Postgraduate - taught prospectus

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

For professionals involved in the safe supply of food to consumers, this online Master’s in Food Safety and Quality Management provides the knowledge and skills to advance your career.

If you work in the food supply chain, our online MSc Food Safety and Quality Management provides an ideal opportunity to consolidate your experience and learn more about your industry. You'll study safety and quality management systems following the 'farm-to-fork' approach, as well as the agents of foodborne illness and the control and enforcement measures that ensure our food is safe.

This online course is based upon the successful taught course, which has run since 2001. Benefit from the expertise and experience of the Natural Resources Institute's (NRI) food safety and quality management team, which has carried out research for over 40 years.


  • 3-6 years distance learning

Start month


Home/international fees

Fees information

What you should know about this course

  • A course for professionals working in food manufacturing, including government officials with responsibility for ensuring food for consumption is safe and wholesome.
  • Gain a Master's degree part-time by e-learning and design your own work/life balance.
  • Partial fee scholarships are currently available to both home and international students. Contact the Programme Leader, Linda Nicolaides, for details.

What you will 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.

About the course team

At NRI, we hold high professional standards and place the student experience at the heart of all we do. We have over 80 academics publishing work of internationally leading quality, with 22 professors involved in research leadership. Many of our staff have become Fellows, Senior Fellows and Principal Fellows of the Higher Education Academy.

The course leader is Linda Nicolaides.

Come and visit us

You can find out a lot about a university online, but to really get a feel for what it's like to live and study here you should come and visit. Come take a look at our historic campuses in London and Kent.

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Entry requirements

If you are

Applicants should have: 

A Bachelor's degree at 2.2 or above. 

OR an equivalent professional qualification in an appropriate science subject. 

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

* Students educated in a language other than English should have an IELTS score of 6.0 (with a minimum of 5.5 in each skill) or equivalent.

* Applicants from other backgrounds may be considered. Please email the Programme Leader at

For more information, contact or 020 8331 9000.

You can also read our admissions policy.

The University of Greenwich accepts a broad range of international qualifications for admission to our courses.

For detailed information on the academic and English language requirements, please find your country in our directory.

Alternatively, please contact us:

Available to overseas students?


Can I use prior learning?

It may be possible to consider your prior learning and experience, particularly if you have significant work-based experience in related subjects.

How you will learn

Learning experience

Experiential learning is supported by teaching and learning resources, including digital and broadcast media as well as traditional written materials. You will be supported to engage in a range of digital resources for the purposes of teaching, learning and assessments. 

All teaching and learning activities are supported by online academic counselling, study skills tuition, and pastoral guidance by personal tutors to meet the university academic requirements.

Class sizes

The e-learning course does not take place in a standard classroom, but it is possible to correspond with others who are studying this course remotely.

Independent learning

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. 

E-learning requires the discipline to study independently, so you will have to ensure that you make sufficient time to meet your requirements.

Overall workload

The e-learning course helps professionals working in the food chain to address your continuing professional development (CPD) needs while studying at times that fit around your professional lifestyle.

You can split your studies over a number of years to cope with the demands of postgraduate study alongside your other commitments.


Students are assessed through a range of methods:

  • Written case studies and reports 
  • Essays 
  • Presentations, some pre-recorded and narrated video presentations
  • Online quizzes 
  • Blogs and graphics 
  • Research project, an industry style report and pitch.

Feedback summary

University policy is to give feedback on assignments within 15 working days of the coursework submission date.

Examination results will be available within 28 days.

Dates and timetables

Each academic year runs from September to June. You can begin the course in September or January.

Full teaching timetables are not usually available until term has started. For any queries, please call 020 8331 9000.

Fees and funding

Your time at university should be enjoyable, rewarding, and free of unnecessary stress. Planning your finances before you come to university can help to reduce financial concerns. We can offer advice on living costs and budgeting, as well as on awards, allowances and loans.

For information about distance and blended learning fees please visit our fees information pages.

Fees information International fees

Accommodation costs

Whether you choose to live in halls of residence or rent privately, we can help you find what you're looking for. We have dedicated accommodation for postgraduate students (Devonport House) available from just £160 per person per week, with bills included. If you require more space or facilities, these options are available at a slightly higher cost. Students based at the Medway Campus can also reside in student halls in Chatham or rent privately in the local area.

Accommodation pages

There is a range of financial support available to support your studies. This includes postgraduate loans, international scholarships, and options for current students and alumni to continue studying at the university.

We also provide advice and support on budgeting, money management and financial hardship.

Financial support

Careers and placements

What sort of careers do graduates pursue?

This qualification will help you accelerate your career in the food industry by supporting your applications for promotion to more senior roles.

Do you provide employability services?

It is anticipated that students will already be working in the food sector.

Support and advice

Academic skills and study support

All teaching and learning activities will be supported by online academic counselling, study skills tuition, and pastoral guidance by personal tutors based upon the university academic requirements.

Accommodation information

Accommodation pages

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