Consumer Behaviour: Food and Nutrition BSc


Fact file - 2019 entry

BSc Hons Consumer Behaviour: Food and Nutrition
UCAS code
3 years full-time 
A level offer
Required subjects
including one science subject required (preferably biology) plus a social science preferred (such as psychology) and an additional A level or equivalent. Citizenship studies, critical thinking, general studies and leisure studies are not accepted for these courses. We may also consider ABC depending on your predicted grades in specific subjects.
IB score
32-30; including two science based subjects at Higher Level
Course location
Sutton Bonington 
Course places


Combine excellent scientific knowledge with in-depth understanding of the factors that influence consumer food choices.
Read full overview
  • Explore how emotions, attitudes and preferences affect buying behaviour, and build expertise in sensory science which is key to understanding consumer behaviour
  • A truly unique course which provides a strong scientific foundation and integrates knowledge from across a number of disciplines, including marketing and business, psychology and sociology, ethics, and languages

  • Benefit from guest lectures from a range of experts across the food and drink industries, public health, and environmental groups

  • Gain hands-on experience utilising our fantastic facilities including a food processing hall, purpose-built teaching laboratory, dietetics laboratory and a sensory science suite

  • Study at a school ranked 2nd in the UK for agriculture, forestry and food according to the Guardian University Guide 2019

consumer behaviour shopping basket crop

The UK Food and Drink sector is under increasing pressure from health organisations and policy makers to help improve the nation’s diet and health, and tackle global issues such as climate change and food insecurity.

Responses to future food challenges will include fiscal measures, regulation of marketing, health promotion, reformulation and the development of new products to promote healthier choices.

The next generation of professionals will need to be skilled across a range of disciplines but perhaps most importantly have the ability to integrate knowledge to provide novel insights and meaningful behaviour change. 

This degree will open up a range of exciting career options including:

  • global food processing and manufacturing companies
  • business consultancy and market research agencies
  • trade and consumer organisations
  • government, civil service and trade bodies
  • public health and social services  

Yearly overviews

Year one

  • An introduction to studying at University will provide you with the skills and confidence to excel during your degree. You will work in small tutorial groups along with a personal tutor to ensure that you receive personalised support both educationally and personally.
  • The fundamentals of food and nutritional sciences will be covered including food materials and food commodities, nutrients and the measurement of dietary intake, the physiology of food and healthy eating.
  • Consumer behaviour will be introduced with a broad look at the cultural significance of food and how it interacts with individual eating behaviour.

Year two

  • Gain further practical, personal and professional skill development utilising our exceptional on-site facilities including our purpose-built teaching laboratory and sensory suite, as well as developing your online presence to be ready for the workplace.
  • Understanding why consumers’ might behave the way they do in relation to food is explored in-depth using knowledge and expertise from a wide range of different disciplines.
  • Optional modules allow you to focus upon your particular interests, for example entrepreneurial topics are available for those interested in a future in industry.

Year three

  • The course now changes gear to focus more on how to identify opportunities to influence consumer choice, e.g. changes to the environment, development and innovation in food production, or by changing individuals’ demands. 
  • Creative, future-orientated work, both practical and theoretical, is undertaken to ensure that you are ready to meet current and future food challenges.
  • Confidence with evidence and data are vital skills and you will be taught statistical techniques to analyse and interpret consumer and epidemiological data. You also have the opportunity to undertake your own research project thus adding to the evidence-base yourself.

Research project

Research projects will investigate contemporary issues in consumer behaviour, for example:

  • measuring the efficacy of public health campaigns to change consumer behaviour
  • the impact of external sensory cues on consumer choice behaviour
  • the impact of novel food products or eating styles on nutritional and health outcomes
  • development of a method to support consumer relevant (or nutrition/health related) product claims

Study abroad and industry placements

You have the opportunity of taking a year in industry between years two and three of your degree, extending your degree to a four year programme. 

This optional year in industry, as a paid employee, gives you experience in a real-world environment to develop your skills further, which can significantly improve your employment prospects.

Find out more

In addition, there are a variety of study abroad opportunities from a semester to a whole year. Depending on your subject you can:

  • apply to spend part of your second year at the University’s Malaysia Campus. All teaching is in English and the modules and exams are very similar to those in Nottingham
  • apply to spend a semester at one of our international partner universities including Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the US
  • study abroad for an additional year
  • choose one of our international degree options
  • take part in a summer school

Find out more


Entry requirements

A levels 

AAB-ABB including one science subject required (preferably biology) plus a social science preferred (such as psychology) and an additional A level or equivalent. 

