funding.  The Graduate School also holds a list of other sources of funding.

International students

International students (outside the European Union) are advised to apply early (October – February) in the academic year to ensure consideration for available scholarships (ORS, International Office). However, as competition for international scholarships is very fierce students are advised also to seek out scholarship opportunities from within their own countries, or agencies such as the World Bank, British Council or ACU. Please see the International Office website for postgraduate funding opportunities for international applicants.

International students should contact their nearest British Council Office or embassy for advice on financial assistance.

DFID Awards are available for international applicants from developing countries. See the Association of Commonwealth Universities Web pages International applicants for information on DFID awards.

Government loans for masters courses

The Government offers postgraduate student loans 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 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.



There is a shortage of individuals trained in a systematic approach to solving development and research challenges in the food industry and and allied industries. Graduates from this degree should have a wide spectrum of job opportunities.

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 2013-2017, 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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