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Food and Nutrition with Foundation Year - BSc (Hons)

  • UCAS Code: DB6F
  • Level: Foundation
  • Starting: September 2020
  • Study mode: Full Time (1 year foundation followed by 3 year degree)
  • Location: City South

You will study very broad subjects in your foundation year, which is designed to prepare you for a range of courses, not just one particular BSc degree. The design of the BSc (Hons) Food and Nutrition with a Foundation Year course has enabled the development of a suite of modules, which are fit for purpose and aligned with appropriate QAA benchmarks.

The educational and scientific ethos of the programme is to provide our students, who wish to work in any part of the nutrition support services or the food supply chain, with the knowledge and skills to evaluate and analyse food in respect of nutrition, quality and safety, and to be able to consider how to protect and promote the health of the global population.

Please note: entry requirements for degree course

Upon completion of your Foundation Year, if your chosen course is regulated by a professional body such as the HCPC, you will be required to successfully complete the University’s selection process for the specific programme which will include an interview in order to proceed onto year one of the full degree programme. Entry onto year one of the degree programme will also be subject to a satisfactory DBS and Occupational Health Assessment. 

Tailor your Health Sciences Degree

When you successfully complete your Foundation Year, you will be able to progress onto a range of Undergraduate courses at the School of Health Sciences. These include:

  • BSc (Hons) Biomedical Sciences
  • BSc (Hons) Food and Nutrition

Why choose a foundation year course?

By studying a foundation year in Health Sciences, your first year will be spent learning a wide range of broad subject areas which then open up opportunities for you to specialise further in your next year –  which would be the first year of a full degree programme. 

You will study very broad subjects in your foundation year, which is designed to prepare you for a range of courses and not just one particular BSc degree. 

So although you are studying a BSc in a specific course – BSc Food and Nutrition – the foundation year sets you up for a number of other possible degrees starting the following year. It may be that you don’t end up doing a degree in precisely the same subject as your foundation year.

This flexibility is one of the great things about the foundation year category - Health Sciences, allowing you to find out more about your interests and talents before focusing on a three year degree. The foundation year also helps us at BCU to make sure we help to match you to the degree that fits you best.

What's covered in the course?

The course encompasses three distinctive themes:

  1. Food science, technology and analysis
  2. Food safety and quality
  3. Nutrition

This will enhance the career prospects of our students so they are well placed to consider employment in many aspects of food industry and food and nutrition research.

This will ensure that the needs of the local, national and international communities, food industry and public health sectors are addressed. In addition, our students will be well equipped for a career in the global and applied field of food and nutrition, where they will be required to deliver a professional, effective, innovative, competent and confident service to individuals, populations, industry and the public health sector.

The development of these skills and competencies is embedded in all the modules and are core to the learning and teaching strategies of this programme. We are placing great emphasis in supporting our students to develop their academic, professional and interpersonal skills in preparation for employment.

Evidence-based practical experience is embedded throughout the programme at all 3 levels. Such practical experience allows students to explore key insights into the discipline and gain relevant experimental and analytical skills important for food and nutrition scientists.  In addition, a range of assessment methods across the programme will challenge and address their understanding as well as help develop a range of communication and professional skills developments.

Why Choose Us?

  • The programme team have the passion, experience, knowledge and understanding to ensure excellence in the student learning journey

  • We are developing overseas links and partnerships which may result in opportunities for students to learn with peers from different countries and to undertake appropriate study abroad opportunities 

  • The course is mapped against professional accreditation bodies such as The Institute of Food Science and Technology (IFST) and the Association for Nutrition (AfN)

  • Our graduates will be able to use their skills and competencies portfolio as evidence of practice if they so wish to support their voluntary registration applications

  • We encourage our graduate creativity, passion, commitment to support individuals, the food industry and public health sectors

This course is open to International students

Entry Requirements

We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.

Entry Requirements

A minimum of 5 GCSEs at Grade 4 or above (formerly Grade C), at the point of enrolment. These must include English language, science and mathematics.