Citizenship studies, critical thinking, general studies and leisure studies are not accepted for these courses. We may also consider ABC depending on predicted grades in specific subjects. 

Alternative qualifications 

For details please see alternative qualifications page.

In recognition of our applicants’ varied experience and educational pathways, the University of Nottingham employs a flexible admissions policy. We may make some applicants an offer lower than advertised, depending on their personal and educational circumstances. Please see the University’s admissions policies and procedures for more information.


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. 

Science with Foundation Year

Home, EU and international students

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 one year science foundation programme. 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.  

English language requirements

IELTS 6.0 (no less than 5.5 in any element).

For details of other English language tests and qualifications we accept, please see our entry requirements page.

If you require additional support to take your language skills to the required level, you may be able to attend a presessional course at the Centre for English Language Education, which is accredited by the British Council for the teaching of English in the UK.

Students who successfully complete the presessional course to the required level can progress onto their chosen degree course without retaking IELTS or equivalent.




The following is a sample of the typical modules that we offer as at the date of publication 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. Due to the passage of time between commencement of the course and subsequent years of the course, modules may change due to developments in the curriculum and the module information in this prospectus is provided for indicative purposes only.

Year one

Introduction to Nutrition
A comprehensive introduction to the key concepts in the field of nutrition, including macronutrients, energy metabolism, vitamins and minerals. Depending on your interest, you’ll be able to focus on human or animal nutrition. This means you can choose to look at the role of nutrition in human disease including coronary heart disease, cancer, obesity and diabetes, or learn about animal nutrition and what it means for food production. You’ll learn about nutrition through a mix of lectures, practical sessions and e-learning.
Diet, Nutrition and Lifestyle
This module develops your application of nutritional science in relation to the general population. You’ll investigate food composition, nutritional requirements and recommended dietary intakes before looking at methods of measuring food intake. Basic psychology and sociology concepts will be introduced to help investigate social, economic and cultural factors that influence food choices before examining concepts of health and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Theories of health education and promotion and how these relate to influencing health behaviour will be covered. You’ll have weekly lectures (4 hours each) and workshops (4 hours each). 
Food Materials and Ingredients
During processing, the material properties of the food are altered; this directly affects the quality of the food product in terms of its colour, flavour and texture. You'll be introduced to the properties of food materials both raw and processed, with a particular focus on the chemical and physical nature of carbohydrates, proteins and lipids. You’ll have a weekly four hour lecture supported by three hours of practicals each week.
Integrated Agri-Food Markets and Marketing

Why should farmers or other food producers think about marketing? In this module, you’ll learn about the importance of applying market information and marketing management approaches to agricultural and food businesses. You’ll look at the key trends in food and non-food markets. Fundamental concepts of these markets and marketing techniques will also be introduced to help you develop an understanding of the agri-food supply chain, food retailing and sourcing, and regulations impacting on agri-food markets. You’ll have a mix of lectures, computer-aided learning sessions, field trips to local businesses and lectures from invited guest speakers.

Food Commodities and Primary Processing
What is food quality and how can it be defined for each commodity? How does it develop then deteriorate? What methods (chemical, physical or biochemical) can be employed to control quality and slow down deterioration? In this module you will learn about the properties of major food commodities including cereals, fruit, coffee, herbs and spices, sugar, fish and milk. You will examine the strategies employed to store and/or prepare material for food manufacturing and transport and learn about the global food supply chain. You will have lectures and small group work.
Food and Physiology
Learn how our body reacts when it first senses the presence of food, and how hormones are activated in response to hunger and food consumption. The microbiome and gut health will be covered, both in the healthy state and when undesirable reactions occur, leading to disease. You will explore how certain foods can impact the body, affecting our cognitive and physical health.
Biosciences Tutorials and Foundation Science

The tutorials component will aid and enhance your transition into university and guide you through the academic expectations of your degree. This includes sessions on study skills and plagiarism, study opportunities, and personal development. Small group tutorials with your academic tutor will develop wider competencies and skills such as oral presentation, data handling and presentation of results, preparation for examinations, and essay writing skills relevant to biosciences.

The Foundation Science content has three elements: chemistry, maths and statistics, and physics. The chemistry element will include: elements and periodic table; atomic structure and bonding; intermolecular attractions, chemical equilibrium; acids and bases, oxidation and reduction; rates of reaction; basic organic chemistry, isomerism, and rings.  The maths and statistics element will include: calculations, algebra, functions and relationships, powers, logarithms, descriptive statistics, significance, regression and presenting data. The physics element will include: units and dimensions; power, energy and heat; light and the electromagnetic spectrum; attenuation/absorption; and radioactivity.

