Institution / Queens University Belfast

Global Food Security, Food Safety - Distance Learning

This online distance learning Global Food Security (Food Safety) postgraduate programme will be delivered by leading research active staff within the internationally recognised Institute for Global Food Security (IGFS) based at Queen’s University Belfast.

This unique food safety course will comprise specialist modules such as chemical and microbiological feed and food safety, health, global food legislation, food fraud and advanced analytical methods for detecting food safety issues. The course is particularly suitable for those working in the agri-food industry, regulatory agencies and analytical communities who wish to develop their knowledge to a higher level.

Awards will be available at Postgraduate Certificate (PgCert) and Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip) level, and to Masters level following completion of a dissertation-based module.

Why Queen's?
The Institute for Global Food Security at Queen’s University Belfast aims to play a major role in delivering safe, sustainable and authentic food to the world’s population, and has become globally recognised for its excellence in research. It was ranked number one for research intensity in the UK for agriculture, veterinary and food science (REF 2014).

The distance-learning format is particularly suitable if you are in full or part-time employment as you can organise your studies around your work and family commitments. Furthermore, the flexible format permits study breaks between academic years if required. In addition, employers support our distance learning format as staff do not require regular leave to attend on-campus. Students download their study materials, participate in course discussions, test their learning, watch video presentations and participate in webinars delivered by food security experts via the University’s Moodle based delivery platform.

Course Details
Students can study the Masters part-time over a period of 3 years, the Postgraduate Diploma part-time over a period of 2 years and the Postgraduate Certificate part-time over a period of 1 year. You can also enrol initially for a 1 year Postgraduate Certificate and if successful continue to the Postgraduate Diploma and /or Masters.

Students aiming for MSc qualification will study 60CATS each year, normally the two Postgraduate Certificate modules [60CATS] in the first year, the additional two modules for the Postgraduate Diploma [60CATS; total 120CATS] in second year, and the Dissertation [60CATS; total 180CATS] in third year as described below:

Students can start the course in either September or February of each academic year.

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), or with relevant work experience, will be considered on a case by case basis, if they can demonstrate appropriate experience, acceptable to the School.

Minimum technical requirements for students enrolling on the programme:
•PC or laptop (of reasonable specification with webcam or camera)
•Good internet connection
•Up to date browser (with standard plugins)
•PDF reader
•Word processor

For information on international qualification equivalents please select Your Country from the list on our International Students website.

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. 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).

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 programme, our partner INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability to entry to this programme.

English for University Study - 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


3 years part-time.

Learning and Teaching
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.

The programme is only taught part time with students undertaking 1 module per semester.

Modern online technology and dynamic advanced audio and video tools will be employed to achieve a stimulating teaching and learning experience.

Careers or further progression

Career Prospects
This programme will be suitable for anyone who wants to know more about this increasingly important area, those working within the wider Agri-food industry sector including food production, processing and retail, regulatory and governmental control agencies, and research organisations.

Queen's postgraduates reap exceptional benefits. Unique initiatives, such as Degree Plus and Researcher Plus bolster our commitment to employability, while innovative leadership and executive programmes alongside sterling integration with business experts helps our students gain key leadership positions both nationally and internationally.

Further enquiries

Dr Mark Mooney
Institute for Global Food Security School of Biological Sciences
Tel: 9097 6537

Subjects taught

Modules (Including next available start dates)
•Food integrity, fraud and traceability 30 CATS (Provisional start date – February 27th 2017)

•Advanced analytical tools for food security 30 CATS (Provisional start date – October 2nd 2017)

•Food safety and health 30 CATS (Provisional start date – 2nd October 2017)

•Global food standards and legislation 30 CATS (Provisional start date – February 2018)

•Dissertation 60 CATS (start date to be agreed with programme coordinator)

On-line module delivery is currently planned to be 15 weeks long, with required estimated student time per week of between 15-20 hours.

Each module is available for a specified 20 week period each academic year. On-line material will be released over a 15 week content delivery period with a further 5 weeks for completion

and submission of the final assessment element.

Module content will be opened up on a blockby-block basis every 3 weeks and students will work at their own pace through content completing continuous assessment tasks to agreed schedules.

Assessment method

Assessment & Feedback
A range of assessment instruments will be used including on-line questionnaires, case studies, simulation-based assignments, presentations and written coursework.

Available facilities and capabilities within the school 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 bioassay 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

Application date

Postgraduate Taught
Closing dates do apply for some of our courses, and details of these are available on our Course Finder. We advise you to apply as early as possible, particularly for those courses where there is a high demand for places. Early application is also important for international applicants to allow sufficient time to obtain a student entry visa.

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

Enrolment and start dates

Entry year: 2018

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