MSc Food Safety

Graduate Taught (level 9 nfq, credits 90)

As the global population increases, creating a demand for even more food, producing safe food has never been as important. Many of us are in the lucky position that we can say we get to eat something everyday, and ideally, that food which we eat should not make us sick or cause us to feel unwell. Put simply: ‘If it isn’t safe, it isn’t food!’.

This programme, which is underpinned by current and ongoing research, will give students a detailed understanding of the issues affecting food safety both from the perspective of the food industry and regulatory authorities, as well as enabling students to develop the necessary analytical skills and theoretical understanding to manage food safety programmes within global food companies or within national and international food safety regulatory agencies. This programme is designed for and will appeal to Science or Technology graduates who currently don’t have a qualification in Food Safety, as well as professionals who are currently working in the Food Industry, that wish to upskill and further develop their expertise in food safety.

Delivered by leading international experts from the UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science and the UCD Institute of Food and Health the MSc Food Safety will develop committed and interdisciplinarily trained graduates skilled in the area of Food Safety in the context of the broader food industry

Careers & Employability

The UCD MSc in Food Safety positions graduates for leadership roles in this critically important area for the Irish and Global economy.

There are excellent career opportunities for graduates in advisory, technical, and management roles both within the food industry, government organisations, and regulatory agencies.

Graduate Roles include:

  • Food Regulation
  • Food Safety and Risk Analysis
  • Food Safety Research
  • Policy Development
  • Scientific Analyst


Curricular information is subject to change

Part Time option suitable for:

Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. Yes

This programme is suitable for individuals working full-time in the food industry charged with improving the safety and security of food systems as well as recent graduates of Science and Technology from areas such as Agriculture, Bioinformatics, Microbiology, and Molecular Biology who are interested in enhancing their knowledge in the area of Food Safety.

Modules include a mixture of autonomous student learning, course work, and lectures. The course is assessed by a combination of assignments, in-trimester continuous assessment exercises, and end-of-trimester examinations.

Modules for students enrolling in this programme include: • Advanced Food Safety and Security • Bioinformatics in Food Safety • Food Chain Integrity • Food Microbiology and Safety • Food Preservation • Food Safety Project • Food Security: Food Access and Availability • Microbiology • One Health • Precision Food Safety in the Genomics Era • Quantitative Risk Assessment for Human and Animal Health • Research Design and Statistics • Risk Analysis in Food Safety • Traceability and Authenticity in Food Supply

This programme is delivered and assessed entirely online. The minimum registration to the MSc is two years, however, students have four years in which to complete the programme thereby affording flexibility. The online format of the programme enables students enrolled to combine studying while in employment.

The goal of this programme is to deliver high-level, committed, and interdisciplinary trained personnel who can function with enhanced professionalism and skills relevant to the area of Food Safety within the food industry.  

Graduates from the MSc Food Safety will:

  • Demonstrate a critical awareness of principles relating to scientific integrity and ethical issues in Food Safety.
  • Develop core principles of Food Safety from a consumer and policy perspective.
  • Develop Knowledge of background of Food Safety and regulation.
  • Familiarity with process of Risk Analysis consisting of: Risk Assessment, Risk Management, and Risk Communication.
  • Identify and knowledge of hazards in the food supply chain.
  • Integrate and apply knowledge of key principles underlying Food Safety.
  • Understanding of development of Food Safety from farm to fork.
  • Use the principles of scientific inquiry to research a particular Food Safety issue.

MSc Food Safety (D079) Part Time
EU/NONEU    fee per credit - € 125.1

***Fees are subject to change

  • Applicants must hold a minimum of a second-class level 8 degree, or international equivalent, in a cognate subject (Science, Engineering, or related discipline) and/or have considerable relevant work experience in the Agri-Food industry.
  •  Applicants who do not hold the requisite Science qualification (but who hold a Level 8 Honours degree or equivalent) have been admitted previously and are advised to submit an application for assessment by the Programme Director to determine eligibility.
  •  Applicants with other awards who hold substantial relevant work experience will be considered.
  • Applicants whose first language is not English must also demonstrate English language proficiency of IELTS 6.5 (no band less than  6.0 in each element), or equivalent.

The following entry routes are available:

MSc Food Safety PT (D079)
2 Years
Part Time

* Courses will remain open until such time as all places have been filled, therefore early application is advised