There is also an IT element, which interfaces with generic IT training for undergraduates provided within the University.


Year two

Consumer Psychology, Sociology and Behaviour
Equip yourself with an understanding of the three basic tenets of consumer behaviour. The module will start with the agentic perspective, drawing heavily upon social cognition theory, to explore human being’s capacity to make choices. As these choices are influenced by individuals’ social worlds, we consider the structural perspective, inspecting society at both the micro and macro levels. Finally, consumer behaviour – and the inherent contradictions associated - will be comprehensively discussed, with attention paid to global issues such as climate change. 
Sensory Evaluation
Sensory quality of food is the key attribute in food acceptability. It provides pleasure and also plays a key role in delivering nutritious food in a palatable way. Food quality can be measured using sensory methods as well as instrumental measures of attributes like taste, aroma and texture. The aim of this module is to review the senses and the sensory methods employed by research and industry to measure sensory properties and the consumers’ liking response.
Practical Techniques in Human Nutrition
This module provides a fundamental understanding and practical training in a number of the core practical methods utilised in nutritional science. In lectures and practicals it covers the theory and practical skills associated with human nutrition, including collecting and analysing exercise physiology data.
Applied Marketing: Agriculture and Food
Marketing is a lot bigger than just advertising. In this module, you’ll learn about the importance of a marketing-orientated approach to successful rural and food businesses. A hands-on module, you’ll use an agricultural or food business of your choice as a case study and, in small teams, analyse its market and create your own marketing plan. Guest lectures will be invited so you can learn more about how marketing theory is applied in practice and there will be a field visit to a local farm to see their marketing strategy in action. 
Food Safety and Legislation
Through weekly lectures and workshops, the aim of this module is to introduce you to the legislation relating to food and enable you to recognise the responsibilities and liabilities of those engaged in the production, manufacture and supply of food and related products. This includes the composition, labelling and advertising of food and food products sold for human consumption within the UK and the EU as well as the legislation that impacts on health attributes and claims for consumer products.
Personal and Professional Skills for Nutritionists
In this module you will develop and consolidate your professional competencies and abilities as a bioscientist. You’ll improve your core professional skills in the scientific method, experimentation, data analysis and measurement techniques that enable you carry out scientifically-sound research in animal, crop or management science. You’ll also cover discipline-specific topics. There will be a mix of lectures, workshops and group activity sessions for you to work on your skills.

Optional Modules

Nutritional Regulation, Physiology and Endocrinology
This module, in lectures and practical sessions, provides a basic understanding of the role of nutrition in a variety of physiological and pathological situations. It aims to emphasise the interaction between the disciplines of biochemistry and nutrition. For example, you will cover the major factors associated with the metabolism of macronutrients during normal (healthy) metabolism and the changes in macronutrient metabolism associated with common chronic diseases like obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Agri-Business Enterprise and Innovation
Innovation and enterprise are key drivers of agri-business success and growth. You’ll explore a range of topics that influence agri-business success and growth, including knowledge transfer and exchange, intellectual property surrounding new innovations, planning issues for agri-businesses and technologies supporting sustainable intensification projects. Looking at particular contemporary issues, you’ll examine the issues surrounding taxation, green energy, inheritance and business succession. You’ll build on the skills developed in this module further in the final year ‘Innovation Incubator’ module, where you will develop your own business idea.

Year three

Applied Bioethics 1: Animals, Biotechnology and Society
Animal-human interactions raise some prominent ethical issues. In this module, you’ll examine the ethical dimensions concerning animal agriculture, modern biotechnologies and research in the biosciences, in relation to both humans and non-human species. You’ll learn about the ethical frameworks used to analyse specific dilemmas raised by the human use of animals. Using specific animal and biotechnology case studies, you’ll interpret the main ethical theories and principles and apply them to the case studies to inform professional decision-making. You’ll have a mix of lectures and seminars to explore these concepts.
Consumer Behaviour: How to change the people's food
Behaviour change is notorious difficult to achieve but pursued by many different, sometimes competing, stakeholders, such as governments, public health, business, or charities. Food choice is used as a ‘case-study’ behaviour to focus a descriptive and critical analysis. This module, therefore, explores ways in which various actors try to effect behaviour, with close attention to underpinning theories (covered in year one Consumer Psychology), and then moves on to contemporary food-related behaviour change activities. Not all behaviour change attempts are as effective as promised and students will work to identify barriers – conceptual, ethical and practical. A key skill in the workplace is the ability to present complex arguments to a non-academic audience in a concise yet persuasive manner. The assessment for this module is, therefore, designed to mimic a board meeting where the student presents a critique of an intervention/activity proposed by someone else in the organisation. 
Consumer Insights: Concept to Launch

The aim of this module is to build on qualitative and quantitative methods used to measure human behaviours and trends learnt in previous modules to identify key consumer insights. The key principles required to make comparative and non-comparative product claims, and to avoid misleading claims will be introduced. The importance of global regulations and legislation will be reviewed and students will demonstrate that they can design studies, as well as analyse and interpret a variety of data to provide evidence to support product claims.

