Objectives and competences

In this master's degree, students will develop the ability to analyse the various processes involved in research, development and innovation activities in the food industry.
There is a need for specialists in research, development and innovation who can develop new ideas, form part of multidisciplinary teams and adapt to the continuous changes taking place in the field of food and nutrition.
In Spain, the agri-food sector accounts for 16% of net sales. Furthermore, sales of some innovative foods are increasing at a much greater rate than conventional foods. An analysis of market prospects and of the potential success of a product demonstrates that it is essential to work simultaneously with an integrated approach in areas as diverse as consumer sciences, marketing techniques, nutrition, health and technology, among others. It has also been found that products with various innovative features are more profitable in the short- and long-term. In addition, it is increasingly important for innovation to integrate a concern for psychosocial considerations, in other words, it is crucial to consider the added value that consumers can immediately appreciate (for example, environmental aspects and ease of use). Therefore, the approach to research, development and innovation in the food industry should be focused on the interaction between all the factors that influence a consumer's perception and acceptance of a product.


Basic information

TypeMaster's degree
Faculty or schoolFaculty of Pharmacy and Food Science
Branch of knowledge
  • Agricultural sciences and food technology
Mode of delivery
  • Face-to-face
Number of places available40
Length of course1 academic year
Language(s) of instructionSpanish
Approximate price per credit27.67 euros per credit (82 euros for students who are not EU nationals and do not currently reside in Spain). Fees for the academic year 2023-2024
Course detailsIndicators
Open pre-enrolmentNo
Open enrolmentNo
Lead to doctoral studiesYes
Admission for applicants not holding a degree qualificationNo
Bridging coursesYes

Objectives and competences


This master's degree is designed to meet the increasing need for qualified specialists in research, development and innovation activities in the field of food and nutrition. The course seeks to train specialists who can join multidisciplinary teams working in research, development and innovation, both in the food industry and in other professional areas (universities and other research centres, administrations, etc.).
The degree syllabus has been created for students who would like to work in R&D&i in the food industry and for those who wish to work in scientific research in universities or technology and research centres.


Upon completion of the course, students will be able to:
  • Demonstrate basic knowledge of the selection of ingredients and formulation of food, in order to develop new food products that comply with current regulations, and apply knowledge of experimental design and project management.
  • Manage the intellectual and industrial property requirements that could arise in the development of new food products.
  • Establish relationships between the components and ingredients in food products and their impact on consumer health.
  • Understand the new technology used in the processing, preservation and packaging of food and know how to use this technology to develop innovative or better quality food products.
  • Apply their understanding of financial management of corporate production and marketing.
  • Identify market trends and opportunities for developing innovative food products.
  • Generate ideas for the design of new food products, taking into consideration quality, technology requirements, the legal framework, the potential market demand, profitability and marketing.

Access and admission

Applicant profile and access requirements

Recommended applicant profile

The following official qualifications are required for admission:
  • Bachelor's degree or equivalent undergraduate degree in food science and technology, pharmacy, veterinary science, biology, biochemistry, biotechnology, environmental science or chemistry.
  • EHEA bachelor's degree in human nutrition and dietetics, agricultural engineering or chemical engineering.
  • Undergraduate degree in human nutrition and dietetics.
  • Degree in agricultural engineering or technical agricultural engineering.

Foreign degree qualifications may be accepted if the Coordination Committee establishes that they are equivalent to the corresponding Spanish degrees.

Access requirements and conditions

General requirements
In accordance with Article 16 of Royal Decree 1393/2007, of 29 October, students wishing to be admitted to a university master's degree must hold one of the following qualifications:

  • Official Spanish university degree.

  • A degree issued by a higher education institution within the European Higher Education Area framework that authorizes the holder to access university master's degree courses in the country of issue.

  • A qualification issued by an institution outside the framework of the European Higher Education Area. In this case, applicants must request homologation of the degree to its equivalent official Spanish university qualification or obtain express approval from the University of Barcelona, which will conduct a study of equivalence to ensure that the degree is of a comparable level to an official Spanish university qualification and that it grants access to university master's degree study in the country of issue. Admission shall not, in any case, imply that prior qualifications have been recognized as equivalent to a Spanish master's degree and does not confer recognition for any purposes other than that of admission to the master's degree course.

Specific requirements
Students who do not have the necessary prior training may be required to complete the following bridging subjects before starting the main programme:
  • Food Chemistry (3 credits).
  • Food Technology (3 credits).
  • Hygiene and Food Safety (3 credits).
  • Nutrition and Health (3 credits).

These are specific bridging subjects for the master's degree, and are taught in September and October, at the beginning of each academic year.
  • Holders of EHEA bachelor's degrees in food science and technology, and human nutrition and dietetics, will not be required to take bridging subjects.
  • Holders of pharmacy degrees will have to take all of the bridging subjects except Nutrition and Health.
  • In general, students with degrees in veterinary science, biology, biochemistry, biotechnology, environmental sciences, chemistry, chemical engineering and agricultural engineering must take all of the bridging courses, unless they have passed optional or specialized subjects during their standard degree pathway that are equivalent to the bridging courses.
  • The Coordination Committee will determine which bridging courses must be taken by each student with a foreign degree qualification, given the diversity in standard degree pathways.



