Food Control CertHE 2019/20 entry

Course code:


Study options:

1 year full-time



Coventry University


September 2019



Get in touch

Lisa Winnall MCIEH
Senior Lecturer in Food Safety and Inspection


The safety and authenticity of the food we eat and the hygiene of food premises that prepare and serve food are of paramount importance. This is reflected in the work of the government agencies, regulatory bodies and local councils that have responsibility for monitoring and enforcing food safety standards.

Individual food producers, suppliers and catering outlets also require appropriate knowledge and understanding of the legal requirements and their responsibilities to the communities they serve.

If you have a passion for food safety then this could be the course for you, as the CertHE in Food Control has been designed for those who wish to become Food Safety Inspectors or Auditors by covering the requirements of the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health’s (CIEH) Higher Certificate in Food Control (HCFC) qualification. Entry is available for those who have experience of working in the food industry or have sponsorship or employment within a Local Government Environmental Health Department. The academic content of the HCFC must be supplemented with a practical logbook prepared during a minimum of 6 months practical training, plus a professional interview for competency with the CIEH. Although the university does not provide the placement position for the experiential logbook requirement, the University's Employability Support Team will assist where possible, in supporting students in contacting local authorities and in applications for placements.

Coventry University is ranked as the Modern University of the Year in the Guardian University Guide 2017, and our state-of-the-art Alison Gingell Building features a suite of analytical and biological laboratories where you can gain hands-on experience in cutting-edge food safety, inspection and analytical techniques.

Why Coventry University?

An award-winning university, we are committed to providing our students with the best possible experience. We continue to invest in both our facilities and our innovative approach to education. Our students benefit from industry-relevant teaching, and resources and support designed to help them succeed. These range from our modern library and computing facilities to dedicated careers advice and our impressive Students’ Union activities.

Global ready

An international outlook, with global opportunities


Career-ready graduates, with the skills to succeed

Teaching Excellence

Taught by lecturers who are experts in their field

Course essentials

A degree which offers you more, at no extra cost

Accreditation and Professional Recognition

This course is recognised by the following bodies:

Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH)

Eligibility for membership of the CIEH upon successful completion of the Higher Certificate in Food Control academic content, professional log book and professional interview. As the course is accredited by the CIEH, you will be entitled to apply for Affiliate membership.

Course information

This course is designed to meet statutory requirements for Food Inspectors. We will therefore teach you how to identify and assess food safety risks, advise on appropriate risk controls, inspect food and food premises for compliance and understand how to apply and enforce the appropriate food safety legislation.

Alongside the academic content relating to the HCFC, the course will also develop students’ transferable skills in accessing, evaluating and reporting scientific information, decision making, team work, entrepreneurship and in communicating in diverse situations, thus preparing students for their future careers.

Course Specification
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  • Semester One

    • Skills for Food Control
    • Food Microbiology
    • Methods in Food Production

  • Semester Two

    • Food Inspection and Food Standards
    • Food Law
    • Hygiene Management Systems

  • Semester Three

    • Food Law Enforcement Case Studies

In more detail...

The CertHE in Food Control is available over 1 year full time (3 semesters) or 2 years part time (5 semesters).

There are 6 modules (120 credits) at stage 2 that make up the CertHE in Food Control and these modules teach and assess the academic curriculum for the CIEH HCFC.  These Modules are taught as part of the BSc Food Safety, Inspection & Control degree programme and classes will be combined.  As the students enter directly into stage 2 they are also supported by an additional bespoke skills module and online learning materials that ensure that they are suitably supported for academic study. All modules within the course are mandatory.

The course itself is taught by a mixture of lectures, laboratories, kitchen based sessions and interactive workshops and discussion groups. Real life scenarios and current and recent case studies involving food quality and safety issues are used extensively. As part of the assessments within the course, students will have opportunities to undertake practical inspections of food and food premises and to prepare and present a court prosecution case along with other real life application of key skills and knowledge such as HACCP, assessing mircobiological food sampling results and applying current food safety legisaltion. These applied assessments are also supported by traditional written assignments and examinations.

Outside of the classroom, students are further supported by online course materials which they are expected to complete in their own time.  The course team includes practitioners in food and food premises inspection who bring their knowledge and professional experience to the classroom. Thus, the course aims to produce competent people who are ready to further their careers within the food industry, especially with regulatory bodies as food safety inspectors.  The course also offers the opportunity for practical industry visits and fieldtrips such as visits to food manufacturers.

