Food science sits at the interface of a number of core scientific disciplines. Our degree course opens up a wide range of rewarding and challenging career opportunities; it equips graduates with the knowledge and skills to tackle the challenge of producing and manufacturing food for a growing global population. The integrated master option has an additional year of study to equip you with valuable research and project management skills.
As well as formal lectures there are talks from industrialists, laboratory classes, a product development team challenge, small scale food manufacture in our purpose-built food processing facility, problem-based learning through real-life case studies and tours of food manufacturing sites.
You can take an optional placement in industry between years two and three of your degree programme - read our student blogs on the Institute of Food Science and Technology website:
This course is accredited by the Institute of Food Science and Technology (IFST).
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. Graduates 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).
In the first year you will learn about the science that explains the chemical and physical properties of food materials. Concepts explained in lectures come alive in practical classes and in the food processing facility, where you will make a range of food products and explore the reasons for the dramatic changes that occur during processing and cooking. You will also find out about the global food supply chain, i.e. where commodity crops are grown and how they are transported around the world.
At the end of year one you will visit a number of food manufacturing sites as part of a field trip.
Building on year one, you will manufacture food products and develop your critical thinking skills, supported by small group tutorials and lectures. You will gain a detailed understanding of process engineering and of the role of hydrocolloids and macromolecules in determining the physical properties of certain food products.
In small teams you will actively work together to solve food product-related problems as presented in industry based scenarios. A module in sensory evaluation provides you with the skills and protocols to test consumer acceptance of new products. You will learn how to prevent food spoilage and to identify potentially toxic microorganisms.
In the final year you will carry out a unique research project supervised by one of our academics. It is possible it will be aligned to your year four research work.
In addition to your project, you will study the operation of food factories and develop a new product in the food processing facility as part of a
small group, then present your product (ready to eat or drink) to your peers and to representatives from industry. You will increase your depth of knowledge of the importance of microbiology in the food industry and explore more sensory science, such as the physiology of flavour perception.
You will also be supported in developing your own career plans and gaining the associate skills required to succeed in your chosen graduate pathway.
In this year you will embark on a sizeable level of research activity that is far more independent than your project in year three. To underpin this you will continue study a number of modules that will be linked to your research work.
Year four enables you to graduate with an integrated master’s level qualification and is an ideal opportunity to develop a broad range of the skills needed in the co-ordination of research and projects.
Industry placement year
This optional year in industry as a paid employee takes place between years two and three of your degree. It gives you the opportunity to develop a wide range of skills in a real-world environment, which will significantly improve your employment prospects.
Our reputation ensures that we maintain good contacts with food companies ranging from multinationals to local manufacturers. For example you could be working for a multinational food manufacturer like Pepsico or Mondelez or a leading retailer such as Sainsbury’s, M&S and Tesco. Read more.
See student blogs
Study abroad options
Combining Food Science with an international year offers the opportunity to study abroad at one of our partner universities in France, Germany or Spain for an additional year. You can transfer to this route during your first year of study.
Students can also apply to the University-wide exchange programme and spend a semester studying abroad at one of our world-leading partner universities in a variety of overseas locations including Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the USA and Singapore. You can apply during your first year of study and if successful, study abroad for the first semester of the second year.