Can you study food science online?

An image of labster

As the world faces major issues surrounding food supply, food safety and sustainability, there has never been a more urgent need for experts and innovators in the field.

If you’re keen to take on these challenges and shape the future of food, further education could help you acquire the skillset needed to become a food scientist or refresh your skills and advance your career if you’re already in the industry.

But what if you don’t have the time or ability to attend university lectures and lab sessions? Can you study food science online?


Drawing on expert research from Manchester Metropolitan University’s Food Nutrition and Occupational Health team, our 100% online MSc in Food Science and Innovation has been expertly designed to allow learners – wherever they are in the world – to develop a deep understanding of important scientific processes and food technology, armed only with a laptop and an internet connection.

Using simulations and virtual labs to study food science online

We caught up with Dr Ajay Patel​, MSc Food Science and Innovation Programme Lead, to find out more about how the online course harnesses technology to teach students how to develop, produce and test food in practice.

Study food science online your way

“We have designed the practical course content in a way that’s exciting and engaging to combat these issues, creating a wide range of demonstration videos filmed in our state-of-the-art food technology, biochemistry and microbiology laboratories. As a Global Online student, you’ll be able to watch these videos at a pace that suits you via the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), and then discuss them during live interactive tutorials with your peers across the world. Several assessments will require that you process and evaluate model data generated during these demonstrations to create technical reports and make recommendations for actions and improvement. These assessments, therefore, represent the real activities of food scientists and food industry professionals, and help develop report writing skills essential to success in the technical arena.”

No physical lab? No problem! Introducing Labster

The MSc programme will also use Labster, an award-winning virtual laboratory used by the likes of Harvard University and the Royal Society of Biology. Students will be able to use Labster on demand, to experience simulations of experiments involving analytical chemistry and microbiology, including pasteurisation and sterilisation, HPLC and the Kjeldahl method.

Dr Patel explains:

“Labster have created an immersive 3D laboratory which uses gamification to give students a mission, allowing you to see the real-world relevance of the science you’re learning and giving experiments a sense of purpose and context. The software is a great way to discover the principles of some scientific methods and get a sense of a ‘hands-on’ experience without entering a laboratory. It offers a brilliant alternative to traditional pre-sessional reading, allowing you to go at your own pace and check that you understand the theory correctly.”

Want to see how the online laboratory Labster works in practice? Watch the HPLC Virtual Laboratory Simulation and Pasteurisation and Sterilisation Simulation.


Find out more about studying food science online at Manchester Met

If you’re committed to furthering your knowledge of food safety, product development, food processing and many other key areas, our online course could be right for you.

For more information about the masters programme, including details on each unit, the recommended study time, fees and funding options, visit the online MSc Food Science and Innovation course page today.

And for anyone still wondering ‘can you study food science online?, check out Edward’s story. Edward is one of our masters students using the course to acquire the experience and academic merit he needs to switch careers and enter the food industry.