Food Science and Nutrition MSci


Fact file - 2018 entry

MSci Hons Food Science and Nutrition
UCAS code
4 years full-time
A level offer
Required subjects
to include two science subjects from chemistry, biology, maths and physics (chemistry recommended); or one science and one science-related subject such as applied science, food technology, economics, geography and psychology. GCSE Maths, 5 or above.
IB score
34-32 (including specified grades in science subjects and English language) 
Course location
Sutton Bonington Campus 
Course places


Studying both food science and nutrition will leave you uniquely placed within the industry to understand raw ingredients, their nutritional content, and the effect of processing and storage on food quality and nutritional value.
Read full overview

We are still currently taking applications for 2018 entry

Chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, obesity and diabetes are all influenced by the diet we consume. Functional foods are foods that make a specific health claim and these products can only be released for sale in the UK if there is sound scientific evidence to support the claim.

Opportunities exist within the food industry for students who are scientifically trained in both food science and nutrition. You will be uniquely placed to understand raw ingredients, their nutritional content, and the effect of processing and storage on food quality (colour, flavour, texture) and nutritional value. You will also appreciate the physiological link between consumption, nutrient uptake and health benefit or risk. The integrated masters option has an additional year of study to equip you with valuable research and project management skills.

You can take an optional placement in industry between years two and three of your degree programme - see our student blogs:

Professional Recognition

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).


Year one 

You will be given an extensive introduction to nutrition, and to the biochemistry that explains the connection between nutrition and health. You will also learn about the chemical and physical properties of food materials. Concepts explained in lectures come alive in practical classes and in 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. At the end of Year one you will visit a number of food manufacturing sites as part of a field trip. 

Year two

You will study the relationship between nutrients, human metabolism and the development of certain dietary-related disease states such as coronary heart disease and obesity.

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 also find out about the global food supply chain, for example, where commodity crops are grown and how they are transported around the world.

Year three 

You will explore a range of nutrition-related topics from social policy for the improvement of population health, to the more molecular topic of nutrient gene interactions. You will also be supported in developing your own career plans and gaining the associate skills required to succeed in your chosen graduate pathway.

You will carry out a unique research project supervised by one of our academic staff. It is possible that this will be aligned to your year 4 research work. In addition to this, 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.

Year 4

In this year you will embark on a sizeable level of research activity that is far more independent than your project in year 3. To underpin this you will continue to study a number of modules that will be linked to your research work.

Year 4 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. 

For example you could be working for a multinational food manufacturer like Unilever, Kraft or GSK or a leading retailer such as Sainsbury’s, M&S and Tesco. Read more

See our student blogs

Study Abroad options

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, USA and China.


Entry requirements

A levels: AAB-ABB,to include two science subjects from chemistry, biology, maths and physics (chemistry recommended); or one science and one science-related subject such as applied science, food technology, economics, geography and psychology. GCSE Maths, 5 or above.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.0 (no less than 5.5 in any element)

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.

Alternative qualifications 

For details please see alternative qualifications page

Foundation year - a foundation year is available for this course

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.  

Flexible admissions policy

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.

Notes for applicants 

Our modular courses are flexible and offer the opportunity to combine your main studies with modules in other subject areas (please note that all modules are subject to change).



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.

