Food Science and Nutrition 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

Providing nutritious food is a key target for the government — and has increasingly become of interest to consumers throughout society. Academic and food industry experts are tasked with consistently improving food standards and providing sustainable solutions that will suit every class of consumer in society. From advancing quality control to developing new food products in response to growing health and environmental sustainability demands, our Food Science and Nutrition MSc programme will put you at the forefront of finding these solutions.

This degree draws on ongoing world-leading research conducted in the School. As such, you'll explore and learn the latest innovations, issues and practices in Food Science and Nutrition. Throughout the course, you'll investigate the scientific principles underpinning of the field of Food Science and Nutrition, with unique perspectives on the wider implications of diet on human health and wellbeing.

Upon successful completion of your studies, you'll have an appreciation of key positions food composition and food processing, and relationship between food and health. As a Food Science and Nutrition MSc graduate, you'll be fully equipped with the forward-thinking, relevant and topical knowledge and skill set sought after by global companies in industry.

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 of food safety, functional biopolymers and novel food design.
  • Advance your knowledge and skills in critical areas sought after in industry, including food processing, nutrition across the lifecycle and the impacts of food processing on nutritional quality.
  • Conduct your own independent research project as part of your course and gain industry experience in in investigating an exciting real-world problem, mirroring the type of work you’ll be conducting in your professional career.
  • Experience expert teaching delivered by a programme team made up of academics and researchers who specialise in a variety of food science and nutritional disciplines.
  • Access specialist facilities, including computerised sensory testing and electron microscopy facilities, texture analysers, rheometers, tribometers, spectrophotometers, spinning disc reactor and HPLC and GC analytical equipment.
  • Enhance your career prospects and join our successful alumni who have pursued careers in revered institutions worldwide including NHS, Innocent Drinks and the Food and Drugs Authority.
  • 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

Throughout the course, you’ll tackle issues such as food processing, functional foods, nutritional composition and the role of nutrition labelling and nutrition claims, and the concomitant nutritional significance of processed foods in the diet. You’ll gain knowledge and understanding of the functions of food and nutrients and their relationship to health and disease. Alongside developing current techniques in food analysis, structure and processing, you'll gain in-depth knowledge on current health topics, such as heart disease and the health benefits of antioxidants.

Project work

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

Examples of the range of research projects previously carried out by our MSc Food Science and Nutrition students include:

  • Protein-polysaccharide conjugates and their emulsifying properties.
  • Encapsulation of vitamins, antioxidants, flavours and other nutrients in food products via multiple emulsion approach.
  • How does food structure effect nutrient and bioactive release kinetics and risk factors for NCDs?
  • How does dietary fibre impact gastrointestinal behaviour (more than a prebiotic)?

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.


Compulsory modules

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.  

Nutrition and Health – 15 credits

This module will take a closer look at the relationship between diet and health by exploring how foods can be used to prevent or manage specific health conditions. Specialist themes covered in the module may include ‘diet and gut health’, ‘diet and cancer’, ‘diet and diabetes’, diet and bone health’, ‘diet and liver health’ and ‘diet and mental health’.  

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).

Nutrition Across the Lifespan – 15 credits

You’ll investigate nutrition needs and associated influencing factors throughout distinct stages of an individual’s life course (pre-conception to old age/elderly). Themes covered may include, for example, critical nutrients at different stages of life, determinants of food choice including the psychology of food choice and food preferences and their effects on nutrition profiles. 

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. 

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. 

Learning and teaching

Food Science and Nutrition covers many scientific areas such as food processing, principles of food design, food biochemistry, nutrition and health, food safety and regulatory practice. Your learning will therefore cover different aspects of Food and Nutrition Science, all of which supports the development of your knowledge, skills and confidence. You'll explore these subject areas with academics, researchers and experienced scientists who work in the food industry, policy, or health care. 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 nutrition.

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. 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, through which you'll develop your research and analytical skills as well as your ability to think critically 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 also have access to specialist facilities that’ll prepare you for working in the field. Our excellent teaching and laboratory facilities, include electron microscopy facilities, texture analysers, rheometers, tribometers, spectrophotometers, spinning disc reactor and HPLC and GC analytical equipment.

We also have strong links with the Astbury Centre for Structural Molecular Biology and the Global Food and Environment Institute, both of which are equipped with a range of facilities.

Programme team

The Food Science and Nutrition 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.

Dr Mahmood Akhtar is Programme Leader for the Food Science and Nutrition MSc. He is part of the Digestion and Delivery, Food Colloids and Soft Matter at Interfaces, as well as Novel Food Design and Processing research groups.

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.

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.

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.

30 June 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 Taught Admissions Policy 2024

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 — with a vast amount of career opportunities for food and nutrition specialists to keep the industry functioning, progressing and profiting in accordance with the latest governmental demands and trends.

From enhancing food quality and improving nutritional values to researching brand new products and creating sustainable solutions for the future — the career opportunities open to you with an MSc in food science and nutrition 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 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.

Here are some examples of the roles that our recent graduates are in:

  • Beverage Technician, A.G. Barr
  • Food Researcher, Korea Food Research Institute
  • Assistant Director, Food Safety, Hy-Vee
  • Registered Dietitian, NHS
  • New Product Development Technologist, Rudolf Wild GmbH & Co. KG
  • Food Scientist, Newly Weds Food
  • Nutrition Specialist, Tongde Hospital
  • Senior Regulatory Officer (Food Division), Food and Drugs Authority
  • Product Developer, Innocent Drinks
  • Europe Quality Specialist, Unilever PLC.

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: Frances Hyde

The master's courses in the School of Food Science and Nutrition attracts students from across the world so I have had the opportunity to meet and work with people from different cultures.
Find out more about Frances Hyde's time at Leeds