Food Safety, Inspection and Control BSc (Hons)Study level: Undergraduate
This course has been designed for people who have a passion for food safety, inspection, regulation and global food developments and want to make a difference to the quality of the food we eat.
Year of entry
Coventry University (Coventry)
3 years full-time
4 years sandwich
The Food Safety, Inspection and Control BSc (Hons) encompasses a variety of food issues with both a UK and international focus.
Designed to meet the needs of the food industry and regulatory agencies, it covers skills including how to assess food safety risks, advise on food hygiene and safety, inspect food and food premises, and understand and apply legislation relating to food. Successful students will:
- Meet the academic requirements of the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) syllabus towards the completion of the Higher Certificate in Food Control (HCFC).
- Be competent in the analysis, interpretation and presentation of scientific data.
- Develop as graduates with the skills and capabilities to inspect food and food premises and recommend actions and legal enforcement measures.
Global ReadyAn international outlook, with global opportunities
Teaching excellenceTaught by lecturers who are experts in their field
EmployabilityCareer ready graduates, with the skills to succeed
Why you should study this course
- No.7 for Food Science in The Complete University Guide 2023
- This course incorporates the academic content of the Higher Certificate of Food Control, the baseline qualification for food hygiene and standards, official controls and the inspection of food premises within the UK
- We use simulation to develop the skills you will need in industry, for example preparing and presenting a court prosecution case.
- Expert staff and guest lecturers who have or are working practitioners bring the subjects to life using real life examples and scenarios. Our current industry and local authority experienced teaching staff aim to bring a range of professional and research experience to their teaching. Having worked as food scientists, public and environmental health professionals and nutritionists for both governmental and local councils as well as working in the food industry, they maintain links with major external organisations to ensure you receive up-to-date information and help you begin to establish your professional networks. We have also welcomed highly specialised guest lecturers2 from areas such as Animal Health Protection Agency, Port Health Authorities and pest control.
- Our multi-million-pound Alison Gingell Building features a suite of analytical and biological laboratories where you can gain hands-on experience in food safety, inspection and analytical techniques4.
Accreditation and professional recognition
This course is accredited1 and 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, Competency Development Portfolio and professional discussion. Additional costs may apply. Please check with the membership body CIEH for details. Affiliate membership of the CIEH is available for students during their study.
I’ve found this course very interesting because I can have a lot of hands-on experience.
What you'll study
This course has a common first year
The common first year enables you to work alongside students doing similar courses to you, to widen your knowledge and exposure to other subject areas and professions. You will have the opportunity to collaborate with other students, so you can share your insights and experience which will help you to develop and learn.
If you discover an interest in a specific subject you have studied, upon successful completion of your first year, you could swap degrees with another course in your common first year (subject to meeting progression requirements).
Common first year courses
- Food Safety, Inspection and Control BSc (Hons)
- Food Science BSc (Hons)
- Nutrition and Health BSc (Hons)
In the first year, the curriculum is shared across related courses allowing you to gain a broad grounding in the discipline before going on, in the second and third years, to specialist modules in your chosen field.
Physiology and Biochemistry for Nutrition - 20 credits
The aim of this module is to provide an understanding of the principles of nutrition, biochemistry and human physiology that are central to the study of nutrition and food sciences. The module places a strong emphasis on the structure and function of the human body, both physiological and biochemical, in relation to health and disease. The requirements, sources and functions of macronutrients and micronutrients will be explored, in addition to UK dietary guidelines for healthy adults.
Introduction to Public Health - 20 credits
The module introduces you to concepts of public health and disease, with a focus on the role of food and nutrition in disease prevention and health promotion. It covers the origins and basis of public health in current British society as well as aspects of sociology and psychology that relate to public health. The module will explore nutrition policies and programmes aimed at changing dietary behaviour and improving the health of the population with a focus on diet related diseases, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer. The module also considers public health issues relating to food safety and food-borne infection and it will introduce you to the fundamental properties of micro-organisms and their safe manipulation in the laboratory.
Chemistry of Foods - 20 credits
This module aims to introduce you to basic concepts of chemistry and in particular the chemistry of foods. The aim is to contextualize the chemistry of carbohydrates, proteins and lipids in relation to particular food commodities such as fruits and vegetables, cereal products, dairy and flesh foods and apply these concepts to aspects of food production. It also aims to give you the practical knowledge and skills to be able to analyse foods.
