PRFODSCI - MRes Food Science
|Highest award||Master of Research||Level||Masters|
|Possible interim awards|
|Total credits for course||180|
|Awarding institution||London Metropolitan University|
|Teaching institutions||London Metropolitan University|
|School||School of Human Sciences|
|Subject Area||Health Sciences|
About the course and its strategy towards teaching and learning and towards blended learning/e-learning
This Masters by Research (MRes) course is a 180 credit degree which provides students with two elements. Firstly, it provides students with the opportunity to explore in depth a self-initiated research project in an area of food science.
The course is designed to provide a framework at postgraduate research level to support students to work in-depth on a self-directed programme of research.
The second element of the MRes is a teaching thread which runs through the whole course. This starts with a module which discusses teaching and learning in higher education, followed by a significant time spent shadowing and supporting taught modules in their chosen discipline.
The MRes places an emphasis on research methods developed for health sciences and introduces students to current debates on the nature of research and knowledge in relation to current teaching practice. Students are supported to develop advanced skills in writing proposals, reflective reports and essays to develop modes of writing as exploratory and communicative modes for practice.
Food science research areas include food analysis, food microbiology and including food safety, spoilage and fermentations, product development and quality control, as well as an excellent understanding of food sustainability, food policy and nutrition.
Consideration has been given to the following: the Master’s Degree Characteristics Statement, the Subject Benchmark Statement (Agriculture, Horticulture, Forestry, Food, Nutrition and Consumer Sciences 2016), the HE Qualification Framework, the University’s Strategic Plan and Student Charter, the University’s Undergraduate Regulations, the views and feedback of students, external examiners and employers/ clients, developments within the subject area, and the changing needs of the cultural / commercial sectors and professions. Due consideration has also been given to inclusivity in course and assessment design.
The course seeks to provide:
- learning through direct experience, connecting research and teaching studies;
- student choice in subject and style of learning;
- a culture of independent and critical thought, encouraging the challenging of received ideas and practice – both in research and teaching;
- employability attributes through the development of research and teaching skills, preparing students for work in higher education;
- engagement across the School and University, providing opportunities for collaborative project work during study;
- commitment in offering changes for a joint food industry project;
- individualised learning study support opportunities, that cater for different learning styles;
- awareness of the duty of all to understand the impact of their decisions and actions as practitioner researchers and to strive to act ethically and responsibly.
In order to support the project, students take part in a Research Methods module which supports students in the production of their project proposal and provides research training on the nature and practice of scientific research in food science. Students propose and direct their research topic.
Teaching methods include: lectures, seminars, tutorials, group critiques, workshops and practical sessions for teaching practice. Teaching and learning adopts a student-centred approach that identifies individual learning styles and accommodates them.
Lectures provide and encourage a critically informed view of a topic, contextualising the subject and illustrating applied approaches. Lectures provide students with a managed introduction to a theme, enabling them to continue with suggested or directed self-study.
Seminars enable students to debate and explore subjects, questions and assignments with peers and tutors, encouraging an open and collaborative approach to shared learning.
Tutorials support individual learning, allowing for individual approaches to study, and catering for individual interests. Tutorials can be diagnostic or can support specific assignment or project-related questions, and support differing student paths to achievement of learning outcomes.
Critiques allow students to benefit from feedback on their own and others’ work, to contribute to that feedback, and are a valuable part of the peer-to-peer learning that is a core expectation and reason for University study.
Workshops offer students opportunities to engage in creative practice. Opportunities will be available to students to undertake workshop and studio practice relevant to their assignments or collaborative projects. The objective is to apply knowledge and/or acquire technical competence, to think critically and creatively, to master technique and develop the capacity to work independently and within teams.
Utilisation of the University’s VLE, Weblearn, has become an invaluable tool with which to disseminate information and to support and assess student learning. In addition, students will be using facilities provided within the University’s Science Centre, which include state-of-the-art Superlab. Students will not only be expected to learn how to use much of the equipment in analysis of food materials, but be able to teach the use of that equipment.
Digital Literacy is embedded in the curriculum through the use of the VLE and in curriculum delivery and expectations of digital capabilities as appropriate to task set and the level of study. Students make use of digital platforms alongside traditional approaches to research, develop and communicate their projects.
The overall aims of the course are to:
- support students to develop a structured approach to the independent and self-organised programme of work in an area of food science;
- provide a framework that supports students to develop their confidence and capabilities in using appropriate techniques and research methodologies to pursue their chosen project;
- promote a lively, creative and collaborative learning environment, where dialogue and exchange are supported and students from a broad range of backgrounds are encouraged to engage in experimentation and heuristic learning;
- facilitate engagement with relevant external agencies, clients and/or research platforms to enable students to deliver ‘live’ projects appropriate to external drivers (where appropriate);
- foster a critical, analytical and reflective approach in relation to practice within social, cultural, philosophical and ethical dimensions, that enables students to determine their research ambitions and identify and test appropriate methods to achieve them;
- enable students to develop and present a substantial body of practical and theoretical work, demonstrating an appropriate level of professional and intellectual attainment that supports further study or professional practice;
- develop the students understanding of recent/up to date teaching methods applicable to a range of higher education scenarios;
- develop the students awareness of and ability to teach a range of topics at undergraduate and postgraduate level in their own area of food science.
