Food Science (Food Biotechnology) MSc

Year of entry

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Start date
September 2024
Delivery type
On campus
12 months full time
Entry requirements
A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) in a subject containing biology and chemistry content.
Full entry requirements
English language requirements
IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in all components
UK fees
£13,500 (Total)
International fees
£32,000 (Total)

Course overview

Student smiling at the camera in the Food Technology Laboratory

Our Food Science (Food Biotechnology) MSc engages with issues at the very forefront of modern food production. Not only will you advance your knowledge of crucial areas within food science, health and sustainability, but you’ll also explore the origins of biotechnology, the legislation and social issues related to biotechnology in food and modern bioanalytical methods in biotechnology and food safety.

You’ll study in our School of Food Science and Nutrition at Leeds, which is home to world-leading research that has impacted key areas in the food industry. This research directly informs this MSc programme, meaning you’ll be learning the latest innovations and practices in food science from researchers and academics who work within the School’s research institutes and groups.

Once you graduate, you’ll be fully equipped with the forward-thinking, relevant and topical knowledge sought after by global companies in industry. Plus, the extensive skill set you’ll build throughout the course will open the door to many diverse career opportunities in this in-demand field, including product research and development, quality assurance and nutrition.

Why study at Leeds:

  • This Masters degree is accredited by the Institution of Food Science and Technology.
  • Our globally-renowned research here at Leeds feeds into your course and shapes your learning with the latest thinking in areas such as biotechnology, food safety and sustainability.
  • Advance your knowledge and skills in critical areas sought after in industry, including food processing, food biotechnology and food product design.
  • Conduct your own independent research project as part of your course and gain industry experience in investigating an exciting real-world problem, mirroring the type of work you’ll be conducting in your professional career.
  • Experience excellent practical and theoretical teaching delivered by a programme team with a wealth of expertise and strong industrial links.
  • Access specialist facilities, including computerised sensory testing and electron microscopy facilities, texture analysers, tribometers as well as HPLC and GC analytical equipment.
  • Enhance your career prospects and join our successful alumni who have pursued careers in revered institutions worldwide including Unilever, Korea Food Research Institute and Wm Morrison Supermarkets Plc.
  • Master the most up-to-date practices and techniques recognised in industry on a course that has been directly informed and advised by the Industrial Advisory Board.


Institute of Food Science and Technology

Accreditation is the assurance that a university course meets the quality standards established by the profession for which it prepares its students.

This degree is accredited by the Institute of Food Science and Technology.

Join our online taster courses

Food Safety and Nutrition: A Global Approach to Public Health is delivered via FutureLearn, exploring the challenges of ensuring food security faced by researchers, policymakers and individuals worldwide.

Learn how large-scale change, like industrialisation, globalisation, population growth and climate change, affects food safety and understand the consequences for global health and nutrition.

A Nutritional Approach to Agriculture and Food Security will introduce you to skills necessary to apply and evaluate nutrition-focused innovative solutions for a more sustainable food system, with a focus on the Global South.

Course details

Studying our Food Science (Biotechnology) MSc will provide you with a broad understanding of food science, whilst learning the necessary background understanding of chemistry, biochemistry, physics, mathematics and biology needed to excel in this field.

By integrating your scientific knowledge, you’ll develop an understanding of food production and processing, enabling you to critically assess the complex factors that influence the range, quality and acceptability of foods produced in an industrialised society.

You’ll learn everything from how food biotechnology relates to the food industry challenges of our days to the impact ‘functional foods’ or novel protein sources have on health, science and the economy.

Project work

In the final months of your course, you’ll have the chance to put theory into practice with an independent research project. This will be your opportunity to build on the skills and knowledge you’ve learnt throughout the course and investigate an exciting real-world problem, mirroring the type of work you’ll be conducting in your professional career.

Examples of the range of previous research projects include:

  • Creation of a vegetable side-stream based culture media to create yeast single cell protein.
  • Determination of protein content of non-conventional yeast Y2 fermentation for meat analogues
  • Determination of protein content of non-conventional yeast Y2 fermentation in exponential and stationary growth phases on Yeast Extract Dextrose growth media.
  • Protein bioavailability of non-conventional yeasts biomass for meat analogues.
  • Development of a new approach to reduce the RNA content of yeast mycoprotein with high efficiency.

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 (Food Biotechnology) MSc in the course catalogue


Compulsory modules

Capstone Research Project – 60 credits

Undertake an independent, real-life research project with the support of our experienced academics. Your project work may take on the form of a lab-based, desk-based or field-based research activity. The choice of topics available will vary depending on your interest and what academics are working on at the time and may include experimental, computational or applied research. Through this module, you'll apply the skills and knowledge you have acquired throughout your programme and further develop the academic and professional skills necessary for graduate roles and various career paths, including further education at Leeds or elsewhere. 

