Food Science BSc (Hons)Study level: Undergraduate
Focused on food production, new product design, food analysis and food safety, this course provides an opportunity to prepare for a career as a food scientist in the largest manufacturing industry in the UK.
Year of entry
Coventry University (Coventry)
3 years full-time
4 years sandwich
Food affects every person every day and, as such, there is a large regulatory framework overseeing the food industry.
Graduates are needed across the food chain from raw material inspection, production and processing through to final product evaluation.
- A focus on practice-led teaching means you will have opportunity to develop the analytical and practical skills required by employers – working with accuracy and precision to obtain data and results relevant to the skills being taught.
- The course provides an opportunity to develop an understanding of the complex commercial nature of the industry, as well as the interactions between food composition, metabolism, diet, health, and consumer science.
- Research-informed teaching brings real life examples and case studies into lecture discussions and tutorials.
Joint Top Modern University for Career ProspectsGuardian University Guide 2021 and 2022
5 QS Stars for Teaching and FacilitiesQS Stars University Ratings
Top 5 UK Student City (Coventry)QS Best Student Cities Index 2023
Why you should study this course
- Gain hands-on experience of a wide range of industry techniques in our state-of-the-art laboratories based in the multi-million-pound Alison Gingell Building4.
- Specialist industry-standard facilities include analytical equipment such as GC, GC-MS, ICP and HPLC, in addition to access to food science facilities for rheological and texture profile analysis of food and drink as well as tasting sessions2.
- Our current experienced teaching team bring a range of professional and research expertise into their teaching. Having worked as food scientists, public and environmental health professionals and nutritionists for both governmental and local councils as well as working in the food industry, they ensure you receive up-to-date information and can help you begin to establish your professional networks (staff may be subject to change).
for Food Science in
The Complete University Guide 2023
Accreditation and professional recognition
The degree is accredited1 and recognised by the following bodies:
Institute of Food Science and Technology (IFST)
This course is accredited1 by the Institute of Food Science and Technology (IFST) for the 2023/2024 intake.
Owing to my international placement, I’ve been exposed to other cultures, different perspectives, ways of communication, not to mention forced to escape my comfort zone. It’s certainly been a life-changing experience, which has broadened my horizons and helped me to understand what it means to work in the product development sector.
What you'll study
This course has a common first year.
The common first year enables you to work alongside students doing similar courses to you, to widen your knowledge and exposure to other subject areas and professions. You will have the opportunity to collaborate with other students, so you can share your insights and experience which will help you to develop and learn.
If you discover an interest in a specific subject you have studied, upon successful completion of your first year, you could swap degrees with another course in your common first year (subject to meeting progression requirements).
Common first year courses
- Food Safety, Inspection and Control BSc (Hons)
- Food Science BSc (Hons)
- Nutrition and Health BSc (Hons)
In the first year, the curriculum is shared across related courses allowing you to gain a broad grounding in the discipline before going on, in the second and third years, to specialist modules in your chosen field.
Physiology and Biochemistry for Nutrition - 20 credits
The module aims to provide an understanding of the principles of nutrition, biochemistry and human physiology that are central to the study of nutrition and food sciences. The module places a strong emphasis on the structure and function of the human body, both physiological and biochemical, in relation to health and disease. The requirements, sources and functions of macronutrients and micronutrients will be explored, in addition to UK dietary guidelines for healthy adults.
Introduction to Public Health - 20 credits
This module aims to introduce you to concepts of public health and disease, with a focus on the role of food and nutrition in disease prevention and health promotion. It covers the origins and basis of public health in current British society as well as aspects of sociology and psychology that relate to public health. The module will explore nutrition policies and programmes aimed at changing dietary behaviour and improving the health of the population with a focus on diet related diseases, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer. The module also considers public health issues relating to food safety and food-borne infection and it will introduce you to the fundamental properties of micro-organisms and their safe manipulation in the laboratory.
Chemistry of Foods - 20 credits
This module aims to introduce you to basic concepts of chemistry and in particular the chemistry of foods. The aim is to contextualize the chemistry of carbohydrates, proteins and lipids in relation to particular food commodities such as fruits and vegetables, cereal products, dairy and flesh foods and apply these concepts to aspects of food production. It also aims to give you the practical knowledge and skills to be able to analyse foods.
