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Food Science - MSc

Why study this course?

This degree focuses on food analysis and food microbiology as well as product development and quality control. You'll be taught by members of staff who are active within the Institute of Food Science and Technology, and are regularly involved in the food industry as expert consultants. You'll also learn from our food business development colleagues to gain experience in the industry through work placements. In the most recent (2014-15) Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey, 100% of graduates from this course were in work or further study within six months.

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This food science degree provides advanced study opportunities that build on your previous experience in an appropriate first degree course enabling the upgrade of existing qualifications, while also developing knowledge and skills.

The course team has particular expertise in food analysis, food microbiology and including food safety, spoilage and fermentations, product development and quality control, as well as an excellent understanding of food sustainability, food policy and nutrition.

This expertise is reflected in the range of modules offered in the MSc with analytical facilities available for study and research, and opportunities to be involved in food analysis, food product development and food manufacturing projects.

The Microbiology Research Unit team provides vital support and research topics for the dissertation element of the course and other staff members are involved in food manufacturing consultancy. London Metropolitan University has an excellent research profile, with food science staff publishing in highly rated journals and supervising PhD students appearing on radio and television as experts.

The structure of the course gives you the essential knowledge and skills for your future career. You can choose to emphasise laboratory-based subjects such as food microbiology and food analysis or areas such as quality assurance or food production and development including sensory analysis. The course develops your knowledge of food manufacturing and processing, analysis and testing packaging, storage, distribution, legal aspects, sustainability and food security.

You'll ultimately become an independent researcher or potential manager, with the ability to critically evaluate food science and apply it to new situations, following either an academic or an industrial related career path.

Assessment

The assessment strategy for this course not only assesses your knowledge, understanding and abilities but provides a wide range of experience particularly in key skill areas to prepare you for your future career in different areas of the food industry.

You'll gain experience in critical analysis, literature searches, poster presentations, data handling, and analysis and practical skills. Assessments comprise of written assignments, laboratory logs and poster presentations, and there are two exams. Students undertake a research project and submit a final dissertation that is defended in an oral exam.

Professional accreditation

The course is fully accredited by the Institute of Food Science and Technology (IFST). Students are encouraged to join the IFST as associate members and to attend meetings or industrial visits that the Institute organises. They may transfer to full membership after graduation and a period of professional experience. Membership of IFST allows access to specialist publications, meetings and an international network of food scientists and technologists.

You will be required to have:

  • a lower second honours degree (or equivalent) in food science or a related subject such as microbiology, biochemistry, nutrition or agricultural sciences

Mature students with lesser qualifications but extensive appropriate experience will be considered on an individual basis.

All applicants must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. Applicants who require a Tier 4 student visa may need to provide a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.

Accelerated study

You have the opportunity to apply for credits based on previous experience gained in the food industry through Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL).

If you're studying full-time, each year (level) is worth 120 credits.

The modules listed below are for the academic year 2016/17 and represent the course modules at this time. Modules and module details (including, but not limited to, location and time) are subject to change over time.

Year 1 modules include:

  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Thursday morning

    The module gives students the opportunity to revisit basic analytical methods used in food analysis and then to experience a range of more advanced methods. The module is assessed through coursework comprising a critical review on standard methods and a report of an analytical investigation.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Thursday morning

    Students will study the basic principles of food processing, theoretical aspects of processes, new technologies in food processing, process control systems, functional foods, selection of ingredients and reduction of waste with particular reference to organic foods.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Thursday afternoon

    This module is designed to integrate theory and practice of food microbiology and microbial risk assessment. It covers the mechanisms and factors affecting the microbial growth, risk analysis with respect to microbial food safety, predictive microbiology, emerging pathogens, foodborne disease, microbiology from farm to fork, control of pathogens and introduction to molecular microbiology.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Thursday afternoon

    This module is designed to integrate theory and practice through practical food product development, research and sensory evaluation. Techniques used in industry for commercial product development and creation of initial product concept to product launch involving aspects of packaging, labelling, pricing and marketing and issues of starting a new food business will be explored. Sensory testing will be used to evaluate the quality and consumer acceptability of new food products and practical training will be given in appropriate sensory analysis techniques.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Friday morning

