Undergraduate study
Food Science and Engineering

BSc (Hons) Food Science and Engineering

UCAS code: D631 BSc/FSE

This is the ideal launch pad if you have an interest in a career as a food scientist, food technologist or food engineer.

Course information

Full-time

  • Length: 3 years (or 4 years with work placement)

More full-time details

Part-time

  • 6 years if entering Year 1; 4 years if entering Year 2

More part-time details

  • Timetable governed - please contact our admissions office
  • Enrolment date: September
  • Admission enquiries: 01642 738800

Contact details

Further information

As the world population increases, food technologists are challenged with developing innovative applications in agricultural technology, biotechnology and processing of raw food materials, as well as understanding the link between food, nutrition and health.

The work is varied, stimulating, challenging and offers excellent career prospects. Currently over one million people are employed in the UK food industry, which is worth around £75 billion to the gross national product. Almost every food item you see in the supermarket will have had some input from a food scientist, food technologist or food engineer during its development. With an in-depth knowledge of agricultural food production, the raw food materials and how these can be handled, processed and packaged, such professionals ensure that the food offered to consumers is safe, nutritional and meets legal health and safety standards. As well as requiring technical skills, their work may include business development, marketing and management.

Starting salaries for graduate food technologists can be as high as £26,000, increasing to £65,000+ when you reach a senior level (prospects.ac.uk 2015).

Fully equipped microbiological and chemical analysis laboratories enable you to undertake a series of relevant practical investigative projects through which you will explore a range of ingredients and food products. A dedicated food product development laboratory is fitted with small scale processing equipment, allowing you to gain valuable hands-on experience of both food processing and food product development.

In the first and second year of study you focus on a number of key discipline-based topics including food science and nutrition, food commodities and agriculture, food science and chemistry, food processing engineering.

The final-year modules, Food Product Development, Functional Foods and Food Safety Management integrate key concepts and prepare you for entry into a career in the food industry. You also develop your independent learning skills by undertaking a research project in food technology. You develop key skills in research and creating and applying knowledge.

Course structure

Year 1 core modules

Biochemistry and Chemical Science

Biochemistry, the study of the chemistry of life, is one of the most important and exciting areas of science. It spans areas including biomedical science, nutrition, drug design, forensic science, agriculture and manufacturing. It covers the most important principles of biochemistry including the structure of the atom, chemical bonding and the forces that operate between molecules, chemical reactions and biological pathways. You study the chemistry of carbon and why it is capable of forming the complex 3D modules that make life possible. And you study important groups of biological molecules in detail including proteins, carbohydrates, lipids and nucleic acids.

Cell Biology and Microbiology

The cellular basis of all living organisms is one of the characteristics which defines life. This module explores the common features and the immense diversity of form and function displayed by cells of organisms. The module will increase your understanding of biological processes at the cellular level. It covers the structure and function of major cellular components and examines how fundamental processes within cells are organised and regulated, such as gene and protein expression. It also addresses the mechanisms by which cells divide, reproduce and differentiate. You study the historical development of cell biology and microbiology advances in theoretical and practical aspects of the discipline. You explore how knowledge of the biology of microorganisms, including bacteria and viruses, has informed the identification and control of infectious diseases. You also examine the beneficial roles of many microorganisms and their utilisation in genetic engineering and biotechnology.

Core Skills in Food Science

Knowledge of the degree subject is not the only thing you learn whilst at university and it’s not the only thing that potential employers are looking for after graduation. You also need to develop a range of skills applicable for a variety of career pathways These include your ability to articulate yourself clearly, confidently and effectively to different audiences; to work independently or on your own initiative demonstrating creativity and adaptability when tackling problems where you don’t have all the necessary information available; to locate information and critically assess its usefulness; and to make efficient and effective use of the latest information technology.

You also learn to assess your own performance, giving you the chance to recognise and build on your strengths, and identify and improve your weaknesses as a way to raise your aspirations. This module also introduces you to basic principles and good practice in collecting, recording and evaluating data, and using information resources and referencing. You also consider the assessment and handling of scientific errors. You review a range of basic mathematical skills and introduce statistical methods that are essential in a wide range of scientific endeavour. Emphasis is placed on using spreadsheets for data recording, presentation and statistical analysis.

