Globally we face huge and growing challenges to supply the world’s population with adequate safe and nutritious food. Food scientists will play a crucial role in addressing global food insecurity.
This unique food science qualification combines BSc and Master’s level study and allows students to develop their subject to a high level, experiencing cutting-edge technologies involved in food research.
The subject is underpinned by a scientific understanding of food, such as its properties and composition, production and manufacture, testing and regulation, interaction with the human body, and the current and future challenges for its safety and supply.
Food Science and Food Security Degree highlights
This course is taught by world leading academic staff who are part of the Institute for Global Food Security based at Queen’s University Belfast.
- Work placements on these programmes provide students with the opportunity to utilise the practical skills gained during the teaching of their degree and apply these in a work environment. Our past students have also gained work placement with organisations such as: Sainsbury’s, Marks & Spencer, Kerry group, Kraft foods, Moy Park, Tayto, Ulster Cancer Foundation, hospital trusts and many more.
World Class Facilities
- This programme is linked to the Institute for Global Food Security at Queen’s and students may complete their project work at the Institute. Known globally for their world-renowned research, the Institute was at the forefront of uncovering and understanding the horsemeat scandal in the UK.
- Between Stages 2 and 3 students taking the three-year degree can undertake a work placement of at least 16 weeks and students taking the four-year degree undertake a work placement of at least 46 weeks. For many students this is the most important aspect of the degree, enabling them to experience the types of jobs which are available on graduation and through the preparation of CVs, interviews, etc. ensuring they are well prepared for the job market.
- This tailored degree is shorter than studying for BSc and Masters degrees separately, and students are able to finance their postgraduate level studies within existing student finance arrangements.
- The unique flexible design of these degrees enables transfer to the BSc Food Quality, Safety and Nutrition degrees up until the end of Stage 2.
- The degree also offers opportunities for additional laboratory training and experience, for example summer scholarships.
Introduction The overall vision is to provide a dynamic learning environment committed to excellence in teaching and research, that contributes to national and global efforts, to provide the world‘s growing population with a sustainable, safe and secure supply of high-quality food.
In doing so Queen‘s seeks to prepare internationally-recognised graduates for leading roles in the production and supply of safe and nutritious food. Students must take the equivalent of six modules in each stage, including any compulsory modules.
Stage 1 • Chemistry and Composition of Foods
• Fundamentals of Nutrition and Food Policy
• The World of Microorganisms
Stage 2 • Food Commodities, Processing and Hygiene
• Food Choice, Diet and Health
• Principles of Food Quality
• Food Science and Food Security students can complete a 16 week degree-related work placement
• Food Science and Food Security with Professional Studies students will complete a one year, degree related work placement
Stage 3 • Business Innovation and Entrepreneurship
• Global Issues in Agriculture
• Food Product Development
• Food Supply Chain Safety and Security
Stage 4 • Food Safety Health and Disease
• Advanced Food Bioanalysis
• Research Project
• Agri Food Traceability and Fraud
People teaching you
School of Biological Science
Contact Teaching Times
Large Group Teaching 15 (hours maximum)
Typical values for Stage 1. Includes up to 6 hours practical each week.
Medium Group Teaching 3 (hours maximum)
Typically 3 tutorials of 1 hour duration each week
Personal Study 22 (hours maximum)
Includes own private study related to topics and coursework.
Learning and Teaching
At Queen’s, we aim to deliver a high quality learning environment that embeds intellectual curiosity, innovation and best practice in learning, teaching and student support to enable students to achieve their full academic potential. On the MSci in Food Science and Food Security we do this by providing a range of learning experiences which enable our students to engage with subject experts, develop attributes and perspectives that will equip them for life and work in a global society and make use of innovative technologies and a world class library that enhances their development as independent, lifelong learners. Examples of the opportunities provided for learning on this course are:
- Advisor of studies
You will be allocated an Advisor of studies who is responsible for monitoring and advising you on your academic progress throughout your degree.
All students undertake the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health Level 3 Award in Food Safety Supervision for Manufacturing as part of the module in Food Commodities, Processing and Hygiene.
