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    Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences Logo
  • Study Type

    Full time & Part time available

  • Subject Areas

    Food Sciences

  • Start Date


  • Course Duration

    Full Time: 12 months | Part Time: 24 months

  • Course Type


  • Course Fees


  • Last Updated

    25 March 2019

The safety, quality and nutritional properties of the food that reaches consumers depends upon food scientists.

Building on your scientific undergraduate studies, this course will allow you to gain an in-depth knowledge of the science of food. Taught by academics from the Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences, topics include:

  • food chemistry
  • food quality and safety
  • manufacturing and process.

Our Department is a world authority on food and human nutrition. We have leading experts in all of the component disciplines that contribute to food and nutritional science – a claim that no other UK department can make.

You will become accustomed to working in extensive, industry-standard laboratories. Our food-teaching facilities include:

  • Food Processing Centre. This pilot plant is unique to Reading. There is almost 1100m2 of floor space devoted to approximately £4m worth of equipment. Used primarily for teaching and learning, the plant contains processing equipment for food product development work. No other UK university offers what we do under one roof.
  • Flavour Centre. The Centre hosts facilities that enable you to gain comprehensive practical experience in taste and aroma analysis, and flavour extraction.
  • Sensory Science Centre. Our in-house sensory facility gives you the opportunity to evaluate your own food products developed on the course. It is also available for commercial sensory profiling and market research activities.

We are proud of our research impact, 100% of which has been recognised as world leading or internationally excellent (REF, 2014 – Agriculture, Veterinary and Food Science). As an MSc Food Science student, you will also have access to – and are encouraged to get involved in – the most up-to-date knowledge in the field of food science and nutrition.

Our MSc Food Science is industry relevant, and the curriculum has been designed in consultation with industry. Designed to widen your skill set and boost employability, you will be encouraged to complete a research project with one of our industry partners. This is an opportunity to embed your learning in practice and undertake research in an area you are interested in, such as new product development or formulation.

Plus, our well-equipped building offers training opportunities for further research on graduation.

This master’s course is for graduates of pure sciences – such as chemistry, biology, biochemistry and microbiology – or applied sciences. Examples of applied sciences degrees include:

  • Food science
  • Food engineering
  • Food technology
  • Human physiology
  • Biomedical sciences
  • Agricultural engineering

If you’re unsure whether your degree counts as an applied science, please contact us via

You can attend this course on a full-time basis over one year, or part-time over two years.

What will I study?

The course structure of our MSc Food Science supports your individual learning.

Please note that all modules are subject to change. Please see our modules disclaimer for more information.

Careers for MSc Food Science graduates

With expertise in a field which affects food producers, governments and consumers, highly qualified food specialists are in demand. The food and drink industry is the UK’s largest manufacturing sector. It’s responsible for adding £21.9bn to the gross value of the UK economy – and it needs new graduates to meet its recruitment needs.

Your market-relevant knowledge will be applicable to a range of organisations. These include: multinational food manufacturers, ingredient suppliers, major retail chains, government bodies and companies supplying niche markets.

Recent graduates have secured roles such as:

  • Process Technologist with Pepsico International
  • Quality Executive with Agro Tech Foods
  • New Product Developer with Bakkavor
  • Food Technologist with Tesco
  • Research and Development Technologist with Kerry Ingredients and Flavours

Alternatively, you could progress to PhD-level study.

Read more about where our MSc Food Science graduates are now

  • Faye Wheller returned to education to boost her knowledge and skill set, choosing Reading for its facilities and flexibility. After completing her master's, she's been able to expand her work opportunities as a lecturer, and hopes to progress to PhD study

Visit the Food Science MSc page on the University of Reading website for more details!