Food Business & Innovation (MSc)


Programme Description

Our MSc programme in Food Business and Innovation is offered by the College of Business & Law at University College Cork (UCC) in Ireland. It prepares students for a career in the dynamic world of food business and will set you up to play a lead role in the analysis of key sectoral issues and strategic management of the ever-evolving food industry.

The balance of modules in 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. The practical application of learning in this course will equip you with analytical, communication, business, and presentation skills, which are required and highly valued by the industry.

The skills learned in this course are highly transferable so our graduates pursue employment opportunities in both the food sector (international corporations, SMEs, start-ups, and food agencies) and non-food sector (banks, market research firms, and higher education). 

The MSc (Food Business and Innovation) programme comprises two parts with a total of 90 credits.


Part I (60 credits)

  • FE6005 Strategic Food Marketing (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)
  • FE6511 Category Management and Food Retail Marketing (10 credits)
  • FE6512 Sustainable Food Systems (5 credits)
  • FE6517 Supply Chain Management and Food Integrity (5 credits)
  • FE6902 Global Food Policy Issues (5 credits) 
  • MG6012 Consumer Culture and Consumer-Brand Relationships (10 credits) 

Part II (30 credits)

  • FE6127 Applied Food Industry-Centred Research Project (30 credits)

Why Choose This Course

A central part of our MSc in Food Business and Innovation programme is the Food Industry Centred Research Project together with a work placement opportunity. This can take place in a food company, food agency, university, bank or related establishment. This placement allows students to gain valuable work experience and apply their theoretical skills, developed through lectures and capstone-style seminars, to the actual workplace.

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

Additional unique features of this innovative 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 an exposure to digital marketing methods.

Connected Curriculum

Our learning approach also reflects our commitment to the Connected Curriculum where we emphasise the connection between students, learning, research and leadership through our vision for a Connected University. Our staff are at the forefront of this integrative approach to learning and will support you in making meaningful connections within and between disciplines such as food policy, food markets, global issues, business and marketing.

Glanbia MSc Food Business and Innovation Scholarship

Applicants to this programme can apply for the Glanbia MSc Food Business and Innovation Scholarship worth almost €11,000. Please see the Glanbia MSc Food Business and Innovation Scholarship page for more information.

College of Business and Law Available Scholarships

We also support our postgraduate community by offering scholarships and bursaries to prospective and current students. Please see the College of Business and Law Available Scholarships Page for more information.

Skills and Careers Information

Our Food and Innovation course is ideally suited to graduates who seek employment opportunities in a broad sector of food and non-food settings; these areas include 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 are our graduates doing?

Graduates on sister programmes have secured employment in international food and non-food firms (Glanbia, Ornua, Kerrygold Ireland, 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 (Munster Technological University, Waterford Institute of Technology, University of Lancaster).

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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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Additional Information

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Practicalities & Assessment

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

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

Who teaches this course? Our programme is taught by the 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 also contribute to the programme.

Full module information is detailed in the section below.

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Entry Requirements

To be eligible for the MSc in Food Business and Innovation programme, applicants must hold at least a Second Class Honours Grade II in a primary honours degree (NFQ Level 8).

Consideration under Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) may also be given to applicants who have a minimum of three years of relevant professional experience, subject to the approval of the Programme Director.

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 online application portal. Applicants will need to apply before the course closing date. There is a €50 application fee for all courses apart from the Education - Professional Master of Education - (Secondary School/Post-Primary Teacher Training) which has a €100 application fee.

3. Gather Supporting Documents

Scanned copies of the following documents will need to be uploaded to the online application portal 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 items requested for your course.

Please log into the online application portal for more details.

4. Application processing timeline

Our online application portal opens for applications for most courses in early November of each year. Check specific course details. 

Questions on how to apply?

Please use our web enquiry form to contact us.

Additional Requirements (all applicants)

Please note you will be required to provide additional information as part of the online application process for this programme. We strongly encourage you to complete these sections as this information will support your application.

Additional information required will include the following:

  • Please enter the details of professional or voluntary positions held.
  • Please detail your current occupation/specialty.
  • In addition to your previously declared qualifications, please outline any additional academic courses, self-learning, and professional training relevant to this programme.
  • Please describe your motivation and readiness for this programme.
  • Please upload your CV & add the name and email address of two referees.

The closing date for non-EU applications is This course is now closed for international applications.

Non-EU Applications

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

Not all courses are open to international/non-EU applicants, please check the fact file above.

For more information please contact the International Office.

Apply Now

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