Study a unique course with guaranteed opportunities for paid placements in the food and drink industry.
What is food engineering?
Food engineering blends engineering disciplines with an understanding of food and food science. It develops solutions to food design, manufacture and supply challenges whilst overcoming the unique issues that underpin safe food production. Food engineering covers a number of areas including • mechanical engineering • process control and efficiency • automation, robotics and manufacturing systems • food science and food safety • energy efficiency.
Food engineers help to deliver innovative and high quality products to customers throughout the world. They apply the mechanical engineering study of structures, systems performance, and how fluids behave, to safely and efficiently produce food and drink. Food engineers can specialise in design, development, research, maintenance and operations such as processing, packaging, storage and transportation.
What you study
Major food and drink manufacturers have helped design this unique course to ensure it gives you the skills and knowledge needed for a successful career in the UK’s largest manufacturing sector, food and drink. By replicating real-life scenarios, you learn to create new systems and processes to deliver safe, competitive and innovative food and drink products.
The course applies engineering to the development, control and manufacture of food and drink products. We introduce you to engineering principles and how these are applied to food and drink manufacture. You design, implement and analyse sophisticated engineering process and control systems for manufacturing food in the most energy efficient, economical and environmentally friendly way.
You have the opportunity to go on three placements for a combined total of 54 weeks industry experience. The placements are competitively paid and an integrated and guaranteed part of the course. They ensure you gain extensive and varied workplace experience, as well as developing your technical and professional knowledge of equipment and processes.
Our strong links with leading companies provide real world examples for you to learn from. You also go on industry field trips to a range of companies, have access to an industry mentor who is assigned to you throughout the course and industry professionals deliver guest lectures to provide you with the latest expertise and industry knowledge.
You gain experience designing experiments and testing food engineering techniques and systems in our specialist engineering and food laboratories. By applying technical knowledge to practical challenges faced by industry, you build the skills and knowledge to develop innovative solutions to problems. You also learn how these techniques can improve product quality and reduce the impact on the environment, while maintaining industrial competitiveness.
Additionally, you study the requirements of cost effectiveness, financial justification and efficiency of processes. Finally you develop knowledge and understanding of management and leadership.
Key areas of study
You gain expertise in • mechanical engineering • thermodynamics and thermo fluids • mechanical systems • food processing and process control • automation and robotics • lean manufacturing • food composition and safety • process improvement • business, finance and management.
This course is delivered by Sheffield Hallam working in partnership with the National Skills Academy for Food and Drink and the Food and Drink Federation. It has received co-investment from the UK Commission for Employment and Skills through the Employer Investment Fund.
This course is supported by our National Centre of Excellence for Food Engineering which means you can experience advanced level research by taking part in real research projects.
Food and Drink Federation bursary
You may be eligible for a Food and Drink Federation bursary of £3,000. Download the bursary guidance sheet for more information.
This course is seeking accreditation by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) on behalf of the Engineering Council for the purposes of fully meeting the exemplifying academic benchmark requirements for registration as a Chartered Engineer.
This course is delivered by Sheffield Hallam University working in partnership with the National Skills Academy for Food and Drink and the Food and Drink Federation. It has received co-investment from the UK Commission for Employment and Skills through the Employer Investment Fund.
2017 entry requirements
Normally five GCSEs at grade C or grade 4 or above including English language and maths, plus
• 128 UCAS points including at least 64 points from two A levels or equivalent BTEC National qualifications (to include mathematics) and (to include Physical Science or an appropriate Science subject) We accept AS levels. We do not accept general studies.
• 112 UCAS points from three A levels or equivalent BTEC National qualifications (to include mathematics) and (to include Physical Science or an appropriate science subject) We do not accept General Studies.
New UCAS tariff points system for courses starting from September 2017. This is significantly different to the current points system and uses an alternative method of calculation. You can find information about these changes on the UCAS website and use the UCAS tariff calculator to work out your points.
