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Food Regulation


Subject Area Food Science
Credits 10
Start Date 20 January 2025
Duration 12 weeks
Mode of Delivery Online 
Course Leader (opens in a new window)Dr. Fiona Lalor


50% Learner Fee Subsidy (Please see below) 

Application Deadline 6 January 2025

Food Safety is an essential Public Health issue, without which there is a significant threat to health from foodborne disease. Understanding the legislation, policy and science behind maintaining a safe food system is essential for regulatory bodies, government and the agri-food industry. This micro-credential gives you all the convenience that online, flexible, learning offers, as well as an upskilling opportunity with strong industry alignment, and all the benefits that being a registered UCD student provides. 

In this micro-credential, you will be introduced to food safety regulation, and how it has evolved in the EU and globally. You will learn about the current Global Food Regulatory landscape, the history and development of Food Regulation across various global regions, and the role of key players in this process. Lastly, you will develop an in-depth understanding of the principles, concepts and regulatory requirements of food labelling, covering both nutrition and health claims.

Key Features

This micro-credential is aimed at anyone looking to advance their career in the area of food safety and regulation. It has been designed for professionals who are currently working in, or who have previous experience of, the food and beverage industry, regulatory bodies, government departments or trade organisations, who wish to learn from leading UCD academics and industry experts in the areas of food safety and regulatory science.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this micro-credential, you will be able to:

  • Describe Global Food Regulatory Systems and how this shapes policy.
  • Understand the regulatory context for the development of legislation in areas such as food hygiene, food labelling, nutrition and health claims, novel foods, food additives etc. 
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the role of key stakeholders in the Food Regulatory environment.

This micro-credential will provide a comprehensive overview of food safety regulation. We will first establish background and context, reviewing the history of food safety regulation, current food regulatory systems and international legislation in operation. After this, we will investigate key concepts and regulatory requirements in food safety, covering nutrition and health claims, additives, labelling, food incidents and the concepts of food fraud and defence. We will close out this course with a look at the role of non-regulatory bodies like consumer and business-led agencies in the development of food regulation.  

Topics covered: 

  • History of Food Regulation
  • Food Regulatory Systems
  • Principal Food Safety Legislation (EU and US)
  • Food Labelling 
  • Nutrition and Health Claims
  • Food Additives
  • Novel foods and GMOs 
  • Food Incidents and Recalls
  • Food Fraud
  • Other Agencies’ and Stakeholders’ role in Food Regulation

On completion of this micro-credential, you will be equipped with key knowledge and skills relevant to Food Regulation in the food industry, and will have developed deep, discipline-specific knowledge. Such specific learnings can enhance your career options, progression and capabilities within the food industry, regulatory body, or within your own business.

This micro-credential has been developed with up-to-date input and expertise from industry, food law experts and enforcement agencies, such as the Food Safety Authority of Ireland.

The European Union recently amended the food hygiene regulation with the publication of Commission Regulation 2021/382.  This new Regulation requires food business operators to establish and provide evidence of an appropriate food safety culture.

These micro-credentials are very relevant upskilling courses - the overarching goal of a food safety culture is that everyone involved in the food business is responsible for food safety. It requires a multi-disciplinary, multi-level approach that can respond and adapt to an organisation's needs over time. 

This micro-credential is delivered through the UCD online learning platform (Brightspace) and will consist of online lectures, videos, interactive learning, discussion boards and virtual classroom environments. 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 micro-credential includes tutorials to support your learning, and there will also be interviews with guest speakers from the world of food safety and regulatory science.

This is a 10 ECTS micro-credential and involves approximately 200 hours of learner effort, including online lectures, tutorials, required reading and autonomous learning.

Applicants are required to hold an NFQ level 8 Honours degree (minimum 2nd Class Honours Lower) or equivalent. Ideally, applicants should be currently working in, or have previous experience of, the food and beverage industry, regulatory bodies, government departments or trade organisations.

Applicants who do not hold a NFQ Level 8 Honours degree or equivalent may be admitted on the basis of having considerable relevant work experience.

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

All applications are assessed on a case-by-case basis.

  • A 3,500 word essay – 80%
  • Two Multiple Choice Questionnaires - 10% each

A grade will be provided for the Multiple-Choice Questionnaires and feedback via marking rubric will be provided for the essay.

The Food Regulation micro-credential is also a module on the Professional Diploma in Food Safety and Regulatory Science.

By completing the following three micro-credentials in Food Regulation, Science and Standards of Food Safety, and Food Risk Analysis, learners can earn a Professional Diploma in Food Safety and Regulatory Science.

Please note: It is not necessary to take these micro-credentials in any specific order. Courses are subject to availability.

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.