Our Food Science MSc will provide you with a broad knowledge of food science, focusing on chemistry and biochemistry, whilst giving you the necessary background understanding of physics, mathematics and biology to excel in this field.
Throughout the course, you'll analyse and critically appraise complex factors, including sociological and ethical issues that influence the range, quality and acceptability of foods produced in an industrialised society.
You’ll learn everything from underlying principles in industrial food processing to food quality control and understanding the nature of food as a medium for chemical reactions.
In the final months of your course, you’ll have the chance to put theory into practice with an independent research project. This will be your opportunity to build on the skills and knowledge you’ve learnt throughout the course and investigate an exciting real-world problem, mirroring the type of work you’ll be conducting in your professional career.
Examples of the range of previous research projects include:
- Designing aqueous lubricants for dry mouth therapy using cationic biopolymers.
- An in vitro study into gut microbiota changes and tryptophan metabolite production in response to banana and derived fibre
- The nanostructures and rheological properties of chitosan hydrogels loaded with lipid nanoparticles
- Effect of the combination of Black Yorkshire tea polyphenols and milk proteins on human digestibility of protein
The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.
<p><h3>Modules</h3><p><strong>Compulsory modules </strong></p><p><strong>Food Safety and Regulatory Practice – 15 credits</strong></p><p>Advance your understanding of microbiological and chemical food safety issues, including risk assessments, minimising and regulating the risks according to the government legislation in the food industry, allergen management and labelling. You’ll also examine the different aspects of quality management, quality assurance, traceability and quality control in detail.</p><p><strong>Food Chemistry and Biochemistry – 15 credits</strong></p><p>Build an understanding of the biochemical constituents of food and the biochemical reactions and processes happening in food on a molecular level to understand the functionality of nutrients.</p><p><strong>Food Processing – 15 credits</strong></p><p>This module will cover food processing, including the significance of raw materials and equipment. You'll look at the unit operations in industrial food processing systems and discuss how to identify critical food safety parameters and processing conditions for food. You'll also evaluate the physical, chemical and biochemical changes in food, resulting from different processing methods. Within its scope, this module will include complex scientific calculations for the food industrial manufacturing processes.</p><p><strong>Principles of Food Product Design – 15 credits</strong></p><p>Examine key stages of a product development process including focus groups, product concept design, product formulation, consumer sensory assessment and product packaging. You’ll discuss the overall composition of food, with regard to its principal and trace components, additives and contaminants. You’ll explore the need for chemical analysis in food production and build an understanding of the application of spectroscopic and chromatographic techniques. The module will also include laboratory practicals to demonstrate applied knowledge. </p><p><strong>Food Systems and Sustainability – 15 credits</strong></p><p>Using current sustainability frameworks relevant to food production and consumption, you’ll take an in-depth look into how systems thinking relates to food sustainability. You’ll review key components of the global food system, including various actors/stakeholders, e.g., NGOs, farmers, governments, and how they function collectively to sustain the food system. You’ll also cover current sustainability challenges facing the global food system, e.g., environmental degradation, climate change, food security, food waste and the circular economy, possibilities for optimising for human and environmental health (One Health concept).</p><p><strong>Digital Tools for Food Solutions – 15 credits</strong></p><p>Explore digital tools for innovative design solutions in food processing including the use of Computer Aided Design (COMSOL Multiphysics) for modelling complex problems and challenges in relation to different food products – e.g., heat and mass transfer and fluid flow. You’ll also develop the necessary skills and knowledge in mathematical modelling in food processing and design. </p><p><strong>Colloid and Dairy Science – 15 credits</strong></p><p>This module will introduce the physico-chemical principles of colloid and interface science and illustrate the application of the colloid science approach to the processing of a range of food systems with particular emphasis on dairy and plant-based dairy alternative products. </p><p><strong>Research and Professional Skills – 15 credits</strong></p><p>This key module will introduce you to a diversity of academic and professional skills and competencies that will help you succeed throughout your degree – and beyond. You'll learn how to critically read scientific and non-scientific sources of information and how to communicate scientific aspects relating to your discipline to various audiences, using different tools, e.g., academic writing and digital platforms. You'll explore the application of study skills, such as Academic Integrity, Ethics, and Library Skills. By engaging in practicals, you'll build