School of Food Science and Nutrition

MSc Food Science

MSc Food Science

Food Science uses science to understand the extraordinarily complex nature of food. The study of food not only looks at the development of food products but also the changes that take place from the farm to the fork. The subject considers nutrition, diet and health, food quality, shelf life and manufacture.

With the advancement of food technology, food manufacture has allowed for enhanced food quality, improved food safety and increasingly competitive options for consumers. Developments in food production have also given way to consideration of the impact of the modern day diet on our health.

This Masters course focuses on fundamental scientific concepts to help you understand and manipulate the complex characteristics of foods. It also allows you to challenge current issues in food production and the effects of the modern day diet and the health issues it raises.

This course will give you the chance to analyse current factors that influence the range, quality and acceptability of foods produced in an industrialised society, allowing you to look at complex factors including sociological and ethical issues.

This Masters will provide you with a broad knowledge of food science with an emphasis on chemistry and biochemistry and the necessary background understanding of physics, mathematics, nutrition and biology and the ability to apply fundamental scientific concepts to understand and manipulate the complex characteristics of foods.

You will gain the ability to integrate this scientific knowledge with an understanding of food technology and particular student interests and skills developed through specialised options and projects with content influenced by current research thinking in the field.

The programme will also deliver the ability to critically appraise the complex factors, including sociological and ethical issues that influence the range, quality and acceptability of foods produced in an industrialised society.

By gaining knowledge across a range of scientific disciplines including chemistry, biochemistry and a background understanding of physics, nutrition and biology you will enhance your career options in the food industry.

Modules studied include:

  • Microbiological and Chemical Food Safety
  • Food Processing
  • Food Chemistry
  • Food Processing and Nutritional Quality
  • Quality Assurance
  • The Chemistry of Food Flavour and Colour
  • Applying Chemistry to Food Systems
  • Research Project


Students also select 20 credits of optional modules from other subjects offered by the school.

The pass mark for each module is 50%. To pass the programme, modules totalling 150 credits must be passed and these must include 140 compulsory modules. All marks from all modules (passed and failed) are included in the final classification mark, which must be at least a 50% weighted average. Classification is based on pass (50 - 59%), merit (60-60%) and distinction (70% and above).

Teaching is by lectures, practical classes, tutorials, seminars and supervised research projects. Extensive use is made of IT and a wide range of materials is available to enable students to study at their own pace and in their own time to enhance and extend the material taught formally.

Assessment is by course work and written exams which take place at the end of the semester in which the module is taught. Results obtained in the second and final years contribute to the final degree classification.

For full details see our programme catalogue

Applicants should normally hold a good BSc second class honours degree or equivalent in a subject relevant to the programme of study.

For those students whose first language is not English the English language requirement is:

  • IELTS 6.5 with at least 6.0 in all components
  • IBT TOEFL score (internet-based test) of at least 92 overall with at least 21 in listening, 21 in reading, 23 in speaking, and 22 in writing
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE) academic score of 64 with at least 60 in all components

There are many opportunities within the food industry from jobs in nutrition and new product development to roles in the supply chain, purchasing, logistics and distribution. You may decide to become a development scientist working on new foodstuffs and producing food which is safe and nutritious with a consistent flavour, colour and texture. There are roles within this area in industry but also within government and local authority food inspection departments. Other job roles include industrial buyer, retail buyer, production manager or quality assurance manager.

A Masters in food science will also serve you well in progression to research-led projects. Many of our students go on to undertake PhD research here at Leeds University. The research rating of the School over the last 20 years (as judged through the RAE) is unequalled in the UK.