Triangle

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.

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, engineering, operations and management.

What you'll study

Our course builds your knowledge in food, nutrition and physiology to explain the connection between diet and health. You will:

  • Understand the impact of food processing on nutritional value and food quality
  • Develop the latest nutritional knowledge from academics working on international research
  • Build skills in sensory evaluation and product development
  • Use our specialist facilities and work on real-life research projects

Read about our research in Future Food.

Developing new foods

In year three you'll apply your knowledge to develop a new food product. Working as teams, you'll use the food processing facility to create the finished product. From idea generation through to the final packaged product, you'll get a hands-on experience of what it takes to bring a food or drink product to market. There is also the opportunity to enter Ecotrophelia, a European food innovation student competition. In 2022 a team from the University of Nottingham won gold for their product.

Food science at Nottingham

Meet our staff, watch our module spotlights and see what it's like to study with us by watching our student vlogs. Find out more.

Why choose this course?

Accredited Course

This course is accredited by the Institute of Food Science and Technology, meaning it meets high quality standards. 

Specialist Facilities

Make use of our specialist facilities for food production and flavour science

Industry connected

Hear from industry experts in guest lectures and take an optional year in industry 

Apply your knowledge

Experience problem-based learning with real life case studies 

Career Support

Our staff can provide tailored career support and year in industry guidance

Ranked 3rd in the UK

for agriculture, forestry and food 

Guardian University Guide 2022


Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2023 entry.

UK entry requirements
A level ABB

Please note: Applicants whose backgrounds or personal circumstances have impacted their academic performance may receive a reduced offer. Please see our contextual admissions policy for more information.

IB score 32, including 5 in two science-based subjects at Higher Level. At least one of these science subjects needs to be in biology, chemistry, mathematics or physics.

A levels

ABB including one science (chemistry, biology, maths or physics) and one science-related subject such as applied science, food technology, economics, geography, statistics and psychology.

GCSEs

GCSE mathematics at grade 5 or above and english at grade 4 or above are required.

Foundation progression options

Science with Foundation Year

If you have achieved high grades in your A levels (or equivalent qualifications) but do not meet the current subject entry requirements for direct entry to your chosen undergraduate course, you may be interested in our science foundation programme.

There is a course for UK students and one for EU/international students.

Applicants must also demonstrate good grades in previous relevant science subjects to apply. You are guaranteed a place on selected undergraduate courses if all progression requirements are met.

Science Foundation Certificate

International students only

International students (non-EU) who do not have the required qualifications or grades to go directly onto an undergraduate degree course, may be interested in the Science Foundation Certificate delivered through the University of Nottingham International College. You are guaranteed a place on selected undergraduate courses if all progression requirements are met.

Mature Students

At the University of Nottingham, we have a valuable community of mature students and we appreciate their contribution to the wider student population. You can find lots of useful information on the mature students webpage.

Learning and assessment

How you will learn

Teaching methods

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

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

Contact time and study hours

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.

Year in industry

There’s a wide range of possible year in industry placements on offer. We have good links with companies, and our dedicated placement team is available to support you in finding the right placement. Often a placement year can help you to secure a graduate job. Our students have done a placement with:

Our students have been on placement with:

  • Marks & Spencer
  • PepsiCo
  • Muller
  • Jordans Dorset Ryvita

Watch Annabel on her placement at Jordans Dorset Ryvita.

The industry placement takes place between years two and three of your degree. You can apply during year two of your degree, subject to meeting minimum academic requirements.

Study Abroad and the Year in Industry are subject to students meeting minimum academic requirements. Opportunities may change at any time for a number of reasons, including curriculum developments, changes to arrangements with partner universities, travel restrictions or other circumstances outside of the university’s control. Every effort will be made to update information as quickly as possible should a change occur.

Meet our Food Sciences Admissions Tutor

Dr Nicole Yang tells you about the modules she teaches and why she chose to become a food scientist.

Modules

Gain an extensive introduction to nutrition, and to the biochemistry that explains the connection between nutrition and health.

You'll explore the chemical and physical properties of food materials and appreciate how to consider sustainable solutions. 

Introduction to Genetics and Biochemistry

This module is designed to give you a broad foundation in cells - the functional units of life. You will learn:

  • how cells operate on a molecular level. The structure, metabolism, and properties of proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, and nucleic acids will be examined in relation to their function and regulation.
  • the major metabolic pathways in the cell responsible for energy production and biosynthesis of cellular components, including the major pathways of carbohydrate, protein and lipid metabolism
  • how procaryotic (bacteria) and eukaryotic (animal and plants) cells are built, replicate, pass on genetic information and control gene expression and translation
  • the fundamental principles underpinning life, from the disciplines of cell biology, genetics, biochemistry and molecular biology
Sustainable Agriculture, food and Nutrition

A key theme running through the module will be sustainability – why is it important and how can it be achieved? Key aspects of agricultural production will be introduced, for both UK and global agricultural systems.

