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Graduates from this course have gained employment with a wide range of organisations

  • Dunbia
  • Genesis Crafty
  • Home Economics Departments
  • Little Dish
  • Moy Park
  • Tesco
  • Ornua (Irish Dairy Board)

Graduates from this course are employed in many different roles

  • Food Product Development
  • Food Journalism
  • Graduate programme in Product Development
  • Health Promotion
  • Consumer Research
  • Teaching
  • Trainee Management Graduate Scheme


Developing leaders for the food industry and education.


Understanding the role of the consumer and the importance of meeting consumer demands within today's marketplace is the central focus within this exciting and challenging programme of study. The content is designed to develop your knowledge on the pivotal role the consumer plays in the design, development, management, marketing and retailing of products and services. It addresses the processes and key issues involved in helping consumers make informed choices about the products and services they buy and use. The course will provide you with the appropriate analytical, teamwork, organisational and problem-solving skills and competencies necessary for a career related to consumer management, food innovation and food education.

The University regularly ‘refreshes¹ courses to make sure they are as up-to-date as possible. The University calls this process 'academic revalidation’.

For the most up-to-date course/ module information, please contact theCourse Director

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Coleraine campus

Our coastal and riverside campus with a primary academic focus on science and health

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About this course

In this section


The course will provide you with:

  • Knowledge and understanding of the social, legal, technological and environmental factors which affect the design, development, management and marketing of consumer goods and services;
  • Intellectual qualities and attributes especially in the areas of problem solving and the critical assessment of information;
  • Vocational skills and the academic underpinning necessary for employment within relevant industries such as food and retailing sectors, consumer services and education, teaching of Home Economics (via an appropriate PGCE) or postgraduate study;
  • Transferable competencies and skills essential for a career related to consumer management and food innovation, including new product development, communication, entrepreneurship, innovation, teamwork, time-management, reflection and the ability to adapt to change;
  • An understanding of the interdisciplinary nature of consumer management and food innovation and the issues involved in improving consumer skills and choices;
  • The ability to initiate and undertake in-depth research on a group and individual basis.


The programme can be completed in five to seven years. You will normally complete one to two modules per semester, with class contact time approximately three hours per week per module. You will be expected to undertake independent study of around 10 hours per week per module. You will have a minimum of 3-6 class contact hours per week on the Coleraine campus.

At the beginning of year 1 you are also expected to attend a two day introductory induction residential involving outdoor team building and leadership activities. At this residential, you will begin to appreciate the nature of the leadership skills and knowledge required for a career in business.

Additionally, you will be expected to devote some of your study time to working with local employers on a specific issue as part of your 'live' project modules in Year 2 and Year 3.

Start dates

  • September 2018
How to apply


Here is a guide to the subjects studied on this course.

Courses are continually reviewed to take advantage of new teaching approaches and developments in research, industry and the professions. Please be aware that modules may change for your year of entry. The exact modules available and their order may vary depending on course updates, staff availability, timetabling and student demand. Please contact the course team for the most up to date module list.

In this section

Year one

Food Studies and Nutrition

Year: 1

This module examines the fundamental principles relating to nutrition, diet and food commodities. The significance of consuming the recommended amount of each in relation to human health and disease will also be investigated. This module will provide students with an understanding of food commodities, food science and the nutritional properties and importance of food.

Food Sensory Science

Year: 1

Sensory evaluation is now widely recognised within the food industry as an essential business asset. However, it is crucial that it is implemented with a thorough understanding of panellist selection/training, performance monitoring, sensory methodology and data analysis. This module will enable students to have a underpinning understanding of sensory science, its role in industry and how to conduct appropriate tests for industry.

Media, Creativity & Experience

Year: 1

The module explores the importance of media to business success in the various sectors of the tourism, events and food industries. It develops student skills and understanding in relation to writing and creating content for a variety of media applications as well as providing introductory support in relation to writing and research for their degree studies. As such the module will foster digital creativity in a variety of contexts and situations applicable to the student's course and their respective industries.