Typical year one modules


The Biosciences and Global Food Security
How can you use science to help improve global food security? This module introduces you to the issues of global food security and the complexity existing in different parts of our food generation system. Looking across the food supply chain, you’ll cover the evolution of crops, crop and animal production, and the food industry. Importantly, you’ll also look at sustainable nutrition because food security isn’t just about supply – it’s important that people are getting the right kind of food. You’ll learn about these issues through a mix of lectures and practical laboratory sessions. You’ll also develop professional skills to work safely in laboratory situations.  
Biochemistry – The Building Blocks of Life
Have you ever wondered how some crops can resist diseases? This module provides you with the fundamentals for understanding biochemical processes in living organisms. You’ll be introduced to the basic structure, properties and functions of the four key biological macromolecules: nucleic acids, proteins, carbohydrates and lipids. You’ll also look at the metabolic pathways occurring in cells, such as respiration, photosynthesis and the biosynthetic pathways for the key macromolecules. In addition to lectures, you’ll have practical laboratory sessions to learn how to use key biochemical techniques for the separation and analysis of macromolecules and measurement of the metabolic process.
Introduction to Nutrition
Nutrients are vital to humans and animals, but how do they work? In this module you’ll be given 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.
Food Materials and Ingredients
Food materials can be raw, or in the form of manufactured food products. During processing, the material properties of the food are altered; this directly affects the quality of the food product in terms of, for example, its colour, flavour and texture. This module introduces you to properties of these materials (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 to study for this module. 
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.
Contemporary Agricultural Systems
Modern agriculture is a dynamic, fast-paced and high-tech industry. In this module, you’ll explore practical agricultural systems used by commercial UK farms.  Designed for students with a farm or non-farming background, you’ll get to understand the fundamental concepts of agricultural systems within the context of contemporary markets, policy and research. Exact topics covered in the module will vary according to the issues affecting the agricultural industry in any one year, but examples include: dairy production, arable production, soils, agri-environmental interactions, labour and machinery management and farm business systems. You’ll have lectures from academics currently researching these fields and will visit the University Farm and external farms to see what you’ve learnt in practice.
Physiology for Food Scientists
In this module, lectures will introduce you to the major physiological systems which are essential for life, with specific focus on the digestive, renal, cardiovascular, respiratory and endocrine systems. Sensory systems will also be investigated and the sensory perception of food tested in practical sessions.
Biosciences Tutorials and Foundation Science

The tutorials component of this module is intended to enhance your transition into university and guide you through the academic expectations of your degrees. This part of the module is spread throughout the year and includes three generic sessions on study skills and plagiarism, study opportunities and career and personal development, as well as a series of small group tutorials with your academic tutor to develop generic 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 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.


- there are no optional modules in year one

Typical year two modules


Nutrition, Metabolism and Disease
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.
Manufacture of Food
In this module you will learn about the manufacturing of a wide range of industrially manufactured food products. You will follow the whole process from the ingredients used to the final packaged food, with an emphasis on key physical and chemical properties of food biomaterials before, during and after processing, and on the underpinning scientific principles that can be applied to a number of food manufacturing systems. You will have lectures, tutorials, group learning and practical sessions in our Food Processing Facility as well as in the laboratory.
Food Product Case Studies
Through problem-based learning (PBL) you will develop skills in diagnosing and solving challenges relating to the manufacture, distribution and/or storage of food products. You’ll have a three hour session each week to study for this module. 
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.
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.
Nutritional Regulation, Physiology and Endocrinology
This module aims to develop your understanding of the principles of nutrition from dietary assessment and food analysis through to how the body utilises the diet’s nutrients in energetics throughout the human lifespan and in different pathological states. You will investigate the physiological systems that control homeostasis and metabolism as well as examining how the body regulates various physiological responses to food, regulating appetite and energy expenditure. You will have two lectures and workshops per week for this module.

Optional -
there are no optional modules in year two.


Typical year three modules


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:

  • fortifying milk powder with natural ingredients for famine relief
  • manipulating the nutritional value of mealworms for animal feed/human food
  • effects of processing on nutrients
  • what is the impact of seed age and pasteurisation on the nutritive quality of recovered oil bodies?
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. 
Personal and Professional Development for Food Scientists
This module provides specific training and learning opportunities to develop a range of key skills and competencies that improve employability prospects for you, and your performance once in work. These include, positive behaviours e.g. taking responsibility, being proactive, and integrity on discharging roles as well as key employability skills e.g working as part of a team, developing leadership capability, exercising influence, networking. 
Food Factory Operations 
You’ll be made aware of a range of operations used in food manufacturing and emphasis will be placed on the hygienic and legal requirements for the production of foods. When working in a food factory, you should have sufficient understanding to contribute, at managerial level, to a production team and be able to contribute to the development of novel food products under factory time scales and limitations. You’ll have a four hour lecture and four hour practical each week to study for this module.  
Trends in Food Research 
This module will expose you to research and developments in a number of areas of current academic interest within the Division of Food Sciences. This could include: flavour and sensory science; properties of biopolymers; sustainable nutrition; salt reduction; engineering new food structures. Factors that initiate shape and direct this research will be discussed and explored.


