Food Preparation and Nutrition

“First we eat, then we do everything else.” - MFK Fisher (food writer)

Food is essential to life.  The food industry is one of the biggest employers in the world and is constantly changing.  You will always find employment in the food industry.

This course is one for those who have a love of food and has both theory and practical elements.  Studying this course will give you the opportunity to learn, extend and apply skills and knowledge of food preparation and practical skills.  You will also learn and understand the science behind what is in our food, how we make it safe to eat and what happens when we cook and eat it.

Outline of Course:

Practical skills:

Knife skills, including filleting fish and deboning meat

Preparing fruit and veg

Sauce making by using starch, reduction methods and emulsions

Using the cooker for a wide variety of cooking methods including moist and dry methods of cooking

Setting mixtures by gelatinisation and coagulation

Use of a variety of raising agents including eggs (in a colloid foam), chemical raising agents and steam

Making a dough for bread, pastry and pasta

Testing for readiness

Using sensory analysis for assessing finished products

The areas studied for examination will be:

Nutrition to include recommended guidelines for a healthy diet through life stages

Macro and micronutrients and energy

Major diet related diseases

Food commodities to include bread, cereals etc., fruit and vegetables, milk, cheese and dairy foods, meat, fish, eggs, soya, beans, nuts and seeds

Butter, oil, sugar and syrup

Food provenance – where it comes from and how it is produced, its impact on the environment and the development of culinary traditions within the UK

Food choice including sensory perception and how taste receptors and olfactory systems work

Factors that influence food choice including religious, cultural, ethical and medical reasons

How to make informed choices to achieve a balanced diet

The scientific principles underlying the preparation and cooking of food (i.e. why and how properties of food are changed)


Food spoilage, safety and hygiene

As you can see, this is a rigorous and focused course with a high emphasis on nutrition, food science and practical skills which students will use throughout life.

Additional Costs:

There will be a mandatory uniform cost of approximately £12.50 (subject to supplier cost) plus an annual course contribution of £7.50 towards materials used.

Assessment Method:

Paper 1: Food Preparation and Nutrition:

What’s assessed: Theoretical knowledge of food preparation and nutrition as shown above.

How it’s assessed:

Written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes

100 marks

50% of GCSE


Multiple choice questions (20 marks)

Five questions each with a number of sub questions (80 marks)

Non-exam assessment:

What’s assessed:

Task 1: Food Investigation 15%

Students understanding of the working characteristics, functional and chemical properties of ingredients.

Practical investigations are a compulsory element of this NEA task.

Task 2: Food Preparation Assessment (35%)

Students’ knowledge, skills and understanding in relation to the planning, preparation, cooking, presentation of food and application of nutrition related to the chosen task.

Students will prepare, cook and present a final menu of three dishes within a single period of no more than three hours, planning in advance how this will be achieved.

How it’s assessed:

Task 1: Written or electronic report (1500-2000) including photographic evidence of the practical investigation. (10 hours allocated)

Task 2: Written or electronic portfolio including evidence. Photographic evidence of the final three dishes must be included. (20 hours)

The NEA, set by the exam board, will all be completed in the second year of the course.  Task 1 is released by the exam board in September for completion in 10 hours and Task 2 is released in November for completion in 20 hours.

Did you know?

Food research and production is the world’s BIGGEST industry and in the UK it is the largest employer.

There is a shortage of food scientists and technologists in the UK and an advanced qualification in food can lead to careers such as a dietician, nutritionist, food analyst, product developer and in consumer research, among others.  Most graduates have a choice of jobs as they leave university, and many companies offer apprenticeships, which means your degree course could be paid for whilst you are working.

For further information see

Mrs N Ezeh

Miss R Keen