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Diploma in Food Science and Technology

Welcome to the Diploma in Food Science and Technology

The Diploma in Food Science and Technology is an innovative and blended 2-year, part-time course. This unique programme offers an accredited level 7 qualification in the area of Food Science and Technology. This course has been serving the needs of the food industry for more than 25 years.


Ciara O'Keeffe - Quality Officer, Dairygold

 I highly recommend the courses in UCC's Food Industry Training Unit.

I completed a two year part time diploma in Food Science and Technology and have successfully changed career path.

After 8+ years of working as a pastry chef I wanted a new challenge. After two years of hard work and determination I achieved my goal. I have been working in Dairygold as a Quality Officer for the past three months and I am thrilled I made the commitment back in 2019 to enroll in the course.

Mark Roberts – Technical Account Manager Chr Hansen.

I have recently completed Food Science and Technology Diploma with UCC, my main objective was to gain a broader understanding of dairy microbiology and chemistry.  The Diploma did not just meet my personal objective but also allowed me to gain extensive science knowledge and understanding on other food applications such as meat, cereals, fruit & vegetables and eggs. 

The team at UCC deliver a professional course and manageable timeline for anyone in full time employment with exceptional course material and support mechanisms from all lecturers.  Anyone looking for a part time course to expand their knowledge or enter into Food Science and Technology then look no further.

Ann Glasheen

I have just completed the 2 year course in Food Science and Technology. I found it an excellent course. It was very varied. It helped that it was part time as I work full time, so I was able to fit it in around my job.

The lecturers and staff within UCC could not have been more helpful over the two years. The notes given were well presented and the lectures very informative.

The course really broadened what I knew and helped me get a better understanding of the science behind food production.

My favourite subjects were Microbiology and Chemistry as I had never taken any classes before on either.

I would highly recommend this course to anyone either working within or hoping to venture into the food industry.

Who should attend?

This Diploma course is designed for those who wish to develop a good understanding of the basic principles of Food Science and Food Technology. 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. Graduates mention the course helps them develop within their job and progress in their career.

As this is a part-time course, it is only open to those eligible to live in the EU.

Programme Outline

The aim of the programme is to develop an understanding and knowledge of Food Science, Food Technology and an introduction to Food Business. The Diploma course allows for the upgrading of knowledge, skills and competences 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 
  • food safety and quality systems including HACCP
  • food marketing and innovation 
  • the application of the knowledge and understanding acquired on the course in a work-related assignment
  • skills necessary for researching a topic, critical thinking, report writing and giving presentations

Programme Delivery

The course is delivered over 10 Friday/Saturday sessions between October and May each year. Sessions are held on Fridays from 14:00 to 17:00 and Saturdays from 9:00 to 16:00 (with some exceptions).   

The course is delivered in a blended format with both online learning and on-campus sessions (3 weekends each year in UCC).

The next course will start on Friday the 4th of October 2024.

Core Modules

Participants complete 6 modules each year:

Year 1

Module         Credits Content
Food Chemistry 1                           5

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 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

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

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

Nutrition      5 

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 Assigment 1      5 

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

Enables the development of skills necessary for researching a topic, critical thinking, report writing and presentation skills.


Year 2

Module         Credits Content
Food Chemistry 2         5

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

Food Microbiology 2        5 Classification of micro-organisms associated with foods.  Analytical methods for their detection and enumeration.  Rapid methods. Role of micro-organisms in foodborne disease outbreaks - case studies.  Microbiology of selected food products - dairy, fermented foods and fish.
Food Process Technology      5

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

Quality Systems     5

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 

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

Work -Related Assigment 2      5 

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

Enables the development of skills necessary for researching a topic, critical thinking, report writing and presentation skills.



The cost is €2800 for each academic year. Partial funding is available from Taste4Success Skillnet for eligible students.


Register your interest here

For further information please contact:

Dr Nadia Grasso


Food Industry Training Unit

University College Cork , Western Road, Cork