Food and Drink Innovation

Course detail

Start Date



1 year full-time for September entry; 18 months full-time for January entry

Degree Classification



Apply Direct

Why Study Food and Drink Innovation?


Diversify your career and learn the skills necessary for a leading career in the food manufacturing industry. This is a flexible programme in which you work in multidisciplinary teams to develop in-depth knowledge of all aspects of the food and drink sector.

A limited number of funded places are available for January 2018 entry to this course. Highly-qualified Scottish and EU candidates can apply to have their tuition fees paid by the Scottish Funding Council. Numbers are limited, so candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

We also have a funded studentship available in this area. You can currently receive up to £14,500 in funding, with other opportunities opening soon. For further information on these studentships, and how to apply, please have a look at our Research Degree Studentships section.

The MSc Food and Drink Innovation offers a unique postgraduate experience, specifically designed in discussion with industry bodies including Scotland Food and Drink, Skills Development Scotland, and Interface Food & Drink.

As a postgraduate student, you’ll will work in mixed-discipline teams with other highly talented individuals to develop innovative solutions pertinent to challenges faced in the contemporary food and drink industry.

Working closely with academic staff who are highly experienced in the food and drink industry and academic teaching, and under the guidance and mentorship of food and drink industry representatives, you’ll develop professional skills and knowledge relevant to the sector.

Register Interest

A postgraduate qualification can prepare you for a more senior position and a considerably higher starting salary. 

Information and advice is key to making sure you make the right decision for you. Thankfully, we’re here to tell you everything you need to know about stepping into the world of postgraduate study.

Register your interest and find out the fantastic options available to you.


Register Interest

Entry Requirements

Applicants must hold an honours degree at 2:2 (lower second class) or better in a suitable subject such as: biosciences, chemistry, science, product design, engineering, food, nutrition or consumer science degree, computing, marketing, or business.

The University is committed to a wider access policy and accepts applications from candidates with recent relevant academic, professional or employment experience who can show that they would benefit from study at master’s level. These will be considered on an individual basis.

We welcome applicants in employment and from the food and drink industry itself for full-time and part-time study, for those who may seek an accelerated route to a postgraduate qualification.

How to Apply

Overseas and EU

All applicants are required to provide certified proof of competence in English Language. The university's minimum requirements are:

Overseas and EU: IELTS 7.0 (no individual test less than 7.0).

How to Apply

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Information for International Applicants

Please provide certified proof of your English language level. Our accredited International English Foundation Course can help. To further enhance your academic English, Intensive English for Academic Purposes can help you achieve your potential.

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English Language Requirements

Explore English language requirements for entry to Abertay University.

Find out more

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English Language Courses

Discover the range of English language courses on offer at Abertay University.

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Visa Information

Learn more about visa requirements for studying at Abertay University.

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How the Course Works

Learn about industry expectations as you are supported by experienced academic specialists.

Follow a curriculum designed in collaboration with Scotland Food & Drink, Skills Development Scotland and Interface Food & Drink to meet the demands of the Food & Drink sector.

During the course of your studies, you’ll ultimately be expected to demonstrate applied excellence in your specialist area, as well as professionalism, flexibility, the ability to adapt within team working situations, and creativity and innovation towards product development.

Food Innovation Centre

Our brand new Food Innovation Centre includes a cutting edge food processing lab and specialist sensory suite. The suite includes a climate controlled environment and the latest digital teaching facilities. The lab houses a spray drier, extruder, micro-brewery, cheese vats, a rheometer, a freeze drier and much more.

Apply your own specialist capability and develop new sector-specific expertise through specialist education and collaborative mixed-team working on industry relevant innovation projects.

 This intensive programme will expose you to a breadth of practice encountered in the food and drink industry, ideally preparing you for an exciting and creative career in a vibrant and expanding sector.

Learning and Assessment

A key component of the MSc Food and Drink Innovation is to foster creativity through enquiry-based learning, where mixed-discipline teams of students will develop solutions to industry-posed problems.

Industry-linked innovation projects will be developed by multidisciplinary teams of students, mentored and supported by experienced industry practitioners and academic researchers, and underpinned by high-level sector specific modules and education.

With activities ranging from 'pitch and crit' sessions, where solution conceptions are pitched to a panel for critique, to the development of prototyped solutions, teams are mentored and supervised by academics and industry practitioners to facilitate the development of specific professional skills and a broader understanding of the food and drink industry.

During the course, you'll study modules in:

Packaging and Sustainability for the Food and Drink Industry

In this module, you'll learn how to critically appraise the science and research underpinning food packaging and sustainability development within the industry. You’ll also design and evaluate an “ideal” food packaging solution, considering the food product itself (composition, quality and safety) and sustainability. In addition, you’ll critically evaluate current sustainability issues related to food packaging and discuss consumer attitudes and behaviours towards food waste and food packaging.

Food Quality and Safety Management

You'll learn how to critically apply the principles of hazard analysis and critical control points (HACCP) in the food supply chain; verify the application of risk assessment methodologies in the quantification of hazards; critically evaluate the impact of food safety failures from an economic, health and societal point of view; critically evaluate food safety training needs in a food production environment; and present a critique of food legislation and the controls, related to food safety.

