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Food Business and Innovation (MSc)

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Programme Description

This MSc course prepares students for a career in dynamic food businesses to play a lead role in the analysis of key sectoral issues and strategic management of the food industry. The balance of modules on this programme reflects the global nature of the food industry. Students will expand their knowledge of food, the food consumer, innovation in food and the decision-making processes in companies that develop, brand, distribute, and sell food products. Through practical application, this programme will equip graduates with analytical, communication, business and presentation skills, which are required and highly valued by the industry. Graduates from the MSc in Food Business and Innovation course pursue employment opportunities in the food sector (international corporations, SMEs, start-ups and food agencies) and non-food sector (banks, market research firms and higher education) as the skills acquired are highly transferable.

The MSc (Food Business and Innovation) consists of taught modules to the value of 70 credits, with an Applied Food Industry Centred Research Project (FE6122) of 20 credits.

Students take taught modules to the value of 70 credits as follows:

  • BU6510 Professional Development and Research Communication (5 credits)
  • FE6005 Strategic Food Marketing (5 credits)
  • FE6008 Food Marketing Channel Analysis 1 (5 credits)
  • FE6505 Food Entrepreneurship and Innovation (10 credits) 
  • FE6506 Food Branding and Digital Media Marketing (5 credits) 
  • FE6507 Economics of Agri-Food Markets and Value Chain Analysis  (5 credits)
  • FE6509 Research Methods (5 credits)
  • FE6511 Category Management and Food Retail Marketing (10 credits)
  • FE6512 Sustainable Food Systems (5 credits)
  • FE6902 Global Food Policy Issues (5 credits) 
  • MG6012 Consumer Culture and Consumer-Brand Relationships (10 credits)

Students take an Applied Food Industry Centred Research module to the value of 20 credits:

  • FE6122 Applied Food Industry Centred Research Project (20 credits) 

Further details on the content and modules are available on the College Calendar

Why Choose This Course

A central part of the MSc in Food Business and Innovation is a Food Industry Centred Research Project with the opportunity to work in a food firm, food agency, university, bank or related establishment, where students gain valuable work experience and apply the theoretical skills developed through lectures and capstone style seminars. Additional unique features of the MSc in Food Business and Innovation programme include: an in-depth introduction to the national and international food sectors; a unique blend of relevant courses that are relevant to both established food firms and start-ups; and an introduction to leading edge food research issues, innovative teaching methods (including boot-camps) and exposure to digital marketing methods.

Skills and Careers Information

The Programme provides the graduate with the expert skills to analyse the key issues impacting on food chains: changing consumer demands and demographics; food supply chain management and structural changes at retail level; food safety and consumer behaviour; consumer acceptance of novel foods; new food product development opportunities; the evolution of functional foods and the marketing of health-enhancing foods. The course is ideally suited to graduates who seek employment opportunities in Market Research, Consumer Research, Food Business Management, Product Marketing and Brand Management, New Product Development, Food Retail Organisations, the Financial Sector as Food Analysts, Research Institutions and Policy Organisations, and organisations that support food firms nationally and internationally. 

What can I do after I graduate with a [MSc in Food Business and Innovation?]

[Problem solving, creative thinking, communications, strategic thinking, entrepreneurship skills]

Occupations associated with [MSc in Food Business and Innovation]

Food Sector: Market Research, Consumer Research, Food Business Management, Product Marketing and Brand Management, New Product Development.

What are our Graduates Doing?

Graduates on sister programmes have secured employment in international food and non-food firms (Glanbia, Ornua, Kerry, Britvic, Danone, Aldi, Dawn, AIB, LinkedIn), banks, food agencies (Bord Bia, UK Home-Grown Cereals Authority, Teagasc), brand management and marketing departments (Kerry Foods, Musgrave Group, Nestle), non-food agencies (Enterprise Ireland, IBEC, Bord Bia), market research firms (AC Nielsen, Spark Market Research, Dunhumby) and in Higher Education (CIT, WIT, University of Lancaster).

Study Abroad

Participants can complete their placement either in Ireland or abroad, depending on their interests.

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Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the MSc in Food Business and Innovation, students should be able to:

  • Communicate and work effectively to a high professional standard;
  • Demonstrate advanced analytical and problem solving skills associated with effective practice;
  • Engage in the application of advanced frameworks and techniques in organisational settings;
  • Demonstrate advanced analytical skills associated with the key challenges and decisions facing those along the food supply chain;
  • Demonstrate research and professional proficiency through the completion of an independent industry centred research project.

 

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Practicalities & Assessment

The MSc in Food Business and Innovation is a full-time 12 month programme. In first part, you will need to be available to attend classes and seminars from Monday to Friday (inclusive). During the programme, you will complete a full-time Food Industry Centred Research Project under the guidance of an academic and industry mentor.

Assessment

You will be assessed by examinations, continuous assessment and a Food Industry Centred Research Project report.

Who teaches this course

The MSc in Food Business and Innovation programme is taught by academic staff of the Department of Food Business and Development and Management and Marketing. In addition, invited guest lecturers, adjunct professors and experts with a broad range of national and international experience will also contribute to the programme.

Full module information is detailed in the section below.

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Modules

Year 1

For full programme requirements, please refer to the University College Cork Academic Calendar here

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Entry Requirements

To be eligible for the the MSc in Food Business and Innovation, candidates must hold at least a 2H2 in a primary degree (level 8). Consideration may also be given to applicants who who have a minimum of three years’ relevant professional experience, subject to the approval of the Programme Director.

If you are applying with Qualifications obtained outside Ireland and you wish to verify if you meet the minimum academic and English language requirements for this programme please click here to view the grades comparison table by country and for details of recognised English language tests. 

View the grades comparison table

Non-EU Candidates

Non-EU candidates are expected to have educational qualifications of a standard equivalent to Irish university primary degree level. In addition, where such candidates are non-native speakers of the English language they must satisfy the university of their competency in the English language. To verify if you meet the minimum academic requirements for this programme please visit our qualification comparison pages.

For more detailed entry requirement information please refer to the International website .

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Application Process

1. Choose Course

Firstly choose your course. Applicants can apply for up to three courses under one application. Details of taught courses are available on our online prospectus.

2. Apply Online

Once you have chosen your course you can apply online at the Postgraduate Applications Centre (PAC). Applicants will need to apply before the course closing date. There is a €50 application fee.

3. Gather Supporting Documents

Scanned copies of the following documents will need to be uploaded to PAC in support of your application. Applicants may need to produce the original documents if you are accepted onto a course and register at UCC.

  • Original qualification documents listed on your application including transcripts of results from institutions other than UCC
  • Any supplementary forms requested for your course.

Please log into PAC for more details.

4. Application processing timeline

Our online application system PAC opens for applications in early November of each year.

Questions on how to apply?

EU students contact graduatestudies@ucc.ie

International students contact internationaloffice@ucc.ie

Additional Requirements (All Applicants)

Please note you will be required to answer specific additional/supplementary questions as part of the online applications process for this programme.  A copy of these additional/supplementary questions are available to view here: CKL02 Supplementary Form [MSc Food Bus & Innov]

The closing date for non-EU applications is 15th June

Non-EU Applications

Applicants who are interested in applying for the programme can also apply online at PAC.

For full details of the non-EU application procedure please visit our how to apply pages for international students.

**All Applicants please note: modules listed in the course outline above are indicative of the current set of modules for this course, but these are subject to change from year to year. Please check the college calendar for the full academic content of any given course for the current year. 

In UCC, we use the term programme and course interchangeably to describe what a person has registered to study in UCC and its constituent colleges, schools and departments. 

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