There are other course options available which may have a different vacancy status or entry requirements – view the full list of options

Make sure you check on the university, college or conservatoire website for any updates about course changes as a result of COVID-19.

Course summary

Who is this programme for? The MSc in Food Safety is a part-time online learning programme. It is aimed at busy professionals keen to acquire in-depth knowledge on food safety, with relevant backgrounds in:

  • public health
  • food and beverage
  • agriculture
  • veterinary
  • biology
This programme would be suitable for those with an undergraduate degree in:
  • agricultural sciences
  • biological science
  • food systems
  • veterinary medicine
  • human medicine
It is also suitable if you are a/an:
  • agriculture professional
  • rural industries professional
  • food industry professional
  • government official
  • international organisation employee
  • researcher in food safety
  • third sector employee
What will I learn? Uniquely positioned to provide a holistic (“farm to fork”) food safety approach to the food chain, this MSc covers key food safety issues in:
  • agricultural food production
  • harvest
  • slaughter
  • processing
  • storage
  • transport
  • retail
  • consumption
This MSc considers the pre- and post-harvest stages of agricultural food production. It incorporates:
  • the drivers and economics of food safety throughout the food chain,
  • how to minimize, detect and deal with potential hazards in crop production, animal products, food processing, manufacture, and storage
  • how to collect and analyse data from a foodborne disease outbreak
  • a guide to relevant microbial and chemical hazards, and testing systems.
  • designing and implementing food safety management systems
  • an introduction to animal welfare and food safety/quality concerns on farms, transport vehicles, slaughterhouses, meat processing plants, including waste management
  • guides to relevant legislation, comparing legislation and issues with labelling, traceability, enforcement, and food fraud
  • other topics are available in elective options
Why study this programme? Globally, poor food safety affects 600 million people and results in 420,000 deaths in a year (World Health Organisation report; Estimates of the global burden of foodborne diseases, 2015). This report highlighted the importance of producing safe food to save human lives, reduce morbidity, conserve resources and improve the economy of every country. Concern about foodborne diseases (microbial diseases and those due to contaminants) is a heightened public health concern worldwide. The contamination of food with microorganisms or chemicals may occur at any stage in the process from food production to consumption. Environmental contamination, including pollution of water, soil, or air, also poses a threat. Based in the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies (RDSVS), the MSc is uniquely positioned to draw expertise from the world class staff based in the:
  • Vet School
  • famous Roslin Institute
  • Global Academy of Agriculture and Food Security
The programme also has close collaboration with the Scottish Rural College. Teaching excellence The University of Edinburgh has been delivering online postgraduate programmes since 2005 and is the largest provider of online programmes in the prestigious Russell Group of universities. The RDSVS online postgraduate programmes have an overall satisfaction rate of 89% in the UK postgraduate taught experience survey (PTES) 2019-20. Accreditation Courses within the MSc in Food Safety programme, once accredited by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS), can be used by veterinarians towards the RCVS Certificate or Diploma in Veterinary Public Health. The programme aligns and contributes to the current European College of Veterinary Public Health (ECVPH) approved specialist standard residency training programme that occurs at the RDSVS.


See the University of Edinburgh website for detailed programme information.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for individual programmes vary, so please check the details for the specific programme you wish to apply for on the University of Edinburgh website. You will also need to meet the University’s language requirements.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

No fee information has been provided for this course

Additional fee information

Tuition fees vary between degree programmes. Find the specific fees for your chosen programme on our website.
Food Safety (Online Learning) at The University of Edinburgh - UCAS