80 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level

Typical Offers
UK Qualification Requirements 2020/21
GCE A Level/ AS Level 80 UCAS tariff points = CDD. Must include one of Biology, Chemistry, Applied Science or Food Technology 
Access to Higher Education Diploma The Access to HE Diploma to include 15 Level 3 credits at Merit/Distinction of which 9 must be in Biology or Chemistry, plus GCSE English Language & Mathematics at grade 4.
BTEC Diploma (12-units) DM in Biology, Chemistry or Applied Science subject
BTEC Extended Diploma (18-units) MMP in Biology, Chemistry or Applied Science subject
International Baccalaureate Diploma 24 points overall
Irish Leaving Certificate Minimum 80 UCAS tariff points including Biology, Chemistry or Applied Science 
Scottish Higher/ Advanced Higher Minimum 80 UCAS tariff points including Biology, Chemistry or Applied Science
Other qualifications

If you have a qualification that is not listed in the table please refer to our full entry requirements on UCAS.

Further guidance on tariff points can be found on the UCAS website.

Extra information for EU/International students
EU/Non-EU (International) Qualifications Requirements 2020/21
IELTS 6.0 overall with 5.5 minimum in all bands
International Baccalaureate Diploma  24 points overall with grade 4 or above in at least one Higher Level subject from Group 4. 
International Students

Entry requirements here

  • UK/EU students
  • International students

Award: BSc (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2020

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 1 year foundation followed by 3 year degree
  • £9,250 per year
  • Apply via UCAS

Award: BSc (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2020

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 1 year foundation followed by 3 year degree
  • £12,800 per year

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form and equal opportunities PDF form instead. The University reserves the right to increase fees in line with inflation based on the Retail Prices Index or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament up to a maximum of five per cent.

Guidance for UK/EU students


UK and EU students applying for most undergraduate degree courses in the UK will need to apply through UCAS.

The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) is a UK organisation responsible for managing applications to university and college.

Applying through UCAS
 Register with UCAS
 Login to UCAS
 Complete your details
 Select your course
 Write a personal statement
 Get a reference
 Pay your application fee
 Send UCAS your application

Additional costs

We offer a wide range of professionally accredited and vocational courses that require the purchase of, among other things, uniforms, equipment, subscriptions, professional body memberships and DBS checks, and may require you to pay to attend conferences or participate in placements.

The link below provides our estimate of the possible costs associated with key activities on specific courses. Please bear in mind that these are only estimates of costs based on past student experience and feedback. The actual costs to you could vary considerably (either greater or lower than these estimates) depending on your choices as you progress through the course. We set out where we can, based on experience, where these indicative costs are for activities that are optional or compulsory.

All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.

Find additional costs for your course

Accommodation and living costs

The cost of accommodation and other living costs are not included within your course fees. More information on the cost of accommodation can be found in our accommodation pages.

Foundation Year

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits).

Academic Skills for Success
20 credits

This module is designed to support you in your transition to studying in a Higher Education environment at Birmingham City University. Through a range of class-based group and individual activities, discussions, debates, personal reflection and wider reading and research, you will have opportunities to consider academic conventions, which include: effective use of literature; sourcing and reviewing information; various forms of academic writing; developing reflective capacity. You will also receive guidance on study skills and strategies, which will enhance previously acquired skills.

These professional skills are transferable and will be valuable not only in the immediate context but throughout your continued education and employment. By engaging with this module, we have set out clearly what we expect of you at foundation and undergraduate level, and will equip you with the confidence, competence and capacity to utilise resources to be able to meet expectations in this environment.

An essential element of this module will be your ability to analyse and reflect on your own learning and the way in which you have applied your knowledge, skill and understanding to any academic context in which you have engaged to date. Communicating effectively through a variety of academic conventions is a key skill for any student and this will be a feature of this module.

Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity
20 credits

This module is designed to help you gain awareness and understanding of current challenges around Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity and how this impacts upon the Health, Education and Social Sciences sector, preparing you for your future education and journey into practice.

Introducing the Equality Act 2010 as the overarching legislation that focuses on Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity, the module is based on themes that are covered by this Act.  The nine protected characteristics, upon which a person can be discriminated, as laid down in the Equality Act, will be discussed throughout and you will be introduced to case studies relevant to your chosen pathways.

The module will give you the opportunity to discuss debate and reflect upon how challenges around Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity may present themselves. Using problem and inquiry based learning you will have the opportunity to explore and discuss ways of working which can help to minimise discrimination in your own practice.  The module will be made up of lead lectures, taught sessions, group work and individual study.

Interpersonal Skills and Professional Behaviours
20 credits

This module will focus on enabling you to gain a deeper understanding of the interpersonal skills and behaviours required to work in your chosen area. Through a range of class based and student focused activities you will explore the different concepts of effective interpersonal and professional behaviours essential to your own personal development and progression. By engaging in this module you will  reflect on your own and others  values, beliefs and behaviours identifying how this can impact on the way in which you will  be viewed by others. You will also address the importance of effective communication and how this can lead you to have a more professional approach in your chose area of work.

Negotiated Studies
20 credits

This module is designed to support you in your transition to studying in a Higher Education environment at Birmingham City University, allowing you the opportunity to negotiate learning of a bespoke subject. Under the guidance of tutors, you will be able to direct your learning and identify relevant learning opportunities that you feel enable you to learning more about a specific field of study.

The subject area within this module is student-led, with guidance and facilitation from designated academic and practice support. You will identify an area of study that you would like to review and evaluate, and which relates to your foundation year pathway and indicate programme.

A significant proportion of the module is based around negotiation with academic facilitators to identify extended areas of study and opportunities that are possible to enhance your towards completion of the study.

The module is not reliant on traditional taught subject sessions, although you will be expected to attend classes where you will work in peer learning groups exploring and developing your negotiated study. This approach to studying is closely allied to learning within the workplace.

Introduction to Human Biology
20 credits

An appreciation of the principles of Human Biology plays a central role in the understanding of the workings of the human body. This module is organised into three distinct phases from fundamental principles, to physiological processes, and then disruption of the interplay of such systems in human disorders. This understanding provides a solid foundation for the subsequent study in a range of disciplines from healthcare, allied healthcare, and other disciplines requiring an understanding of human biology. The topics covered will also be underpinned by practical activities. Pre- and post-session activities will help to develop your key transferable skills such as being able to reflect and ask probing questions as well as being able to think independently.  Development of these skills will ensure a growth in maturity and boost your confidence which will lead to unlocking your learning potential.

Health and Well-being in Society
20 credits

Students embarking on health related studies and careers need to have a knowledge and understanding of the factors that contribute to creating good health.  Evidence shows that the majority of these factors lie outside of the healthcare and clinical remit and so it is important that students are aware of the wider social, economic, environmental and political drivers of states of health of the population, group or client group they may encounter.   As health services are reoriented towards prevention of ill-health and health improvement, all health science students need to consider the ways in which they may work in future, to both understand the social determinants of health and the principles and practice of health promotion in order to improve health, prevent ill-health and reduce health inequalities.

Year One

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits).

Principles of Nutritional Biochemistry and Metabolism
20 credits

This module will cover the fundamentals of biochemistry and its link to nutrition so as to provide a solid understanding of how human biochemistry underpins food and nutrition sciences, and how nutrients and non-nutrients impact on body functions and metabolic pathways.

Introduction to Food Production
20 credits

This module will enable you to develop a range of practical and transferable skills required of food and nutrition scientists who assist the food industry in preparing, producing and creating new and innovative products.

Principles of Human Physiology and Nutrition
20 credits

This module will provide you with the foundation knowledge and understanding of human physiology and the different physiological systems in the body; their structure, function and relationship to nutrition, health and disease. The role of diet and nutrition in influencing and affecting physiological and biochemical functions of the body will be also explored.

