Course specification and structure
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PMFOODSC - MSc Food Science

Course Specification


Validation status Validated
Highest award Master of Science Level Masters
Possible interim awards Postgraduate Diploma, Postgraduate Certificate, Advanced Diploma in Professional Development
Total credits for course 180
Awarding institution London Metropolitan University
Teaching institutions London Metropolitan University
School School of Human Sciences
Subject Area Health Sciences
Attendance options
Option Minimum duration Maximum duration
Full-time 1 YEARS 6 YEARS
Part-time 2 YEARS 6 YEARS
Course leader  

About the course and its strategy towards teaching and learning and towards blended learning/e-learning

The MSc in Food Science aims to provide advanced study opportunities in the subject area, building on the student’s previous experience in an appropriate first degree course.

The MSc programme aims are:

  1. to provide a programme of study that offers advanced training for graduates which will equip them for future careers in food science
  2. to further develop a critical approach to existing knowledge and current research in food science
  3. to enable the students to reflect on personal, professional and practical aspects of food science
  4. to enable students to become effective learners/practitioners in their career path by developing cross-function personal skills and capabilities.

Course aims

The MSc in Food Science aims to provide advanced study opportunities in the subject area, building on the student’s previous experience in appropriate first degree courses.

The MSc programme aims are:

  1. to provide a programme of study that offers advanced training for graduates which will equip them for future careers in food science
  2. to further develop a critical approach to existing knowledge and current research in food science
  3. to enable the students to reflect on personal, professional and practical aspects of food science
  4. to enable students to become effective learners/practitioners in their career path by developing cross-function personal skills and capabilities.

Course learning outcomes

On completion of the course the graduates will:

  1. Have an advanced knowledge of the fundamental aspects of the food science topics studied and their application to current practice in the industry.
  2. Demonstrate the ability to apply the principles developed in the course to other aspects of food science and technology.
  3. Be able to design, carry out and critically evaluate research relevant to Food Science.
  4. Demonstrate higher capabilities in practical skills relevant to Food Science.
  5. Be able to act in a manner appropriate to a professional Food Scientist / Technologist.
  6. Have the ability to communicate effectively (orally and in writing) original scientific material to both an academic and lay audience.

Demonstrate a range of key transferable skills and a capacity for lifelong learning

Course learning outcomes / Module cross reference

1. Have an advanced knowledge of the fundamental aspects of the food science topics studied and their application to current practice in the industry:

NF7003, NF7004, NF7006, NF7007, NF7053, NF7009, NF7P05, NF7W22

2. Demonstrate the ability to apply the principles developed in the course to other aspects of food science and technology:

NF7053, NF7P05, NF7W22

3. Be able to design, carry out and critically evaluate research relevant to Food Science:

NF7053, NF7007, NF7009, NF7P05

4. Demonstrate higher capabilities in practical skills relevant to Food
Science:

NF7004, NF7007, NF7009, NF7P05

5. Be able to act in a manner appropriate to a professional Food Scientist / Technologist:

NF7004, NF7007, NF7053
6. Have the ability to communicate effectively (orally and in writing) original scientific material to both an academic and lay audience:

NF7003, NF7004, NF7006, NF7007, NF7009, NF7P05, NF7053, NF7W22

7. Demonstrate a range of key transferable skills and a capacity for lifelong learning:

NF7003, NF7004, NF7006, NF7007, NF7009, , NF7P05, NF7053 ,NF7W22

Principle QAA benchmark statements

No subject benchmark statement at MSc level Although there are no QAA (Quality Assurance Agency) benchmark statements for Food Science at Postgraduate level, course outcomes are in line with Generic QAA (Quality Assurance Agency) guidelines on Masters level qualifications.

Assessment strategy

The assessment strategy not only gives assessment of student’s knowledge, understanding and abilities but provides a wide range of experience particularly in key skill areas. Students gain experience in critical analysis, literature searching, poster presentations, data handling and analysis and practical skills. Assessments comprise written assignments (critical reviews, reports, and portfolios), laboratory logs, poster presentations and quizzes and one unseen exam .Students undertake a research project and submit a final dissertation that is defended in an oral exam. The strategy prepares students for their future careers in different areas of the food industry.