Course learning outcomes
1. Knowledge and Understanding
1.1 Initiate, manage and deliver a sustained, structured and systematic approach to the independent study of an approved programme of work
1.2 Engage effectively with the context of the project using appropriate critical language; providing evidence of awareness of critical debates and issues which relate to the project
1.3 Plan, deliver and evaluate teaching sessions in a specific area of study in higher education
1.4 Design discipline specific knowledge to support a range of teaching delivery methods (including lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical sessions)
2. Cognitive intellectual skills
2.1. Employ advanced capabilities in articulation, analysis, reflection, project management and judgement
2.2. Report and communicate the progress of research and present findings in a manner that is appropriate to the nature of the proposal and agreed criteria
2.3. Demonstrate a mastery of appropriate quantitative and numerical skills relevant to food sciences research
2.4. Be able to communicate complex discipline specific knowledge to a wide range of abilities
3. Practical Skills
3.1 Present work demonstrating a high level of practitioner skills in relation to practical, technical and theoretical understanding in a manner that reflects the proposal and agreed criteria
3.2 Utilise enhanced research and strategic skills of organisation, experimentation, reflection and analysis
3.3 Control and management of, and delivery to, a range of undergraduate and postgraduate classes of discipline specific knowledge
4. Transferable skills including those of employability and professional practice
4.1. Identify and manage the implications of ethical dilemmas and work proactively with others as appropriate to formulate solutions
4.2. Engage confidently in academic and professional communication with others, reporting on action clearly, autonomously and competently
4.3.Employ effective independent learning strategies required for continuing professional study and/or research at higher level
4.4. Have a deep understanding of ethical, equal opportunity, health & safety issues and work within the professional code of conduct for teaching in higher education
Course learning outcomes / Module cross reference
Module Code Module Title Course learning outcome met
ST7P07 Research Project 1.1, 1.2, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 3.1, 3.2, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.4
ST7004 Research Methods and Statistics 1.1, 1.2, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 3.1, 3.2, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.4
ED7143 Facilitating Student Learning 1.3, 1.4, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 3.1, 3.3, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.4
ST7W02 Higher Education Work Placement 1.3, 1.4, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 3.1, 3.3, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.4
Principle QAA benchmark statements
This course uses the Agriculture, Horticulture, Forestry, Food, Nutrition and Consumer Sciences 2016 subject benchmark statements.
This course refers to the FHEQ Level 7 Descriptors.
Assessment is based on an individual project development, written submission, and a culminating project/thesis. Students will be expected to present their work as a, poster presentation to non-discipline staff, along with a viva to discipline specific staff.
A variety of assessment methods will be used in the remaining modules, including on-line tests, portfolio of tasks and reflective diary.
Students are expected to participate reflectively in assessment. Self-evaluation involves students in reflection on their own progress, in relation to the learning outcomes and mirrors the assessment process conducted by the course team, providing the basis for discussion at assessment feedback sessions after formal coursework assessment has taken place.
Formative assessment is built into all modules and is designed to provide students with feedback on progress and development. Students are expected to maintain appropriate records of their work as it develops across their agreed programme of study and to take part in discussion with their research supervisor. Included amongst the type of work considered during formative assessment are: module coursework, pilot studies, literature reviews, ethical submissions and peer learning.
Summative assessment involves a formal presentation of work produced and considers the measure of achievement in relation to module learning outcomes. Students will be required to demonstrate the successful completion of each module by means of a final submission of work that satisfies the stated aims, objectives, and criteria by means of the indicated assessment items.
In line with postgraduate research and its articulation through individually negotiated learning agreements, the MRes course is not prescriptive in terms of the precise nature of the work presented for final assessment, however the following guidelines apply:
1. the nature and intention of any work undertaken by a student will be determined in advance through tutorial discussion, agreed between the individual student and appropriate tutors;
2. a written statement, describing the proposed project and/or sub-projects will be approved in advance by appropriate tutors: the student's statement must be available at the time of assessment.
Students will be made aware in briefing documents as well as through tutorials, of the 'process' basis of the course, which places the emphasis on exploration and development, rather than necessarily highly resolved final artefacts/outcomes.
The assessment strategy for the course has been designed holistically, to ensure manageable timing, workloads and clarity of expectations for students, and to avoid duplication of assessment of learning outcomes.
