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Food Safety and Quality Management e-learning, MSc/PGDip/PGCert Postgraduate prospectus

  • A programme for professionals working in food manufacturing.
  • Government officials with responsibility for ensuring food for consumption is safe and wholesome
  • Gain a Master's degree part-time by e-learning.
  • Study in your own time and design your own work/life balance.

Overview

Overview

The MSc Food Safety and Quality Management e-learning programme is aimed at professionals working in and supporting the supply of safe and wholesome food to consumers who want to deepen their technical knowledge of the industries they are engaged. The programme will enable you to gain employment in the food industry, and will support career progression.

You will consolidate your knowledge of the causal agents of foodborne illness and the control measures that need to be applied to ensure that food and feed are safe and wholesome. You will study safety and quality management systems based upon the principles of Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) following the 'farm to fork' approach. You will also study the role of national food control systems, food law and enforcement in the context of national and international standards and the promotion of international trade. In addition, you will investigate safety and quality issues of a wide range of commodities and manufactured foods. The programme is designed to be delivered entirely by e-learning, to allow students to learn at the pace that fits in with their specific work/life balance.

This programme is based upon the successful taught programme offered by the university since 2001 and is based upon the expertise and experiences of the Natural Resources Institute's (NRI) food safety and quality management team, which has carried out research and capacity-building work for over 40 years. Over 300 students have graduated from the taught programme and many now occupy senior leadership positions in the food industry as well as national and local governments around the world.

Degree structure

To be awarded an MSc, students must have successfully completed 180 credits of study. The design of the programme enables professionals to take exit awards of PGCert (60 credits) and PGDip (120 credits), and re-enter the programme if required, to match the demands of their professional lives. 

Natural Resources Institute

The programme team is made up of scientists working within the award-winning Natural Resources Institute, a specialist research institute of the University of Greenwich which has an international reputation founded on excellence in teaching, training and research.

Work/life balance

The e-learning programme has been designed for technical staff working in the food supply chain who do not have time to attend the programme in the contact mode. The e-learning format enables professionals working in the food chain to address their continuing professional development (CPD) needs whilst studying at times that fit into their professional life style.

Teaching and assessment

Experiential learning is supported by teaching and learning resources including digital and broadcast media, as well as traditional written materials.  Students will be supported to engage in a range of digital resources for the purposes of teaching, learning and for formative and summative assessments. Digital engagement will be tailored to meet the specific needs of students and academic staff and allows students to interact socially whilst learning. E-learning broadcasts of key topics and tutorials will be included on the platform.  All teaching and learning activities will be supported by online academic counselling, study skills tuition, pastoral guidance by personal tutors based upon the University academic requirements.

What you'll study

Food Safety (30 Credits)
This course explores the importance of food safety in a global context through discussing and analysing foodborne disease, allowing students to critically evaluate food safety hazards and determine their significance as risks posed to public health in a variety of settings. The management and control of hazards during the production of foods and feed, applicable to all food production environments will be analysed and discussed in detail. Students will be equipped with the knowledge to assess the causes of foodborne disease and determine what preventative strategies should be employed to mitigate risks associated with the consumption of contaminated food. Students will be able to develop and use a number of key skills necessary for study at postgraduate level.

Food Safety and Quality Management (30 credits)
Food and animal feed are produced as a consequence of a wide variety of activities which occur throughout the food chain, from the farm to the fork. Consequently, the safety and quality of the final product which emerges from a production system will be determined by the safety and quality of the individual stages within that system. This course adopts a systems approach to the achievement of safety and quality. Within this framework of Process or Product Quality Management, the course addresses the principles of systems science and safety and quality management systems, and their combined role in the achievement of sustainable product safety and quality. Risk analysis and its application in determining Food Safety Objectives (FSOs) will also be investigated.

Research Methods (15 credits)
The aims of this course are to equip students with the tools they will need to study at MSc level, to understand the nature of research, the differences between qualitative and quantitative research, and reflect upon the value of different routes to knowledge. Communication skills will be strengthened and students will be encouraged to work independently on the preparation and planning for research proposals and dissertations/reports.

