The course

Full-time, Part-time, Per course
Course type
Entry date



The MSc in Food and Beverage Science has been introduced specifically for students who have wide-ranging interests in the food, beverage and life sciences and who would like to design a programme tailored to meet their individual needs. With support from the Programme Director, students will be able to select from the widest range of options available to students on any of the programmes within the Postgraduate Biology Food Science programme cluster. The portfolio of optional courses includes topics in the food and alcoholic beverage sciences (from biotechnology and dairy science through to the principles of alcohol beverage technology and beer maturation), business management, quality assurance and in environmental and molecular biology.

Programme duration

MSc programmes last for one year (September to August inclusive) and include a substantial research project. The Diploma covers the same classes as the MSc but lasts for just 9 months (September to May inclusive). Students admitted to the Diploma programme and who perform well in the taught courses may be invited to transfer to the MSc programme.

Course content

   Detailed course guide
  • Project Studies
  • Research Project (MSc only)

Students select a further seven courses from a pool of over twenty options.

Topic options include:

  • Food Microbiology
  • Food Chemistry
  • Alcohol Beverage Technology
  • Cereals, Malting and Mashing
  • Management in the Food and Beverage Industries

Entry requirements

This programme prepares students with a flexible high quality approach to postgraduate learning which offers the potential for enhanced career progression within the food and beverage industries. For MSc entry, candidates must have a First or Second Class Honours Degree in a suitable science or engineering subject (for example, Biological Sciences, Chemistry or Chemical/Mechanical Engineering). For Diploma entry, candidates must hold a degree, preferably at Honours level, but lesser qualifications, including substantial relevant work experience, will be considered.

Recognition of Prior Learning

Heriot-Watt University is committed to providing opportunities to applicants who have a wide range of prior experiences through Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). Prior learning at postgraduate level is normally recognised to gain exemption from individual courses within a programme based on an existing academic qualification. Note that the prior learning must have been rated at the level of the courses for which RPL is sought, yet credits from an award already held by an applicant can only contribute to a higher award in the same discipline, e.g. from PG Diploma to MSc. If you believe that you qualify for RPL, please contact the Learning & Teaching Support Team via, who will guide you through the RPL application procedure.

The school will only consider students' requests for RPL at the time of application for their programme of study.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language a minimum of IELTS 6.5 or equivalent is required with all elements passed at 6.0 or above. We offer a range of English language courses to help you meet the English language requirement prior to starting your programme of study:

  • 14 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.5 with no more than one skill at 4.5);
  • 10 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.5 with minimum of 5.0 in all skills);
  • 6 weeks English (for IELTS 5.5 with minimum of 5.5 in reading & writing and minimum of 5.0 in speaking & listening)

Fees and funding

Tuition fees for 2017 entry (by residency status)
Status* Full-time Part-time Per course
Scotland / Non-UK EU £5200 £2600 £650
England / Northern Ireland / Wales £5200 £2600 £650
Overseas £17570 £8785 £2196.25

* If you are unsure which category you fall in to, you should complete a fee status enquiry form, which allows us to assess your fees.

** Fee per course

Scholarships and bursaries

We aim to encourage well-qualified, ambitious students to study with us and we offer a wide variety of scholarships and bursaries to achieve this. Over £6 million worth of opportunities are available in fee and stipend scholarships, and more than 400 students benefit from this support.

View our full range of postgraduate taught scholarships.