The PFT programme consists of two main pillars: food technology and chemical engineering. Themes in the first two years are water purification, sustainable food production, (in)organic chemistry, polymer science and technology (plastics and 3D printing). PFT’s specialised theoretical framework, mixed with a variety of hands-on group projects with industry partners, will help form you into a state-of-the-art food or chemical specialist engineer. PFT includes an internship and graduation internship period. Our alumni are highly valued by companies such as Dutch Royal Shell, Heineken, P&G, and Unilever for their advanced technical skills, multicultural communication skills and strong practical project working abilities.
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in year one
The first year is the introductory (propadeutic) year
Year one of PFT will teach you the fundamentals of engineering, such as mathematics, physics, chemistry and microbiology. From day one, you’ll receive regular assignments from food and biochemical companies, to make the theory more interesting and more applicable to real life examples. For example, you’ll learn how to make your own cheese, or produce the white pigment found in toothpaste, paper or plastic chairs. To add to these theoretical skills, you’ll conduct weekly laboratory sessions. Alongside the technical subjects, you’ll learn communication and career skills, also known as ‘soft’ or social skills, to enhance your career prospects and to prepare you for great internships.
You’ll start year two by taking a major in Risk Management, where you’ll design a safe and sustainable processing plant. Again, you’ll deal with real companies who want to reinvigorate their production processes. This time, the expectations will be even higher. Perhaps you’ll work with Sensus to come up with new food products using the inulin in chicory, or you could work with Akzo Nobel to make ultra-high quality paint.
Practise makes perfect
In year three, you’ll start with an optional minor. Perhaps you want to gain even more advanced technical skills, or you’d like to learn something in another engineering discipline such as industrial, mechanical or electrical engineering. You can also pick something completely unrelated to PFT and become a more rounded professional, or attend another university for this course.
Half of year three is dedicated to doing either one long internship (20 weeks) or two smaller internships (10 weeks each). The programme has strong links with many industry and university partners from all over the world. Examples of companies where students have done their internships include Unilever, BASF, AB Inbev, Sensus and BP. We encourage our students to do their internships abroad and have covered almost every continent (excluding Antarctica). Many students see these internships as their favourite part of the PFT programme. In the last block of the year, you can choose a chemical or food specialisation.
Specialisation and graduation
The first half of year four consists of two more blocks of specialisations. Options include more food or chemical related courses (and a specialisation project), or a management block. The last semester of PFT is the graduation phase of the programme. You’ll apply your last 3.5 years of learning to a 40-page practice-based thesis and formal defence ceremony at THUAS. The broad interdisciplinary natural of this programme means you’ll then be prepared to find employment in all kinds of industries, even universities and research centres.
Below we show some video’s made by our students in study projects. Be inspired by drafting your own beer and listen to short term and longer term goals from one of our students for the future.
In year three, you’ll have to do a minor. You’ll get the chance to specialise as a process and food engineer or develop more general skills by doing a minor on another programme. An example of a PFT minor is Food Product Design, which is taken with the nutrition and dietetics and industrial product design programmes at THUAS. You’ll focus on the development or improvement of new and existing products. For a non-PFT minor, you could choose Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Global Perspective or The Many Faces of Globalisation offered by other THUAS faculties.
We are the only programme in the Netherlands that offers PFT on an international level. Thanks to our partnerships with universities in Brazil, Indonesia, China, UK and USA, you’ll get the chance to go on exchanges. You could see, for example, how Brazilian farmers are developing new farming technologies to keep up with the world population growth. The PFT programme combines a perfect mix of theory and practice, but we do understand that students need other learning experiences. That’s why we organise excursions during every block. These include a visit to a water treatment plant, the Bavaria beer brewery and a cheese factory. The projects that you’ll be working on come from companies and the real-life problems that they face, so you’ll already be making a difference to society during your bachelor.
A personal supervisor will help you keep track of your study progress and guide your career development. He/she will also support you if you have any personal problems that could adversely affect your school performance. A coaching assistant, usually a recent graduate, will also tutor you. He/she will assist you with the day-to-day practicalities of studying PFT. For example, by helping you improve your time management skills, or finding the right people within the programme to answer more complicated questions.
To continue your degree programme after the first year, you need to earn 50 of the 60 credits (EC or Credits). In some cases, the degree programme may also require that you pass a specific subject as pEuropean art of the credit requirements. We call this a qualitative requirement. If you meet the credit requirements as well as the qualitative requirement where applicable, you will receive a positive binding study advice (BSA) from the Examination Board at the end of your first year and you will be able to continue your degree programme.
If you earn less than 50 credits or don’t meet the qualitative requirements where applicable, you will receive a negative binding study advice and will have to leave the degree programme. This is why this advice is called a Negative Binding Study Advice (NBSA).
Your academic progress may be affected by personal circumstances such as illness or the professional practice of a sport. It is important that you inform the Examination Board immediately of any personal circumstances that might apply to you. The Board can take these into account when issuing its study advice.Read all the rules for the binding study advice in Chapter 7 of the Programme and Examination Regulations (PER) for your degree programme.