UTU Masters | Food Development
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Master's Degree Programme in

Food Development

Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, University of Turku

Nordic expertise in natural foods.

The Master’s Degree Programme in Food Development provides you with competence for meeting the challenges in the research and development in food industry and academia.
Apply now! The application period for the studies starting in autumn 2018 is 1 December 2017 – 31 January 2018.

The Programme is designed to provide you with an understanding of the connections between different aspects and functions of food. Special attention is paid to the influence of various factors on the composition, sensory properties and health effects of food at molecular level. Application of food metabolomics and modern biotechnological methods in food research and food development is an important part of the curriculum. The curriculum also covers various aspects of food safety and European food laws and legislation.

Through the Programme, you will gain education and qualification for working as an expert, for example in food authorities.


Programme structure

The Master’s Degree in Food Development is a two-year programme amounting to 120 ECTS. The degree is comprised of:

  • Major subject studies in Food Development (88 ECTS) including Master’s thesis in technology and related research project and seminar (33 ECTS)
  • Minor subject (20 ECTS) from one of the following: Bioinformatics, Molecular Systems Biology, Biotechnology or Entrepreneurship
  • Mandatory language studies including Finnish for foreigners (5 ECTS)
  • Selectable studies in different thematic areas and special themes (0-12 ECTS)
Academic excellence & experience

The Food Chemistry and Food Development Unit is an essential element of core strength of food science and technology in Finland. FCFD has an internationally edge-cutting profile in research on:

  • chemistry and biochemistry of food lipids and secondary metabolites
  • the molecular basis of food quality and health promoting properties of food with special focus on northern crops and wild resources
  • significance of northern climate as factors influencing crop quality
  • food development research and technological innovation for sustainable utilisation and value addition of food resources

With an internationally well-established record in berry research, oils and fats, human milk, and cow milk, the Unit has expanded its research into other food resources such as cereals, legumes and mushrooms. The research also targets on new food resources for future food security, healthy diet and business growth.

The ultimate goal is to support the sustainable bio-future based on internationally top science. State-of-art targeted and non-targeted food metabolomics are important tools for research. In addition to basic sciences, the research of the Unit includes strong applied angle supporting the research and innovation in food industry.

Master's thesis & topics

The final project aiming for the Master’s thesis in technology is based on independent, experimental research project in a laboratory. The research work is made under the guidance of a supervisor and takes three months. The results obtained at the research project will be presented in a Master’s seminar using common procedures known from scientific meetings. The Master’s thesis will be written based on the results from the experimental work and a review of relevant background literature.

Examples of thesis topics:  

  • Triacylglycerol fatty acid composition and expression levels of related biosynthesis genes in seeds and pulp of developing sea buckthorn (Hippophaë rhamnoides) berries
  • The impact of storage conditions on the stability of Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG and Bifidobacterium animalis lactis in breast milk
  • Effects of wine yeast on chemical composition of black currant wine – anthocyanins and alcohols
  • Replacement of salt in wheat bread – the impact on taste and liking
  • Development of a new processed egg product


Double degree in Food Development

The University of Turku has a double degree programme in Food Development with Jiangnan University (Wuxi, China). Food Development students have a possibility to join the double degree programme pursuing Degrees of  Master of Science in Technology at University of Turku and the Master Degree of Engineering at Jiangnan University

The students fulfilling the degree requirements of the Master’s Degree Programme in Food Development will obtain a Master of Science in Technology degree at the University of Turku. To obtain a double degree from both universities, student has to, in addition, take:

  • at least 30 ECTS, or one semester equivalent, of coursework in the Jiangnan University
  • an elective model with a joint practical project or jointly supervised Master’s thesis


Competence description

In the Master’s Degree Programme in Food Development you will:

  • learn to understand the phenomena and concepts related to molecular food sciences and different relationships between them
  • gain strong theoretical knowledge on themes of food development and can apply it into practice
  • learn the methods used in food development and how to apply them to research and product development purposes
  • gain knowledge on how to search, apply, and create information
  • gain the ability to make justifiable decisions based on the information that you have critically achieved
  • gain experience in real life work in academic and industrial projects in food research and development
  • get skills to work in a responsible role as part of multi-disciplinary and multicultural teams
Job options

The Programme provides you with competence for meeting the challenges in the research and development in food industry and academia. Through the Programme, you also gain education and qualification for working as an expert in food authorities and other related functions in the society.

Students graduating from the Programme, may work, among others, as:

  • r&d manager
  • quality manager
  • researcher
  • product developer
  • entrepreneur
  • coordinator
  • product specialist
Career in research

Master of Science degree provides you with eligibility for scientific postgraduate degree studies. Postgraduate degrees are doctoral and licentiate degrees.

Graduates from the Programme are eligible to apply for a position in the University of Turku Graduate School, UTUGS.  The Graduate School consists of 16 doctoral programmes which cover all disciplines and doctoral candidates of the University.

Together with the doctoral programmes, the Graduate School provides systematic and high quality doctoral training. UTUGS aims to train highly qualified experts with the skills required for both professional career in research and other positions of expertise.


