Food Science and Nutrition
Academic Year 2024/25
3 years (Full Time)
This degree programme is about gaining the knowledge and understanding of key areas in relation to food production and consumption.
Food Science concerns the ‘fitness for purpose’ of our food in terms of appearance (e.g. colour and surface qualities, texture, flavour and odour) and how these can be improved, alongside the physical, microbiological and chemical aspects of our food, which may be harmful to human health and how these can be minimised.
Nutrition concerns the nutrient supply from foods necessary to support the human body in health and during ill health throughout all life stages.
This degree emphasises the inter-relationship between these areas and their equal importance in food production.
Food Science and Nutrition Degree highlights
Our new School of Biological Sciences building in Chlorine Gardens provides a high-tech learning environment and allows us to create a unique experience for our students.
- The programme has underwent a professional accreditation process overseen by the Institute for Food Science and Technology (IFST). This provides quality assurance that the programme offers students ‘the best possible food-related education’.
All students undertake the Level 3 Award in Food Safety Supervision for Manufacturing as part of the module Food Commodities, Processing and Hygiene.
The Food Standards Agency (NI) awards a prize for the highest marks in Food Science and Nutrition in Stage 3. Yakult sponsors a prize for the best Honours project completed by a food student and Safe Food provides a prize for the best essay in the final year module ‘Food Supply Chain Safety and Security'.
- 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.
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.
Our past students have gained work placement with organisations such as: Pepsico, Sainsbury’s, Marks & Spencer, The Food Standards Agency, Finnebrogue, Suki Tea, Dale Farm, Nestlé, Kerry group, Kraft Foods, Moy Park, Tayto, Hovis, Ulster Cancer Foundation, NI Chest, Heart & Stroke, hospital trusts and many more.
When I came to Queen’s I was intrigued to learn more about Food Quality as I had an interest in working in the area of food, particularly within the area of Nutrition. I would really recommend this course at Queen’s, it has given me to opportunity to learn so much and I’m now employed in a local food producer and I’m able to put the knowledge from my course into practice.
Food Quality Coordinator – Suki TEA
|Introduction||The subjects studied on this course are wide ranging and include; food (biochemistry, chemistry, commodities, hygiene, marketing, microbiology, policy, processing, product development, psychology, quality and safety), fundamental and clinical nutrition, human physiology, diet and health as well as business innovation and entrepreneurship. Students must take the equivalent of three 40 CAT modules in each stage, including any compulsory modules.|
|Stage 1||Microbiology for Food Scientists|
Chemistry for Food Scientists
Sustainable Food Systems
Composition of Foods
Fundamentals of Nutrition and Physiology
|Stage 2||Principles of Food Quality|
Food Commodities Processing and Hygiene
Food Innovation, Diet and Health
Industrial Food Analysis
|Stage 3||Business Innovation and Entrepreneurship|
Nutrition Pathways in Health and Disease
Food Supply Chain Safety and Security
People teaching youDr Susan Doherty
School of Biological Sciences
Contact Teaching Times
|Personal Study||22 (hours maximum)|
Includes own private study related to topics and coursework.
|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.
Learning and Teaching
Students on the BSc in Food Science and Nutrition will be exposed to 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 online quizzes and discussion boards, 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.
These 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.
- Peer Mentor
At our Welcome Week activities at the start of your degree, you will meet your Peer Mentor. Peer Mentoring at Queen’s offers you, as a new student, the opportunity to access guidance and advice from fellow food students who have already completed Level 1 of your degree. Food Student Mentors are selected by the Programme Director and trained by the Learning Development Service.
- 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, e.g nutrition, food microbiology, chemistry, quality or food product development practicals.
- 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 from Stage 1 to 3.
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 final year, you will be expected to carry out either a significant piece of literature research or a practical investigation [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 at regular intervals during the report write up stage.
- Work placements
Students taking Food Quality, Safety and Nutrition 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 counts as 5% towards your degree classification. You will be responsible for attaining your placement, supported by a Work placement and careers advisor 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 of CVs, 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 the Food Industry such as Glanbia Cheese, 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 to food businesses and an external Sensory Evaluation facility are also arranged to support theoretical learning. Our students gain real life experience of manufacturing products such as bread, chocolate, ice- cream and ready meals in the food processing and packaging facilities at CAFRE (Loughry Campus).
Each year, our second year students attend a Student Launchpad event facilitated by the Institute of Food Science & Technology to provide them with networking opportunities through mixing with industry mentors and allow them to gain valuable insights into possible careers in all aspects of the food supply chain.