    The module examines in detail the key aspects of the management of food safety through prerequisite programmes and HACCP as well as the role of supplier assurance and ingredient specifications in managing the quality of processed foods. Growing concerns about authenticity, adulteration and fraud will be explored in the context of global supply chains.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester
    • summer studies
    • spring semester

    Students undertake an extended research project that develops their abilities to plan and execute an advanced piece of research, analyse the results, present them in a dissertation that includes a review of previous research and sets their work in context with critically argued discussion. The research project is intended to build upon the taught modules of the award and is underpinned by the NF7053 Scientific Research Methodology module.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Friday

    The module is designed to provide students with an understanding of the graduate skills required for the planning, organisation and practice of experimental research, and enhance students’ employability skills for a career in food or related subject area. The module will also cover basic statistics, data analysis, literature evaluation, and consider the impact of scientific research on a variety of issues including ethics, health & safety, and data protection.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester
    • spring semester
    • summer studies

    This module gives students the opportunity to undertake an assessed work placement in the food industry. The assessments are designed to encourage reflection of their experience and demonstrate learning at M level.

    Read full details.

The full-time course consists of 30 weeks of taught modules, with part-time study following a similar pattern over two years. It is expected that the part-time format may be particularly attractive to employees wishing to extend their knowledge to a higher level, either by taking the whole course or selected modules. All modules are currently tailored to allow for two days of attendance with six core modules and the project module. You may take (subject to approval) the Industry Placement module to gain experience of the UK food industry.

Core modules:

  • Advanced Food Analysis
  • Food Microbiology and Safety
  • Food Product Development and Sensory Analysis
  • Advanced Food Processing
  • Food Safety and Quality Management
  • Scientific Research Methodology for Food Scientists
  • Food Science Research Dissertation

To qualify for the MSc award you'll need to carry out a research project and submit a dissertation. Students from industry taking the course on a part-time basis may be able to complete their dissertation at their place of employment, subject to satisfactory tutoring and supervision arrangements.

Read more details about the modules in our course specification.

“I am proud to have gone through London Metropolitan University and to have been taught by a faculty that was patient, knowledgeable, motivating and relentless in their support. Their insightful encouragement, infectious enthusiasm and zeal set the stage for me to obtain an MSc with Distinction in Food Science for which I am very pleased.” Rudolf Fombum

The food industry is the UK’s largest manufacturing sector and there is a massive demand for qualified professionals. The skills and knowledge developed in your MSc will enhance your career opportunities in food and related industries including manufacturing, product development, marketing, environmental health, consultancy, research or education. Graduates are also well prepared for research and for postgraduate study (PhD). Interview practice with industry support and CV development is also integrated into the course.

Our recent MSc graduates have gone on to join the following positions and companies:

  • food technologist – Haydens Bakery 
  • technical legislation coordinator – United Biscuits
  • process development – Bakkavor    
  • technical team member – Food Partners Group
  • quality control – Nestlé     
  • nutritionist and quality analyst – Krush Global  
  • business development manager – Kerry Group     
  • consumer technologist – Wealmoor Ltd
  • microbiology technician – GlaxoSmithKline   
  • confectionary development – Sainsbury’s
  • technical team manager – Nature’s Way Foods
  • lecturers and researchers – London Metropolitan University, Coventry University, Kyushu University, University of Trinidad and Tobago, University of Melbourne

Between 2016 and 2020 we're investing £125 million in the London Metropolitan University campus, moving all of our activity to our current Holloway campus in Islington, north London. This will mean the teaching location of some courses will change over time.

Whether you will be affected will depend on the duration of your course, when you start and your mode of study. The earliest moves affecting new students will be in September 2017. This may mean you begin your course at one location, but over the duration of the course you are relocated to one of our other campuses. Our intention is that no full-time student will change campus more than once during a course of typical duration.

All students will benefit from our move to one campus, which will allow us to develop state-of-the-art facilities, flexible teaching areas and stunning social spaces.

Please note, in addition to the tuition fee there may be additional costs for things like equipment, materials, printing, textbooks, trips or professional body fees.

Additionally, there may be other activities that are not formally part of your course and not required to complete your course, but which you may find helpful (for example, optional field trips). The costs of these are additional to your tuition fee and the fees set out above and will be notified when the activity is being arranged.

How to apply

Use the apply button to begin your application.

When to apply

You are advised to apply as early as possible as applications will only be considered if there are places available on the course.

Fees and key information

Postgraduate

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