MSc Advanced Food Safety


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.


You’ll study at a university that was at the forefront of uncovering and understanding the horsemeat scandal.

When horsemeat was discovered in beef products in 2013, Professor Chris Elliott was the scientific expert that the government and media turned to for analysis and action.

Purpose-built teaching and research facilities are being built for the Institute of Global Food Security, within the new £39 million Biological Sciences building due to open in 2018.


You 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 and examination in the following areas:

  • Advanced Food Bioanalysis
  • Agri-food Traceability and Fraud
  • Bio-entrepreneurship and Advanced Skills
  • Food Safety, Health, and Disease
  • Foundations for Research in the Biosciences
  • Literature Review

Research Project (triple module)

You’ll complete a laboratory-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 profiling tools
  • RT-PCR, transcriptomic profiling, Next-generation sequencing
  • Multiplex biosensor platforms and LFD development


Continuous assessment of coursework, examinations, and assessment of modules based solely on submitted work related to the private individual study. An MSc will be awarded Distinction to students who achieve a dissertation and average mark both exceeding 70 percent, and with Commendation for marks over 60 percent.

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

Key modules continually assessed with examinations and delivered over two semesters include:

  • Food Safety, Health, and Disease
  • Advanced Food Bioanalysis
  • Foundations for Research in the Biosciences
  • Agri-food Traceability and Fraud
  • Bio-entrepreneurship and Advanced Skills
  • Literature Review
  • Research Project


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 the 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.



At the Institute for Global Food Security, we have strong links with industry, companies and government bodies, so as a graduate of the course you’ll have excellent opportunities locally and further afield, such as China and Thailand.

Previous graduates have gone on to employment in:

  • Local and international agri-food industry sectors
  • Diagnostic service provision companies
  • Research and regulatory analyst laboratories
  • Further research e.g. PhD-level study

Queen's postgraduates reap exceptional benefits. Unique initiatives, such as Degree Plus and Researcher Plus bolster our commitment to employability, while innovative leadership and executive programmes alongside sterling integration with business experts help our students gain key leadership positions both nationally and internationally.


Normally a 2.2 Honours degree or above in a relevant area of science or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University. Applicants with qualifications below 2.2 Honours degree standard (or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University) will be considered on a case-by-case basis if they can demonstrate appropriate experience, acceptable to the School.


Admission to the programme(s) under Recognition of Prior Experiential Learning (RPEL) is permissible in the following circumstances:

  • A lower level of performance in an Honours degree, in combination with suitable experience
  • Applications will be considered on the basis of experiential learning in combination with a sub-Honours degree level qualification


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 the English language for visa purposes.

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.

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this programme, our partner INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability to entry to this programme.


There is a range of funding and scholarship options available to those considering study at Queen's.

Postgraduate loans

The Department for the Economy will provide a tuition fee loan of up to £5,500 per NI / EU student for postgraduate study.

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.


Information on scholarships for international students, is available at

Program taught in:
  • English

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Last updated July 16, 2019
This course is Campus based
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