On an annual basis our food students compete in a joint team with their Agriculture student counterparts representing Queen’s in the Dawn Meats “Great Agri-Food Debate”, competing against universities from all over Ireland.
Our food students have also enjoyed great success competing in the QUB wide “What’s the Big Idea?” competition as part of their Business Innovation & Entrepreneurship module, regularly winning the “Best Idea” award in the Faculty based on their innovative business pitches.
The way in which you are assessed will vary according to the learning outcomes of each module and we design our assessment strategies to appeal to a variety of student learning styles. It is our aim to develop our students not just in terms of technical/scientific ability, but also to provide you with opportunities to develop the essential “soft” skills highly valued by employers. These skills include: creativity, problem-solving, teamwork, leadership, communication, resilience, flexibility, entrepreneurship and time management. Details of how each module is assessed are shown in the Student Handbook which is provided to all students during their first year induction.
- Some modules are assessed solely through project work or written assignments.
- Others are assessed through a combination of coursework and end of semester examinations. Examples of coursework include real life food industry case studies,
"Dragon's Den" style video pitches, practical reports, essays, online quizzes, debates, presentation of a business plan to a panel of industry experts and development of an innovative food product based on a technical brief. Some assessments are completed on an individual student basis and others involve you working with classmates in a team.
As you progress through your course you will receive general and specific feedback about your work from a variety of sources including lecturers, module co-ordinators, placement supervisors, personal tutors, advisers of study and your peers.
As a university student, you will be expected to take a greater role in reflecting on this and taking the initiative in continuously improving the quality of your work.
- Feedback may be provided to you in a variety of forms including: online feedback, formal written comments, face to face comments, placement employer comments or references, emailed feedback, pre-submission advice, feedback and outcomes from practical classes, and others.
- 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 (if applicable).
- Online or emailed comment.
- General comments or question and answer opportunities at the end of a lecture, practical, 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 reflect on and implement further improvements to the quality of your work.
The information below is intended as an example only, featuring module details for the current year of study (2022/23). Modules are reviewed on an annual basis and may be subject to future changes – revised details will be published through Programme Specifications ahead of each academic year.
BBB including Biology and Chemistry + GCSE Mathematics grade C/4
BBB including Biology and either Home Economics or Nutrition & Food Science + GCSE Chemistry grade C/4 or GCSE Double Award Science grades CC/44 + GCSE Mathematics grade C/4.
BBB including Chemistry and either Home Economics or Nutrition & Food Science + GCSE Biology grade C/4 or GCSE Double Award Science grades CC/44 + GCSE Mathematics grade C/4.
ABB including Biology or Chemistry or Double Award Applied Science + GCSE Biology and Chemistry grade C/4 or GCSE Double Award Science grades CC/44 + GCSE Mathematics grade C/4.
A maximum of one BTEC/OCR Single Award (including AQA Extended Certificate) will be accepted as part of an applicant's portfolio of qualifications with a Distinction* being equated to a grade A at A-level and a Distinction being equated to a grade B at A-level.
|Irish Leaving Certificate|
H3H3H3H3H4H4/H3H3H3H3H3 including Higher Level grade H3 in Biology and Chemistry + if not offered at Higher Level then Ordinary Level grade O4 in Mathematics
H3H3H3H3H3H3/H2H3H3H3H3 including Higher Level grade H3 in Biology + Ordinary Level Chemistry grade O4 + if not offered at Higher Level then Ordinary Level grade O4 in Mathematics
H3H3H3H3H3H3/H2H3H3H3H3 including Higher Level grade H3 in Chemistry + Ordinary Level Biology grade O4 + if not offered at Higher Level then Ordinary Level grade O4 in Mathematics
|BTEC Level 3 Extended/National Extended Diploma|
A relevant Food/Science BTEC Extended Diploma with DDD + GCSE Biology and Chemistry grade C/4 or GCSE Double Award Science grades CC/44 + GCSE Mathematics grade C/4.
Successful completion of Access Course with an average of 80% with no less than 70% in any module including sufficient relevant modules in Biology and Chemistry. GCSE Mathematics grade C/4 or equivalent in Access Course.
All applicants must have GCSE English Language grade C/4 or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University.
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.