Introduction to Food Safety and Microbiology
20 credits

This module will introduce you to food safety and microbiology and will help develop your basic laboratory and investigatory skills to identify the microorganisms associated with food science, disease and the wider environment.

Skills and Competencies Development
20 credits

This module will enable you to gain practical skills and competencies related to food science and nutrition. Within the module, you will develop the skills to be reflective in your practices and to effectively evaluate and apply scientific evidence, conducting and presenting yourself in an appropriately professional manner. You will be expected to apply the knowledge and transferable skills addressed in this module to a variety of settings and situations.

Food Chemistry and Analysis
20 credits

This module will help you develop knowledge and practical understanding of the basic chemistry of food and its constituents. You will explore food and food products as global commodities. Your theoretical understanding and problem solving ability will be facilitated by a range of practical sessions, enabling you to gain confidence and competence of well-known techniques and methodologies used world-wide in food analysis.

Year Two

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits).

Applied Human Nutrition
20 credits

In line with the overall programme philosophy and aims, this module will provide you with a comprehensive insight into specific diet related diseases and conditions currently affecting populations across the globe. You will be encouraged to be open minded and sensitive to cultures and communities and engage collaboratively and independently when dealing with these concerns. The module will develop you to be health and customer focused, flexible and competent, adaptable, and to have a global perspective with regards nutrition and disease management, particularly when supporting individuals, populations, industry and the public sector.

Food Rheology and Material Sciences
20 credits

This is an applied and hands-on practical module, facilitating the theoretical understanding of food science. This module will allow you to explore the core principles of food rheology, food material sciences and the world renowned analytical procedures and techniques used by industry to examine and classify food as a commodity and evaluate its properties.

Food Safety Regulations and Microbiology
20 credits

The module will allow you to gain current knowledge and practical experience of microbes in food production and health promotion. You will develop analytical skills and competencies using modern analytical techniques in microbiology. You will be introduced to current aspects of food safety and preservation used within the food industry where the legal requirements are satisfied and consumers are guaranteed safety and quality. You will use problem solving skills and creativity in providing solutions and interventions to safety issues and challenges that face the industry in order to minimise risks and mitigate hazards.

Advanced Skills and Competencies Development
20 credits

This module will allow you to critically reflect on your practice and evaluate scientific literature resources effectively. You will improve your scholarly and research skills by considering aspects such as research methods, experimental design, ethics, academic writing and advanced literature research. You will be able to perform multifaceted data analysis, including statistical analysis techniques and software in preparation for the final year project.

Nutrition and Development
20 credits

This is a core module of the programme which will assist with developing your knowledge and understanding of the nutritional requirements for individuals and populations and the role of nutrition in health and disease. The module looks to build on your ability to be effective, confident, and creative in providing advice. It will also help you promote health and create professional and effective solutions to individuals across their life cycle.

Advances in Food Technology and Processing
20 credits

The module is designed to give you an overview of food processing unit operations common to all systems used in national and international food processing and manufacturing settings. You will have hands-on experience working and applying the knowledge in practice based interactive sessions. The module emphasis is on developing practical skills expected of all food and nutrition scientists. You will access scientific literature resources to critically evaluate industrial processes and use your creativity in providing solutions and interventions to issues and challenges that face the industry.

Sandwich year

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete at least 60 credits from the following indicative list of OPTIONAL modules.

Study Abroad (Optional)
60 credits

In line with the overall programme philosophy and aims, doing a study abroad sandwich year will broaden your knowledge base, skills and competencies in the field of Food & Nutrition Sciences. Your academic studies can be enriched by the new perspectives, experiences and enhanced skills that you will gain through your critical reflection on your study experiences.

Work Placement (Optional)
60 credits

In line with the overall programme philosophy and aims, doing a sandwich year will broaden your knowledge base, skills and competencies in the field of Food & Nutrition Sciences. Your academic studies can be enriched by the new perspectives, experiences and enhanced skills that you will gain through your critical reflection on work and study experiences.

