Course Information
4.5 years National Centre for Food Manufacturing Holbeach Campus [B] Validated


The BSc (Hons) Agri-Produce and Supply Chain Management has been developed in order to best prepare students for managing multi-disciplined teams in today’s fast-paced food manufacturing environments. Students are introduced to both the theoretical and practical aspects of management within food manufacturing sector including planning, logistics, technical support and resource management.

The course aims to provide students with the necessary technical knowledge in order to support the safe production of food within their roles. The programme also aims to equip students with the essential practical and professional transferable skills to enable them to reach their potential within the food sector as well as academic, industrial, commercial, government and environmental settings. The course places considerable emphasis on enhancing intellectual, critical analysis, problem solving, project and time management, report writing, teamwork, ethics, health and safety, intellectual property, information technology and career management.

This course can be studied at Foundation (FdSc) or Bachelor’s (BSc) level. Both courses are offered on a part-time basis and are run predominantly through distance learning.

Applications should be made direct to the University using the part-time application form:

How You Study

The BSc (Hons) Agri-Produce and Supply Chain Management is a programme taught through blended part-time distance learning and study blocks from the University of Lincoln’s National Centre for Food Manufacturing (NCFM) based in Holbeach.

Module tutorials are planned to give students the opportunity to apply, investigate, assimilate and evaluate issues around the core lecture topics. Practical sessions, where applicable, for experimentation or illustration of principles, practices and techniques are timetabled for the appropriate modules and typically through student attendance at campus/study weeks. For the science-based modules these take place in fully supported laboratories where there is full technician support for timetabled activities and for student project work.

Contact Hours and Reading for a Degree

Students on this programme learn from academic staff who are often engaged in world-leading or internationally excellent research or professional practice. Contact time can be in workshops, practical sessions, seminars or lectures and may vary from module to module and from academic year to year. Tutorial sessions and project supervision can take the form of one-to-one engagement or small group sessions. Some courses offer the opportunity to take part in external visits and fieldwork.

It is still the case that students read for a degree and this means that in addition to scheduled contact hours, students are required to engage in independent study. This allows you to read around a subject and to prepare for lectures and seminars through wider reading, or to complete follow up tasks such as assignments or revision. As a general guide, the amount of independent study required by students at the University of Lincoln is that for every hour in class you are expected to spend at least two to three hours in independent study.

How You Are Assessed

Assessment on this programme is varied and will include written reports, work-based research projects, presentations, case studies and practical assessments. The format and timing of assessment is planned to take account of the needs of students studying whilst in employment. The assessment timetable is planned, as far as is reasonably practical, to take account of busy periods within the industry.

Assessment Feedback

The University of Lincoln's policy on assessment feedback aims to ensure that academics will return in-course assessments to students promptly – usually within 15 working days after the submission date (unless stated differently above)..

Methods of Assessment

The way students are assessed on this course may vary for each module. Examples of assessment methods that are used include coursework, such as written assignments, reports or dissertations; practical exams, such as presentations, performances or observations; and written exams, such as formal examinations or in-class tests. The weighting given to each assessment method may vary across each academic year. The University of Lincoln aims to ensure that staff return in-course assessments to students promptly.


Throughout this degree, students may receive tuition from professors, senior lecturers, lecturers, researchers, practitioners, visiting experts or technicians, and they may be supported in their learning by other students.

For a comprehensive list of teaching staff, please see our National Centre for Food Manufacturing Staff Pages.

Entry Requirements 2018-19

GCE Advanced Levels: CCC

A foundation degree, BTEC Diploma/Extended Diploma with Merit, Merit, Merit, Advanced Apprenticeship in Food Manufacturing or a related subject with be considered Vocational and Professional qualifications will also be considered.

Ideally, candidates will have been employed in a managerial or supervisory role in the food manufacture or related industry.

In addition, applicants must have at least 2 GCSEs in Maths and English at grade C or above. Equivalents are accepted for example Functional Skills Level 2 or IELTS.

Level 1

Food Law, Ethics and CSR (Core)

This module will cover current food legislation, the Ethical Trade Initiative and Corporate Social Responsibility. Food legislation includes the Food Safety Act 1990 and relevant regulatory framework and associated codes of practice. The principles and application of the Ethical Trade Initiative will be evaluated as will corporate, social responsibility for food manufacturers.

