Taught course

Food Science

University of Reading · Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences

Entry requirements

Please note that entry requirements for 2024/25 have not yet been confirmed. The entry requirements for 2023/24 were:

IELTS: 6.5 overall with no element less than 5.5 (or equivalent).

Applicants are typically required to have at least a lower second-class honours degree (2:2) in a pure or applied science (or equivalent from a university outside the UK). Recognition of Prior Experiential Learning may be considered based on relevant work and other experience.

Pre-sessional English language programme

If you need to improve your English language score, you can take a pre-sessional English course prior to entry onto your degree.

Months of entry


Course content

Delve into the world of food with our MSc Food Science course.
The safety, quality and nutritional properties of the food that reaches consumers depends upon food scientists.
Building on your scientific undergraduate studies, this course will allow you to gain an in-depth knowledge of the science of food. Taught by academics from the Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences, topics include:
  • food chemistry
  • food quality and safety
  • manufacturing and process.
Our Department is a world authority on food and human nutrition. We have leading experts in all of the component disciplines that contribute to food and nutritional science – a claim that no other UK department can make.
You will become accustomed to working in extensive, industry-standard laboratories. Our food-teaching facilities include:
  • Food Processing Centre. This pilot plant is unique to Reading. There is almost 1100m2 of floor space devoted to approximately £4m worth of equipment. Used primarily for teaching and learning, the plant contains processing equipment for food product development work. No other UK university offers what we do under one roof.
  • Flavour Centre. The Centre hosts facilities that enable you to gain comprehensive practical experience in taste and aroma analysis, and flavour extraction.
  • Sensory Science Centre. Our in-house sensory facility gives you the opportunity to evaluate your own food products developed on the course. It is also available for commercial sensory profiling and market research activities.

We are proud of our research: the University of Reading is ranked 8th in the UK for research power in Agriculture, Food and Veterinary Sciences (Times Higher Education, Institutions Ranked by Subject, based on its analysis of the latest Research Excellence Framework 2021) and 95% of our research is of international standing (REF 2021, combining 4*, 3* and 2* submissions – Agriculture, Food and Veterinary Sciences).

As an MSc Food Science student, you will also have access to – and are encouraged to get involved in – the most up-to-date knowledge in the field of food science and nutrition.
Gain valuable industry experience with MSc Food Science
Our MSc Food Science is industry relevant, and the curriculum has been designed in consultation with industry. Designed to widen your skill set and boost employability, you will be encouraged to complete a research project with one of our industry partners. This is an opportunity to embed your learning in practice and undertake research in an area you are interested in, such as new product development or formulation.
Plus, our well-equipped building offers training opportunities for further research on graduation.
Build on your existing knowledge
This master’s course is for graduates of pure sciences – such as chemistry, biology, biochemistry and microbiology – or applied sciences. Examples of applied sciences degrees include:
  • Food science
  • Food engineering
  • Food technology
  • Human physiology
  • Biomedical sciences
  • Agricultural engineering
If you’re unsure whether your degree counts as an applied science, please contact us via reading.ac.uk/question.
You can attend this course on a full-time basis over one year, or part-time over two years.

Fees and funding

New UK/Republic of Ireland students: £12,550

New international students: £26,950

Tuition fee information

The fees listed are for full-time study, unless otherwise stated. Fee information will be confirmed in offer letters sent out to successful applicants. You can find further information, including information for part-time study, through our dedicated fees and funding page.

EU student fees

With effect from 1 August 2021, new EU students will pay international tuition fees. For exceptions, please read the UK government’s guidance for EU students.

Additional costs

Some courses will require additional payments for field trips and extra resources. You will also need to budget for your accommodation and living costs. See our information on living costs for more details.

Scholarships and financial support

For information about the University of Reading’s master’s scholarships, please visit our master’s scholarships page.

You can apply for a scholarship once you hold an offer of admission for your course. If you are eligible for a scholarship, we will contact you to guide you through the process.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MSc
    part time
    24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Global Recruitment Team