MSc/PgDip Food Science and Innovation

How do you assess microbial contaminants in ready meals? How can we influence the taste and texture of foods to make them more desirable? How can we use new technologies to make safe, sustainable foods?

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Through this course you’ll explore 21st century food manufacturing and develop your understanding of how the biochemical properties of food components influence how foods taste and feel, and how they impact nutrition and health.

You’ll explore sensory evaluation, food law and how global trends in trade, regulation and policy influence the sustainability and wider impact of the food chain. You’ll also consider topics such as modern production and analytical technologies, functional foods and labelling legislation, and how to ensure that foods are nutritious and safe to eat.

Technical skills are vital to the food industry and they’re an important part of this course. In our dedicated food technology and biochemistry laboratories, you’ll have practical sessions in areas of food production, evaluating the sensory properties of foods, microbiology, and the chemical and physical analysis of foods.

You’ll also complete a food development project where you’ll create your own innovative foods, working on everything from marketing and sensory analysis to legal requirements – and you’ll create your product too.

Past projects include beer made from waste patisserie products, functional yogurts for elderly consumers, and sustainable vegan ice cream made with tiger nuts.

This course is also available to study part-time online

Features and Benefits

  • Technical skills - You’ll learn skills in food production, sensory analysis, microbiology and biochemistry.
  • Industry standard facilities - You’ll use our on-campus food manufacturing facilities, which includes a 10-booth sensory taste panel suite, development kitchens, and food biochemistry and physiology laboratories.
  • Food safety - You’ll carry out all aspects of food safety testing (including food microbiology, shelf life studies, mycology, RT-PCR, microscopy, and species identification) in our on-campus food safety laboratory.
  • Professional development - You can access student membership of the Institute of Food Science and Technology (IFST).
"I really enjoyed the hands-on experience of developing a food product from start to finish, including sensory analysis, packaging design and marketing of the final product.” Supamas Ruankaew - MSc Food Science and Innovation

Career Prospects

Many of our graduates begin their careers in new product development.

You could work in a variety of roles across the food and nutrition industry though, in areas such as quality and food safety, food manufacturing, food marketing and technical management.

Some of the roles you could pursue include food production manager, food technologist, consumer care manager, technical manager, food buyer, and legal compliance officer.

Learn more about graduate careers

Entry requirements

Typically, you will have a minimum 2:2 undergraduate honours degree, or an international equivalent, in an appropriate science or engineering related subject. Good honours candidates from other subjects may still be eligible if they can demonstrate significant proven professional experience in a relevant field.

Overseas applicants will require IELTS with an overall score of 6.5 with no less than 5.5 in any category, or an equivalent accepted English qualification. Accepted English qualifications can be viewed here.

Course details

Our course aims to prepare you to work in the food industry, in roles that require expertise in food technology and product development.

You’ll have days with a mix of lectures, seminars and practical sessions (such as product development in our food technology laboratories), so that you develop technical skills as well as academic knowledge of food science.

Through taught classes, you’ll explore topics from food law to flavour development, from sustainability to food processing and preservation.

You’ll consider the impact of health practitioners and consumers on product innovation, the effects of macronutrients and micronutrients on the human body, and how these can influence food product formulation.

And, you’ll learn about the impact of bacteria and fungi on food, carrying out microbiology practicals in our laboratories. This helps you to develop the skills you’ll need to study the utility and safety of microbes in foods.

In other seminar sessions, you’ll learn how to promote food safety through quality management systems, including Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP). This is so that you understand how to meet the legal responsibilities of food business operation, as well as the quality requirements of your customers.

To assess your technical skills and scientific knowledge, you’ll complete a variety of assessments. These will depend upon the units you study but some of your tasks might be to produce laboratory reports on the chemical profile of foods and their fitness for human consumption, write a paper on the social, economic and political factors influencing the food industry, or the design of a food production factory and a food safety system.

Over the duration of your course, you'll cover the following core units:

    • Fundamental Nutrition
    • Molecular Nutrition and Biochemistry
    • Food Microbiology
    • Food Processing
    • Food Safety and Quality Management
    • Food Composition and Analysis
    • Innovation in NPD
    • Future Food Sustainability
    • Dissertation with Research Methods

    For the full unit descriptions, click read more about this year of study below.

    Read more about this year of study

    Core Units

    Fundamental Nutrition

    In this unit, we'll provide you with core knowledge of dietary sources of energy, nutrients and bioactive constituents of food, nutrient deficiencies and excesses in the human diet. You'll consider the impact on the development of disease across the lifespan. You'll also develop a comprehensive understanding of nutrients and non-nutrient bioactive compounds. You'll discuss dietary recommendations and analyse programmes with the aim to improve the health of the population and the nutritional adequacy of a variety of diets.

