Delve into the world of food with our MSc Food Science course.
The safety, quality and nutritional properties of the food that reaches consumers depends upon food scientists.
Building on your scientific undergraduate studies, this course will allow you to gain an in-depth knowledge of the science of food. Taught by academics from the Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences, topics include:
food quality and safety
manufacturing and process.
Our Department is a world authority on food and human nutrition. We have leading experts in all of the component disciplines that contribute to food and nutritional science – a claim that no other UK department can make.
You will become accustomed to working in extensive, industry-standard laboratories. Our food-teaching facilities include:
Food Processing Centre. This pilot plant is unique to Reading. There is almost 1100m2 of floor space devoted to approximately £4m worth of equipment. Used primarily for teaching and learning, the plant contains processing equipment for food product development work. No other UK university offers what we do under one roof.
Flavour Centre. The Centre hosts facilities that enable you to gain comprehensive practical experience in taste and aroma analysis, and flavour extraction.
Sensory Science Centre. Our in-house sensory facility gives you the opportunity to evaluate your own food products developed on the course. It is also available for commercial sensory profiling and market research activities.
We are proud of our research impact, 100% of which has been recognised as world leading or internationally excellent (REF, 2014 – Agriculture, Veterinary and Food Science). As an MSc Food Science student, you will also have access to – and are encouraged to get involved in – the most up-to-date knowledge in the field of food science and nutrition.
Gain valuable industry experience with MSc Food Science
Our MSc Food Science is industry relevant, and the curriculum has been designed in consultation with industry. Designed to widen your skill set and boost employability, you will be encouraged to complete a research project with one of our industry partners. This is an opportunity to embed your learning in practice and undertake research in an area you are interested in, such as new product development or formulation.
Plus, our well-equipped building offers training opportunities for further research on graduation.
Build on your existing knowledge
This master’s course is for graduates of pure sciences – such as chemistry, biology, biochemistry and microbiology – or applied sciences. Examples of applied sciences degrees include:
If you’re unsure whether your degree counts as an applied science, please contact us via reading.ac.uk/question.
This module underpins the study of food science and technology at postgraduate level. It encompasses the role and impact of the chemical properties of food components on food structure and function, including structure, texture, flavour and colour.
Gain a systematic understanding of food manufacturing processes, including the basic concepts of food processing, how individual unit operations are applied in food commodities, and how these are integrated during commercial manufacturing. You will also benefit from hands-on pilot plant experience.
Develop the necessary skills to conduct sensory evaluation within the food industry. You will explore the underpinning factors which influence perception and behaviour, from the physical stimulant to psychological factors.
Covering the multidisciplinary approach of food product reformulation, this module enables you understand ingredient selection and functionality, nutritional and quality attributes, technological processes, and health claims.
This modules provides a multidimensional understanding of the problem solving involved in the industrial development and production of food. You will apply scientific concepts to industry scenarios, checking for both quality and safety issues in food products.
A continuing cause for concern in the food industry, taints and off-odours can lead to product withdrawal, reduced customer base, and financial loss. You will examine reported incidents in related to how they were identified, solved and mitigated.
Learn how to undertake a detailed research project on an individual topic. Using a laboratory, the pilot plant, the sensory suite, or facilities available to you while in industry, you will collect and analyse data as an independent research scientist.
This module will help you to develop the skills required to complete an independent investigation into an aspect of research in the chemical sciences.
Please note that all modules are subject to change. Please see our modules disclaimer for more information.
How much will it cost?
New UK/EU students: £8,840 per year
New international students: £19,715 per year
Fees and funding information
The fees listed are for full-time study, unless otherwise stated, and relate to courses starting in September 2020. Fee information will be confirmed in offer letters sent out to successful applicants. You can find further information on fees and funding, including for part-time study, through our dedicated fees and funding page.
These course fees cover the cost of your tuition. Some courses will require additional payments for field trips and extra resources. You will also need to budget for your accommodation and living costs. See our information on living costs for more details.
Scholarships and financial support
4 scholarships of £5,000 each for international students offered admission to: MSc
Nutrition and Food Science, MSc Food Science, or MSc Food Technology - Quality
For more information about these scholarships, as well as
the University of Reading’s other master’s scholarships, please visit our master’s
You can apply for a scholarship once you hold an offer of
admission for your course. If you are eligible for a scholarship, we will
contact you to guide you through the process.
What career can you have?
Careers for MSc Food Science graduates
With expertise in a field which affects food producers, governments and consumers, highly qualified food specialists are in demand. The food and drink industry is the UK’s largest manufacturing sector. It’s responsible for adding £21.9bn to the gross value of the UK economy – and it needs new graduates to meet its recruitment needs.
Your market-relevant knowledge will be applicable to a range of organisations. These include: multinational food manufacturers, ingredient suppliers, major retail chains, government bodies and companies supplying niche markets.
Recent graduates have secured roles such as:
Process Technologist with Pepsico International
Quality Executive with Agro Tech Foods
New Product Developer with Bakkavor
Food Technologist with Tesco
Research and Development Technologist with Kerry Ingredients and Flavours
Alternatively, you could progress to PhD-level study.
Read more about where our MSc Food Science graduates are now
Faye Wheller returned to education to boost her knowledge and skill set, choosing Reading for its facilities and flexibility. After completing her master's, she's been able to expand her work opportunities as a lecturer, and hopes to progress to PhD study.