Organised work experience, work based learning, sandwich year or year abroad

Work experience is a very valuable way of learning about the food industry, in all its aspects and we recognise that it can enhance the employability of graduates. Those who wish to take the Industry Placement module NF7W22 should discuss this with the Course Director. Placements are not guaranteed and depend both on the industry making them available and on the suitability of the individual student. Students are usually recommended to register for a placement after completing their first semester on the course.

The way in which placements can be taken varies depending on when the student starts their course. Currently the course is based on core modules only and students will be awarded a non-credit bearing certificate of completion.

September entrants may undertake work experience in the autumn semester following their summer dissertation, subject to any visa restrictions. In these cases, students will not register for the formal module but will be required to present work similar to that described in the work placement module specification. This will be assessed to ensure that the required standard has been reached. On successful completion of this form of placement, students will be awarded a non-credit bearing certificate of completion.

Students who start the course in February may be permitted to take their placement in the summer period between the taught spring and autumn semesters.

Modules required for interim awards

All modules are core apart from NF7W22.

Arrangements for promoting reflective learning and personal development

As well as academic study, the course has a strong focus on professional skills and students develop their abilities to analyse scientific papers, make written and oral presentations and use a range of standard and specialist software. We have a formal professional development element that includes developing students’ curriculum vitae and interview practice.

During the course, a number of guest presentations and external visits will be made from professionals working in areas relevant to food science and technology and to relevant food and beverage processing locations. We also encourage students to join the Institute of Food Science and Technology (IFST) and to attend meetings that the Institute organises. Students will thus get direct contact with members of the profession.

Learning and teaching within the modules is designed to help students to develop Key/Transferable Skills in IT, data handling, report writing and communications including presentations and posters.

Arrangements on the course for careers education, information and guidance

We follow Section 8 of the QAA’s Code of practice for the assurance of academic quality and standards in higher education: Career education, information, advice and guidance.

The structure of the course gives students a core of essential knowledge and skills for their future careers. They can choose to emphasise laboratory-based subjects such as food microbiology and food analysis or areas such as quality assurance or food product development. The broad range of an experience academic team ensures students are well prepared for their own careers by having a rounded view of the subject.

The course prepares students for future careers as food scientists. The subjects in the course develop their knowledge of food processing, packaging, storage, distribution, analysis and testing, the legal framework and sustainability.

The IFST has profiles of food scientists that describe the different career opportunities open to graduates.

As well as academic study, the course has a strong focus on professional skills and students develop their abilities to analyse scientific papers, make written and oral presentations and use a range of standard and specialist software. We have introduced a formal professional development programme that includes developing students’ curriculum vitae and interview practice. Students complete a PDP pro forma which will be used to develop the student’s CV and to help academic staff write any references when necessary.

Other external links providing expertise and experience

During the course, a number of guest presentations will be made from professionals working in areas relevant to food science and technology. In the last few years we have had Ian Booth of Reynolds; BA Catering; Sealed Air Packing; Cobra Beer; Malaysian Pam Oil Board. We have hosted IFST annual meetings: Chemistry of Cocktails 2013 and Chemistry of Cooking 2014.

We try to arrange a number of visits to industry each year. For example, we have an annual visit to the R & D facilities of Campden-BRI, Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire or Leatherhead Food Research Association which links in with the IFST: Student Launchpad. Other visits to local food processors are also arranged. Examples of these in the last few years include: Reynolds ; Warburtons; Coca Cola; Fullers Brewery; Imperial College (electron microscope); Nadell Patisserie; Union Ice cream.

The food science team’s working relationships with over one hundred small and medium size food businesses in London and support from the Food Business development manager who is an integral part of the course team supports opportunities for factory visits, shadowing food professionals working in industry and applying for work experience opportunities.

Student research projects have also been undertaken recently with the SALSA (Safe and Local Supplier) accreditation process and a comparative study of microbial quality of fruits and vegetables from local vendors and Buywell outlets in Tower Hamlets. Students working in the food industry have an opportunity to link in research and their work place in their dissertation.

