Food Science MSci, BSc

Year of entry

2024 course information

Open Days 2023

Explore our campus, talk to staff and students and find out about your subject at our open day. Book your place

UCAS code
Start date
September 2023
Delivery type
On campus
4 years full time
Work placement
Study abroad
Typical A-level offer
AAB (specific subject requirements)
Typical Access to Leeds offer
Full entry requirements

Course overview

Food science student

Our Food Science Integrated Masters degree equips you with the depth and range of knowledge you’ll need for a successful career in the food industry.

Food science is a far-reaching discipline that applies the pure science subjects of chemistry, biology and nutrition to the study of the nature, sustainability, properties, and composition of foods and the changes which they undergo during storage and processing.

This programme will give you an in-depth understanding of food processing, texture, flavour, food formulations, product development, and food safety. We’ll also explore how to maintain and improve food quality and safety, and understand how food is utilised and how it interacts with our bodies. You’ll investigate operations that are applied to preserve foods as well as special procedures that are used to produce everyday commodities.

We’ll also consider issues surrounding the sustainability of ingredients and manufactured products, and study the effects food and drink can have on our health and wellbeing. Additionally, the programme provides you with a grounding in organic chemistry, physics, human physiology and cell and molecular biology, which you will apply throughout your course and particularly during your final year individual research project.

Why study at Leeds:

  • Take advantage of our world-leading research here at Leeds, in areas such as digestion and delivery, food safety, functional biopolymers and novel food design.
  • Experience expertise teaching delivered by a programme team made up of academics and researchers at the forefront of the industry who specialise in a variety of food science and nutritional disciplines.
  • Put theory into practice, with access to our specialist facilities, including lecture theatres and labs fully equipped with the latest technology to support your learning.
  • Start building your future career path from day one, establishing relations in the field with industry professionals through our strong partnerships with UK industry such as Mondelez, Arla Foods, Sainsbury’s and more.
  • Broaden your experience before you graduate and give your CV that competitive edge with our industrial work placement opportunities and study abroad programmes.
  • Make the most of your time at Leeds by joining our Food Science society, where you can widen your interest in food studies and get to know people on your course outside of lectures through trips and socials such as a Summer BBQ.

Join our online taster course

Learn how food scientists and nutritionists combine knowledge from engineering, biology and physical sciences to study all aspects of food and to ensure what we consume is safe and wholesome. Join now on Futurelearn.


Institute of Food Science and Technology

This accreditation signifies that Leeds offers the best possible food-related education, giving students the opportunity to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to enter into employment in the food industry, research, education and the public sector.

Studying an accredited degree can help you to stand out to employers because it assures them that you meet the standards of the food profession.

Course details

We teach problem-solving and high level thinking at all stages of your degree. We offer skills development modules and modules that will give you insight into food structure, safety and processing. You’ll also study modules on industrial new product development, from concept to market, in the food production and allied industries.

Discovery modules are available in first three years of your degree, as long as you are taking enough credits of your own subject for that year.

Year 1

Your first year introduces you to the major sources of food and their history, current trends in consumption, and key industrial processing operations. You’ll study food chemistry and develop your laboratory and experimentation skills. In addition, you’ll be introduced to microbiology, human physiology and nutrition; these modules allow you to gain a practical understanding of how food affects health and wellbeing, and appreciate the role of food as a carrier of nutrients.

Year 2

In your second year the modules deepen your understanding of food texture, flavour and taste. You’ll be introduced to the theory behind food formulation and new product development, with an emphasis on the study of how food components affect the chemical and microbiological safety of food. Modules on food colloids and food quality assurance directly relate to the research strengths of the School. During this year, we introduce problem-solving activities that relate to actual research/industrial situations.

Year 3

In your third year your team project, based on new product development (NPD), will 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. You’ll also take modules that deepen your understanding of other topics in food science, including the interactions of food components, biotechnology and, recent revelations and disputes in the field. 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.

