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Food Science and Nutrition
What is the difference between Food Science & Nutrition, Food Technology and a Dietician programme?
Food Science covers the study of the chemical, microbiological, physical and sensory properties of food and their ingredients as well as the effects of food processing. In addition, food science also covers the proper preservation and processing of food, quality control and measures that maintain the food products and safety. Food Science basically deals with the science and technology which are required to bring food from the fields and oceans into our grocery stores and homes.

Nutrition deals with the effects of foods on comsumers and enables us to understand the roles of nutrients in the human body. It deals with macronutrient, vitamin content, mineral content and its effects on our overall wellbeing. Thus, Food Science & Nutrition is a combination of both fields which enables graduates to apply science and technology to provide a safe, wholesome and nutritious food supply to the world.

Food technology is the study of the technology that creates new, innovative, useful foodstuff by manipulating biological source materials. Food engineering develops new ideas and new methods of processing, and perhaps even new ways to create familiar foods. It involves numerous applications of technology and downstream engineering processes.

Dietetics is the science concerned with nutritional planning and the preparation of foods. Courses include normal and clinical nutrition, biological and social sciences, communication and management. Only graduates with a Dietetic degree can be certified dietician and they usually work in a clinical setting, such as in hospitals, schools, or other similar institutions.
What can I do with this degree? Is it in demand?
The food industry is one of the largest manufacturing industries in the world and it provides great employment opportunities for food scientists and nutritionists to meet the ever increasing demand for food products that are both nutritious and convenient.

Food scientists are generally involved in the areas of research and development of products and processes, and the supervision of food manufacturing processes. These include production, quality control, quality assurance and food safety. It also involves providing food engineering support, marketing and sales, product support and promotion. They may also work with consulting laboratories, government organisations and regulatory bodies as food scientists, food microbiologists, flavour chemists and food safety inspector.

Nutritional science enables us to understand the role of nutrients in the human body. Nutritionists have potential careers as community and university educators, corporate health promoters and wellness specialists, public relations specialist for food associations, nutritionists in public health programmes, weight loss counsellors, scientific writers, researcher, and as consultants in private practices.

Can I become a Dietician or Nutritionist upon completion of this course?
You can become a nutritionist upon completion of this course, however you need to pursue in further education in dietetics locally or overseas University M.Sc. in Dietetics or M.Sc. in Nutrition & Dietetics, in order to be a dietician.
What facilities does UCSI University have for a Food Science & Nutrition programme?
The Food Science & Nutrition programme is a multi-disciplinary science-based programme which cannot be run without good laboratory facilities. The specially designed and purpose-built laboratories at UCSI University include a Basic Chemistry and Biology laboratory, Microbiology laboratory, Physiology and Pharmacology laboratory, Food Processing laboratory, Enzyme Technology laboratory, Fermentation and scale-up laboratory, and Animal and Plant Cell Culture Laboratory, and the latest addition - Quantitative Descriptive Analysis Laboratory - for sensory analysis. All these laboratories were built to ensure that our students were given the best facilities and real hands-on practical experience in the different fields of Food Science and Nutrition which is important for their future careers.

The laboratories are equipped with cutting-edge equipment such as a Gas Chromatography, a High-Performance Liquid Chromatography, an Atomic Absorbance Spectrophotometry. All of our students have to carry out a research project at the end of their third academic year in these laboratories under the supervision of our highly-qualified academic staff. Each student will gain invaluable experience from their final project as they are given a chance to plan, exhibit and experience real hands-on laboratory practical. At UCSI University, we encourage collaboration with the related-industries and hence our students also carry out research projects with our industry partners.
Why should I study Food Science and Nutrition at UCSI University instead of at other colleges or universities?
To differentiate ourselves from other institutions of higher learning offering similar degree programme, our students are well-equipped for the workforce before graduation. Our Food Science and Nutrition program is a homegrown B.Sc. degree (the only private university offering this degree in Malaysia) and is tailored to incorporate industrial training in year 1, 2 and 3 of study. Students have the opportunity of working for two months at the end of each of the three academic years in their Co-Operative Placements (Co-Op) training module in a company in related industries. This means that they will have more than six months of real-life working experience before they graduate. The Co-Op aims to develop not only students’ communications and soft skills, but also help them relate theory to practice. It also aims to provide the students with technical and analytical skills to carry out research and prepares them to pursue postgraduate studies in a range of disciplines.
Is the UCSI University degree in Food Science & Nutrition recognised by foreign universities if I wish to pursue a Masters programmes?
UCSI University’s B.Sc. (Hons.) in Food Science and Nutrition degree is recognised by our partner universities in Australia, UK, Canada and USA.
If I pursue a Masters programme overseas, are there any areas of specialisation recommended? Or should I just continue pursuing a Masters degree in the field of Food Science & Nutrition?
UCSI University’s Food Science and Nutrition graduates can pursue a Master in Science degree by research or course work at local or foreign universities. You can also choose a specialisation in the field of Food Science, Food Technology, Nutrition, Dietician, Food Biotechnology, Fermentation Technology and many others.

In addition, some graduates may choose to obtain a MBA (Master of Business Administration) to pursue a career in technical sales, marketing, plant supervision, product development or eventually run their own companies.
Does the UCSI University degree open up more opportunities for me to develop my career overseas?
Our graduates secure jobs all over Malaysia and abroad. As food is a basic human necessity, the food industry is a global business. Careers ranging from Quality Control to Production, to Microbiology to Sensory Science, to Management, etc., can be pursued throughout the nation and overseas. Whether you are in Malaysia or overseas, opportunities abound.
Can recognition from a Malaysian professional body enhance the employability of UCSI University students undertaking this degree programme?
This programme does not need any professional body recognition but it is accredited by the Malaysian Qualification Agency (MQA).The degree programme is accredited by the Malaysian Qualification Agency (MQA). However to enhance students’ employability, students are encouraged to be a member of the Malaysian Institute of Food Technology and Nutrition Society of Malaysia.
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