Food Quality Assurance, HACCP and Hygiene (Core)

This module aims to develop knowledge and understanding of Quality Assurance and the role it plays as an integral part of food quality and safety through the supply chain from ingredient, storage, production, distribution, retailer/service and finally to the consumer. Quality and Food Safety is of upmost importance to consumers and therefore requires consistency of products. To ensure quality foods are safe, quality systems have been implemented alongside food safety management systems - Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP).

The hygiene section of the module will review the systems and procedures used by the food industry to maintain their operations in a clean and hygienic condition which satisfies both legislative and customer requirements and consequently provides a platform for the manufacture of safe, quality products.

Food Science (Core)

This module aims to provide students with the background knowledge to the chemistry and microbiology of foodstuffs. Students can study the basic chemical structure and functional properties of micronutrients. The module will also aim to enable students to understand the chemical and biological changes which occur during processing and storage of food materials. Students are also introduced to proximate analysis of foods and the laboratory safety codes of practice relevant to practical work undertaken.

Food Sector Business , Finance, People and Performance (Core)

This module aims to introduce students to the financial concepts and different structures of governance that they will encounter in their Business. They are expected to be able to define strategy and identify their own business objectives. Students will have the chance to be introduced to basic financial concepts and measures that underpin business performance.

Health & Safety, Energy and The Environment (Core)

This module aims to introduce students to business and personal responsibilities related to the impact of factory and supply chain operations. Students are required to consider the legislation and other governing factors that impact business, Health & Safety, environmental and energy impact, and propose how businesses can evaluate and adapt their systems to ensure that they are compliant.

Inventory and Procurement Management (Core)

This module aims to introduce students to the management of procurement and inventory, acknowledging Customer values, Technology, and Stakeholder values. Students will be expected to identify the key elements of the procurement process and consider the various stakeholder requirements in their business. Students can also consider the effective use of warehouse management to optimise inventory control. Strategies around vendor management and outsourcing will also be investigated, along with modern principles and practices.

Managing Self and Others in Food Organisations (Core)

This module aims to introduce students to the concept of work-based personal development, an understanding of effective leadership, and the techniques associated with the effective management of people. Students will be expected to consider the appropriate tools and techniques used in managing teams and how they might implement these strategies at work in the context of their overall organisation.

Policy and Market Dynamics (Core)

This module explores how key aspects of the external environment faced by agri-food companies impact on businesses in the UK food and drink operations, manufacture and supply chain; aspects including: the market, retailer standards and policies and governmental policy frameworks.
The module will challenge students to think about how agri-food companies can respond proactively and effectively to external changes in the market or policy environment in which they work. The market for food and drink is dynamic and constantly changing due to changes in consumer lifestyles, incomes, culture and new product development by food and drink companies. Policy also plays a major role, whether for example global/international trade, food safety, employment practices or health related and food and drink companies have to be ready to respond to new legislation, guidelines or taxes.

Level 2

Corporate Leadership and Governance in the Food Sector (Core)

This module aims to build on students' knowledge of strategy, leadership, and management and introduces students to considerations at a corporate level. Students will consider the appropriate structures of corporate governance across a wide range of business types and sizes. The role of head office in international businesses, crisis management, and contingency planning will also be analysed.

Foundation Project (Core)

This project is an individual investigation into a specific topic, usually of direct relevance to students' own employment and operations management. Research for the project will normally be undertaken at students' place of work under the supervision of both an employer mentor and an academic tutor.

The nature and parameters of the project will be identified through negotiation with employers. The project seeks to develop skills in independent learning through research, evaluation, and presenting information, as well as to foster communication between students, employers and project tutor. Students are expected to use statistical and/or analytical skills to interpret primary data.

Fundamentals of Fresh Produce (Core)

This module aims to develop students' knowledge of how plants interact with the environment and how environmental factors impact on the yield, quality and availability of fresh produce. It provides an understanding of cell and plant structures and the physiological processes that drive plant growth and how these can be manipulated to advance growth or alter plant characteristics through specific plant husbandries and environmental interventions. The module also explores the impact of climate change and social factors which impact on growth and the availability of fresh produce.

Lean Manufacturing and Continuous Improvement (Core)

In this module students can develop an understanding of a range of tools and concepts related to lean manufacturing and continuous improvement. Having explored personal development in a previous module, this module draws upon some of the same principles to apply to a process or an organisation. Students will be expected to research and build a business case based around costs and benefits, and they can learn how continuous improvement can be embedded into management control systems to ensure sustainability.

