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 your foundational understanding by studying the biochemistry related to food and nutrition, how food in its raw state is transformed into food products and how food processing impacts on the nutritional value. You'll also learn about the composition of food, analysing their nutritional composition, how the body uses nutrients from food and the differing nutritional requirements across various stages of life, specific groups of people and certain health conditions.
You’ll then be encouraged to get creative, developing a new food product – from concept to market – exploring innovative ways to design food using specialist software as part of an interdisciplinary food product development exercise.
By the final year of your programme, you will explore more specific and specialised areas of current thinking in food science and nutrition 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 have the opportunity to explore a range of optional modules, further enhancing your understanding of many dimensions of food science and nutritional sciences and exploring areas of interest within the wider area of food and food systems. Optional modules may typically include the following:
- Traditional Alcoholic Beverages
- Food Allergy and Food Intolerance
- Sensory Science
- Functional Food
- Nutrition Policy
- Nutrition Epidemiology
- Health Promotion and Nutrition Education
- Food Biotechnology
- Food Systems and Sustainability
- Sustainable Food Consumption
- Obesity and Personalised Nutrition
- 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 and nutrition, but the confidence to apply them in the workplace once you graduate.
Discovery modules are available in the first three years of your degree, which gives you the opportunity to study another subject that is either aligned to or completely different from your degree course.
Each academic year, you'll take a total of 120 credits.
You'll develop a grounding in the foundational concepts in the fields of food science and nutrition. 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 your 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 and nutrition. Learning will focus on understanding the biochemical aspects related to food and nutrition. You'll delve deeper into food processing, investigating all the stages involved in getting food from the farm to shop and the quality and safety regulations. You'll look at the nutritional value of food and how this might be affected by processing. You'll also look at nutritional considerations that are critical as people progress through the different stages of life – understanding the scientific basis of nutritional recommendations and the impact of nutrition on health, for different population groups at different life stages, e.g., pregnancy, childhood, older age.
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 and nutrition roles in industry and public health settings.
In your third year, 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 and nutrition.
In this year, you’ll learn how to think creatively when it comes to developing foods, working with your peers on an interdisciplinary team-based project on new product development (NPD). You’ll explore the role that food science and nutritionists play in developing and marketing new healthy food ranges for food manufacturers. Building on that, you’ll apply your knowledge and skills to designing new foods, from concept, through formulation and processing, to 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 will 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. You will look at how nutrition/diet can be applied in the treatment and prevention of some diseases. You have the option in this year to further your knowledge in both food science and nutrition through specialised modules in both subject areas.
Lastly, you will dive deeper into the skills and competencies needed as a food science and nutrition professional, including ethics, professionalism and enterprise.
In your final year, you will further develop problem-solving skills and professional competencies. A major part of this 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 will be given a choice of topics to investigate.
Examples of the range of previous research projects include:
- Vitamin D status and Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) outcomes: a two-sample Mendelian randomisation study
- Baking and boiling processing effects on the digestibility of insect and plant proteins
- Methodology design and optimisation to assess the effect of the mycoprotein Quorn on lifespan and health-span using the nematode C. elegans as the model organism
- Maize aflatoxin exposure and nutritional status of children in different agroecological areas in Tanga region of Tanzania
- Triple-negative breast cancer chemoresistance genes MVP, mTOR & EIF4A2 are regulated by phytosterols
- Do the effects of bariatric surgery, diet-induced weight loss, and exercise on the gut microbiome, differ between modalities? A systematic review.
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
Food science and nutrition is a multidisciplinary subject area that applies the pure science subjects of chemistry, biology, physics, and nutrition to the study of food. You're therefore encouraged to learn about the different aspects of food science and nutrition in innovative ways, all of which supports the development of your knowledge, skills and confidence.
You’ll benefit from a wide range of active learning activities and innovative teaching methods, including lectures, workshops, small group tutorials, problem-based learning and practical lab work. The delivering of teaching through a mix of hands-on face-to-face activities and 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 including external practitioners who work in industry, policy, or health care. 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 and nutrition.
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 and nutrition-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 nutrition 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 assessment approaches are used to support students to learn and progress 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, including conducting human-based studies and trials. These will reflect the needs of real-world and authentic problems encountered in the workplace.
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.