You will learn about:

  • all aspects of the food supply chain
  • factors that influence how we grow and process our food commodities, including how cultural, financial, psychological and social factors affect dietary choice and the supply chain.

You will have a comprehensive introduction to the key concepts in the field of:

  • nutrition, including micro and macronutrients
  • nutritional composition of food ingredients

Your learning will be supported through practical sessions and visits to our University Farm. 

Fundamentals in Food Science and Nutrition

This module will introduce you to the key concepts in the field of nutrition and food Sciences, including:

  • constituents that make up food and its ingredients
  • their functional properties
  • the physiological impact of diet and nutrition on your body
  • dietary guidance and recommendations
  • analytical techniques to measure dietary and body composition
Introductory Physiology

What major physiology systems are essential for life in animals and humans? In this module, you will learn about:

  • the body’s principle physiological systems including the nervous, respiratory, cardiovascular, reproductive, renal, and digestive systems.
  • the structure and function of the major organs including the function of individual cell types.

Through weekly lectures, topics covered will refer to genes, proteins and membranes, the transport of molecules across membranes, nerve signalling and biorhythms.

Essential study skills

This module is intended to enhance your transition into university and guide you through the academic expectations of your degree. This module includes three generic sessions on ‘study skills and plagiarism’, ‘study opportunities’ and ‘career and personal development’, and a series of small group tutorials with your academic tutor to develop core skills such as finding crucial information, oral presentation, data handling and presentation of results, preparation for examinations, and essay writing skills relevant to biosciences.

The above is a sample of the typical modules 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. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for information on available modules. This content was last updated on Friday 02 September 2022.

Investigate the physiological systems that control homeostasis and metabolism. You'll examine how the body regulates responses to food, appetite and energy expenditure.

Gain a detailed understanding of process engineering including the role of hydrocolloids and macromolecules.

You will work in teams to tackle food safety and quality challenges.

Core modules

Nutritional Regulation, Physiology and Endocrinology

Hormones carry signals between different parts of the body, but how do nutrients determine the interaction between hormones and health? In this module, you’ll carry out an in-depth study of the mammalian endocrine system. You'll look at this from cellular, molecular and anatomical perspectives. You'll explore the role that hormones play in controlling homeostasis and metabolism. We use the latest published nutritional research. You'll study appetite regulation and how endocrine systems determine what, how and when we eat.

You’ll study:

  • Nutritional energetics and energy expenditure
  • Appetite regulation by the endocrine system
  • Homeostasis in relation to the diet
Processing and Sensory Evaluation of Food

Be introduced to the key ingredient transformations and manufacturing steps required to safely produce food microstructures such as bread, yoghurt, and chocolate.

You'll explore how we measure sensory properties and consumer liking of a food product, providing you with an opportunity to gain a Foundation level Certificate in Sensory Science from the Institute of Food Science and Technology.

You’ll study:

  • the senses and their role in assessing the sensory properties of products
  • sensory evaluation, including panel selection, training and sensory protocols, sensory data analysis and consumer methods for the evaluation of products
  • the role of ingredients and processing steps in creating food products
  • how the food industry ensures final product quality

Students also have the option to sit the Institute of Food Science and Technology Sensory examination leading to a Foundation Certificate in Sensory Science, for which the course is accredited. Following on from the sensory evaluation of food, the manufacture of food products is addressed from three major perspectives in this module: material functionality, manufacturing process and quality of the final product. Material functionality includes the physiochemical properties of the material as well as the functionality of each ingredient in creating the final food product microstructure. Manufacturing process includes the unit operations required to transform the materials to a food product as well as the effect of these operations on each ingredient. Quality of the final product to include quality control measurement, an appreciation for the safety of the food product and sensorial properties.

Food Safety, Preservation and Legislation

This module considers food safety and food quality. It covers the full spectrum of potential foodborne illness, mechanisms and techniques of food preservation. You'll cover the legislation and regulatory environment for the production of commercially viable foods. Specific areas include: 

  • Potential foodborne illness and spoilage microorganisms found in the food chain

  • Nutritional aspects of food preservation

  • Product shelf life and techniques and methods that target extended shelf life

  • Theory and practice of major food preservation techniques

Food - Technical Team Challenges

Through problem-based learning you will develop skills in diagnosing and solving challenges relating to the manufacture, distribution and/or storage of food products. Most of the scenarios are sourced from real-life industry problems. You’ll have a full day session each week to study for this module.

