Students & Apprentices

We are here to help you make the most out of your time at university and to prepare you for an exciting career in food!

This section includes all of the links to sections on the website to support our student and apprentice membership. If you still have any questions that haven't been answered in the following pages, please contact and your question will be answered as soon as possible. 

Student Group

We are looking for students who would like to join the IFST Student Group in the academic year 2022/23. The aim of the group is to help us develop our structure, processes and priorities relating to attracting, retaining and developing our student members. The student group will be lead by two Co-Chairs. We are currently seeking students studying food science-related degrees to fill these positions: Chair, Co-Chair, Postgraduate Representative, Undergraduate Representative, Secretary, Student Communications and Student Representative liaison. Deadline 31 October 2022.

To become a Student Representative or part of the Student Group: Find out more here.

Find your university representative

Our University Representatives are the eyes and ears of our student group and provide a valuable service in promoting IFST events and membership to their peers. They liaise with University contacts, promote IFST events and membership and work with our student group and local branch networks.

Find out more here.

Student Membership

Our goal is to be your passport to knowledge, contacts and professional development at this early stage of your career and to support you as you bridge the gap between university and industry. 

If you are studying full or part-time at foundation degree level or above within the UK and are interested in pursuing a career in food, we encourage you to join IFST as a student member. Find out more here. 

Student Career LaunchPad

Our annual Student LaunchPad event supports food science students by providing them with an experience to strengthen their perceptions of the food sector beyond the university setting and help provide valuable insights into possible careers in all aspects of the food chain. The Student LaunchPads take place every year from October - November. Find out more & book here.

Student Career LaunchPad Recordings
Student Career LaunchPad

Our annual Student LaunchPad events support food science students by providing them with an experience to strengthen their perceptions of the food sector beyond the university setting and help provide valuable insights into possible careers in all aspects of the food chain. 

Watch previous event recordings, here.

Apprentice & Student Career LaunchPad

Our Apprentice & Student LaunchPad provides both apprentices and students with valuable insights into exciting career options in the food sector and alternative pathways to enter a career in food. Last year we prepared plenty of valuable experiences and events, during the week, which we hope will help launch your career.

Watch previous event recordings, here.

Apprenticeships in the food sector

An apprenticeship is a great opportunity for everyone to gain an all-round understanding of the food sector.

Apprentices typically split their time between on-the-job training and studying towards an industry-recognised qualification. As well as getting invaluable work experience, they are paid a salary for the duration of the scheme.

Find out more here

Find an Accredited Degree/Course

Our degree accreditation scheme recognises relevant Bachelor and Masters degree programmes for face-to-face and distance-learning students.

Find a course here. 


Competitions & Awards

Taking part in competitions is a fantastic way to enhance your CV, network with food professionals and make connections across the sector.

We offer national and regional opportunities for students. Deadlines are staggered throughout the year so be sure to check back regularly for up-to-date information.

Find out more here. 

Preparing for your career in food

Our members have been kind enough to provide helpful information based on their experiences to help you prepare for your career in food. Read their tips here. 

Food Science Education

IFST has an ongoing project to align food science resources to the sciences curricula and encourage their use and integration in the curriculum, through discussions with educational stakeholders. For more information please click here.

Career Information

Why choose a career in food?

The production and distribution of food is the largest and most important economic activity in the world. The health and welfare of people everywhere depend on good agricultural yields and on the reliable storage, successful processing and safe handling of all types of food. Food professionals work in many occupations including industry (manufacturing, retailing and foodservice), universities and schools, government, research and development, quality assurance and food law enforcement. 

The food sector is crying out for well-qualified and experienced specialists who can play their part in the complex and increasingly sophisticated food supply system. 

For more information please click here.

IFST Student Pack and Professional Development Guide

These documents outline the opportunities avaliable at IFST for students and provide handy tips to ehance your career in food.

Download the IFST Student Pack

Download the IFST Professional Development Guide