    Molecular Nutrition and Biochemistry

    In this unit you'll extend your knowledge of the role of nutrients within the human body by exploring molecular and biochemical pathways in which macro and micronutrients are metabolised. You'll explore the role of diet in the development of disease and of the needs and goals of industrialised food formulation and production in meeting human nutritional requirements. This unit also develops your ability to present complex scientific knowledge visually and verbally to both lay and scientific audiences.

    Food Composition and Analysis

    In this unit you'll undertake activities involving the analysis of food samples from across the production chain, examine and analyse the structure and functionality of food macromolecules (proteins, fats, carbohydrates) and the influence of chemical profile on the characteristics and quality of foods, and how these can be modified by food processing. You'll also become familiar with laboratory techniques in food chemistry analysis of ingredients and composition.

    Dissertation with Research Methods

    In this unit, you'll design and undertake a significant scientific research study on a topic of professional interest and relevance in your specialist study area.

    Food Microbiology

    In this unit you'll focus on microbiological food hazards and their control, and the importance of microorganisms in food safety and quality.

    Food Processing

    In this unit you'll explore the key principles that govern individual unit operations and how these operations can be combined to build effective food production chains.

    Food Safety and Quality Management

    You'll focus on food hazards and their control, and the effective management of risk and product quality through the food chain in this unit.

    Innovation in NPD

    In this unit you'll explore New product development (NPD)and how it's vital to the economic success of the food industry and hence a strategic focus for successful companies. You'll examine in detail the key stages in the research, creation, design, development, and marketing of new products. Industry linked case studies will enable you to understand the managerial and entrepreneurial aspects of an innovative NPD process within the food and drink sector.

    Future Food Sustainability

    We've designed this unit for you to explore the risks, challenges and opportunities of food security, and innovative technologies and solutions that can increase productivity and reduce environmental impact.

    Assessment weightings and contact hours

    10 credits equates to 100 hours of study, which is a combination of lectures, seminars and practical sessions, and independent study. A masters qualification typically comprises of 180 credits, a PGDip 120 credits, a PGCert 60 credits and an MFA 300 credits. The exact composition of your study time and assessments for the course will vary according to your option choices and style of learning, but it could be:


    Department of Health Professions

    Our Department of Health Professions teaches subjects including physiotherapy, speech and language therapy, and nutritional sciences.

    The department is committed to ensuring its courses stay relevant and up-to-date with current professional practice, by maintaining links with colleagues in clinical practice and research.

    More about the department

    Taught by experts

    Your studies are supported by a team of committed and enthusiastic teachers and researchers, experts in their chosen field. We also work with external professionals, many of whom are Manchester Met alumni, to enhance your learning and appreciation of the wider subject.

    Meet our expert staff


    UK and EU students

    UK and EU students: Full-time fee: £8,500 per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

    UK and EU students: Part-time fee: £1417 per 30 credits studied per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

    Fees for this course have yet to be confirmed and will be updated shortly.

    Non-EU and Channel Island students

    Non-EU international and Channel Island students: Full-time fee: £16,000 per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

    Non-EU international and Channel Island students: Part-time fee: £2667 per 30 credits studied per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

    Fees for this course have yet to be confirmed and will be updated shortly.

    Additional Information

    A Masters qualification typically comprises 180 credits, a PGDip 120 credits, a PGCert 60 credits, and an MFA 300 credits. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of study provided the course is completed in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

    Additional costs

    All of the books required for the course are available from the library. The University also has PC labs and a laptop loan service. However, many students choose to buy some of the core textbooks for the course and/or a laptop. Students may also need to print their assignments and other documents. Campus printing costs start from 5p per page. Estimated costs are £300 for a laptop up to £100 for books and printing. Total optional cost: £400

    Postgraduate Loan Scheme

    Loans of up to £10,906 for many Postgraduate Courses

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    Alumni Loyalty Discount

    Rewarding our graduates

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    How to apply

    The quickest and most efficient way to apply for this course is to apply online. This way, you can also track your application at each stage of the process.

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    If you are unable to apply online, you can apply for postgraduate taught courses by completing the postgraduate application form. There are exceptions for some professional courses – the course information on our on-line prospectus will give you more information in these cases.

    Please note: to apply for this course, you only need to provide one reference.

    You can review our current Terms and Conditions before you make your application. If you are successful with your application, we will send you up to date information alongside your offer letter.


    Programme Review
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    Important Notice
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