Year 4 (MSci)

In your final year, you’ll undertake a 60-credit independent project, where you’ll work on a cutting-edge research topic of your choice within the field. You’ll also develop problem-solving skills through an interactive module in which you’ll assess the properties of foods on the market and how their ingredients give the food its nutritional profile as well as desirable tastes and textures. You’ll then investigate how to improve the nutritional profile without changing the taste and texture of the food. You’ll also select further Masters-level modules that will allow you to extend your knowledge in a subject of your choice. These may include nutritional sensory science, food allergy, food diagnostics and next-generation biosensors.

Examples of previous research projects include:

  • Re-assessment of unsupervised clustering of retrospective early gestational diabetes and Oral Glucose Tolerance Test clinical data.
  • Computer-aided drug design of peptide inhibitor binding for targets in basal-like breast cancer.
  • 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.

Course structure

The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.

For more information and a full list of typical modules available on this course, please read Food Science MSci, BSc in the course catalogue

Year 1 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Food: Origins and Form 10
Key Industrial Processing Operations for Food 20
Key Skills in Food and Nutritional Sciences 20
Principles of Human Physiology and Nutrition 20
Physicochemical Properties of Food 20
Cell and Molecular Biology 20

Year 2 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Biochemistry Controlling Nutrients and Sensory Properties 20
Food Processing: From Farm to Shop 10
Food Colloids: Formulation of Creamy, Fatty and Bubbly Foods 20
Microbiological and Chemical Food Safety 20
Food Analysis 10
Literature Review in Food Science and Nutrition 10
Introduction to Food Product Development 10
Food Quality Assurance 10

Year 3 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Innovation and Design Principles for Foods 10
Functionality and Interactions of Components in Food Products 10
Biotechnology: Traditional and Leading Edge 10
Food Science and Nutrition Research: Recent Revelations and Disputes 10
Critical Appraisal of Scientific Literature 20
Functional Foods 10
Food Product Development - Team Project 30

Year 4 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Research Project 60
Problem Solving: Functionality of Ingredients in Food Design 30

Year 4 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

Module Name Credits
Impacts of Food Processing on Nutritional Quality 10
Food Diagnostics and Next- Generation Biosensors 10
Food Allergy and Food Intolerance 10
Nutrition: Policy and Public Health 20
Sensory Science 20

Discovery modules

Throughout your degree you will benefit from a range of opportunities to expand your intellectual horizons outside or within your subject area.

This course gives you the opportunity to choose from a range of discovery modules. They’re a great way to tailor your study around your interests or career aspirations and help you stand out from the crowd when you graduate. Find out more about discovery modules on our Broadening webpages.

Learning and teaching

As a food science student at Leeds we ensure that you benefit from a wide range of teaching methods, including lectures, workshops, computing classes, small group tutorials and practical lab work.

Laboratory classes and project work allows you to gain first-hand experience investigating and applying material from your lectures and tutorials to real life work situations. Together, they will 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.

You will also be assigned a personal tutor to guide you through your studies, throughout your degree.

Our Virtual Learning Environment will help to support your studies: it’s a central place where you can find all the information and resources for the School, your programme and modules.

You can also benefit from support to develop your academic skills, within the curriculum and through online resources, workshops, one-to-one appointments and drop-in sessions.

Watch our taster lecture “The Design of healthier food” 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 the attainment of the learning outcomes. Assessments have a range of formats to develop learner 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 students to think critically and provides opportunities for them to receive formative feedback and to reflect on their performance to help them progress and learn.

Our assessments are designed to accommodate the various learning styles and embed equitable and inclusive practices to ensure a supportive and fair assessment framework is presented. In your final year, you will synthesise learning and knowledge skills through the design and development of a new food product, working in a multidisciplinary team. An example of a product marketed to our very own Dragon’s Den by our students can be found here.

In addition, every student will undertake an independent project, where you can choose to work on a cutting-edge research topic within the field. Details on the types of assessment used for each module can be found in the University Module Catalogue.

Entry requirements

A-level: AAB including two science subjects (including at least one of Chemistry, Physics, Biology or Mathematics)

Where an A-Level science subject is taken, we require a pass in the practical science element, alongside the achievement of the A-Level at the stated grade.

Excludes A-Level General Studies or Critical Thinking.

GCSE: English Language and Mathematics at grade C (4) or above, or an appropriate English language and Mathematics qualification. We will accept Level 2 Functional Skills English in lieu of GCSE English.

Extended Project Qualification (EPQ): We recognise the value of this qualification and the effort and skills required to undertake it, where an applicant is taking the EPQ this may attract an alternative offer in addition to the standard offer. The EPQ taken with A-Levels, for example, could be BBB with an A in the EPQ.

Alternative qualification

Access to HE Diploma

60 credits overall with at least 45 credits at level 3 of which 30 are at distinction level and the rest at Merit. Must contain a significant number of Science modules.


D*DD National Extended Diploma/3 National Extended Certificates in a relevant science subject. We do not accept Health and Social Care or Sports and Exercise Science. We will accept a combination of BTECs and A-Levels. Please contact the School's Undergraduate Admissions Team for more information.

Cambridge Pre-U

D3 D3 M2 including two science subjects.

International Baccalaureate

35 points overall (16 points at higher level, including two science subjects).

Irish Leaving Certificate (higher Level)

H1 H1 H1 H1 H2 H2 including two core science subjects at higher level.

Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers

Suitable combinations of Scottish Higher and Advanced Highers are acceptable, though science subjects must be presented at Advanced Higher level. Typically AAABB including 2 sciences at Advanced Higher.


T Level Technical Qualification with Food Sciences Occupational Specialism overall grade Distinction.

Read more about UK and Republic of Ireland accepted qualifications or contact the School’s Undergraduate Admissions Team.

Alternative entry

We’re committed to identifying the best possible applicants, regardless of personal circumstances or background.

Access to Leeds is an alternative admissions scheme which accepts applications from individuals who might be from low income households, in the first generation of their immediate family to apply to higher education, or have had their studies disrupted.

Find out more about Access to Leeds and alternative admissions.

Typical Access to Leeds A Level offer: BBB including two science subjects (including at least one of Chemistry, Physics, Biology or Mathematics) plus a pass in the Access to Leeds scheme

If you do not have the formal qualifications for immediate entry to one of our degrees, you may be able to progress through a foundation year. We offer a Studies in Science with Foundation Year BSc for students without a science background at A-level and an Interdisciplinary Science with Foundation Year BSc for applicants who meet specific widening participation criteria.

International Foundation Year

International students who do not meet the academic requirements for undergraduate study may be able to study the University of Leeds International Foundation Year. This gives you the opportunity to study on campus, be taught by University of Leeds academics and progress onto a wide range of Leeds undergraduate courses. Find out more about International Foundation Year programmes.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

Improve your English
If you're an international student and you don't meet the English language requirements for this programme, you may be able to study our undergraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.


UK: £9,250 (per year)

International: £27,750 (per year)

Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2023/24 and 2024/25
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students are set by the UK Government and will remain capped at £9,250 for 2023/24 and 2024/25. The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation only as a consequence of future changes in Government legislation and as permitted by law.

Tuition fees for international undergraduate students starting in 2023/24
Tuition fees for international students for 2023/24 are available on individual course pages.

Tuition fees for international undergraduate students starting in 2024/25
Tuition fees for international students for 2024/25 will be available on individual course pages from September 2023.

Tuition fees for a study abroad or work placement year
If you take a study abroad or work placement year, you’ll pay a reduced tuition fee during this period. For more information, see Study abroad and work placement tuition fees and loans.

Read more about paying fees and charges.

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more about additional costs.

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There is help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more in our Undergraduate funding overview.


Apply to this course through UCAS. Check the deadline for applications on the UCAS website.

We may consider applications submitted after the deadline. Availability of courses in UCAS Extra will be detailed on UCAS at the appropriate stage in the cycle.

