This online Global Food Security (Food Safety) postgraduate programme will be delivered by leading research active staff within the internationally recognised Institute for Global Food Security (IGFS) based at Queen’s University Belfast.

This unique food safety course will comprise specialist modules such as chemical and microbiological feed and food safety, health, global food legislation, food fraud and advanced analytical methods for detecting food safety issues. The course is particularly suitable for those working in the agri-food industry, regulatory agencies and analytical communities who wish to develop their knowledge to a higher level.

Awards will be available at Postgraduate Certificate (PgCert) and Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip) level, and to Masters level following completion of a dissertation-based module.

Global Food Security (Food Safety) highlights

“Food safety and food security is now one of the most important topics in science across the world.” Professor Chris Elliott

Internationally Renowned Experts

  • The Institute for Global Food Security at Queen’s University Belfast aims to play a major role in delivering safe, sustainable and authentic food to the world’s population, and has become globally recognised for its excellence in research. It was ranked number one for research intensity in the UK for agriculture, veterinary and food science (REF 2014).

Student Experience

  • The online format is particularly suitable if you are in full or part-time employment as you can organise your studies around your work and family commitments. Furthermore, the flexible format permits study breaks between academic years if required. In addition, employers support our distance learning format as staff do not require regular leave to attend on-campus. Students download their study materials, participate in course discussions, test their learning, watch video presentations and participate in webinars delivered by food security experts via the University’s Moodle based delivery platform.

Course content

Course Structure

Course Details
Students can study the Masters part-time over a period of 3 years, the Postgraduate Diploma part-time over a period of 2 years and the Postgraduate Certificate part-time over a period of 1 year. You can also enrol initially for a 1 year Postgraduate Certificate and if successful continue to the Postgraduate Diploma and /or Masters.

Students aiming for MSc qualification will study 60CATS each year, normally the two Postgraduate Certificate modules [60CATS] in the first year, the additional two modules for the Postgraduate Diploma [60CATS; total 120CATS] in second year, and the Dissertation [60CATS; total 180CATS] in third year as described below:

Students can start the course in either September or February of each academic year.

On-line module delivery is currently planned to be 15 weeks long, with required estimated student time per week of between 15-20 hours.

Each module is available for a specified 20 week period each academic year. On-line material will be released over a 15 week content delivery period with a further 5 weeks for completion and submission of the final assessment element.

Module content will be opened up on a block-by-block basis every 3 weeks and students will work at their own pace through content completing continuous assessment tasks to agreed schedules.
Food Integrity, Fraud and Traceability (30 CATS)
Advanced Analytical Tools for Food Security (30 CATS)
Food Safety and Health (30 CATS)
Global Food Standards and Legislation (30 CATS)
Dissertation (60 CATS)

People teaching you

Dr Mark Mooney
Senior Lecturer
School of Biological Sciences
Email: mark.mooney@qub.ac.uk

Dr Susanne Boyd
School of Biological Sciences
Susanne Boyd joined the Institute for Global Food Security, School of Biological Sciences as a Lecturer in Education in July 2016. Susanne obtained her PhD from Queen's in 2004, in the subject field of Veterinary Science, developing novel receptor based methods to detect veterinary drug residues. She worked for a number of years as Laboratory Manager at the Chemical Confirmation Branch of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Veterinary Sciences Division where she oversaw ISO 17025 accreditation and Good Laboratory Practice accreditation, in relation to confirmation of veterinary drug residues in a wide range of animal matrices. In 2005 Susanne joined the FSA where she was primarily involved in the classification of live bivalve molluscs of the various shellfish beds in Northern Ireland in addition to the depuration of shellfish prior to placing on the market. Susanne was also the scientific lead for Food Standards Agency Northern Ireland. In 2008 Susanne became Head of Food Hygiene Standards and Incidents in FSA in NI, which was subsequently restructured and renamed as Incidents, Standards and Science in 2010. Within this role she took operational lead in a number of high profile food standards and food safety incidents, including the 2008 melamine in China investigation, listeriosis outbreaks in NI hospitals in 2012, the second biggest E.coli incident in the UK in 2012, and the horsemeat investigation of 2013. Susanne is also a Winston Churchill Fellow of 1998, where her research into veterinary drug residue detection took her to renowned institutes in Sweden and the Netherlands.

