Certificate and Diploma in Food Science and Technology

Diploma in Food Science and Technology

The programme is taken on a part-time basis over one academic year. Applicants for the Certificate in Food Science and Technology should ideally have experience in the food and drinks processing, retailing or related sectors. Candidates who successfully complete first year may opt not to proceed to second year and exit the programme with a Certificate in Food Science and Technology. Those who successfully complete second year will be awarded a Diploma. 

See some feedback from students who completed the course in May 2019.

Who should attend?

This Diploma course is designed for those who wish to develop a good understanding of the basic principles in food science and food business. This course is primarily for those who wish to develop their careers within the food and drinks manufacturing, service and supply industries. Particular emphasis is placed on linking scientific principles with their practical application in industry.

Programme Outline

The programme was developed in 1993 by the Food Industry Training Unit (FITU), UCC in conjunction with FAS and food companies in the South East. The aim of the First Year of the programme is to give participants an introduction to Food Science, Food Technology and Food Business. The aim of the Second Year of the programme is to further develop the knowledge of Food Science, Food Technology and Food Business and to provide a deeper understanding of the Food and Drinks Industry. The Diploma course allows for the upgrading of knowledge, skills and competence of participants. It aims to provide students with an understanding of:

  • chemistry and the chemistry of foods
  • microbiology and the microbiology of foods
  • food processing technology
  • food engineering
  • human nutrition 
  • the role of microorganisms in relation to the quality and safety of foods 
  • the principal processes used in the manufacture of foods 
  • the principal unit operations in food process engineering and outline the principals of process instrumentation and control 
  • the core concepts of marketing food and the management of innovation 
  • the relevant food legislation, the organisations involved in food safety control in Ireland and the main food safety issues for food businesses 
  • the application of the knowledge and understanding acquired on the course in a work related assignment.

Core Modules

Participants complete 6 modules each year:

Year 1

Food Chemistry  1 (5 credits)

Basic chemistry for the food scientist.  Introduction to the chemistry and the main properties of the principal constituents of foods, lipids, proteins, carbohydrates.

Food Microbiology 1  (5 credits)

Characteristics of different micro-organisms of significance in food systems. Factors effecting the growth of micro-organisms in food.  Food preservation.  Major sources of micro-organisms in food.  Microbiology of selected food products.  Role of micro-organisms in spoilage and food-borne illness.

Food Technology  (5 credits)

An introduction to food technology.  Food ingredients.  Food packaging.  Food legislation.  Unit operations in food processing, separation techniques, heat treatments, emulsion technology, chilling, freezing, evaporation, drying, fermentation, food ingredients and additives, cleaning in the food industry, introduction to food safety and quality control

Food Engineering (5 credits)

Heat and temperature. Water.  Boilers and steam.  Heat transfer. Fluid, pumps and associated equipment.  Introduction to electricity in the food industry.

Nutrition (5 credits)

Introduction to nutrition, carbohydrates, fats, proteins.  Energy needs and food composition.  Digestion and adsorption of major nutrients.  Minerals and vitamins, Changing nutritional needs through the life cycle from infancy to old age.  Nutrition and public health.  Diet and weight control.  Diet and chronic disease, obesity, hypertension, cancer and cardiovascular disease.  Food safety issues, food additives, contaminants, natural toxicants, food allergies and intolerance.  Functional foods.

Work-Related Assignment  1 (5 credits)

Objective: To integrate and apply the knowledge and understanding acquired on the course to a work related assignment.

Year 2

Food Chemistry 2 (5 credits)

Physiochemical properties of food.  The chemistry of milk, meat, poultry, fish, cereals, fruits, vegetables and eggs.

Food Microbiology 2 (5 credits)

Classification of micro-organisms associated with foods.  Analytical methods for their detection and enumeration.  Rapid methods. Role of micro-organism in food borne disease outbreaks - case studies.  Microbiology of selected food products - dairy, fermented foods and fish. 

Food Process Technology (5 credits)

Processing of dairy products, meat products, cereals, beverages, fruit and vegetables.  The principal unit operations in food process engineering and the principals of process instrumetation and control.

Quality Systems (5 credits)

Introduction to food safety and quality legislation, introduction to food safety and quality agencies and organizations, introduction to food legislation and standards, Bord Bia Quality Assurance Schemes, Food safety and quality audits, company visit

Food Business (5 credits)

Overview of the Irish Food sector, introduction to the principles of marketing and distribution and the managerial process. New food product development

Work-Related Assignment 2 (5 credits)

Objective: To integrate and apply the knowledge and understanding acquired on the course to a work related assignment


If you would like to register for the 2021 start date please complete the Application Form DFST

Cost: €2800 for each academic year 

For further information please contact:
Ms Maura Conway
Programme Manager, Food Industry Training Centre
College of Science, Engineering and Food Science, UCC
t: +353 21 4903114/4901423
e: m.conway@ucc.ie 

Further information is also available on the UCC Adult Continuing Professional Development site

Food Industry Training Unit

University College Cork , Western Road, Cork