A food science degree can lead to a career in a number of different sectors, including manufacturing, engineering and healthcare
Jobs directly related to your degree include:
- Food technologist
- Nutritional therapist
- Product/process development scientist
- Quality manager
- Regulatory affairs officer
- Scientific laboratory technician
- Technical brewer
Jobs where your degree would be useful include:
Remember that many employers accept applications from graduates with any degree subject, so don't restrict your thinking to the jobs listed here.
Work experience is highly valued by employers, so if your course does not include an industrial placement try to get some related experience in the holidays. Any kind of role in a food science or food technology setting will be useful for developing your skills and allowing you to demonstrate your interest in the industry.
If possible, tailor your work experience to the type of role you would like to fill. For example, if you want to become a food technologist, quality manager, or product developer, look for work and placements in a food manufacturing company or with a retailer. Or, if you're interested in following a nutritional pathway, try to get some experience in a healthcare setting.
Search for placements and find out more about work experience and internships.
The main employers of food science graduates are food manufacturers, producers and retailers. Technical service providers and government departments concerned with developing food policy and enforcement processes also offer employment.
Food science graduates also work in a range of areas in the land-based sector, which encompasses agriculture and animals as well as fresh produce, food service and retail.
Other employers operate in the industrial and scientific sectors. The NHS and private healthcare organisations offer employment opportunities - particularly for roles such as a nutritional therapist.
Skills for your CV
Studying food science develops a good mix of subject-specific and technical skills, alongside transferable core skills, such as:
- analytical and problem-solving skills
- the ability to research and interpret data
- effective communication
- teamworking skills
- attention to detail
- accurate record keeping and report writing
- numerical and statistical awareness
- IT skills
- project-management skills
- time management.
There are many related postgraduate courses to choose from. Your choice will generally be determined by the career direction you wish to pursue. For example, you could take a postgraduate diploma or Masters in dietetics, or complete a PhD in nutritional research.
Other areas of postgraduate study include, biomedical science, food safety, environmental management or food quality management.
Completing a postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE), or a professional graduate diploma in education (PGDE) in Scotland, will allow you to teach in the area of food science or technology.
What do food science graduates do?
A quarter of food and beverage studies graduates are working as engineering professionals, 5% work as chefs, while a further 5% work as quality assurance technicians.
|Working and studying||3.4|
|Type of work||Percentage|
|Engineering and building||26.5|
|Technicians and other professionals||15.4|
|Marketing, PR and sales||12.1|
|Retail, catering and bar staff||7.8|
Find out what other graduates are doing 15 months after finishing their degrees in What do graduates do?
Graduate destinations data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency.
Find out more
- Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA)
- Institute of Food Science + Technology (IFST)
- New Scientist Jobs