Structure and content

Do you want to have an impact on what people will eat in the future? Would you like to know what makes food taste good, due to the raw materials and processing technologies? Do you want to know how we could improve the healthiness, safety, ecology and ethics of food and food processing? Are you interested in exploring innovations in food, such as "pulled oats" or using insects as food?

The Master's Programme in Food Sciences offers a broad education that will enable you to make an impact on the creation of innovative solutions for the whole chain of food production.


You will need 120 credits (ECTS) for the Master’s degree. Together with your faculty adviser, you will make a personal study plan consisting of:

  • 85 credits of advanced studies (in 2019-20 60 credits) in food sciences including a Master’s thesis

  • Studies of your choice in special areas of food sciences

  • Complementary studies of your choice

  • Studies of your free choice

You can also include career planning, an internship and studies abroad in your Master’s degree.

Food degree structure 2020-23

The Master's Programme in Food Sciences covers the whole food production chain from primary production via food processing to consumers.

Your masters' studies in food sciences will enable you to make an impact on the creation of innovative solutions for the whole chain of food production. You will:

  • Study the theory and applications of the broad area of food sciences in lecture courses and in group work 
  • Increase your knowledge of food composition, processing, structure, and legislation
  • Deepen your knowledge of how the reactions of different food components, production processes and packaging affect the structure, sensory quality, healthiness and safety of the animal and plant-based foods
  • Learn laboratory working skills
  • Acquire employment skills for example by training in the food industry

You can affect the sort of expertise you would like to gain. You can tailor your Master’s degree by choosing special studies in food chemistry, food technology, and in the science and technology relating to meat, dairy and cereals.

You can also complement your expertise in food sciences with, for example, studies in food development, food safety, food research and analysis, economics, marketing, sustainable food production, microbiology, biotechnology or nutrition.

See more detailed content of the degree with course descriptions from Instructions for Students pages.

As a student in Food Sciences, you have excellent opportunities for international student exchange or internship. You can also perform part of your degree studies at a university abroad.

The Viikki campus of biosciences offers you plenty of possibilities to broaden the scope of your Food Sciences Master’s degree. The education and research cover for all areas of the food production chain from the field to the table. You can also take advantage of the education offered by other fields of science within Helsinki University.

The Food Sciences faculty work in close collaboration with research institutes and with the food industry. These include the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, the National Food Safety Authority Evira, the Customs laboratory, LUKE National Resources Institute Finland, and environment centres.