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Food Regulatory Affairs (Veterinary Public Health) - PgDip/MSc - Video

The programme provides postgraduate training in Food Regulatory Affairs with Veterinary Public Health specialism.

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The programme provides postgraduate training in Food Regulatory Affairs with Veterinary Public Health specialism.


Food Regulatory Affairs is an interdisciplinary subject area - integrating science, law and food/health policy as applied to the regulation of the entire food chain from pre-harvest to the consumer. International perspectives on Food Regulatory Affairs have become increasingly important particularly since the formation of the World Trade Organisation and the international acceptance of Codex Alimentarius standards. This part-time programme provides postgraduate training in Food Regulatory Affairs together with a specialism in Veterinary Public Health (VPH) and is particularly designed for veterinarians employed in the food sector who wish to develop their career in this field but who are unable to undertake study on a full-time basis. In addition, the programme fulfils the additional requirement for the training of official veterinarians as set out in European Regulation 854/2004.

This is a part-time programme which is entirely internet delivered. European and global experts in veterinary and food science, law, economics, and policy contribute to the programme. The awards are granted jointly between Ulster University (UK), and University College Dublin (IRL).

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About this course

In this section


This programme provides students with broad knowledge and understanding of food regulatory affairs and promotes their ability to assess available evidence and data, make sound judgements and communicate findings effectively to all stakeholders in the food chain – producers, regulators, industry and consumers. Relevant EU food regulatory policy is integrated within the lectures and translated into a coherent regulatory framework so that students will grasp the complex idea of total regulation of the food chain from primary production through to consumer health issues. Core domains of VPH are addressed in relation to the regulatory responsibilities of the veterinarians and the protection of animal health and welfare and human health.

Teaching is through online lectures, online discussions, individual support, video and internet links with staff, independent learning, and work in small groups.


There is no requirement to come on campus - the programme is delivered fully online.

Start dates

  • September 2019
How to apply


Here is a guide to the subjects studied on this course.

Courses are continually reviewed to take advantage of new teaching approaches and developments in research, industry and the professions. Please be aware that modules may change for your year of entry. The exact modules available and their order may vary depending on course updates, staff availability, timetabling and student demand. Please contact the course team for the most up to date module list.

In this section

Year one

Risk Analysis

Year: 1

This module provides students with a solid foundation in the concepts and principles of risk analysis so that they will be capable of applying knowledge gained in this module to practical situations in the workplace.

International Food Regulatory Affairs

Year: 1

This module gives students an appreciation of global regulation of the food supply. It provides students with a solid foundation in the concepts and principles of risk analysis so that they will be capable of applying the knowledge gained in this module to practical situations in the workplace.

Veterinary Public Health 1 - Regulatory

Year: 1

Veterinary Public Health 1 - Regulatory, will translate the requirements laid down in of EC Regulation 854/2004 on official controls on food and feed of animal origin in terms of basic tenets that underpin EU food regulatory policy into a coherent framework which will equip students with the knowledge base and skills necessary to progress to the more specific elements of Veterinary Public Health which will be studied in the second semester.

Veterinary Public Health 2 - Applied

Year: 1

This module builds on the knowledge base and skills from the previous module (Veterinary Public Health 1 - Regulatory) and aims to integrate the disparate elements of the documented requirements for training of official veterinarians so that students will grasp the complex idea of total regulation of the food chain from primary production, animal welfare, food processing, monitoring and surveillance, environmental and waste issues to protection of consumer health.

Year two

Food Regulatory Affairs Research Project

Year: 2

This module, which is normally practical based, provides the opportunity, through research or advanced scholarship, to integrate knowledge of the food regulatory sciences by the advanced study and elucidation of a chosen topic in the food regulatory area. It is conducted under supervision.

Research Methods and Biostatistics for Food and Nutrition

Year: 2

This module provides the foundation for research methods for food and nutrition sciences. The design of experimental investigations and the use of statistical methods are discussed. The module requires the completion of a critical evaluation of published literature and development of the research project proposal and problem-based assessments; issues relating to research governance are also included.

Food and Health

Year: 2

This module is optional

This module introduces students to basic nutritional concepts, including the relationships between diet and chronic disease, and how these concepts inform developments in food and nutrition policy.

Current Issues in Food Regulatory Affairs

Year: 2

This module is optional

This module gives students the opportunity to study in-depth and to evaluate critically some of the current issues and challenges facing the EU and the UK in terms of implication for regulatory affairs.

Nutrition and Health Claims

Year: 2

This module is optional

Development, implementation and evaluation of Nutrition and Health Claims Regulation (Regulation 1924/2006) in the European Union and comparison with other regulatory regimes.

Entry conditions

We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.

In this section

Entry Requirements

Applicants for the PgD/MSc Food Regulatory Affairs with Veterinary Public Health specialism must hold a degree in veterinary medicine from a university of the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland, or from an institution of another country which has been recognised as being of an equivalent standard. Normally students will have a minimum of one-year post qualification experience prior to commencement of the programme.

Applicants are also demonstrate evidence of competence in written and spoke English (GCSE grade C or equivalent).

English Language Requirements

English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement

Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.