Contemporary Issues in Consumer Psychology, Food and Nutrition
Explore some of the fundamental issues that effect contemporary behaviour change activities. You'll inspect the history and evolution of these issues to provide context, and debate them to provide an opportunity to develop and challenge common assumptions. This module will develop your knowledge about theoretical, philosophical, and ethical issues, give you confidence in your own decision-making and ability to defend your opinions in open discourse.  This module will be supported by early taught sessions to ensure all students have the necessary skills to engage, and the use of supportive, small-group seminars led by academic staff.
Nutrition and the Health of Populations
This module will introduce you to the basic methodology used to explore relationships between diet, health and disease in human populations. An appreciation of these techniques will be used as the basis for in-depth exploration of current major public health priorities. The module will take a lifecourse approach to explain and develop the concepts of human health and disease as affected by diet, dietary components and interacting factors. You’ll have a weekly four hour lecture to study for this module.
Research Project
The project gives you an opportunity to use your initiative and knowledge to undertake original research under the supervision of an individual member of academic staff. You will design the study, gain familiarity with relevant analysis techniques, undertake data collection, and where appropriate safety procedures relevant to the topic. You will undertake appropriate quantitative analysis and prepare a report of approximately 5000 words.

Optional Modules

Food Flavour and the Physiology of Perception
This module will expose final year students to basic chemistry, physics and physiology of food flavour perception from both a chemistry and sensory perspective. This includes: aroma perception, taste perception, texture perception and also the physiological and psychological factors contributing to perception. Factors affecting human variation in sensory perception will be discussed and explored. Content will be delivered through taught lectures and hands on practical’s and self-directed learning.
Agri-Business Innovation Incubator
Within the Innovation Incubator module you’ll have the opportunity to develop and test your own business ideas. You’ll learn about the principles of innovation and entrepreneurship, and you’ll be embedded in a supportive tutorial environment where external inspirational practitioners provide feedback on business concepts as they are being developed. A ‘Dragon’s Den’ experience towards the end of the module provides you with vital experience in business-to-business communication.  
Contemporary Issues in Consumer Psychology, Food and Nutrition*
Explore some of the fundamental issues that effect contemporary behaviour change activities. You'll inspect the history and evolution of these issues to provide context, and debate them to provide an opportunity to develop and challenge common assumptions. This module will develop your knowledge about theoretical, philosophical, and ethical issues, give you confidence in your own decision-making and ability to defend your opinions in open discourse.  This module will be supported by early taught sessions to ensure all students have the necessary skills to engage, and the use of supportive, small-group seminars led by academic staff.

 * Optional if you decide to specialise in marketing, business or consumer behaviour.





The UK food and drink sector employs 3.9m people and is the single largest manufacturing sector in the UK.* 

Graduates from this degree will be in high demand, and could explore exciting career options across a variety of areas including:

  • international food processing and manufacturing companies
  • business consultancy and market research agencies
  • trade and consumer organisations
  • food industry organisations specifically food product development roles
  • government, civil service and trade bodies
  • public health and social services.  
      * Defra (2017).  Food Statistics Pocketbook Summary.

Average starting salary 

As this is a new course we don't yet have graduate data. However, as a guide in 2016, 93.1% of undergraduates in the school secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £21,597 with the highest being £30,000.*

* 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.

Careers support and advice

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 2013-2017, High Fliers Research).



Fees and funding

Scholarships and bursaries

The University of Nottingham offers a wide range of bursaries and scholarships. These funds can provide you with an additional source of non-repayable financial help. For up to date information regarding tuition fees, visit our fees and finance pages.

Home students*

Over one third of our UK students receive our means-tested core bursary, worth up to £2,000 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/EU students

Our International Baccalaureate Diploma Excellence Scholarship is available for select students paying overseas fees who achieve 38 points or above in the International Baccalaureate Diploma. We also offer a range of High Achiever Prizes for students from selected countries, schools and colleges to help with the cost of tuition fees. Find out more about scholarships, fees and finance for international students.



Key Information Sets (KIS)

Key Information Sets (KIS)

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How to use the data

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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