As part of British Food Fortnight, we wanted to talk to some of the most passionate people we know - our food students! Not only do they have a keen interest in what ends up on our plates, but also the whole process from conception, development, testing and sales.
A food degree teaches about this journey from field to fork so students understand the scope of the industry. Morgan Metcalfe is one such student, having studied BSc (Hons) Food Technology and Product Development, and now going on to undertake his Masters of Research.
Morgan has always been an advocate for his subject, sharing his passion for the industry. He said: “Food technology and product development mean so much to me. Today's general public have no idea as to the scope that product development and technology covers.
“From sourcing ingredients, scoping a small kitchen recipe to a factory batch, packaging design, looking at trends within the industry to develop what people are demanding. It is incredible the various jobs and opportunities that can open up from this degree.
“I've gained the fundamentals to strive in such a competitive industry and use the most up to date knowledge and technology, all gained from 4 years of support and development at Harper.”
Morgan completed his undergraduate studies this year, despite the difficulties Covid-19 made for him and his cohort. He commented: “It felt amazing to graduate with First-class Honours, like all the hard work had paid off.
“Although we didn’t finish as we expected too, the support from the university was incredible - they quickly managed to switch everything online in such a short period. All the lecturers were extremely helpful and understanding. They held all meetings and remaining lectures on Microsoft teams. The university was very much hands-on during this difficult time as we were all trying to finish our degrees.”
Knowing that support was in place, Morgan felt confident to continue his path into higher education. He shared: “I am now going back to study Masters of Research, working on Food Industry Management. I loved my years studying for my undergraduate degree at Harper and studying for my Masters just seemed to be the natural next step.
“Application to study for my Masters was very straightforward and simple, it really couldn’t be easier. Harper makes everything so simple. And to think I applied during COVID too! Everything was very well organised and I attended plenty of virtual open days so I knew I would be happy in my decision.”
When looking at food related postgraduate courses, Morgan explored the scholarship opportunities offered by The Development Trust. There he found a number of sources to support his studies. He commented: “I applied for funding from the Worshipful Company of Butchers but didn’t think much would come of it. However, when I was successful in gaining the sponsorship, it further confirmed to me that it was what I wanted to do next. It’s a great opportunity that will develop me as a person and will certainly help me with my career development.
“I am extremely lucky to have my Masters degree sponsored by the Worshipful Company of Butchers. I am looking forward to working with such a great charitable institution.”
Having completed an interesting study on black pudding as part of his undergraduate study, Morgan will now be going onto a new topic of research. While he is awaiting confirmation of his dissertation title before he gives too much away, he reflected on his previous study, saying: “Black pudding was a great product to develop for my honour research product. I learnt so much. Maybe this could be sold in our family butchers in the future?”
Looking to the future, Morgan is enthusiastic to be returning to campus. He said: “I'm looking forward to getting back to studying, and also meeting new people along the way. I think being sponsored by the Worshipful Company of Butchers will bring a lot of opportunities such as meeting some of the other members.”
If you are inspired by Morgan’s enthusiasm and want to find out more about our food degree pathways, you can see all of our undergraduate food courses, or join us at our Virtual Open Day on October 10. There you can see a presentation from our food lecturers and talk to staff and students about life at Harper. Registration is now open to secure your place!