Nutrition and Food Science BSc (Hons) – 2017 entry

Surrey has a great reputation for food science, and I loved the breadth of the programme. I discovered subjects I never thought I’d enjoy such as microbiology, physiology and pathology. I was able to build up a big picture on food: the influences on food and how food impacts the population.

What you'll study

On our dynamic Nutrition and Food Science degree programme, you’ll explore the secret science behind food production, development and safety to enable you to pursue an exciting career within the food manufacturing industry, research institutes, government and consumer organisations.

Programme overview

‘Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food.’ This recommendation was made by Hippocrates in 400 BCE. Today, we know that this holds true, as food science has revealed that many foods contain natural components that can prevent or delay illnesses that lead to premature death.

Food science is a multidisciplinary subject involving the application of sciences such as chemistry and biology to the study of food.

Studying a broad-based curriculum, you will gain an understanding of the raw materials that will become food, how these interact, and how food science can have dramatic implications for human health and disease.

Food safety also forms a key component of the programme. You have only to open a newspaper and read about the latest food safety scare to appreciate how food can be a major source of disease-causing chemicals and micro-organisms.

Our programme will not only provide you with a thorough understanding of food composition and analysis, but also give you a high standard of experience in nutrition and microbiology. You also have the option to undertake a Professional Training placement.

With this combination of knowledge and skills, you will be able to appreciate how food can be produced safely and with maximum nutritional and beneficial value to human health.

These are key attributes for graduates hoping to enter the food sector, where the leading companies are seeking to exploit the food science and nutrition revolution that has led to the concept of novel and functional foods with associated health benefits.

Our graduates are eminently employable in the food industry and related areas and can make an important contribution to UK and global food security through improved food preservation and the provision of safe and nutritious foods.

Read about the experience of current Food Science student Alice Goudie.

We also offer a degree in Food Science and Microbiology for those who would rather specialise in the microbiology side of food science.

Programme structure

Year 1 (FHEQ Level 4)

Year 1 covers a wide range of subjects to give you the broad scientific background required for food scientists.

Compulsory modules:

Optional modules:

Year 2 (FHEQ Level 5)

In Year 2, your studies become more specialised and you will focus on many different topics, including food science, food microbiology, nutrition and food analysis.

You will also prepare for your Professional Training placement. You will acquire key skills which will help you not just on placement, but also in your future employment.

Compulsory modules:

Optional modules:

Professional Training placement (optional)

We strongly encourage you to take a placement in the UK or overseas with leading companies such as:

  • Unilever
  • Nestlé
  • GlaxoSmithKline
  • Food Standards Agency
  • Mars Confectionery
  • Waitrose
  • United Biscuits
  • Danone
  • Sainsbury’s
  • Dairy Crest

We place great emphasis on organising a successful, research-­based placement, allowing you to extend and enhance your practical abilities and sharpen your professional skills. Employers may sponsor the final year of your degree and many offer our students employment on graduation. To help ensure that you have a successful experience, you will be visited in person during your placement year. 

In the competitive world of graduate employment, companies are more likely to consider applicants who have previous professional experience.

Year 3 (FHEQ Level 6)

Year 3 will give you a high degree of specialisation, including an understanding of novel foods. You will have the opportunity to perform your own research project, carried out under the supervision of a member of academic staff.

This will give you the opportunity to explore a research area of particular interest and develop specialised lab-based skills and experience.

Compulsory modules:

Optional modules:

Additional costs

There are associated costs with this BSc (Hons) programme:

  • Safety equipment and/or uniform: £20 - The equipment pack includes laboratory coat, laboratory glasses, laboratory book, pen and padlock. Students are responsible for the costs associated with maintaining/washing/replacing any equipment

Grand total: £20

Global opportunities

You may wish to consider spending your Professional Training placement working in another country. Students have travelled to the USA, Canada, Australia, Brazil and many European countries and typically work in a research laboratory at a partner institution.

If you work in another part of Europe you will be eligible for an Erasmus grant, as well as your full student loan if undertaking an unpaid research placement in a foreign university laboratory. This is an excellent opportunity not only to acquire valuable work experience, but also to improve or learn another language.

Learn more about the Erasmus programme.


Our degrees are modular and based on a structured programme of advanced study, allowing you to pursue the subjects essential to your degree whilst offering flexibility.

On average, you will have approximately 24 hours of contact time each week (lectures, practicals and tutorials). You will also be expected to undertake private study for a similar amount of time (laboratory write-ups, essays and other coursework).


All modules are assessed individually as you progress through the degree programmes and 15 credits are awarded for the successful completion of each one.

You can accumulate marks gradually towards your final degree classification rather than everything resting on one final examination. Assessment takes place through a combination of examination and/or coursework, practical examinations and practical reports.