Career Prospects

This programme should allow career progression for those working within the wider Agri-food industry sector including food production, processing and retail, regulatory and governmental control agencies, and research organisations..

Learning and Teaching

At Queen’s, we aim to deliver a high quality learning environment that embeds intellectual curiosity, innovation and best practice in learning, teaching and student support to enable student to achieve their full academic potential.

The programme is only taught part time with students undertaking 1 module per semester.

Modern online technology and dynamic advanced audio and video tools will be employed to achieve a stimulating teaching and learning experience.

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Assessments associated with the course are outlined below:

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Online questionnaires

Case studies

Simulation-based assignments


Written coursework

Entry Requirements

Entrance requirements

Normally a 2.2 Honours degree or above in a relevant area of science or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University.

Applicants with qualifications below 2.2 Honours degree standard (or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University) will be considered on a case by case basis, if they can demonstrate appropriate experience, acceptable to the School.

The University's Recognition of Prior Learning Policy provides guidance on the assessment of experiential learning (RPEL). Please visit http://go.qub.ac.uk/RPLpolicy for more information.


For information on international qualification equivalents, please check the specific information for your country.

English Language Requirements

Evidence of an IELTS* score of 6.0, with not less than 5.5 in any component, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University is required (*taken within the last 2 years).

International students wishing to apply to Queen's University Belfast (and for whom English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their course of study or research. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for English language for visa purposes.

For more information on English Language requirements for EEA and non-EEA nationals see: www.qub.ac.uk/EnglishLanguageReqs.

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.

  • English for University Study: an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level
  • Pre-sessional English: a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English.

INTO - English Language Course(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)

Fees and Funding

Tuition Fees

Northern Ireland (NI) £58
England, Scotland or Wales (GB) £58
Other (non-UK) EU £58
International £58

MSc (T) Global Food Security (Food Safety) 

All tuition fees quoted are for the academic year 2018-19 and relate to one year of study only. Tuition fees will be subject to an annual inflationary increase, unless explicitly stated otherwise.

More information on postgraduate tuition fees.

Additional course costs

All Students

Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies. Students can borrow books and access online learning resources from any Queen's library. If students wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow them from the University Library, prices per text can range from £30 to £100. Students should also budget between £30 to £75 per year for photocopying, memory sticks and printing charges. Students undertaking a period of work placement or study abroad, as either a compulsory or optional part of their programme, should be aware that they will have to fund additional travel and living costs. If a programme includes a major project or dissertation, there may be costs associated with transport, accommodation and/or materials. The amount will depend on the project chosen. There may also be additional costs for printing and binding. Students may wish to consider purchasing an electronic device; costs will vary depending on the specification of the model chosen. There are also additional charges for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.

Global Food Security (Food Safety) costs

There are no specific additional course costs associated with this programme. However as the course is distance learning students are recommended to have access to the following: PC or laptop (of reasonable specification with webcam or camera), up to date browser (with standard plugins), headphones/speakers, microphone, PDF reader and word processing application.

How do I fund my study?

From the academic year 2017/18, the Department for the Economy will provide a tuition fee loan of up to £5,500 per NI / EU student for postgraduate study. Tuition fee loan information.

A postgraduate loans system in the UK offers government-backed student loans of up to £10,280 for taught and research Masters courses in all subject areas. Criteria, eligibility, repayment and application information are available on the UK government website.

More information on funding options and financial assistance.

International Scholarships

Information on scholarships for international students, is available at http://www.qub.ac.uk/International/International-students/International-scholarships/.

* information shown is for 2017-18 and should be used as a guide until 2018-19 scholarships are confirmed.

How to Apply

Apply using our online Postgraduate Applications Portal go.qub.ac.uk/pgapply and follow the step-by-step instructions on how to apply.

Apply now

Terms and Conditions
The terms and conditions that apply when you accept an offer of a place at the University on a taught programme of study.
Queen's University Belfast Terms and Conditions 2018 Entry.

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Biological Sciences
Medical Biology Centre
97 Lisburn Road

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