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 Quality, Safety and Nutrition 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 Quality, Safety and Nutrition 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 minimum acceptable is two subjects at A-level plus one at AS though candidates offering this combination will be considered on an individual basis depending on the degree for which they have applied. 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 and Higher National Certificates and Diplomas, 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.
For applicants offering Irish Leaving Certificate, please note that performance at Junior Certificate is taken into account. For last year’s entry applicants for this degree must have had, a minimum of 5 IJC grades C/Merit, 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 Leaving Certificate subjects can be satisfied.
For applicants offering a relevant HNC, the current requirements are successful completion of the HNC with 1 Distinction and remainder Merits.
For those offering a relevant Higher National Diploma, there may be the possibility of advanced entry to Stage 2 depending on relevance of the HND and first year results (at least half of the first year units must be at Merit grade). Where offers are made for entry to Stage 2 students would be required to achieve 2 Distinctions and remainder Merits in all units assessed in final year. Those not eligible for entry to Stage 2 would be considered for entry to Stage 1 provided at least one first year unit is at Merit grade. Students would be required to achieve Merits in all units assessed in final year.
For those offering a HNC or HND, some flexibility may be allowed in terms of GCSE profile.
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 Quality, Safety and Nutrition 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.
Our country/region pages include information on entry requirements, tuition fees, scholarships, student profiles, upcoming events and contacts for your country/region. Use the dropdown list below for specific information for your country/region.
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)
•Studying for a Food Science and Nutrition with Professional Studies degree at Queen’s will assist you in developing the core skills and employment-related experiences that are valued by employers, professional organisations and academic institutions.
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 – technical and production management roles
•Food industry – quality management
•Food Retailers – food technology, food security, marketing, buying, supply chain management and logistics
• Charities – health promotion
• Nutrition – assistant dietician in a hospital trust
• Teaching – Nutrition & Food Science [PGCE needed]
•Consultancy – training and technical advice to food industry
• 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 local companies such as Irwin's and Tayto.
Many companies provide support for the course and students through repeatedly offering 16 or 46-week work placements. A number of such placements lead to employment for the students when they graduate.
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.
What employers say
Whether it is interns, placement students or graduates, we have been impressed by both the QUB students strong knowledge of the food industry issues but also by their work readiness skills. Our strong partnership and alignment will mean QUB students will continue to be a strong part of M&S Food Technology recruitment for many years to come.
Marks and Spencer, Head of Food Technology
Additional Awards Gained(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)
Prizes and Awards(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)
Degree Plus/Future Ready 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/Future Ready Award. It's what makes studying at Queen's University Belfast special.
Fees and Funding
|Northern Ireland (NI) 1||£4,710|
|Republic of Ireland (ROI) 2||£4,710|
|England, Scotland or Wales (GB) 1||£9,250|
|EU Other 3||£23,100|
1 EU citizens in the EU Settlement Scheme, with settled status, will be charged the NI or GB tuition fee based on where they are ordinarily resident. Students who are ROI nationals resident in GB will be charged the GB fee.
2 EU students who are ROI nationals resident in ROI are eligible for NI tuition fees.
3 EU Other students (excludes Republic of Ireland nationals living in GB, NI or ROI) are charged tuition fees in line with international fees.
All tuition fees quoted relate to a single year of study and will be subject to an annual inflationary increase, unless explicitly stated otherwise.
Note that the tuition fees quoted above are for the 2023-24 academic year and are for indicative purposes only as the fees for 2024-25 have not yet been finalised. These fees will be subject to an inflationary increase. All tuition fees quoted relate to a single year of study and will be subject to an annual inflationary increase for each year of the course, unless explicitly stated otherwise.
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.
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 Nutrition 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 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 www.qub.ac.uk/Study/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/students.
When to Apply
UCAS will start processing applications for entry in autumn 2024 from 1 September 2023.
Advisory closing date: 31 January 2024 (18:00). This is the 'equal consideration' deadline for this course.
Applications from UK and EU (Republic of Ireland) students after this date are, in practice, considered by Queen’s for entry to this course throughout the remainder of the application cycle (30 June 2024) subject to the availability of places.
Applications from International and EU (Other) students are normally considered by Queen’s for entry to this course until 30 June 2024. If you apply for 2024 entry after this deadline, you will automatically be entered into Clearing.
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: www.qub.ac.uk/Study/Undergraduate/How-to-apply/
Terms and Conditions
The terms and conditions that apply when you accept an offer of a place at the University on a taught programme of study. Queen's University Belfast Terms and Conditions.
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 2024.
- 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