Food Safety and Regulatory Practice – 15 credits

Advance your understanding of microbiological and chemical food safety issues, including risk assessments, minimising and regulating the risks according to the government legislation in the food industry, allergen management and labelling. You’ll also examine the different aspects of quality management, quality assurance, traceability and quality control in detail.

Food Chemistry and Biochemistry – 15 credits

Build an understanding of the biochemical constituents of food and the biochemical reactions and processes happening in food on a molecular level to understand the functionality of nutrients.

Food Processing – 15 credits

This module will cover food processing, including the significance of raw materials and equipment. You'll look at the unit operations in industrial food processing systems and discuss how to identify critical food safety parameters and processing conditions for food. You'll also evaluate the physical, chemical and biochemical changes in food, resulting from different processing methods. Within its scope, this module will include complex scientific calculations for the food industrial manufacturing processes.

Principles of Food Product Design – 15 credits

Examine key stages of a product development process including focus groups, product concept design, product formulation, consumer sensory assessment and product packaging. You’ll discuss the overall composition of food, with regard to its principal and trace components, additives and contaminants. You’ll explore the need for chemical analysis in food production and build an understanding of the application of spectroscopic and chromatographic techniques. The module will also include laboratory practicals to demonstrate applied knowledge.  

Food Systems and Sustainability – 15 credits

Using current sustainability frameworks relevant to food production and consumption, you’ll take an in-depth look into how systems thinking relates to food sustainability. You’ll review key components of the global food system, including various actors/stakeholders, e.g., NGOs, farmers, governments, and how they function collectively to sustain the food system. You’ll also cover current sustainability challenges facing the global food system, e.g., environmental degradation, climate change, food security, food waste and the circular economy, possibilities for optimising for human and environmental health (One Health concept).

Food Biotechnology – 15 credits

Learn the origins of biotechnology, genetic manipulation of organisms involved in food production/manufacturing and the innovative uses and future uses of biotechnology in food production.

Advanced Food Biotechnology – 15 credits

Following on from the Food Biotechnology module, you’ll learn advanced techniques and topics in this area.  This module also covers the social and economic implications of using biotechnology in food production as well as the legislation and legal issues.

Research and Professional Skills – 15 credits

This key module will introduce you to a diversity of academic and professional skills and competencies that will help you succeed throughout your degree – and beyond. You'll learn how to critically read scientific and non-scientific sources of information and how to communicate scientific aspects relating to your discipline to various audiences, using different tools, e.g., academic writing and digital platforms. You'll explore the application of study skills, such as Academic Integrity, Ethics, and Library Skills. By engaging in practicals, you'll build your laboratory skills specific to your specialisation, as well as more generic skills such as good laboratory practices and laboratory safety. This module will also introduce you to the requisite professional competencies and how you can build these throughout your programme. 

Learning and teaching

Food biotechnology covers many scientific areas such as food processing, principles of food design, food biochemistry, sustainability, food safety and regulatory practice. You’ll explore this subject with academics, researchers and experienced scientists who work in the food industry and policy. Teaching staff at the School of Food Science and Nutrition include lecturers and professors who are all experienced at producing globally recognised, cutting-edge research across a range of different areas of food science and biotechnology.

You'll benefit from a wide range of active learning activities and innovative teaching methods, including lectures, workshops, small group tutorials, problem-based learning, practical lab work, seminars and supervised research projects. All learning is undertaken alongside peers and other students from within the School of Food Science and Nutrition and potentially other students within the University of Leeds. As such, you'll learn about different aspects of food science and nutrition in innovative ways, all of which will support the development of your knowledge, skills and confidence. You’ll also be assigned an academic personal tutor to guide you through your studies and help you progress throughout your degree.

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.

Skills development

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 course mates to build a sense of community where you feel valued.

This approach will also equip you with high-level thinking and in-depth knowledge along with the key practical, technical skills and transferable skills and competencies that will help you secure a graduate job.

Specialist facilities

You’ll have access to excellent teaching and laboratory facilities, supplemented by extensive computing equipment. Our specialist facilities include cutting-edge electron microscopy facilities, texture analysers, tribometers as well as HPLC and GC analytical equipment.

We also have strong links with the Astbury Centre for Structural Molecular Biology, the Global Food and Environment Institute and the Bragg Centre, as well as the Diamond Centre – all of which are equipped with a range of facilities.

Programme team

The Food Science (Biotechnology) course teaching team is made up of academics and researchers from within the School of Food Science and Nutrition who work across the School’s interdisciplinary research groups to address global challenges in the fields of Food Science and Nutrition. Expertise includes food microstructure and digestion, encapsulation and emulsification, tribology and sensory science, functional biopolymers for health, liquid crystals and lipid self-assembly, design of biopolymers, fragments, and conjugates, biofilms and microbiology, plant-based diets and food systems sustainability.

Célia Ferreira is the Programme Leader for Food Science (Biotechnology). Her research programme is in experimental bioengineering. A primary goal is to develop innovative and sustainable meat analogues, using single-cell proteins, and hybrid meat analogues combining novel non-meat protein sources. An underlying theme of her research is to join fundamental with applied research.