We encourage students to join the Institute of Food Science and Technology (IFST, the main professional body in the UK in the subject area) and to attend meetings or industrial visits that the Institute organises. Students will thus get direct contact with members of the profession. Students are eligible to join the IFST as Associate members and may transfer to full membership after graduation and a period of professional experience. Membership of IFST gives access to specialist publications, meetings and an international network of food scientists and technologists. See: www.ifst.org.uk

Graduates of this course will also meet the key objectives the IFST, namely

  1. To serve the public interest by furthering the application of science and technology to all aspects of the supply of safe, wholesome, nutritious and attractive food, nationally and internationally;
  2. To advance the standing of food science and technology, both as a subject and as a profession;
  3. To assist members in their career and personal development within the profession;
  4. To uphold professional standards of competence and integrity.

Professional Statutory and Regulatory Body (PSRB) accreditations & exemptions

The course is fully accredited by the Institute of Food Science and Technology (IFST). Students are encouraged to join the IFST as associate members and to attend meetings or industrial visits that the Institute organises. They may transfer to full membership after graduation and a period of professional experience. Membership of IFST allows access to specialist publications, meetings and an international network of food scientists and technologists.

Career opportunities

The food industry is the UK’s largest manufacturing sector and there is a massive demand for qualified professionals. The skills and knowledge developed in your MSc will enhance your career opportunities in food and related industries including manufacturing, product development, marketing, environmental health, consultancy, research or education. Graduates are also well prepared for research and for postgraduate study (PhD). Interview practice with industry support and CV development is also integrated into the course.

Our recent MSc graduates have gone on to join the following positions and companies:

  • food technologist – Haydens Bakery
  • technical legislation coordinator – United Biscuits
  • process development – Bakkavor
  • technical team member – Food Partners Group
  • quality control – Nestlé
  • nutritionist and quality analyst – Krush Global
  • business development manager – Kerry Group
  • consumer technologist – Wealmoor Ltd
  • microbiology technician – GlaxoSmithKline
  • confectionary development – Sainsbury’s
  • technical team manager – Nature’s Way Foods
  • lecturers and researchers – London Metropolitan University, Coventry University, Kyushu University, University of Trinidad and Tobago, University of Melbourne

Entry requirements

You will be required to have:

  • a lower second honours degree (or equivalent) in food science or a related subject such as microbiology, biochemistry, nutrition or agricultural sciences

Mature students with lesser qualifications but extensive appropriate experience will be considered on an individual basis.

All applicants must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. Applicants who require a Tier 4 student visa may need to provide a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.

Official use and codes

Approved to run from 2013/14 Specification version 1 Specification status Validated
Original validation date 01 Sep 2013 Last validation date 01 Sep 2013  
Sources of funding HE FUNDING COUNCIL FOR ENGLAND
JACS codes D610 (Food Science): 100%
Route code FOODSC

Course Structure

Stage 1 Level 07 September start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
NF7003 Advanced Food Processing Core 20        
NF7004 Food Microbiology and Safety  Core 20 NORTH SPR WED AM
NF7009 Advanced Food Analysis Core 20 NORTH AUT TUE AM
NF7047 Food Product Development and Sensory Analysis Core 20        
NF7048 Food Safety and Quality Management Core 20 NORTH AUT WED AM
NF7053 Scientific Research Methodology Core 20 NORTH SPR TUE PM
NF7P05 Food Science Research Dissertation Core 60 NORTH SPR   NA
          NORTH AUT   NA
          NORTH SUM   NA
NF7W22 Food Science Industrial Placement Option 20 NORTH AUT NA  
          NORTH SPR NA  

Stage 1 Level 07 January start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
NF7003 Advanced Food Processing Core 20        
NF7004 Food Microbiology and Safety  Core 20 NORTH SPR WED AM
NF7009 Advanced Food Analysis Core 20        
NF7047 Food Product Development and Sensory Analysis Core 20        
NF7048 Food Safety and Quality Management Core 20        
NF7053 Scientific Research Methodology Core 20 NORTH SPR TUE PM
NF7P05 Food Science Research Dissertation Core 60 NORTH SPR   NA
          NORTH SUM   NA
NF7W22 Food Science Industrial Placement Option 20 NORTH SPR NA