Introduction to Food Law and Policy - 20 credits
The module aim is to provide students with an introduction to the UK and global key stakeholders in food safety law and policy. It will consider the current legal framework and national strategies to protect public health and enable safe food trade. You will review current food safety issues and the various ways in which emerging risks are identified and controlled by food safety policy and food law. You will critically evaluate previous and current food safety issues such as the BSE crisis, horse meat scandal and melamine in milk powder. You will therefore judge how risk assessment, risk management & risk communication work within the different law making and enforcing agencies to prioritise and protect public health.
Practical and Academic Skills for Food and Nutrition Sciences - 20 credits
This module aims to develop key skills that are of value both for successful undergraduate study and also for future employment. You will be introduced to, and practice, effective literature searching and retrieval, the expectations for scientific writing at degree level, numerical and problem-solving skills, oral presentation and effective team working. The ability to work safely in both the laboratory and the academic kitchen, to design experiments and to analyse and present data will be covered.
Introduction to Food Preparation and Production - 20 credits
This module aims to give you a broad understanding of the issues around modern food production practices, including sustainability. You will be introduced to major food commodities and their production on a local and global scale. You will utilise your cooking skills and food safety awareness to develop, prepare and evaluate a dish/meal. You will also explore diverse international and global food cultures.
In year two, you will develop more advanced knowledge and skills to do with food microbiology, food production methods, food inspection, food standards, food law and hygiene management systems, among others.
Food Law – 20 Credits
The module aim is for students to understand the main framework of UK and European food safety hygiene legislation, UK enforcing regulations and relevant standards and guidance. Students will also learn to apply appropriate risk-based judgement to the determination of offences and the application of appropriate enforcement tools. Students will therefore be able to interpret legislation and determine the most appropriate course of action and intervention in relation to a variety of food-based scenarios. They will also become familiar with techniques for food premises inspection and auditing, through classroom workshop learning, mock inspection and participation in an interactive online food safety inspection.
Food Microbiology - 20 credits
This module aims to help you understand the roles of a variety of microbes in food fermentation and in food contamination which can lead to spoilage or food poisoning. Additionally, the gut microbiome and human health, plus host defences to microorganisms will be considered. The module also aims to discuss natural antimicrobials derived from plants and other microorganisms and the microbial aspects of food preservation. You will also develop practical laboratory skills that are essential for modern food microbiological analysis.
Methods in Food Production – 20 Credits
This module will extend some topics considered in year 1 to discuss the principles of food production and preservation for reasons of food safety, along with the application of different packaging technologies to extend shelf life. Students will learn about common key food production methods and how these are assessed to ensure the safe production of foods. They will learn hoe processes are designed to control hazards and what can happen when these processes go wrong. The food manufacturing environment can also introduce food safety hazards such as foreign bodies. Students will learn about the different foreign body detection methods and further laboratory analysis techniques that assist in identifying them.
Research and Employability Skills for Food, Nutrition and Health - 20 credits
The module aims to enhance your research skills and support you to reflect on your graduate attributes such as social responsibilities and valuing differences in others, and strengthen competencies in preparation for graduate level employment. The module considers experimental design, questionnaire and survey design, sensory evaluation, research ethics, academic writing and structured literature searching. Data analysis and presentation skills, including more advanced statistical analysis techniques and additional software training, will be covered. The module also includes aspects of employability in preparation for placement or short work experience opportunities, future careers or further study. Entrepreneurship is also considered with advice on the practicalities of self-employment and setting up a business.
Food Inspection and Food Standards – 20 Credits
This module assesses the competence to inspect food for safety and apply common food standards legislation at the point of retail sale. It introduces the student to a comprehensive range of foods which might be encountered by a Food Inspector or by food industry personnel. It develops the theory and practice behind assessing food safety, food composition and food authenticity. Students will gain experience in inspection techniques and the communication skills needed to inspect food competently for safety and standards, as well as the ability to decide upon the most appropriate intervention when issues arise.
Hygiene Management Systems – 20 Credits
This module aims to integrate knowledge and skills from previous Level 5 modules by applying this knowledge and understanding into different food safety management systems such as HACCP, ISO quality systems and allergen management. Students will learn the legally defined steps within the HACCP risk assessment process and be able to develop HACCP plans and critically evaluate them for food safety and legal compliance. They will also see how such systems can be applied to specific hazards such as allergens. The operation of quality systems will also be evaluated to demonstrate how they complement food safety systems. Students will also understand how HACCP is applied internationally and how it links with UK national policies on the reduction of foodborne disease. HACCP itself is built upon the foundation of pre-requisite underpinning systems such as cleaning management and pest control management. The principles and appropriate application of such systems are taught for how they exist in isolation and also their application into broader food safety management systems.
There’s no better way to find out what you love doing than trying it out for yourself, which is why a work placement2 can often be beneficial. Work placements usually occur between your second and final year of study. They’re a great way to help you explore your potential career path and gain valuable work experience, whilst developing transferable skills for the future.