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 formative and summative assessment approaches are used to support your learning and progression through the course, measure your attainment of the learning outcomes, and develop your skills. Our assessments are designed to reflect real-world needs and challenges encountered in the workplace, while accommodating the various learning styles and embedding equitable and inclusive practices to ensure a supportive and fair assessment framework is presented. As such, assessments range in format and may include, for example, report writing, mini critical review and oral and visual presentation. In so doing, skills attained would include, for example, communication, problem-solving, critical thinking, and team working, in addition to the core technical skills specific to your degree. In addition, you'll have the opportunity to select your own research area and develop an individual research project.

Throughout the course, you'll receive formative feedback, which will provide an opportunity to think critically and reflect on your performance, as you progress and learn.


Entry requirements

A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) in a subject containing biology and chemistry content.

A bachelor degree with a 2:2 (hons) will be considered for candidates with food related industry and/or research experience.

We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications.

For more information, please contact the Admissions Team.

English language requirements

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

Improve your English

International students who do not meet the English language requirements for this programme may be able to study our postgraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.

This pre-sessional course is designed with a progression route to your degree programme and you’ll learn academic English in the context of your subject area. To find out more, read Language for Science (6 weeks) and Language for Science: General Science (10 weeks)

We also offer online pre-sessionals alongside our on-campus pre-sessionals. Find out more about our six week online pre-sessional.

You can also study pre-sessionals for longer periods – read about our postgraduate pre-sessional English courses.

How to apply

Application deadlines

Applicants are encouraged to apply as early as possible.

31 July 2024 – International applicants

8 September 2024 – UK applicants

Click below to access the University’s online application system and find out more about the application process.

If you're still 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 Admissions Policy 2025

This course is taught by

School of Food Science and Nutrition

Contact us

School of Food Science and Nutrition Admissions Team



UK: £13,500 (Total)

International: £32,000 (Total)

Read more about paying fees and charges.

For fees information for international taught postgraduate students, read Masters fees.

Additional cost information

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 on our living costs and budgeting page.

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 may be help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government.  Find out more at Masters funding overview.

Career opportunities

The food industry is one of the largest in the world, offering a wide range of careers for food scientists to keep the industry functioning, progressing and profiting in accordance with the latest governmental demands and trends.

From enhancing food quality and improving food safety to researching brand new products and creating sustainable solutions for the future — the career opportunities open to you with an MSc in food science are hugely varied and wide-ranging.

Here at Leeds, we rank in the top 10 in the UK for Nutrition and Food Science and our Food Science MSc has been accredited by the Institute of Food Science and Technology, meaning many of our alumni have been sought after by large corporations worldwide and have gone on to hold key positions in the food industry and government agencies.

Plus, University of Leeds students are among the top 5 most targeted by top employers according to The Graduate Market 2024, High Fliers Research, meaning our graduates are highly sought after by some of the most reputable companies in the field.

Our graduates from this course have secured positions at companies such as:

  • Lead Nutritionist, Unilever
  • Regional R&D Manager-Bakery Industry, Puratos
  • Nutritionals Commercial Manager, Glanbia
  • Quality Control, Xtra Edge Foods
  • Food Researcher, Korea Food Research Institute
  • Quality Assurance Executive, Sami Spices and Herbs
  • Specification Technologist, Premier Foods
  • Product Developer, Wm Morrison Supermarkets Plc
  • Quality Control Executive, Dharampal Satyapal Ltd.
  • R&D Executive, Pristine Organics

Careers support

At Leeds, we help you to prepare for your future from day one — that’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers. The University's Careers Service is one of the largest in the country, providing a wide range of resources to ensure you are prepared to take your next steps after graduation and get you where you want to be.

  • Dedicated Employability Officer — gain quality advice, guidance and information to help you choose a career path. From CV and cover letter writing to supporting you with job applications, our School’s dedicated Employability Officer is on hand to help maximise your capabilities through a process of personal development and career planning.
  • Employability and networking events — we run a full range of events, including careers fairs and industry talks in specialist areas and across broader industries, with employers who are actively recruiting for roles, giving you the opportunity to network and engage with industry sponsors. 
  • Employability skills training – to support your transition to the workplace, we embed training in a range of key transferable skills valued by employers such as research and data analysis in all our programmes.
  • MyCareer system — on your course and after you graduate you’ll have access to a dedicated careers portal where you can book appointments with our team, get information on careers and see job vacancies and upcoming events.
  • Opportunities at Leeds — there are plenty of exciting opportunities offered by our Leeds University Union, including volunteering and over 300 clubs and societies to get involved in.

Find out more at the Careers website.

Student profile: Ritika Parashar

Studying the course gives us an opportunity to gain a deeper knowledge of Food Science along with modern day biotechnological techniques and their real life implementation in the Food industry.
Find out more about Ritika Parashar's time at Leeds