Consumer Management and Food Innovation

BSc (Hons)

2022/23 Part-time Undergraduate course


Bachelor of Science with Honours


Ulster University Business School


Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management


Coleraine campus

Start date:

September 2022

With this degree you could become:

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

Graduates from this course are now working for:

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


Developing leaders for the food industry and education.


BSc Hons Consumer Management and Food Innovation 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.

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About this course


Understanding the role of the consumer and the importance of meeting consumer demands within today's marketplace is the central focus within this exciting programme of study. The BSc Hons Consumer Management and Food Innovation will develop your knowledge on the pivotal role the consumer plays in the design, development, management, marketing and retailing of food products and services.

Ulster University is 1st in the UK for Hospitality, Leisure, Recreation & Tourism (Complete University Guide, 2021). The programme is ranked number one for student satisfaction in UK institutions for food and beverage studies (NSS, 2018).

100% of the teaching team have achieved Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy and 7 of these team members have Senior Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy.


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 2022

Teaching, Learning and Assessment

Lectures provide you with the theoretical knowledge for all modular areas outlined in the course structure with practicals and seminars providing the opportunity to participate in hands on aspects and realistic scenarios in relation to the hospitality sector. Regular talks and workshops from industry leaders provide further enhancement. You also have the opportunity to work on live industry projects and present your ideas and concepts to panels of industry experts, providing excellent opportunities to develop your creativity and innovation in relation to hospitality. Assessments range from coursework in the form of reports and essays to exams and projects.

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).

The content for each course is summarised on the relevant course page, along with an overview of the modules that make up the course.

Each course is approved by the University and meets the expectations of:

Attendance and Independent Study

As part of your course induction, you will be provided with details of the organisation and management of the course, including attendance and assessment requirements - usually in the form of a timetable. For full-time courses, the precise timetable for each semester is not confirmed until near the start date and may be subject to change in the early weeks as all courses settle into their planned patterns. For part-time courses which require attendance on particular days and times, an expectation of the days of attendance will often be included in the letter of offer. A course handbook is also made available.

Courses comprise modules for which the notional effort involved is indicated by its credit rating. Each credit point represents 10 hours of student effort. Undergraduate courses typically contain 10- or 20-credit modules and postgraduate course typically 15- or 30-credit modules.

The normal study load expectation for an undergraduate full-time course of study in the standard academic year is 120 credit points. This amounts to around 36-42 hours of expected teaching and learning per week, inclusive of attendance requirements for lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical work, fieldwork or other scheduled classes, private study, and assessment. Part-time study load is the same as full-time pro-rata, with each credit point representing 10 hours of student effort.

Postgraduate Masters courses typically comprise 180 credits, taken in three semesters when studied full-time. A Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) comprises 60 credits and can usually be completed on a part-time basis in one year. A 120-credit Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) can usually be completed on a part-time basis in two years.

Class contact times vary by course and type of module. Typically, for a module predominantly delivered through lectures you can expect at least 3 contact hours per week (lectures/seminars/tutorials). Laboratory classes often require a greater intensity of attendance in blocks. Some modules may combine lecture and laboratory. The precise model will depend on the course you apply for and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. Prospective students will be consulted about any significant changes.


Assessment methods vary and are defined explicitly in each module. Assessment can be via one method or a combination e.g. examination and coursework . Assessment is designed to assess your achievement of the module’s stated learning outcomes. You can expect to receive timely feedback on all coursework assessment. The precise assessment will depend on the module and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.

Coursework can take many forms, for example: essay, report, seminar paper, test, presentation, dissertation, design, artefacts, portfolio, journal, group work. The precise form and combination of assessment will depend on the course you apply for and the module. Details will be made available in advance through induction, the course handbook, the module specification and the assessment timetable. The details are subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.

Normally, a module will have four learning outcomes, and no more than two items of assessment. An item of assessment can comprise more than one task. The notional workload and the equivalence across types of assessment is standardised.

Calculation of the Final Award

The class of Honours awarded in Bachelor’s degrees is usually determined by calculation of an aggregate mark based on performance across the modules at Levels 5 and 6 (which correspond to the second and third year of full-time attendance).