• Foundation – pass from the preparatory year of our Extended Degree Programme Engineering and Mathematics, depending on academic performance
• Access – an Access to HE Diploma with at least 45 credits at level 3 and 15 credits at level 2. At least 18 level 3 credits must be at merit grade or above, in a mathematics and science related programme from a QAA-recognised Access to HE course, or an equivalent Access to HE certificate
If English is not your first language you must have an IELTS score of 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in all skills or equivalent. If your English language skill is currently below IELTS 6.0 we recommend you consider a Sheffield Hallam University Pre-sessional English course which will enable you to achieve an equivalent English score.
We will consider applicants who have studied other qualifications individually. Please contact us for more information.
International and European entry qualifications
If you are an International or non-UK European student, you can find out more about the country specific qualifications we accept on our international qualifications page.
Four years full-time
Typical modules may include
|Year one modules||
• principles of solid mechanics and dynamics • principles of thermodynamics and fluid mechanics • mechanical engineering design and CAD • applied engineering mathematics • electro-mechanical engineering practice • materials and manufacturing engineering • three month industry placement
|Year two modules||
• applied thermodynamic and fluid mechanics • maths and control • mechatronics • professional practice • packaging machinery design and mechanics • food composition, processing and safety • three month placement
|Year three modules||
• project and project management (food engineering) • automation and robotics for the food industry • process dynamics and control • total quality management • food processing engineering • six month placement
|Year four modules||
• MEng group project • sustainability, energy and environmental management • lean operations and six sigma • contemporary issues in food operation • finance and marketing • rheology and multi-phase flow • plus one option module
As a food engineering graduate you can find a range of exciting and rewarding careers in engineering systems, process design, development and control and managing sustainable food manufacture and delivery.
Agreements are in place with employers to help you gain employment within food engineering when you graduate (subject to final grades, references and recruitment processes). Employers include • ABP UK part of the ABP Food Group • apetito • Arla Foods • Ardo UK Ltd • Burton’s Biscuit Company • Cargill • Coca-Cola Enterprises • Dalehead Foods • F Duerr and Sons • Finsbury Foods • Fine Lady Bakeries • Fosters Bakery (Staincross)Limited • General Mills • Kavi UK Ltd • KP Snacks • Maple Leaf foods • Mars • McCain Foods Ltd • Mondeléz International • Nestlé UK • New England Seafood • PepsiCo UK • Pork Farms • Premier Foods • Silverspoon, AB World Foods and Jordans & Ryvita • Simpsons Ready Foods Ltd • Tate and Lyle Sugars • United Biscuits • Warburtons • William Jackson Food Group.
Starting salaries for graduate food engineers can be between £24,000 and £27,000 a year. With experience and increased responsibilities as an engineering director, this can rise to between £55,000 and £75,000 a year.
There's a high demand for engineers in the UK. A recent report by EngineeringUK, commented that engineering companies are projected to have 2.74 million job openings from 2010 to 2020, and of these approximately 87,000 a year will require people with degree qualifications. At the moment, the UK only produces 46,000 engineering graduates each year. As a graduate of this course, your specialist engineering skills will put you in an excellent position to gain employment within the food and drink industry or wider engineering sectors.
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Please note tuition fees may increase in each subsequent academic year of your course, subject to government regulations on fee increases and in line with inflation. More information can be found in the ‘Tuition Fee Increases’ section of our Fees Regulations (PDF, 2.10 MB)
For the course fee and further information on scholarships and bursaries please visit our fees and funding pages.
2016/17 academic year
Typically £12,250 a year
2017/18 academic year
Typically £12,750 a year
Additional course costs
This link allows you to view estimated costs associated with the main activities on specific courses. These are estimates and, as such, are only an indication of additional course costs. Actual costs can vary greatly depending on the choices you make during your course.
Any offer of a place to study is subject to your acceptance of the University’s Terms and Conditions and student Regulations.