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Guide to Studying Food Science

What is Food Science?

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  • The Institute of Food Technologists says food science is "the discipline in which the engineering, biological, and physical sciences are used to study the nature of foods, and the improvement of foods for the consuming public."
  • Basically it is the academic study of the physicality and chemical natures of food, and the principles behind the making of the food we eat today.

Why study Food Science?

  • While the world may change unrecognisably in the future, people will always have to eat. This means if you are working anywhere along the food science industry chain, there will always be jobs available.
  • Speaking of jobs, there are thousands of different working roles available, not just in a lab or at a desk. There is something for everyone – quality control, sales, marketing, manufacturing, teaching. The list goes on.
  • The graduate salary advantage is very strong in the food science industry – a degree will really help you get ahead. Working your way up to management will virtually guarantee six figure salaries.
  • Food science is an excellent degree choice for the creative types among you. Whether you are creating new products, testing product quality, or researching new combinations, the possibilities are endless.
  • There will be lots of opportunities to travel. Large UK companies often have branches in other nations, and if you get into the right area, the right level, at the right time, then you could go anywhere you want.

Coursework, assessment and exams

  • Depending on where you choose to study, your degree will be assessed on various weightings towards lectures, tutorials, practical lab work, workshops, written exams, independent study, and personal tutoring. A final year dissertation is also quite common.

What degree can I get? 

  • BSc Food Science and Microbiology
  • BSc Nutrition and Dietetics
  • BSc Physiology, Nutrition and Sports Science
  • BSc Food Science

What qualifications do I need?

  • Requirements differ depending on the university. A levels in Maths and Science are required.
  • Always confirm the entry requirements for the particular university/course you are interested in.

Use our Course Chooser to search through Food Science courses.

What are the postgraduate opportunities?

  • There is an exciting range of taught MAs and research degrees at postgraduate level.
  • Examples include a straight MA in Food Science, as well as a masters in Advanced Dietetic Practice, Advanced Food Safety, Food Innovation, Food Policy, Food Security and Development, and Nutrition.

Graduate job prospects

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*Professional employment refers to a job or occupation which normally requires a degree.
**Non-professional employment refers to a job or occupation which doesn't normally require a degree.

What are the job opportunities?

  • Food Science degrees teach students valuable transferable skills, such as presentation, research and communication, as well as the highly skilled job of research, development and manufacture of safe food.
  • Particular job areas include animal nutrition, dietician, food technology, brewing, toxicology, horticulturalist, production management, quality control, and sales and retail.
  • Numerous companies offer graduate schemes in this subject, such as McDonalds.