Food Science BSc


Fact file - 2019 entry

BSc Hons Food Science
UCAS code
3 years full-time (available part-time)
A level offer
Required subjects
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 (B) or above.
IB score
34-32 (including 5 in two science-based subjects at Higher Level)
Course location
Sutton Bonington Campus
Course places


Equip yourself with the knowledge and skills to tackle the challenge of developing and producing food for a growing global population.

Read full overview
  • At Nottingham, we are passionate about developing the highest quality food science graduates.
  • You will access talks from industry and experience problem-based learning through real-life case studies and tours of food manufacturing sites.
  • Supporting formal lectures you will learn through practical sessions including laboratory classes, a product development team challenge and small scale food manufacture which takes place in our purpose-built food processing facility. 
  • Our teaching incorporates a wide set of core competencies which we have developed through our work with industry and the Institute of Food Science and Technology. Ensuring that you graduate with the skills to succeed in your chosen career.
food sci

Student stories

food and nut
Jade Wilcox
BSc Food Science and Nutrition

As part of Jade's degree she decided to undertake an industry placement, and with our help, she secured a role with Mondelez, working on product development for Cadbury, the second-largest confectionery brand in the world after Mars.

"I have had the chance to get my hands into a wide variety of projects from small scale product development to larger scale production. I have also had the chance to work on developing new innovations. I think that the biggest overall learning of my placement was that I now have a plan and direction for my future career."


Professional recognition

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).



Yearly overviews

Year one 

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
  • In the food processing facility 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, for example, 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.

Year two

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.

Year three

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

  • You will study the operation of food factories and develop a new product in the food processing facility
  • As part of a small group you will 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.

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 in most cases, gives you experience in a real-world environment to develop your skills further, which will significantly improve your employment prospects.

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 a semester of your second year at one of our highly ranked international partner universities including Australia, Ireland or the USA via the University-wide exchange programme.
  • study abroad for an additional year between years two and three of your degree at one of our highly ranked Erasmus+ partner universities in France, Austria or Spain. If you choose to transfer to this option you would take language modules in the relevant language during year two, and would have the option of studying abroad in your chosen language or in English, subject to availability. 
  • take part in a summer school: we have a range of options in subjects such as business, entrepreneurship and languages available.

You can decide to apply for a year in industry or apply to study abroad when you start your degree.

Find out more


Additional year in Computer Science

Boost your degree even further by studying computer science for a year between years two and three of your degree, extending your degree to a four year programme.

A year spent in the University's School of Computer Science will give you training in software development and computing skills relevant to your final year research project and benefit you in your future career.

You can decide to transfer into this programme from your BSc course when you start your degree (subject to progression criteria).


Inspiring academics

becky ford
Dr Rebecca Ford
Assistant Professor in Sensory Science
" Flavour perception of food and beverages is affected by many factors including complex interactions between visual clues, taste, aroma, appearance, mouthfeel ,and sound. The focus of Rebecca’s research is the development and combination of sensory, instrumental techniques and cognitive neuroscience to further our understanding of sensory perception and multi-sensory interactions in complex products whilst also considering inter-individual differences, such as genetic and other physiological variations in the individual. "

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 (B) or above and English, 4 (C) or above.

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.

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


Food and Physiology
This module will cover the basics of the journey of food around the body. Students will 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. Students will be encouraged to explore how certain foods can impact the body, affecting our cognitive and physical health.

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.


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.


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.


Bacterial Physiology

The major aim of this course is to provide you with the basic knowledge of bacterial cell structures and growth and to reveal the mechanisms that allow bacteria to respond to their environment.  Students will also be taught how to handle data commonly used in microbiological experimentation and be given training in the basic practical methods required for all microbiological and food microbiological laboratory work. You will have weekly lectures and practicals.


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.  


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’, and 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 Stats 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.


 Optional - there are no optional modules in year one


Typical year two modules


Manufacture of Food

In this large 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. 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.