Introduction to Food Law and Policy - 20 credits
The module aim is to provide you with an introduction to the UK and global key stakeholders in food safety law and policy. It will consider the current legal framework and national strategies to protect public health and enable safe food trade. You will review current food safety issues and the various ways in which emerging risks are identified and controlled by food safety policy and food law. You will critically evaluate previous and current food safety issues such as the horse meat scandal and melamine in milk powder. You will therefore judge how risk assessment, risk management and risk communication work within the different law making and enforcing agencies to prioritise and protect public health.
Practical and Academic Skills for Food and Nutrition Sciences - 20 credits
This module aims to develop key skills that are of value both for successful undergraduate study and for future employment. You will be introduced to, and practise, effective literature searching and retrieval, the expectations for scientific writing at degree level, numerical and problem-solving skills, oral presentation and effective team working. The ability to work safely in both the laboratory and the academic kitchen, to carry out experiments and to analyse and present data will be covered.
Introduction to Food Preparation and Production - 20 credits
This module aims to give you a broad understanding of the issues around modern food production practices, including sustainability. You will be introduced to major food commodities and their production on a local and global scale. You will utilise your cooking skills and food safety awareness to develop, prepare and evaluate a dish/meal. You will also explore the diverse international and global food cultures.
In year two, you will develop more advanced knowledge and skills to do with nutrition across the lifespan, food microbiology, food preparation, food processing technology, food properties and material sciences, amongst others.
Research and Employability Skills for Food, Nutrition and Health - 20 credits
The module aims to enhance your research skills and to support you to reflect on your graduate attributes such as social responsibilities and valuing differences and strengthen competencies in preparation for graduate level employment. The module considers experimental design, questionnaire and survey design, sensory evaluation, research ethics, academic writing and structured literature searching. Data analysis and presentation skills, including more advanced statistical analysis techniques and additional software training, will be covered. The module also includes aspects of employability in preparation for placement or short work experience opportunities2, future careers or further study. Entrepreneurship is also considered with advice on the practicalities of self-employment as a consultant and setting up a business.
Nutrition through the Lifespan - 20 credits
This module aims to give you an insight into the factors which influence dietary choice and nutritional intake, an understanding of the differing nutritional requirements of individuals at all stages of life from pre-conception to older age and the health consequence of poor diets and the link between diet and disease. The use of case study workshops will contribute to the ability to plan diets to reduce the fat and energy content in line with UK guidelines.
Food Microbiology - 20 credits
This module aims to help you understand the roles of a variety of microbes in food fermentation and in food contamination which can lead to spoilage or food poisoning. Additionally, the gut microbiome and human health, plus host defences to microorganisms will be considered. The module also aims to discuss natural antimicrobials derived from plants and other microorganisms and the microbial aspects of food preservation. You will also develop practical laboratory skills that are essential for modern food microbiological analysis.
Principles of Food Preparation - 20 credits
The module aims to provide students with an understanding of the science behind food preparation practices. You will explore the selection of food ingredients, chemistry of cooking, cooking processes, the safe and hygienic practices in food preparation and changes taking place during domestic and industrial food preparation and cooking especially in nutritive value and quality. Emerging techniques in food preparation are also considered. You will practise and develop your research skills through the planning, execution, analysis and reporting of a group based practical mini-project.
Food Processing Technology - 20 credits
This module aims to introduce you to the purpose and principles of a range of food processing unit operations and technologies used in food manufacture and how they are applied along the food production chain from Farm to Fork. Various parameters involved in food processing and preservation will be investigated including their influences on product quality, safety, organoleptic and nutritional characteristics. You will be introduced to the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) and Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) in the food industry.
Food Properties and Material Sciences - 20 credits
This module aims to introduce you to the analysis of food materials from an instrumental, chemical, physical, molecular and rheological viewpoint. The aim of the module is to expose you to the theory behind such techniques in addition to allowing you to gain practical experience in food analysis.
