module specification

HN5003 - Food Science and Microbiology (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Food Science and Microbiology
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Human Sciences
Total study hours 300
99 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
201 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
In-Course Test 20%   Progress tests (2) (30 min)
Coursework 30%   Nutritional Analysis & Food Label Report (2000w)
Coursework 25%   Essay (2000w)
Unseen Examination 25%   Unseen exam (1 hr)
Attendance Requirement 0%   Practical attendance
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year North Monday Afternoon

Module summary

This module covers the major food groups, developing an understanding of the chemistry, biochemistry and physical properties of foods and food components in relation to the production, processing, preparation and consumption of foods, and the way food commodities may be manufactured, placing the food industry and food labelling in a nutritional context.   The module also focusses on how commodity groups are processed into foods and the effects on nutrients of processing and preservation. Food sustainability and current trends will be highlighted. In addition, the module contains a series of laboratory practicals that include the proximate analysis of foods (e.g. moisture, fat, protein, ash, minerals) and measurement of food energy. The second section looks at the microbial world and how microorganisms could cause food spoilage, foodborne diseases as well as contribute towards preservation of our food.  The major microorganisms will be discussed, focusing on intrinsic and extrinsic factors affecting their growth in food. Also how microorganisms are controlled through food preservation and food processing methods will be discussed in detail.

Prior learning requirements

HN4003 Human Nutrition 

Module aims

The aims of this module are aligned with the qualification descriptors within the Quality Assurance Agency’s Framework for Higher Education Qualifications. This module aims to give students insight into the biochemistry of foods as key commodities and their manufacture and analysis of nutrient content and labelling. In addition how and why foods are processed, the effects of processing on nutrients and the principles of food spoilage and preservation, hygiene and safety will be covered.  The module also seeks to develop competence in discussion and written work, encouraging clarity and scientific rigour; tools often used in many employment settings, which will facilitate progression to higher level modules.


The specified learning outcomes will be developed around a framework based on the following subject matter:
General properties of food components
Principles of food analysis – chemical, physical
Chemical and physical characteristics of foods
Principles of quality assurance in the food industry and food chemical safety
Analyse the issues relating to the provision of food in the EU and elsewhere with respect to market forces, food safety, sustainability and government policies
Food labelling
Microbial world
Factors affecting the growth of microorganisms
Food preservation and processing
Nutrition and food processing
Principles of food safety & hygiene
Diet & gut flora

Learning and teaching

The syllabus will be developed through lectures (57h), tutorials/case studies (20h) and laboratory work (22h). A significant amount of learning material will be made available through the University Weblearn. Students are to carry out proximate analysis and extended analysis of foods, prepare a food label that conforms to current legal requirements and write a report about this and the factors that affect the reliability of analytical data. Students will be required to undertake further study in-depth on their own to develop their knowledge (201h).
Employability: students will develop their ability to collate and manipulate data using spreadsheets (Excel).
Employability: Students will develop their ability to analyse strategies to control food-borne diseases at home, care homes and hospitals and to establish a healthy diet.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:
1. Demonstrate an understanding of the principles of the chemistry and physics of foods.
2. Demonstrate an understanding of food processing and the effects on nutrient content.
3. Interpret food labels with respect to nutrition, ingredients and legal requirements.
4. Demonstrate an understanding of the causes and prevention of food spoilage, food-borne disease and strategies for prevention.
5. Demonstrate an understanding of human microbiota and how diet plays a role in their balance.
6. Apply food safety legislation knowledge to the practice of nutritionists and evaluate the safety of food services

Assessment strategy

This module will be assessed by web-based Progress tests (2) (30 min) covering syllabus topics food chemistry, processing, quality assurance and food safety (chemical), and an unseen exam (1hr), covering syllabus topics including food spoilage, food infection and intoxication, food preservation methods as well as diet and gut flora. The students are also expected to submit a Nutritional Analysis of Food/Food Labelling/reliability report (2000 words) plus appropriate figures, tables and references and a coursework essay (2000 words) on topics related to food safety and health. To pass the module, students must get an overall mark of 40% or above.

Component Marks Learning outcomes
Progress tests (2)    20% 1, 2,
Nutritional Analysis
     & Food Label Report (2000w)
30% 1,2,3
Coursework (essay) (2000w) 25%  4, 5
Unseen exam  (1hr) 25% 4,5,6
Practical attendance 0%  



Adams, M.R. & Moss, M.O. (2007) Food Microbiology, 3rd ed. Cambridge: Royal Society of Chemistry.
Campbell-Platt, G. (2009). Food Science and Technology. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.
Coultate, T.P. (2009) Food: the Chemistry of its Components. Cambridge: Royal Society of Chemistry.
Fellows, P.J. (2009) Food Processing Technology, 3rd ed. Cambridge: Woodhead Publishing Limited.
Forsythe, S.J. (2002) The Microbiological Risk Assessment of Food. Oxford, Blackwell Publishing.
Henry, C.J.K. & Heppell, N.J. (eds) (1998) Nutritional Aspects of Food Processing and Ingredients
New York: Aspen Publishers.
Lean, M. (2009). Fox and Cameron's Food Science, Nutrition and Health, 7th ed. London: Hodder Arnold.
Paul, A. A. & Southgate, D.A.T. (2002) McCance & Widdowson's The Composition of Foods. Cambridge: Royal Society of Chemistry.
Nielsen, S.S. (2010) Food Analysis, 4th ed. New York: Springer Science.
Shafiur Rahman, M. (2007) Handbook of food preservation, 2nd ed. Cambridge: CRC Press.
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Wheelis, M.L. (2008) Principles of Modern Microbiology. Sudbury: Jones and Bartlett.