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Secondary school


Selecting the right GCSEs

If you know what you want to do when you leave school or college, deciding on your GCSEs is easy.  For many young people deciding can be a tricky decision.  You might be ready to jump straight in to study the GCSE in Food Preparation & Nutrition but you might want to take core science subjects such as Chemistry or Biology.  Whatever you decide there are many routes into your future in food.

A career in food is so much more than catering. Have you thought about the entrepeneurs who run their own food businesses or the designers who create packaging or the engineers who run the factories or the scientists who develop new ingredients? 

Here are some useful websites to help you make your decision: 

Career Pilot - your choices at 14, 16 and 18 years old, routes to different qualifications and job sectors, and career tools to help you decide.

Success at School - find out about different careers, information on employers, search for the latest jobs, courses and advice.

FDF Scotland - short films showcasing the variety of rewarding careers the food and drink industry has to offer.

UCAS: How to become a Food Scientist - information on what subjects you need to study to become a food scientist including what essential qualifications are required.

Help with your GCSEs

There are many resources available to help you with your studies.  Here are some of the ones we think will help you with the GCSE Food Preparation & Nutrition.

FDF Scotland - food science videos on emulsions; enzymic browning; Maillard Reaction; oxidative rancidity and thin-layer chromatography (TLC).

Food and Drink Federation YouTube Channel - numerous videos about the food sector including Taste Success and SFDF Schools Programme.

FDF Scotland - School's Programme - resources for schools and industry.

AQA teaching resources - GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition resources.

Eduquas Digital Education - GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition resources.

Food a Fact of Life - provides a wealth of free resources about healthy eating, cooking, food and farming for children and young people aged 3 to 18 years.

Meat and Education - links to resources for nutrition, food science and safety, food provenance, food preparation and cooking, food choice and assessment support.

A levels

What A levels should you take to pursue a career in the food industry?

In 2015 the Government withdrew the Food Technology  A and AS Level leaving students wishing to pursue a career in food science and technology with a narrower range of A level options.

IFST has spoken to universities and employers and they recommend taking a combination of the following A levels.

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Maths
  • Physics
  • Economics
  • Business Studies
  • Design & Technology

​Useful resources

If you are not sure about what A or AS levels to take, these websites might be helpful:

  • UCAS - facts about A levels: recent changes, subjects and grades, who they are for and what you can do afterwards.
  • Which? University - six things you need to know before making your A-level choices.
  • Russell Guide - Informed choices - The Russell Group’s guide Informed Choices provides students with information, advice and guidance about their post-16 subject choices.

Available grants you could apply for: 

  • Somerset's Dairy Careers Project - if you are worried about finances you may be able to secure funding for studying resources; like uniform, materials, equipment and study based trips/visits or travel costs. 
  • Henry Plumb Foundation - if you're aged between 18-35 you could have the opportunity to apply for a grant (ranging from £500-£3000) to further your interests, business ideas or study plans that will lead to a career in the agricultural or food industry.