Master's Degree Programme in Food Development

University of Turku

Program Description

Master's Degree Programme in Food Development

University of Turku

Master's Degree Programme in Food Development

Nordic expertise in natural foods.

The master’s degree programme in food development provides you with competence for meeting the challenges in the research and development in the food industry and academia.

Apply now! The application period for the studies starting in autumn 2018 is 1 December 2017 – 31 January 2018.

The Programme is designed to provide you with an understanding of the connections between the different aspects and functions of food. Special attention is paid to the influence of various factors on the composition, sensory properties and health effects of food at a molecular level. Application of food metabolomics and modern biotechnological methods in food research and food development is an important part of the curriculum. The curriculum also covers various aspects of food safety and European food laws and legislation.

Through the Programme, you will gain education and qualification for working as an expert, for example in food authorities.


Programme structure

The Master’s Degree in Food Development is a two-year programme amounting to 120 ECTS. The degree is comprised of:

  • Major subject studies in Food Development including Master’s thesis in technology and related research project and seminar.
  • Minor subject from e.g.: Bioinformatics, Molecular Systems Biology, Biotechnology or Entrepreneurship.
  • Finnish language studies.
  • Selectable studies in different thematic areas and special themes.


Academic excellence & experience

The Food Chemistry and Food Development Unit is an essential element of core strength of food science and technology in Finland. The Unit has an internationally edge-cutting profile in research on:

  • the chemistry and biochemistry of food lipids and secondary metabolites.
  • the molecular basis of food quality and the health-promoting properties of food with a special focus on the northern crops and wild resources.
  • the significance of northern climate as factors influencing crop quality.
  • food development research and technological innovation for the sustainable utilization and value addition of food resources.
  • With an internationally well-established record in berry research, oils and fats, human milk, and cow milk, the Unit has expanded its research into other food resources such as cereals, legumes, and mushrooms. The research also targets new food resources for future food security, healthy diet, and business growth.

The ultimate goal is to support the sustainable bio-future based on internationally top science. State-of-art targeted and non-targeted food metabolomics are important tools for research. In addition to basic sciences, the research of the Unit includes strong applied angle supporting the research and innovation in the food industry.

Master's thesis & topics

The final project aiming for the Master’s thesis in technology is based on independent, experimental research project in a laboratory. The research work is made under the guidance of a supervisor and takes three months. The results obtained from the research project will be presented in a Master’s seminar using common procedures known from scientific meetings. The Master’s thesis will be written based on the results of the experimental work and a review of relevant background literature.

Examples of thesis topics:

  • Triacylglycerol fatty acid composition and expression levels of related biosynthesis genes in seeds and pulp of developing sea buckthorn (Hippophaë rhamnoides) berries.
  • Effects of wine yeast on the chemical composition of blackcurrant wine – anthocyanins and alcohols.
  • Development of Lupin (Lupinus angustifolius L) based Mayonnaises.
  • Optimization of a UHPLC method for analysis of cafestol and kahweol in various coffee types.
  • A sensory contribution of glycosylated phenolic compounds.


The University of Turku has a double degree programme in Food Development with Jiangnan University (Wuxi, China). Food Development students have a possibility to join the double degree programme pursuing Degrees of Master of Science in Technology at the University of Turku and the Master Degree in Engineering at Jiangnan University.

The students fulfilling the degree requirements of the Master’s Degree Programme in Food Development will obtain a Master of Science in Technology degree at the University of Turku. To obtain a double degree from both universities, a student has to, in addition, complete:

  • at least 30 ECTS, or one semester equivalent, of coursework in the Jiangnan University.
  • jointly supervised Master’s thesis.


In the Master’s Degree Programme in Food Development you will:

  • learn to understand the phenomena and concepts related to molecular food sciences and different relationships between them.
  • gain strong theoretical knowledge on themes of food development and can apply it into practice.
  • learn the methods used in food development and how to apply them to research and product development purposes.
  • gain knowledge on how to search, apply, and create information.
  • gain the ability to make justifiable decisions based on the information that you have critically achieved.
  • gain experience in real life work, in academic and industrial projects in food research and development.
  • get skills to work in a responsible role as part of multi-disciplinary and multicultural teams.

Job options

The Programme provides you with competence for meeting the challenges in the research and development in the food industry and academia. Through the Programme, you also gain education and qualification for working as an expert in food authorities and other related functions in the society.

Students graduating from the Programme may work, among others, as:

  • r&d manager.
  • quality manager.
  • researcher.
  • product developer.
  • entrepreneur.
  • coordinator.
  • product specialist.

Career in research

Master of Science degree provides you with eligibility for scientific postgraduate degree studies. Postgraduate degrees are doctoral and licentiate degrees.

Graduates from the Programme are eligible to apply for a position in the University of Turku Graduate School, UTUGS. The Graduate School consists of 16 doctoral programmes which cover all disciplines and doctoral candidates of the University.

Together with the doctoral programmes, the Graduate School provides systematic and high-quality doctoral training. UTUGS aims to train highly qualified experts with the skills required for both professional careers in research and other positions of expertise.