Food and Health Investigations

You consider the legal principles of health, safety, environment and ethics facing the professional in the workplace, and have the opportunity to work in teams in order to solve a routine, employer-relevant problem. Your technical and practical knowledge is supplemented by learning employability skills such as time management, presentation of work, and research to support problem solving in a technical context

Food Chain and Sustainability

You examine the major food commodities from technical, agricultural, sustainability and food industry perspectives. Through this module you explore the food supply chain including the structure and organisation of various food production including meat, fish, cereal, fruit, vegetable, dairy and brewery.

Food Science and Nutrition

This module provides you with an introduction to the fundamental concepts that underpin modern food science and nutrition. This includes a review of the composition of food, in terms of macronutrients and micronutrients. You also look at energy in food and the consequences of malnutrition, addressing the question of how to translate our understanding of food and nutrition science into public health initiatives that actually change people’s behaviour for the better.

This translational science agenda provides the rationale for the course and introduces you to the issues surrounding food, nutrition and translational science

 

Year 2 core modules

Bioreactors and Fermentation

This industry-linked module develops a broad understanding of bioprocesses and selecting appropriate bioreactors for selective products. This includes bioreactions, principles of microbial fermentation with specific examples (medium constituents, choice of feedstock, media preparation), fermentation conditions (examples, types, mode of operation of fermenters) and design of bioreactors. You discuss some fundamental products of aerobic and anaerobic fermentations with examples from biofuels, biosurfactants, enzymes, probiotics, pharmaceuticals and healthcare. You also discuss scaling up fermentation and waste minimisation issues.

Food Manufacturing and Processing

This module allows you to develop key employability skills that support the food production process. You explore appropriate food production methods from the prospective of process development. You also gain an understanding of organisational structures, culture, leadership and individual performance.

Food Safety and Law

During this module, you investigate a range of current food safety and regulatory issues. A broad range of factors affect food safety, including food-borne pathogens, chemical safety and foreign object contamination, and you study all of these, together with the implementation of food safety management systems including HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points).

You acquire a comprehensive understanding of the law relating to food safety, the compositional requirements, labeling, and advertising of food for human consumption. The module content will be delivered via a series of lecturers and tutorials that allow you to develop a critical understanding of the complex nature of key food law and food safety issues. You develop your sampling skills and techniques through practical sessions

Food Science and Chemistry

This module examines the chemistry and composition of foods and introduces you to, and gives you practical experience in a wide range of chemical and other analysis techniques commonly applied to raw materials and food products.

Human Diseases and Immunology

Infectious diseases are responsible for a third of global mortality and have a significant impact on quality of life on a worldwide basis. This module examines the organisms able to generate pathogenic interactions with human populations and takes a systems-based approach, for example gastrointestinal, respiratory and genitourinary tract, to examine the virulence determinants, pathology, characteristics and epidemiology of selected pathogens. You are also introduced to the current molecular and cellular biology of pathogen interactions and co-evolution with host cells, and their relevance to human diseases. And you consider the factors contributing to the emergence of devastating pandemics and new diseases, in particular the significance of zoonotic diseases. The module reviews the extensive array of protein and cell-based responses which are typically launched against microbial pathogens as part of the innate and acquired immune response. You analyse the effectiveness of strategies used to treat and control the transmission of infectious diseases.

Science Research Methods and Proposal

You will take this module if you are studying a science degree and complete a hypothesis-driven research project at Level 6 of your degree studies. It is delivered though lectures, tutorials and workshops.

You develop a proposal for your research project, which includes an explanation of the project targeted at both a specialist audience and the general public, and details of experimental design and statistical analysis to be employed. The proposal considers academic beneficiaries and economic, environmental and societal impacts. Project costs are estimated on the basis of a full economic costing model. In addition, the proposal is supported by a targeted CV.

A short lecture series at the start of the academic year provides you with an introduction to the module and advice on completing the research proposal documentation, followed by a series of assessment centre-style workshops and tasks which help assign you to a specific research project area and supervisor. These tasks familiarise you with the type of activities you might face during the application, interview and selection procedures.

You must produce a research proposal for your individual project. You are supported by a series of meetings with your supervisor to provide feedback on your progress.

For the proposal to be considered you must acquire ethical clearance from the School Research Ethics Committee. Once you are allocated a project you join discipline-based tutorials with other students. Each discipline operates tutorial sessions, which are used to provide academic guidance and support for completing ethical clearance documentation and the proposal. A series of research methodology-based workshops introduce you to various experimental designs and statistical techniques relevant to your discipline. These sessions also demonstrate how you can use software such as Minitab, SPSS and Excel to present and analyse datasets. These workshops help you decide on the design and analysis of the data associated with your project.

