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Food Risk Analysis


Subject Area Food Science
Credits 10
Start Date Sept 2023
Duration 12 weeks
Mode of Delivery Online 
Lead Academic Dr. Fiona Lalor
Fee €1250
Application Deadline 04/09/2023

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 explore in detail food safety crises and their impact on the globalisation of food supply. We will take a comprehensive look at the potential food safety hazards that threaten the food supply chain, and investigate emerging methods in hazard identification. We will also cover the Precision Food Safety approach to food safety, and quality control frameworks for the food and beverage industry. 

Topics covered: 

  • Regulatory Framework underpinning Food Safety Standards
  • Food Safety Hazards - Biological, Chemical and Physical 
  • Food Quality - EU Reflections 
  • Emerging Methods in Hazard Identification
  • Precision Food Safety 
  • Quality Control Systems for the Food and Beverage Industry
  • Allergens
  • Introduction to Blockchain

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.

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, and are advised to contact fiona.lalor@ucd.ie to determine eligibility prior to submitting an application.

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.

Safefood is currently offering to fund members of the Safefood Knowledge Network to upskill in the areas of Food Safety. The Food Safety Skills Fund Programme is open to Safefood Knowledge Network members employed in the island of Ireland and aims to enhance members' knowledge of food safety practices in Ireland. The programme year runs until the 31st of  December 2023 and offers a limited number of funded bursaries to a maximum of €1,200. Find out about the Safefood Food Safety Skills Fund.

Related micro-credentials that might be of interest to you include Food Regulation and Science and Standards of Food Safety. These three micro-credentials can be stacked into a Professional Diploma in Food Safety and Regulatory Science. 

Some UCD micro-credentials can (or may in the future) be stacked into a university award. Please note that learners seeking to stack micro-credentials into an award at a later stage, will need to provide documentary evidence that they meet the relevant entry requirements for that award, for example, academic transcripts.

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