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Study Food Science at Otago

Food production and quality is becoming increasingly important globally.

Consumers want foods that are new and exciting, while also being nutritious, safe, tasty, convenient and produced in an environmentally responsible manner. Food companies need to cost-effectively produce foods that meet increasingly diverse market needs. Regulatory agencies insist foods conform to legislation around composition and safety.

The challenge for the food scientist is to blend biology, chemistry, consumer research and nutrition to solve the problems of developing a safe, healthy, sustainable and nutritious food supply for people everywhere.

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Why study Food Science?

Food Science is a portable degree. You can find Food Science jobs all over the world.

You can use both creative and technical skills in developing new food products.

Food Science is a very practical application of basic science (Chemistry, Microbiology, Biology) training with a product, consumer and market focus. There's a mix of scientific research, practical application and consumer interaction required to get the job done.

Career opportunities

As a Food Science graduate, you will have good prospects here in New Zealand and also exciting opportunities overseas. Our graduates frequently  find employment before they have even completed their  final year at university.

You could end up working for a national or international food company specialising in dairy, confectionery, brewing, fruit and vegetables, seafood or any other foodstuff.

There are also positions for Food Science graduates in research institutes, for example Plant & Food Research, or government agencies such as the Ministry for Primary Industries.

Careers in areas such as product development, food quality management, chemical/nutritional analysis, sensory analysis, marketing and research will be at your  fingertips.

Food Science at Otago

What will I learn?

The Bachelor of Science (BSc) majoring in Food Science provides you with a comprehensive understanding of the food industry, combining both theory and practical hands-on experience.

First year: You will study the basic sciences, including biology, chemistry and statistics as well as introductory food science.

Second year: You will apply the science you learnt in first year specifically to food. You will do papers in food chemistry and processing, food systems, sensory science and microbiology.

Third year: You will start to tailor your course to your own particular interests. You will take food product development, advanced food chemistry and food processing papers and can choose to include food microbiology, sensory science, food policy and consumer issues.

There are course advisers within the Department who can help you plan your study path.

Teaching style

Your classes will consist of lectures, tutorials, seminars, practical laboratories, self-directed learning using readings and website material, and field trips to food manufacturers and research organisations.

Assessment is a combination of assignments/projects, examinations, laboratory reports, essays and oral presentations.

Several papers provide you with the opportunity to work in groups on a large project, which often includes interaction with the food industry, a most valuable experience.

Can I combine Food Science with other subjects?

Yes. There are a number of possibilities.

You can major in Food Science for a BSc and include other subjects like Chemistry, Microbiology, Human Nutrition and Biochemistry to complement Food Science in your degree. You could even decide to do a double major in Food Science and another subject. Another option is to do a double degree, for example a BSc in Food Science and a BCom in Marketing.

Background required

High School students are recommended to take Biology, Chemistry, Maths and Physics in Year 12 and 13.

Requirements

Food Science as a minor subject for a BA, MusB, BPA, BTheol, BSc, BCom, BEntr, BHealSc, BACom, BASc or BComSc degree

Available as a minor subject for a Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Music (MusB), Bachelor of Performing Arts (BPA), Bachelor of Theology (BTheol), Bachelor of Science (BSc), Bachelor of Commerce (BCom), Bachelor of Entrepreneurship (BEntr), Bachelor of Health Sciences (BHealSc), Bachelor of Arts and Commerce (BACom), Bachelor of Arts and Science (BASc) or Bachelor of Commerce and Science (BComSc) degree

LevelPapersPoints
100-level

FOSC 111 Food Principles

18
200-level

Two of:
FOSC 201 Food Systems 1
FOSC 202 Food Systems 2
FOSC 213 Sensory Science
AGRI 221 New Zealand Agricultural Systems

FOSC 201 is a prerequisite for FOSC 301 and 302.

36

300-level

36 points from:
FOSC 301 Food Chemistry, Structure and Function
FOSC 302 Food Preservation and Processing
FOSC 306 Advanced Sensory Science
FOSC 311 Food Product Development *
AGRI 321 Agriculture Production and Food Security
MICR 331 Food Microbiology

* 36 point paper

36

 

Note: Students enrolling in this minor should contact the Food Science Department for course advice.

 
Total   90

FOSC papers

Paper Code Year Title Points Teaching period
FOSC111 2024 Food in a Changing World 18 Semester 1
FOSC201 2024 Food Components, Processing and Functionality 18 Semester 1
FOSC202 2024 Food Systems and Quality 18 Semester 2
FOSC213 2024 Sensory Science 18 Semester 2
FOSC301 2024 Food Chemistry, Structure and Function 18 Semester 2
FOSC302 2024 Food Preservation and Processing 18 Semester 1
FOSC304 2024 Food Science Project 18 Semester 1, Semester 2, Full Year
FOSC306 2024 Advanced Sensory Science 18 Semester 1
FOSC308 2024 Food and Consumers 18 Semester 2
FOSC309 2024 Consumer Food Science Project 18 Semester 1, Semester 2, Full Year
FOSC311 2024 Food Product Development 36 Full Year
FOSC401 2024 Topics in Advanced Food Science 1 20 Semester 1, Semester 2, Full Year, 1st Non standard period
FOSC402 2024 Topics in Advanced Food Science 2 20 Semester 1, Semester 2, Full Year, 1st Non standard period
FOSC403 2024 Topics in Advanced Food Science 3 20 Semester 1, Semester 2, Full Year, 1st Non standard period
FOSC404 2024 Topics in Advanced Food Science 4 20 Semester 1, Semester 2, Full Year, 1st Non standard period
FOSC405 2024 Topics in Advanced Food Science 5 20 Semester 1, Semester 2, Full Year, 1st Non standard period
FOSC406 2024 Topics in Advanced Food Science 6 20 Semester 1, Semester 2, Full Year, 1st Non standard period
FOSC407 2024 Topics in Advanced Food Science 7 20 Semester 1, Semester 2, Full Year, 1st Non standard period
FOSC460 2024 Cooperative Education Programme 20 Full Year, 1st Non standard period
FOSC480 2024 Research Project 20 Semester 1, Semester 2, Full Year, 1st Non standard period
FOSC490 2024 Dissertation 60 Full Year, 1st Non standard period
FOSC495 2024 Master's Thesis Preparation 40 Full Year, 1st Non standard period

More information

Contact us

Department of Food Science
Web otago.ac.nz/foodscience

Studying at Otago

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Regulations on this page are taken from the 2024 Calendar and supplementary material.

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