Management in Action

Year: 1

This module examines the principals of management and applies these to the practice of organisational management. It is an introductory module, which will help the student become familiar with the nature and scope of management. It examines the development of management theories and the impact of the external and internal environments on effective and professional management. The student will explore how to manage others and how to improve productivity for future business success.

Year two

Consumer Law

Year: 2

This module will provide an accurate picture of how and why the law intervenes in the market to protect consumers and the difficult practical and policy issues that can arise in this discipline. The module aims at all times to balance theory and practice in order to see consumer law in context.

Product Development

Year: 2

Students will gain an understanding of the principles and concepts of Product Development such as Stage-Gate and the costing of products. They will be expected to research the types of 'new' products and demonstrate the current trends within the category using a mood board. Students will also be required to produce and present a product for a specified food product category at a product presentation.

Food Tourism, Festivals and Events

Year: 2

This module provides students with an overview of the diverse range of food tours, festivals and events that destinations can harness to diversify their tourism product offering and, therefore, increase their competitiveness. Food is a key part of all cultures, a major element of global intangible heritage and an increasingly important attraction for tourists. So therefore, it is important that students are aware of how food festivals, wine and other beverages tasting trails, cooking experiences and competitions, open farms, factories and food markets can contribute to enhance the tourist experience.

People Management

Year: 2

Managing People is an important part of all managers' jobs whether they are Line Managers or Human Resource (HR) specialists. Successful management and leadership can make a significant difference to the performance of teams and individuals and to the achievement of organisational objectives. This module is designed to provide students with an introduction to people management strategies which can help achieve high performance within the service industry.

Year three

Health and Consumer Lifestyle

Year: 3

This module addresses the issues of food choice and related dietary disorders, factors which influence dietary and lifestyle habits, strategies for change and the implications of health promotion and education programmes.

Accounting Studies

Year: 3

This module focuses on managerial decision making for both SMEs and larger corporations in the tourism and hospitality sectors. The content includes costing, budgeting, investment appraisal and working capital management. The student will be expected to apply knowledge to the decision-making process and discuss alternatives relevant to the range of service industries studied by students within the Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management.

Business Research Methods

Year: 3

The module will develop and enhance the student's ability to carry out appropriate research, process data and utilise effectively the latest ICT packages and applications relevant to their course and their chosen business field.

Contemporary Marketing Practice

Year: 3

This module introduces and explores key areas of marketing theory and their application to the contemporary business organisation. The module defines marketing and examines the development of the marketing concept, the marketing environment and key aspects of contemporary marketing theory and practice including segmentation, consumer behaviour, marketing research, the marketing mix and through assessment provides students with the opportunity to actually apply these concepts to contemporary industry situations.

Year four

Food Innovation

Year: 4

Students will be provided with a brief by a company and will carry out consultancy on their behalf. Students will be introduced to project management, and will work to a projected budget, assemble a product design concept inline with a company's core values.

Food and Drinks Media

Year: 4

Students will gain an understanding of the principles and concepts of traditional and new media used to promote food and drink. They will be expected to research the types of media avaialble and demonstrate an understanding of the current media trends within the food and drink industry. Students will also be required to produce and present a food and drinks digital content strategy and a written portfolio.

Applied Sensory Science and Quality Control

Year: 4

This module provides an introduction to important elements of food quality including its sensory assessment and quality control. The knowledge and skills gained in this module have global application and will equip students with a sound bases for future roles linked to food quality, sensory science and product development.

Managing Talent and Productivity

Year: 4

The contemporary workplace is changing and there has probably never been a more challenging time to be in Human Resources (HR) or be responsible for managing people. Human Resource teams and Line Managers have a major role to play in driving performance and achieving competitive advantage. This module provides an opportunity for students to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills needed to help attract, manage and retain the best talent nationally and internationally.