Seminars by our practitioner staff and visiting lecturers will bring you the latest on a wide range of food safety based research topics, such as a food safety packaging seminar from food manufacturers and Local Authority inspectors.

The learning outcomes of modules, assignments and projects will be clearly stated. Your work will be marked according to how well you achieve these learning outcomes and your final feedback will refer to each outcome, as well as providing an overall percentage grade.

Each module contains between one and three summative assignments which you must pass with an average mark of 40% or greater. In order for you to show your potential you will be assessed in a variety of formats, including traditional timed assessments, scientific report writing, verbal and written presentations, and participation in group activities.

An estimated percentage breakdown of your final grade assessment is as follows:

  • Formal examinations: 15%
  • Coursework, tests, essays: 45%
  • Practical work: 15%
  • Group work: 15%
  • Presentations and posters: 10%

On successful completion you should be able to:

  • Apply both theoretical and practical scientific concepts in food science, technology, food safety management, microbiology, food standards and food inspection and food law to analyse food related risks to human health and to develop creative solutions that ensure the protection of public health in the food chain.
  • Integrate theory and practice by the practical inspection of food and food premises, applying current national and international food hygiene and standards legislation.
  • Demonstrate knowledge meeting the academic requirements of the CIEH syllabus for the Higher Certificate in Food Control (HCFC).
  • Evaluate information to develop reasoned and balanced arguments pertaining to food safety and control issues, and communicate ideas effectively in written, verbal and digital formats. 
  • Work effectively within a team, demonstrate leadership and team management skills and communicate effectively with a diverse range of individuals and organisations.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and skills, including appropriate professional conduct, to enhance employment opportunities in local government or private sector auditing/certification or food safety training/consultation.

 In a typical teaching week, you will have up to 15 ‘contact’ hours of teaching. This generally breaks down as:

  • Personal tutorial/small group teaching: 6 hours of workshops each week.
  • Medium group teaching: 3 hours of laboratory work each week
  • Large group teaching: 6 hours of lectures each week.

In addition, you will be expected to undertake a further 24 hours of self-directed study each week eg. working on coursework assignments.

Global ready

Did you know that we help more students travel internationally than any other UK university according to data from the experts in higher education data and analysis, HESA?

In 2016/17, we were able to provide a total of 3,482 experiences abroad that lasted at least five days.

Much of this travel is made possible through our Global Leaders Programme, which enables students to prepare for the challenges of the global employment market, as well as strengthening and developing their broader personal and professional skills.

Explore our international experiences

1st for

international experiences

Sending more students overseas than any other UK uni (HESA 2016/17)


Student experiences

The number of student trips abroad for at least 5 days in 2016/17


and counting

The number of students we’ve helped travel internationally so far


global programmes

As well as trips, we offer other opportunities like language courses

Entry Requirements

Five GCSEs at grade A*-C including Mathematics, English Language and Science, or specified equivalents, and:

  • Suitable experience and background from working within the food industry and/or employment and sponsorship from a local authority.
  • CIEH Intermediate Certificate in Food Safety or any of their other previous Level 3 qualifications such as the Level 3 Award in Supervising Food Safety in Catering, Food Safety Supervision for Manufacturing, HACCP in Catering, HACCP for Food Manufacturing, Food Safety Manufacturing or equivalents from the RSPH or similar.
  • Applicants will be interviewed by course staff members to assess their experience and suitability to study the qualification

Five GCSEs at grade A*-C including Mathematics, English Language and Science, or specified equivalents, and:

  • Suitable experience and background from working within the food industry and/or employment and sponsorship from a local authority.
  • CIEH Intermediate Certificate in Food Safety or any of their other previous Level 3 qualifications as the Level 3 Award in Supervising Food Safety in Catering, Food Safety Supervision for Manufacturing, HACCP in Catering, HACCP for Food Manufacturing, Food Safety Manufacturing or equivalents from the RSPH or similar.
  • Applicants will be interviewed by course staff members to assess their experience and suitability to study the qualification

Unconditional offers

We want to recruit the best students to Coventry and having assessed applicants' past, current and predicted performance and commitment to the course we feel that it is appropriate to reward consistently high-achieving students with an unconditional offer from Coventry University. It is a commitment from us with regard to an applicants’ potential as an excellent undergraduate and we hope that this will encourage such applicants to join the Coventry community. Personal statements and references will also be taken into account and, for some degree courses, an interview will form part of the assessment. The criteria for unconditional offers will vary across the University as entry requirements for specific courses differ and not all degree courses will be taking part in the Scheme.

