Course Information

This course is run by the National Centre for Food Manufacturing at their Holbeach Campus.

2.5 years National Centre for Food Manufacturing Holbeach Campus [B] Validated

Invest in your Future

Invest in your future with a Foundation or Bachelors Degree in Food Manufacturing.

The National Centre for Food Manufacturing (NCFM) in south Lincolnshire is an outstanding resource for national and international food businesses. The Centre is the UK’s only specialist provider of part-time and flexible courses in Technical and Operations Management in the food industry.

Read more in our flyer - NCFM [PDF] or view online.

Flexible Learning

This degree offers part-time and distance learning, enabling you to study alongside your work and family commitments.


Developed in collaboration with employers in the food manufacturing industry, this course aims to provide students with the opportunity to develop expert knowledge in quality assurance, factory processes, product development and management specific to the food sector.

This course can be studied at Foundation (FdSc) or Bachelor’s (BSc) level. Both courses are offered on a part-time time basis and are run predominantly through distance learning. Students typically complete the Foundation in two and a half years and have the option to enrol on level three of the Bachelor’s degree, following a short bridging course, to pursue more in-depth study for an additional two years. Direct enrolment on to the Bachelor’s degree is available for students who meet the entry requirements.

The course aims to introduce students to the significant recent trends in safety and quality management in the food sector, both in the UK and internationally. Students have the opportunity to develop an extensive knowledge of food manufacture, while specialising in quality assurance and technical management, which includes areas such as hygiene, preservation and packaging, product and process development, leadership and performance monitoring across areas of quality, safety and legality.

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

How You Study

The foundation degree aims to provide flexibility of access for people who need to combine studying with employment.

The foundation degree is a vocational programme, which is taught by supported distance learning, day-release from your employer or, if required, a combination of both. The supported distance learning mode of study requires that you attend a one-week residential block per year at the campus to undertake the practical and tutorial elements of the course. There is some flexibility, but it is expected that the normal duration for completion of the programme is approximately two and a half years.

The Foundation degree shares level one and two modules with the Bachelor's degree. Level one aims to introduce some of the crucial areas of food manufacture, such as science, technology, microbiology, hygiene and stock control. Students have the opportunity to learn about managing people and can look at some of the social and political issues that affect food markets.

At level two, study is designed to become more focused, examining areas such as preservation and packaging, and new product development.

If students choose to pursue the Bachelor’s course, they study advanced modules on nutrition and process development, and are expected to complete an individual project on a topic of direct relevance to their employment.

Contact Hours and Independent Study

Contact hours may vary for each year of a degree. When engaging in a full-time degree students should, at the very least, expect to undertake a minimum of 37 hours of study each week during term time (including independent study) in addition to potentially undertaking assignments outside of term time. The composition and delivery for the course breaks down differently for each module and may include lectures, seminars, workshops, independent study, practicals, work placements, research and one-to-one learning.

University-level study involves a significant proportion of independent study, exploring the material covered in lectures and seminars. As a general guide, for every hour in class students are expected to spend two - three hours in independent study.

On each of our course pages you can find information on typical contact hours, modes of delivery and a breakdown of assessment methods. Where available, you will also be able to access a link to, where the latest data on student satisfaction and employability outcomes can be found.

How You Are Assessed

The emphasis that the foundation degree places on work-based learning is designed to fit into the busy and ever-changing environment of the food factory. The delivery routes of the programme (day-release/distance learning/combination) aim to give increased flexibility to the student in a busy industry.

All students on all routes attend an induction to the programme at or as near to enrolment as possible.

All units on the day-release programme are taught through lectures, seminars, tutorials and practical/laboratory based sessions. Individual units also have elements of food manufacturing site visits and seminars led by food industry experts.

The supported distance learning units are taught through work booklets, electronic materials and personal tutorials by individual lecturers. Students are required to attend one study week per year of the programme.

Units are assessed through the means of written scientific reports, written projects, group presentations and examinations. The type of assessment depends on the subject matter of the unit.

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 will be assessed on this course will vary for each module. It could include coursework, such as a dissertation or essay, written and practical exams, portfolio development, group work or presentations to name some examples.

For a breakdown of assessment methods used on this course and student satisfaction, please visit the Unistats website, using the link at the bottom of this page.

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.


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 2017-18

GCE Advanced Levels =BC
BTEC National Certificate in Food Manuafacturing or a related subject: Merit, Merit 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 Quality Assurance and Food Safety (Core)

Quality assurance plays an important legal and moral role within food production for both the processor and producer. This module aims to develop students understanding of available quality assurance (QA) and quality control (QC) management methods whilst adhering to legislation and industry codes of practice. The rationale of HACCP and the concept of Total Quality Management (TQM) can be explored together with schemes used to monitor management systems.