General degree requirement

A BSc degree that formally qualifies the applicant to access Master’s level studies in the country where it has been completed. This degree should correspond to at least 180 ECTS (European credits) or to a minimum of three years of full-time study.


A polytechnic degree from a Finnish University of Applied Sciences (ammattikorkeakoulu). Students with such degree might, however, be required to complete additional studies while studying for the Master’s degree to qualify for Master’s degree studies (see Additional studies).

Programme-specific degree requirements

The applicant’s previous degree on the basis of which s/he is seeking admission to the Master’s Degree Programme should be in a relevant field of study. Relevant fields of previous studies for the MDP in Food Development are:

  • food sciences.
  • food technology.
  • food engineering.
  • biochemistry.
  • biotechnology.
  • agricultural sciences.
  • other Biosciences where sufficient knowledge in food sciences and polytechnic/engineering is achieved.

The decision of admission will be based on:

  • the relevance of your awarded degree(s).
  • the amount, relevance and grades of the courses in your degree(s).
  • your language test result (see Language requirements).
  • your motivation letter and possible answers to the optional questions included in the application.

A previously earned Master’s degree does not automatically place the applicant ahead of other applicants.

If need be, the most promising applicants will be invited to an online interview.

Additional studies

The contents of formally eligible applicants’ previous degrees do not always correspond to the academic level of the Programme. Therefore admitted students can be advised or required to complete additional, Bachelor level studies. These can be done while studying for the Master’s Degree, but they are not part of the degree and may extend the targeted study time. The amount of required additional studies cannot exceed 60 ECTS.

Since the language of instruction in Bachelor’s level at the University of Turku is Finnish, an applicant needing additional studies can be required to submit proof for Finnish skills during the application process (see Language requirements). In case such proof is not submitted, the applicant needing additional studies must be rejected.

Language requirements

All applicants must prove their English language skills in one of the ways accepted by the Faculty.

Applicants seeking admission on the basis of a polytechnic degree from a Finnish University of Applied Sciences (ammattikorkeakoulu) must prove their proficiency in the Finnish language also since the additional studies that these students may need to complete in parallel to their Master level studies are available only in Finnish.


Application form and enclosures

The application form for the studies starting in autumn 2018 is available online during the application period on 1 December 2017 – 31 January 2018 at 15:00 (local time in Finland, GMT +2). Enclosures are attached to the application in digital form (pdf).

If you are graduating only after the deadline, you may apply on the condition that the required application documents are submitted and arrive at the University of Turku by 10 July 2018 at 15:00 (local time in Finland).

Step 1: collect the required application documents

The following documents must be scanned and attached to the electronic application (in pdf format, in colour) at the Studyinfo portal:

  • The original degree certificate (in the original language) AND an English, Finnish or Swedish translation (or an English-language Diploma Supplement concerning graduates from European universities) of the degree certificate.
  • The original transcript of study records (in the original language) AND an English, Finnish or Swedish translation (or an English-language Diploma Supplement concerning graduates from European universities) of the transcript of records.
  • Certificate of knowledge of English (see Language requirements).
  • Certificate of knowledge of Finnish (requested only from applicants who are seeking admission on the basis of a degree from a University of Applied Sciences (ammattikorkeakoulu) institution in Finland, see Language requirements).

All translations must be made either by an authorized translator or by the degree awarding institution. Each page of an official translation must bear the translator’s stamp and/or signature. Official translations must be exact translations of the original documents. Translations are done by the applicant him- or herself are not accepted.

Step 2: write a motivation letter

Prepare a motivation letter to be copy-pasted on the application form. The letter of motivation is an important factor in considering the applicant’s suitability to the programme so please prepare it carefully. Please notice that the motivation letter may be checked for plagiarism with the Turnitin system of the University of Turku.

Also be prepared to describe the grading scale used at your institution at the time of your studies. The grading scale must include all the grades and marks appearing on your transcript of records and their relation to each other. You should also provide a link to an official website where this information can be verified. (In many cases this information is already included in the transcript of records.)

The application form also includes programme specific questions. Therefore reserve some time for filling in the application form.

Step 3: fill in the application form

The application form is filled online in the Studyinfo portal. Please search at for the Master’s Degree Programme in Food Development. The application form is available and a completed application can be updated until the end of the application period on 31 January 2018 at 15.00 (GMT +2).


Annually a maximum of 20 students is admitted. The admission decisions are published by 28 March 2018. All applicants will be informed by email, but also hard copies are sent upon request. All students are required to start at the beginning of the autumn semester, and there is no separate admission for the spring semester.

The admitted applicant will have to show the originals of his/her educational documents (degree certificate and transcript of study records) at the University of Turku after arrival in Finland. Depending on the country the original documents may have to be attested or legalized. Please see the country-specific requirements for the submission of the documents upon arrival already before applying.

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Last updated December 18, 2017
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Aug. 2018
2 years
Full time
Finland - Turku
Start date: Aug. 2018
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Aug. 2018
Finland - Turku
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Price Tuition fee for citizens of EU/EEA countries or Switzerland: None; Tuition fee for citizens of non-EU/EEA countries: €12,000 / academic year