Principles of Sensory Science

Discover the fascinating world of sensory science and enhance your understanding of how our senses affect our food choices. Our programme, with our online course on food sensory science, provides the latest insights from real-world research and covers a wide range of topics. And are you looking for an integrated approach where food technology, consumer and nutrition science interact? Join us today and deepen your knowledge in this exciting field. Sign up now for our Principles of Sensory Science online course.

Organised by Wageningen Academy

Mon 11 March 2024 until Fri 31 May 2024

Duration 3 months, 85 hours
Number of students 12 - 60
Price EUR 1,495.00

This course is expected to be organised again in the spring of 2025. You can already show your interest.

Target audience

This online programme is specifically designed for professionals with a BSc experience or education in food and nutrition topics. Prior knowledge of fundamental statistical data analysis and tests, such as T-tests and ANOVA, is recommended. While a CEFR English level B2 "Upper intermediate" is advised, it's not obligatory. Join us today to take your understanding of sensory science to the next level.

Learning outcomes

After successful completion of this programme, you will be able to:

  • Assess the challenges of setting up a sensory test in a scientific way.
  • Design and set up a sensory experiment.
  • Explain basic theoretical principles of sensory science.
  • Select and apply sensory methods.
  • Understand functions and physiology of the flavour-related senses and how they interact


The course includes online learning materials, practical tutorials, and knowledge clips. Participants and faculty can interact on assignments. There is a course discussion platform for participants to interact with each other. Additionally, there are interactive self-tests of the concepts and applications. During the programme, two online live meetings (max 1 hour) will be scheduled to meet and interact with your fellow participants and the course experts.

Participants follow this online course at the same pace. The duration of the programme is 80-90 hours of study, spread over the total period. During the course, fixed dates are set when assignments need to be handed-in, consisting of individual assignments and group discussions.


  • Introduction to sensory science
  • Discrimination sensory methods
  • Hedonic sensory methods and Threshold testing
  • The chemical senses: Smell, Taste and Trigeminal sensations
  • Descriptive sensory methods
  • Interaction between the senses
  • Texture
  • Visual system
  • Interaction between the senses, food perception

As course reference book and for more in-depth knowledge, you will need to acquire the book Sensory Evaluation of Food - Principles and Practices by Lawless, Harry T., Heymann, Hildegarde.

There is a maximum of 60 participants. Groups of 12 to 20 participants will be formed to secure small-scale teaching and personal involvement.


A digital micro-credentials certificate (EduBadge) with 3 study credits (ECTS) is issued upon completion. The EduBadge certifies the learning outcomes of short-term learning experiences, marking the quality of a course. You can also receive a certificate that is designed for a business environment. None of these give immediate rights to apply towards a formal degree programme at a university but they might support your right to admission.

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How do I get my user to go from “It needs to feel different.” To “This feels great!”? The online course Principles of Sensory Science has helped me with that. It offers a theoretical and practical overview of sensory science at an advanced level. The great attention to detail has lead to a high-quality progression in my understanding and skill.
Giles Catcheside, Sensory Scientist at Haleon and former participant