FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions about BSc Food Science and BSc Nutritional Sciences

 

 

 

Should I study Food Science or Nutritional Sciences?

Food science explores how food products are made, and how they acquire their specific characteristics such as flavour and texture. Food scientists develop new forms of traditional products as well as innovative foods developed to support healthy eating, athletic performance and disease prevention.  If this interests you, the BSc Food Science is the perfect course for you. The diverse range of subjects covered, from food chemistry to microbiology, provides students with a unique blend of scientific and technical skills designed to meet the needs of careers in the food industry, ranging from research and development to food processing and production.

Nutritional sciences focus on how food affects health. The BSc Nutritional Sciences explores how the provision of food and nutrients to the body to enables physical and mental development and the maintenance of health throughout life. Nutritional scientists play an essential role in understanding the relationship between diet and disease through research, and in providing expert evidence-based dietary advice to the public. Nutritional scientists also work on the alleviation of malnutrition, the treatment of diet-related diseases, and the provision of safe, wholesome and nutritious foods to the consumer.

All students in both the BSc Food Science and the BSc Nutritional Sciences degrees undertake a six-month work placement in third year.  This provides students with an opportunity to gain industry experience and acquire key transferrable skills in communication, organisation and management.

 

 

What work/career would I be qualified to do on completion of these courses?

BSc Food Science

A BSc in Food Science provides you with a unique blend of scientific and technical skills designed to meet the needs of careers in the food industry, ranging from research and development to food processing and production.

With this degree programme, you will be equipped with the skills and know-how to work in a diverse range of careers in food and related industries and also in healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors as scientists, technologists and innovators. Visit ‘Meet our Graduates’ at https://www.ucc.ie/en/fns/  to see some of our graduate careers. Among Food Science students, employment rates within year 1 of graduating are about 75%, with 20-25% engaged in further study.

BSc Nutritional Sciences

A BSc in Nutritional Sciences provide you with expertise in nutrition as well as in food science and the broader biological sciences in order to prepare you for careers in research and development and a wide range of technical roles in the food and health care industries. The course does not qualify students to work as dieticians, but from September 2020 a postgraduate dietetics programmes will be available in UCC. Visit ‘Meet our Graduates’ at https://www.ucc.ie/en/fns/  to see some of our graduate careers. Over the past 5 years, about 90% of Nutritional Sciences students surveyed within the first year of graduating have reported being either in full-time employment or further study (Masters or PhD).

 

 

How many places are available and what are the entry requirements?

Food Science

45 students were accepted to the 1st year Food Science programme for the Academic Year 2019-2020.  A similar number will be accepted for 2020-2021. Minimum CAO entry points 2019-2020 were 444, while students who were enrolled had points in the range 444-601. Specific LC subjects required Minimum entry requirements: H5 in two subjects and O6 in four other subjects in the Leaving Certificate from Irish, English, Mathematics, one Laboratory Science subject [i.e., Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Physics with Chemistry (joint) or Agricultural Science] and two other subjects recognised for entry purposes. Additional Requirements:  H4 in a Laboratory Science subject or Mathematics or Applied Mathematics.

Nutritional Sciences

44 students were enrolled in the 1st year Nutritional Science programme for the Academic Year 2019-2020. A similar number will be accepted for 2020-2021. Minimum CAO entry points 2019-2020 were 492, while students who were enrolled had points in the range 492-577. Specific LC subjects required Minimum entry requirements: H5 in two subjects and O6 in four other subjects in the Leaving Certificate from Irish, English, Mathematics, one Laboratory Science subject [i.e., Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Physics with Chemistry (joint) or Agricultural Science] and two other subjects recognised for entry purposes. Additional Requirements:  H4 in a Laboratory Science subject or Mathematics or Applied Mathematics.

 

 

How many hours of college will I have per week? What kind of assessment takes place?

BSc Food Science students take the following teaching schedules over their 4-year programme.

Year 1: approximately 300 hours of lectures, 100 hours of practicals, and 58 hours of tutorials in Biology, Chemistry, Food, Mathematics, and Physics.

Year 2: approximately 264 hours of lectures, 138 hours of practicals, and 16 hours of tutorials in Biochemistry, Food Chemistry, Microbiology, Process Engineering, and Statistics.

