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Guide to studying Food Science

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


  1. What's Food Science?

  2. Why study Food Science?

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

  4. What do graduates do and earn?
  5. What qualifications do you need?

  6. What degrees can you study?

  7. How will you be assessed?

  8. What are the postgraduate opportunities?

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.

Similar courses for Food Science include: 

  • Food & Beverage Studies
  • Nutrition

Why study Food Science?

A Food Science degree will offer you up a diverse and dynamic career where you could be working towards improving the food industry.

During your degree, you'll gain the skills and knowledge required to understand food processes and how to meet the demands for safe, sustainable food products. You'll learn about nutrition and the human body, as well as be on top of the latest scientific trends and developments.

Read our five reasons to study Food Science for more information on why you might choose to study this subject area.

What jobs can you get as a Food Science graduate?

Food Science degrees teach valuable skills such as presentation, research and communication, as well as technical skills in research, development and manufacture of safe food.

Particular job areas include nutrition, animal nutrition, food technology, brewing, toxicology, horticulture, production management, quality control, sales and retail.

Numerous companies offer graduate schemes in this subject.

What do food science graduates do and earn?

In the infographic below, the first table shows what graduates of Food Science have gone on to do in the months after their graduation.

The second table shows the average salaries of undergraduate Food Science students entering employment. The three skill levels – high, medium and low – reflect the UK's Standard Occupational Classification's major groups 1–3, 4–6 and 7–9 respectively.

Source: HESA Graduate Outcomes Survey 2017/18

What qualifications do you need? 

Requirements differ depending on the university, but most will ask for A Levels (or equivalent) in Biology and Chemistry.

Always confirm the grades and other requirements for the particular university/course you're interested in.

What degrees can you study?

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

How will you be assessed?

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 are the postgraduate opportunities?

Examples of taught MAs and research degrees at postgraduate level include a straight MA in Food Science as well as master's courses in Advanced Dietetic Practice, Advanced Food Safety, Food Innovation, Food Policy, Food Security and Development, and Nutrition.

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