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. 


Microbial Mechanisms of Foodborne Diseases 

This module aims to provide a fundamental understanding of the microorganisms causing food-borne disease and the mechanisms by which they do this and their routes of transmission. In laboratory practicals you will learn a number of core practical methods needed for the safe handling, culture, isolation, enumeration and identification of a range of ACDP2 pathogens. 



Principles of Immunology

What are the main events of the immune response when the body is infected by intra and extracellular parasites, essential components of many diseases? In this module you’ll be introduced to the fundamental concepts behind cellular and molecular immunology. You’ll learn about the main characteristics and features of the innate and adaptive immune system, their functions and how they relate to each other. You’ll explore current immune-techniques, modern concepts of immune-deficiency and hypersensitivities, and contemporary topics in animal and human diseases.  



The module will provide an introduction to viruses and their interactions with their hosts (bacteria, plants and animals including humans) as well as discussing the structure of viruses and their significance including pathogenesis and molecular biology. You’ll spend four hours per week in lectures studying for this module. 


Introduction to Business Operations

You’ll be given appreciation of the main elements and techniques of operations management, within a business context through a weekly 90 minute lecture and one hour seminar.


Nutrition 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. 


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. Your research project will run throughout the final year. This project encourages critical thinking and involves independent research in a supportive environment 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. You’ll undertake appropriate quantitative analysis and prepare a report of approximately 5000 words.

Recent research projects include: 

  • waste tomato seed as a source of tocopherol (vitamin E)-rich natural emulsions

  • comparison between Turkish Delight and hard gummy sweets

  • particle stabilised emulsions 

  • flavour perception of standard and organic orange juice


The Microbial Isolation and Identification Methods

You’ll be given an understanding of: the micro-organisms which are important in foods; the factors which control the development of the microflora of food products and the methods which can be used to isolate and identify bacteria from food products. You’ll study over the year in both lectures and practicals.


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.

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.

Optional (subject to timetabling)

Microbial Fermentation
This module commences with a review of microbial fermentation, including beer, cheese, yoghurt, meat and single-cell protein production, as well as sewage treatment. The underlying principles of microbial fermentation will be discussed, in addition to specific examples which will be examined in depth. From this basic knowledge the problems of microbial contamination and spoilage of the finished product will be analysed. You’ll spend four hours in lectures and have a 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.


Technology Entrepreneurship in Practice 

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.


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 year in industry can help you:

  • Gain 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. 
  • Stand out from the crowd as a graduate: many students secure a graduate job as a direct result of their placement year.
  • Learn about what you enjoy doing, and your strengths and weaknesses, putting you in a strong position when considering your future career.

Our reputation ensures that we maintain good contacts with food companies ranging from multinational food manufacturers like PepsiCo and Mondelez to leading food retailers such as Sainsbury’s, M&S and Tesco. 

The dedicated School Placement Team work 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.

Student placement stories



At Nottingham, our teaching incorporates a wide set of core competencies which we have developed through our work with industry and the Institute of Food Science and Technology. Ensuring that you graduate with the skills to succeed in your chosen career.

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

  • Product, process or specification technologist in manufacturing or retail
  • Sensory scientist 
  • Innovation, research and development roles 
  • Quality assurance technologist
  • Commercial roles and raw material buyers 
  • Manufacturing and operations improvement roles
  • Food journalism
  • Food aid coordination and policy making in government agencies with responsibility for food standards, labelling laws or environmental health

You may also wish to consider options in postgraduate study. 

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).

We have developed an interactive online tool for all students to explore the types of competencies that are desirable for typical graduate roles and how their personal skills may be best matched to them.

Food Careers Competency Toolkit

Average starting salary and career progression


In 2017, 95% of undergraduates in the school who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £22,000 with the highest being £30,000.*

*Known destinations of full-time home undergraduates 2016/17. 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.

Explore career options


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)

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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Student Recruitment Support Hub

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