Nutrition, Metabolism and Disease

The food we eat determines the functioning of our bodies. But how does metabolism influence whether this leads to health or disease?  You will explore the nutritional biochemistry of metabolism. Looking at healthy outcomes, and factors associated with chronic diseases. These include obesity and diabetes. You will investigate the fed, fasted and starved states. You’ll understand how the body uses macronutrients in different physiological and pathological situations.

You’ll study:

  • metabolism, nutrition and exercise in sporting performance
  • disorders of metabolism and the therapies used to treat them
  • cardiovascular disease risk factors
  • obesity and diabetes, from a metabolic perspective
The above is a sample of the typical modules 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. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for information on available modules. This content was last updated on

In the final year you will carry out a unique research project supervised by one of our academics.

You'll explore the impact of nutrition on the wellbeing of populations throughout their lives.

You'll study food flavour, looking at aroma perception, taste perception, texture perception. Using this knowledge to develop a new product to present to your peers and industry.

Core modules

Personal and Professional Development for Food Scientists

What are you going to do after your degree? Options include:

  • Technical roles
  • Research and development
  • New product development
  • Further study
  • Specialised areas, such as flavour or sensory science or legislation

Through a range of workshops you will gain an awareness of what opportunities exist, identify your strengths and interests and practice how to manage your transition into your next steps.

The module has opportunities to engage with industry guests, alumni and your peers to support you in making good decisions about your future career.

Trends in Food and Nutrition Research

Gain exciting insights into our current research and how it is shaping current and future food formulations and processes. Seminar topics include:

  • flavour and sensory science
  • properties of biopolymers
  • sustainable nutrition
  • salt reduction
  • engineering new food structures

From these seminars you will identify an area of study that interests you the most for your final year research project. Through discussions with the academic you will create a title for your research project, which you will undertake in your final semester on your course.

Food Flavour and Advanced Sensory Science

Flavour plays an important role in our enjoyment of food, consumption experience, repeat purchase and health and wellbeing. It can be measured by both scientific instruments and sensory panels. But what are the differences between the two, and how can we use them to solve current challenges in the food industry?

In this module, you will study:

  • the chemistry, physics and physiology of food flavour
  • advanced methods to measure sensory and consumer perceptions of food
  • factors that affect our sensory perception and food choice, like genetics
  • a range of analytical techniques (APCI-MS, GC-MS, GC-O and HPLC-MS) for flavour analysis
  • dynamic flavour release and its role in eliciting flavour perception

You will respond to a current food industry challenge and apply the advanced knowledge you have gained from this module to design and present a realistic scientific solution to a technical brief.

Nutrition and the Health of Populations

Good nutrition is needed to maintain health at any age. So how do nutritional requirements change as we get older? In this module, you’ll explore nutrition throughout the life course. You'll identify the nutritional needs of different age groups. Starting with pre-conception, to pregnancy, infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood and into old age. You'll understand the role of optimal nutrition in preventing disease and promote healthy diets.

You’ll study:

  • developmental origins of health and disease
  • risk factors for nutritional disease at different stages of life
  • epidemiological methods used to identify public health challenges
  • nutrition in human physiological development across the life course
Industrial Food Manufacture and Product Development

Innovation is crucial within food science. It involves translating scientific, engineering, and technological insights into nutritious, sustainable, and commercially viable foods. This module combines lectures from world-leading internal and external experts, with a practical project, where you will work in a group to create a new food product. 

In this module you will study: 

  • food factory operations and engineering   
  • new product development, brands and consumer trends
  • packaging, unit operations, process and quality control 
  • microbiological testing, HACCP and compliance
  • intellectual property and entrepreneurship

You'll then work with an industry partner to develop a new food product. Using our Food Processing Facility you'll explore all areas of product formulation, manufacture, quality control, microbiological safety analysis, sensory and consumer assessments.

The module culminates with our New Product Development Showcase, where you can present your work to external visitors, industry partners and members of the broader university community. 

