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Animal Foods


Subject Area Food Science
Credits 5
Start Date 20 January 2025
Duration 12 weeks
Mode of Delivery Online, On-Demand
Course Leader Dr Ajay Menon


50% Learner Fee Subsidy

Application Deadline 06 January 2025

This micro-credential covers the basics and applications of animal derived products with a focus on dairy and meat covering such topics as milk constituents; manufacturing of cheese and other milk products; meat quality, traceability and sustainability; covering future trends and challenges such as aligning with UN SDGs. It provides a blend of theoretical depth and practical insight into animal products and commodities. 

Key Features

This course is suitable for those with a background in biological sciences, agriculture, nutrition, or a related field, who are keen on broadening their knowledge of animal-derived food products. It will particularly benefit those working in or aspiring to careers in food technology, dairy and meat processing industries, research and development, and sustainability-focused roles, offering them insights into the theory and applications of dairy and meat science.

On completion of this micro-credential, you will have a broad knowledge of major animal products- with a focus on meat and dairy products- along with the basic biology, chemistry, economics and current trends as well as future challenges. A major outcome would be the ability to analyse information pertaining to these topics and communicating their ideas and conclusions effectively using widely accepted terminology.

Section 1: Meat

Meat properties including colour, tenderness, water holding, flavour; animal production factors; quality and sustainability; traceability and authenticity of meat products.

Section 2: Milk

This part of the course will cover milk proteins, milk lipids, lactose and other milk constituents; stability of milk and other milk products; cheese, fermented milks, butter and milk powers.

You will acquire a deep understanding of animal-derived food products, enhancing your technical knowledge and practical skills in food science and technology. It will provide the knowledge necessary to build sector specific critical thinking and problem-solving abilities. This approach will prepare you for diverse careers in food production, research, and management.

This micro-credential is delivered through the UCD online learning platform (Brightspace) and will consist of lectures/seminars and critical writing. A repository of resources will be available to support your learning, and as a UCD student, you will have full access to the library.  

This is a 5 ECTS micro-credential and involves approximately 100 hours of learner effort.

Applicants are required to hold an NFQ level 8 Honours degree (minimum 2nd Class Honours Lower) or equivalent in a cognate subject (science or related discipline). 

Applicants who do not meet this requirement may be admitted on the basis of considerable relevant experience. All applications are assessed on a case-by-case basis

Applicants whose first language is not English must demonstrate proof of English proficiency as per UCD's minimum English language requirements.

  • 2 Multiple Choice Questionnaires (covering lectures 1 to 5 and 6 to 10)
  • A written critical report for assessing the overall learning outcomes from the module, to be submitted towards the end of the trimester.

Written feedback will be provided for the written report. Feedback on MCQs will be given automatically on their completion.

Please note: Learners can avail of only one form of funding per application. 

Micro-Credentials Learner Fee Subsidy-Human Capital Initiative Pillar 3

The HCI Pillar 3 Micro-credential Learner Fee Subsidy has been introduced to enable more learners to address critical skills gaps and engage with lifelong learning through micro-credentials. The HCI Pillar 3 Micro-credential Learner Fee Subsidy is funded by Higher Education Authority (HEA) and the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science. 

HCI Micro-credential Learner Fee Subsidies are available on identified micro-credentials only and in fixed numbers from March 2024 until October 2025.  

Please see Eligibility Criteria for further information.