FROM WHICH COURSE: AN INDEPENDENT EDUCATIONAL PUBLISHING MAGAZINE

Food Science: A degree for those fascinated by all aspects of food'


What are the entry requirements for this course?

Entry requirements vary between different universities, but offers typically range from EE to BBB at A-level, or 180-300 points. Subjects commonly required, or preferred, include one or more of maths, biology, chemistry and physics; some institutions offer a foundation year to get you up to speed if you don't have these A-levels.

Who applies?

Food is a topic that interests us all. From the worrying rise in childhood obesity to whether additives or GM products are safe, it is hard to go a week without seeing some sort of food issue in the news. And, with the current raised awareness about the links between diet, health and lifestyle, it doesn't look as if food will be off the public conscience's menu anytime soon.

The term "food science" may conjure up an image of home economics lessons in your mind but there's a lot more to the subject than that! People who study for a degree in this area are normally fascinated by all aspects of food: how it is produced, what makes it safe, how it reacts to various stimuli and how it can help combat a range of illnesses and diseases.

What does the course involve?

Food science degrees involve a mixture of learning in groups and individually. Subjects covered in lectures are often discussed in greater depth in tutorials and seminars, while practical classes and lab work let you put theory into practice. In the final year of most courses, students will be expected to carry out research into a topic of their own choosing to consolidate their learning.

The sort of topics covered include: human nutrition, origins and forms in food, food and cancer, solving food-processing problems, recipe analysis, consumer trends, marketing, and research and communication skills.

Food science courses tend to be quite practical in nature and virtually all offer students the opportunity to undertake a work placement as part of their assessment procedure. At the University of Leeds, for example, students spend six months in a major UK food company, while those at the University of Abertay, Dundee, spend 10 weeks in one of many settings including food companies, consumer advice centres and media centres. Some institutions can even help their undergraduates find a placement in a European country, if so desired.

How would I be assessed?

Most courses are assessed via a mixture of continuous assessments, such as coursework assignments, class tests and formal exams.

How long does it last?

Usually three years for full-time courses, or four years if a sandwich year in industry or a year studying abroad is taken.

Are there opportunities available for further study?

Some universities offer higher degrees in areas related to food science. Reading University offers either a two-year MPhil or a three-year PhD in such areas as food and bioprocessing sciences, human nutrition, and food microbial sciences. Graduates at the University of Wales in Cardiff can benefit from the Government-funded knowledge-transfer schemes, in which they can work on projects within the food industry while gaining further qualifications such as an MPhil.

What career options are there when the course is completed?

Over 500,000 people are employed in the UK's food and drink industry, which has a turnover of £70bn - 15 per cent of the manufacturing sector. Britain is a world leader in the fields of food science and technology but its success depends on being able to employ enough well-qualified food science graduates to work within the related fields.

Job vacancies typically exist in research and development, quality control, hygiene, packaging, food microbiology and food analysis. There are also opportunities in allied areas such as communication, marketing, retail management, health, dietetics and more general management fields.

Katy Hamilton, 20, has just finished the final year of her food science and nutrition degree at Northumbria University

"I did A-levels in biology, sociology and food technology. I have always loved food and knew I wanted to be involved in something related to it. The first year of the course was very practical in nature, to familiarise us with all the lab equipment we would be using.

Overall, the course was a good mixture of lectures and practical sessions. Assessment was more or less continuous; through essays, lab reports, group work, presentations and a third-year dissertation. I also undertook a five-week placement with the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle. I'm hoping for a great mark in my finals and then plan to find some work in new product development, specialising in nutrition."

Donna Rutherford, 23, works as a food sciences teacher at Treorchy Comprehensive School in the Rhondda, South Wales

"After graduating in July 2005, I undertook a PGCE at the University of Wales in Cardiff and am now a full-time secondary school teacher. I teach home economics to 11- to 14-year-olds, GCSE catering to 14- to 16-year-olds, A-level health and social care, and BTEC early years.

My job is so enjoyable. It allows me to pass on my enthusiasm about food to pupils, although maintaining their interest can be challenging at times, as is encouraging them to continue with food sciences at higher levels. In July, I will have completed my first year of teaching and am happy where I am. In the future, I would like to become head of department, but not for a long time yet!"

WEB WATCH

Institute of Food Science and Technology

The professional body for food science and technology

www.ifst.org

Food science technology careers

Careers and course in the industry

www.foodtechcareers.org

British Nutrition Foundation

For healthy eating information and resources

www.nutrition.org.uk

www.independentezines.co.uk

Voices
Homeless Veterans charity auction: Cook with Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick at Merchants Tavern
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
Sport
Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
boxing Exclusive: Amir Khan reveals plans to travel to Pakistan
Arts and Entertainment
J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
booksBooksellers say readers are turning away from modern thrillers and back to golden age of crime writing
News
Stacey Dooley was the only woman to be nominated in last month’s Grierson awards
mediaClare Balding and Davina McCall among those overlooked for Grierson awards
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Twitchers see things differently, depending on their gender
scienceNew study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Voices
Vivienne Westwood and her son Joe Corré deliver an anti-fracking letter to No 10 last week
voicesThe great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
News
Xander van der Burgt, at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
scienceA Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
Life and Style
A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
life
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Student

Ashdown Group: Trainee / Graduate Helpdesk Analyst

£20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly reputable business is looking to rec...

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Software Developer

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Join a fast growing software co...

Guru Careers: Graduate Account Executive / Digital Account Executive

£20k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Graduate / Digital Account Exe...

Guru Careers: Junior Designer / Design Graduate

£18k: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Junior Designer / Design Graduate to join...

Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick