MSc Food Manufacturing Engineering

This course is ideal if you are a practising engineer or recent graduate looking to open up exciting career opportunities in the food and drink industry. Designed in collaboration with the Food and Drink Federation, the National Skills Academy for Food and Drink and some of the UK's biggest companies, and supported by our Centre of Excellence for Food Engineering, it gives you the knowledge and skills to become a technical specialist in this growing sector.

  • Develop expertise in food engineering, manufacture, efficiency and sustainability.
  • Gain industry knowledge through guest lectures and real life projects.
  • Enhance your technical skills in our specialist engineering and food laboratories.
  • Use the course to work towards chartered engineer status.

Course Description

This course is for practising engineers or new graduates who want to become technical specialists developing engineering solutions for the food and drink industry. It is suited to graduates with a mechanical, electrical, food science or technology background.

Through a combination of management, food, and technical modules, you focus on areas of need identified by industry. These include • lean and supply chain • food processing • environmental management • sustainability • automation, control and robotics • process efficiency • food quality and safety • manufacturing and process improvement • packaging and maintenance.

You gain experience of designing experiments and testing food engineering systems in our specialist engineering and food laboratories. By applying your technical knowledge to practical challenges faced by industry, you build the skills to develop innovative solutions to problems. You also learn how these techniques can improve product quality and reduce environmental impact while maintaining industrial competitiveness.

During the course you attend guest lectures from industry experts, and work on real life case studies and projects. You also experience advanced level research by taking part in real life studies. This means your learning is based in the real world of industry and increases your employability when you graduate.

During the course you complete a consultancy project. Recent masters level projects have covered topics such as 

  • The use of robotics to automatically peel a grape 
  • Voice controlled automation for the packaging of food products 
  • Innovative machine vision techniques to determine the condition of fruit

Students have also completed projects spanning areas of food engineering such as • innovative packaging design • sustainable processing • the modelling of complex fluid flows • the reclamation of energy using innovative heat exchangers.

The course is supported by our new National Centre of Excellence for Food Engineering, which has been developed with the food and drink industry and is guided by a board of industry members.


  • Coursework
  • Group project
  • Examinations
  • Dissertation

Core modules

Sustainability, energy and environmental management

This module develops your understanding of sustainable development, including the analysis and diagnosis of the resources, reserves and economic extraction of energy. You develop techniques to optimise energy utilisation in process plant and gain knowledge of environmental legislation and methodologies. You also develop modes of self-learning and reflection in the field of sustainable development.

Lean operations and six sigma

This module develops your understanding of lean operations and enterprises for effective applications of lean principles in a variety of industrial sectors. You evaluate the characteristics of lean, agile and sustainable enterprises and review planning techniques including:

  • Value focused thinking
  • Policy deployment
  • Functional management and costing.

There is also a focus on analysis techniques, mapping and a range of improvement techniques.

Contemporary issues in food operation

This module provides you with the skills to investigate future food engineering technologies and address current issues within a European context. The content is inspired by latest research trends and is partly delivered by guest lecturers from the food industry.

Food processing, safety and quality management

This module prepares you to take responsibility for managing food safety. You gain an appreciation of the role of legislation in food safety management and an understanding of the principles of food preservation.

Industrial automation

This module gives you expertise in various aspects of industrial automation, including:

  • Manufacturing
  • Production units
  • Programmable logic controllers (PLCs)
  • Human-machine interface (HMI)
  • Supervisory control and data acquisition system (SCADA)
  • Distributed control systems (DCS)

Manufacturing systems

This module builds on scientific or technical backgrounds, focusing on best practice and modern methods for designing, operating and modelling competitive manufacturing systems. You also reflect on your role in organisations within a global environment and consider market uncertainties.

Processing and packaging machinery

This module provides you with knowledge of:

  • Robotics and machine vision used in the food industry
  • Hygienic requirements for robotics and mechanical automation
  • Methods of gripping and handling of food goods
  • Design and application of high speed packaging machines
  • Overall integration of devices and equipment used in the food and drink industry

Consultancy project and dissertation

This module combines the various technical and managerial strands of the course into a major piece of research with an element of originality. This involves working with the Centre for Food Engineering and its industrial partners on projects relating to key sector challenges. The project typically takes approximately 600 hours to complete and deepens the knowledge gained in the taught components of the course.

Optional modules

You choose one from:

  • Advanced control methods
  • Equipment engineering and design
  • Rheology and multi-phase flow

MSc Food Manufacturing Engineering

Duration: 1-2 years

Study options: Delivery at Provider Premises, Full Time, Part Time


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