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Postgraduate study
Food Science and Biotechnology

Food Science and Biotechnology 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.


Course overview

Food and drink manufacturing and processing (FDMP) is vital to the UK economy. It’s the single largest manufacturing sector in the UK, accounting for 20% of total manufacturing, with 468,000 people employed. The wider food and drink sector, including food supply chain from the ‘Farm to Fork,’ contributes over £120 billion to the economy and employs 4.1m people – roughly 13% of the entire UK workforce. Due to the reduction of free movement from the EU and Covid-19, the industry’s chronical skills gap continues to widen. The UK Commission for Employment and Skills reported the FDMP sector will need 140,000 recruits by 2024.

This programme is ideal for graduates with an interest in developing knowledge and skills in subjects such as food biotechnology, food safety management and analytical techniques currently used in the food industry. It's also suitable if you already work in the industry and wish to develop your skills for career enhancement.

Teesside University is highly praised for the links it maintains 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.

You may also be interested in our MSc Food Processing Engineering.

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Course details

For an MSc award you must successfully complete 120 credits of taught modules and a 60-credit master's research project.

This programme develops comprehensive knowledge and understanding of food science and bioprocessing in the 21st century. As such it focuses on biotechnology and sustainability alongside food quality and supply chain management. You also have the option to explore food product development and enterprise, food microbiology and safety, or project management in great depth depending on your interest or desired career choice.

You are encouraged to take a voluntary placement within local industry to conduct real-world research projects.

Course structure

Core modules

Advanced Research Project

On successful completion of the taught modules, you proceed to a 60-credit advanced research project. The aim is to bring together all elements of the course to address a relevant food industry problem. The project provides you with the opportunity to develop original knowledge in a specific area of food science and biotechnology, enabling you to demonstrate your ability to challenge orthodoxy, demonstrate originality, plan and organise with significant autonomy and operate ethically in potentially unpredictable situations. You must produce a dissertation report and a poster as an assessment.

Food Analysis

Develop knowledge of the chemical analysis of food, together with the major chemical changes during food processing and how these impact the quality and safety of food. Enhance your problem-solving abilities using food chemistry-related scenarios. You develop your knowledge and practical experiences of food chemical analysis using traditional and modern analytical techniques.?Delivered through lectures, seminars and practical sessions to support both the analysis of the scientific literature relating to this discipline and problem-solving.

Food Biotechnology

Develop an understanding of biotechnology and its applications in the food industry. Explore examples of the impact of biotechnology on food science, nutrition, food processing and food safety. This includes reviewing traditional food biotechnology, and its underlying scientific principles, as well as the more recent application of recombinant DNA technology.

Food Fermentation

Gain a firm understanding of complexities and the role of fermentation within food industry, safe operation, and choice of advanced techniques. The principles of microbial fermentation, with examples from food production including the management of waste, are also investigated. The final part of the module critically discusses methodologies and the potential of future techniques to contribute to solving global challenges in food production. The lectures are supported by a series of laboratory-based experiments which offer opportunities for you to get hands-on experience on fermentation of typical food products.

Food Innovation and Product Development

You are introduced to the food product development process, and you explore the development of food manufacturing processes. Experience connecting with the real world by developing a new food product, either through an industrially based or linked project. Encounter challenges similar to those in the launch of a new food product from laboratory to table, including the consideration of full economic costs and the development of a business plan. Lectures are supported by a series of practical sessions where you integrate graduate research skills and develop entrepreneurship.

Food Safety Management

A range of traditional and emerging technologies employed to ensure the safety of food are introduced. Explore a range of current food-related safety issues, including the analysis of risk, and review current hygiene practices in the food industry. Examine the implementation, auditing and evaluation of appropriate processes and procedures or controls to affect the safe processing of foods. This module also enables you to synthesise and critically appraise different aspects of food safety technologies and management in complex contexts.

Food Supply Chain and Composition of Food

You are introduced to the structure of food supply chains and food systems in our sociality, and you explore the pathway of ‘Farm to Fork.’ Evaluate the resources and impact of the food supply chain, and analyse the impact of food policies on health, environment and economy. Understand the basic compositions of key food commodities, their impacts on human nutrition and society development, and the factors influencing these compositions throughout the food supply chain. The core content is delivered through lectures, with seminars used to facilitate student-directed debates on contemporary topics related to food supply chain and food systems.


Modules offered may vary.


How you learn

The transition to postgraduate-level study can be challenging, so supporting you to make this step is an important element of this programme.

You gain support during the programme induction and within the Advanced Research Project module to help you understand the requirements of academic study at postgraduate level, enhance your skills in academic writing and referencing. You are supported to develop the skills necessary to operate professionally, safely and ethically in planning and implementing a master’s-level research project.

By including work-based problem-solving projects and case study exercises, this programme emphasises real-world working, helping to blend theory and knowledge in the context of business. This allows you to develop the skills employers are seeking to set you on a successful career path. Blended learning provides a rich and varied learning experience and additional flexibility if you are in employment.

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

How you are assessed

You are assessed on subject knowledge, independent thought and skills acquisition.

Assessment may include:
• examinations
• oral presentations
• technical interviews
• technical reports
• laboratory reports
• literature surveys, evaluations and summaries
• dissertation or thesis (MSc only).

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


Entry requirements

Applicants are normally expected to have at least a UK 2.2 honours degree, or equivalent, in a subject related to science, engineering or technology.

In addition, international students normally need at least a 6.0, with no component below 5.5, in the International Language Testing System (IELTS) test.

If your first degree is not in one of the subject areas listed above please contact our admissions team for guidance and advice on how you might become eligible. We may be able to offer you alternative access routes.

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

The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) estimated there are over 500,000 job vacancies in the wider sector. This is great opportunity for the next generation of talent to study towards a rewarding career.

Graduates can seek jobs in many areas in the food sector including:
• food processing engineering
• new product development
• quality management and food safety management
• food production management
• technical management.

Work placement

There are potential short-term placements available during your study.


Information for international applicants


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

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Useful information

Visit our international pages for useful information for non-UK students and applicants.

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2024/25 entry

Fee for UK applicants
£7,365 a year

More details about our fees

Fee for international applicants
£17,000 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

Apply now (full-time)



2024/25 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)


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  • Student and graduate profiles

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    Angelica AvolioBSc (Hons) Food and Nutrition*/MSc Food Science and Biotechnology

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    Works on a postdoctoral fellowship in South Africa

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    Mary Greenwell

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    Mary's time at Teesside has led to a job at at Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies.

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UK students


Telephone: 01642 738801

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International students


Telephone: +44 (0) 1642 738900

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