Studying food science provides you with the scientific and technical skills needed for a wide range of careers in the food and drink industry, as well as in public health, nutrition and research

Job options

Jobs directly related to your degree include:

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

Work experience is highly valued by employers, so if your course doesn't 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 is 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're interested in. For example, if you want to become a food technologist, quality manager or product developer, you could look for placements in a food manufacturing company or with a retailer. Alternatively, if you're interested in following a nutritional pathway, try to get some experience in a healthcare or public health setting.

Search for placements and find out more about work experience and internships.

Typical employers

The main employers of food science graduates are food manufacturers, producers, processors and retailers. These can range from global multinational companies to small-to-medium-sized businesses.

Technical service providers and government departments concerned with developing food policy and enforcement processes also offer employment.

Jobs are also available with local authorities and regulatory bodies in areas such as food safety, inspection and analysis.

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 also offer employment opportunities in nutrition, for example.

Food journalism, market research and public health promotion are other areas that may recruit food science graduates.

Find information on employers in engineering and manufacturing, environment and agriculture, healthcare and other job sectors.

Skills for your CV

Studying food science allows you to develop a good mix of subject-specific and scientific skills in areas such as:

  • food analysis
  • food design and development
  • food production
  • food processing and engineering
  • food safety, sustainability and affordability
  • physiology and nutrition
  • taste, texture and flavour.

You also develop a range of technical and practical skills through laboratory-based work, for example.

As well as subject-specific and technical skills, you also develop a range of core skills that can be used across a range of sectors. These include:

  • 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.

Further study

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 and food quality management.

If you're interested in teaching design and technology (food), you could consider taking a postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE), or a professional graduate diploma in education (PGDE) in Scotland.

For more information on further study and to find a course that interests you, see Masters degrees and search postgraduate courses in food sciences.

What do food science graduates do?

More than a quarter (27%) of food science graduates are working as teaching professionals, with a further 20% working as teaching professionals.

Further study6.3
Working and studying4.8
Graduate destinations for food science
Type of workPercentage
Business, HR and finance11
Types of work entered in the UK

Find out what other graduates are doing 15 months after finishing their degrees in What do graduates do?

Graduate Outcomes survey data from HESA.

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