Read our guidance about applying and writing your personal statement.

International students apply through UCAS in the same way as UK students. Our network of international representatives can help you with your application. If you’re unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

Admissions policy

University of Leeds Taught Admissions Policy 2023

This course is taught by

School of Food Science and Nutrition

Contact us

School of Food Science and Nutrition Undergraduate Admissions


Career opportunities

A degree from Leeds and the experience you'll gain here will give you the edge to find the career you want. Your course will give you the experience and knowledge that employers are looking for to help you secure a graduate job or the skills needed to go on and study for a higher degree.

Plus, University of Leeds students are among the top 10 most targeted by top employers according to The Graduate Market 2023, High Fliers Research, meaning our graduates are highly sought after by some of the most reputable companies in the field.

Our recent graduates have pursued a range of interesting careers, for example, in food science research, product development, marketing, food technology and food quality assurance. There is a worldwide shortage of qualified food science graduates, so there has never been a better time to study this highly sought after degree at Leeds. Our dedicated careers centre will provide all the advice, support and guidance that you need throughout your time here.

Examples of recent graduate destinations include:

  • Marks and Spencer
  • NHS
  • Mondelez International
  • Premier Foods
  • University of Cambridge
  • Arla Foods
  • Heart Research UK
  • University of Edinburgh

Read profiles of our alumni to find out more about where some of our graduates are working.

Careers support

At Leeds we help you to prepare for your future from day one. Our Leeds for Life initiative is designed to help you develop and demonstrate the skills and experience you need for when you graduate. We will help you to access opportunities across the University and record your key achievements so you are able to articulate them clearly and confidently.

You will be supported throughout your studies by our Employability team, who will provide you with specialist support and advice to help you find relevant work experience, internships and industrial placements, as well as graduate positions. You’ll benefit from timetabled employability sessions, support during internships and placements, and presentations and workshops delivered by employers.

You will also have full access to the University’s Careers Centre, which is one of the largest in the country.

Study abroad and work placements

Study abroad

On this course you have the opportunity to apply to spend time abroad, usually as an extra academic year.

Studying abroad is a unique opportunity to explore the world, whilst gaining invaluable skills and experience that could enhance your future employability and career prospects too.

From Europe to Asia, the USA to Australasia, we have many University partners worldwide you can apply to, spanning across some of the most popular destinations for students.

Once you’ve successfully completed your year abroad, you will be awarded the ‘international’ variant in your degree title which demonstrates your added experience to future employers.

Find out more at the Study Abroad website.

The study abroad year will extend your studies by 12 months.

Work placements

The graduate recruitment market is highly competitive so it’s important that you stand out. An industrial placement could be the opportunity you need to impress potential employers and improve your chances of securing the career you want.

Benefits of a work placement year:

  • 100+ organisations to choose from, both in the UK and overseas
  • All placements are salaried
  • Build industry contacts within your chosen field
  • Our close industry links mean you’ll be in direct contact with potential employers
  • Advance your experience and skills by putting the course teachings into practice
  • Gain invaluable insight into working as a professional in this industry
  • Improve your employability

If you decide to undertake a placement year, this will extend your period of study by 12 months and, on successful completion, you will be awarded the ‘industrial’ variant in your degree title to demonstrate your added experience to future employers.

With the help and support of our dedicated Employability team, you can find the right placement to suit you and your future career goals.

In previous years, students have worked at many prestigious organisations, including:

  • major retailers, such as Marks & Spencer and Sainsbury's
  • major manufacturers, such as Nestlé, Unilever and Kraft
  • major research centres, such as DEFRA and Leatherhead Food RA

During your industrial placement, you will have an industrial supervisor from within the company, plus an academic supervisor who will keep in touch throughout your placement.

Find out more at the Work Experience website.

Student profile: Lucy Garman

Everything I’ve learnt on my course will definitely be translated into my career, especially the practical knowledge; I’ve already applied a lot of that into my placement.
Find out more about Lucy Garman's time at Leeds