Key Information


1 year

Typical Offer



Brayford Pool

Validation Status




Course Code


MSc Agri-food Technology

This course is accredited by the Institute of Food Science and Technology (IFST). The IFST is the UK’s leading professional body for food science and technology.

Key Information


1 year

Typical Offer



Brayford Pool

Validation Status




Course Code


Dr Ramana Sundara  - Programme Leader

Dr Ramana Sundara - Programme Leader

Dr Sundara has been actively involved in food research for over 25 years. Before joining the University of Lincoln, he was a Group Leader for Confectionery at Nestle Product Technology Centre, York (Nestle PTC), responsible for developing and launching new products in various countries. Subsequently, he led the External Research Collaborations portfolio at Nestle PTC including the supervision of PhD studentships. He secured funding from BBSRC, EPSRC, and Innovate UK, and successfully managed multi-disciplinary projects. He has authored over 50 scientific papers and 6 patents, with an emphasis on chemistry and processing technology of fruit, vegetables, dairy, and chocolate products.

School Staff List Make an Enquiry

Welcome to MSc Agri-food Technology

The globally important agri-food sector is intrinsically linked to challenges around land and water use, climate change, health, and wellbeing. This industry-guided programme aims to equip students with the advanced skills, knowledge, and expertise needed to undertake technical and production management roles within this growing industry.

Students at Lincoln have the opportunity to study a variety of forward thinking topics such as advanced crop science, advanced food manufacturing, new product and process development, food safety and technical management, as well as commercial, operational, supply chain, and agile management.

Following the taught element of the programme, the course offers students a choice between a research project in industry or academia, where they will have the opportunity to make contacts and apply their knowledge in a real-life setting, or a six-month professional practice placement.

During the programme, students have the chance to visit agri-food industries to see the practical applications of their knowledge and hear from a series of guest speakers on sustainability in the food industry and agri-robotics.

For information on the Professional Practice route please visit the separate course page:

How You Study

This MSc is intentionally wide-ranging and is designed to prepare students for opportunities across the broad and fast-moving agri-food sector. The programme takes a holistic, all encompassing, farm-to-fork approach, acknowledging the need to optimise performance and best assure/control the food products in the agri-food supply chain.

Programme Modules:

- Introduction to Agri-Food Systems
- Principles of Crop Science
- Commercial and Operational Management
- Supply Chain and Agile Management
- Agri-Robotics
- Food Safety and Technical Management
- Advanced Food Manufacturing
- New Product and Process Development
- Independent Agri-food Research Project
- Applied Agri-food Business Project (MSc Agri-food Technology with Professional Practice)

Following the compulsory taught element of the programme, students have the opportunity to select either the Independent Agri-food Research Project or Applied Agri-food Business Project.

The Independent Research Project involves in-depth investigation of a specific topic within industry or academia, enabling students to apply new knowledge in a real-life setting and make contacts with potential employers.

Students selecting the Applied Agri-food Business Project have the opportunity to undertake a six month work placement in industry, extending their course to 14 months. Students successfully completing this route will receive the alternative award title of MSc Agri-food Technology with Professional Practice.

For information on the Professional Practice route please visit the separate course page:

Contact and Independent Study

Weekly contact hours on this programme may vary depending on the individual modules and the stage of study. Postgraduate level study involves a significant proportion of independent study, exploring the material covered in lectures and seminars. As a general guide, for every hour spent in class, students are expected to spend at least two to three hours in independent study. For more detailed information please contact the Programme Leader.

† Some courses may offer optional modules. 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.

