Food Design & Innovation

Ulster University - Belfast

Food Design & Innovation

Product life cycles are getting shorter and new product and process development is needed to remain competitive. Enrich your understanding of consumer behaviours and design innovative solutions to give customers what they want.

This extremely practical course can add unrivalled value to your business by enhancing your innovation and management capabilities. Gain access to cutting edge consumer insight data and facilities where you can take your ideas from conception to reality.

Discover first-hand how consumers shop and how that impacts future products and business using our virtual reality Consumer Insight Lab

Access market intelligence to gain competitive insights and drive results

Determine consumer preferences for a product via our award-winning Food and Consumer Sensory Testing Suite (FACTS) including development kitchens, meeting facilities and sensory booths using the world leading Compusense sensory software

Designed with key industry thought-leaders, you will become part of a network of professionals whilst being supported and educated by industry experts and researchers.

For further course details please see "Course Web Page" below.

Subjects taught

Year one
Food Choice, Culture and Environment
This module provides an in-depth understanding of the key theoretical concepts relating to consumer food choice and decision-making. It introduces students to the wide range of factors impacting on consumer food choice. Focusing on the social and cultural aspects of food choice students will be required to understand food choice at an individual and population level.

Food Policy and Sustainable Food Systems
This module examines the effects of food policy issues on the consumer, the environment and the food industry as a whole. The module draws on the knowledge and experiences of participants and relates them to global and local food issues. A number of contemporary food policy and food issues are discussed and their implications for the consumer and the social, economic, business and political environment are outlined.

Sensory and Consumer Evaluation
This module provides an introduction to important elements in sensory assessment and consumer behaviour. The knowledge and skills gained in this module have global application and will equip students with a sound bases for future roles linked to food quality, sensory science and product development.

Data Driven Design Decisions
This module provides the student with a solid understanding of data driven principles, applications and value in modern organisations. Particular attention is awarded to business process improvement techniques including knowledge management and business intelligence. The opportunity to construct a simple data analytics dashboard system is provided. On completion of the module students will be equipped with the skills necessary to evaluate their own personal information management skills and an understanding of the skills required in a sustainable learning organisation for enhanced evidence-based business decision making.

Year two
Food & Drink Design Project
The Food and Drink Design project enables students to develop research, consultancy, technical, business and project management skills. The project builds upon all other modules offering students the opportunity to design a new innovative food and drink concept, process, product or application. Through the project students apply the practical and theoretical concepts encountered on the course to a relevant food and drink issue. In doing so they choose appropriate research methodologies, gather data and make conclusions and resource based recommendations to a potential investment panel in a reliable and valid manner.

Food and Drink Innovation
This module provides an in-depth understanding of the key elements of innovation underpinning the development and marketing of successful new food and drink products/services. It will introduce students to key management and marketing concepts and apply these to the food industry. The module will cover the key steps in developing new food and drink products and processes and the importance of analysing consumer data and market trends.

Food Design and Digital Communications
This module examines the various digital communication channels and tools used to effectively promote food and drinks to the consumer. Based on knowledge acquired during lectures, students will be afforded the opportunity to apply this range of literary techniques in designing a content marketing plan. As part of the content marketing plan, students incorporate the practical element of food promotion where they evidence creativity and entrepreneurial skills of food styling/photography, blogging and video production.

Entry requirements

To apply to our postgraduate taught programmes, you must meet the University's General Entrance Requirements and any course-specific requirements.

These vary depending on the course and are detailed online.

Applicants must:
(a) have gained

(i) an Honours or non-Honours degree from a University of the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland, or from a recognised national awarding body, or from an institution of another country which is recognised as being of an equivalent standard; or

(ii) an equivalent standard in a Postgraduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma, Graduate Certificate or an approved alternative qualification;


In addition, applicants must have at least one year's work experience within the Food and Drink industry.

(b) provide evidence of competence in written and spoken English (GCSE grade C or equivalent).

In exceptional circumstances, as an alternative to (a) (i) or (a) (ii) and/or (b), where an individual has substantial and significant experiential learning, a portfolio of written evidence demonstrating the meeting of graduate qualities (including subject-specific outcomes, as determined by the Course Committee) may be considered as an alternative entrance route. Evidence used to demonstrate graduate qualities may not be used for exemption against modules within the programme.

If English is not your first language this course requires a minimum English level of IELTS (academic) 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5, or equivalent.

Visit englishrequirements for more details.

For full entry requirements please see "Course Web Page" below.

Application dates

Your Application
Application is through the University's online application system (see "Application Weblink" below).

Post Course Info

Career options
With an estimated £4.8 billion of sales in 2017/18 and contributing to 32% of total manufacturing sales the Northern Ireland Food & Drinks industry is going from strength to strength (DAERA, 2019).

Whether you are a product developer, marketing manager or business owner this course will help to elevate your career and/or business. With access to insight and industry knowledge, combined with practical testing and experience you will graduate with the expertise to find innovative solutions to current industry challenges adding value and longevity to any businesses you are associated with.

An extremely relevant course using the most up to date research and technology, you will graduate in a position to seek out more senior management roles or start your own business.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Postgraduate Diploma at UK Level 7,Degree - Masters at UK Level 7,Postgraduate Certificate at UK Level 7

  • Attendance type

    Part time

  • Apply to

    Course provider