Food Science and Nutrition: Pre-University Science

Level 5 QQI Award.


One Year


This course is suitable for learners who are interested in preparing for a career as a food scientist and/or further education in food, science or agriculture sectors. A food scientist applies their knowledge of biology, chemistry and engineering to develop and improve foods and has a role to play in all aspects of the food chain from production, to processing, storage and marketing. The food industry, Ireland’s largest industry, with Irish food companies being amongst the most successful in the world, employing up to 230,000 is expected to grow. This sector needs highly qualified graduates with a clear understanding of food, nutrition, health and their interrelationships.

Entry Requirements

One of the following:

  • Leaving Certificate Established/LCVP
  • Leaving Certificate Applied
  • Relevant QQI Level 4 Award
  • Mature applicants are welcome

Course Modules

  • Laboratory Skills
  • Microbiology
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Nutrition
  • Food Safety and HACCP
  • Fruit and Vegetable Production
  • Mathematics
  • Communications
  • Work Experience
  • Word Processing
Module Information

Module Information

Food Science and Nutrition: Pre-University Science

Level 5 QQI Award: Laboratory Techniques 5M3807

Course Content (Module Names and Codes)


Laboratory Skills 5N2751

This practical module will give the student the knowledge, skill and competence to operate safely under supervision in a laboratory environment. The students will be given the opportunity to develop skills and become proficient in the use of lab equipment. Students will observe, record and interpret data through hands on laboratory work and practice their skills of laboratory report writing which will be the basis of any laboratory based career. Industry field trips and external speakers are a key part of this module.

Assessment: Project (40%), Skills Demonstration (40%), Learner Record 20%.


Microbiology 5N0737    

This module will equip the student to undertake various microbiological techniques in the laboratory, examine microbes in the food industry, work safely with microorganisms in a lab environment and create awareness of microbes in the general environment such as air, water etc. Students will develop their academic and vocational language, literacy and numeracy skills related to microbiology. This will prepare students for participation in basic microbiological work practices or to pursue further education at higher levels. Industry field trips and external speakers are a key part of this module.

Assessment: Skills Demonstration (20%), Learner Record (50%), Examination (30%).


Chemistry 5N2747    

The aim of this module is to allow the learner to become confident with key chemistry concepts, which can be applied to laboratory procedures, industrial process, and everyday life. Learners will be introduced to various areas of study including, electronic structure, titrations, organic chemistry and laboratory safety. As part of their assessment learners will develop confidence in laboratory skills and experimental work. Industry field trips and external speakers are a key part of this module.

Assessment: Examination (50%), Skills Demonstration (25%), Learner Record (25%).


Mathematics 5N1833    

Students will acquire mathematical skills in problem solving and mathematical investigations in the following areas: mathematical modelling, statistics and probability, graphing functions, differential and integral calculus, complex numbers and trigonometry.

Assessment: Two Assignments (30% each) Examination (40%).


Nutrition 5N2006    

Students will have the opportunity to develop knowledge, skills and competence in the nutritional composition of food and the effects of food and nutrition on an individual’s health and personal well-being. Healthy eating and its benefits to good health as well as identifying the components of a healthy diet for all age groups will be explored. Current HSE dietary recommendations will be evaluated such as the new food pyramid. The process of digestion and the factors that affect it will be studied along with the role of food and its significance in the management of various conditions and diseases such as diabetes, coronary heart disease and dental caries. Industry field trips and external speakers are a key part of this module.

Assessment: Two Assignments (30% each)  Examination (40%) 


Biology 5N2746    

This module aims to equip students with theory and biological concepts to carry out various skills and experiments in the field of biology. Learners will study various topics including, cell diversity, genetics, ecology and microbiology and current developments in biological science. Students are facilitated to develop safe laboratory skills, confidence in experimental work and good laboratory practice. Industry field trips and external speakers are a key part of this module.

Assessment: Exam (50%), Skills Demonstration (25%), Learner Record (25%).


Word Processing 5N1358    

Students will use word processing application to learn or improve skills while laying out a range of business/college/home documents. It includes: document set up, formatting text, proof reading, mail merge, tables, file management, graphics and presentation skills.