Year Three

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits).

Current Advances in Food and Nutrition Sciences
20 credits

In line with the overall programme philosophy and aims, this module will cover a range of multidisciplinary perspectives to broaden your knowledge of current advances in food and nutrition sciences that the global population is facing. You will use the scientific literature to critically evaluate these advances.

Advanced Food Technology and Biotechnology
20 credits

This module will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the latest global advances in food technology and biotechnology used by industry during food manufacture and processing. The global impact of these technologies on consumers, environments and ethical regulations will be explored.

Industrial Unit Operation - Food Quality and Safety
20 credits

This module will allow you to test practically and critically discuss the advantages, disadvantages, and usefulness of global techniques used to analyse the food quality of major food commodities. You will evaluate food products in terms of nutrition, safety, quality and acceptability using the latest quality control procedures and techniques, some of which you have used previously in other food science modules.

Public Health Nutrition and Policies
20 credits

The module will provide you with an in-depth understanding of diet and nutrition as a means of health promotion of individuals and populations. You will be encouraged to be open minded, inclusive and sensitive to diversity and culture. The aim is to enable you to influence groups of populations to consider behaviour changes to their daily lives or methods of work which may result in a net benefit to their health.

Research Project in Food and Nutrition
20 credits

In line with the overall programme philosophy, this module allows you to work collaboratively with other students, academic and technical staff to utilise resources effectively in developing and enhancing a research relationship whilst critically engaging with relevant research methodology and academic literature in a reflective, analytical and critically self-aware manner.

New Product Development
20 credits

This module will require you to carry out a market research, explore and critically analyse current scientific literature in summarising your findings, designing, preparing and introducing your product. You will consider the latest advances in research, safety and quality, ethical issues, legislations, market statistics, product design and development.

You have the flexibility to transfer to a standard undergraduate programme from the School of Health Sciences  or the School of Nursing and Midwifery upon successfully completing your Foundation Year including:

  • BSc (Hons) Biomedical Sciences
  • BSc (Hons) Diagnostic Radiography
  • BSc (Hons) Nursing - Adult
  • BSc (Hons) Nursing - Learning Disability
  • BSc (Hons) Nursing - Mental Health
  • BSc (Hons) Operating Department Practice
  • BSc (Hons) Radiotherapy
  • BSc (Hons) Speech & Language Therapy
Curse structure for BSc (Hons) Food and Nutrition

Your learning is facilitated through an assortment of blended learning and teaching approaches. A mixture of theory and applied knowledge combined with online and web based resources are used to contribute to your overall learning experiences at the university. This will include class room sessions such as lectures, seminars, workshops, tutorials, PC labs, kitchen, food processing and practical laboratory sessions.

The style and delivery of these sessions will vary and will typically include information delivery, cooperative information gathering, reflective analysis, individual and team-learning activities and interactive online materials on the Moodle site.

We consider learning and teaching on the programme to be a cooperative process and it is expected that you will engage independently in pre-and post-session learning activities such as online quizzes; forum discussions; mathematical calculations, case studies, menu planning’s as well as developing your own e-portfolio of skills.

The knowledge gained in teaching sessions will be applied and enhanced in the food processing and kitchen and laboratory practical sessions. In addition to scientific investigation, you will gain practical skills and competencies to enable you to work safely and effectively in food processing, kitchen and a laboratory environment.Research and independent learning skills are essential and are developed throughout the course.

Further studies

The Faculty has a range of postgraduate Masters and doctoral courses available if you wish to continue your studies.

Trips and Visits

You will be offered the opportunity to visit local food production plants .There will also be opportunities to visit trade shows related to the food industry.

Enhancing your employability skills

Transferable employability skills are embedded throughout the programme enabling our students to succeed in their future careers across the food supply chain and beyond. There are modules in the programme that provide the students with opportunities to develop employability skills or as part of the skill modules. 