We will consider other qualifications for a pre-result unconditional offer providing that you have an appropriate proven performance at GCSE (or equivalent) level and predicted grades in line with grades that we expect to see at A-level. Other qualifications that we may consider for a pre-result unconditional offer include: The International Baccalaureate Diploma, BTEC Level 3 qualifications, Cambridge Pre-U and combinations of qualifications (e.g. BTECS plus A-levels).

An unconditional offer is what it says it is. So, if you don’t meet your predictions then your place at Coventry is still guaranteed. However, we would hope and expect that you continue to work hard to make the most of your potential and be best prepared to study at university level.

We can’t but our experience over the years has shown us that students with a track record of high grades and excellent predictions are very likely to achieve those grades. Our assessment takes into account all elements of your application to allow us to take a holistic view of your potential. There is also the opportunity to apply to one of the Coventry University Scholarships if you achieve the required grades so there is a financial incentive to aim high. Unconditional offers are only made to individuals who have demonstrated their commitment so we believe their focus and determination is unlikely to waver in the final stages of their qualifications.

No, the unconditional offer is only available to those who will take up their place in 2019.

Tuition Fees

We pride ourselves on offering competitive tuition fees which we review on an annual basis and offer a wide range of scholarships to support students with their studies. Course fees are calculated on the basis of what it costs to teach each course and we aim for total financial transparency.

For more information, please visit our Finance pages.



September 2019

£5,460 (per year)


If you're a truly outstanding undergraduate candidate we may be able to offer you a Coventry University Scholarship.

Coventry University Scholarships are awarded to recognise truly exceptional sports achievement and academic excellence.



September 2019

£5,460 (per year)


For the September 2017 and January 2018 intakes, we're investing £1 million into scholarships for high achieving and enterprising students.

Our scholarships are worth up to £10,000 and every student that applies will be considered. Fulfil your potential this academic year with Coventry University!



September 2019

(per year)

Course essentials at no extra cost

We're committed to communicating study costs clearly to make sure you're not faced with having to make any unexpected payments. 

This is why our ‘Flying Start’ package provides you with a few course essentials. Your full-time fee for an undergraduate degree will cover the following:

UK field trips

Any mandatory site visits and trips within the United Kingdom.

Key material

This can include core textbooks, software and equipment.

Laser prints

1,000 A4 sides of black and white laser printing credits per year.

Optional year

Pay no tuition fees for optional work placements or study abroad trips.

EU student fees

EU nationals and their family members starting in the 2019/20 academic year remain eligible for the same fees as home students and the same financial support. Financial support comes from Student Finance England, and covers undergraduate and postgraduate study for the duration of their course, providing they meet the residency requirement.

For tuition fee loans

EU nationals must have resided in the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland for the three years prior to the start of their course. The purpose of that three year residency should not have been mainly for the purpose of receiving full time education.

For maintenance loans

EU nationals must have resided in the UK and Islands for the five years prior to the start of their course. The purpose of that five year residency should not have been mainly for the purpose of receiving full time education.

Career prospects

This course is specifically designed to meet the needs of those who wish to become food safety inspectors with local authorities. The qualification will also suit those working in private sector food safety auditing or hygiene management.

The course includes the academic content for the CIEH accredited Higher Certificate in Food Control (HCFC). This needs to be supplemented with a professional log book and interview to meet the requirements of the CIEH and to enable registration.

Coventry University is committed to preparing you for your future career and giving you a competitive edge in the graduate job market. The University’s Careers and Employability team provide a wide range of support services to help you plan and prepare for your career.


By accepting your offer of a place and enrolling with us, a Student Contract will be formed between you and the University. The Contract will detail your rights and the obligations you will be bound by during your time as a student and will contain the obligations that the University will owe to you. We encourage you to read the Contract before you accept an offer of a place and before you enrol at the University. A copy of the 17/18 Contract can be found here and the 18/19 Contract will be published shortly.

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