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.  
Molecular Nutrition
This module will examine the concept of metabolic control at the gene, cell and tissue level with particular reference to the role of nutrients in regulating this process. Selected processes by which nutrients and hormones act via receptors and their signal transduction pathways to regulate tissue growth and metabolism will be described along with the mechanisms by which nutrients can act directly on the processes controlling gene expression. You’ll have a four hour lecture and four hour practical each week to study for this module.
Physical Chemistry of Molecules
This module will develop your understanding of the basic physical chemistry behind the properties of biomolecules - properties which underpin their behaviour in vivo and their technology and some of the techniques used to characterise their size. You’ll spend six hours in lectures and have a four hour practical each week to study for this module. 
Exploring Perspectives in Entrepreneurship
This module aims to develop a comprehensive understanding of the concept of entrepreneurship and what entrepreneurial activity involves in practice. It introduces theoretical perspectives like economic theories, sociological approaches, and psychological approaches. You’ll understand what shapes the practice of entrepreneurship in different settings (eg social entrepreneurship or family business) and what is due to contextual influences (eg entrepreneurship in the media and the influence of gender). There are eleven one-hour lectures and three seminars. 
Technology Entrepreneurship in Business
This module introduces the process of commercialising for science and technology. Commercialisation deals with developing intellectual property within the science and technology domain to a point where it is ready to enter the market. This process is an increasingly important activity as Government and business places importance on the wealth creation. You’ll have weekly lectures and two seminars. 

Typical year four modules


Statistics and Experimental Design
This module should give an overall grasp of the major analytical techniques available, and how they relate to each other, as well as develop your abilities in experimental design, data analysis using appropriate software and presentation of results. You will have a three hour lecture each week to study for this module.
Global Food Industry
This module aims to increase your theoretical knowledge of business skills required in the global food or associated industries. You will consolidate learning from other science modules of the course by putting them into a business framework.
Writing and Reviewing Research Proposals
The module aims to develop your skills in analysis and writing of research proposals. Specific areas covered include: communicating with awarding bodies (how to develop a research idea and write a grant application) and peer review of research proposals. You will spend around four hours per week in lectures studying for this module.
MSci Research Project in Food Science
This module will train you in the planning, execution and reporting of an independent advanced level research project. The module will help develop the skills associated with: planning, recording and executing an individual research project; presenting research both orallly and visually to an audience of peers; writing scientific papers;effective time management and assimilating new research skills associated with a specific project.
Scientific Research Methods
You will research the theory of scientific method using a range of resources including library, web-based and published literature. Lectures on project planning and management theory and lay writing style will be given.

Industry Placement year

The optional year in industry takes place between years two and three of your degree, extending your degree to a four year programme. Students apply for a placement during year two of the degree programme. A growing number of students across the School of Biosciences are choosing to undertake the year in industry. The majority of placements are paid positions.

A year in industry gives you the opportunity to put your learning into practice, giving you a better understanding of your studies and the chance to solidify your knowledge in an industry setting. Past students have found the experience transformative, as they were able to use science and innovation to solve problems which are current and relevant.

A year in industry gives you the opportunity to develop a wide range of skills in a real-world environment, which will significantly improve your employment prospects. A year of work experience will help you stand out from the crowd as a graduate: many students secure a graduate job as a direct result of their placement year. It’s a unique opportunity for you to learn about what you enjoy doing, and your strengths and weaknesses, putting you in a strong position when considering your future career. 

The School has excellent links with a wide range of businesses and research institutes. The dedicated School Placement Team works with you in partnership to help you search for, apply for and secure a placement, as well as supporting you prior to, during and after the placement. 

More information and profiles of student experiences



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 are available to graduates, including:

  • nutritionist and food labelling advisor
  • product or process technologist (manufacturing or retail) 
  • new product development
  • quality assurance technologist
  • specifications technologist
  • commercial and manufacturing options eg raw materials buyer, production manager, operations improvement
  • government agencies with responsibility for food standards, labelling laws or environmental health 

The MSci course is designed to provide you with key skills and experience to make you ideally placed for pursuing a career in research and development (see above) or embarking on a postgraduate research degree (PhD).

Average starting salary and career progression

In 2014, 91% of first-degree graduates 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 £20,257 with the highest being £28,000.*

* Known destinations of full-time home and EU first-degree graduates, 2013/14. Salaries are calculated based on 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.  


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.

Year four MSci bursary

All students have an opportunity (during year 3) to apply for an industry funded non-repayable fee bursary to help support you financially during year 4. If successful you will work closely with the industry sponsor during your MSci project in an area of research of their interest.


Key Information Sets (KIS)

KIS is an initiative that the government has introduced to allow you to compare different courses and universities.


This course includes one or more pieces of formative assessment.

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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