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The Global Food Security (Food Safety) programme is delivered by leading research active staff within the Internationally recognised Institute for Global Food Security (IGFS) based at Queen’s University Belfast.

This is a unique postgraduate level course and awards are available at Certificate, Diploma or Master’s Level.

The programme offers a flexible study pathway to those working in the agri-food industry who wish to develop their skills and knowledge to a postgraduate level.

The course includes the following modules:

  • Food Safety and Health
  • Food Integrity, Fraud and Traceability
  • Advanced Analytical Tools for Food Safety
  • Global Food Standards and Legislation
  • Dissertation

Modern online technology and dynamic advanced audio and video tools will be employed to achieve a stimulating interactive teaching and learning experience across all topics.This programme offers learners the opportunity to study this exciting and rapidly changing area, taught by world experts within the field, at their own pace (2 modules / 60 CATS per year) and within their chosen environment.

Course Structure

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. 

Students have the option to enroll initially for a 1 year Postgraduate Certificate and upon successful completion advance to the Postgraduate Diploma and /or Masters programme.

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

Each module is available online for a specified 20 week period each academic year.

Online 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.

Year 1


The Food Safety and Health module provides a solid background in various aspects of food safety evidencing links to health and disease.Key thematic topics will include: Food safety and health and the consumer; Natural toxins; Environmental chemical contaminants; Man-made chemical contaminants; Microbiological risks.


In this module, examples of highly varied, internationally relevant and difficult to detect incidences of food fraud and compromised food traceability will be examined.

Year 2


This module examines the principles behind current and emerging monitoring technologies for rapid and early detection of feed/food contamination incidents and disease.


The Global Food Standards and Legislation module will introduce international food standard setting, with a focus on the Codex Alimentarius Commission standards processes and will describe its impacts on international trade and World Trade Organisation agreements related to food.

Year 3


This module involves a written dissertation carried out around a hypothesis, case study, critical incident or other significant activity relevant to the programme. 

For the dissertation candidates will prepare a project proposal for approval before registering on the module and then develop a full project proposal on which they will be interviewed. Following this they will carry out the project work, keeping a diary and submitting interim reports on progress at weeks 10 and 20 with the complete thesis submitted by an agreed deadline.

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.


A variety of written coursework, case study and online assessment is used. These will include multiple choice questions, essays, reports, short exercises, case studies, activity logs and presentations. There will be no formal examinations.

Coursework and online assessments are completed according to a timetable provided at the beginning of each module.

Career Prospects

This flexible online programme has been designed specifically for anyone who wants to know more about this subject of increasing global importance, and who is seeking new opportunities or career advancement and progression in food safety related organisations and the wider agri-food industry sector including:

  • Food production
  • Agri-Food focused companies
  • Processing and Retail Sectors
  • Regulatory and governmental control agencies
  • Research organisations
  • Further PhD level study


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 plays a major role in delivering safe, sustainable and authentic food to the world’s population, and has become globally recognised for it’s excellence in research and was ranked number one for research intensity in the UK for agriculture veterinary and food science (Times Higher Education Research Intensity Ranking/REF, 2014).

Student Experience

The distance-learning 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 Online distance learning delivery platform.

How to Apply

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

Visit the Global Food Security - Food Safety (MSc/PgDip/PgCert) page on the Queen’s University Belfast website for more details!






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