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Food Microbiology

Course Outline
Food is necessary for human survival, is an important source of pleasure, and plays an enormous role in the global economy. Microbes play an essential role in food preservation and safety, food for health and food biotechnology. These are growing areas in all global economies. UCC Microbiology has established a global reputation in food microbiology, based on its research profile and the impact of its graduates in the food industry.

This course covers the breadth of classical and modern food microbiology, including food safety and spoilage; food fermentation; food biotechnology; hygienic production of food; the impact of diet on health; the molecular mechanisms of infectious microbes and the role of the gut microbiota in human health.

The MSc in Food Microbiology is a structured one-year full-time course which includes a six-month lab-based research dissertation. The aim of this course is to educate you to an MSc level in food microbiology, emphasising areas in which UCC engages actively in research, e.g. food biotechnology, food fermentations, food safety, food for health.

The course will give you the knowledge and skills to contribute to Irish and international food industries. Modules will be chosen with the approval of the Programme Board depending on your background.

After completing this course you will have:
advanced theoretical education and practical training in the area of food microbiology

greater knowledge and understanding of current issues in food microbiology

laboratory research practice in food microbiology

knowledge from different aspects of food microbiology and formulation of appropriate judgements on scientific research

ability to survey scientific literature at a professional level

knowledge, understanding and problem-solving skills to address practical issues in the food industry and work there at management level.

Further details on the content and modules are available on the Postgraduate College Calendar.

Why Choose This Course
UCC is one of Ireland's oldest institutions of higher education, the first Irish 5 Star University and the Sunday Times Irish University of the year 2011-12. Microbiology in UCC can trace its history to 1924 and we are now the leading microbiology academic centre in Ireland (based on publication output). Much of the course is delivered by active research staff who are global leaders in a number of food microbiology fields (microbiological safety of foods, food/milk fermentation, probiotics, and bacteriocins). Our first-rate facilities include extensive, well equipped laboratories with state of the art analytical/technology platforms.

Placement or Study Abroad Information
Research Opportunities
Candidates generally carry out their research in the laboratories of the University. It may be possible, with the prior approval of the Programme Co-ordinator, to undertake the research project in another appropriate academic or industrial setting.

Entry requirements

Requirements
Candidates must be holders of an honours BSc degree, or equivalent qualification, in a discipline with a significant element of laboratory science, with a minimum of second class honours Grade 2 or equivalent. However, candidates with equivalent academic qualifications may be accepted subject to the approval of College. The number of places is limited and selection will be made on the basis of the candidate's performance in his/her primary degree or interview.

English Language Requirements
Applicants that are non-native speakers of the English language must meet the university approved English language requirements available here.

For applicants with qualifications completed outside of Ireland
Applicants must meet the required entry academic grade, equivalent to Irish requirements, please find our grades comparison by country here.

International/non-EU applicants
For full details of the non-EU application procedure please visit our how to apply pages for international students. In UCC, we use the term programme and course interchangeably to describe what a person has registered to study in UCC and its constituent colleges, schools, and departments.

Not all courses are open to international/non-EU applicants.

For more information please contact the International Office.

Duration

1 year Full-time

Careers or further progression

Skills and Careers Information
The MSc in Food Microbiology is designed to equip graduates to work in a range of management, research and innovation roles within the Irish and international food, beverage and associated industries. Graduates will be in a position to support new product development, innovation and quality assurance functions in the dairy, meat, consumer foods, soft and alcoholic beverages and food ingredients sectors. Graduates will also be equipped to work in a range of other areas such as contract food-testing laboratories, the regulatory and consumer protection sectors. Graduates also have the option of proceeding to further studies at PhD level.

Further enquiries

Prof. Colin Hill
e: c.hill@ucc.ie
t: +353 21 490 1373
http://www.ucc.ie/en/microbiology/

Comment

Course Practicalities
Lectures and workshops are conducted between 9am and 6pm (Monday to Friday). Up to 138 lecture hours with approximately 70 additional directed study/reading hours can be expected. There are 38 hours of laboratory practicals/workshops, which may be carried out as half-day or full-day workshops. Students also complete a six-month lab-based research dissertation on a topic in the area of food microbiology, performed under the supervision of a member of staff and in some cases co-supervised by collaborating research centres. The project aims to enhance your laboratory skills and critical abilities in identifying, analysing and solving problems in scientific research and to develop your skills in communicating your results.

Who teaches this course?
Each lecturer teaches in his or her area of research specialisation. Students on this course also benefit from the input of a variety of invited lecturers from the Irish food industries and regulatory authority.
Professor Gerald Fitzgerald, Chair Food Microbiology
Dr Marcus Claesson, Bioinformatics
Dr David Clarke, Bacteria-host Interactions
Professor Colin Hill, Chair Microbial Food Safety
Dr John Morrissey, Biotechnology, Fungal Biology
Dr Niall O'Leary, Environmental & Marine Biotechnology
Professor Paul O'Toole, Chair of Microbial Genomics
Professor Douwe van Sinderen, Molecular Microbiology
Dr Joseph Bogue, (Department of Food Business and Development) Food Marketing
Professor Alan Kelly, (School of Food and Nutritional Sciences and Dean of Graduate Studies) Processing and Preservation of Food, and Dairy Products.

Assessment method

The course uses a variety of assessment methods. Most modules are assessed by in-term continuous assessment and/or end-of-year examinations. In-term exams can be either multiple choice type questions (MCQs) or written papers (normally 1.5h duration). Most modules include assignments, dissertation and reports as part of the assessment methodology. Modules that contain workshop/practical components are also assessed using written reports/assignments. The laboratory research project is assessed by a combination of laboratory performance, written report and oral presentation. The research project (MB6007) is written up in the form of a dissertation and approved by an external examiner.

Application date

Applications for academic year 2020/2021 are open.

EU Applicants: UCC operates a rounds closing date system for the majority of postgraduate taught courses, which means offers are made four times a year on a rolling basis. Some courses have one specific closing date, please check your course prospectus page for this information.

The UCC rounds closing dates for postgraduate taught courses are below. Applicants are advised to apply as soon as possible.

Deadline for receipt of full applications:
For all completed applications received by January 10th 2020
Offers will be made by January 24th 2020

For all completed applications received by March 2nd 2020
Offers will be made by March 16th 2020

For all completed applications received by May 1st 2020
Offers will be made by May 15th 2020

For all completed applications received by July 1st 2020
Offer will be made by July 15th 2020

Late applications may be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis for any courses that have remaining capacity.

Non-EU Closing Date: 15 June
Non-EU Applicants: Information for Non-EU applicants may be found on the International Office Website https://www.ucc.ie/en/international/

Enrolment and start dates

Start Date 7 September 2020

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