MSc Food Safety and Quality Management

Royal Agricultural University

Program Description

MSc Food Safety and Quality Management

Royal Agricultural University

This MSc embraces the implications of food safety and quality management against the backdrop of an increasingly globalised food industry.

The course aims to provide graduates with the necessary training, education, and industry experience to progress their career and become food safety and quality management professionals. It addresses supply chain food safety and quality management in the wider context of food security.


Recent incidents of major food safety breakdowns, in both developed and developing nations, have had a huge impact on people’s livelihoods, their business viability, and the wider food supply. As a result of consumer protection legislation, those at the consumer end of food supply are increasingly sensitised to their liabilities and have developed sophisticated systems of risk assessment, management and communication.

These systems permeate along the whole supply chain and require professional and scientific management. As such, there is a constant demand for such professionals either as new entrants or through industry re-training. Consumers and advocacy groups are increasingly demanding to know more about how food is produced, processed, and distributed, and the industry needs professionals that understand consumer behaviour and can respond appropriately.

There is an increasing recognition by leading international experts and influential food buyers for the need for higher levels of management skills and professionalism both within the manufacturing and production sector and also within service providers to the food industry such as Certification Bodies (CB’s) and the audit staff they engage. Often key elements of government legislation are included in current industry standards, especially in relation to food hygiene, traceability, risk management and, in the case of agriculture, environment. Within large corporations, technical, food safety and quality managers now require targeted food safety and quality management skills training and education to improve their professionalism in preventing food safety incidents, costly recalls and a loss of consumer confidence.

Who is the course for?

This course is designed to be equally relevant to UK and overseas graduates as well as those working in the agri-food industries who are seeking to ensure that the food we eat is as safe as it can be and of the quality demanded. The programme is also of relevance to public administrations that have regulatory oversight for food safety and responsibilities to the agri-food industries. The course is also available part-time for industrial employees in the agri-food sector to gain advanced knowledge and understanding of the food safety and quality management issues relevant to their professional careers.

You will gain a deeper understanding of the importance of regional, national, and international standards in regulatory processes, and the role of public institutions in delivering safe, quality foods to consumers. You will be able to use internationally accepted tools for food safety and quality management, evaluate the effectiveness of existing food safety and quality management systems, and design a plan to critically investigate a problem and generate an appropriate solution.

Course structure

The course may be studied full-time over one academic year or part-time over two. You will study six core modules:

  • Food Chain
  • Fundamentals of Food Science
  • Systems for Food Safety Management
  • Food Business Quality Systems
  • Sustainability and the Food Industry
  • Leadership and Innovation in the Agri-food industries

Plus two further modules from the following list:

  • Poverty and Food Security
  • Fisheries and Aquaculture Management
  • Global Red Meat Chains
  • Global White Meat Chains
  • Global Dairy Chains
  • Tourism and Development
  • Sustainable Management of Soil and Water
  • Organic Production and Marketing

As well as any one other level 7 or 6 module, subject to agreement by the course manager and relevant module leader, timetabling and availability, to complete the Postgraduate Diploma.

Upon successful completion of the eight modules a Postgraduate Diploma can be awarded, a Master of Science will be awarded for the successful completion of these modules together with the Individual Research module.

What is the learning style?

This course is delivered through a combination of lectures, guest speakers, small group workshops and seminars, individual and student-led research, computer-assisted learning, and visits. You will use case studies, practical workshops, field studies, group projects, and role play exercises to help put the theory into practice and develop both independent and team skills. You will also have the opportunity to work with an organisation in the industry to solve real-life problems and issues through ‘Leadership and innovation in the Agri-food industries module.


A variety of methods are used to assess your performance. This includes written examinations and coursework, such as case study analysis, report writing, essay writing, critical literature review, oral and poster presentations, and assessed group and individual seminars.

You will be required to complete an Individual Research project in order to be awarded a master’s degree. This will involve the submission of two research papers; a review paper and a research paper, written to the submission requirements of a specified scientific journal.

Entry Requirements

  • The normal minimum entry requirement will be an Honours degree at upper second level
  • Mature candidates with significant relevant work experience and lower academic qualifications may also be considered for entry, following personal interview with the course manager
  • If your first language is not English, we will accept International English Language Test (IELTS) with a minimum score of 6.5 average with no element below 5.5
  • If you have other qualifications, including overseas awards and alternative English language qualifications, you are advised to contact Admissions to discuss the suitability of your award for entry onto the course


Funding is available for some students who meet the requirements of our scholarships and bursaries.

This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated October 24, 2016
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Open Enrollment
1 - 2 years
Part time
Full time
11,000 GBP
Start date Open Enrollment
United Kingdom Cirencester, England
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Duration 1 - 2 years
Price 11,000 GBP
- UK/EU; 11.000 GBP - non-UK/EU