- Learning technologies
Information associated with lectures and assignments is often communicated via a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). A range of e-learning experiences are also embedded in the degree through, for example: interactive group workshops in a flexible learning space; IT and statistics; interactive web-based learning activities; opportunities to use IT programmes associated with practicals, project- based work and work placement.
Introduce basic information about new topics as a starting point for further self-directed private study/reading. Lectures also provide opportunities to ask questions and gain general feedback and advice on assessments. In many cases lecture notes are available prior to the lectures via the university VLE.
- Personal Tutor
You will be allocated a Personal Tutor normally from the academic staff on your course, who will meet with you on several occasions during Stages 1 and 2 to support your academic development. Further details are shown in the section on the Student Guidance Centre.
Where you will have opportunities to develop technical skills and apply theoretical principles from the module to real-life or practical contexts. In some cases you will design your own practical and evaluate your success. You will be expected to attend up to 2 practicals per week for a module depending on the content.
- Self-directed study
This is a significant part of learning as a Queen’s student, when important private reading, engagement with e-learning resources, reflection on feedback to date and assignment research and preparation work is carried out. This learning activity forms the major time component of all modules and increases as you progress through the stages of your degree.
Teaching is also carried out in small groups (typically 10-20 students), which provides an invaluable opportunity for you to engage with academic staff who have specialist knowledge of the topic, to ask questions of them and to assess your own progress and understanding with the support of peers. You should expect to make presentations and other contributions to these groups.
- Supervised projects
In Stage 3 you will be expected to carry out a significant piece of research [40CATS] on a relevant topic. You will receive support through a series of workshops and from a supervisor who will guide you in terms of how to carry out your research and will provide feedback to you on at least 2 occasions during the report write up stage. At Stage 4 you will carry out a second research project [60CATS]where you will have greater autonomy and responsibility for your own work. You will also be required to show higher levels of critical analysis in your project report.
- Work placements
Students taking MSci Food Science and Food Security can undertake an optional work-placement of at least 16 weeks (560 hours) between Stage 2 and Stage 3 of their degree. This is a significant learning and employability enhancement opportunity. The placement is assessed and contributes 5% to your degree classification. You will be responsible for attaining your placement, supported by a dedicated Work Placement and careers officer and a programme of workshops. For many students this is the most important aspect of the degree. It enables you to experience the types of jobs which are available on graduation and through the preparation on Cv’s, interviews etc. ensures you are well prepared for the job market on graduation. See the section on Careers for example placement hosts.
- Work-Related learning/Field Trips/Study Tours
In modules throughout the degree, external experts are invited to give lectures, workshops or tutorials to enhance the learning opportunities of students. These guest speakers include representatives from Sainsbury’s, the Food Standards Agency and Campden BRI who bring a real life context to your studies and emphasise the current relevance of the degree. Visits are also arranged to support theoretical learning, i.e. to an external commercial Sensory analysis unit and to make bread and ice cream in the food processing facilities at Loughry campus of CAFRE.
Details of assessments associated with this course are outlined below:
- The way in which you are assessed will vary according to the Learning outcomes of each module. Some modules are assessed solely through project work or written assignments. Others are assessed through a combination of coursework and end of semester examinations. Details of how each module is assessed are shown in the Student Handbook which is provided to all students during their first year induction.
As students’ progress through the MSci in Food Science and Food Security at Queen’s they will receive general and specific feedback about their work from a variety of sources including lecturers, module co-ordinators, placement supervisors, personal tutors, advisers of study and peers. University students are expected to engage with reflective practice and to use this approach to improve the quality of their work. Feedback may be provided in a variety of forms including:
- Feedback provided via formal written comments and marks relating to work that you, as an individual or as part of a group, have submitted.
- Face to face comment. This may include occasions when you make use of the lecturers’ advertised “office hours” to help you to address a specific query
- Placement employer comments or references
- Online or emailed comment
- General comments or question and answer opportunities at the end of a lecture, seminar or tutorial.
- Pre-submission advice regarding the standards you should aim for and common pitfalls to avoid. In some instances, this may be provided in the form of model answers or exemplars which you can review in your own time
- Feedback and outcomes from practical classes
- Comment and guidance provided by staff from specialist support services such as, Careers, Employability and Skills or the Learning Development Service
- Once you have reviewed your feedback, you will be encouraged to identify and implement further improvements to the quality of your work.
