Food science is the branch of science that specifically looks at the properties of food, and how we can apply this knowledge in the processing, production, preservation, sanitation and distribution of food. With the current issues surrounding food availability and distribution, food safety and quality, sustainability, and health and nutrition, our understanding of food is becoming more and more crucial.
An undergraduate degree in food science will give you a foundation of knowledge in the area. You will study modules on food technology, food materials and ingredients, bacterial physiology, immunology, and nutrition regulation. These modules will allow you to build your knowledge around all areas of food science.
Your degree will be delivered in a mixture of modes. These will include lectures and seminars, as well as practical and food laboratory sessions. You may be required to take part in a food industry placement.
Depending on where you choose to study, you may be able to specialise towards the end of your degree. This specialisation can influence the area in which you choose to work after you have graduated. Common specialisations include:
If your degree requires you to write a dissertation or submit a major research project in your final year, this will give you the opportunity to further research a favoured area of food science.
The accreditation of a food science degree will depend on where you choose to study. Different countries have different accreditation systems. Typically, you can expect to be awarded a Bachelor of Science (BSc).
Depending on your career path after you have graduated, you may be presented with further opportunities to earn professional or academic certifications and qualifications.
Generally, an undergraduate degree in food science will take three to four years to complete. Foundation degrees, diplomas and certificates can last up to two years, when studied full-time.
Once you have successfully completed your food science degree, you can choose to either seek employment in your chosen area, or further your studies. Continuation of your studies might be in the form of a postgraduate degree, such as a masters or PhD, or a graduate diploma or certificate.
The entry requirements for a food science degree will depend on where you choose to study. Some universities might require you to sit an entrance exam, where others may rely on previous exam results. Some universities may prefer you to have studied certain subjects, and others might consider previous relevant work experience.
You should check each institution to see what entry requirements they have for their food science programmes.
Tuition fees for international students are not fixed. This means that they can vary greatly from institution to institution. You should make sure that you are aware of how much your course will cost you.
You may be eligible for a scholarship or funding. This could be awarded by your institution, or by a separate funding body. For more information, visit our scholarships and funding section.
Food science graduates will be suited to many different career paths. You may choose to work in a role directly related to food science. This could include the production and processing of food, quality assurance and safety, sales and marketing, and the regulation of food standards and laws.
You will have gained a wide range of transferable skills throughout your degree. These will be useful in a variety of job roles in different industries. Skills gained will include data collection and analysis, attention to detail, and presentation of reports and results.
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