Managing People (Core)

This module is designed to introduce students to the basic people management techniques required in the food industry. It encourages students to reflect on their role, and the skills, knowledge required to ensure the best possible results at work. The module aims to develop self-management and work planning skills in individuals who are in positions of responsibility in the food industry, and focuses on taking responsibility for personal development to enable them to manage effectively. It also aims to identify strategies to improve team performance.

Policies and Markets (Core)

This module encourages students to appreciate the overarching role played by international agreements on trade, in the production of food on any scale in the UK. Students have the opportunity to gain an understanding of the global perspectives and political dimensions which impact on food production in the UK. The aim is to more easily assess the direction of the business and how to comply with legislation and directives, as well as consumer influence. The module also reviews the impact of new technologies on food production, and provides students with the opportunity to examine how currency and exchange rate fluctuations can affect the market and business opportunities.

Principles of Food Science and Microbiology (Core)

This module aims to provide students with the background knowledge to the chemistry and microbiology of foodstuffs. Students have the opportunity to explore the basic chemical structures of carbohydrates, lipids and proteins, and can be introduced to laboratory safety and the codes of practice relevant to the practical work they undertake.

Students have the opportunity to learn about the chemical and biological changes which occur during the processing and storage of food materials. This module reviews the nature, range and growth patterns of specific micro-organisms within foods, the spoilage patterns and pathogens associated with food commodities, and seeks to develop the basic practical skills required in microbiological analysis to include aseptic technique, media, enumeration and identification of food micro flora.

Principles of Food Technology (Core)

This module aims to equip students with an understanding of the principles of food technology. This module gives students the opportunity to appreciate the breadth and complexity of the modern food industry. The emphasis is on understanding processing and preservation technologies.

Quality, Hygiene and Environmental Systems (Core)

This module seeks to provide a foundation to support the further study of quality and technical management in subsequent modules. Students may be introduced to specific systems and practices within the food industry relating to quality, hygiene and the environment.

Students will have the opportunity to learn about the typical content and structure of business Quality Management Systems, as well as how these link to relevant legislation, industry operating standards and the definition and appreciation of customer requirements. The module also reviews common food hazards and the systems used for the control of product safety and quality, including HACCP, QA and QC. Weight measures and controls are covered, along with record keeping and the importance of traceability.

The hygiene section of the module reviews the systems and procedures used by the food industry to maintain its 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.

The environmental section commences with a review of global environmental issues, followed by consideration of the environmental impacts of food manufacturing and relevant legislation. The modules aims to introduce techniques for reviewing environmental impacts, setting environmental policies and objectives, and the management review of such criteria.

Raw Materials Control and Supplier Management (Core)

Raw materials which are consistent and close liaison with suppliers are vital components in the manufacture of safe, quality products which meet legislative requirements. This module is designed to review the major ingredient groups within the food industry with the aim of providing a clear appreciation of the manufacturing systems and operating standards typically applied within these ingredient sectors. Students will have the opportunity to cover content and importance of ingredient specifications in detail, including a definition of key ingredient attributes, legislative requirements and the definition of delivery criteria.

Consistency of supply can be discussed, together with the potential for variation of supply within particular ingredient groups. Incoming goods assessment methods and sampling plans can also be considered, including the use of risk assessment techniques in defining sampling systems and frequencies.

Certain ingredient techniques can provide added complexities to manufacturers. Students have the opportunity to consider topics such as the control of potentially allergenic ingredients and requirements with regard to the use of genetically modified ingredients. Case studies are used to highlight specific challenges faced by the food industry.

This module aims to cover supplier approval procedures, risk assessment and auditing techniques. Food packaging can have a major influence upon the quality, safety and legality of food, this module also reviews aspects of packaging, including specifications, quality tests and performance monitoring.

Level 2

Food Process, Preservation and Packaging (Core)

Students are given the opportunity to develop an understanding of the major food processing and preservation methods. The technological aspects of food manufacture will centre on the precise description of a process in a specification. The module also focuses on evaluating the food process in terms of its safety to the consumer, and the effects on the food flavours, colours and textures. Packaging systems can also be studied with respect to their contribution to the growth of the food manufacturing industry along with the application of check-weighing and metal detection technologies in a modern food production operation.

