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MA Food Business Management

Course Description

The MA Food Business Management course creates links between academic theory and practice and leading food and hospitality businesses. These connections will be established in the classroom, on field trips and in interactions with a range of distinguished external speakers from the industry.

The course will enable you to approach business challenges from a global perspective, integrating academic and technical knowledge, and assess situations from financial, commercial, societal and cultural standpoints. You will be able to create innovative solutions to champion food businesses and develop action plans based on rigorous theoretical frameworks that you can use in your professional careers’ to effectively manage change.

Designing the Customer Experience
This module addresses the unique opportunities and challenges that the luxury hospitality industry faces when designing a customer experience. The module is underpinned by the sociological, cultural and historical perspectives of international lifestyles that determine patterns of consumption and usage.

Business Performance Analysis
In order to ensure that you are pursuing strategies and actions which will enable your business to achieve its goals, managers must be able to measure and analyse the financial, social and environmental performance of their business. In this module you will learn how to evaluate information and data available in annual reports, financial analysts' reports and companies' websites using the Triple Bottom Line approach which combines three considerations: is the company financially, socially and environmentally sustainable?

Responsible Value Chain Management
This module is designed to help you to evaluate the practices used across the value chain. In particular you will be able to identify and critically analyse value chain frameworks that will enable you to appreciate the performance from an economic, social and environmental perspective. This analysis will help you to recognise existing and emerging factors that affect the Triple Bottom Line.
By using the principles and practices of analysis offered in this module you will be able to develop strategies that optimise the value chain performance and enhance your contribution to the societies you operate in.

Content to be covered:

Supply chain management/production operations management theory
Stakeholders, ethics and social responsibility in the value chain
Scale and scope of the value chain
Food Production systems
Food Markets and Purchasing
Preparation and Consumption
Resource and Waste Recovery
Concepts of collaboration: value chain management in a global food industry.
Applied Food Science and Product Development
The food industry is arguably one of the most dynamic sectors within business with many external factors influencing the respective decision makers. An understanding of food science, nutrition, hygiene and food safety are key drivers in any food business. The application of a theoretical approach in product innovation is required within both the hospitality and retail sectors of the food industry. Successful innovations can be used as means by which a company can increase its portfolio of operations, enhance market share and develop the business modus operandi.

The module will address many of these key areas in this field of study including:

Structure of carbohydrates, proteins and lipids, additives in foods and impact in food quality and health (nutrition in life cycle)
Understanding the theory of selected instrumental food analysis
Chemical composition and properties of foods that would have an impact on food quality, changes that occur during processing, storage and safety. The role of additives and packaging in food
Physiology and psychology of perception, the sense organs, training, consumer acceptability and texture measurements on the relationship with sensory perception
HACCP analysis and food safety, allergens and packaging.
Food and Society
This module offers an exciting, coherent and interdisciplinary perspective on food systems and demonstrates the rich variety of theoretical contexts underpinning food studies. In particular, the study of 'Food and Society' draws on disciplines as diverse as sociology, anthropology and cultural studies at one end and economics, politics and agricultural science at the other. This module presents a clear, authoritative and comprehensive account of the food chain and reveals how it affects the lives and livelihoods of us all.

More specifically, the module will look upstream to production and downstream to consumption and in so doing focus on areas such as:

Food chains, sustainability and environmental challenges
Industrialisation and the transformation of the farming sector
Food, World Trade and geo-politics
Food Access: Surplus and Scarcity
Quality, ethics and the agri-food industry
Food consumption and health.
Foodservice Operations Analysis
This module explores the use of the internet and information technologies that change the business dynamics in all aspects of food service provision:

You will be introduced to a number of critical issues related to the use of technology in the food service industry; its advantages and the risks it exposes the company to, including the use of the cloud, social media and mobile-commerce.

You will be able to evaluate the ways in which food service operations can gain economies of scale, coordinate design, production and distribution of products and services, manage supply chains, customer relationships and change the competitive landscape by capturing the benefits of new technologies.

Research methods
This module will prepare you to produce a research thesis. It covers a range of topics, including theories and approaches to management research, problem formulation, investigative methods of data collection and data analysis.

The dissertation is a major piece of independent research. You will be required to select a topic relevant to your field of study and carry out research that meets the academic conventions required for a Master’s degree. It will give you the opportunity to study in-depth and apply your research skills to a particular subject using your critical analysis, creativity and evaluation skills. You will be assessed on the finished written document of up to 15,000 words.

Visit the MA Food Business Management page on the University of West London website for more details!

Entry Requirements

You would normally be expected to have a good honours degree (2.2 or above) in related honours degree from a UK university, or its equivalent.If you do not have the above qualifications but possess relevant work experience, you are invited to apply. In exceptional circumstances, candidates seeking entry onto course without non-standard academic qualifications will be considered in accordance with the University’s policy for the Assessment of Prior (Experiential) Learning.However, all applications are considered on an individual basis and applicants from the UK may be asked to attend or participate in an interview procedure.

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