The programme in Food Science and Engineering has a modular structure, with each module encompassing at least one, but usually several, interconnected courses. These include lectures, exercises, seminars, and practical courses in the laboratory.
In the first semester of the programme, the focus lies on connecting soft matter science approaches with microbiological knowledge and engineering methods needed to understand all aspects of the processing of the complex food matrix. You analyse treatment processes for food and explore new technology with which functional compounds from plant-based or animal-based raw materials may be efficiently gained, enzymatically modified, or stabilised through encapsulation. At the same time, you learn scientific approaches, including modern chemical, physical, molecular, and statistical methods, as well as methods for modelling and simulating unit operations, processes, and reactions. During practical courses you put your acquired skills to practice, whilst exploring food processing in natural scientific, engineering, and economic contexts during seminars.
Starting in the second semester, you are free to plan your studies according to your individual interests and preferred areas of specialisation. You do so by choosing from a wide range of elective modules, such as:
- Bioethanol and Distilled Spirits
- Dairy Science and Technology
- Downstream Processing
- Drying, Granulation, and Instantisation
- Advanced Meat Science and Technology
- Fermentation Technology
- Enzyme Technology
The selection of elective modules on offer allows you to develop your scientific qualifications to include areas of the field not covered within the scope of the compulsory modules. You may also take modules in other areas of the life sciences, such as the nutritional sciences. In addition to subject-specific modules, you may complete modules offered in other Master's programmes in the natural sciences at the University of Hohenheim or at other universities, both in Germany and abroad.
The second year allows you to plan your studies freely according to your individual interests and preferred areas of specialisation. Knowledge and practical skills acquired in the first year are expanded by further specialising in selected areas of the field, such as the interaction between ingredients in the complex food matrix. The emphasis on conducting research increases. Project work modules give you the opportunity to apply your acquired skills within the context of a scientific project by independently planning and executing scientific research projects, with a supervisor providing guidance as needed.
The open structure of the second year also provides you with a perfect opportunity to study abroad or undertake a prolonged internship at national or international research facilities or in the life science industry. The last semester of the programme is reserved for the writing of a research-intensive Master's thesis.
Students have the opportunity to complete an internship lasting a minimum of six weeks, in the context of an elective module. This internship may be integrated flexibly into the course of studies.
Forms of assessment
There are written and oral exams. In addition, most practical courses require students to write a report. A few modules demand a term paper.
Modern foodstuffs are designed to have a particular flavour, conform to a specific manner of consumption or approach to life, help balance nutritional deficits or appeal to a specific group of consumers, and are increasingly produced from organic raw materials. Imparting natural scientific and engineering knowledge, as well as analytical methods, is a key aspect of this programme. You are prepared for dealing with issues regarding food processing in a goal-oriented manner. These skills are practised and developed intensely through practical courses, seminars, and project work modules, which give you the opportunity to work independently on a research project. In this way, you learn how to independently organise, execute, present, and publish basic as well as application-oriented research. The programme is completed by submitting a Master's thesis, which is integrated into ongoing research projects at the Institute of Food Biotechnology. During this process, you learn to conduct scientific research independently and as part of a team.