New Nutrition & Food Science degree on the menu at QMU
Queen Margaret University (QMU), Edinburgh, has launched a new degree in nutrition and food science, as part of the institution’s Food & Drink Strategy.
QMU’s Food & Drink Strategy has been developed through extensive consultation with the food and drink sector to support the commercial application of nutritional science.
The BSc (Hons) Nutrition and Food Science is the latest boost to QMU’s ongoing commitment to enhancing Scotland’s position as a leader in food and drink innovation in Europe and supporting access to the global market for healthy and functional food.
The new degree focuses on human nutrition and food science with an emphasis on health and the prevention of dietary related disease. Nutrition is becoming more important to the food industry, with consumers demanding more information about the content of the products they choose to eat. QMU’s food scientists are involved in the development of new food products and food production processes, as well as microbiological and chemical testing.
The aim of the new programme is to produce graduates who have the transferable knowledge, skills and attributes to add value to the UK and global food industry. The food industry is the single largest manufacturing industry in the UK, employing around 500,000 people. Scotland has 12,000 small to medium enterprises (SMEs) in the food and drink sector which are seeking to exploit the growing market for healthy food and drink products, estimated to be worth £20bn in the UK and more than £300bn globally.
Michael Clapham, Senior Lecturer Public Health Nutrition at QMU, said: “The new nutrition and food science degree has been designed to put health and the prevention of dietary related disease at the heart of our students’ learning experience. The programme also supports the skills investment plan for the food and drink sector, whilst up-skilling and promoting the enhanced employability of our graduates.
“The degree is also helping to reinforce QMU’s reputation as Scotland’s leading academic centre for food development and innovation. In order to meet the future demands of the food and drink industry, QMU is continuing to develop a competitive and sustainable infrastructure, which underpins knowledge exchange in nutritional science.”
The BSc (Hons) Nutrition and Food Science provides additional depth and a specific industry focus to the existing portfolio of programmes currently taught by QMU’s specialists in Dietetics, Nutrition and Biological Sciences. The dynamic and research-active team offers a range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses in the fields of diet, human biology and health. The University’s team has particular expertise in public health, knowledge exchange and clinical nutrition and metabolism.
Dr Fiona Coutts, Dean of Health Sciences at Queen Margaret University, said: “The development of this course comes at a time when QMU is further strengthening its specialism in food and drink. In December 2014, we launched the Scottish Centre for Food Development and Innovation, which is supporting Scottish food and drink businesses to innovate, develop new healthy products and processes, and grow their businesses.
“The creation of this new course also pays tribute to QMU’s history in food and nutrition. In 1875, the institution was established to help address the dietary issues of the urban poor, confirming our commitment to improving quality of life.”