- Advisor of studies
In addition, to the entrance requirements above, it is essential that you read our guidance below on 'How we choose our students' prior to submitting your UCAS application.Read more Read less
Applications are dealt with centrally by the Admissions and Access Service rather than by the School of Biological Sciences. Once your on-line form has been processed by UCAS and forwarded to Queen's, an acknowledgement is normally sent within two weeks of its receipt at the University.
Selection is on the basis of the information provided on your UCAS form, which is considered by the Selector for the Food Science and Food Security degree along with a member of administrative staff from the Admissions and Access Service. Decisions are made on an ongoing basis and will be notified to you via UCAS.
For entry last year, applicants for the Food Science and Food Security degree must have had, or been able to achieve, a minimum of five GCSE passes at grade C or better (to include English Language and Mathematics), though this profile may change from year to year depending on the demand for places. The Selector also checks that any specific entry requirements in terms of GCSE and/or A-level subjects can be fulfilled.
Offers are normally made on the basis of three A-levels. Two subjects at A-level plus two at AS would also be considered. The offer for repeat candidates is normally the same as the offer for first time applicants. Grades may be held from the previous year.
Applicants offering other qualifications, such as Edexcel National, the International Baccalaureate, Irish Leaving Certificate or an Access course, will also be considered. The same GCSE profile is usually expected of those candidates offering other qualifications.
Candidates offering Access/Certificate in Foundation Studies courses will be considered individually on their own merits.
The information provided in the personal statement section and the academic reference together with predicted grades are noted but, in the case of degree courses in the Food Science and Food Security degree, these are not the final deciding factors in whether or not a conditional offer can be made. However, they may be reconsidered in a tie break situation in August.
A-level General Studies and A-level Critical Thinking would not normally be considered as part of a three A-level offer and, although they may be excluded where an applicant is taking four A-level subjects, the grade achieved could be taken into account if necessary in August/September.
Candidates are not normally asked to attend for interview.
If you are made an offer then you may be invited to a School Visit Day, which is usually held in the second semester. This will allow you the opportunity to visit the University and to find out more about the degree programme of your choice and the facilities on offer. It also gives you a flavour of the academic and social life at Queen's.
If you cannot find the information you need here, please contact the University Admissions and Access Service (email@example.com), giving full details of your qualifications and educational background.
For information on international qualification equivalents, please check the specific information for your country.
English Language Requirements
An IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in each test component or an equivalent acceptable qualification, details of which are available at: http://go.qub.ac.uk/EnglishLanguageReqs
If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.
- Academic English: an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level
- Pre-sessional English: a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English.
International Students - Foundation and International Year One Programmes
INTO Queen's offers a range of academic and English language programmes to help prepare international students for undergraduate study at Queen's University. You will learn from experienced teachers in a dedicated international study centre on campus, and will have full access to the University's world-class facilities.
These programmes are designed for international students who do not meet the required academic and English language requirements for direct entry.
The INTO progression course suited to this programme is
INTO - English Language Course(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)
Nationally and internationally there is a shortage of food science graduates with higher level research skills and technical expertise. These degrees are designed to produce graduates ideally suited to high level careers in research, R&D, industry, education, and also for PhD study.
The Food Science and Food Security MSci degree programme is entirely new and we anticipate that prospective employers of graduates with Masters-level qualifications will range from multinational corporations, global research institutes, universities and local companies.
The School and the Institute for Global Food Security are well connected both locally and internationally and unique project and employment opportunities arise on a regular basis. Although the majority of our graduates are interested in pursuing careers in the food industry or health promotion, some develop careers in a wide range of other sectors.
The following is a list of the major career sectors that have attracted our graduates in recent years:
• Food industry – graduate recruitment schemes
• Food industry – new product development
• Food industry – food technologist
• Food industry – quality management
• Charities – health promotion
• Nutrition – assistant dietician in a hospital trust
• Teaching – home economics [PGCE needed]
• Research – industry research association
• Research – PhD studies
We regularly consult and develop links with a large number of employers including all those who provide work placement opportunities. These range from multinationals such as Moy Park and Sainsbury’s to many local companies such as Irwin's and Tayto.