General degree requirement

A BSc degree that formally qualifies the applicant to access Master’s level studies in the country where it has been completed. This degree should correspond to at least 180 ECTS (European credits) or to a minimum of three years of full-time study.


A polytechnic degree from a Finnish University of Applied Sciences (ammattikorkeakoulu). Students with such degree might however be required to complete additional studies while studying for the Master’s degree to qualify for Master’s degree studies (see Additional studies).

Programme-Specific Degree Requirements

The Programme is open to applicants who have sufficient background knowledge in polytechnic/engineering and/or biosciences, and who have completed a lower university degree, BSc degree (180 ECTS), in the field of e.g.:

  • food sciences
  • food technology
  • food engineering
  • biochemistry
  • biotechnology
  • agricultural Sciences
  • OR a polytechnic degree from Finnish University of Applied Sciences with a relevant field of studies combined with additional studies.

The decision for admission will be based on the relevance of:

  • the applicant’s previous degree(s)
  • the amount, relevance and grades of the courses in the degree(s)
  • language test result (see language requirements)
  • motivation letter

Study merits in the applicant’s previous degree (BSc) are highly relevant. The letter of motivation is another important factor in considering the applicant’s suitability for the Programme.

Please note that the motivation letter may be checked for plagiarism with the Turnitin system of the University of Turku. A previously earned Master’s degree does not automatically place the applicant ahead of other applicants.

Additional Studies

The contents of formally eligible applicants’ previous degrees do not always correspond to the academic level of the Programme. Therefore admitted students can be advised or required to complete additional, Bachelor’s level studies while studying for the Master’s degree. These studies are not part of the Master’s degree and may extend the targeted study time.

The additional studies may be included in the optional studies of the Master’s degree only if the applicant lacks previous knowledge in a certain field that is required for following a specific course within the Programme.

The extent and contents of the additional studies are defined individually for each student when a personal study plan is created in the beginning of the studies. The amount of required additional studies cannot exceed 60 ECTS.

Language Requirements

All applicants must prove their English language skills in one of the ways accepted by the Faculty.

Applicants seeking admission on the basis of a polytechnic degree from a Finnish University of Applied Sciences must prove their proficiency also in Finnish. This is because the additional Bachelor’s level studies that need to be completed during the Master’s level studies are available only in Finnish.


Application Form and Enclosures

The application period for studies starting in September 2017 is 1 December 2016 – 13 January 2017 at 15:00 (local time in Finland, GMT +2).

Please read all the application instructions and detailed admission requirements carefully before applying! Make sure that you fulfil both the admission and language requirements before applying.

How to apply

Applications are done on the Studyinfo portal (www.studyinfo.fi). Search for the Master’s Degree Programme in Food Development, University of Turku.


Fill in the online application form. The online application is open only during the application period, so make sure you will finish your application before 13 January 2017 at 15:00:00 (Local time in Finland, GTM+2).

When filling in the application form, be prepared to:

  • write a motivation letter
  • describe the grading scale used at your institution at the time of your studies. The grading scale must include all the grades and marks appearing on your transcript of records and their relation to each other. You should also provide a link to an official website where this information can be verified. (In many cases this information is already included in the transcript of records.)

Collect the required application documents.


Send the following application documents to University Admissions Finland office by mail. The application documents have to arrive by the application deadline:

  • an officially certified copy of the original degree certificate (in the original language) AND English, Finnish or Swedish translation (or an English-language Diploma Supplement concerning graduates from European institutions of higher education)
  • an officially certified copy of the original transcript of study records (in the original language) AND English, Finnish or Swedish translation (or an English-language Diploma Supplement concerning graduates from European institutions of higher education)
  • certificate of English language skills (see Language requirements)
  • certificate of Finnish language skills (required only from applicants who are seeking admission on the basis of a degree from a Finnish University of Applied Sciences, see Language requirements)

Please see the country specific requirements for certifying the copies and submitting the documents: http://universityadmissions.fi/?page_id=24

Address of the University Admissions Finland:

University Admissions Finland
Unioninkatu 40 C
FI-00170 Helsinki

Students graduating after the application deadline may apply on the condition that the following attachments are submitted:

  • certified copy of the original degree certificate (in the original language)
  • final transcript
  • their English, Finnish or Swedish translations
  • or an English-language Diploma Supplement concerning graduates from European institutions of higher education

The attachments need to be submitted and arrive at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences by the 14 July 2017 at 15:00 (local time in Finland, GMT +2).

The general and country specific requirements concerning the way of certifying and submitting the documents must be followed also after the expiry of the application period.

The application documents required as officially certified copies must bear the official stamp and signature of an authorised university official from the institution awarding the degree or a notary public.

All translations must be made by an authorised translator. If copies of translations are submitted, those must also be officially certified.

Master’s Degree Programme in



Degree: Master of Science (Technology)

Duration: 2 academic years, 120 ECTS credits

Mode of study: Full-time

Faculty / Department: Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Department of Biochemistry

Location: Turku, Finland

Language of instruction: English

Tuition fee: None / €12,000

Start date: August/September 2018

Application period: 1 Dec 2017 – 31 Jan 2018