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Food Risk Analysis


Subject Area Food Science
Credits 10
Start Date 09 September 2024
Duration 12 weeks
Mode of Delivery Online 
Course Leader (opens in a new window)Dr. Fiona Lalor
  • €1250 
  • 50% Learner Subsidy Scheme
Application Deadline 26 August 2024

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 examine the concept of risk analysis which includes: Risk Assessment, Risk Management and Risk Communication. You will learn about chemical and microbiological risk assessment, and how these are used in the development of a food risk management strategy and a risk communication plan.

Key Features

This micro-credential 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:

  • Understand the components of risk analysis: Risk Assessment, Risk Management and Risk Communication, in the context of the food supply.
  • Describe the tools used to validate risk assessment strategies.
  • Appreciate the value of a risk analysis approach to guiding global food safety policy.

This micro-credential will begin by looking at the risk analysis framework and expanding on each of the components: risk assessment, management, and communication. We then conduct a comprehensive examination of hazard exposure, and how hazards are tracked in the food chain. We will cover all associated regulations in food. We will also look at how we can utilise food consumption data sets, and mathematical methods, to assess and calculate intake and exposure risk.  We will explore the theory, and some examples, of food safety management and risk communication.

Topics covered: 

  • The Risk Analysis Framework
  • Risk Assessment of Biological and Chemical Hazards
  • Risk Management Theory and Practice
  • Risk Communication and role of EFSA in EU Food Safety
  • Public Perceptions of Food Risk

On completion of this micro-credential, you will be equipped with key knowledge and skills relevant to Risk Analysis within 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 Food Safety Authority of Ireland, as well industry voices in scientific modelling, data analytics and computing enterprise.

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.

  • An essay or PowerPoint presentation describing all steps in the risk analysis of a food safety issue – 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 or PowerPoint presentation.

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.    

Related micro-credentials that might be of interest to you include Food Regulation and Science and Standards of Food Safety. These micro-credentials are also modules on the Professional Diploma in Food Safety and Regulatory Science.