MSc Agri-food Technology

The University of Lincoln is ranked in the top 20 UK universities in the Guardian University Guide 2020. The University is also ranked in the top 200 in the world for Agriculture and Forestry in the QS World University Rankings 2019.

The Course

This programme aims to equip students with the advanced skills, knowledge and expertise to undertake technical and production management roles in the globally important agri-food sector.

The agri-food sector is intrinsically linked to challenges around land and water use, climate change and health and well-being.

Students will have the opportunity to study areas 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.

Students will also have access to industry-relevant specialist technologies and new equipment at both the University of Lincoln’s food and agricultural campuses, the National Centre for Food Manufacturing at Holbeach, and at Riseholme Park.

Following the taught element of the programme students may choose between a research project in industry or academia, or a period of professional practice.

The research project provides an opportunity to apply new knowledge in a real-life setting. This will also allow students the opportunity to make contacts within potential employers prior to completing the course.

Alternatively, students have the opportunity to undertake a six month work placement in industry. This can be with an industry partner or through an independently sourced placement. 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:

Lincoln’s research in agriculture, veterinary and food science is internationally acclaimed. It is rated among the best in the UK for quality of outputs in the latest national assessment of university research standards (REF 2014).

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.

This MSc is intentionally wide ranging, in order to best prepare students for opportunities across this broad and fast moving environment. This programme acknowledges that in order to optimise performance and best assure/control the food products in the agri-food supply chain, it is being increasingly recognised that a holistic, all encompassing, farm-to-fork supply chain focus is required.

Programme Modules:

  • Introduction to Agri-Food Systems
  • Principles of Crop Science
  • Commercial and Operational Management
  • Supply Chain and Agile Management
  • Agri-Food Robotics
  • Food Safety & 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 provides the chance to complete an in-depth investigation of a specific topic within industry or academia, enabling students to apply new knowledge in a real-life setting. This will also allow students the opportunity to make contacts with potential employers prior to completion of the course.

Professional Practice

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

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

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 in class students are expected to spend at least two - three hours in independent study. For more detailed information please contact the programme leader.

Advanced Food Manufacturing (Core)
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Advanced Food Manufacturing (Core)

This 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.

Agri-Robotics (Core)
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Agri-Robotics (Core)

This 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’.

Commercial and Operational Management (Core)
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Commercial and Operational Management (Core)

The 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 Master’s 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.

Food Safety & Technical Management (Core)
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Food Safety & Technical Management (Core)

This 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 manufacturer’s 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.

Independent Agri-food Research Project (Core)
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Independent Agri-food Research Project (Core)

Students 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.

Introduction to Agri-food Systems (Core)
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Introduction to Agri-food Systems (Core)

This 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.

New Product & Process Development (Core)
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New Product & Process Development (Core)

The 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.

Principles of Crop Science (Core)
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Principles of Crop Science (Core)

The 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.

Supply Chain and Agile Management (Core)
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Supply Chain and Agile Management (Core)

This 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.

† 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.

A variety of assessment methods are utilised during this course, including essays, examinations, oral presentations and practicals. These assessments are designed to develop skills that will be useful for your career.

The University of Lincoln's policy on assessment feedback aims to ensure that academics will return in-course assessments to you promptly – usually within 15 working days after 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 prefered medium for those applicants who are not able to travel to Lincoln prior to the start of the programme.

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

The University of Lincoln’s National Centre for Food Manufacturing is committed to helping the sector innovate. We work with employers and partners towards this goal, aided by our partnership with leading equipment suppliers, and our specialist facilities, food factory and cutting-edge automation.

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

Students on this course will have the opportunity to study at Riseholme Park, situated just three miles north of Lincoln in a beautiful parkland campus. Riseholme is home to the Lincoln Institute for Agri-Food Technology. Life Sciences students studying courses in animal behaviour also study at our facilities at Riseholme.

The programme will host a variety of industry specialist guest speakers.

 2019/20 Entry*
Home/EU £7,400

(including Alumni Scholarship 20% reduction )**

International £16,000
(Including International Alumni / Global Postgraduate Scholarship £2,000 reduction)**
 Part-time Home/EU £41 per credit point
 Part-time International £89 per credit point

* Academic year September- July
** Subject to eligibility


A Postgraduate Master's Loan can help with course fees and living costs while you study. Individuals** will be able to borrow up to £10,906 for the purpose of completing an eligible postgraduate Master's qualification. The amount available will depend on the start date of your course.

- £10,906, if your course starts on or after 1 August 2019
- £10,609, if your course starts between 1 August 2018 and 31 July 2019


As a postgraduate student you may be eligible for scholarships in addition to those shown above.

Guidance for Part-time Postgraduate Fees

To complete a standard Master's Taught programme, you must complete 180 credit points.

Full time students will be invoiced for the programme in full upon initial enrolment.

For part-time students, tuition fees are payable each credit point enrolled. To calculate your part-time fees, multiply the part-time fee per credit point by the number of credits you intend to complete within that academic year. This is usually between 60 and 90 credit points per year.

For example, if the fee per credit point for your programme is £38, and you enrol on 60 credits, the tuition fee payable for that academic year will be £2280.

Fees for enrolment on additional modules

Tuition fees for additional activity are payable by the student/sponsor and charged at the equivalent £ per credit point rate for each module. Additional activity includes:

- Enrolment on modules that are in addition to the validated programme curriculum

- Enrolment on modules that are over and above the full credit diet for the relevant academic year

- Retakes of modules as permitted by the Board of Examiners

Exceptionally tuition fees may not be payable where a student has been granted a retake with approved extenuating circumstances.

For further information and for details about funding your study, scholarships and bursaries, please see our Postgraduate Fees & Funding pages [].

Other Costs

For each course you 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 you 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 your fee. Where these are optional, you will normally be required to pay your 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, you may prefer to purchase some of these for yourself and you will be responsible for this cost.

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.

Learn from Experts

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

Dr Ramana Sundara

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, 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.


Your Future Career

Career and Personal Development

This programme is designed to prepare you for a career in the world’s biggest industry, agri-food. Agriculture companies, food manufacturers, producers and retailers are large employers, as are government departments which develop food policy. You may advance your career in technical, marketing, distribution, plant supervision and product development. You may also choose to form your own company, with the support of the University of Lincoln Enterprise hub.

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

This service can include one-to-one coaching, CV advice and interview preparation to help you maximise your 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 here


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.

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.