Management Accounting

Year: 4

This module focuses on managerial decision making for both SMEs and larger corporations in the tourism and hospitality sectors. The content includes costing, budgeting, investment appraisal and working capital management. The student will be expected to apply knowledge to the decision-making process and discuss alternatives relevant to the range of service industries studied by students within the Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management.

Contemporary Marketing Management

Year: 4

This module examines and expands on the principle concepts and theories of marketing and their practical application to contemporary marketing management. It is a module that builds on the Contemporary Marketing Practice module at level 5. Issues include the management of the marketing concept, marketing environments, planning, research application and techniques, segmentation, the marketing mix, e-marketing and digital marketing within specific businesses at a local, national and international level as they apply to the marketing management function.

Year five

Contemporary Consumer Issues

Year: 5

This module examines the the effects of food and consumer policies and issues not only on the consumer but the environment and the food industry as a whole. The module draws on the knowledge and experiences of students and relates them to global food and consumer policy issues. A number of contemporary food policy and consumer issues are discussed and their implications for the consumer and the social, economic and political environment are outlined.

The Business Plan

Year: 5

This module is optional

In this module students are engaged in practical entrepreneurship and will develop their knowledge of entrepreneurship and the entrepreneurial process. This will be evidenced through the development of a business plan for new venture creation, enterprise development, project management or a community based development project.

Research Paper

Year: 5

This module is optional

This module will assess the student's ability to carry out appropriate academic research, process data and utilize effectively the latest IT applications to provide an independent researched piece of work relevant to their course and their chosen industry.

Entry conditions

We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.

In this section

A level

The A Level requirement for this course is BC - BB

Applied General Qualifications

Overall BTEC award profile DMM - DDM to include Unit profile of 7 - 9 distinctions.

Irish Leaving Certificate

Overall Irish Leaving Certificate profile BBCCC - BBBBB.

Scottish Highers

The Scottish Highers requirement for this course is AABB - AABCC.

Scottish Advanced Highers

The Scottish Advanced Highers requirement for this course is BCC - BBB.

International Baccalaureate

Overall International Baccalaureate profile minimum 24 - 26 points (12 - 13 at higher level).

Access to Higher Education (HE)

Overall Access profile 60 - 70%.


GCSE Profile to include minimum Grade C or above in Mathematics and English Language.

English Language Requirements

English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement for Tier 4 visa purposes.

Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.

Teaching and learning assessment

The aim and objectives of your course will be achieved in a variety of ways through the application of a range of teaching and learning methods across all modules. The principal methods used include lectures, seminars, tutorials, practicals, talks from industry guest speakers and case studies. The Department has a strong commitment to providing realistic work experiences and various simulated exercises are included in the laboratory and practical sessions. For example, you will be frequently working on live product development and marketing projects from industry utilising the facilities of our food and consumer testing suite (FACTS).

Exemptions and transferability

Exemption is granted on the basis of recent and relevant study.

What exemptions can I get?
Based on recent and successfully completed accredited learning, students can seek exemptions from the programme. The Course Director can advise you as to the eligibility of your accredited course.

How do I apply for exemptions?
When accepted on the Course you are asked to complete an exemptions form, which is reviewed by the Course Director and exemptions are then agreed during the Induction process.

Careers & opportunities

In this section

Graduate employers

Graduates from this course have gained employment with a wide range of organisations. Here are some examples:

  • Dunbia
  • Genesis Crafty
  • Home Economics Departments
  • Little Dish
  • Moy Park
  • Tesco
  • Ornua (Irish Dairy Board)

Job roles

Graduates from this course are employed in many different roles. Here are some examples:

  • Food Product Development
  • Food Journalism
  • Graduate programme in Product Development
  • Health Promotion
  • Consumer Research
  • Teaching
  • Trainee Management Graduate Scheme

Career options

In terms of career opportunities, the course structure offers flexibility to progress into areas of employment relating to consumer management and food innovation. Several career routes have been identified in the following areas: food product development, teaching, marketing and sales, health promotion, consumer protection and rights, human resource management and food journalism. In addition, successful completion of this course enables you to progress to Post Graduate study and be eligible to apply for admission to the one year full-time Postgraduate Certificate in Education (Home Economics). You will also have the opportunity to participate in the optional Tutoring in Schools programme prior to applying to the PGCE. The elective placement opportunity also provides you with valuable work-related learning experiences to further inform your career decision-making.

