SHE Level 3
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code M3D626382
Module Leader Janice Taylor
School School of Health and Life Sciences
Subject Biological and Biomedical Sciences
  • B (January start)

Summary of Content

This module aims to provide students with an opportunity to broaden and enhance their knowledge, understanding, and skills in food science with particular reference to sensory evaluation, food preservation, microbiology & safety and the legislation which assures consumer safety and protection. Evaluations of current trends and challenges will also be outlined. Lecture and tutorial material is complemented by laboratory practical classes.


This module will investigate the many diverse aspects of food science: Sensory analysis of food : the role of the nervous system in sensory interpretation; the functioning of the senses in relation to food choices and evaluation. Factors affecting acceptability of food in disease and in health; introduction to sensory testing of foods; objective and subjective tests; test design. Food processing and preservation; preservation of food and the effects of preservation on the sensory, microbiological and nutritional quality of food. The role of packaging in the preservation and storage of foods. The uses, value and safety of food additives and functional foods. Food safety and hygiene: a range of viral and bacterial contaminations of foods will be addressed. Food spoilage organisms, chemical and physical contaminants, sterilisation & disinfection. Food Legislation; General points under the Food Law HACCP regulations; EU legislation. Food Labelling Regulations; Nutritional labelling - UK, EC, Codex the role of enforcement agencies; enforcement powers and procedures. The tutorial and seminar programmes compliment the lecture and laboratory programmes to further reinforce the syllabus giving opportunities for problem solving, group work and development of professional skills. The seminar programme includes guest speakers from our industrial partners.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module the student should be able to:1. Demonstrate an understanding of the role of the senses involved in food choices and compare of the methods employed in sensory evaluation in the food industry.2. Evaluate the effects of processing and preservation on the quality, organoleptic properties and safety of foods. 3. Analyse the properties associated with microbial food poisoning utilising standard analytical methods.4. Examine the legislation covering the food safety and the roles of enforcement agencies.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

The lectures programme will introduce key theoretical principles, practices and techniques employed in food science. Students will develop a short laboratory project incorporating the knowledge gained learning from the lecture, tutorial and introductory lab practical classes culminating in the identification of a foodborne pathogen from an outbreak sample. A blended learning approach is adopted on the module with lectures, seminars and laboratory practicals augmented by the GCU Virtual Learning Environment (GCULearn). This provides a dedicated platform which hosts course and lecture materials, web links to online resources, directed reading and announcements. During the laboratory programme the students will develop a wide range of hands on laboratory skills which they will utilise to construct their short case study project. A tutorial programme supplementing the lectures and laboratory programmes will allow students to evaluate their knowledge and address any skills gaps. The teaching strategy will progressively develop the use of textbooks, journals and internet for sources of information. Students will be given directed reading in appropriate research areas.

Indicative Reading

Food Science & Technology (2018) 2nd Edition. Geoffrey Campbell-Platt. Wiley Blackwell, London.ISBN 9780470673423 Food Microbiology; An Introduction (2017). 4 th Edition. Montvile. T.J ., Matthews. K.R., and Kniel K.E. ASM Press, Washington. ISBN 9781555819385. Directed reading will be posted on GCU Learn.

Transferrable Skills

Developing the skills to engage with processes and the diverse ways of working within the food industry. Demonstrate the ability to evaluate current principles and theories in the field of food science. Applying analytical and microbiological methods to solve problems, analysing data and communicating results effectively.

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Assessment (FT) 3.00
Independent Learning (FT) 137.00
Seminars (FT) 3.00
Tutorials (FT) 11.00
Practicals (FT) 24.00
Lectures (FT) 22.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Exam 01 2.00 60.00 35% Unseen written exam
Course Work 01 n/a 40.00 35% Case study presentation