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Postgraduate study
Food Processing Engineering

Food Processing Engineering MSc

This is an ideal launchpad for graduates seeking careers in the thriving food and drink industry – an industry which is facing particularly acute skills shortages with excellent employability prospects for suitably skilled graduates.

  • This course is closed for September 2023 entry for international applicants.

Course overview

The food and drink sector is the largest manufacturing sector in the UK delivering 18% of the UK's total output by value. Tasked by government and the Food and Drink Federation with achieving 20% growth in productivity by 2020, the industry is developing innovative solutions to increase productivity, reduce waste and energy usage, and introduce more efficient manufacturing to reduce costs and drive competitive advantage. Offering both full-time and part-time study modes, this course is accessible to recent graduates and to those in employment wishing to qualify to MSc level. The blended learning methodologies used in delivering the course means that employers seeking to upskill and retain their best employees can do so with minimum time off work.

Teesside University is highly praised for its links with local and national industries and businesses such as Marlow Foods (Quorn), SK Chilled Foods and Sainsbury’s. The University is committed to integrating with industry in the Tees Valley and has a record of producing employment-ready problem solvers and innovators. This postgraduate programme embeds key transferable skills, visits to industry and talks from industrial speakers relevant to the food and drink industries. You may also be interested in our MSc Food Science and Biotechnology.

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Course details

Course structure

Core modules

Food Chemistry Composition and Analysis

The chemical composition of food is the key focus of this module. You critically examine the major physical and chemical changes to food as a result of applying a range of food processing technologies and storage conditions. You develop a comprehensive and critical understanding of the current and emerging analytical techniques used by the food industry.

Food Manufacturing Engineering

This module develops the fundamental concepts of processing food starting with basic principles – the properties of matter, fluid flow and heat transfer leading to the theories behind food preparation. You explore the key areas of food processing – ambient temperature processes, processing by applying heat, processing by removing heat, processing and packaging machinery and post-processing operations.

Applying robotics within the food industry has become cheaper, more effective and more capable – which means that more industrial applications become candidates for robotic automation. This module reviews and develops the fundamental concepts of food processing and handling using robotics.

Food Product Design and Manufacturing Process Development

The module introduces you to the food product development and food manufacturing processes. It allows you to connect to the real world through the experience of developing a new food product either through an industry-based or industry-linked project. You experience challenges similar to those encountered in the launch of a new food product from laboratory to the table, including consideration of full economic costs and the development of a business plan. As part of this learning, you integrate graduate research skills and develop entrepreneurship.

Food Safety Engineering and Management

You examine a range of traditional and emerging technologies to ensure food safety. You explore a range of current food-related safety issues, for example analysing risk using standard industry tools such as hazard analysis critical control points. You review current hygiene practices in the food industry including emerging new sectors, such as biotechnology, which have brought with them new challenges associated with food quality and safety.

You also look at implementing, auditing and evaluating appropriate processes and procedures, and controls for safely processing foods. This module provides you with the necessary skills to synthesise and critically appraise different aspects of food safety technologies and food safety management in complex contexts.

Research Project

This module will provide an appropriate environment for an in-depth investigation of a subject relevant to the programme chosen and the continued development of cognitive, professional and transferable skills. It aims to unify your understanding and awareness of engineering or science as developed in the programme, with individual and independent research and analysis on a selected topic within the discipline. It also aims to expose you to the management of a significant project and to enable you to apply research methods relevant to your specific field and related discipline.

You investigate problems which involve the consideration of relevant legal, social, ethical, environmental and other professional issues.

You will be expected to develop and practice a professional approach to the presentation, delivery and appraisal of your written and oral presentations.


Modules offered may vary.


How you learn

Making the transition to postgraduate-level study can be challenging. We provide support during the programme induction and within the Food Product Design and Manufacturing Processes module. This support helps you understand the requirements of academic study at postgraduate level, enhancing your skills in academic writing and referencing, and developing the skills necessary to operate professionally, safely and ethically in planning and implementing a research project at master’s level.

