We are currently reviewing our curriculum as part of a university-wide process. As a result, we are unable to publish module information for this course at this time. The information below provides an overview of what you’ll study and our approach to teaching and assessment. We will update this page as soon as the changes are confirmed. Read more in our terms and conditions.
This content was last updated on 3 April 2023.
At the start of the course, you’ll gain solid foundations in food and nutrition, exploring their relationship to health, including where food is sourced from and how that fits within a ‘sustainable’ global food system framework. You’ll also cover aspects key to providing a safe and healthy diet, including food preservation and sensory evaluation.
Throughout the course, you’ll build on these foundations, studying a range of industry-relevant topics in food processing, nutritional analysis, the chemical and microbiological safety of food and even how to develop new food products – from concept to market. You will also participate in an interdisciplinary food product development exercise and explore creative and innovative ways of designing food using specialist software.
By the final year of your programme, you'll explore more specific and specialised areas of current thinking in food science and processing and reflect on how these can be applied to solve real-world local and global food challenges.
Each year of this course is designed around a combination of compulsory core modules, which provide essential foundational subject-specific knowledge and skills.
You'll also be given a choice of optional modules throughout the course to extend your knowledge in a field of your interest that may include food biotechnology, sensory science, nutrition policy, health promotion and nutritional education, nutritional issues in the life cycle and food systems and sustainability.
Optional modules may typically include the following:
- Traditional Alcoholic Beverages
- Food Allergy and Food Intolerance
- Sensory Science
- Food Biotechnology
- Functional Foods
- Food Science and Nutritional research
- Nutrition and Disease
- Nutrition Policy
- Nutritional Issues in the Life Cycle
- Health Promotion and Nutrition Education
- Food Systems and Sustainability
- Sustainable Food Consumption
- Leadership and Enterprise
In addition to subject-specific modules, we also offer a range of skills development modules that’ll give you an insight into possible careers, the variety of professional roles that our food science graduates go into and how to enhance your employability. This continuous professional development – combined with the technical knowledge you’ll develop through teaching and research activities – will not only ensure you have an extensive skill set and knowledge in food science, but the confidence to apply them in the workplace once you graduate.
Discovery modules are available in first three years of your degree, as long as you’re taking enough credits of your own subject for that year.
Each academic year, you'll take a total of 120 credits.
In year 1, you’ll develop a grounding in the core concepts in the field of food science. You'll explore different themes, including food sourcing and production within a sustainable food system, key food nutrients, food preparation and food safety, sensory aspects of food and human nutrition.
You'll also have opportunities to develop your laboratory and experimentation skills through laboratory work as well as transferable skills that are crucial for your success throughout the programme. Consequently, the portfolio of modules in your first year will allow you to gain insight into the origins of food, the role of food as a carrier of essential nutrients with specific roles in the body and appreciate how food and its constituent components affect health, which will set the foundation for your studies in subsequent years.
In your second year, you'll deepen your knowledge of food science. Learning will focus on understanding the scientific basis of food such as food texture, flavour and taste by examining physical, chemical and other properties of foods. You'll be introduced to the theory behind food formulation, new product development and quality control, with an emphasis on the study of how food components affect the chemical and microbiological safety of food. You'll delve deeper into food processing, investigating all the stages involved in getting food from the farm to the shop, the quality and safety regulations and laws, how processing impacts the nutritional value of food and analysis of the nutritional value of foods.
What you’re taught will be informed by recent developments in the area, e.g. application of colloid chemistry in plant-based products. During this year, we introduce problem-solving activities that relate to actual research or industrial situations, alongside learning the concepts and methodologies underpinning food science research. By working on new food product development and quality control, you'll further appreciate the role of a food scientist in the food industry and other related fields.
This year will provide a core programme of research and career skills training, which will build on key skills explored in year 1, including use of specialist software, careers knowledge and employability and professional aspects of food science roles in industry and other related settings.
You'll further develop your critical analysis skills of the scientific literature and explore more specific and specialised areas of current thinking in food science.