The assessment regimes for the modules and tasks are designed together with the research questions, prior to the start of the year, taking into account student, and supervisor feedback from previous instances. The requirements of the research question, the assessment criteria, grading scheme and descriptors are published and explained to students at the start of the year and are designed to be used as consistently as possible, to avoid unnecessary complication. Assessment is related to the achievement of learning outcomes; qualification frameworks and subject benchmark statements are consulted to ensure clear language that is appropriate to level of study. Students are informed of the procedures for first, second and parity marking, and external examiner scrutiny of the assessment process and marks, to ensure that they understand and have confidence in the probity of the process and security of the final marks.
In every case, there is required formative assessment and feedback prior to summative assessment at set points. This is recorded so that it can be used by both students and staff to track further progress and engage support where it is required. Feedback follows good pedagogic practice in that it is constructed as ‘feed-forward’, with a focus on specific actions and strategies as to how to improve, not only on what requires improvement. Challenge to students is managed, so that students performing well in-year are encouraged to strive for excellence, while those performing less well experience clear, targeted and structured guidance, including notice of where they are doing well or are showing potential.
The course adheres to the University’s requirements for assessment and feedback turnaround times and to academic regulations for marking and second marking sampling. Additionally, the course engages in School parity exercises to ensure that assessment standards are consistent. This is especially important in relation to studio delivery through which students on the same modules will be undertaking differing projects.
Organised work experience, work based learning, sandwich year or year abroad
Students will engage in the delivery of a range of teaching, learning, assessment, and feedback methods in the Work Placement module working alongside their research supervisor. Links developed through the Facilitating Student Learning module will be maintained through the Work Placement module with a dedicated member of staff to guide them.
Course specific regulations
Postgraduate Certificate in Research in Health Sciences is awarded to a student who has passed modules equivalent to 60 credits.
Modules required for interim awards
Title Credits Modules
MRes Food Science 180 All core compulsory
PG Certificate Research in Health Sciences 60 ED7143, ST7W02, ST7004
Arrangements for promoting reflective learning and personal development
The course encourages student interaction and contribution by developing their ability to work independently, in proposing and developing solutions to problems in a systematic and effective manner, and in communicating confidently and clearly both in writing and verbally. Students will be encouraged to engage meaningfully with personal development planning (PDP) through the curriculum, to enable them to reflect on, plan and review their own personal and academic skills. PDP will enable students to develop well supported claims to achievements and be able to articulate these to others and the University will enable students to recognise and record their achievements. In addition, there is continuous reflection on teaching practice within the work placement module.
Reflective and personal development will be integrated into modules taken on the course. The taught components of the course include practical skills on which students will be continually appraised and interpret both peer and tutor feedback. Students will be actively encouraged to self-reflect each week and seminar sessions will incorporate group reflection and personal development skills which will be essential to their practises in a multidisciplinary team. In addition to this the placement module includes a reflective piece of writing and through production of a portfolio of evidence they are expected to critically reflect on their placements throughout the work placement module.
Through the project, students are expected to discuss and reflect on progress with peers and supervisors to further their project, and further their understanding of the project process.
The student’s progress through the project will be closely supported by their supervisor(s) and school, and they will be encouraged to attend conferences, and help co-write papers and publish while pursuing their research.
Research students are an important part of the academic community at London Metropolitan University and are included in all conferences, lecture series and research seminar series.
Career, employability and opportunities for continuing professional development
Employment opportunities for research graduates in food science are diverse. The research programme will allow for students to progress into higher research degrees (MPhil and PhD), and the teaching stream will prepare students for teaching in food science at undergraduate and postgraduate education.
This course will serve as an excellent foundation to find your way in the food sector.
Upon completing the Food Science MRes you could pursue postgraduate study such as MPhil or PhD. This degree could propel you towards becoming a lecturer, a graduate teaching assistant, an associate lecturer or choosing a career in research. You could also work in professional research settings, private clinics, professional sports teams and organisations.
You will be required to have:
- a minimum upper second-class degree in a relevant subject area as your MRes project topic
- an application and interview will be required
To study a degree at London Met, you must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. If you require a Tier 4 student visa you may need to provide the results of a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.
If you need (or wish) to improve your English before starting your degree, the University offers a Pre-sessional Academic English course to help you build your confidence and reach the level of English you require.
Official use and codes
|Approved to run from||2019/20||Specification version||1||Specification status||Validated|
|Original validation date||19 Jun 2019||Last validation date||19 Jun 2019|
|Sources of funding||HE FUNDING COUNCIL FOR ENGLAND|
Stage 1 Level 07 September start Offered
|ED7143||Facilitating Student Learning||Core||20||NORTH||AUT+SPR||WED||PM|
|ST7004||Research Methods and Statistics||Core||20||NORTH||AUT||WED||AM|
|ST7P07||Health Sciences Research Project||Core||120|
|ST7W02||Higher Education Work Placement||Core||20||NORTH||SPR||NA|