Qualification - Associate Diploma in Food Science

Course CodeVRE030
Fee CodeAS
Duration (approx)1500 hours
QualificationAssociate Diploma


The food industry is one which is exciting, fast moving and competitive, where food science is often the basis. There are many different opportunities available to those who have an interest in food, including:

  • Working for corporations in food development 
  • Owning a small business producing food stuffs
  • Cooking food within a small or large scale businesses
  • Developing marketing campaigns to sell products to consumers
  • Carrying out market research to identify trends in food consumption
  • Building up a consultancy business working with customers in the food sector

The opportunities really are endless, and this detailed course will help support the development of knowledge to be able to access them. So, if you're looking to develop your knowledge to grow your understanding then this is the course for you!


Core ModulesThese modules provide foundation knowledge for the Qualification - Associate Diploma in Food Science.
 Industry Project BIP000
 Biochemistry I (Animal) BSC103
 Cell Biology BSC110
 Human Nutrition and Food 1 BRE102
 Research Project I BGN102
 Food Preparation & Cooking BRE212
 Microbiology BSC209
 Environmental Chemistry BSC306
 Food Technology and Processing BSS301
 Professional Practice For Consultants BBS301
Elective ModulesIn addition to the core modules, students study any 5 of the following 22 modules.
 Biopsychology I BPS108
 Food & Beverage Management (Catering) BTR102
 Medical Terminology BSC109
 Workshop I BGN103
 Biochemistry II (Plant and Animal) BSC203
 Biopsychology II BPS204
 Commercial Vegetable Production BHT222
 Culinary Herbs VHT242
 Fruit Production (Temperate Climate) BHT218
 Human Nutrition II BRE202
 Hydroponics II - Hydroponic Management BHT213
 Nutrition For Weight Control BRE210
 Project Management BBS201
 Research Project II BGN201
 Therapeutic Nutrition BRE211
 Workshop II BGN203
 Agronomy BAG306
 Biochemistry III (Plant Processes) BSC302
 Bush Tucker Plants: Growing and Using BHT328
 Child & Baby Nutrition BRE304
 Human Nutrition III (Disease & Nutrition) BRE302
 Mushroom Production BHT310

Note that each module in the Qualification - Associate Diploma in Food Science is a short course in its own right, and may be studied separately.

Raw or Processed Foods?

Raw foods have become popular in some places. In fact, raw or unprocessed food has always been important in some situations. 
People across the world grow vegetables and fruit to harvest and eat straight from the plants; and some indigenous peoples still live a hunter gatherer lifestyle to a large extent (if not at least some extent). These are examples of raw foods; taken from nature and eaten with little or no treatment. There are "health benefit" arguments for choosing to eat raw food; but the benefits of eating processed foods can also be argued.

Most People in Developed Countries will Eat Processed Foods.

Food science is concerned both with the composition of raw foods; and how that composition can be changed through various methods of processing.

Processing is the transformation of raw or fresh foods into other food products. Most food is processed in some way. The heating required for cooking counts as a chemical processing step because chemical processes occur which change the nature of the food.  

Food processing also involves preservatives. This is because many food products are expected to last more than a day or two, to increase usefulness and reduce cost. Generally, the higher the level of preservatives in a food product, the longer its shelf life, and the lower its cost. An example of this is canned vegetables, such as peas, carrots, and potatoes. 

Preservatives may be used to retain the nutritional value of a food or to limit spoilage. Some preservatives affect taste, some affect nutrition, and some affect both. Awareness of food processing and preservatives is necessary to developing new food products to properly assess consumer needs, cost, and storage.

Processed food is commonly defined as convenience meals and junk food: cakes, potato chips, processed meats, ready-made meals, and more. While these are indeed processed foods, they are not representative of all processed foods from a food industry perspective. 
From an industry perspective, food processing means the types of intervention or processing a food undergoes. These include physical processes and chemical processes.

Types of Physical Processing

Physical processing uses physical methods to create change in the food. Sometimes this is simple physical change, like making something smaller. Other times it’s a physical dehydration process, such as high pressure drying. 

Physical processing includes:

  • Mincing
  • Macerating
  • Slicing
  • Milling
  • Dehydrating
  • High pressure treatment

Foods processed in these ways can usually be classified as minimally processed. This is an important distinction in an increasingly health conscious market.

Mincing – the food is cut into fine, uniform pieces. 

Shredding – the food is cut or sliced into shreds, longer than minced pieces. 

Macerating – softening or breaking up a food using a liquid, usually an acid.

Slicing – cutting food into slices, larger than shreds.

Milling – grinding into finer particles.

Husking – removing outer layers.

Dehydrating – removing liquid from a food.

High pressure treatment – using pressure to remove liquid from a food. 

Types of chemical processing

Chemical processing using chemicals to create chemical change. There are high levels of chemical change and low levels of chemical change. Lower levels of chemical change are things like cooking – tomatoes and herbs are cooked to create pasta sauce. Higher levels of chemical change are usually preserving processes. 

Chemical processing involves cooking and preserving processes such as:

  • Pickling
  • Fermentation
  • Pasteurisation
  • Canning
  • Cooking
  • Emulsification
  • Liquefaction
  • Preserving

Pickling – pickling involves the production of acid from foods via the process of fermentation or involves placing foods into brine (a high salt solution) or into vinegar which is too acidic for microorganisms to grow.
Fermentation – when a food is broken down using microbes like yeast and bacteria. The fermentation process releases heat. 

Pasteurisation – the heating of liquids to kill microbes and reduce spoilage.

Canning – canning or bottling involves placing foods into a jar or can and heating foods to a temperature where microbes are destroyed and enzymes are inactivated. Canning food involves removing air from the container to form a vacuum seal. 

Cooking – the general process of applying heat to create chemical change. Cooking causes the denaturation or proteins and changes the state of foods involved to improve digestibility, nutrient access, and palatability.

Emulsification – the mixing of different types of liquid to create a product such as mayonnaise. 

Liquefaction – generating a liquid from products in a solid or gas form.

Preserving - there are several natural preservatives, many of which are used in food products intended for refrigeration, or which will have shorter shelf lives. There are also several chemical preservatives. Some preservatives are naturally present in foods, while others are added to foods either because they are not naturally present in the food, or because they are only present in small quantities.  


There are lots of reasons for studying this course with us, including:

  • The knowledge that you gain during each lesson will be applied through the use of different activities and assignments, meaning you are applying theory to practice
  • By selecting different elective modules, you can build your own qualification to suit the areas that are of most interest to you
  • The inclusion of a research project means that you can develop ideas in more detail to really understand a subject that is of interest to you
  • As a flexible programme, you can study flexibly around other commitments meaning nothing has to be put on hold for your education
  • You will be allocated subject specialist tutors for each module who will support and guide you, as much or as little as you need
  • Developing your knowledge won't only help your job prospects, but it will give you more confidence to go after those opportunities that you didn't think you would have


You can enrol on the course now, but if you have any questions about the content of the course, or studying with ACS, then please get in touch with us today - use our FREE COURSE COUNSELLING SERVICE to get in touch with our expert tutors.They will be pleased to help you!

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