The module is assessed by you successfully acquiring ethical clearance (pass/fail) and submitting a completed research project proposal and supporting CV (100%).

 

Year 3 core modules

Advanced Food Manufacturing

This module provides you with the knowledge of different manufacturing processes, and the food science and technology behind these technologies.
Through the structure of the module, you will accelerate the development of employability skills such as auditing, project management, research and commercial awareness in order to support HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) management in a manufacturing context.
Practical issues such as health, safety, environment and ethics facing the environmental health professional in the manufacturing environment will also be considered.
You will produce an individual report based on a manufacturing system design project and a oral group presentation.

Food Product Development

You learn to successfully project manage food products through a new product development (NPD) cycle. You go through the stages required to launch a new food product, from conception of the idea to product launch, and evaluate the product through sensory and non-sensory techniques.
You work to develop a new food product aimed at a specific target market, typically associated with nutritional diseases (e.g. Celiac Sufferers, Renal Patients, Diabetes, etc.), and you apply key nutritional knowledge from research into developing a new product for one of these groups.

Lectures and tutorials deliver the core concepts of the module, while you also complete an individual report based on the product development project as part of your assessment

Food Safety Management and Control

Emerging new sectors in the food industry have brought with them new challenges and novel problems. This module investigates a range of current food related safety issues, explores the analysis of risk and reviews current hygiene practices in the food industry. You also examine the implementation, auditing and evaluation of appropriate processes. You study procedures to effect safe processing of foods in respect of current legislation from both an enforcement and advisory perspective.

Functional Food

You examine issues surrounding the increasingly economically important area of functional foods. You cover topics such as defining functionality, potential benefits to human health and whether these claims can be substantiated, sources of functional food ingredients, UK and European legislation, analysing specified micronutrients and marketing issues. You examine the key issues surrounding functional foods, critically analyse the claims made for functional food ingredients, assess the effectiveness of functional food products and their potential for health improvement, and implement functional food labelling strategies in the context of relevant UK and EU legislation.

Science Research Project

You bring together a range of practical and academic skills, developed in previous years of study, to interrogate a particular aspect of your field of study. You specialise in a particular area of science, supported by an appointed research supervisor who will act as a mentor and guide you through the development and completion of your research project.

You are required to present a poster and abstract at the School’s annual Poster Day event, which is attended by academics of the School, external examiners, and professionals from the region. The poster contributes to your final project mark. Throughout the project you are expected to maintain systematic and reliable records of your research which are reviewed on a regular basis by your supervisor and assessed at the end of the project. You submit your research in the style of a paper which could be submitted to an appropriate scientific journal related to your discipline.

The module is assessed by a poster presentation (20%) and the submission of a journal paper supported by a research diary and/or laboratory notebook (80%).

 

Modules offered may vary.

How you learn

You are expected to attend a range of lectures, small-group tutorials and hands-on laboratory sessions. Part of your course also involves a substantial research-based project.

The course provides a number of contact teaching and assessment hours (such as lectures, tutorials, laboratory work, projects, exams), but you are also expected to spend time on your own. This self-study time is to review lecture notes, prepare coursework assignments, work on projects and revise for assessments. Each year of full-time study consists of modules totalling 120 credits and each unit of credit corresponds to 10 hours of learning and assessment (contact hours plus self-study hours). So, during one year of full-time study you can expect to have 1,200 hours of learning and assessment.

One module in each year of your study involves a compulsory one-week block delivery period. This intensive problem-solving week, provides you with an opportunity to focus your attention on particular problems and enhance your team-working and employability skills.

How you are assessed

Your course involves a range of assessments including coursework assignments and exams.


Our Disability Services team helps students with additional needs resulting from disabilities such as sensory impairment or learning difficulties such as dyslexia
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Work placement

We produce graduates with the problem-solving and leadership skills necessary to forge successful careers.

This programme allows you to spend an optional year - in-between your second year and final year - learning and developing your skills through work experience. You have a dedicated work placement officer and the University's award-winning careers service to help you with applying for a placement. Advice is also available on job hunting and networking. Employers are often invited to our School to meet you and present you with opportunities for work placements.

By taking a work placement year you gain experience favoured by graduate recruiters and develop your technical skillset. You also obtain the transferable skills required in any professional environment. Transferable skills include communication, negotiation, teamwork, leadership, organisation, confidence, self-reliance, problem-solving, being able to work under pressure, and commercial awareness.

