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Master of Science in Life Sciences - Food and Beverage Innovation

In this Master's programme you deal with innovative solutions for the food and beverage industry. You recognize innovation as a holistic process and develop new products and processes effectively from raw material to delivery. You consider knowledge of technology, food, packaging, supply chain, strategy and design.

Best prospects for a successful future!

«Through the Master's degree, I was able to deepen my professional knowledge even more and to specialize in certain areas. This allows me to work on certain topics not only on the surface, but also on the entire width and depth.»

Melanie Jörg, Product development Pacovis AG

«With the Master's degree, I wanted to develop an in-depth knowledge in the field of scientific work and "business skills". Together with an industrial partner, I was able to deal with a practical issue over a longer period.»

Simon Hutter, SAP - Process Champion Product Development at Emmi Group

«Think outside the box! Where you got the idea from for the solution does not matter if you can apply it to your problem.»

Esther Kokabi, Process Engineer Unilever Schweiz GmbH

Career - Food of the future

As a Master’s graduate, you will have the skills needed to analyse and evaluate product-specific and process engineering relationships. You have to understand the broader economic and political contexts in which they take place. You will be able to think beyond the constraints of interdisciplinary boundaries and develop innovative, integrative solutions to problems.

This not only means that you will have excellent job prospects in various sectors of the food industry. You will be a suitable candidate for positions in regulatory authorities, universities, and in both national and international organisations.

As a Master's graduate, you will ...

The programme offers you ...

At a glance

Degree / Title: Master of  Science (MSc) ZFH in Life Sciences with specialisation in Food and Beverage Innovation
Duration: Full-time 3 semesters, part-time possible (recommendation 4-7 semesters)
Start of studies: twice a year in February (spring semester) and September (autumn semester)
Cooperation: Some modules take place jointly with the universities of applied sciences BFH, FHNW and HES-SO.
Workload: 90 credits (ECTS), one credit point corresponds to 25 – 30 hours of work
Teaching locations: Wädenswil, Olten or Berne. Block weeks can also be held directly at partner universities.
Language: English
Study fees: CHF 720.00 per semester + additional study-related expenses ...»
Admission requirements / acceptance: University of Applied Sciences Bachelor's degree ...»

Registration deadlines: 30th April and 31st October ...»
Application deadline for the start of studies autumn 2020 extended to 31 July 2020.

Studies – Structure and Content

Master Thesis Food and Beverage Innovation 1
Master Thesis Food and Beverage Innovation 4
Master Thesis Food and Beverage Innovation 2
Master Thesis Food and Beverage Innovation 3

Your studies include three areas of competence plus a Master's thesis, with a total of 90 credits (ETCS).

Before commencing your studies, you will develop, together with the specialisation team and your supervisor, your personal training goals, define the topic for your Master's thesis and create your individual curriculum from the modules on offer.

The selected modules are recorded in your Individual Study Agreement (ISA).

Structure of the study programme
General structure of a full-time Master’s programme. Students determine the actual sequence and focal points themselves.

Master's thesis - 40 credits

The core of your studies. On the basis of research you have carried out, you answer a specific question in this field and work out solutions that are relevant for research, industry and society, often in co-operation with national and international partners. Through the thesis you not only demonstrate your knowledge and skills, but also expand the state of research in your specific field of scientific expertise.

Specialisation Skills- 20 credits

Your scientific studies take place at the ZHAW in Wädenswil: teaching is scheduled on three weekdays (Monday to Wednesday) and other learning activities may occur throughout the week.

Core Competencies – minimum 15 credits

Visualisation Core competencies «Management, Business and Society»
Visualisation Core competencies «Handling and Understanding Data»

These modules provide you with work-oriented skills. With these core competencies you acquire knowledge in the following areas: «Management, Business and Society» as well as «Handling and Understanding Data». Each module lasts half a semester – 2/3 of the lessons are held centrally in Olten and 1/3 consists of decentralised teaching (accompanied exercises, case studies etc.) directly in Wädenswil. You choose at least five from seven modules.

Cluster-specific modules – minimum 9 credits

Cluster-specific modules complement the specialisation modules. The specialisation Food and Beverage Innovation is part of the cluster Food. You choose at least three from the offered modules out of the cluster Food.

FBI Mentoring-Programme

During your studies, you will be guided and supported by a specific mentoring programme for the specialisation in Food and Beverage Innovation. You will benefit from optional activities and participate in the mandatory "FBI snack".

Your mentor will act as a supportive contact person throughout your studies and will supervise your Master's thesis. This mentoring programme allows you to focus on your goals and to constantly exchange ideas.


Do you want to make your studies international? The modular structure of the study programme allows you to study abroad for a year or to focus your Master's thesis on a foreign topic.

Study models

The Master's programme in Life Sciences takes 3 full-time semesters and comprises 90 credits (ECTS). This corresponds to a workload of approximately 2,700 hours. This intensive workload requires good planning and organisation.

Part-time study opens up numerous ways to achieve the objectives of the programme - adapted to your personal circumstances and needs. We recommend that students do not engage in any additional professional activities that exceed a maximum workload of 50% of a full-time position. You should consult your specialisation team individually about this matter. For administrative questions, please contact the registrar's office.

How you structure your part-time studies should be discussed and determined before commencement thereof when creating your Individual Study Agreement (ISA).

Researching for Practice

During your studies, you will expand your personal skills profile, in terms of your technical and methodological expertise as well as your self-competence. The focus on the Master's thesis encourages creative approaches to problem solving, re-examination of perspectives and a combination of entrepreneurial and scientific thinking.

Work in the research group will help you develop teamwork skills, initiative, critical thinking and leadership skills We promote independent, research-based learning in small classes with interactive lessons.

Film Master's programme Food and Beverage Innovation

Connect theory with reality! The «Think Tank Day» in the core module «innovation» gives you the unique opportunity, to present your idea to experts from research and industry. Thus you can practice your future role as a developer or entrepreneur to be ready for the next steps of your career in the world of food and beverages!

Brochure Master's programme Food and Beverage Innovation

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