There’s no better way to find out what you love doing than trying it out for yourself, which is why a work placement2 can often be beneficial. Work placements usually occur between your second and final year of study. They’re a great way to help you explore your potential career path and gain valuable work experience, whilst developing transferable skills for the future.
If you choose to do a work placement year, you will pay a reduced tuition fee3 of £1,250. For more information, please go to the fees and funding section. During this time you will receive guidance from your employer or partner institution, along with your assigned academic mentor who will ensure you have the support you need to complete your placement.
UK Work Placement– 0 credits
This module2 provides you with an opportunity to reflect upon and gain experience for an approved placement undertaken during your programme. A placement should usually be at least 26 weeks or equivalent; however, each placement will be considered on its own merits, having regard to the ability to achieve the learning outcomes.
International Study/Work Placement – 0 credits
This module2 provides you with an opportunity to reflect upon and gain experience for an approved international study/work placement undertaken during your programme. A work/study placement should usually be at least 26 weeks or equivalent; however, each placement will be considered on its own merits, having regard to the ability to achieve the learning outcomes.
Year three aims to bring you to the level to enter the world of work by consolidating your knowledge and skills from years one and two. You could also work on an independent project in an area of your interest.
Product Design - 20 credits
This module aims to encourage you to think critically about food and drink production, including food processing, preservation, storage, packaging, sensory perception, legislation and marketing. You will apply your knowledge of product design to develop, evaluate and pitch a novel food or drink product. You will build on the cooking and food hygiene skills developed in years one and two.
Research Design for Food, Safety and Nutrition Sciences - 20 credits
The module aims to prepare you for your final year research project. The module will support you through the process of defining your research question, planning your experiments and considering the most appropriate data analysis methods. The module will enhance skills in literature searching, experimental design, scientific writing, data processing and statistical analysis. You will be required to submit your proposal for ethical and health and safety approval, and to address key aspects of project management and logistics.
Independent Project in Food, Safety and Nutrition Sciences - 20 credits
The module aims to enable you to conduct a piece of investigative research, which may be laboratory or non-laboratory, in a specialised area of food, safety and nutrition sciences. You will be allowed a defined period of time in which to implement your experimental plan and collect data. During this phase, you will be supported and guided by your supervisor however you are expected to demonstrate increasing independence, organisational and time management skills, technical skills and awareness of ethical and health and safety issues. You will need to work collaboratively with other students, academic and technical staff to utilise resources effectively. You will maintain appropriate records in the form of a project work file, which includes all ethical and risk assessment requirements, raw data and details on research activities and data collection; this will be submitted for assessment as an appendix to your thesis.
The experimental data will be analysed, including use of statistics as and where appropriate. The project will be presented as a written formal thesis, evidencing understanding of relevant and current scientific literature and the ability to effectively present and critically analyse their data in this context.
Integrated Topics in Nutrition, Food and Public Health - 20 credits
The module aims to provide you with an interdisciplinary approach to current issues in food production, nutrition and public health. The module will explore current issues and trends using a global perspective. You will have opportunities to explore topics such as global food security and sustainability, alternative and fad diets and current conflicts for nutritionists in industry or public funded roles.
Food Quality, Safety and Assurance - 20 credits
The module aims to explore the advances in food safety and quality within the food industry. You will become familiar with the food safety acts, regulations, industrial food standards and safe management systems in food production and manufacture. The planning and practical aspect in investigating the quality and adulteration of food products using chemical, physical and microscopic techniques will be considered. Finally, you will evaluate the robustness of Food Safety Management Systems.
Food Biotechnology - 20 credits
This module aims to introduce you to the development and applications of biotechnology in food production, processing and additives. The interactions between the environment, processes, products, consumers as well as legislations and regulations will be considered. Topics discussed will include molecular biology, enzymology and intact cellular systems and their role in food materials and processing.
We regularly review our course content, to make it relevant and current for the benefit of our students. For these reasons, course modules may be updated.
How you'll learn
Our teaching methods include lectures, seminars, tutorials, group work and practical skills sessions. Practical sessions will be taught in our SuperLab, analytical laboratory and teaching kitchens4.