Level 6 modules contribute 70% of the aggregate mark and Level 5 contributes 30% to the calculation of the class of the award. Classification of integrated Masters degrees with Honours include a Level 7 component. The calculation in this case is: 50% Level 7, 30% Level 6, 20% Level 5. At least half the Level 5 modules must be studied at the University for Level 5 to be included in the calculation of the class.

All other qualifications have an overall grade determined by results in modules from the final level of study. In Masters degrees of more than 200 credit points the final 120 points usually determine the overall grading.

Figures correct for academic year 2019-2020.

Academic profile

The University employs over 1,000 suitably qualified and experienced academic staff - 59% have PhDs in their subject field and many have professional body recognition.

Courses are taught by staff who are Professors (25%), Readers, Senior Lecturers (20%) or Lecturers (55%).

We require most academic staff to be qualified to teach in higher education: 82% hold either Postgraduate Certificates in Higher Education Practice or higher. Most academic staff (81%) are accredited fellows of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) by Advanced HE - the university sector professional body for teaching and learning. Many academic and technical staff hold other professional body designations related to their subject or scholarly practice.

The profiles of many academic staff can be found on the University’s departmental websites and give a detailed insight into the range of staffing and expertise.  The precise staffing for a course will depend on the department(s) involved and the availability and management of staff.  This is subject to change annually and is confirmed in the timetable issued at the start of the course.

Occasionally, teaching may be supplemented by suitably qualified part-time staff (usually qualified researchers) and specialist guest lecturers. In these cases, all staff are inducted, mostly through our staff development programme ‘First Steps to Teaching’. In some cases, usually for provision in one of our out-centres, Recognised University Teachers are involved, supported by the University in suitable professional development for teaching.

Figures correct for academic year 2021-2022.

Coleraine campus


A laid-back campus at the heart of a global tourist attraction.

Find out more - information about accommodation  

Sports Facilities

Our Campus in Coleraine boasts a variety of indoor and outdoor facilities that are open all year round to students and members of the public.

Find out more - information about sport  

Student Wellbeing

At Student Wellbeing we provide many services to help students through their time at Ulster University.

Find out more - information about student wellbeing  

Coleraine Campus Location

Campus Address

Ulster University,
Cromore Rd,
BT52 1SA

T: 02870 123 456


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.

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.

Standard 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.

A level

A minimum of 5 subject passes (A*-C) to include either three at GCSE (including English and Maths) and two at A Level OR two at GCSE (including English and Maths) and three at A Level.

If you are a mature applicant who lacks formal academic qualifications, you may be admitted to the course if you can satisfy the Course Committee of your ability to complete the course satisfactorily.


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.

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

Graduate employers

Graduates from this course are now working for:

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

Job roles

With this degree you could become:

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

Career options

The BSc Hons Consumer Management and Food Innovation offers flexibility to progress into areas of employment relating to consumer management and food innovation. Career routes include food product development, sensory science, quality control, teaching, marketing and sales, health promotion, consumer protection and rights, human resource management and food journalism. The elective placement opportunity also provides you with valuable work-related learning experiences to further inform your career decision-making.

In addition, successful completion of this course enables you to progress to postgraduate 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.

Work placement / study abroad

No placement is required for part-time study.

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.


Start dates

  • September 2022

Fees and funding

Module Pricing

The price of your overall programme will be determined by the number of credit points that you initiate in the relevant academic year.

For modules commenced in the academic year 2022/23, the following fees apply:

Module Pricing
Credit Points NI/ROI Cost GB Cost International Cost
120 £4,629.60 £9,249.60 £15,360
60  £2,314.80 £4,624.80 £7,680
30 £1,157.40 £2,312.40 £3,840
20  £771.60 £1,541.60£2,560

NB: A standard full-time undergraduate degree is equivalent to 120 credit points per year.

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.

It is important to remember that costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges) and normal living will need to be covered in addition to tuition fees.

Where a course has additional mandatory expenses (in addition to tuition fees) we make every effort to highlight them above. 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 Wi-Fi are also available on each of the campuses.

There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.

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

See the tuition fees on our student guide for most up to date costs.


“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.

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