Planning, Forecasting and Logistics Management (Core)

This module aims to introduce students to concepts that are important in the practices of forecasting and planning, and in the wider field of logistics management. Students will be expected to consider the supply chain from source to customer, and the principles of managing the opportunities and challenges at each stage. In doing so, students can determine the appropriate tools and techniques throughout the supply chain.

Project Management and Management of Change (Core)

This module aims to build on the Lean Manufacturing and Continuous Improvement module where students were introduced to business improvement tools and techniques. Students can assess the application of change techniques in the context of organisational change, evaluating the impact that costs, structures, and cultures might have on a change initiative.

Value Chain Analysis (Core)

This module aims to build on previous modules related to supply chain activities to introduce students to how the supply chain can add or destroy value to the goods or services. Students will be expected to model a value chain and analyse opportunities for developing competitive advantage from lower costs or from differentiation. Students will consider the use of interactive models, risk recognition, and putting forward a business case for change.

Level 3

Advanced Commercial Relationships and Negotiation Skills (Core)

This module aims to introduce students to how margins can be managed to enhance overall profitability in a challenging market. Students can consider the commercial environment, and how market information can be utilised to optimise sales margins. The importance of business agility and competitive advantage will be assessed, allowing for dynamic pricing decisions to match short term opportunities.

Advanced Food Sector Business, Finance, People and Performance (Core)

This module aims to introduce the students more advanced elements regarding finance, people and performance management. Students will be expected to evaluate the use of technology to assist in improving business performance. Students can review the principles of Human Resource management so that they can determine the tools and techniques that might be used when managing their teams. Students will also be expected to examine how change is an important factor in management and what factors might affect a potential change programme.

Holistic Margin Management (Core)

This module aims to introduce students to holistic margin management. Students will be expected to evaluate the key drivers of perceived value in a wide view of the value chain. Students can assess the importance of business capabilities such as agility and analysis of data to leverage the benefits and allow savings to be reinvested into innovation.

Independent Project (Core)

This module is based upon individual, supported student activity which provides an opportunity for an in-depth study of a particular topic relevant to food science and technology, demonstrating original and critical thought. It will also enable students to demonstrate their abilities to plan, organise and conduct their own work, evaluate and select relevant information and be able to present a thesis, which conforms to an agreed format, in a logical and coherent manner.

Managing Supply Chain Relationships (Core)

This module aims to introduce students to the importance of managing supply chain relationships, both internal and external to the business. Students are expected to consider the importance of the relationship and how it can be used to create a competitive advantage. The benefits of technology, and the use and management of consultants, will be considered for a variety of situations.

Postharvest Technology (Core)

This module aims to develop the knowledge of the postharvest biology and technology to enhance students' understanding of the pre-harvest and post-harvest factors affecting quality. Systems of grading, handling, cooling, storage, and inspection for horticultural products postharvest will be discussed and assessed for their role and impact on quality. A variety of storage environments will be described. Post-harvest packaging types will be introduced with the differences between food loss and waste alongside methods of reduction will be considered.

†The availability of optional modules may vary from year to year and will be subject to minimum student numbers being achieved. This means that the availability of specific optional modules cannot be guaranteed. Optional module selection may also be affected by staff availability.


Placement Year

When students are on an optional placement in the UK or overseas or studying abroad, they will be required to cover their own transport and accommodation and meals costs. Placements can range from a few weeks to a full year if students choose to undertake an optional sandwich year in industry.

Students are encouraged to obtain placements in industry independently. Tutors may provide support and advice to students who require it during this process.

Student as Producer

Student as Producer is a model of teaching and learning that encourages academics and undergraduate students to collaborate on research activities. It is a programme committed to learning through doing.

The Student as Producer initiative was commended by the QAA in our 2012 review and is one of the teaching and learning features that makes the Lincoln experience unique.


At Lincoln, we constantly invest in our campus as we aim to provide the best learning environment for our undergraduates. Whatever the area of study, the University strives to ensure students have access to specialist equipment and resources, to develop the skills, which they may need in their future career.

View our campus pages [] to learn more about our teaching and learning facilities.

Career Opportunities

Students may progress into roles including food manager, operations manager, production manager, manufacturing manager, business unit manager and general site manager.