Food Science and Microbiology (Core)

This module seeks to build on knowledge gained at level 1. There is an emphasis on both the microbiological and chemical analysis of food products. Within the chemistry component, students can review the role of modified foods, food nutrition, formulation, additives and preservatives, and methods of food analysis. Within the microbiology component, students have the opportunity to investigate its application in the food industry, particularly in relation to the hygienic design of premises, microbial contamination, and methods of evaluating shelf life using both practical laboratory tests and predictive modelling. By the end of this module, students are expected be able to interpret and apply microbial specifications to specific food groups.

Distance learning students are required to attend a practical school where the laboratory aspects of this module can be assessed.

Health and Diet (Core)

This module aims to provide background knowledge to the fundamental aspects of food, health and nutrition. Students are given the opportunity to develop an understanding of health related problems associated with diet and the increasing use of functional foods in food manufacturing.

Managing People in Food Organisations (Core)

This module aims to develop self-management and work planning skills for those in positions of responsibility. It focuses on taking responsibility for personal development with the aim of enabling students to manage effectively and identifies strategies to develop the skills and knowledge of teams to ensure the best possible results at work.

New Product Development (Core)

This module aims to introduce students to the concept of product development, alongside changes in consumer requirements, the ways in which market intelligence is gathered, and the role of nutrition. Labelling legislation is also a key component of this module. The module is designed to focus on practical assessment, and offers the opportunity to develop skills in the sensory evaluation of food qualities in relation to product development.

Quality Management (Core)

Quality management is a vital aspect of all food production businesses. Good quality management will support a business in its delivery of consistently safe, correct quality, legal food products and at the same time drive a cost-efficient 'right first time' culture.

This module aims to cover key systems, practices and skills required by quality management staff. Students have the opportunity to explore the design, implementation and review of quality management systems, and examine the legislative, customer and business expectations to be incorporated within such systems. This module also considers the foundations and frameworks upon which quality management systems are developed. Students have the opportunity to develop an in-depth understanding of how to practically apply QA,QC, HACCP, TQM, training systems and document control systems.

The module is designed to cover quality monitoring and quality improvement techniques, together with the key skills required when making decisions about product quality. It includes a review of the processes of complaints management, quarantined stock control and managing incidents with product withdrawal and recall procedures.

As quantity control is a legal requirement for most food production businesses, the module also covers the legislative requirements relating to weights and measures, and how such requirements are translated into operational control systems and procedures. Students have the opportunity to review the importance of calibrating key measuring equipment used to monitor critical control points and process legality points.

As business staff play a vital role in achieving product quality / safety and legality, this module also includes a section on staff hygiene rules, medical screening, training, personal protective equipment (PPE) and facilities.

Work Based Project - Quality Assurance and Technical Management (Core)

This project is an individual investigation into a specific topic, usually of direct relevance to a student's own employment and the particular route studied (whether that is Quality Assurance and Technical Management, or Process and Business Improvement). Research for the project will normally be undertaken at a student's place of work, under the supervision of both an employer mentor and an academic tutor.

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

†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.

Special Features

Around 2,000 staff from 250 different employers, including Bakkavor, Tulip, Moy Park, Princes and Produce World Group study at the National Centre for Food Manufacturing each year.


Lincoln academics have extensive quality, technical and new product development management experience. They work with industry partners to develop exciting new technologies in the sector. A current example is the development of autonomous systems to identify defects in fresh produce, improving the efficiency of quality assurance.


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.


The University’s National Centre for Food Manufacturing, based in Holbeach, South Lincolnshire, offers specialist facilities and industry-standard equipment, including a sensory suite and test kitchen, analytical laboratories for analysis in areas such as food microbiology, nutritional analysis and shelf-life testing, and a factory processing area.

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

This foundation degree aims to prepare students for a career in food manufacturing. Students may go on to roles in technical management, supply management, quality auditing, and product development and design. Many students take the opportunity to progress to the final year of the BSc (Hons) Food Manufacture (Quality Assurance and Technical Management), following a short bridging course.

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

Developed in collaboration with employers in the food manufacturing industry, this degree aims to offer students the opportunity to develop expert knowledge in quality assurance, factory processes, product development and management specific to the food sector.
Shaped by major food industry employers, the Food Manufacture (Operations Management) degree aims to prepare students for key operational roles within the sector, where there is demand for highly skilled managers.
Shaped by major food industry employers, the Food Manufacture (Operations Management) degree aims to prepare students for key operational roles within the sector, where there is demand for highly skilled managers.

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 directly.

Foundation Degree Programmes 


September 2017

January 2018






Year 1





Year 2





Year 3










Individual modules  

Students wishing to access individual modules in any year of the programme will be charged £52 per credit point.


For International fees, please contact the HE Administrator on



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 [].