Food Quality and Innovation MSc

Year of entry

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Start date
September 2023
Delivery type
On campus
12 months full time
Entry requirements
A bachelor degree with a 2:2 (hons) or equivalent in a relevant science subject, usually including modules in food processing and/or engineering.
Full entry requirements
English language requirements
IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in all components
UK fees
£12,750 (total)
International fees
£29,000 (total)

Course overview

Food Quality and Innovation MSc

Never before has the quality of food been more important in our society. Governments across the world are putting pressure on the food industry to ensure products are safe and made to a high standard. That’s why the demand for qualified experts in this field is ever-growing — and the career opportunities are vast.

The Food Quality and Innovation MSc is designed around the entire process of food product development — from concept to launch. We focus on consumer-led product development, where consumers play a key role during the whole development process. You’ll develop in-depth specialist knowledge needed to ensure that newly developed food products meet the necessary processing requirements for ensuring the quality and safety of food. Alongside, you’ll gain a broad understanding of legislation and how this impacts the industry.

It’s this combination of scientific acumen, awareness of international requirements and the industry-relevant skill set in areas, like sensory evaluation and product design, that’ll attract employers in industry.

Studying an MSc in the School of Food Science and Nutrition at Leeds will also give you access to specialist facilities that’ll prepare you for working in the field and a programme team consisting of academics and researchers who work within the School’s research institutes and groups.

Why study at Leeds:

  • Learn the latest food science innovations, linked directly to our impactful, 'real world' research, conducted right here in our School.
  • Advance your knowledge and skills in critical areas sought after in industry, including food processing, food product development, sensory science and food quality assurance and control.
  • Work as a team, develop interpersonal skills and understand practical issues of communicating scientific results to a wider non-scientific audience.
  • Experience excellent practical and theoretical teaching delivered by internationally renowned expert academics working at the forefront of their fields with strong industrial links.
  • Enhance your career prospects and join our successful alumni who have pursued careers in big companies in industry including Kerry Foods, Wharfe Bank Brewery and Arla Foods.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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This degree is accredited by the 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.

Course details

Throughout the course, you’ll develop an understanding of the underpinning scientific techniques in chemistry, biochemistry, physics, mathematics and biology relevant to applications of food science and the food industry.

You’ll examine different aspects of the product development process from product conception through to product launch. Throughout the process, you’ll apply principles of product concept design, industrial experimental design, quality design techniques and sensory science in developing new food products and production processes that integrate consumer needs and expectations, while at the same time conforming to food legislation, food quality and safety requirements.

The study of the principles of quality assurance, management and improvement and its application through design, measurement and monitoring will also be examined, covering aspects such as quality control and HACCP experimental design and statistical analysis.

The course will provide you with a learning environment that immerses you in real-world situations in food product development, through group-based learning activities that require you to use your knowledge and skills attained through multi-disciplinary learning modules in various scientific fields.

From the start of your course, you’ll have the chance to put theory into practice with a group product development 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.

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 Quality and Innovation MSc in the course catalogue

Year 1 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Microbiological and Chemical Food Safety 20
Food Processing 20
Nutrient & Food Biochemical Structure and Function 20
Food Analysis 10
Food Product Development 80
Sensory Science 20
Food Quality Assurance and Control 10

Want to find out more about your modules?

Take a look at the Food Quality and Innovation module descriptions for more detail on what you could study.

Learning and teaching

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

Specialist facilities

You’ll have access to excellent teaching and laboratory facilities, supplemented by extensive computing equipment. Our specialist facilities have the latest instrumental equipment for characterisation of food components, including HPLC and GC-MS and a sensory testing facility.

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.

Online taster course

Food Safety and Nutrition: A Global Approach to Public Health is a free online course, delivered via FuturelLearn, 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 the world’s health and nutrition.

Programme team

Dr Peter Ho is Programme Leader for Food Quality and Innovation. His primary research interests are in sensory science, food choice and measurement. He is interested in the application of statistical modelling, experimental design and multivariate analysis techniques in food product development, product quality design, process and product optimisation and process monitoring.

The wider programme team is made up of academics and researchers from across the School of Food Science and Nutrition who work within the School’s research institutes and 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.


Assessment is by course work and written exams, which take place at the end of the semester in which the module is taught.


Entry requirements

A bachelor's degree with a 2:2 (Hons) or equivalent qualification in a relevant science subject, usually including modules in food processing and/or engineering.

All key modules should also have strong grades (none below 2:2 UK equivalent). Please check your marks using international equivalent qualifications. We will ask for further detailed module information if these are not clear on your transcript.

We expect all applicants to provide a supporting statement indicating a career aim or interest in food product development, knowledge of which is the key objective of this degree.

Food-related industry and/or research experience is welcomed, but not essential, and can also be considered alongside a relevant science degree.

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. You could study a part-time online course starting in January, or a full-time course in summer. Find out more about online pre-sessionals.

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 July 2023 – International applicants

10 September 2023 – UK applicants

The ‘Apply’ link at the top of this page takes you to information on applying for taught programmes and to the University's online application system.

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 Admissions Team



UK: £12,750 (total)

International: £29,000 (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 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 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 available to qualified specialists in the field.

From enhancing food quality and improving food safety, to developing brand new products that’ll take the market by storm — global companies in industry need the skill set you’ll learn on this MSc to ensure they have quality products that adhere to regulations and stay ahead of the competition.

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.

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

  • Innovation Technologist, Kerry Foods
  • NPD Technologist, Scheff Foods Ltd
  • R&D Food Technologist, Shanghai 21Cake Food Co
  • NPD & Quality Control Executive, ID Fresh Food (India)
  • Quality Control Analyst, Mundipharma Pte Ltd
  • QA Technician, Newsholmes Food
  • Sampling Officer, Food Experts S.L.
  • Quality Assurance Support, Wharfe Bank Brewery
  • Food Technologist, CK Foods Processings Ltd
  • Lab Technician, Arla Foods

Careers support

At Leeds, we help you to prepare for your future from day one — that’s one of the reasons our graduates are so sought after by employers. The University’s Career Centre 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.

  • The School of Food Science and Nutrition’s Employability Enhancement 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 Enhancement Officer is on hand to help maximise your capabilities through a process of personal development and career planning.
  • Employability events — we run a full range of events, including careers fairs in specialist areas and across broader industries, with employers who are actively recruiting for roles. 
  • MyCareer system — during 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.