Taught course

Food Safety, Hygiene and Management

University of Birmingham · Department of Chemical Engineering

Entry requirements

For entry to this programme you will require one of the following: At least a Second Class Honours degree awarded by an approved University or Institution in an appropriate subject. A degree without Honours, awarded by an approved University or Institution in an appropriate subject, followed by at least two years approved postgraduate experience.

Months of entry

October, September

Course content

This programme provides advanced academic training in food safety and food control.
You will consider the relationship between food and public health, and examine the scientific, technical, managerial, political and legislative factors that influence food safety.
Chemical Engineering is dynamic and evolving. It provides many solutions to problems facing industries in the pharmaceutical, biotechnological, oil, energy and food and drink sectors. It is vital to many issues affecting our quality of life; such as better and more economical processes to reduce the environmental burden, and more delicious and longer-lasting food due to the right combination of chemistry, ingredients and processing.
The course is modular in nature, comprising 180 credits. Of these, 120 credits are taught modules which are organized into 4 modules, each of thirty credits. The remaining 60 credits comprise a research component.
The MSc is available as a full-time course (one year) or as a part-time course. It is also possible to take only the taught elements, in which case either a Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits) or a Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits) will be awarded after successful completion of the relevant modules.
Part time candidates may register for as few as one or as many as four taught modules in any given academic year.
  • Part-time Postgraduate Certificate – A candidate who successfully completes any two of the four taught modules may be awarded a Postgraduate Certificate in Food Safety and Food Legislation
  • Part-time Postgraduate Diploma – A candidate who successfully completes all of the four taught modules may be awarded a Postgraduate Diploma in Food Safety and Food Legislation
  • Part-time MSc programme – the taught elements are completed first, over one or two years with the research element taken as the final year
Full-time MSc programme – both elements are undertaken concurrently (open to overseas students).
Module Description
Food and Microbes – 30 Credits.
Food safety - factory visitThis module considers the relationship between food-borne pathogens, spoilage organisms and food structure. Current knowledge regarding the microbiological characteristics, virulence and disease associations of the bacterial, viral, fungal and protozoan pathogens associated with food-borne illness will be reviewed, including techniques available for their detection and characterisation. Current food poisoning trends and epidemiological data will be considered, together with the role of individuals and organisations in the investigation of food poisoning.
Food Control – 30 Credits
A detailed examination of the main food legislation will be undertaken in this module, including general food safety and food hygiene legislation and also imported food legislation. It will include the application of EC legislation and UK requirements, evidence gathering and legal procedure as they relate to contraventions of food safety law, together with the relevant guidance on the subjects. Consideration will also be given to the sources of and influences on food legislation. The interaction of government agencies, enforcement authorities, the consumer and the industry will an underlying theme.
Food Hygiene Management – 30 Credits.
This module is an examination of the systems used to control food safety hazards, including pest control, recall procedures, risk assessment, HACCP and related safety systems and quality assurance systems. The module sets these systems within a practical context and considers the security of food at a premises, community and global level.
Food Manufacture and Technology – 30 Credits.
In this module the principles of food manufacture and technology will be explained in the context of food safety. Traditional and novel approaches to processing, packaging will be covered, including control of chemical and foreign object contamination.
Research Techniques – 10 Credits.
This module is designed to provide students with the underpinning skills to design, perform and complete a piece of independent research.
Major Project – 50 Credits.
This module allows a student to explore a particular area of food safety, hygiene or management in more depth. After research training is completed students will undertake a major research project consisting of approximately 12 weeks data gathering and analysis. This will be submitted as a dissertation.
Taught modules are assessed through either a combination of examination and coursework or by coursework alone
The research project is assessed through a written research report and a viva.

Explore postgraduate study at Birmingham at one of our on-campus open days (Friday 13 November 2015. Register to attend at: www.birmingham.ac.uk/pgopendays

If you can’t make it to one of our on-campus open days, our virtual open days run regularly throughout the year. For more information, please visit: www.pg.bham.ac.uk

Information for international students

International students can find further details of scholarships at www.international.birmingham.ac.uk/scholarships

Fees and funding

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Qualification and course duration


part time
24 months
full time
12 months


part time
12 months


part time
6 months

Course contact details

Postgraduate Enquiry Service
0121 414 5005