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Science and Standards of Food Safety


Subject Area Food Science
Credits 10
Start Date 20 May 2024
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 13 May 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 learn about the impact of Food Safety on the globalisation of the food supply, as well as the key principles of various food safety management processes, and the global regulatory framework.

You will examine potential hazards in the food chain and develop an in-depth understanding of the importance of measuring, monitoring and minimising food risks across the food chain.

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 key food safety issues and management strategies across the food chain.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of potential hazards and strategies to minimise them.
  • Understand the role of food industry standards in the management of food safety.

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 food safety management processes, and regulatory frameworks 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 as Public Health experts.

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 presentation including risk reduction strategy on a product and potential hazards throughout the production process– 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 presentation.

Safefood is currently offering to fund members of the (opens in a new window)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 (opens in a new window)Safefood Food Safety Skills Fund.

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

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.