Contact hours

The following represents an indicative estimate of how you can expect your time to be split on this programme, based on the information available at the time of publication (February 2016):

  • 1 per cent personal tutorial/small group teaching
  • 1 per cent medium group teaching
  • 19 per cent large group teaching
  • 79 per cent studying and revising in your own time

Career opportunities

Our reliance on a supply of safe food, together with the economic problems that arise from crop damage and food spoilage, means that graduates from this programme are in high demand by the food and beverage industries.

The combination of modules covering microbiology, food composition, food processing, food analysis and quality assurance provided by this degree equip you for a range of careers.

An important aspect of food science is understanding the crucial link between diet and health so that foods can be developed to have maximum nutritional value. You could be involved in exciting research into the potential and most recent applications of food science - the development of novel foods.  

These include foods with new synthetic or natural ingredients which are used to replace fats or lower cholesterol, foods with novel health-promoting extracts from plants, or foods that have been altered by genetic manipulation.

As a nutritionist, you may be concerned with the beneficial components in a food, but as a food scientist, you will need to ensure that a food bought from a supermarket contains the optimum amount of these components.

You will find our graduates involved in product development, food analysis, research, consumer advice, legislation, food safety and teaching.

The vast majority of our graduates go immediately into the job market and positions often follow naturally from a successful Professional Training placement, but further study comes a close second. This includes taught Masters programmes and PhD studentships.

Graduate prospects

Graduates over the last few years have secured roles such as:

  • Campden and Chorleywood Food Research Association, Senior Research Officer and PhD
  • Tesco, Technical Development Executive
  • Northern Foods (Solway Foods Factory),Process Development Technologist
  • Danone, Nutritionist
  • Princes Foods, New Product Development
  • Mars Confectionery, Product Design Senior Scientist
  • Sugar Bureau, Nutrition Scientist
  • Geest Plc, Product Development Unilever, Process Development Officer
  • Nestlé, Nutritionist

2017 Entry requirements

What qualifications do you need?



We do not include General Studies or Critical Thinking in our offers.

It is desirable for those applicants taking part in the Science Practical Endorsement in either Physics, Biology or Chemistry to obtain a pass.

Access to HE Diploma

QAA recognised Access to Higher Education Diploma with 39 Level 3 Credits at Distinction and 6 Level 3 Credits at Merit - QAA recognised Access to Higher Education Diploma with 30 Level 3 Credits at Distinction and 15 Level 3 Credits at Merit.

BTEC (QCF Level 3) Extended Diploma


European Baccalaureate

75 per cent-74 per cent

International Baccalaureate

35-34 points

Scottish Highers

Scottish Advanced Highers AAB/Scottish Highers AAABB-Scottish Advanced Highers ABB/Scottish Highers AABBB

Welsh Baccalaureate

Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma and A-level AA-Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma and A-level AB

Other international qualifications

If you are an international student and you don’t meet the entry requirements to this degree, we offer the International Foundation Year.

Select your country:

Required subjects

GCSE English Language and Mathematics at grade C/4 or above

Two core science A-level subjects are required from Chemistry, Biology, Physics or Mathemathics (Chemistry or Biology preferred).

Other A-level subjects such as Food Technology, Home Economics, Applied Science or Environmental Studies will also be considered in combination with a preferred science subject.

Selection process

Offers are normally made in terms of grades.

Suitable candidates may be invited to an Applicant Day. During the visit to the University the candidate can find out more about the programme and meet staff and students.

English language requirements

6.5 IELTS minimum overall (or equivalent)

6.0 IELTS minimum in each sub-skill (or equivalent)

If you are an international student and you are concerned that your English is not to the required standard, you may benefit from the International Foundation Year, run by the Surrey International Study Centre.

Please note that the University of Surrey offers English language programmes and is also an IELTS Test Centre.

See 2018 entry information

Course Options

Qualification Course Length Professional Training UCAS code KIS code
BSc (Hons) 3 Years BD46 View KIS data set
BSc (Hons) 4 Years BD47 View KIS data set

Tuition fees

View a complete listing of all ongoing fees for our undergraduate programmes.

The University will assess your fee status. If you are unsure whether you are likely to be considered a home, EU or overseas student for fees purposes, the UKCISA website offers more information.

Additional costs

There are additional costs associated with this programme – view the additional costs section for full details.

Professional Training placement fees

Programmes marked with a tick in the table above include a Professional Training placement.

A reduced fee is charged for Professional Training placements.

Fees will not have to be paid up front for those eligible students who decide to take up the Government's loan for higher education fees. The Professional Training placement is a key factor in the high employability rates achieved by students with Surrey degrees.

Bursaries and scholarships

We're committed to making sure that we offer support for students who might need it.

Find out more

International students

Experienced staff in our International Student Office are available to help from the moment you consider studying at the University. We offer professional advice on immigration, visa issues, entry qualifications, pre-departure information, employment regulations and international student welfare.

How to apply

Find out how and when to apply to study at Surrey.

More info


Modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that modules may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.

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