Advanced Food Manufacturing 2021-22FDS9097MLevel 72021-22This module typically covers the key fundamentals in advanced manufacturing within the food industry demanding strong operation skills coupled with an in-depth knowledge of food process unit operations, food preservation, food packaging systems, hygienic food machine design, food factory design, and food process engineering. Students are expected to gain understanding of the basis of advanced food manufacturing unit operations and their applications in the food industry incorporating how traditional processes are still prevalent with new designs and automation. The students may also gain an understanding of new and novel food production operations.CoreAgri-Robotics 2021-22AGR9004MLevel 72021-22This module introduces students to the subject of Agri-Food Engineering and, in particular, to the role of modern automation in developing sophisticated and efficient engineering systems to meet the ever increasing demand of this sector. After a brief introduction on industrial robotics and automation, a range of applications will be presented to investigate, analyse and propose the use of robotics to automate pre-harvesting and post-harvesting operations in the Agri-Food sector. This might include the innovative Industry 4.0 model as an overall holistic framework to evaluate the impact of the proposed applications on the Farm of the Future.CoreCommercial and Operational Management 2021-22AGR9005MLevel 72021-22The agri-food industry is the UK's largest industry and offers challenging careers at all levels. Careers in Food Business Management are continuing to develop in a dynamic and consumer focused food industry. The food supply chain extends from farmer to processor to retailer and the consumer. This module typically examines these important business links and relationships, and provides career opportunities encompassing the effective management and development of these key stages in the food supply chain. This Masters degree course has been designed to ensure students possess the key skills required to operate effectively as managers in the food supply industry. New entrants to the food industry must be capable of managing change in a competitive global market place and participating in the professional development of staff in the industry. Career prospects may include a range of managerial posts in areas such as retailing, purchasing, distribution and logistics, along with research, consultancy and lecturing opportunities. Postgraduates might develop the skills enabling them to make strategic decisions, analyse problems, provide solutions, develop action plans and effectively manage resources.CoreFood Safety & Technical Management 2021-22FDS9098MLevel 72021-22This module typically covers the key quality assurance and technical roles within the food industry with management skills coupled with knowledge of product safety, quality and legality with a demonstration of attention to detail alongside good communication and interpersonal skills. Students are expected to consider how to define the Technical Standards of a food manufacturing business, including a review of legislative requirements, necessary accreditation standards, customer expectations and incorporation of a manufacturers own particular business requirements. Food industry enforcement bodies / government agencies and the business technical function interaction with such authorities will be considered, as will the role of product recall and crisis management systems during challenging circumstances.CoreIndependent Agri-food Research Project 2021-22AGR9008MLevel 72021-22Students are able to choose a research topic from a very broad spectrum of agri-food options, primarily linked to the research focuses of the teaching staff. A wide range of industry and academic expertise exist within LIAT, NCFM and Riseholme Park, and students may be provided with an opportunity to develop the project guided by the interests of members of staff. As an individual, student will negotiate with his/her client, be it an academic supervisor or an external sponsor, plan the project, and present the work through meetings, reports and oral presentation. The module allows for the opportunity to hypothesise, implement, analyse, interpret and write up a substantial piece of empirical work. Students develop research skills, such as methodological and analytic awareness and critical insight, in preparation for their own research through discussion of topics and publications in the virtual learning environment.CoreIntroduction to Agri-food Systems 2021-22AGR9006MLevel 72021-22This module provides an introductory overview of sustainable food production systems from primary production to manufacture and the supply chain. The current challenges within the agri-food environment including impact on biodiversity, climate change, resource depletion, pesticide resistance, animal health and welfare management are considered. The module also introduces key requirements of food manufacture technologies, food security and the evaluation of moving consumer trends. Students will be expected to evaluate the topics critically and develop the ability to analyse a wide range of issues relating to agricultural systems, food and their interdependence with wider society.CoreNew Product & Process Development 2021-22FDS9099MLevel 72021-22The module content typically covers the aspects of food innovation, product and process development and investigates the impact of new technologies for the formulation of healthy nutritional foods. The student considers critique and appraise the way in which food manufacturers develop new products to reflect customer, consumer and other market driver demands. The module considers the new food product development areas linked to health, nutrition, sensory science and emerging technologies.CorePrinciples of Crop Science 2021-22AGR9003MLevel 72021-22The module typically provides a review of current crop science and its contribution to large scale food production. This might include new technologies and their part in the future of sustainable crop production. The module considers key components of crop science as individual units through to interacting complexes. Throughout the module, the importance of the microbial interrelationship with plants is considered, covering both pathogens and beneficials. Students will be expected to independently evaluate the topics critically and develop skills leading to responsive and flexible use of crop science in the production of crops in a wide range of agronomic situations.CoreSupply Chain and Agile Management 2021-22AGR9007MLevel 72021-22This module explores how the key aspects of the external environment faced by agri-food companies: the market; governmental policy frameworks, impact on businesses in the sector. The module is likely to challenge students to think about agri-food companies responding proactively and effectively to external challenges with agility and pragmatism.Core


Students on this programme will have access to industry-relevant specialist technologies and new equipment at both the University’s National Centre for Food Manufacturing (NCFM) and Riseholme campus. Travel costs between campuses will be covered by the Lincoln Institute for Agri-food Technology.

The National Centre for Food Manufacturing, located in Holbeach, is committed to helping the sector innovate. It works with employers and partners towards this goal, aided by the University’s partnership with leading equipment suppliers, and specialist facilities, food factory, and cutting-edge automation.

Our employer and industry links provide an opportunity to network, which could lead to placement opportunities for students who choose to undertake the Professional Practice route.

Students on this course will have the opportunity to study at our Riseholme campus, situated just three miles north of Lincoln on a beautiful parkland campus. Students may also have the chance to visit agri-food companies, helping them to understand the practical applications of their knowledge, and hear from a series of guest speakers on sustainability in the food industry and agri-robotics.

A Rural Setting

Situated just three miles north of Lincoln in a beautiful semi-rural setting, the University's Riseholme Park Campus is home to the Lincoln Institute for Agri-Food Technology, offering short courses in agriculture and agronomy alongside postgraduate and research programmes.

