Undergraduate student Katherine Tolson taking baked products from an oven wearing lab coat, hair net and oven gloves

Food Science BSc

Sutton Bonington Campus, Leicestershire, UK

Course overview

With the global population predicted to hit nine billion people by 2050, we need to find ways to make better use of the resources we have to grow and produce nutritious, healthy foods.

What is food science?

  • Designing and engineering innovative food​
  • Enhancing texture, taste and nutrition​
  • Developing sustainable ingredients and processes​
  • Making food safe and affordable

What you'll study

We'll teach you the science behind the food we eat. You'll learn how to create sustainable, nutritious, safe food. This applied science degree can lead to jobs in research, operations and management.

Indicative modules

Mandatory

Year 1

An Introduction to Genetics and Biochemistry

Mandatory

Year 1

Sustainable agriculture, food and nutrition

Mandatory

Year 1

Fundamentals in Food Science and Nutrition

Mandatory

Year 1

Introductory Physiology

Mandatory

Year 1

Essential study skills

Mandatory

Year 2

Sensory evaluation

Mandatory

Year 2

Sustainable Food Systems

Mandatory

Year 2

Ingredients to Product: Processing and Safety

Mandatory

Year 2

Food - Technical Team Challenges

Optional

Year 2

Food and social thought

Optional

Year 2

Food and social action

Optional

Year 2

Food and Society

Optional

Year 2

Applied Marketing: Agriculture and Food

Optional

Year 2

Agri-Business Enterprise and Innovation

Optional

Year 2

Microbial mechanisms of disease

Mandatory

Year 3

Flavour Science - Theory and Practice

Mandatory

Year 3

Personal and Professional Development for Food Scientists

Mandatory

Year 3

Trends in Food and Nutrition Research

Mandatory

Year 3

Industrial Food Manufacture and Product Development

Mandatory

Year 3

Food Science Research Project

Optional

Year 3

Changing behaviour, promoting health

Optional

Year 3

Physical chemistry of molecules

Optional

Year 3

International Agri-Business

Optional

Year 3

Computer Modelling in Science: Applications

Optional

Year 3

Microbial Fermentation

Optional

Year 3

Microbial Isolation and Identification Methods

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About modules

The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer, but is not intended to be construed or relied on as a definitive list of what might be available in any given year. This content was last updated on Monday 16 October 2023.

Teaching methods
  • Lab sessions
  • Lectures
  • Practical classes
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Workshops
  • Problem-based learning
  • Field trips
  • Computer labs

How you will be assessed

We use a range of assessment methods, including exams, essays, verbal presentations and practicals. You will receive a copy of our marking criteria which provides guidance on how we will assess your work. Your work will be marked on time and you will receive regular feedback.

Your final degree classification will be based on marks gained in your second and third years of study.

You must pass each year to progress. This typically means that you will need to achieve marks of at least 40% in each module. Full details on our marking criteria and structure will be provided at your induction.

To study abroad as part of your degree, you must meet minimum academic requirements in year one.

Assessment methods

  • Coursework
  • Group project
  • Lab reports
  • Oral exam
  • Poster presentation
  • Research project
  • Written exam

In your first year, you will take 120 credits in core modules. As a guide, one credit equals approximately 10 hours of work. You will spend around half of your time in lectures, seminars and practicals. The remaining time will be independent study. Core modules are typically taught by professors, associate professors and assistant professors. PhD students may support teaching on some modules.

The food and drink industry is Europe's largest manufacturing industry – employing half a million people in the UK alone. A wide range of career options exist for our food science graduates including:

  • Product, process or retail technologist
  • Sensory scientist
  • Innovation, research and development roles
  • Quality assurance technologist
  • Commercial roles such as buyers
  • Manufacturing and operations roles
  • Food journalism

Food aid coordination and policy making in government
agencies

You may also wish to consider options in postgraduate study.

For more information on career opportunities for food science  graduates, see the publication we developed at Nottingham. This is now available on the IFST website.

Graduate destinations include:

  • Raw Materials Scientist at Mars
  • Development Manager at Delifrance
  • Quality Assurance Manager at MedLane
  • R&D Manager at Costa Coffee
  • Category Technician at Marks & Spencer

Average starting salary and career progression

86.40% of undergraduates from the Faculty of Science secured employment or further study within 15 months of graduation. The average annual salary for these graduates was £27,834.

HESA Graduate Outcomes (2017- 2021 cohorts). The Graduate Outcomes % is calculated using The Guardian University Guide methodology. The average annual salary is based on graduates working full-time within the UK.

Studying for a degree at the University of Nottingham will provide you with the type of skills and experiences that will prove invaluable in any career, whichever direction you decide to take.

Throughout your time with us, our Careers and Employability Service can work with you to improve your employability skills even further; assisting with job or course applications, searching for appropriate work experience placements and hosting events to bring you closer to a wide range of prospective employers.

Have a look at our careers page for an overview of all the employability support and opportunities that we provide to current students.

The University of Nottingham is consistently named as one of the most targeted universities by Britain’s leading graduate employers (Ranked in the top ten in The Graduate Market in 2013-2020, High Fliers Research).

University undergraduate student Cole Pearce studying in Nightingale Hall accommodation's library, University Park. November 5th 2021.

In the second year module ‘Processing and Sensory Evaluation of Food’, we have looked at how we measure the sensory properties of food, along with looking at how foods such as chocolate and cheese are manufactured. I have really enjoyed this module as I have been able to use the Food Processing Facility to practice manufacturing different food products and we have been able to see the unit operations required to transform the ingredients into the final food product. This has given me such a valuable insight into food manufacturing and helped me to develop my practical skills further.

Megan Burrows, Food Science BSc

Course data