Postgraduate Certificate In Dairy Technology And Innovation

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About the PG Cert

This is the first offering of a stackable qualification in Dairy Technology and Innovation delivered in close collaboration with Teagasc. UCC and Teagasc have a long history of collaboration, as recognised by a strategic alliance (UCC-Teagasc Food Innovation Alliance) to build greater critical mass in food research. UCC is also now home to the UCC Dairy Science Centre of Excellence. Under the direction of Professor Seamus O’Mahony, this Centre drives excellence in Dairy Science across research, education and training. Together with the Teagasc Food Research Centre, Moorepark, the greater Cork area now has one of the largest and most active dairy research clusters in the world. Drawing on these strengths and in light of industry’s needs for upskilling and continuing professional development at the postgraduate level, UCC has developed and launched a stackable blended pathway of progression in Dairy Technology and Innovation.  

This course mixes online learning with face-to-face teaching and consists of three days of face-to-face lectures in October and again in February. During these sessions, students will meet with lecturers in UCC and Teagasc and engage in tutorials and practical sessions. 

This programme is now open for enrollment for the 2024/2025 year. The Programme will run late September to December with one week of face-to-face teaching in October. After Christmas, it will run mid January to early April with one week of face-to-face teaching in late January/early February.


Below, Professor Paul McSweeney, Academic Director and lecturer for Dairy Chemistry on the course provides a brief insight to the programme.

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Aims and Objectives

In line with the development of a knowledge economy, this qualification will enable and empower dairy industry personnel and those wishing to join the industry to develop a deeper scientific understanding of dairy systems and embrace new technological developments in dairy processing as they continue to develop their skills in the dairy specific areas, and implement best practice internationally. The Postgraduate Certificate in Dairy Technology and innovation offers an opportunity for progression onto the Part-time Postgraduate Diploma and work-based Masters in Dairy Technology and Innovation. 

Who should attend?

This course is targeted at those working/hoping to work, in the food, agri-food or dairy sectors, who wish to develop or increase their knowledge in relation to dairy. This course is provided at Level 9 on the National Framework of Qualifications (see below) and so it is anticipated that potential applicants would have a Level 8 Degree (or equivalent) in food science, nutritional sciences, agricultural sciences, microbiology, biochemistry or related biological sciences, with a minumum second class honours (grade 2), ideally with experience working in the dairy sector will be eligible to apply. Diplomates of UCC's Level 7 Diploma in Food Science and Technology with a minimum second class honours (grade 1) and a minimum of 2 years' experience working in the dairy industry are also be eligible for admission. If you are unsure if you are eligible to register for this course, please do not hesitate to contact the Programme Manager (

 NFQ with Level 9 PG Certificate in Dairy Technology and Innovation

Programme Outline

The programme has been developed specifically for those working full-time. The programme is delivered by blended learning, involving a combination of online and in-class sessions. In-class sessions to encourage interaction and group formation, will be delivered via block release over during one week in October (Semester 1) and a second week in late January/early February (Semester 2). All exams and assignments are in the form of continuous assessment.  

  • The first semester commences at the start of October with a fully online modules which runs one evening a week until the start of December.
  • This followed by a block week of teaching in October, typically consisting of five consecutive days split between University College Cork and Teagasc.
  • The second semester follows a similar formal with a second block week of teaching being held in February.


This level 9 qualification is part-time and consists of two blocks weeks (10 days) of face-to-face lectures and is supported by live tutorials and online lectures. To suit the seasonal nature of the Irish dairy industry it runs from October to March 

Entry Requirements 

The programme is directed at those who have completed an NFQ Level 8 Programme (or equivalent in food science, nutritional sciences, microbiology, biochemistry or related biological sciences with a minimum second class honours (grade 2), ideally with experience in the dairy industry.  

Diplomates of UCC’s Level 7 Diploma in Food Science and Technology with a minimum of a second class honours (grade 1) and a minimum of two years’ work experience. 

Core Modules

Students take modules to the value of 30 credits as follows:

Semester 1 (October to December) Semester 2 (January to March)

Milk production and quality

Trends and dynamics across dairy markets

Dairy chemistry

Dairy processing technology

Business processes across the supply chain

Dairy microbiology

What are our students saying?

"Personally, I have a much better understanding of the chemistry and microbiology of milk, which is very important in my role as a process engineer. I am also more aware of the various dairy processes and processing technologies used throughout industry and how some of the processes used by our company can be improved upon"

"The content of the course was beneficial to me personally and to my company, it will enhance my career prospects"

"Online lectures were brilliant"

"The course reflects perfectly the reality and the issues of the sector"


Below Sam Kingston explains how the nature of this part-time, online course, helped him in his position as Plant Manager of Macroom Bufalo Cheese


Anton O'Reilly and Gerard Fitzgerald talk about their experience of completing the PG Cert in Dairy Technology and Innovation


If you would like to register for the 2024 start date please register using UCC's application system

Cost: The total cost of the course is €5,130 for EU students and €10,500 for non-EU students. Taste 4 Success Skillnet offer partial funding to those who meet their elibility criteria - please enquire below for further information.

For further information please contact:
Dr Amy-Jane Troy
Programme Manager, Food Industry Training Unit, Room 246
School of Food and Nutritional Sciences College of Science, Engineering and Food Science, UCC
t: +021 490 3178

Further information is also available on the UCC Graduate Studies Page


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Food Industry Training Unit

University College Cork , Western Road, Cork