Research Project (45 credits)
The project is a key element of study in any programme leading to a Masters award. It is the point where the knowledge and understanding acquired during the taught course is synthesised and applied to the student's area of interest. Students reaching this stage will have acquired some experience of research methods and report writing through activities integrated into the programme as well as the completion of the Research Methods course. The Research Project will build upon that experience and recognising that the programme is aimed at people working in the food sector, will be work based. The Project will involve identifying a relevant issue within the work place and designing a protocol to research the issue. The project report will present a critical analysis of the data collected and the student will present conclusions and a proposal to address the issue.

Food Law and Enforcement (15 credits)
This course enables students to gain an understanding of national, European and global legislation with the aim of ensuring the supply of safe and wholesome food. The importance of legal and regulatory requirements to protect human health and the safety of food and feeds will be considered. Students will also gain an understanding of how risk analysis is used in the process of establishing standards for safety and quality and about making informed decisions on food safety control measures and inspections. The enforcement processes followed to manage food safety systems and confirm their conformity to national and international requirements will be reflected upon.

Food Safety and World Trade (15 credits)
Food safety regulations affect consumer health, food habits and food productivity in all countries and regions of the world. In this dynamic field it is important for businesses, NGOs and all development practitioners to understand issues of food safety; hazards of food contamination; strategies that can impact on the viability of small and medium enterprises, the ability of these enterprises to meet new standards, and the means by which food safety regulations are drafted and implemented.

Food Quality Assurance (15 credits)
This course is designed to provide understanding of food quality parameters and best practice when handling, manufacturing and distributing a range of foods and feeds and to provide knowledge on the operational issues that occur in the food chain, primary production and food manufacturing businesses. Students will learn how to critically assess the food industry and understand the importance of using preventive systems to ensure the production of a safe and wholesome food supply, compliant with international legislative requirements. Students will also gain an understanding of compliance with food specifications, including an understanding of factors which contribute to a consignment being fit for purpose, i.e. safe for human consumption.

Management of Foodborne Hazards (15 credits)
The management of foodborne hazards in food processing environments can be a major challenge faced by food manufacturers, distributors and retailers globally and across the entire supply chain. This course aims to develop students' understanding of practices to limit the impact of foodborne hazards in food production environments. Through the course materials, students are enabled to evaluate the processes involved in the preparation, production and handling of food in relation to their potential to cause harm to the consumer due to the presence of potential hazards.

Entry requirements

A Bachelor's degree at 2.2 or above

Or an equivalent UK or overseas qualification

Or a relevant professional qualification and experience in the field of food safety and technology.

It may be possible to take into account acquired prior learning and experience, particularly for individuals with significant work-based experience in related subjects.

If you were educated in a language other than English and/or in a country where English speakers are in a minority, you should have a minimum IELTS score of 6.0 (with a minimum of 5.5. in each skill) or an equivalent rating in another Secure English Language test.

Extra information

Assessment

Students are assessed through a combination of written case studies and reports, essays, presentations – some pre-recorded, video presentations (narrated), tutorials and on-line discussion, quizzes, blog posts, infographics and the research project – an industry style report and pitch (presentation).

Careers

Graduates from this programme will have the knowledge and skills to pursue careers in food safety and quality management in a variety of positions along the food chain, including working within Competent Authorities in areas of the development of legislation and standards to food analysis and inspection. Graduates can also seek roles in the food industry such as quality and technical managers.

Scholarships

Partial fee scholarships are available at present which mean that the cost of the programme for both home and international students is £5,400 for the full MSc, which equates to £900 for 30 credits studied.

Come and get a feel for what learning and life is like with us.

Contact Us

Contact the Programme Leader, Linda Nicolaides

Further information about the Natural Resources Institute www.nri.org

Fees and finance

Your time at university should be enjoyable and rewarding, and it is important that it is not spoilt by unnecessary financial worries. We recommend that you spend time planning your finances, both before coming to university and while you are here. We can offer advice on living costs and budgeting, as well as on awards, allowances and loans.

Find out more about our fees and the support available to you at our:

Come and get a feel for what learning and life is like with us.

Next Open Day

Open Day dates

Apply now and begin your journey.

How to apply

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