New food science degree responds to food industry demand for graduates

By press office

QMU has responded to the high demand for specialist graduates to enter the food and drink industry by developing the new BSc (Hons) Food Science and Innovation degree.  

With jobs and opportunities at an all-time high within the food sector, this is a great time for people with an interest in food and science to equip themselves for a great job within this developing industry. The food and drinks industry is crying out for qualified graduates who have the skills and experience to hit the ground running when entering the UK’s diverse food sector. It needs enthusiastic, passionate people with the right qualifications and mind set to innovate the sector and help it meet growing national and global demands.  

Dr Anil de Sequeira, Programme Leader, explained: “The food industry is one of the largest and most important industries in the UK, currently employing 4 million people and generating around £121 billion annually. It’s the largest manufacturing sector in the UK, and in Scotland, the food and drink sector is worth around £14 billion each year to the economy.  

“Scotland has 18,850 food and drink businesses, which employ around 115,400 people, but it needs more specialist, high quality graduates who can contribute quickly to the sector and grow its potential.” 

Dr de Sequeira explained: “Scotland has a diverse food industry with large scale companies selling products like whisky, meat, seafood and cereal internationally, as well as exciting and innovative small companies who are breaking new ground in product development and offering contemporary foods to new audiences locally and abroad. Scotland has a rich larder, and more recently, passionate people are taking a more inventive approach to food product development, developing flavour enhancers from seaweed, creating craft gins, producing artisan cheeses and experimenting with food substitutes to produce healthier products. New talent in the industry is also contributing to the development of sustainable food supplies and eco-friendly packaging, as well as investigating food security and identifying new routes to market.” 

"The job opportunities and the range of roles that now exist in the industry are considerable and the new BSc (Hons) Food Science and Innovation will help graduates take up roles such as food scientist, food production and processing technologist, new product development technologist, food analyst, food microbiologist, or sensory technologist or analyst, both in the UK and further afield."
Dr de Sequeira

Significant challenges currently face the food industry. Brexit, climate change, rising food prices and energy costs are all issues that need to be tackled now. That’s why the new BSc (Hons) Food Science and Innovation is one of the most important current developments to emerge from Queen Margaret University.  

Queen Margaret has an impressive track record in food, nutrition and health dating back well over a hundred years. In 2014, the University launched its Scottish Centre for Food Development and Innovation in response to the growth of Scotland’s food and drink industry. The Centre has a team of food scientists, nutritionists and sensory specialists who provide a range of services to the food industry including food and drink innovation, consumer insight and sensory analysis, and food industry training.  

Professor Fiona Coutts, Dean of the School of Health Sciences at Queen Margaret University, said: “The new BSc (Hons) Food Science and Innovation at QMU builds on the University’s strong foundations in food related education and its wider ranging experience in both food education, product development, sensory analysis and innovation. We are ambitious in our vision to support Scotland’s food and drink industry, and are well underway with our plans to develop the Edinburgh Innovation Hub on land adjacent to our campus in Musselburgh. The Hub, which will be part of the Edinburgh Innovation Park, will focus on food and drink related innovation within the context of health and wellbeing. 

“With over a century of food related experience coupled with our ambitious food and drink development plans for our innovation hub, Queen Margaret University is uniquely equipped to offer the BSc (Hons) Food Science and Innovation. With enormous demand for food science graduates to contribute to Scotland’s growing food and drink industry, it’s the perfect time for enthusiastic students to study food science and innovation and secure a future in this increasingly important and developing industry.” 

The BSc (Hons) Food Science and Innovation starts at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh in September 2023 (subject to validation). Find out more about this new degree at BSc (Hons) Food Science and Innovation.  

Notes to Editor

For further media information contact Lynne Russell, Communications Manager, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, E:; M: 07711 011239.