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Study Food Science, Why & How To Study

By studying Food Science you can indulge your interests in flavours or chemistry, and turn your passions into a lucrative career path.

girl in the laboratory of food quality tests

CONTENTS

  1. What’s Food Science?

  2. What Food Science degrees can you study?

  3. What do you need to get onto a Food Science degree?

  4. What topics does a Food Science degree cover?

  5. How will you be assessed?

  6. Why study Food Science?

  7. What do Food Science graduates earn?

  8. What jobs can you get as a Food Science graduate?

  9. What are the postgraduate opportunities?

  10. Similar subjects to Food Science

  11. Have any questions?

What’s Food Science?

According to the Institute of Food Technologists, 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'.

In short, it's the academic study of the physicality and chemical natures of food and the principles behind the making of the food we eat today.

What Food Science degrees can you study?

Undergraduate degrees in Food Science can encompass nutrition or dietetics. Examples include:

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

Options may include an integrated foundation year or master’s, or professional placement year. Study abroad is also possible.

What do you need to get onto a Food Science degree?

Entry requirements for a Food Science degree at a university range from 96–165 UCAS points. This could include the qualifications below:

  • A Levels: AAB–CCC
  • BTECs: D*DD–MMM
  • Scottish Highers: AAABB–BBBC
  • International Baccalaureate: 35–28
  • Universities will usually ask that you have studied: biology and/or chemistry A Level (or equivalent)

Other good subjects to have studied include:

  • Maths, physics, home economics
  • General studies A Level may be excluded

Experience that would look good on your application:

  • Work or experience in a related area such as catering, or with a food manufacturer or business
  • Further research on topics of interest such as TED talks, podcasts or online courses
  • Reading more about the business, for example on the Grocer or Food Matters Live websites

Other requirements for this subject include:

  • Pass in the practical element of sciences at A Level

What topics does a Food Science degree cover?

Typical modules for courses in this subject include:

  • Agri-food supply chains
  • Analysis of food
  • Culinary skills with food science
  • Food commodities and sustainability
  • Food processing from farm to shop
  • Food quality assurance
  • New food product development
  • Physicochemical properties of food
  • Principles of human physiology and nutrition
  • Psychology of consumer behaviour and innovation

How will you be assessed?

Assessments are usually carried out by a mixture of the following, and will vary from module to module:

  • Case studies
  • Coursework
  • Essays
  • Exams
  • Group projects
  • Management reports
  • Lab reports
  • Poster presentations
  • A dissertation or research project may be a final year option

Why study Food Science?

Take a Food Science degree and you'll gain the skills and knowledge required to understand food processes and how to meet the demands for safe, sustainable food products.

Career-specific skills:

  • Technical skills in the research, development and manufacture of safe food, including lab skills
  • Understanding of human nutrition, the human body and food chemistry
  • Knowledge of the latest scientific developments, plus the regulatory environment

Transferable skills:

  • Communication
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Numeracy and IT skills
  • Problem solving
  • Presentation
  • Research

Professional accreditation:

  • Degrees may be accredited by the Institute of Food Science and Technology (IFST) or the Association for Nutrition (AfN)
  • Degrees with dietetics must be approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) if you wish to work in the NHS, and may be accredited by the British Dietetic Association (BDA)

What do Food Science graduates earn?

Food Science graduates can expect an entry-level salary of around £17,000–£24,000.

If you go into work as a development technologist for a food manufacturer, early in your career your salary may be £19,000–25,000. With experience, you could earn £40,000 or more. If you work in quality control, an average salary for a food quality assurance manager is around £45,000.

What jobs can you get as a Food Science graduate?

A Food Science degree offers a diverse and dynamic career in areas ranging from animal nutrition to brewing, production management, or sales and retail. Roles could include:

  • Food buyer
  • Food technologist
  • New product development technologist
  • Personal trainer
  • Procurement assistant
  • Production supervisor
  • Quality assurance auditor
  • Research assistant
  • Sustainability manager
  • Teacher

What are the postgraduate opportunities?

If you have a first degree in a related subject, postgraduate study offers the opportunity to specialise in this area. Examples of taught master’s and research degrees at postgraduate level include:

  • Food Security MSc/MPhil/PhD
  • Food Quality and Innovation MSc
  • Food Science MSc
  • Brewing and Distilling with Entrepreneurship MSc

Similar subjects to Food Science

If you’re interested in the investigative application of science, you could also consider these subjects:

Have any questions?

Get in touch with our experts by emailing ask@thecompleteuniversityguide.co.uk with your question about studying Food Science. We’ll be happy to hear from you!

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