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The programme provides postgraduate training in food regulatory affairs.
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 programme is designed to provide postgraduate training in Food Regulatory Affairs for individuals employed in the food sector, regulatory agencies, government departments, and trade organisations as well as those who wish to develop their career in this field.
The awards are granted jointly between Ulster University (UK), and University College Dublin (IRL), in association with University College Cork (IRL). European and global experts in science, law, economics, and policy contribute to the courses.
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About this course
In this section
All the courses in the programme are entirely internet delivered through a modular format. Modules have a credit value of either 15 or 30 credit points. The credit rating of a module is in proportion to the effort required from the student, thus a 30 point module corresponds to 300 hours of notional learning time including viewing lectures, tutorials, discussion groups, coursework, assignment and self-study. All modules are at level 7.
For the award of Postgraduate Certificate in Food Regulatory Affairs students undertake taught modules worth a total of 60 credit points and this is delivered part-time over two semesters (i.e. over one academic year) with students taking one 30 credit core module in each semester.
For the award of Postgraduate Diploma in Food Regulatory Affairs students undertake taught modules worth a total of 120 credit points and this is delivered full-time over two semesters (i.e. over one academic year) with students taking up to 60 credit points of modules in each semester.
For the award of Master of Science in Food Regulatory Affairs students undertake taught modules worth a total of 120 credit points and complete a 60 credit research project module. Full-time students normally take three semesters (i.e. one academic year) to complete the MSc.
Students are expected to engage with online classes associated with the programme.
- A student who has not been in attendance (online) for more than three working days through illness or other cause must notify immediately the Course Director. The student shall state the reasons for the absence and whether it is likely to be prolonged. Where the absence is for a period of more than five working days, and is caused by illness which may affect their studies, the student shall provide appropriate medical certification in accordance with the General Regulations for Students.
- Students who are absent without good cause for a substantial proportion of classes may be required to discontinue studies, in accordance with the General Regulations for Students.
- September 2017
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.
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Introduction to the European Union and Food Regulatory Affairs
This module provides students with an in depth knowledge of the workings of the EU and the process of negotiation with respect to food regulatory issues which lies at the heart of the food regulatory process
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
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.
Farm to Fork Regulation of the Food Chain
This module allows the students to develop a critical understanding of the totality and complexity of the farm to fork concept and how such a concept impinges on food regulatory affairs within the EU.
Food Regulatory Affairs Research Project
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
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, problem-based assessments; issues relating to research governance are also included.
Food and Health
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 European food and nutrition policy.
Current Issues in Food Regulatory Affairs
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 in terms of implication for regulatory affairs.
Nutrition and Health Claims
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.
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.
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Applicants for the PgD/MSc must hold an Honours or non-Honours degree with a pass mark or equivalent standard (e.g. Postgraduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma, Graduate Certificate) in a relevant subject area from a university of the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland, from the Council for National Academic Awards, the National Council for Educational Awards, or from an institution of another country which has been recognised as being of an equivalent standard, or demonstrate ability to undertake the course through accreditation of prior experiential learning (APEL).
Applicants for the PgCert must hold an Honours or non-Honours degree with a pass mark of 50% or equivalent standard. Relevant subject degree areas include Human Nutrition, Food Science, and Agriculture/Biological/Biomedical Sciences/Veterinary Medicine. Other degrees (e.g. Law) will also be acceptable provided that the applicant can demonstrate experience in food regulatory affairs.
Applicants are also to demonstrate evidence of competence in written and spoken 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 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.
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
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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.
Work placement / study abroad
Full-time students will be advised to explore the possibility of taking a short placement in food companies and the Ulster University will facilitate such placements for students who are based in Northern Ireland.
Accredited by the Institute of Food Science and Technology (IFST).
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.How to apply
- September 2017
Fees and funding
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Fees (total cost)
Important notice - fees information
Please note fees displayed are for 2017/18 Academic Entry. Fees are correct at the time of publishing. Additional mandatory costs are highlighted where they are known in advance. There are other costs associated with university study.
View Ulster University’s 2017 fees policy
- 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 Standard 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.
“The course exceeded my expectations as it has opened a new view of the regulatory world I have been working in. After finishing the MSc Food regulatory Affairs I feel much more confident in dealing with both European and international food legislation. This qualification helped me to move to a higher position as a Regulatory Affairs Manager with a new company.”
Vanessa Richardson, MSc Food Regulatory Affairs
“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”.
Colm Moran, MSc Food Regulatory Affairs
“I undertook the MSc Food Regulatory Affairs to gain an understanding of the requirements and regulations surrounding the supply of food to the consumer. The course was well structured and a number of the lecturers are quite prolific in the area of food regulation so a lot of the content was current and topical. Although I have a strong background in nutrition the legal and political aspects behind food regulation were challenging to deal with and I learnt a great deal. Initially I undertook the course out of interest rather than to further my career, however it has turned out to be an extremely useful qualification as I now teach food regulation at Monash University, Melbourne.”
Dr Maxine Bonham, MSc Food Regulatory Affairs