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Food and nutritional sciences have such an important role to play in our society – but it is still one of the lesser known disciplines. Our outreach programme means that we can help people beyond the University to learn valuable knowledge. From school children to teachers, community groups to professionals, we are engaged in bringing the food sciences to the wider community.

What people learn

We want people to understand why food safety and quality are important, and what the key scientific concepts behind that safety are.  When people have this knowledge, we can explain the importance of our work and the work of our graduates to provide a sustainable food supply around the world.  We teach this knowledge in a number of formats: career seminars, agricultural shows, industry groups and visits to schools. In each case, we are careful to ensure that the content is tailored to the audience for maximum engagement.

Summer School

Our Summer School is run every year for sixth form students. Sponsored by the food industry, the Summer School aims to teach students how rewarding a career in the food industry can be.

There will be talks by academics on topics such as "Sourdough Science" and "Unpicking the ingredients on a loaf of bread".

You will also have the opportunity to carry out hands-on activities in your kitchen such as baking bread rolls and rating them according to their colour, texture and flavour – just like we would in the food industry.

There will be ample opportunity to ask our students and admissions tutor Dr Maria Jose Oruna-Concha all your questions about the course or student life.

You will also hear from our graduates, who are working for various companies in the food and nutrition sector.

Please note the summer school will be held virtually this year.

School visits to the university

We believe it is important to teach school pupils about food sciences so that they have enough knowledge of the subject to consider it as a career option and take relevant sixth form courses. When visiting the University, pupils will go on a tour of the facility, have an introductory talk about our courses and a practical demonstration.  For sixth form students, we work with the Chemistry Department to offer technical workshops which address important aspects of the A level syllabus.

Are you interested in organising a visit to our department? Just email us at food@reading.ac.uk to let us know how many students you'd like to bring and when you'd like to visit.

Undergraduate Ambassador Scheme

The national Undergraduate Ambassador Scheme (UAS) allows our BSc students to work on their final year project in a school. This provides our students with a valuable experience of engaging school pupils in their subject, as well as allowing us to build excellent links with schools and teachers. We have successfully partnered with several local schools including Abbey Junior School, Leighton Park School and Whiteknights Primary School.

Outreach events

We take as many opportunities as we can to bring food and nutritional sciences to the public. The department runs Open Days which include tours and lectures. We have also helped run the University's stand at the Berkshire County Show, offering exhibits about our work in functional food, the science of bread making and more.

Contact us

For more information on our outreach programmes and events within the community, please get in touch with us.