The food industry is experiencing a skills gap in technical and product development roles, while also taking a leading role in driving a public health agenda and producing safe, tasty food which meet our nutritional needs.
This course prepares you for technical and product development roles in the food industry with a strong emphasis on nutrition. It is aimed at students with a background in food science, nutrition, health and wellbeing, exercise science or biological sciences who wish to specialise in food and nutrition and acquire an in-depth understanding of how to apply nutrition principles to food product development and production.
You learn about food production and nutrition in an applied setting, developing core technical skills in our state of the art development kitchens, food and nutrition labs and sensory suite. You apply those practical skills to live briefs with commercial applications provided by our industrial partners such as Morrisons and Cranswick plc.
The course is based on three key strands:
Examples of academic research and commercial projects you work on include developing tasty healthy alternatives, understanding the impact of food labelling on consumer liking, developing a food product for a major food retailer partner (brief varies) or supporting local SMEs with food quality assurance systems.
Full-time without work placement – 12 months
Full-time with work placement – 18 to 24 months
Part time – 12 to 24 months
As a graduate from this course, career opportunities include:
This course engages with issues at the very forefront of modern food production. You‘ll explore the origins of biotechnology, the legislation and social issues related to biotechnology in food, the immune system and role of antibodies.
You’ll have chance to challenge the myths associated with food allergies and the risks, causes and solutions. You’ll learn the science behind every ingredient that goes into a product.
The core sciences of chemistry and biochemistry underpin the course, alongside the processing of food. You’ll also study some elements of microbiology and nutrition. You’ll learn to apply fundamental scientific concepts to understand and manipulate the complex characteristics of foods and to integrate this scientific knowledge with an understanding of food technology.
The course is strongly linked to our research groups, meaning you’ll be taught by staff who are actively engaged in world-class research and cutting-edge professional practice.
Through this programme you'll develop the ability to critically assess the complex factors that influence the range, quality and acceptability of foods produced in an industrialised society.
You'll apply scientific knowledge from your bachelor degree and extend it to areas outside your first degree discipline. You'll gain a broad knowledge of food science with the necessary related understanding of chemistry, biochemistry, physics, mathematics and biology. You'll also learn to integrate your scientific knowledge with an understanding of food technology and will develop your own interests and skills through specialised options and projects, influenced by current research thinking in the field.
The programme provides an understanding of the methodology of research investigations by experimental project, and helps you develop the personal skills you'll need to communicate effectively in future professional activities.
Teaching is by lectures, practical classes, tutorials, seminars and supervised research projects. We make extensive use of IT, and a wide range of materials is available to enable you to study at your own pace and in your own time to enhance and extend the material you’ll learn formally.
Assessment is by a range of methods, including formal examination, in-class tests, laboratory practical reports, example sheets, problem solving, project work and verbal presentations.
The pass mark for each module is 50%. All marks from all modules (passed and failed) are included in the final classification mark, which must be at least a 50% average to pass.
Postgraduates from the School go into careers in research, in the food industry, into regulatory and public bodies across the world, backed by the confidence and skills gained from studying at one of the leading schools of food science and nutrition internationally.
Our graduates are in big demand and food companies come to Leeds to recruit the best talent. Some of our past graduates hold key positions in the food industry and government agencies.
There are many opportunities open to you within the food industry, from jobs in nutrition and new product development to roles in the supply chain, purchasing, logistics and distribution. You may decide to become a development scientist, working on new foodstuffs and producing food which is safe and nutritious with a consistent flavour, colour and texture. There are roles within this area in industry, but also within government and local authority food inspection departments. Other job roles include industrial buyer, retail buyer, production manager or quality assurance manager.
Read more about typical career paths:
A Masters in food science will also serve you well in progression to research-led projects. Many of our students go on to undertake PhD research here at the University of Leeds in one of the School’s research groups. Read about postgraduate research in the School of Food Science and Nutrition.
The School of Food Science and Nutrition has its own dedicated Employability Enhancement Officer who can offer quality advice and support with regards to careers, CV and cover letter writing, job applications etc. The Employability Enhancement Officer promotes a range of opportunities available to students to ensure they maximise their capabilities through a process of personal development and career planning.
We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.
The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.
This course gives you the skills you need to start a career as a food processing engineer. This is a role much in demand in the food and drink industry, the largest manufacturing sector in the UK.
You learn practical techniques and work with food manufacturers on real projects that prepare you for your career. You also visit factories including • AB World Foods • Burtons Biscuits • KP Snacks • Premier Foods • Thornton's.
The course is designed to be flexible to help you study around your other commitments.
What you study
During the course you gain an overview of engineering principles and key sector issues, giving you a range of knowledge across the food sector. Your learning is based around examples and assessments relevant to the food processing industry.
You undertake a group project to develop a new food product and its processing. This involves working with students from different courses, giving you experience in a multi-disciplinary food processing environment. You explore ethics, sustainability, health and safety and intellectual property rights, as well as business and marketing strategies related to the food industry.
You also study material flow characteristics, which is a core discipline in food processing. Using food materials to illustrate key characteristics, you learn techniques to analyse the rheology and flow of food products through food processing equipment, including understanding the thixotropic behaviour of tomato ketchup.
You then choose two further optional modules, allowing you to focus on your key areas of interest.
The course also gives you the opportunity to take modules on • food • food safety • the management of food production • food processing • food manufacturing techniques • engineering processes.
Level one modules
Level two core modules
Level two optional modules
Choose two from
The course leads to career opportunities in the food and drink sector, where there is a high demand for scientific and technically qualified individuals. Example roles and potential salaries include • engineering manager (£55,000) • maintenance manager (£40,000) • production area controller (£28,000) • project engineer (£40,000) • site engineering manager (£55,000).
The National Centre of Excellence for Food Engineering has extensive contacts with national and multi-national food and drink companies including • Nestle • PepsiCo • Mondelez • Greencore • Premier Foods • Kellogg’s • William Jackson Food Group. The Centre support students to progress to roles with companies in this significant industrial sector.