Assessment: Assignment (20%), Examination (80%).


Work Experience 5N1356    

Students will prepare for work placement in their relevant vocational area through an evaluation of a personal skills set, the development of an industry type CV, interview preparation and practice. Current relevant work place legislation is also evaluated and assessed. An integral part of this module is developing skills required for a successful job search; and so, students are facilitated to secure a relevant work placement. On completion of the work placement (60 hours) the student will reflect, review and consider their future career options.

Assessment: Collection of Work (60%) Skills Demonstration (Work placement 40%).


Communications 5N0690    

This module explores the role of communication in human interaction in theory and practice. Students are facilitated to gain relevant knowledge, skills, and competence to communicate verbally and nonverbally in standard everyday tasks and in work-related situations. Students will have the opportunity to develop important vocational related skills such as report writing, report reading, listening, and speaking skills (through oral presentation, interviews, group work) and modern information communication technology.

Assessment: Collection of Work (50%)  Skills Demonstration (50%).


Food Safety & HACCP 5N5266    

Students will be introduced to the basics of food safety. They will then learn the principles of HACCP and understand its role in food safety. Furthermore, students will be shown how to develop all aspects of a HACCP plan for a food environment. Both EU and Irish food safety laws will be explored and the importance of both regulatory and customer audits is explained along with the need for staff training, systems review and product recall. Industry field trips and external speakers are a key part of this module.

Assessment: Project (40%), Examination (60%).


Fruit & Vegetable Production 5N2552    

Through this hands-on module, students will learn how to choose a growing site with adequate soil preparation, knowledge of crop rotation and protective cropping. Also there will be an emphasis on an awareness of crop irrigation, pollination in fruit and veg; how to safely protect/grow/maintain year-round fruit and vegetable crops right through from propagation to harvest. Industry field trips and external speakers are a key part of this module.

Assessment: Assignment (30%), Skills Demonstration (40%), Examination (30%).


  • Level 5 QQI Award Laboratory Techniques (5M3807)

Special Features

  • Work placement
  • Hands-on laboratory experience
  • Small class groups
  • Visits to industry
  • Professional guest lectures
  • CAO advise

Progression Opportunities

Graduates are eligible to apply through the CAO and/or the Higher Education Links Scheme to a range of higher certificate and degree programmes, at both Universities and Institutes of Technology. There are progression options in a wide range of areas including food science, general science, agricultural science, sports science, culinary arts, applied science in nutrition and many other related areas. Example are shown below. However a full list of programmes to choose from will be given to all students at induction in September.

Students from this course may also progress onto a number of apprenticeships for example Laboratory Technician that are now available in Ireland.

Progression Examples

BSc in Food Science (DN261)

Bachelor of Science (DN200)

BSc in Agricultural Science (DN250)

BSc in Dairy Business (DN252)

BA Arts (DN520)

BA Humanities (DN530)

University College Dublin

Bachelor of Science (MH201)

Bachelor of Science in Biotechnology (MH202)

Bachelor of Science in Biological and Medical Science (MH208)

National University of Ireland Maynooth

Bachelor of Science (TR071)

Trinity College Dublin

BSc in Nutraceuticals in Health and Nutrition (DT420)

BSc in Food Innovation (DT421)

BSc in Environmental Health (DT491)

BSc in Clinical Measurement Science (DT229)

BA in Culinary Arts (DT407)

Dublin Institute of Technology

Bachelor of Applied Science in Nutrition, Food and
Business Management (AS051)

St Angels's College Sligo

Career Paths

Students should use this course as a stepping stone in order to obtain a high level qualification in the progression areas listed below. Alternatively students may seek immediate employment in a range of companies and projects that seek graduates with a science aptitude. Career opportunities such as food technologists, food scientists, microbiologists, food safety consultants, technicians, food engineers, laboratory assistants and product development managers exist for graduates who complete further or higher education qualifications.

Thank You

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Course Coordinator

Eileen Connell

Eileen Connell

Thank You

we will be in touch shortly