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Course content

MSc Food Safety

The MSc programme Food Safety focuses on the technical aspects, as well as on the legal aspects of food safety and integrates these in Food Safety Management. The Food Safety programme of Wageningen University was the first MSc in Food Safety worldwide. The programme is unique, with a highly integrated approach to the field of food safety.

Programme summary

Wageningen University is one of the few universities in Europe able to offer education and research in all fields of food safety. This does not only include technical disciplines such as microbiology and toxicology, but also the legal, economic and communication aspects. The Food Safety programme at Wageningen University is one of the most modern and innovative in the world. Started in 2000 as the first of its kind, it is still the only two-year, full-time Master Food Safety programme offered in Europe and the only programme offering Food Safety Law. The programme prepares graduates for careers in the food industry, government or consumer organisations; the three key players in international food safety management.

The food industry is increasingly confronted with farm-to-table food safety measures, regulations, legislation and guidelines aimed at controlling food hazards. As a result, there is an increasing demand for managers with expertise in food safety evaluation who are able to survey and monitor the chemical, microbiological and physical parameters of product composition and product safety. Food safety experts are able to understand and analyse the variation in quality and safety of products. They are also able to assess the potential risks involved in the adoption of new production methods and processing techniques. Food safety evaluation concerns food constituents, agro-chemicals, environmental contaminants and natural toxins.

Food regulations are getting more and more complex, creating the need for regulatory affairs specialists in industry or in lobbying organisations. The programme is the only programme offering Food Safety Law for students with either a technical or a legal degree, thereby, fulfilling the need in society for such positions.


The programme offers three specialisations. All three specialisations have the courses on Food Safety Management and Food Law in common.

Applied Food Safety
This specialisation deals with the more technical (microbiology, toxicology, risk assessment) part of food safety. Food Safety Economics is also part of the programme. Thesis topics are also in these fields and graduates generally work in industry, universities and research institutes.

Food Safety Law
This specialisation is open for students with a technical or legal background. Courses focus on (international) food law, intellectual property rights and management. Theses are on food law. Graduates generally work as regulatory affairs specialists in industry.

Supply Chain Safety
This specialisation deals with safe food and ingredient supply. Globalisation leads to serious risks of contamination. In tropical countries, companies also face wars and political problems. Courses thus focus on Food Security, Risk Management in Food Chains and logistics, in addition to Microbiology and Food Law.

Your future career

The employment market is promising and all recent graduates found jobs with relative ease. The demand for university-trained professionals in this field is currently higher than the number of graduates available. Most recent graduates found jobs in the private sector, at universities or at food safety research institutes. Many graduates enter careers in government and go on to managerial positions. Due to the increased efforts of the EU in the development of national food safety organisations, there will be many more job opportunities in various European countries, both for technical as well as regulatory specialists.

Student Moath Almayman.
"The courses of the Master Food Safety consist of technical, managerial and legal aspects of food safety and are directly linked to real life situations. This in combination with the ability to perform extensive research and an internship at an international company to enhance my working experience, were reasons for me to choose this master. Even with a small population, Wageningen is a great cosmopolitan town. So many students from different backgrounds make it a very interesting place."

Related programmes:
MSc Food Quality Management
MSc Food Technology
MSc Nutrition and Health

Visit the MSc Food Safety page on the Wageningen University & Research website for more details!






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