The campus spans more than 200 hectares, incorporating woodlands, parkland, watercourses and grasslands. It features a working farm and a variety of heritage features, centred around the historic Grade II listed Riseholme Hall.

The University's National Centre for Food Manufacturing (NCFM) is based in Holbeach, in south Lincolnshire. This food manufacturing technology hub provides specialist facilities and industry-standard equipment, including analytical laboratories with a test kitchen and sensory testing suite, a technician training centre and processing facilities.

Riseholme Hall

Accreditations and Memberships

This course is accredited by the Institute of Food Science and Technology (IFST). IFST is the UK’s leading professional body for food science and technology.


The University of Lincoln has launched the world's first Centre for Doctoral Training in Agri-Food Robotics in collaboration with the University of Cambridge and the University of East Anglia. This new advanced training centre in agri-food robotics is creating the largest ever cohort of Robotics and Autonomous Systems (RAS) specialists for the global food and farming sectors, thanks to a multi-million pound funding award the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Thorvald is one of a number of pioneering robots and the future of autonomous farming. The University of Lincoln, through the Lincoln Institute for Agri-Food Technology, is building the digital “brains” to work on Thorvald’s steel–framed 200kg square chassis, capable of carrying a further 200kg payload.

How you are assessed

A variety of assessment methods are used during this course, including essays, examinations, oral presentations, and practicals. These assessments are designed to develop the skills that will be needed for a career in the sector.

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 of the submission date.


All applicants meeting the initial academic requirements for this course are required to undertake an interview with academic staff before a decision concerning the offer of a place can be made. It is expected that applicants will be able to demonstrate a keen interest in agriculture and all aspects of the farm-to-fork process. In order to make this process available to all applicants, we utilise Skype as the preferred medium for those applicants who are not able to travel to Lincoln prior to the start of the programme.

Career Opportunities

This programme is designed to prepare students for a career in one of the world’s largest industries, agri-food. Agriculture companies, food manufacturers, producers, and retailers are large employers, as are government departments that develop food policy.

Graduates may pursue careers in technical roles, marketing, distribution, plant supervision, and product development. They may also choose to form their own company, with the help of the University’s award-winning business support centre, Sparkhouse. Some may choose to pursue research and PhD pathways (particularly in the field of agri-robotics).

Entry Requirements 2021-22

First or second class honours degree or equivalent overseas qualification.

We will consider applicants from non-related degrees, with relevant experience.

If you have studied outside of the UK, and are unsure whether your qualification meets the above requirements, please visit our country pages for information on equivalent qualifications.

Overseas students will be required to demonstrate English language proficiency equivalent to IELTS 6.0 overall, with a minimum of 5.5 in each element. For information regarding other English language qualifications we accept, please visit the English Requirements page.

If you do not meet the above IELTS requirements, you may be able to take part in one of our Pre-session English and Academic Study Skills courses.

These specialist courses are designed to help students meet the English language requirements for their intended programme of study.

Fees and Scholarships

Postgraduate study is an investment in yourself and your future, and it's important to understand the costs involved and the funding options available before you start. A full breakdown of the fees associated with this programme can be found on our course fees pages.

Course Fees

For eligible students, there are more ways than ever before to fund your postgraduate study, whether you want to do a taught or research course. For those wishing to undertake a Master's course, you can apply for a loan as a contribution towards the course and living costs. Loans are also available to those who wish to undertake doctoral study. The University offers a number of scholarships and funded studentships for those interested in postgraduate study. Learn how Master's and PhD loans, scholarships, and studentships can help you fund your studies on our Postgraduate Fees and Funding pages.

Programme Specific Funding and Bursaries

The University of Lincoln offers scholarships under the Commonwealth Scholarships Part-funding Arrangement to qualifying Master's and PhD students. For September 2020 entry, this scholarship relates to the MSc Agri-food Technology.

Please visit the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission website for more details:

Course-Specific 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. Some courses provide opportunities for students to undertake field work or field trips. Where these are compulsory, the cost for travel and accommodation will be covered by the University and so is included in the fee. Where these are optional, students will normally be required to pay for their own transport, accommodation, and general living costs.

With regards to text books, the University provides students who enrol with a comprehensive reading list and you will find that our extensive library holds either material or virtual versions of the core texts that you are required to read. However, students may prefer to purchase some of these and will be responsible for this cost.

Postgraduate Events

Find out more about how postgraduate study can help further your career, develop your knowledge, or even prepare you to start your own business at one of our postgraduate events.

Find out More

Related Courses

Teaching and Learning During Covid-19

At Lincoln, Covid-19 has encouraged us to review our practices and, as a result, to take the opportunity to find new ways to enhance the student experience. We have made changes to our teaching and learning approach and to our campus, to ensure that students and staff can enjoy a safe and positive learning experience. We will continue to follow Government guidance and work closely with the local Public Health experts as the situation progresses, and adapt our teaching and learning accordingly to keep our campus as safe as possible.
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.