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Course content

This postgraduate course provides relevant, up-to-date experience of food safety management, which is of vital importance both to organisations and individuals in the food industry, enforcement and education. MSc Food Safety Management focuses on the important areas of foodborne disease, food safety hazards and the effective management of food safety through application of the risk management system Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP). An online course, Food Safety Management provides learning units and support materials via a secure website. This includes individual and group activities, including live web-seminars, research tasks and case studies provide practical learning opportunities.  


Awards: MSc (After one year - PGCert HACCP Development, after two years - PGDip HACCP Audit and Management).

Within the last few years, there has been widespread agreement that to improve the safety of our food and promote consumer confidence in safe food production, a system known as Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) is applied throughout the food industry. As a result, European legislation requires all food businesses to implement a system based on HACCP principles.

Challenges for food businesses, include not only development of suitable HACCP-based systems but on-going management and verification to assure HACCP effectiveness

Year 1

  • Foodborne Disease (Double Module)
  • HACCP Development

Year 2

  • HACCP Effective Food Safety Management Systems (Double Module)
  • Research Methods

Year 3

  • Current Issues in Food Safety Management (Double Module)
  • International Food Law (O) or
  • Allergy and Intolerance (O)


Knowledge and Understanding

  1. Analyse case studies to determine the causes of foodborne disease and determine preventative strategies to reduce the risk of illness associated with the contamination of food.
  2. Assess a range of designs and methods currently used in research in the study domain.
  3. Identify, investigate and critically evaluate a current issue in food safety by applying selected theory and research techniques developed during the course to the chosen area.
  4. Critically evaluate the national and international legislative and enforcement frameworks in which all sectors of the food industry operate.
  5. Appreciate the range of common food hypersensitivities and evaluate the mechanisms of allergic and intolerance reactions
  6. Critically assess and discuss the epidemiological evidence relating to food allergy and intolerance with reference to methods of detection and diagnosis and consumer perception of food allergy.
  7. Identify and critically evaluate food safety hazards and determine their significance as risks to public health in food operations and products.

Subject-specific skills

  1. Assess surveillance and other relevant epidemiological data and estimate costs associated with incidents of foodborne disease.
  2. Analyse the relationship between prerequisite programmes and HACCP systems.
  3. Apply HACCP methodology to a food operation in order to develop a HACCP plan.
  4. Critically evaluate alternative approaches to HACCP implementation in food operations.
  5. Perform HACCP and food safety management system verification, including design, planning and execution of appropriate verification programmes.
  6. Apply some of the tools and techniques for managing projects and change in the context of the design and implementation of a HACCP project.
  7. Synthesise and apply relevant food safety and/or food standards legislation to different industry sectors and international settings.
  8. Critically assess requirements for allergen labelling and consumer information, including legislative and health protection requirements.

Thinking Skills

  1. Discuss food safety hazards and critically evaluate the suitability of physical and human resources employed in the global food supply chain for production of safe food.
  2. Reflect and critique the process of HACCP and Food Safety Management System verification in relation to current theory/practice literature.
  3. Assess the factors affecting successful implementation and management of a HACCP-based food safety management and discuss practical strategies to overcoming barriers to system implementation.
  4. Evaluate critically the key concepts and theories of managing projects and change in relation to development and implementation of effective HACCP-based food safety management programmes.
  5. Evaluate research methods employed to answer a range of research questions.
  6. Analyse contemporary theoretical and methodological issues in relation to current published research literature in the domain, including appraisal of design, analysis and interpretation of results.
  7. Identify research gaps in the chosen area and determine priority research questions with reference to current food safety theory and practice.
  8. Evaluate the impact of legislation and enforcement on the food industry and consumers, with reference to case law examples.
  9. Reflect and critique the process of effective allergen management in the global food supply chain, with reference to the application of prerequisite programmes and HACCP-based Food Safety Management Systems.


Detailed learning materials are all available online. Each topic of study involves a number of learning activities supported by asynchronous discussions, live web-cast workshops and chat activities. To take full advantage of the course, you will need the following software:

  • Firefox web browsing software.
  • Standard word processing and presentation software, such as Microsoft Word and PowerPoint.
  • Standard electronic mail software, such as Outlook or Hotmail.
  • Acrobat reader software.
  • You will need to have signed up with an internet service provider. Broadband is recommended for full functionality, plus a webcam and headset/microphone.

Assessment is done in a number of different ways including a report on an outbreak of foodborne disease, a personal portfolio, critical analysis of papers and case studies. There are no examinations.

Visit the Food Safety Management - MSc/PGDip/PGCert page on the University of Central Lancashire website for more details!




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