Food Science major: Bachelor of Science

Dudley Haines
Student Profile – Dudley Haines

Working as an applications technologist for Invita NZ Ltd, Dudley Haines’ day could include anything from making up a low-fat yoghurt to working on a new flavour project for confectionery. Read more of Dudley’s story.

Current food innovation is driven by trends like reducing sugar, sodium and fat; using more natural flavourings and colourings, and improving the shelf life of foods. Food science provides the vital scientific understanding to convert food commodities into high quality, safe and nutritious food products.
The role of a food scientist is critical in the production of food. Food science opens the door to a range of career paths including developing new food products, improving sensory attributes and nutritional content of foods, and finding new ways to preserve, process, package and distribute food. This major introduces you to the science behind the food we eat, using principles of food chemistry, food microbiology, sensory science, food product development and food processing and technology. It covers the science and practical skills involved in the production, preservation, safety and quality evaluation of foods. You learn to analyse the characteristics of food, discover new food sources, and research ways to make processed foods safe and healthy.

Want to enrol in a programme: Apply online


Below is a summary only. For a comprehensive overview of this qualification, please refer to the academic calendar.

You will study the following compulsory papers:

Year 1

Level 5
CHEM501 Principles of Chemistry
FOOD502 Food Science
HEAL506 Knowledge, Enquiry and Communication
CHEM502 Biological Chemistry
MICR501 Microbiology
SCIE503 Biophysics
HEAL507 Health and Environment
BIOL501 Biological Sampling and Interpretation

Year 2 and 3

Level 6
FOOD601 Food Chemistry
FOOD602 Food Microbiology
FOOD603 Food Technology
FOOD604 Process Engineering
CHEM604 Analytical Chemistry

Plus 3 electives.

Level 7

MICR702 Advanced Food Microbiology
FOOD704 Advanced Food Chemistry
FOOD705 Sensory Evaluation

Plus 5 electives OR 3 electives and Food Product Development OR 3 electives and SCIE701 Research Project.

Research project
In the final year of your degree you will have the opportunity to enrol in either the Food Product Development or Research Project paper (both 30 points) if you had a B-grade average in 60 points at level 6. This may involve placement in an employer organisation related to your major and undertaking a mini research project.

Other majors or pathways, such as Food Safety, Microbiology, or Health Protection can be completed along with Food Science within 3 years without doing more than the standard eight papers (120 points) per year.


The School of Applied Sciences offers competitive fee-only scholarships for the first year of Bachelor of Science (one for every major). Some of these scholarships are for the full 3 years and are co-funded by external institutions, such as the Department of Conservation.
Visit the scholarship website to find out more

Career opportunities

Graduates find a wide range of employment opportunities in food related industries. These include:
  • Product development scientist
  • Food microbiologist
  • Sensory scientist
  • Food chemist
  • Quality control executive
  • Science teacher*
  • Food scientist
*Upon completion of the Graduate Diploma in Secondary Teaching (1 additional year of full-time study and training in how to teach, subject to meeting entry and selection criteria).
Graduates and students of science

Other majors and pathways in the Bachelor of Science

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Last updated: 13-Dec-2017 3.46pm

The information on this page was correct at time of publication. For a comprehensive overview of AUT qualifications, please refer to the Academic Calendar.