In this year, you'll learn how to think creatively when it comes to developing foods, using specialist software when looking at innovation and design principles for foods. Working alongside your peers on an interdisciplinary food product development project, you'll explore the role of food scientists in developing and marketing new, healthy food ranges for food manufacturers. You'll apply your knowledge and skills to designing new foods, from concept, through to formulation and processing, sensory evaluation, packaging, and marketing. Your team project based on new product development (NPD) ends with a ‘Dragon’s Den’ style pitch to industry and nutritional experts. Examples of products marketed to our very own ‘Dragon’s Den’ by our previous students can be found here.
In addition, you'll have the opportunity to write, and potentially publish, a review article on a topic of your choice in collaboration with one of the School’s academics.
Lastly, you'll dive deeper into the skills and competencies needed as a food science professional, including ethics, professionalism and enterprise.
This year, you'll further develop problem solving skills and professional competencies. A major part of the integrated Masters degree is your final year project work, which is an opportunity to undertake an extended capstone research project, together with experienced academics. The experience will develop your research and communication skills, which are key to all graduate roles and career paths. You'll be given a choice of topics to investigate.
Examples of the range of previous research projects include:
- Does target moisture effect textural and colour properties of plant-based meat analogues?
- The association between vitamin D and body weight in children: a systematic review
- The effects of climate change on wheat yields in the United Kingdom.
- A scoping review including initial experimental analysis into the extraction, characterisation and quantification of polyphenols and methylxanthines in commercially available raw chocolate using spectrophotometry and RP-HPLC.
- Exploring the usage of DNA immuno-nanodecoder technology to improve multiplex immunofluorescence imaging in food science and biotechnology.
One-year optional work placement or study abroad
During your course, you’ll be given the opportunity to advance your skill set and experience further. You can apply to either undertake a one-year work placement or study abroad for a year, choosing from a selection of universities we’re in partnership with worldwide.
Learning and teaching
As a food science student at Leeds, we ensure that you benefit from a wide range of active learning activities and innovative teaching methods, including lectures, workshops, small group tutorials and practical lab work. The delivery of teaching through a mix of hands-on face-to-face activities and the use of innovative digital technologies will provide a rewarding and engaging learning experience.
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
You'll explore this subject with academics, researchers and invited industry experts. Teaching staff at the School of Food Science and Nutrition include lecturers, associate professors and professors. All are experienced at producing globally recognised research across a range of different areas of food science.
You'll also be assigned a personal tutor to guide you through your studies, throughout your degree.
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 coursemates to build a sense of community where you feel valued. This approach will also equip you with in-depth knowledge, key practical skills and transferable skills that will help you secure a graduate job.
Our close links with industry also mean that you have direct contact with industry and potential employers from an early stage in your course. The course provides you with opportunities via skills development modules which will also give you an insight into the range of food science-related career roles and professions.
This degree supports your learning using problem-solving approaches and teamwork to foster high-level thinking and skills which will be key at all stages of your degree and future career.
Throughout your studies, you’ll have access to excellent teaching and laboratory facilities, supplemented by extensive computing equipment installed with the latest specialist food science and statistical analysis software packages, used to evaluate characteristics of food, dietary intakes and nutritional composition.
Other specialist facilities include high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and gas chromatography (GC) analytical equipment used for nutrient analysis. In the Food Technology Laboratory, you’ll apply theories of physics and mathematics to gain understanding and experience in using industrial food processing equipment such as industrial retorts, ovens, blast and plate freezers, spray driers, rotary evaporators and pasteurisation equipment. Our purpose-built Sensory Panel room, equipped with PCs and sensory software, alongside rheometers and tribometers, allows you to develop skills in sensory and texture analysis, including shelf-life testing and quality control.
Watch our taster lectures to get a flavour of what it’s like to study at Leeds:
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 assessment approaches are used to support your learning and progression through the course and measure attainment of the learning outcomes. Assessments have a range of formats to develop your skills such as report writing, effective presentation and communication, problem-solving and the necessary practical skills such as laboratory and experimental methods. These will reflect the needs of real-world and authentic problems encountered in the workplace. This helps you to develop key transferable skills relevant to your future career.
The course supports and encourages you to think critically and provides opportunities for you to receive formative feedback and to reflect on performance to help you progress and learn.
Our assessments are designed to accommodate a variety of learning styles and embed equitable and inclusive practices to ensure a supportive and fair assessment framework is presented. In your final year, you'll synthesise learning and knowledge skills through the design and development of a new food product, working in a multidisciplinary team alongside your peers.