  • First period: from February 5th to February 23rd, 2024.
    Notification of resolution: from 11 to 15 March.
    Confirmation of the place reservation: from 18 to 22 March.
  • Second period: from 26 February to 22 March 2024.
    Notification of resolution: from 15 to 19 April.
    Confirmation of the place reservation: from 22 to 26 April.
  • Third period: from 25 March to 3 May 2024.
    Notification of resolution: from 20 to 24 May.
    Confirmation of the place reservation: from May 27th to 31st.
  • Fourth period (if there are vacancies): from 1 to 5 July 2024.
    Notification of resolution: from 15 to 19 July.


    • Pre-enrolment fee: A pre-enrolment fee of 30,21 euros is charged. Students who apply to more than one master's degree must pay the fee for each pre-enrolment request. Pre-enrolment requests cannot be processed until this fee has been paid.Fees will only be refunded if the master's degree in question is suspended.
    • Reserved places: A maximum of 5% of the new places of the master's degree are reserved for students who meet the general and specific access requirements and accredit the recognition of a degree of disability equal to or greater than 33%.

    Required documentation

    Selection criteria

    1. Academic transcript (60%): consideration will be given to the grades obtained (40%) and the number of credits taken in subjects related to food and nutrition or in subjects that contribute to the basic training required for admission to this master's degree (20%).
    2. Curriculum vitae (30%): credit will be given for experience in the subjects included in the master's degree syllabus.
    3. Statement of interest, outlining the candidate's reasons for applying (10%).


    If considered necessary, the Committee may interview candidates to clarify aspects related to their documentation and their previous training and experience.

    Admissions decisions will be announced publicly. All pre-enrolled students will be notified and the decision will be posted on the webpage for the master's degree.



    As a general rule, at the UB you will be required to enrol online. Remember that you can lose your place if you do not enrol on the day you have been assigned

    Course curriculum

    Subjects and course plans

    Distribution of credits

    Type ECTS
    Compulsory 30
    Optional 10
    Compulsory placements 0
    Compulsory final project 20
    TOTAL 60

    List of subjects

    Subject Type Language Credits
    Specialization: Food Research, Development and Innovation
    Bioactive Components: Functional Ingredients and Foods Compulsory 1st semester 5
    Design and Formulation of New Foods Compulsory 1st semester 5
    Eco-Innovation in Food Optional 2nd semester 2.5
    Economic Management of Production, Marketing Strategies and Project Management Compulsory 1st semester 5
    Experimental Design Compulsory 1st semester 5
    Final Project Compulsory 2nd semester 20
    In-company placement Optional 2nd semester 2.5
    Information and Documentation: Legal Regulation and Intellectual and Industrial Property Compulsory 1st semester 5
    Marketing and Communication Strategies in the Food and Nutrition Sectors Optional 2nd semester 2.5
    Microorganisms and Food Safety Optional 2nd semester 2.5
    New Technologies in Food Processing and Preservation Compulsory 1st semester 5
    Nutrition and Health: Research, Development and Applied Innovation in Healthcare Optional 2nd semester 2.5
    Nutritional Genomics New Tools in Food Development Optional 2nd semester 2.5
    Sensory Analysis of Foods Optional 2nd semester 2.5

    Bridging courses

    Subject Type Language Credits
    Specialization: BC for admission to the Master's Degree in Food Research, Development and Innovation
    Food Chemistry Optional 1st semester 3
    Food Hygiene and Safety Optional 1st semester 3
    Food Technology Optional 1st semester 3
    Nutrition and Health Optional 1st semester 3

    Previous years


    Placements in a company or another type of organization are an integral part of university studies, providing first-hand experience of working methodologies in students' chosen professional fields. They offer invaluable practical experience for the transition into work after graduation.

    Placements are supervised by tutors and subject to assessment. They are therefore included in the academic record.  There is also an option to complete non-curricular placements of up to 500 hours, which can be extended to 900 hours. For both curricular and non-curricular placements, an educational cooperation agreement is signed between the UB and the company, institution or other organization at which the placement will be carried out.

    Institutional information

    Career opportunities

    What can you work on ?

    The main career opportunities are in research and development departments in the agrifood industry. This industry is currently growing faster than other sectors, and should continue to expand in the near future. In Catalonia, there is a high concentration of agriculture and food companies, which explains why it is important for the University of Barcelona to offer training in this field.
    For students interested in a career in research, the master's degree offers the training needed to become a research professional in the food and nutrition sector and to join research teams in universities or in other centres and institutions.

    Access to the labour market

    Data from the university system in Catalonia

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