Food Microbiology MSc

Fact File

Course Code: CKR19 Full-time

Course Title: Food Microbiology

College: Science, Engineering and Food Science

Food Microbiology

Duration: 1 year Full-time

Teaching Mode: Full-time

Qualifications: MSc

NFQ Level: Level 9

Costs: 2017/2018 Irish/EU €6,750; 2017/2018 Non-EU fee: €22,000

2017 Entry Requirements: To apply for this course you will have an honours BSc degree, or equivalent qualification, in a discipline with a significant element of laboratory science, with a minimum of 2.2, or equivalent. Candidates with equivalent academic qualifications may be accepted subject to the approval of the College. The number of places is limited and selection will be made on the basis of your performance in your primary degree or interview.

Closing Date: See details in application procedure below

Next Intake: 10th September 2018


Food is necessary for human survival, is an important source of pleasure, and plays an enormous role in the global economy. Microbes play an essential role in food preservation and safety, food for health and food biotechnology. These are growing areas in all global economies. UCC Microbiology has established a global reputation in food microbiology, based on its research profile and the impact of its graduates in the food industry.

This course covers the breadth of classical and modern food microbiology, including food safety and spoilage; food fermentation; food biotechnology; hygienic production of food; the impact of diet on health; the molecular mechanisms of infectious microbes and the role of the gut microbiota in human health.

Course Details

The MSc in Food Microbiology is a structured one-year full-time course which includes a six-month lab-based research dissertation. The aim of this course is to educate you to an MSc level in food microbiology, emphasising areas in which UCC engages actively in research, e.g. food biotechnology, food fermentations, food safety, food for health.

The course will give you the knowledge and skills to contribute to Irish and international food industries. Modules will be chosen with the approval of the Programme Board depending on your background.

After completing this course you will have:

  • advanced theoretical education and practical training in the area of food microbiology
  • greater knowledge and understanding of current issues in food microbiology
  • laboratory research practice in food microbiology
  • knowledge from different aspects of food microbiology and formulation of appropriate judgements on scientific research
  • ability to survey scientific literature at a professional level
  • knowledge, understanding and problem-solving skills to address practical issues in the food industry and work there at management level.

Further details on the content and modules are available on the Postgraduate College Calendar

Detailed Entry Requirements

Candidates must be holders of an honours BSc degree, or equivalent qualification, in a discipline with a significant element of laboratory science, with a minimum of second class honours Grade 2 or equivalent. However, candidates with equivalent academic qualifications may be accepted subject to the approval of College. The number of places is limited and selection will be made on the basis of the candidate's performance in his/her primary degree or interview.

If you are applying with Qualifications obtained outside Ireland and you wish to verify if you meet the minimum academic and English language requirements for this programme please click here to view the grades comparison table by country and for details of recognised English language tests.

Application Procedure

Application for this programme is on-line at Places on this programme are offered in rounds. The closing dates for each round can be found here. For full details of the application procedure click How to Apply.

All required documentation must be either uploaded to your online application or sent in hard copy to The Postgraduate Applications Centre, 1, Courthouse Square, Galway.

Course Practicalities

Lectures and workshops are conducted between 9am and 6pm (Monday to Friday). Up to 138 lecture hours with approximately 70 additional directed study/reading hours can be expected. There are 38 hours of laboratory practicals/workshops, which may be carried out as half-day or full-day workshops. Students also complete a six-month lab-based research dissertation on a topic in the area of food microbiology, performed under the supervision of a member of staff and in some cases co-supervised by collaborating research centres. The project aims to enhance your laboratory skills and critical abilities in identifying, analysing and solving problems in scientific research and to develop your skills in communicating your results.


The course uses a variety of assessment methods. Most modules are assessed by in-term continuous assessment and/or end-of-year examinations. In-term exams can be either multiple choice type questions (MCQs) or written papers (normally 1.5h duration). Most modules include assignments, dissertation and reports as part of the assessment methodology. Modules that contain workshop/practical components are also assessed using written reports/assignments. The laboratory research project is assessed by a combination of laboratory performance, written report and oral presentation. The research project (MB6007) is written up in the form of a dissertation and approved by an external examiner.

Who Teaches This Course

Each lecturer teaches in his or her area of research specialisation. Students on this course also benefit from the input of a variety of invited lecturers from the Irish food industries and regulatory authority.

Professor Gerald Fitzgerald, Chair Food Microbiology

Dr Marcus Claesson, Bioinformatics

Dr David Clarke, Bacteria-host Interactions

Professor Colin Hill, Chair Microbial Food Safety

Dr John Morrissey, Biotechnology, Fungal Biology

Dr Niall O’Leary, Environmental & Marine Biotechnology

Professor Paul O’Toole, Chair of Microbial Genomics

Professor Douwe van Sinderen, Molecular Microbiology

Dr Joseph Bogue, (Department of Food Business and Development) Food Marketing

Professor Alan Kelly, (School of Food and Nutritional Sciences and Dean of Graduate Studies) Processing and Preservation of Food, and Dairy Products.

Contact us

E: Prof. Gerald Fitzgerald

P: + 353 21 490 2730
W: Website

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