Careers Service

The University Careers and Employability Team offer qualified advisors who can work with students to provide tailored, individual support and careers advice during their time at the University. As a member of our alumni we also offer one-to-one support in the first year after completing a course, including access to events, vacancy information and website resources; with access to online vacancies and virtual resources for the following two years.

This service can include one-to-one coaching, CV advice and interview preparation to help you maximise our graduates future opportunities.

The service works closely with local, national and international employers, acting as a gateway to the business world.

Visit our Careers Service pages for further information

Additional Costs

For each course students may find that there are additional costs. These may be with regard to the specific clothing, materials or equipment required, depending on their subject area. Some courses provide opportunities for students to undertake field work or field trips. Where these are compulsory, the cost for the travel, accommodation and meals may be covered by the University and so is included in the fee. Where these are optional students will normally (unless stated otherwise) be required to pay their own transportation, accommodation and meal costs.

With regards to text books, the University provides students who enrol with a comprehensive reading list and our extensive library holds either material or virtual versions of the core texts that students are required to read. However, students may prefer to purchase some of these for themselves and will therefore be responsible for this cost. Where there may be exceptions to this general rule, information will be displayed in a section titled Other Costs below.

Related Courses

Students opting for this foundation degree can aim to specialise in an operations management role spanning a range of areas, including factory or supply chain management.
The programme is tailored to the needs of individuals embarking on a scientific or technical career in food and drink manufacturing or those working in and seeking to advance their careers in quality, technical, hygiene or product development roles.
This foundation degree aims to help students develop the skills and knowledge needed to be a leader in technical and quality management or in new product or process development.
Shaped by major food industry employers, this degree offers a strategic overview of this innovative and fast-moving industry. The course aims to provide students with specialist knowledge of food factory processing and automation, management, quality assurance and new process development.
The BSc (Hons) in Food Operations and Supply Chain Management has been developed to prepare students for managing multi-disciplined teams in today’s fast-paced food manufacturing environments. Students are introduced to both the theoretical and practical aspects of management within food manufacturing sector including planning, logistics, technical support and resource management.
The FdSc in Food Operations and Supply Chain Management has been developed in order to best prepare students for managing multi-disciplined teams in today’s fast-paced food manufacturing environments. Students are introduced to both the theoretical and practical aspects of management within food manufacturing sector including planning, logistics, technical support and resource management.
The FdSc in Agri-Produce and Supply Chain Management has been developed in order to best prepare students for managing multi-disciplined teams in today’s fast-paced food manufacturing environments. Students are introduced to both the theoretical and practical aspects of management within food manufacturing sector including planning, logistics, technical support and resource management.

Tuition Fees

For Home/EU students

The following fees apply to students who are paying their own fees. They also apply to students who are being sponsored by their employer outside of Apprenticeship schemes. Employers seeking to support students through the Apprenticeship levy should contact the National Centre for Food Manufacturing.

BSc (Hons) Programmes


September 2017

January 2018






Year 1





Year 2





Year 3





Year 4










Individual Modules

Students wishing to access individual modules in any year of the programme will be charged £56 per credit point.




Levy Paying Employers – funding bands

Apprenticeship frameworks and standards are assigned to a funding band by the Government and the table below shows the allocation of NCFM’s Apprenticeship provision within the Government’s funding bands. Charges are listed below for Apprenticeships underpinned by standards. These are subject to any changes made by the Government to published funding rates as defined in the following link

For further information on NCFM’s charges for Apprenticeship provision please contact Sharon Green on or call 01406 493000.  






Band Maximum /charge


4 years

Degree Apprenticeship - underpinned by BSc (Hons)




18-24 months

Degree Apprenticeship – ‘top up’ from Foundation Degree


Charge - £14k


3 years

Higher Apprenticeships




Non-Levy Paying Employers - should contact the National Centre for Food Manufacturing directly to check the availability of Education and Skills Funding Agency funded Apprenticeship places for smaller employers. Where funded places are available, eligible businesses are required to contribute to 10% of the above charge. There is an exception for businesses employing fewer than 50 people where Apprentices aged 16 to 18 at the start of their programme can be fully funded.    


For more information and for details about funding your study, please see our UK/EU Fees & Funding pages or our International funding and scholarship pages. [] []

The University intends to provide its courses as outlined in these pages, although the University may make changes in accordance with the Student Admissions Terms and Conditions [].