Teaching contact hours
Depending on the year of study you will typically have between 9-18 hours of structured weekly teaching and learning hours which may include activities such as workshops, laboratories, online tutorials, seminars and lectures. This will be supported by a weekly course programme hour with your tutors. In addition, you will be expected to undertake around 18 hours of self-directed study each week.
As an innovative and enterprising institution, the university may seek to utilise emerging technologies within the student experience. For all courses (whether on-campus, blended, or distance learning), the university may deliver certain contact hours and assessments via online technologies and methods.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are prepared for courses due to start in or after the 2023/2024 academic year to be delivered in a variety of forms. The form of delivery will be determined in accordance with Government and Public Health guidance. Whether on campus or online, our key priority is staff and student safety.
This course will be assessed using a variety of methods which will vary depending upon the module.
Assessment methods include:
- Group work
- Individual assignments
The Coventry University Group assessment strategy ensures that our courses are fairly assessed and allows us to monitor student progression towards achieving the intended learning outcomes.
International experience opportunities
Our placement/study abroad option allows a full year work placement, which can be taken abroad, or you can undertake a study year abroad2. Previous students in our school have been successful in securing places to study in Spain, France, Canada and the US.
This course typically attracts international students, providing a diverse learning experience. This enhances the discussion of issues such as globalisation of foods and provides all students with a global perspective of developments in food, health and nutrition.
Please note that all international experience opportunities may be subject to additional costs, competitive application, availability and meeting applicable visa and travel requirements are therefore not guaranteed2.
Working in state-of-the-art laboratories, full of industry-standard equipment is what excites me the most.
Typical offer for 2023/24 entry.
Not got the required grades? We offer this degree with an integrated foundation year.
Fees and funding
2023/24 tuition fees.
|UK, Ireland*, Channel Islands or Isle of Man||£9,250 per year||Not available|
|EU|| £9,250 per year with EU support bursary**
£18,300 per year without EU support bursary**
|International||£18,300 per year||Not available|
If you choose to do a work placement2, you should consider travel and living costs to cover this. There is also a tuition fee3 of £1,250 that will cover your academic support throughout your placement year.
For advice and guidance on tuition fees and student loans visit our Undergraduate Finance page and see The University’s Tuition Fee and Refund Terms and Conditions.
We offer a range of International scholarships to students all over the world. For more information, visit our International Scholarships page.
Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessments, facilities and support services. There may be additional costs not covered by this fee such as accommodation and living costs, recommended reading books, stationery, printing and re-assessments should you need them. Find out what's included in your tuition costs.
The following are additional costs not included in the tuition fees:
- Any optional overseas ﬁeld trips or visits: £400+ per trip.
- Any costs associated with securing, attending or completing a placement (whether in the UK or abroad)
*Irish student fees
The rights of Irish residents to study in the UK are preserved under the Common Travel Area arrangement. If you are an Irish student and meet the residency criteria, you can study in England, pay the same level of tuition fees as English students and utilise the Tuition Fee Loan.
**EU support bursary
Following the UK's exit from the European Union, we are offering financial support to all eligible EU students who wish to study an undergraduate or a postgraduate degree with us full-time. This bursary will be used to offset the cost of your tuition fees to bring them in-line with that of UK students. Students studying a Degree with a Foundation Year with us are not eligible for the bursary.
How do you know if you need to pay UK or international tuition fees?
We carry out an initial fee status assessment based on the information you provide in your application. Your fee status determines your tuition fees, and what financial support and scholarships may be available to you. The rules about who pays UK (home) or international (overseas) fees for higher education courses in England are set by the government's Department for Education. The regulations identify all the different categories of student who can insist on paying the home rate. The regulations can be difficult to understand, so the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) has provided fee status guidance to help you identify whether you are eligible to pay the home or overseas rate.
If you meet all the criteria required by any one category, including any residence requirements, your institution must charge you the home rate. You only need to find one category that you fit into.
This course is taught at the Coventry University campus, primarily in the Alison Gingell building. Our aim is to offer you sector-leading facilities4.
Our state-of-the-art SuperLab can hold up to 250 students at one time and has facilities for cell and microbial culture and equipment for microscopy, DNA, RNA and protein extraction and analysis.
