Food Product Innovation MSc

Year of entry

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Start date
September 2024
Delivery type
On campus
Duration
12 months full time
Entry requirements
A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) 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
£13,500 (Total)
International fees
£32,000 (Total)
Accredited
Yes

Course overview

Header image fsn ug undergraduate lab

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 Product 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:

  • 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.
  • Advance your knowledge and skills in critical areas sought after in industry, including food processing, food product development, sensory science and food systems and sustainability.
  • Work as a team, develop interpersonal skills and understand practical issues of communicating scientific results to a wider non-scientific audience.
  • 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.
  • Experience excellent practical and theoretical teaching delivered by a programme team with a wealth of expertise and 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.

Accreditation

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 course

Food Safety and Nutrition: A Global Approach to Public Health is 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 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 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.

Project work

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.

Modules

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.  

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).

Sensory Science - 15 credits

This module will provide an overview of sensory discrimination, descriptive and affective testing methods. A focus on practical approaches towards controlling variability in sensory measurement will be further examined with case studies.

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. 

New Product Development (NPD) project – 75 credits

This module will examine the different stages of the food product development process and their application in the design of new food products. You'll look at all aspects from sourcing ingredients/raw materials, product formulation and processing, ingredient interactions in foods, packaging, market surveys, sensory evaluation, design of nutritional labels (including food claims) and marketing.   Key to this module is working with your peers from within and beyond the School to develop and deliver a new food product in a real-world environment, similar to what could be encountered in the Food Industry.

Learning and teaching

Food product innovation covers many scientific areas such as food processing, principles of food design, food biochemistry, sensory, food product development, new product development, sustainability, food safety, and regulatory practice. Your learning will therefore cover different aspects of food and biotechnology in innovative ways, 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, 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. 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 Product Innovation 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 Peter Ho is Programme Leader for Food Product 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.

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

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.

Applying

Entry requirements

A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) in a relevant science subject, usually including modules in food processing and/or engineering.

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

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.

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

Email: mscenquiry@food.leeds.ac.uk
Telephone:

Fees

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 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.