Food and Nutrition Research Project

This module will provide you with an opportunity to use your initiative and knowledge to undertake an original research project under the supervision of an individual member of academic staff. You will design the study, gain familiarity with the techniques, undertake data collection, debate ethical issues and where appropriate safety procedures relevant to the topic. Examples of recent research projects include:

  • omega-3 oils from sustainable non-fish sources
  • the impact of UV-C treatment on nutritional composition of fruit and vegetables
  • does the antibody specificity to food proteins from maternal milk reflects the serum levels?
  • do dietary polyphenols reduce blood pressure?
The above is a sample of the typical modules 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. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for information on available modules. This content was last updated on

You can choose to add this optional additional year when you start your degree. It takes place between your second and third years. You’ll learn how to bring together the latest developments from across science disciplines. This is increasingly important to help solve some of the biggest challenges we face. Module topics will cover:

  • Programming
  • Software Development
  • Modelling
  • Databases
  • Problem Solving
  • Image Processing

You'll study at our Jubilee Campus, taught by experts from the School of Computer Science. If you choose this option, your degree certificate will change to ‘…with a Year in Computer Science'.

The SB Food Society run a range of events throughout the year from weekly bake off viewings to an annual cake crawl, and popular trips out to the winter BBC Good Food Show and Cadbury's World.

The Student Co-operative runs a shop on campus for students, staff and local residents. The shop aims is to provide quality, tasty and ethically-sourced food at student-friendly prices. 

Fees and funding

UK students

£9,250
Per year

International students

To be confirmed in 2022*
Keep checking back for more information

*For full details including fees for part-time students and reduced fees during your time studying abroad or on placement (where applicable), see our fees page.

If you are a student from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, you may be asked to complete a fee status questionnaire and your answers will be assessed using guidance issued by the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) .

Additional costs

All students will need at least one device to approve security access requests via Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA). We also recommend students have a suitable laptop to work both on and off-campus. For more information, please check the equipment advice.

As a student on this course, you should factor some additional costs into your budget, alongside your tuition fees and living expenses.

You should be able to access most of the books you’ll need through our libraries, though you may wish to purchase your own copies. If you do these would cost around £40.

Due to our commitment to sustainability, we don’t print lecture notes but these are available digitally. You will be given £5 worth of printer credits a year. You are welcome to buy more credits if you need them. It costs 4p to print one black and white page.

If you do a work placement, you need to consider the travel and living costs associated with this.

Personal laptops are not compulsory as we have computer labs that are open 24 hours a day but you may want to consider one if you wish to work at home.

Scholarships and bursaries

Home students*

Over one third of our UK students receive our means-tested core bursary, worth up to £1,000 a year. Full details can be found on our financial support pages.

* A 'home' student is one who meets certain UK residence criteria. These are the same criteria as apply to eligibility for home funding from Student Finance.

International students

We offer a range of international undergraduate scholarships for high-achieving international scholars who can put their Nottingham degree to great use in their careers.

International scholarships

Careers

Career destinations can include management, research, and policy making. You may also wish to consider options in postgraduate study, public health or sports nutrition. Potential roles include:

  • Product, process or retail technologist
  • Sensory scientist
  • Innovation, research and development roles
  • Quality assurance technologist
  • Commercial roles such as buyers
  • Food journalism
  • Manufacturing and operations roles
  • Food aid coordination and policy making in government agencies

For more information on the wide range of career opportunities for food sciences graduates see the IFST website.

Graduate destinations include:

  • Global Innovation and Development Chef at Unilever
  • Food Safety and Compliance Officer at Bakkavor
  • Quality Assurance Auditor at Warburtons
  • Grassroots Technical Graduate at Innocent Drinks
  • Manufacturing Graduate at Nestlé
  • R&D Scientist at PepsiCo

Average starting salary and career progression

85.3% of undergraduates from the School of Biosciences secured employment or further study within 15 months of graduation. The average annual salary for these graduates was £24,418.*

*Data from UoN graduates, 2017-2019. HESA Graduate Outcomes. Sample sizes vary.

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).

Institute of Food Science and Technology

This course is accredited by the Institute of Food Science and Technology (IFST).

University of Nottingham students can join the IFST as an Associate member. In year two students can choose to enter an examination for IFST Certificate in Sensory Evaluation: Intermediate level.

Upon graduation you will be able to apply for membership of various other professional bodies and societies such as the Association for Nutrition; European Federation of Food Science and Technology (EFFoST); Royal Society of Chemistry; Society of Chemical Industry (SCI).

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" Sutton Bonington campus is extremely welcoming and friendly, and they have excellent facilities available to you. I liked having such a vast range of modules on my course. I was then able to use the information learnt and practical skills gained during my placement year at PepsiCo. This has set me up for my future career in the industry. "
Emily Wilkins, BSc Food Science and Nutrition 2020

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Important information

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.