Additional Awards Gained(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)
Prizes and Awards(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)
Degree plus award for extra-curricular skills
In addition to your degree programme, at Queen's you can have the opportunity to gain wider life, academic and employability skills. For example, placements, voluntary work, clubs, societies, sports and lots more. So not only do you graduate with a degree recognised from a world leading university, you'll have practical national and international experience plus a wider exposure to life overall. We call this Degree Plus. It's what makes studying at Queen's University Belfast special.
Fees and Funding
Northern Ireland (NI) £4,275 England, Scotland or Wales (GB) £9,250 Other (non-UK) EU * £4,275 International £20,100
Tuition fees for 2020-21 have not been set. Those quoted above are for students commencing study in 2019-20. These will be subject to an increase for students commencing study in 2020-21.
Tuition fee rates are calculated based on a student’s tuition fee status and generally increase annually by inflation. How tuition fees are determined is set out in the Student Finance Framework.
* The tuition fees that EU students starting courses at UK universities following the agreed transition period are required to pay will depend on what is agreed as part of the UK's exit negotiations. Please refer to www.qub.ac.uk/brexit
Additional course costs
Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies.
Students can borrow books and access online learning resources from any Queen's library.
If students wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow them from the University Library, prices per text can range from £30 to £100. A programme may have up to 6 modules per year, each with a recommended text.
Students should also budget between £30 to £75 per year for photocopying, memory sticks and printing charges.
Students undertaking a period of work placement or study abroad, as either a compulsory or optional part of their programme, should be aware that they will have to fund additional travel and living costs.
If a final year includes a major project or dissertation, there may be costs associated with transport, accommodation and/or materials. The amount will depend on the project chosen. There may also be additional costs for printing and binding.
Students may wish to consider purchasing an electronic device; costs will vary depending on the specification of the model chosen.
There are also additional charges for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.
Food Science and Food Security costs
Year 1 students are required to buy a laboratory coat at a cost of £10, an E-Book at a cost of £25 and a Food Hygiene text book at a cost of £15.
How do I fund my study?
There are different tuition fee and student financial support arrangements for students from Northern Ireland, those from England, Scotland and Wales (Great Britain), and those from the rest of the European Union.
Information on funding options and financial assistance for undergraduate students is available at http://www.qub.ac.uk/Study/Undergraduate/Fees-and-scholarships/.
Each year, we offer a range of scholarships and prizes for new students. Information on scholarships available.
Information on scholarships for international students, is available at http://www.qub.ac.uk/International/International-students/International-scholarships/.
How and when to Apply
How to Apply
Application for admission to full-time undergraduate and sandwich courses at the University should normally be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Full information can be obtained from the UCAS website at: www.ucas.com/apply.
When to Apply
UCAS will start processing applications for entry in autumn 2020 from 1 September 2019.
Advisory closing date: 15 January 2020 (18:00).
Late applications are, in practice, accepted by UCAS throughout the remainder of the application cycle, but you should understand that they are considered by institutions at their discretion, and there can be no guarantee that they will be given the same full level of consideration as applications received by the advisory closing date.
Applicants are encouraged to apply as early as is consistent with having made a careful and considered choice of institutions and courses.
The Institution code name for Queen's is QBELF and the institution code is Q75.
Further information on applying to study at Queen's is available at: http://www.qub.ac.uk/Study/Undergraduate/How-to-apply/
After an offer is made this will be notified to applicants through UCAS. Confirmation will be emailed by the Admissions and Access Service and this communication will also include Terms and Conditions (www.qub.ac.uk/Study/TermsandConditions) which applicants should read carefully in advance of replying to their offer(s) on UCAS Track.
Additional Information for International (non-EU) Students
- Applying through UCAS
Most students make their applications through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) for full-time undergraduate degree programmes at Queen's. The UCAS application deadline for international students is 30 June 2019.
- Applying direct
The Direct Entry Application form is to be used by international applicants who wish to apply directly, and only, to Queen's or who have been asked to provide information in advance of submitting a formal UCAS application. Find out more.
- Applying through agents and partners
The University’s in-country representatives can assist you to submit a UCAS application or a direct application. Please consult the Agent List to find an agent in your country who will help you with your application to Queen’s University.
Fees and Funding
- Applying through UCAS