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MSc | Postgraduate Taught

Advanced Food Safety

Entry year
Entry requirements
1 year (Full Time)
Places available
  • Overview

    The MSc in Advanced Food Safety is tailored towards students who aim to, or currently work within the agri-food industry and related sectors, offering a unique qualification in the fields of food safety and security.

    The Institute for Global Food Security (IGFS), is one of the University’s four Global Research Institutes, which is leading the world in addressing one of the greatest challenges – how to ensure the safety of our food.

    The world’s food supply is reducing. Its production is under increasing pressure, and so safety issues are more likely to arise.

    The programme focus will be on new and emerging issues within the field, concentrating on developments in analytical approaches to monitor and regulate food safety, authenticity and security.

    Advanced Food Safety highlights

    World Class Facilities

    • Purpose-built teaching and research facilities based in the Institute for Global Food Security within the new £40 million Biological Sciences building which opened in 2019.

    Internationally Renowned Experts

    • You’ll study at a university that was at the forefront of uncovering and understanding the horsemeat scandal in 2013. Professor Chris Elliott, Pro Vice-Chancellor for the Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences, led the UK government's independent review of food systems.

    Student Experience

    • Taught by world leading research staff at the Institute for Global Food Security (IGFS), the programme focuses on new and emerging issues. Concentrating on developments in analytical approaches to monitor and regulate food safety, authenticity and security, you will gain practical experience in the use of conventional and emerging state of the art bioanalytical technology.
    "One of the benefits of coming to study Food Safety at Queen’s is access to state-of-the-art equipment and techniques used in modern food safety analysis.

    Students can get hands on experience both of conventional routine equipment used in diagnostic laboratories but also new research equipment that in future years will be applied more widely across the industry."

    Dr Mark Mooney, Course Director for MSc Advanced Food Safety

    Brexit Advice

    Information on the implications of Brexit for prospective students.

  • Course content

    Course Structure


    IntroductionYou will learn about emerging issues within the field of food safety, and focus on analytical approaches to monitor and regulate food safety, authenticity and security.

    You will study core topics in the field:

    Food safety, health and disease;
    Food authenticity and traceability;
    Chemical/biological hazards in animal feed and human food;
    Current and emerging analytical technologies to prevent food safety incidents.

    You’ll be assessed by continuous assessment in the following areas:
    Food Safety, Health and Disease
    Advanced Food Bioanalysis
    Agri-food Traceability and Fraud

    Bio-entrepreneurship and Advanced Skills
    Foundations for Research in the Biosciences
    Literature Review

    Research Project (triple module)
    You’ll complete a lab based food safety related research project.

    As you might expect for this ever-changing field of research, you’ll use both traditional equipment and the latest bioanalytical technology used within the field of food security and food safety.

    These include:

    GC, HPLC and UPLC separation platforms
    ICP, IR, qToF and QqQ mass spectrometers
    Microbiological research facilities
    Antibody production and biomolecule binder development
    Cell culture suite and bioanalytical assay detection systems
    NMR, NIR and Raman spectrometers
    Proteomic and metabolomic proofing tools
    RT-PCR, transcriptomic proofing, Next-generation sequencing
    Multiplex biosensor platforms and LFD development

    People teaching you

    Dr Anne Nugent
    Senior Lecturer

    School of Biological Sciences

    Dr Brian Green
    Senior Lecturer

    School of Biological Sciences

    Dr Cuong Cao
    Senior Lecturer

    School of Biological Sciences

    Dr Katrina Campbell

    School of Biological Sciences

    Dr Mark Mooney
    Senior Lecturer

    Global Food Security

    Dr Paul Williams

    School of Biological Sciences

    Dr Qiaozhu Su

    School of Biological Sciences

    Professor Andrew Meharg

    School of Biological Sciences

    Professor Chris Elliott

    School of Biological Sciences

    Professor Gary Hardiman

    School of Biological Sciences

    Professor Moira Dean

    School of Biological Sciences

    Career Prospects

    The Institute for Global Food Security has strong links with industry, companies and government bodies, so you’ll have excellent opportunities locally and further afield. Previous graduates have gone on to employment in; local and international agri-food industry sectors; Diagnostic service provision companies; Research and regulatory analyst laboratories and many have gone on to pursue PhD-level study.

    Learning and Teaching

    Learning opportunities available with this course are outlined below:


    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.

    On the MSc in Advanced Food Safety we do this by providing a range of learning experiences which enable our students to engage with subject experts, develop attributes and perspectives that will equip them for life and work in a global society and make use of innovative technologies and a world class library that enhances their development as independent, lifelong learners.

    Across a combination of morning and afternoon classes, examples of the opportunities provided for learning on this course are lectures, practical laboratory experiences, self-directed study and supervised research work to enhance employability.


    Assessments associated with the course are outlined below:

    Continuous assessment of coursework, and assessment of modules based solely on submitted work related to private individual study.

    A major component of this degree will involve the completion of a food safety related research project.

  • 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.

    We welcome applications from a diverse range of backgrounds, therefore applicants who do not meet the above academic requirements but hold a degree (or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University) and can demonstrate appropriate postgraduate experience, will be considered on an individual basis.

    The University's Recognition of Prior Learning Policy provides guidance on the assessment of experiential learning (RPEL). Please visit for more information.

    International Students

    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:

    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.

    As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be offering Academic English and Pre-sessional courses online only from June to September 2020.

    • Academic English: 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) £6,140
    England, Scotland or Wales (GB) £6,900
    Other (non-UK) EU £6,140
    International £20,800

    All tuition fees quoted are for the academic year 2020-21. 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.

    Advanced Food Safety costs

    Students are required to buy a laboratory coat at a cost of £10.

    How do I fund my study?

    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 £10,609 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

  • Apply

    How to Apply

    Apply using our online Postgraduate Applications Portal 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.

    Download a prospectus