Year 3: approximately 234 hours of lectures, 126 hours of practicals and factory visits, plus a 24-week work placement.

Year 4:  Food Chemistry and Processing Technology: 240 hours of lectures, 60 hours of practicals, and a team new product development project over teaching periods 1 and 2

Assessment: Written exams will take place before Christmas and in May. Not all modules will have formal examinations. Many modules use other types of assessment including in-semester multiple choice question examinations and laboratory write-ups. Some modules will have a project report as the main outcome of the module and this is also assessed.

 

BSc Nutritional Sciences students take the following teaching schedules over their 4 year programme.

Year 1: Approximately 300 hours of lectures, 100 hours of practicals, and 58 hours tutorials in Biology, Chemistry, Nutrition, Mathematics, and Physics.

Year 2: Approximately 234 hours of lectures, 126 hours of practicals and self-directed learning in Biochemistry, Food Chemistry, Microbiology, Molecular Biology, Nutrition, Physiology and Statistics.

Year 3: Approximately 204 hours of lectures, 66 hours of practicals and self-directed learning, and eight hours of tutorials in Food Science, Microbiology and Nutrition. You will also undertake a library project

Year 4: Approximately 222 hours of lectures, 12 hours of practicals, 12 hours of directed or self-directed study, a 14-week laboratory-based research project and seminars in Immunology, Nutrition and Toxicology.

Assessment: Written exams will take place before Christmas and in May. Not all modules will have formal examinations. Many modules use other types of assessment including in-semester multiple choice question examinations and laboratory write-ups. Some modules will have a project report as the main outcome of the module and this is also assessed.

 

 

Would I be at a disadvantage in Food Science or Nutritional Sciences if I did not study Biology/Chemistry for my Leaving Cert?

The Minimum requirement for the BSc Food Science or Nutritional Sciences is one Laboratory Science subject [i.e., Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Physics with Chemistry (joint) or Agricultural Science] and two other subjects recognised for entry purposes. Additional Requirements:  H4 in a Laboratory Science subject or Mathematics or Applied Mathematics. For those who enter the programme without a particular science subject, teaching from 1st year, is on the basis that some of the cohort of students entering the programme will not have studied the subject before. Science subjects are taught from the initial concepts and tutorials are available to assist students.

 

 

What kind of work would I be involved in on Work Placement?

An integral part of 3rd year of both the Food Science and Nutritional Sciences programmes is a six-month work placement. You will be placed on a 6-month Work Placement by the UCC Careers Services.  Placements will provide you with a practical insight into the commercial world of food science and strengthen your communication and professional skills while developing your business contacts, which greatly enhances your employability as a graduate. Placement opportunities are available in companies and hospitals across Ireland and a lesser number in European companies. Companies range from national and multinational food companies such as Carbery, Dairygold, Glanbia, Kerry Group, PepsiCo, Nestlé, Irish Distillers, Dunnes Stores and Supervalu. Students may also choose placements in smaller craft food  businesses. Nutritional Science students may be placed in a hospital/clinical settings. Tasks include laboratory-based work, product development and clinical and nutritional assessment.

 

 

What course is most suited to someone who wants to be a Dietician?

Students who study for a BSc Nutritional Sciences may have the opportunity to progress to study Dietetics in UCC.  From September 2020 a new MSc in Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics will be available, and graduates from the BSc Nutritional Sciences programme may wish to apply for this course

 

 

Is there a chance to study abroad/complete a placement abroad?

There are a limited number of work placement posts in European companies. Student may also have opportunities to travel for work purposes with placements based in Ireland.

 

 

Is a career in Food/Nutrition a risky choice? What are the job prospects like?

We are currently living through uncertain times, but one constant is the necessity of food production and ensuring a safe, reliable and healthy food supply. For this reason, the food industry has always been hugely important in Irish society and will play a pivotal role in Ireland’s economic recovery once the country begins to return to normality. Bearing this in mind, we are confident that UCC’s BSc Food Science and BSc Nutritional Sciences  will remain as they always have been: stable degree programmes which offer life-long secure employment opportunities.

School of Food and Nutritional Sciences

School of Food and Nutritional Sciences, Room 240 Food Science Building, University College, Cork

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