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Liwen Zheng studied as an undergraduate at Henan Technology University in China before transferring onto our BSc Food Technology with Bioprocessing course as part of the 2+2 programme. She enjoyed studying in the Department so much that she decided to stay on at Reading to study a master's degree.

Building practical knowledge and transferable skills

At Reading, all Food and Nutritional Sciences undergraduates take part in a New Product Development (NPD) module, working in a team to create a new food product. Liwen and her team created OAT-YOG, a vegan, oat-based vanilla yoghurt snack. The team entered Ecotrophelia - an international industry competition, whereby students showcase eco-innovative food products to industry judges - and successfully reached the UK final.

"After the NPD module and Ecotrophelia competition, I realised the importance of innovation in the food industry. I also realised that I wanted to build on the knowledge I gained from my undergraduate degree and, in particular, build on my practical skills."

So how could Liwen build up her practical knowledge and transferable skills, both of which would enhance her employability in the food sector?

Finding a quality master's course

Liwen decided to stay on at Reading to study for a master's in Food Technology – Quality Assurance. The modules in Food Control Management and Risk Analysis in the Food chain particularly appealed to her, because they teach skills and knowledge that are useful in the industry she aspires to work in.

"I wanted to stay at Reading because the Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences has a high reputation in the food industry. I love the environment and facilities here, and I like the lecturers and the way they convey their knowledge. I found that the MSc Food Technology: Quality Assurance course could meet my requirement of gaining more practical knowledge."

Liwen's next steps

Liwen is enjoying her extra year of study in the Department, and is confident that her master's qualification will boost her employability and help her reach her career goals.

"I plan to join the New Product Development Department of a food company in the future. I am learning skills such as team working, independent learning, problem solving, communication and interpersonal skills to achieve my aspiration."

Beyond the Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences, Liwen is thriving at the University. She's making the most of extracurricular activities, events, and support opportunities - such as careers advice, help with her visa, and language support - and making friends with students from a range of countries in the process.

"The campus is like a global village, which includes all kinds of cultures and languages. It will feel like home if you choose to study here."

Athena SWAN Silver Award