Professional recognition

Institute of Hospitality (IoH)

Accredited by the Institute of Hospitality that academic, vocational and professional standards achieved are appropriate and programme content and delivery meet international Institute of Hospitality benchmark standards.


How to apply Request a prospectus

Applications to our part-time undergraduate courses are made through the University’s online application system.

Start dates

  • September 2018

Fees and funding

In this section

Fees (total cost)

Important notice - fees information Fees illustrated are based on 18/19 entry and are subject to an annual increase. Correct at the time of publishing. Terms and conditions apply. Additional mandatory costs are highlighted where they are known in advance. There are other costs associated with university study.
Visit our Fees pages for full details of fees

Northern Ireland & EU:

Scholarships, awards and prizes

  • Consumer Council (NI) Award - Best performance in Contemporary Consumer Issues module
  • Food Innovation Award - Best product pitch to industry in Food Innovation module
  • Suki Tea Food Policy Award - Best performance in Global Food Issues module.

Additional mandatory costs

Chef Whites are required for practical work. These cost aprroximately £30.

Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges), and normal living are a part of university life.

Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them. These may include residential visits, field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering) inoculations, security checks, computer equipment, uniforms, professional memberships etc.

We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free wifi is also available on each of the campuses.

There will be some additional costs to being a student which cannot be itemised and these will be different for each student. You may choose to purchase your own textbooks and course materials or prefer your own computer and software. Printing and binding may also be required. There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines. Additional costs vary from course to course.

Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs as well as tuition fees.

Please contact the course team for more information.


Ulster Business School Office

T: +44 (0)28 9036 6351


Course director: Dr Amy Burns

T: +44 (0)28 7012 3984


For more information visit

Ulster University Business School

Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management


“The cross functional link between industry and education cannot be underestimated. Shared learning’s and experiences evolve in progression of skills and succession planning.” Helen Dunn, Product Innovation & Development Manager, Moy Park.

“We engaged with the Food and Consumer testing Suite (FACTS) for two projects; one for our Poultry division and one for Goodfella’s pizza. We were very impressed by the calibre of the students and staff who embraced the projects with enthusiasm and delivered work of a very high standard in a professional and timely manner. This facility was an invaluable resource and a key element of research and testing of products providing quality data that could be analysed against a number of parameters and target markets. We look forward to continuing our partnership with the University for future projects.”Maura Carolan, NPD Manager, Green Isle Foods

“It was fantastic to receive the assistance of FACTS. Product testing and sensory analysis is something that is usually done in-house but the results and feedback have certainly got us thinking and we’ll definitely will be using sensory analysis to test even more new flavours in the future.” Arnaldo Morelli, Morelli’s Ice Cream

“FACTS was pivotal to the development of our product. With their state of the art facilities the highly supportive staff were able to meet all our needs. They carried out first class sensory testing and provided exceptional advice for the improvement and growth of our product and business. The team worked ceaselessly to provide support. We would therefore highly recommend the services provided by Ulster University to any business.”Vanessa Rolls, Modern Nature

"The facilities at the food and consumer testing suite are some of the best in the industry and I found working with the professional team very rewarding. At the Culinary food group we put the consumer at the heart of everything we do through the combining of culinary arts and food science. These facilities help us deliver that goal." Dominic Darby, Group Business Development Manager, Culinary Food Group.