About This Course
1 year full-time
See Fees and Costs for full details.
See Requirements for full details.
Open for EU applications, check rounds closing dates under How to Apply
Non-EU Closing Date
12 September 2022
Food is necessary for human survival, in addition, it 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.
The MSc in Food Microbiology is a structured one-year full-time course that 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 fermentation, food safety, food for health. The course will provide you with the knowledge and skills necessary to contribute to both the Irish and international food industries.
Students take 90 credits as follows:
- MB6006 Library project in Food Microbiology (5 credits)
- MB6027 Research Frontiers in Food Microbiology (5 credits)
- ML6005 Molecular Techniques in the Life Sciences (5 credits)
- PG6001 STEPS - Scientific Training for Enhanced Postgraduate Studies (5 credits)
- MB6010 Analytical Food Microbiology (10 credits)
Students select 25 credits from the following:
- FE6110 Food Markets and Policy (5 credits)
- MB4110 Food Fermentation and Mycology (5 credits)
- MB4111 Microbial Food Safety (5 credits)
- MB4113 Food Biotechnology (5 credits)
- MB6014 Hygienic Production of Food (5 credits)
- MB6103 Functional Foods for Health (5 credits)
- MB6011 Dissertation in Food Microbiology (35 credits)
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 the management level.
Further details on the content and modules are available on the Postgraduate College Calendar.
Further details on the modules listed above can be found in our Book of Modules. Any modules listed above are indicative of the current set of modules for this course but are subject to change from year to year.
You can find the full academic content for the current year of any given course in our University Calendar.
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.
Why Choose This Course
UCC is one of Ireland’s oldest institutions of higher education, the first Irish 5 Star University and the Sunday Times Irish University of the year 2011-12. Microbiology in UCC can trace its history to 1924 and we are now the leading microbiology academic centre in Ireland (based on publication output). Much of the course is delivered by active research staff who are global leaders in a number of food microbiology fields (microbiological safety of foods, food/milk fermentation, probiotics, and bacteriocins). Our first-rate facilities include extensive, well equipped laboratories with state of the art analytical/technology platforms.
Placement or Study Abroad Information
Candidates generally carry out their research in the laboratories of the University. It may be possible, with the prior approval of the Programme Co-ordinator, to undertake the research project in another appropriate academic or industrial setting.
Skills and Careers Information
The MSc in Food Microbiology is designed to equip graduates to work in a range of management, research and innovation roles within the Irish and international food, beverage and associated industries. Graduates will be in a position to support new product development, innovation and quality assurance functions in the dairy, meat, consumer foods, soft and alcoholic beverages and food ingredients sectors. Graduates will also be equipped to work in a range of other areas such as contract food-testing laboratories, the regulatory and consumer protection sectors. Graduates also have the option of proceeding to further studies at PhD level.
Candidates must be holders of a minimum Second Class Honours Grade II in a primary honours BSc degree (NFQ, Level 8), or equivalent qualification, in a discipline with a significant element of laboratory science. However, candidates with equivalent academic qualifications may be accepted subject to the approval of College under Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). 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.
English Language Requirements
Applicants that are non-native speakers of the English language must meet the university-approved English language requirements available here.
For applicants with qualifications completed outside of Ireland
Applicants must meet the required entry academic grade, equivalent to Irish requirements, please find our grades comparison by country here.
For full details of the non-EU application procedure please visit our how to apply pages for international students. In UCC, we use the term programme and course interchangeably to describe what a person has registered to study in UCC and its constituent colleges, schools, and departments.
Not all courses are open to international/non-EU applicants, please check the fact file above.
For more information please contact the International Office.
Fees and Costs
The EU fee for this course is €6,880.
The Non-EU fee for this course is €22,600.
If your course required a deposit, that figure will be deducted from your second semester fee payment in January.
EU student fee payment
Fees for EU students are payable in two equal instalments. First payment at registration in August and the second in January.
International student fee payment
International Students can pay in two equal instalments once they have paid the appropriate deposit. The initial payment is due on registration and the balance usually by the end of January.
How can I pay?
You can pay by Credit/Debit card online or by credit transfer.
If you have any questions on fee payment please email our Fees Office at email@example.com.
How Do I Apply
1. Choose Course
Firstly choose your course. Applicants can apply for up to two courses under one application. Details of taught courses are available on our online prospectus.
2. Apply Online
Once you have chosen your course you can apply online at the online application portal. Applicants will need to apply before the course closing date. There is a non-refundable €50 application fee for all courses apart from the Professional Master of Education (Secondary School/Post-Primary Teacher Training) which has a €100 application fee.
Applicants for the Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health Nursing must apply on the PAC website when the programme opens for applications.
3. Gather Supporting Documents
Scanned copies of the following documents will need to be uploaded to the online application portal in support of your application. Applicants may need to produce the original documents if you are accepted onto a course and register at UCC.
- Original qualification documents listed on your application including transcripts of results from institutions other than UCC
- Any supplementary items requested for your course.
Please log into the online application portal for more details.
4. Application processing timeline
Our online application portal opens for applications for most courses in early November of each year. Check specific course details.
For courses that are in the rounds system (Irish and EU applicants), please check the rounds closing dates here.
Questions on how to apply?
Please use our web enquiry form to contact us.
Please note you will be required to provide additional information as part of the online application process for this programme. This will include the following questions:
You may enter the details of professional or voluntary positions held. We strongly encourage you to complete this section with all relevant work experiences that will support your application.
- Please upload your CV.
The closing date for non-EU applications is 15 June.Apply Now