By including work-based problem-solving projects and case-study exercises this programme places an emphasis on real-world working. This helps to blend theory and knowledge in the context of business, developing the skills employers are seeking, all designed to set you on a successful career path.

A significant feature of the programme is blended learning to provide a rich and varied learning experience. This also provides additional flexibility for learners who are working.

On campus you have access to a dedicated food product development laboratory and pilot-scale processing equipment, giving you valuable hands-on experience of both food processing and food product development. Fully equipped microbiological and chemical analysis labs enable relevant practical investigative projects, allowing you to explore a range of ingredients and food products.

How you are assessed

Your assessments test subject knowledge, independent thought and skills. They are robust, equitable and manageable and incorporate formative and summative assessments. These particular assessments have been selected to match the learning outcomes. These are:

  • exams
  • oral presentations
  • technical interviews
  • technical reports
  • laboratory reports
  • literature surveys, evaluations and summaries
  • dissertation or thesis

You are presented with an assessment schedule with details of the submission deadlines for summative assessments.


Entry requirements

Normally you will have at least a second-class honours (2.2) degree from a UK university or a non-UK equivalent qualification in an appropriate subject. Examples of suitable first degree subjects include any life or physical science, engineering or mathematics.

Other first degree subjects may be acceptable. Please contact the Admissions Office to check your eligibility.

Students with a degree awarded outside the UK must also meet the University's minimum English language requirements.

Non-EU international students who need a student visa to study in the UK should check our web pages on UKVI-compliant English language requirements. The University also provides pre-sessional English language courses if you do not meet the minimum English language requirement.

For general information please see our overview of entry requirements

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



Career opportunities

Food and drink manufacturing is vital to the UK economy. It is the single largest manufacturing sector in the UK, employing 15% of the manufacturing workforce. Food and drink manufacturing businesses make up 7% of all manufacturing businesses and buy two thirds of all the UK's agricultural produce. The industry generates 18% of total manufacturing turnover.

To meet the demands of this dynamic sector, the industry needs to recruit more than 49,000 new skilled professionals and managers by 2022. This is great news for graduates wanting to study toward a rewarding career in a dynamic and highly innovative sector - home to some of the UK's best known brands (National Skills Academy for Food & Drink).

Graduate careers in the food sector, include:

  • food processing engineering
  • new product development
  • quality management and food safety management
  • food production management
  • technical management.


Information for international applicants


International applicants - find out what qualifications you need by selecting your country below.

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2023/24 entry

Fee for UK applicants
£7,365 a year

More details about our fees

Fee for international applicants
£15,000 a year

More details about our fees for international applicants

  • Length: September enrolment: 1 year, January enrolment: 16 months, including a summer break
  • Start date: September or January
  • Semester dates

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Please choose the relevant option below:

Apply online (full-time) for UK applicants

This course is closed for September 2023 entry for international applicants.

Apply online (fast-track) for current students



2023/24 entry

Fee for UK applicants
£820 for each 20 credits

More details about our fees

  • Length: September enrolment: 2 years, including a summer break, January enrolment: 28 months, including two summer breaks
  • Attendance: Typically one day a week
  • Start date: September or January
  • Semester dates

Apply now (part-time)

Apply now (part-time)


Choose Teesside

  • Student and graduate profiles
    Beth Clemmit

    Beth Clemmit

    BSc (Hons) Food Science and Nutrition* / MSc Food Processing Engineering

    The university is very accommodating and supportive of students, especially for those studying a degree alongside a full or part time job.

    Meet Beth

  • News

    Link to View the pictures. Helping develop sustainable dairy alternatives
    MOMA Foods, one of the United Kingdom’s foremost producers of oat milk, is working with Teesside University to ensure its products lead the way on taste and sustainability.

    Read the full story

    Professor Gary Montague, Malcolm Knott (ITS) and Omar Al-Janabi. Link to View the pictures. University helps win £1.36m funding for major food quality control project
    A groundbreaking project costing almost £2m, led by Teesside University and a Middlesbrough-based company, is aiming to improve food quality standards.

    Read the full story


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