Food Safety - Advanced

The MSc in Advanced Food Safety is tailored towards students who aim to, or currently work within the agri-food industry and related sectors, offering a unique qualification in the fields of food safety and security.

The Institute for Global Food Security (IGFS), is one of the University's four Global Research Institutes, which is leading the world in addressing one of the greatest challenges – how to ensure the safety of our food.

The world's food supply is reducing. Its production is under increasing pressure, and so safety issues are more likely to arise.

The programme focus will be on new and emerging issues within the field, concentrating on developments in analytical approaches to monitor and regulate food safety, authenticity and security.

Advanced Food Safety highlights
World Class Facilities
•Purpose-built teaching and research facilities are currently being constructed for the Institute of Global Food Security, within the new £39 million Biological Sciences building due to open in 2018.

Internationally Renowned Experts
•You'll study at a university that was at the forefront of uncovering and understanding the horsemeat scandal in 2013. Professor Chris Elliott, Pro Vice-Chancellor for the Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences, led the UK government's independent review of food systems.

Student Experience
•Taught by world leading research staff at the Institute for Global Food Security (IGFS), the programme focuses on new and emerging issues. Concentrating on developments in analytical approaches to monitor and regulate food safety, authenticity and security, you will gain practical experience in the use of conventional and emerging state of the art bioanalytical technology.

Learning and Teaching
Learning opportunities available with this course are outlined below:
At Queen's, we aim to deliver a high quality learning environment that embeds intellectual curiosity, innovation and best practice in learning, teaching and student support to enable student to achieve their full academic potential.

On the MSc in Advanced Food Safety we do this by providing a range of learning experiences which enable our students to engage with subject experts, develop attributes and perspectives that will equip them for life and work in a global society and make use of innovative technologies and a world class library that enhances their development as independent, lifelong learners.

Across a combination of morning and afternoon classes, examples of the opportunities provided for learning on this course are lectures, practical laboratory experiences, self-directed study and supervised research work to enhance employability.

Entry requirements

Normally a 2.2 Honours degree or above in a relevant area of science or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University. Applicants with qualifications below 2.2 Honours degree standard (or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University) will be considered on a case-by-case basis, if they can demonstrate appropriate experience, acceptable to the School.

Admission to the programme(s) under Recognition of Prior Experiential Learning (RPEL) is permissible in the following circumstances:
• A lower level of performance in an Honours degree, in combination with suitable experience.
• Applications will be considered on the basis of experiential learning in combination with a sub-Honours degree level qualification.

The University's Recognition of Prior Learning Policy provides guidance on the assessment of experiential learning (RPEL). Please visit for more information.

International Students
For information on international qualification equivalents, please check the specific information for your country.

English Language Requirements
Evidence of an IELTS* score of 6.0, with not less than 5.5 in any component, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University is required. *Taken within the last 2 years.

International students wishing to apply to Queen's University Belfast (and for whom English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their course of study or research. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for English language for visa purposes.

For more information on English Language requirements for EEA and non-EEA nationals see:

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.
•Academic English: an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level
•Pre-sessional English: a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English.


1 year, full-time.

Careers or further progression

Career Prospects
The Institute for Global Food Security has strong links with industry, companies and government bodies, so you'll have excellent opportunities locally and further afield. Previous graduates have gone on to employment in; local and international agri-food industry sectors; Diagnostic service provision companies; Research and regulatory analyst laboratories and many have gone on to pursue PhD-level study.

Further enquiries

Dr Katrina Campbell 
School of Biological Sciences

Dr Mark Mooney 
Senior Lecturer
Global Food Security

Dr Paul Williams 
School of Biological Sciences

Subjects taught

You will learn about emerging issues within the field of food safety, and focus on analytical approaches to monitor and regulate food safety, authenticity and security.

You will study core topics in the field:
Food safety, health and disease;
Food authenticity and traceability;
Chemical/biological hazards in animal feed and human food;
Current and emerging analytical technologies to prevent food safety incidents.

You'll be assessed by continuous assessment and examination in the following areas:

Advanced Food Bioanalysis
Agri-food Traceability and Fraud
Bio-entrepreneurship and Advanced Skills
Food Safety, Health and Disease
Foundations for Research in the Biosciences
Literature Review

Research Project (triple module)
You'll complete a lab based food safety related research project.

As you might expect for this ever-changing field of research, you'll use both traditional equipment and the latest bioanalytical technology used within the field of food security and food safety.

These include:
GC, HPLC and UPLC separation platforms
ICP, IR, qToF and QqQ mass spectrometers
Microbiological research facilities
Antibody production and biomolecule binder development
Cell culture suite and bioanalytical assay detection systems
NMR, NIR and Raman spectrometers
Proteomic and metabolomic profiling tools
RT-PCR, transcriptomic profiling, Next-generation sequencing
Multiplex biosensor platforms and LFD development

Assessment method

Continuous assessment of coursework, examinations, and assessment of modules based solely on submitted work related to private individual study.

A major component of this degree will involve the completion of a laboratory-based, food safety related research project

Application date

How to Apply
Apply using our online Postgraduate Applications Portal and follow the step-by-step instructions on how to apply.

Enrolment and start dates

Entry year 2020

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