The programme builds on the integrated expertise in research and education of KU Leuven and UGent in the field of food technology. IUPFOOD offers two years of academic education, leading to a MSc degree ‘Master of Science of Food Technology’. In the first year of the MSc programme, in-depth knowledge in food science, engineering and food engineering is obtained, in order to achieve a common base level between students of different backgrounds. The first year is common to all participants. The first semester is organised at UGent while the second semester is organised at KU Leuven. The second year of the MSc programme provides a broad knowledge in food technology and in-depth understanding in either ‘Postharvest or Food Preservation Engineering' (PFPE) or 'Food Science and Technology' (FST), depending on the major chosen. The second year of the programme therefore consists of specific courses on each major (PFPE and FST), optional courses and dissertation research. The major, the optional courses and the dissertation topic are chosen after completing the first year. For the optional courses the student may choose among the courses of the other specialisation and the additional optional courses offered. This enables the participants to compile a tailor-made study curriculum according to their individual needs and interests. The specialisation 'Food Science and Technology' (FST) is organised at UGent, while the specialisation 'Postharvest and Food Preservation Engineering' (PFPE) is organised at KU Leuven.
The master’s dissertation integrates the acquired knowledge with the personal education/development of the student and is programmed in the third and fourth semester. It represents an important study load (30 credits) because it is considered to be an outstanding example of guided self-tuition, an integration of all aims and objectives and an instrument for evaluation of the end terms of the master’s programme. The master’s dissertation represents a considerable volume of experimental work, analytical processing, interpretation and communication and is performed within a research group in KU Leuven or UGent.
It is the objective of IUPFOOD to offer a programme that takes into account the specific needs and approaches in developing countries. The IUPFOOD programme prepares students for different tasks, particularly in a professional teaching and research environment. IUPFOOD alumni are mainly active in the following sectors: academic institutes (as teaching and/or research staff), research institutes (as research staff), non governmental organisations (in different capacities), governmental institutes (e.g. in research programmes, quality surveillance programmes or national nutritional programmes) and private industry (in particular quality control related jobs). A number of IUPFOOD alumni complete further PhD studies in an early phase of their career.