your laboratory skills specific to your specialisation, as well as more generic skills such as good laboratory practices and laboratory safety. This module will also introduce you to the requisite professional competencies and how you can build these throughout your programme. </p><p><strong>Capstone Research Project – 60 credits</strong></p><p>Undertake an independent, real-life research project with the support of our experienced academics. Your project work may take on the form of a lab-based, desk-based or field-based research activity. The choice of topics available will vary depending on your interest and what academics are working on at the time and may include experimental, computational or applied research. Through this module, you'll apply the skills and knowledge you have acquired throughout your programme and further develop the academic and professional skills necessary for graduate roles and various career paths, including further education at Leeds or elsewhere. </p></p>
Learning and teaching
Food science covers many scientific areas such as food processing, principles of food design, food biochemistry, sustainability, digital tools for food solutions, food safety and regulatory practice. You’ll explore this subject with academics, researchers and experienced scientists who work in the food industry and policy. Teaching staff at the School of Food Science and Nutrition include lecturers and professors who are all experienced at producing globally recognised, cutting-edge research across a range of different areas of food science, biotechnology, nutrition and health.
You'll benefit from a wide range of active learning activities and innovative teaching methods, including lectures, workshops, small group tutorials, problem-based learning, practical lab work, seminars and supervised research projects. All learning is undertaken alongside peers and other students from within the School of Food Science and Nutrition and potentially other students within the University of Leeds. As such, you will learn about different aspects of food science in innovative ways, all of which will support the development of your knowledge, skills and confidence. You’ll also be assigned an academic personal tutor to guide you through your studies and help you progress throughout your degree.
Independent study is also an important part of this course and will develop your research and analytical skills in order to think and work independently.
Our problem-based learning approach, laboratory classes and project-based work allows you to gain first-hand experience investigating and applying material from your lectures and tutorials to real-life work situations. This ensures that, as a student, you’re actively engaged in teaching and learning and working collaboratively with your course mates to build a sense of community where you feel valued.
This approach will also equip you with high-level thinking and in-depth knowledge along with the key practical, technical skills and transferable skills and competencies that will help you secure a graduate job.
You’ll have access to excellent teaching and laboratory facilities, supplemented by extensive computing equipment. Our specialist facilities include the latest equipment for investigating the colloidal nature of foods, small and wide-angle X-ray scattering equipment (SAXs & WAXS), cutting-edge electron microscopy facilities, texture analysers, tribometers as well as HPLC and GC analytical equipment.
We also have strong links with the Astbury Centre for Structural Molecular Biology, the Global Food and Environment Institute and the Bragg Centre, as well as the Diamond Centre – all of which are equipped with a range of facilities.
The Food Science course teaching team is made up of academics and researchers from within the School of Food Science and Nutrition who work across the School’s interdisciplinary research groups to address global challenges in the fields of Food Science and Nutrition. Expertise includes food microstructure and digestion, encapsulation and emulsification, tribology and sensory science, functional biopolymers for health, liquid crystals and lipid self-assembly, design of biopolymers, fragments, and conjugates, biofilms and microbiology, plant-based diets and food systems sustainability.
Dr Idolo Ifie is the Programme Leader for Food Science. His current interests cover alternative proteins, polyphenol characterisation and bioactivity.
On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.
A variety of traditional and authentic formative and summative assessment approaches are used to support your learning and progression through the course, measure your attainment of the learning outcomes, and develop your skills. Our assessments are designed to reflect real-world needs and challenges encountered in the workplace, while accommodating the various learning styles and embedding equitable and inclusive practices to ensure a supportive and fair assessment framework is presented. As such, assessments range in format and may include, for example, report writing, mini critical review and oral and visual presentation. In so doing, skills attained would include, for example, communication, problem solving, critical thinking, and team working, in addition to the core technical skills specific to your degree. You'll also have the opportunity to select your own research area and develop an individual research project.
Throughout the course, you will receive formative feedback, which will provide an opportunity to think critically and reflect on your performance, as you progress and learn.