Professional Development in the Food and Drink Industry

In this module, you'll learn how to formulate and appraise a personal portfolio of work; interpret and critique material presented by professional practitioners; appraise areas other than your primary professional discipline; and propose and develop an innovative topic.

Innovation Project

Depending on the type of project being undertaken, it may involve independent and/or supervised research comprising literature search, data collection, experiments, field work (factory visits). Projects will be designed by industrial partners in conjunction with academics who provide you with both mentorship and guidance. You'll learn how to critically evaluate the experience of project management from both a personal and team perspective, drawing valid conclusions from the available evidence, as well as critically evaluating the potential for commercialisation of any products and procedures recommended as part of project based assessments.

Professional Practice

In this module, you'll reflect and develop existing professional skills and knowledge required to manage, contribute and develop process effectively, safely and in a sustainable manner related to food and drink sector requirements and your career ambitions

Research Methods

This module will give you a critical understanding of theories, concepts and principles of research methodology and the range of methods used in conducting research in different disciplines, as well as providing the skills and knowledge necessary to undertake an original in-depth investigation in those fields.

Option Module

You'll also have the opportunity to take an option module from the range on offer.


The scholarship below is open to all international students and those applying from England, Wales and Northern Ireland with a 2.1 or above for a postgraduate course. It's paid in two instalments, in December and March. 

Rest of UK Postgraduate Abertay Scholarships

This £2,000 award is open to all prospective new postgraduate students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Programme Fees for 2018

Scottish & EU students


*We have fee funded places available for Scottish and EU students.

+ Subject to confirmation of SFC fee-funded places.

* There may be additional charges where the MSc is not completed within 18 months. Module fees are on a pro rata basis of 180 credits.

Fee quoted is the total cost providing that the MSc follows on immediately after the PG Dip element and is completed within the same academic year as started. Fees may be subject to increase.

English, Welsh & Northern Irish Students


* There may be additional charges where the MSc is not completed within 18 months. Module fees are on a pro rata basis of 180 credits.

+ Subject to confirmation of SFC fee-funded places.

Fee quoted is the total cost providing that the MSc follows on immediately after the PG Dip element and is completed within the same academic year as started. Fees may be subject to increase.

International Students


* There may be additional charges where the MSc is not completed within 18 months. Module fees are on a pro rata basis of 180 credits.

+ Subject to confirmation of SFC fee-funded places.

Fee quoted is the total cost providing that the MSc follows on immediately after the PG Dip element and is completed within the same academic year as started. Fees may be subject to increase.


Food and drink is Scotland’s largest manufacturing sector. It generates £9.5 billion turnover per annum, employs over 360,000 people, and is a key sector identified by the Scottish Government for growing the economy and expanding Scotland’s international competitive advantage.

Scotland Food and Drink has set the sector targets of increasing turnover to £12.5 billion and increasing exports to £5.1 billion by 2017.

The industry currently faces critical skills shortages, which will be further exacerbated by demographic factors by 2017.


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To drive sector growth, product development and export, the industry requires creative professionals from a range of discipline and experiential backgrounds, with experience in developing innovative solutions for industry.

Scotland must boost its capacity and capability to innovate in our increasingly complex, interconnected, dynamic and globally competitive world.

This MSc can provide the necessary grounding for a career in the food and drink industry, as it gives you real exposure to industry professionals and development practice at an advanced level.

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Graduate School

Our Graduate School is a dedicated facility providing support, training and professional development opportunities to our vibrant postgraduate community. Specially designed to promote integration and inculcation of interdisciplinary working in our next generation of researchers, postgraduates study and learn together at Abertay – from Environmental Management to Law, Psychology, Bioscience, Economics and Business, Cybersecurity and Computer Games Development.



Learn more about our Graduate School

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On Joining the Programme, You Will

When you join us as a postgraduate student or researcher, you’ll be joining a community of creative likeminded scholars and will automatically be provided with access to our dedicated study and social spaces – a forum in which you can meet, work and learn with other researchers and postgraduates from across the University.

You’ll benefit from training and professional development opportunities, as well as support with funding applications, placement opportunities, teaching support, public engagement and outreach activity.

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Making the Most of Masters

The Making the Most of Masters project provides opportunities for master’s students to undertake work based projects, allowing you to enhance your employability at the same time as studying for your master’s degree.

Working with external organisations and employers, the projects are an integral part of your academic programme and address real needs within an organisation meaning you’ll have the opportunity to add valuable experience to your CV.


Find out more about Making the Most of Masters‌.

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Explore our Dundee Campus

Abertay is conveniently located on a city centre campus, with all of its buildings within a quarter of a mile of each other. Shops, recreational facilities and the main bus and train stations are a short walk away.

Our Campus

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Why Abertay

We're proud of our students and graduates, and we believe there's no better place to study if you're looking for a degree that helps you stand out as an exceptional candidate in an increasingly competitive job market.

Why Abertay

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Living in Dundee

Dundee is a city of contrasts. It's vibrant and cosmopolitan, but also friendly, compact and affordable. The first UK city to be awarded UNESCO City of Design status, Dundee has a rich history of innovation and creativity, and, in recent years, has become a hub for the digital industries.

Living in Dundee & Scotland

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