Teaching and learning assessment

A variety of methods is used to support and enhance the student learning experience:

  • Formal lectures remain a key feature in teaching and learning within academic institutions and are increasingly interactive, and may include discussion elements, particularly at postgraduate level. Within these distance-learning programmes lectures are delivered using teaching material specifically adapted for presentation on BBLearn to ensure all students are provided with a similar information set. The interactive nature of face-to-face teaching is mirrored in the e-learning environment by discussion boards and, increasingly, by asynchronous chat rooms.
  • Case studiesare used for many classes to illustrate the practical application of subject specific knowledge.
  • Online discussionsare designed not only to extend the lecture topics but also equip students with the skills to seek out relevant subject material and to present and defend the material within a given time-frame.
  • Online tutorialsare used to support students who need help with their studies in specific subject areas.
  • Group workingis an important element of learning and is used to help students acquire, integrate and apply knowledge from a variety of sources. Group work is facilitated for distance learning students to allow for group interaction via Discussion and Chat tools.
  • Assignments encourage students to be independent learners. Assignments take a variety of forms (essays, literature reviews, case studies, word-limited reports, data analysis, and presentations) which encourage students to read the literature, integrate and apply knowledge and improve written skills.
  • Research projectsare undertaken by all those postgraduate students who proceed to MSc. The research project will normally be carried out under supervision of allocated academics at the University.

Encouraging contact between students and staff

The Subject team seeks to encourage contact between students and staff as illustrated through induction processes, student-staff consultation and personal development planning (PDP).

Induction processes: BBLearn is the online teaching tool for the University and is used extensively in the modules delivered on the PgCert/PgDip/MSc Food Regulatory Affairs (Veterinary Public Health) programme. At registration all students are given access to the BBLearn Student Orientation Course which aims to help students become familiar with the VLE and how to use it effectively to assist with their learning activities.

Student-Staff Consultative Committee: This committee meets at least once per semester on-line and reports to the Course Committee. The Student-Staff Consultative Committee (SSCC) is chaired by the Course Director and includes another member of staff and student representatives from the programme. It is in this forum that issues specific to postgraduate students can be dealt with. Student comments are highly valued and acted upon.


All modules are assessed exclusively through the submission of coursework. The assessment methods are designed to test both knowledge and skills, and include, but are not limited to, critical evaluations of current literature, problem-based case studies, and development of an online scientific discussion board. A self-assessment tool will be also offered to students. Assessments aim to promote independence of learning, and encourage students to apply their experience and expertise to case studies, and problems in food regulatory affairs/veterinary public health.

In line with the University’s support for students with special educational needs, reasonable adjustments will be made to assessments to accommodate the needs of students under SENDO.

Students will be given prompt feedback, and the focus in the early parts of the modules will provide formative feedback to help future assessments.

Exemptions and transferability

Studies pursued and examinations passed in respect of other qualifications awarded by the University or by another university or other educational institution, or evidence from the accreditation of prior experiential learning, may be accepted as exempting candidates from part of the programme provided that

(a) they shall register as students of the University for modules amounting to at least the final third of the credit value of the award at the highest level in respect of a Master’s award and at least 50% of the credit value of the award in respect of a Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate award;

(b) for the master’s award no exemption shall be permitted from the research project.

Careers & opportunities

In this section

Career options

The academic content of the programme helps students to develop knowledge and understanding of legislative, policy and scientific aspects of food regulatory affairs as well as to acquire skills to disseminate and implement knowledge in practice. This leads to excellent employment opportunities in government (EU and international) and non-government organisations, and in the European and international agri-food industry.


How to apply

Applications to our postgraduate courses are made through the University’s online application system.

Please note that students are initially registered for PgCert/PgDip level and only after successful completion of the PgDip part of the programme may students proceed to register for the MSc.

Start dates

  • September 2019

Fees and funding

In this section

Fees (total cost)

Important notice - fees information Fees illustrated are based on 18/19 entry and are subject to an annual increase. Correct at the time of publishing. Terms and conditions apply. Additional mandatory costs are highlighted where they are known in advance. There are other costs associated with university study.
Visit our Fees pages for full details of fees

Northern Ireland & EU:

Where the postgraduate course selected offers multiple awards (e.g. PG Cert, PG Dip, Master’s), please note that the price displayed is for the complete master’s programme. Postgraduate certificates and diplomas are charged at a pro-rata basis. Find out more

Scholarships, awards and prizes

A prize for the best MSc student has been provided by the Food Standards Agency Northern Ireland.

Additional mandatory costs

Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges), and normal living are a part of university life.

Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them. These may include residential visits, field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering) inoculations, security checks, computer equipment, uniforms, professional memberships etc.

We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free wifi is also available on each of the campuses.

There will be some additional costs to being a student which cannot be itemised and these will be different for each student. You may choose to purchase your own textbooks and course materials or prefer your own computer and software. Printing and binding may also be required. There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines. Additional costs vary from course to course.

Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs as well as tuition fees.

Please contact the course team for more information.


Admissions Office

T: +44 (0)28 7012 4159

Course Director: Dr Kristina Pentieva

T: +44 (0)28 7012 4675


For more information visit

Faculty of Life and Health Sciences

School of Biomedical Sciences


Our graduates say:

“The Course gave me a better understanding of the operation of the EU food safety legislation; it provided me the opportunity to research and study areas of VPH which are not normally associated with my work. The e-learning allowed me to fit the course around my busy work and domestic life.”

“The course has provided me with an excellent overview of the field of food regulations (particularly EU) which enabled me to transition from my former research career within my company to a role in the regulatory affairs department. The course materials provided me all the information I needed and to understand the background to food law/regulations in the EU. I hope that this initial investment in education will have a long-term benefit”.