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Food Chain Systems (MSc/PgDip/PgCert)

Course Description

Course Description

Cranfield's Food Chain Systems MSc has been developed as a result of extensive industry-led research. It represents a unique offering within the UK and Europe in that it examines the whole of the food chain from pre-harvest to market through the integration of science, technology and management. The holistic approach of the MSc responds to the increasingly integrated food supply chain ('farm to fork') and will equip you with the relevant knowledge, skills and practical experience needed to pursue a wide variety of career opportunities in today's food industry.

Increasing consumer awareness and demand regarding food quality, nutrition and safety issues, coupled with intensifying competition within the rapidly changing food industry, has created a demand for individuals who are able to drive success in the management of key food chains in a modern global economic market.

Course overview

Food Chain Systems MSc is part of the Agriculture and Food Programme. It provides a critical appreciation of the issues concerned with the production and supply of safe food in the modern world. Through the integration of scientific, technological and managerial factors students will learn how to use food resources more efficiently to achieve higher quality and safer food production.

The holistic approach of the MSc will provide you with a detailed understanding of the whole of the food chain system including:

- Diagnostics
- Food microbiology
- Logistics
- Postharvest technology
- Predictive modelling
- Risk assessment of food
- Supply chain management.

Food Chain Systems MSc is made up of three components:

- A formal taught component comprising eight modules
- Group Project
- Individual Research Project.

Group project

Group projects provide students with an understanding of working on real challenges in the work place along with skills in team working, managing resources and developing reporting and presentation skills. Many of the projects are supported by external organisations and the experience gained is highly valued by both students and prospective employers. For part-time students a dissertation usually replaces the group project.

This element constitutes 20% of the overall mark.

Individual Project

The four-month individual research project can be carried out within industry or academia and for part-time candidates it can be undertaken in your place of work. This key part of the course allows you to apply the research skills acquired during the taught phase of the course to a practical problem in health science and acts as an opportunity for you to meet potential future employers.

This element constitutes 40% of the overall mark.


The formal taught component of this course comprises eight compulsory modules. Each module is two weeks in duration, consisting of one week of lectures, practical work, site visits and one week for private study. Part-time students attend the first week of each module but may continue with coursework assignments at a suitable time and location. This element constitutes 40% of the overall mark.

Core -

Plant-Based Food Quality
Mathematical Foundations
Soil Plant Environment Science
Food Diagnostics
Food Mycology
Postharvest Technology
Food Microbiology and HACCP
Food Supply Management


Modules - coursework which may take the form of a portfolio, debate, lab report or presentation. Group Project - written report and presentations. Individual Research Project - combination of a submitted thesis, oral presentation and application and initiative shown during the project.


Bursaries may be available, however please be aware that funding will, in most cases, only be discussed once you have secured a firm offer of a place on the course. Please contact the Enquiries Office for further details.

Further Information

For further information on this course, please visit our course webpage - https://www.cranfield.ac.uk/Courses/Masters/Food-Chain-Systems

Visit the Food Chain Systems (MSc/PgDip/PgCert) page on the Cranfield University website for more details!

Student Profiles

Entry Requirements

A first or second class honours degree from a UK university, or equivalent, in a scientific discipline such as a food science, food technology, microbiology or other science or technology related subjects or candidates with appropriate professional experience.

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