Analytical Chemistry Suite
The Analytical Chemistry Suite is a dedicated space for chemistry-based teaching. Students can complete ‘wet’ chemistry and preparatory work, complemented by a comprehensive suite of analytical equipment which includes ICP-OES, uHPLC, HPLC, Fluorescence Spectrometers, UV Spectrometers, GC, and GC-MS.
You will use the kitchens for a variety of tasks where you develop understanding of food processing relevant to industry and local authority food inspection, including how risks are controlled, such as sous vide, investigating gas analysis of modified atmosphere packed products, and conducting a mock kitchen inspection.
Careers and opportunities
The food industry encompasses a wide range of businesses, from some of the largest global multinational companies to a vast array of small to medium enterprises, involving manufacturing, processing, developing, importing and exporting.
Graduates are needed across the food chain from raw material inspection, production and processing through to final product evaluation. This degree aims to provide students who wish to work in any part of the food chain process, including the areas of food and nutritional sciences, with the knowledge and skills to evaluate and analyse food in respect of safety, quality and nutrition.
Coventry University is committed to preparing you for your future career and aims to give you a competitive edge in the graduate job market. The university's Talent Team provide a wide range of support services to help you plan and prepare for your career4.
A wide range of potential career opportunities may include fields such as food analysis and safety, product development, quality assurance, regulatory affairs, food production, biological and analytical research and postgraduate study.
My technical placement year in the dairy industry with Yeo Valley was an incredibly exciting experience. I have worked with a dedicated team and acquired valuable experience in industrial processing.
How to apply
Full-time students applying to start in September 2023 can apply for this course through UCAS from 6 September 2022. Read our application pages to find out your next steps to apply.
Part-time students should apply directly to the university.
If you'd like further support or more information about your course get in touch with us today.
Full-time students applying to start in September 2023 should apply directly to the university.How to apply
For further support for international applicants applying for an undergraduate degree view our International hub.
You can also download our International guide which contains lots of useful information about our courses, accommodation and tips for travel.
Get in touch with us today for further advice and guidance.
Coventry University together with Coventry University London Campus, CU Coventry, CU London, CU Scarborough and Coventry University Online come together to form part of the Coventry University Group (the “University”) with all degrees awarded by Coventry University.
The majority of our courses have been formally recognised by professional bodies, which means the courses have been reviewed and tested to ensure they reach a set standard. In some instances, studying on an accredited course can give you additional benefits such as exemptions from professional exams (subject to availability, fees may apply). Accreditations, partnerships, exemptions and memberships shall be renewed in accordance with the relevant bodies’ standard review process and subject to the university maintaining the same high standards of course delivery.
2UK and international opportunities
Please note that we are unable to guarantee any UK or International opportunities (whether required or optional) such as internships, work experience, field trips, conferences, placements or study abroad opportunities and that all such opportunities may be subject to additional costs (which could include, but is not limited to, equipment, materials, bench fees, studio or facilities hire, travel, accommodation and visas), competitive application, availability and/or meeting any applicable travel COVID and visa requirements. To ensure that you fully understand the visa requirements, please contact the International Office.
The University will charge the tuition fees that are stated in the above table for the first Academic Year of study. The University will review tuition fees each year. For UK (home) students, if Parliament permit an increase in tuition fees, the University may increase fees for each subsequent year of study in line with any such changes. Note that any increase is expected to be in line with inflation.
For International Students, we may increase fees each year but such increases will be no more than 5% above inflation. If you defer your course start date or have to extend your studies beyond the normal duration of the course (e.g. to repeat a year or resit examinations) the University reserves the right to charge you fees at a higher rate and/or in accordance with any legislative changes during the additional period of study.
Due to COVID-19, some facilities (including some teaching and learning spaces) and some non-academic offerings (particularly in relation to international experiences), may vary from those advertised and may have reduced availability or restrictions on their use.
By accepting your offer of a place and enrolling with us, a Student Contract will be formed between you and the university. A copy of the 2023/24 contract can be found here. The Contract details your rights and the obligations you will be bound by during your time as a student and contains the obligations that the university will owe to you. You should read the Contract before you accept an offer of a place and before you enrol at the university.