With a world population that grows bigger each year, food science has become one of the most vital fields of study today. How are we going to feed the world with our limited resources? How do we make sure that the food we eat is safe, healthy, sustainable, and delicious? These are the questions that food scientists seek to answer.

Food scientists use chemistry, microbiology, and engineering to understand and improve the entire food production process. Their daily work involves studying the molecular makeup and nutrient levels of food, researching new ways of preservation, and looking for new food sources. Some also assist in the development of new food products.

Most food professionals acquire a Bachelor’s degree before entering the workforce, but some opt to pursue advanced degrees first. Master’s degrees are helpful for those who want to enter more specialized fields.

Food science is a relatively new field of study, but the food industry needs more and more qualified professionals each year. Aside from scientists, the industry also needs researchers, nutritionists, quality assurance managers, flavor chemists, and recipe developers.

Several universities in Europe have responded to this need by developing programs that aim to educate and train those who want a career in the food industry. If you are passionate about both food and science, check out this list for a few of the best food sciences schools in Europe.

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Top Food Sciences Schools in Europe

1. Wageningen University & Research

Among the best food sciences schools in Europe, Wageningen University & Research is the world leader in life sciences research and education. Their campus in the Netherlands first opened as a national agricultural college in 1876. Today, it has unparalleled expertise in food education, which is why it became the top destination for those who want to make an impact on the field of food science.

With a strong focus on research, professors here use lectures, tutorials, group case studies, and computer practicums as methods of teaching. They discuss up to the most advanced concepts in the field, including molecular biology.

BSc Food Technology is offered only in Dutch, while the Master’s degrees are taught fully in English. Graduates of BSc Food Technology at Wageningen University automatically qualify for their Master’s programs should they want to pursue a specialization in their field.

2. University of Leeds

Located in the UK, the University of Leeds is constantly recognized as one of the Top 100 schools in the world for Food Science and Technology. Their food science program aims to educate those who are looking to have successful careers in the food industry.

From the very first year, students experience a wide range of learning methods, including lectures, group tutorials, one-on-one tutorials, workshops, and practical laboratory work. The university also assists in finding relevant internships and industrial placements.

Learning both theoretical and practical aspects of food science equips students with in-depth knowledge and first-hand experience in the field, immediately making them valuable members of the food industry.

3. University College Cork

The University College Cork (UCC) is another top food sciences school in Europe and offers multiple Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees that focus on three different specializations – food science, nutritional science, and technology. Students are encouraged to choose their degree based on their interests since these can lead to very different careers. The campus is located in Cork, Ireland.

BSc Food Science focuses on the study and innovation of food, while BSc Nutritional Sciences studies how food affects human health. Both are 4-year courses that involve a 6-month professional placement during Year 3. Both are taught in English.

UCC also offers BSc Food Science and Technology, a unique dual degree in partnership with Beijing Technology and Business University (BTBU) in China. Students enrolled under this 4-year program will complete the first two years in BTBU and finish the last two in UCC. Graduates will receive a degree from both universities.

4. University of Reading

The food science program at the University of Reading is unique. This prestigious food sciences institution offers degrees that come with a specialization – a choice between technology, nutrition, or business. This approach gives their students a competitive edge over those from other schools.

With their campus located in England, all food science degrees at the University of Reading are accredited by the Institute for Food Science and Technology (IFST), the professional body for food scientists and technologists in the UK.

5. Kaunas University of Technology

Considered as one of the best food sciences schools in Europe, Kaunas University of Technology in Lithuania offers a 4-year Bachelor’s degree and a 2-year Master’s degree in food science. Both are taught in English.

This university proudly offers programs that were awarded the international EQAS-Food Label quality label, which means they are one of the few schools whose food science programs meet international standards.

Students here gain a unique blend of skills in food chemistry, microbiology, nutrition, engineering, and entrepreneurship, which are all important when pursuing careers in modern food laboratories.

6. University of Surrey

Also located in the UK, the University of Surrey stands out because of its award-winning, research-led curriculum. Professors here are active clinicians and researchers who ensure that the lessons are up-to-date and relevant to the food industry today.

Students of this excellent food sciences school have access to the university’s world-class Innovation for Health Learning Laboratory, where they can use the most advanced industry equipment for learning and conducting experiments. Laboratories can help a student gain a better understanding of the technologies used by the food sector today, giving them a competitive edge when they start their careers.

7. University of Helsinki

The University of Helsinki (UH) is Finland’s oldest academic institution, yet it is recognized as the country’s center for innovation and research.

The food science program at UH aims to educate students who will eventually revolutionize the food production cycle by improving technologies, safety, and healthiness.

UH only uses Finnish and Swedish as the medium of instruction for courses under the Bachelor’s degree. Postgraduate degrees are taught in English, but students have the option to complete them in Finnish or Swedish.


I hope that you found this article on Europe’s best food sciences schools informative and helpful. You can also find more information on different European universities and scholarship opportunities on the Europe Scholarships Page!