Throughout this programme, you get to know prospective employers and extend your professional network. An increasing number of employers view a placement as a year-long interview and, as a result, placements are increasingly becoming an essential part of an organisation's pre-selection strategy in their graduate recruitment process.

Potential benefits from completing a work placement year include:

  • improved job prospects
  • enhanced employment skills and improved career progression opportunities
  • a higher starting salary than your full-time counterparts
  • a better degree classification
  • a richer CV
  • a year's salary before completing your degree
  • experience of workplace culture
  • the opportunity to design and base your final-year project within a working environment.

Career opportunities

You will be equipped with the knowledge, understanding, experience and skills appropriate to food science and engineering. This will provide you with a range of career opportunities in the massive food sector. There is a growing UK and international market demand for graduates in this area. Recent employability data of Teesside graduates from similar programmes indicates that there are excellent job prospects.

Maria Prapa, one of our former students, now works for Jamie Oliver.

Emma Smith works for Adelie Foods.

Entry requirements

Year 1 entry
If you live in the UK you may be invited to attend an interview. The purpose of the interview is to help us tailor your offer to your individual circumstances. The interview process also enables us to consider applicants from a wide range of backgrounds and those with non-traditional qualifications, including individuals who may be returning to study after a period of employment.

In addition to your interview, during your visit you will be offered a tour of our fantastic campus, a visit to our excellent laboratory and teaching facilities, and an opportunity to meet our staff. You will learn much more about your course, and the range of scholarships, bursaries and grants you might be eligible for.

If you can't come for an interview we will consider making an offer based on the information you provide in your application form and the typical entry criteria for your course as listed below:

Eligibility for entry to Year 1 of this programme requires previous study of any of the following subjects at Level 3:
• biology
• nutrition
• chemistry
• environmental science
• applied science
• food technology

The most common acceptable Level 3 qualifications are (typical minimum grades are shown in brackets):
• A levels (grades BBC)
• BTEC Extended Diploma (grade DMM)
• Access to HE Diploma (with 30 Level 3 credits from science units awarded at merit or higher)

In addition you need to have numeracy and literacy skills equivalent to at least GCSE grade 4.

If the qualification for which you are studying is not listed please contact our Admissions Office for advice. We accept many alternative UK and international qualifications.
If your qualifications and grades don't meet the entry requirements for Year 1 entry you can be considered for one of our degree courses with an integrated foundation year. The recommended extended route for this course is BSc (Hons) Food Science and Engineering - Extended.

Secure a guaranteed course place now*
Guaranteed Place Scheme (for UK/EU students only)

If you have completed Level 3 qualifications (for example AS Levels, BTEC Nationals) and have at least five GCSEs at grade 4 or above, including English and Mathematics, you may be eligible for a guaranteed place on an Extended degree course in your chosen subject whilst still working towards meeting the conditions required for a course with higher entry requirements.
Find out more and check your eligibility

Direct entry to later years
Applicants qualified to BTEC Higher National Certificate (HNC) level may request direct entry to Year 2 of their degree, and applicants qualified to BTEC Higher National Diploma (HND) level may request entry directly to the final year of their degree. You must provide a full detailed transcript of your previous studies with your application to enable us to determine your eligibility for advanced entry.

English language requirement
Entry to a degree programme requires you to have a good command of spoken and written English. Examples of acceptable qualifications include GCSE English (minimum grade 4) and for international students, IELTS 5.5 or higher in all components (IELTS 6.0 overall is required for entry to Year 2 or 3). Other equivalent qualifications can be considered. Non-EU international students who need a student visa to study in the UK should check our web pages on UKBA-compliant English language requirements. The University also provides Pre-sessional English language courses if you do not meet the minimum English language requirement.

Students on the collaborative programme between Teesside University and Wuhan Polytechnic University in China can gain entrance with advanced entry into Year 2 or 3. Please refer to your course information for details of entry requirements, or email sse-admissions@tees.ac.uk.

For additional information please see the entry requirements in our admissions section

International applicants can find out what qualifications they need by visiting Your Country


You can gain considerable knowledge from work, volunteering and life. Under recognition of prior learning (RPL) you may be awarded credit for this which can be credited towards the course you want to study.
Find out more about RPL

Part-time

What is KIS?

How to understand the Key Information Set

Course information

Full-time

  • Length: 3 years (or 4 years with work placement)

More full-time details

Part-time

  • 6 years if entering Year 1; 4 years if entering Year 2

More part-time details

  • Timetable governed - please contact our admissions office
  • Enrolment date: September
  • Admission enquiries: 01642 738800

Contact details

Further information