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

  • Coca Cola
  • Dunbia
  • Errigal Seafood
  • Genesis Crafty
  • Home Economics Departments
  • Little Dish
  • Moy Park

Graduates from this course are employed in many different roles

  • Food Product Development
  • Consumer Research
  • Graduate Programme in Product Development
  • Quality Assurance
  • Research
  • Sensory Evaluation
  • Teaching

Overview

Developing leaders for the food industry and education.

Summary

Study Consumer Management and Food Innovation at Ulster University in the United Kingdom.

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.

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About this course

In this section

About

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.

Associate awards

Diploma in Professional Practice DPP

Diploma in Professional Practice International DPPI

Diploma in International Academic Studies DIAS

Find out more about placement awards

Attendance

The programme can be completed in three to four years (if you select to complete the 48 week optional placement).. You will normally complete three 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 9-10 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 2017
How to apply

Modules

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 1

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 understanding of food commodities, food science and the sensory properties of food.

Food Studies and Nutrition 2

Year: 1

This module examines the nutritional principles, concepts and requirements in different societal groups and cultures and the difficulties in ensuring each group achieve optimum nutritional status in today's ever changing society.

Consumer Behaviour

Year: 1

The principles of consumer behaviour and consumer decision-making are explained using the media of the food, tourism, event and service industries to enable the students to gain an understanding of the principles and theories. This module highlights the importance of consumer orientation in today's economy.

Consumer Law

Year: 1

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.

Study and Employability Skills

Year: 1

This module is intended to introduce and develop the skills and fundamental research required of the student by university-level study. It will enable the student to conduct relevant research, communicate their work effectively both orally and in written form and enable the student to be competent in the use of a number of IT programmes.

Introduction to Management

Year: 1

This module examines the theories of management and applies these to the practice of organisational management. It's an introductory module which will familiarise students 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 professional management. Issues such as methods of improving organisational effectiveness, leadership, team building and motivation are studied.

Year two

Health and Consumer Lifestyle

Year: 2

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.

Food Design and Retail

Year: 2

The module examines the relationship between dietary intake and consumer health and lifestyle, involving the mentoring of second level students. A student who completes the module successfully will receive a Tutoring in Schools Certificate (TIS) and a Step-Up Certificate.

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.

Human Resource Issues

Year: 2

The Human Resource Issues module will provide students with an introduction to the fundamentals of Human Resource Management and people management concepts. The module provides an introduction to the legal framework and examines key issues associated with managing people within the service industry.

Business Research Methods

Year: 2

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.

Marketing for Services

Year: 2

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

Year three

Placement

Year: 3

This module is optional

Placement provides students with 48 weeks of professional work experience. It provides an opportunity for students to gain an understanding of the employment context of their academic discipline and will enable each student to satisfy specific learning objectives based on organisational, course and personal development needs.

Study Abroad

Year: 3

This module is optional

The Study Abroad option is a complement to and an extension of the work engaged in at the University and provides the opportunity for each student to enhance specific learning objectives by studying of an institution in a different cultural and educational environment.

Year four

Consumer Marketing Management

Year: 4

This module examines the principles, concepts and theories of consumer marketing management. Students will be introduced to numerous analytical models and techniques that can be applied by marketing managers to scenarios so as to ensure that an organisation still retains its competitive advantage.

Contemporary Consumer Issues

Year: 4

Available evidence linking diet, disease and consumer behaviour is very often contradicting and confusing. This module enables students to appreciate the current consensus of scientific opinion on a number of specific controversial consumer issues. The emphasis is predominately on student centred enquiry into current and controversial consumer issues and critical analysis of relevant scientific evidence in oral and written presentations.

Food and the Media

Year: 4

This module develops the specialist study area of festivals, events and cultural tourism, providing the student with an appreciation of cultural tourism and the role of festivals and events within that domain, the main elements making up the cultural tourism product and key issues in the marketing, management and development of festivals, events and cultural tourism.

Global Food Issues

Year: 4

This module examines the the effects of food policy and global food 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 issues. A number of contemporary food policy and food issues are discussed and their implications for the consumer and the social, economic and political environment are outlined.

Services in Context

Year: 4

This module is optional

As organisations seeks to create value with the consumer, future managers must have an in-depth understanding of the services provision within the contemporary business environment. The module provides an understanding and awareness of contemporary developments across three key services sectors, finance, retail and tourism. These sectors are explored in relation to emergent challenges in effective services delivery.

Food Innovation

Year: 4

This module is optional

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.

The Business Plan

Year: 4

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.

Human Resource Management

Year: 4

This module is optional

HRM is now often seen as the major factor differentiating between successful and unsuccessful organisations in achieving competitive advantage. This module introduces students to Human Resource Management as a strategic area of business activity and enables students to acquire knowledge and understanding of the key activities of Human Resource Management.

Research Paper

Year: 4

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 BCC - BBB.

Applicants may be able to satisfy the requirement for one A-Level B or C grade by substituting a combination of alternative qualifications to the same standard as defined by UCAS.

BTEC

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

Irish Leaving Certificate

Overall Irish Leaving Certificate profile H3, H3, H3, H3, H3 – H3, H3, H3, H4, H4.

Scottish Highers

The Scottish Highers requirement for this course is BBBCC – BCCCC.

Scottish Advanced Highers

The Scottish Advanced Highers requirement for this course is CCC - CDD.

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

For full-time study, you must satisfy the General Entrance Requirements for admission to a first degree course and hold a GCSE pass in English Language and Mathematics at grade C or above (or equivalent).

Essential Skills Level 2 Mathematics will be accepted as equivalent to GCSE Maths.

Essential Skills Level 3 Communication will be accepted as equivalent to GCSE English.

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:

  • Coca Cola
  • Dunbia
  • Errigal Seafood
  • Genesis Crafty
  • Home Economics Departments
  • Little Dish
  • Moy Park

Job roles

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

  • Food Product Development
  • Consumer Research
  • Graduate Programme in Product Development
  • Quality Assurance
  • Research
  • Sensory Evaluation
  • Teaching

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.

Work placement / study abroad

During year three of the course, you will complete a compulsory work placement or study abroad. This may be a 48 week work placement with a range of national and international companies including Moy Park, Marks and Spencer, Tesco, Dairy Council, Ornua, Disney World (Florida) and The Big Pot Company or in the area of education such as Consumer Council (NI) and the Ulster University. The satisfactory completion of placement leads to the award of Diploma in Professional Practice/ Diploma in Professional Practice (International) upon graduation. Alternatively you can opt to complete a period of study abroad. During this period, you spend two semesters in an educational institution, which will provide exposure to alternative business cultures and protocols and enhance your personal and professional development. Successful completion of the placement leads to the award of the Diploma in International Academic Studies (DIAS) upon graduation.

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.

Apply

Applications to full-time undergraduate degrees at Ulster are made through UCAS.

How to apply

Start dates

  • September 2017

Fees and funding

In this section

Fees (per year)

Northern Ireland & EU:
£4,030.00
England, Scotland & Wales:
£9,000.00
International:
£12,890.00 - Please note that International tuition fees shown are for last year's entry.

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 approximately £30.

Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel and normal living are a part of university life. 

Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them in the online prospectus. 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.

Contact

Ulster Business School Office

T: +44 (0)28 9036 6351

E: business@ulster.ac.uk

Course director: Dr Amy Burns

T: +44 (0)28 7012 3984

E: a.burns1@ulster.ac.uk

Testimonials

“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.