Stakeholders and employers have been engaged in the early stages of the development of this programme to ensure improved links to practice and enhance the skills, competency and employability of graduates of the BSc (Hons) Food and Nutrition programme.


There is the option of completing a year in work placement opportunity, as part of the 4-year Sandwich Degree option, between Levels 5 and 6. The 60 (level 5) credits offered for this sandwich year are additional credits to the core degree and do not contribute towards the final award of BSc Food and Nutrition. An additional certificate of achievement will be issued in relation to this placement option.

More about our placement opportunities...


OpportUNIty Student Ambassador

OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.

It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.

Graduate Jobs

There are a wide range of career opportunities available on graduation. Including  food management and food production and technology. Gradates also can chose to take further training for careers such as food technologist, nutritionist or food scientist. 


Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.

The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.

Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:

Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC)

International students who have a serious interest in studying with us but who perhaps cannot meet the direct entry requirements, academic or English, or who have been out of education for some time, can enter Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC) and begin their degree studies.


BCUIC is part of the global Navitas Group, an internationally recognised education provider, and the partnership allows students to access the University’s facilities and services and move seamlessly through to achieving a Bachelor’s degree from Birmingham City University.

Learn more about BCUIC

The creation of our new suite of courses in Sport and Life Sciences is yet another exciting development at Birmingham City University. The 10,500sq metre building at City South Campus will enable us to offer a wide range of new health, nutrition, biomedical science and sports courses, as well as providing a new home for our education programmes.

Not only are we investing £41 million in a new building to house the laboratories and teaching spaces needed, but we also plan to open up these facilities to benefit all students and the wider community. This will complement our existing sports facilities, which already provide a base for students to compete in activities ranging from rugby to jiu jitsu.

The courses will reflect the latest developments in our teaching and our focus on practice-led learning with work placements and live industry case studies incorporated into the curriculum. All courses have been co-designed with employers and are endorsed or accredited by professional bodies where appropriate.

By expanding our provision to these new areas, we will be helping to tackle some of the biggest challenges facing society today, such as obesity and unhealthy lifestyles, by encouraging and supporting healthy eating and greater physical activity.

In addition, we will be producing graduates who can support elite performers in meeting the UK’s ambitions for sporting success at events such as the Olympics and other world sporting tournaments. We are constantly looking to enhance the range of courses we offer - please check all our courses for the latest additions to our portfolio.

Simulation Mannequins

We have several Simulation men (SIM men) and Simulation babies (SIM babies) which are leading edge, anatomically correct mannequins used for teaching specific techniques such as advanced adult and paediatric life support skills, acute and high dependency clinical skills, first aid and communication skills.

Simulation Mannequins

SPACE skills practice model


SPACE is an innovative practice area all students can access to use equipment and resources to practise a wide range of skills in a safe, welcoming and supportive environment. It provides students with a creative learning environment to get the best educational experience before becoming a health care professional.


Learning Facilities

We offer up-to-date, innovative facilities that simulate the real situations that medical staff may come across. These resources are essential in offering students a hands-on introduction to health and social care practice.

Learning Facilities

Nursing - Facilities - Virtual Tour

Virtual Tour

Explore our facilities in 360 panoramas, including welcome videos from key members of staff and Health and Wellbeing student profiles.

Virtual Tour

Mark Hetherington staff profile

Mark Hetherington

Course Leader HELS Foundation Year / Professional Navigator / Senior Lecturer

Mark Hetherington is the Course Leader for the HELS Foundation Year. His educational background is in Media and Communications and Learning and Teaching in Higher Education. Mark has specialised in the areas of designing curriculum to support the student learning process; assessment design and feedback; supporting students through mentorship and supervision, and reflective practice, which has aided in developing the Faculty of Health, Education and Life Science’s Foundation Year.

Read Mark's full profile

Contact us

If you have any questions about this course, please contact the programme leader/admissions tutor, Dr Huda Al-Kateb.