If you choose to do a work placement year, you will pay a reduced tuition fee3 of £1,250. For more information, please go to the fees and funding section. During this time you will receive guidance from your employer or partner institution, along with your assigned academic mentor who will ensure you have the support you need to complete your placement.
UK Work Placement - 0 credits
This module2 provides you with an opportunity to reflect upon and gain experience for an approved placement undertaken during your programme. A placement should usually be at least 26 weeks or equivalent; however, each placement will be considered on its own merits, having regard to the ability to achieve the learning outcomes.
International Study/Work Placement – 0 credits
This module2 provides you with an opportunity to reflect upon and gain experience for an approved international study/work placement undertaken during your programme. A work/study placement should usually be at least 26 weeks or equivalent; however, each placement will be considered on its own merits, having regard to the ability to achieve the learning outcomes.
Year three aims to bring you to the level to enter the world of work by consolidating your knowledge and skills from year one and two. You could also work on a research project in an area of your interest.
Research Design for Food, Safety and Nutrition Sciences - 20 credits
In this module, you will prepare for your final year research project. The module will support you through the process of defining their research question, planning your experiments and considering the most appropriate data analysis methods. The module will enhance skills in literature searching, experimental design, scientific writing, data processing and statistical analysis. You will be required to submit your proposal for ethical and health and safety approval, and to address key aspects of project management and logistics. After successful completion of this module you will progress on to conduct the designed research project.
Epidemiology and Foodborne Disease – 20 Credits
Foodborne disease infections and intoxications are of great concern to governments and the food industry. This module aims to provide an overview of reporting and monitoring methods at local, national and international levels, along with the main epidemiological methods used to identify and quantify disease. Students will also understand how outbreak investigations require a multidisciplinary team comprised of different agencies bringing different expertise, with skills such as clinical medicine, epidemiology, laboratory medicine, food microbiology and chemistry, food safety and food control, and risk communication and management. Students will also understand how outbreak investigations are managed at a local and national level and they will critically analyse published outbreaks and government strategies related to foodborne disease management. They will also produce a short video clip on food safety in the home for health education purposes.
Food Law Enforcement Case Studies – 20 Credits
The application of the law will be developed further in this module with applying the rules of evidence gathering under the law. Interviewing and evidence gathering under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 and associated codes of practice will be explored. Students will be expected to carry out an inspection or audit of a catering or a manufacturing premises and then apply knowledge and principles gained in the previous modules to assess health risks and then apply appropriate legal controls abiding by legal rules of evidence. The inspection or audit process will therefore require the application of activities such as sampling, photographing, interviewing, evidence gathering and critical evaluation of food safety management systems along with the preparation of legal correspondence and notices. Students will furthermore be prepared to write up a prosecution file and present this work during a mock trial role play exercise. This will involve students both planning and presenting their evidence in both the correct legal file format and furthermore presenting the evidence during examination and cross-examination of evidence, as in magistrates’ court of law hearing.
Independent Project in Food, Safety and Nutrition Sciences - 20 credits
The module aims to enable you to conduct a piece of investigative research, which may be laboratory or non-laboratory, in a specialised area of food, safety and nutrition sciences. You will be allowed a defined period of time in which to implement your experimental plan and collect data. During this phase, you will be supported and guided by you supervisor however you are expected to demonstrate increasing independence, organisational and time management skills, technical skills and awareness of ethical and health and safety issues. You will need to work collaboratively with other students, academic and technical staff to utilise resources effectively. You will maintain appropriate records in the form of a project work file, which includes all ethical and risk assessment requirements, raw data and details on research activities and data collection; this will be submitted for assessment as an appendix to your thesis.
The experimental data will be analysed, including use of statistics as and where appropriate. The project will be presented as a written formal thesis, evidencing understanding of relevant and current scientific literature and the ability to effectively present and critically analyse data in this context.
Food Chain Security and Sustainability – 20 Credits
The module will consider the concepts of food security and food chain sustainability as defined by UN Sustainable Development Goals. It will therefore consider economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to facilitate dietary needs and preferences and what factors lead to food chain insecurity. Alongside this, sustainability of the food chain will be studied to look at the impact that current food consumption has, not just on human health, but also the impact of agriculture on the environment in its use of resources and generation of waste. Interventions required for control will be discussed in light of current policy and future projections.
Food Control and Food Fraud – 20 Credits
The terms food fraud or intentional violations refer to actions that violate national criminal law applicable to food. These actions are usually motivated by economic gain and can present serious risks to consumer wellbeing and health. Such fraudulent activities have been seen to cross country borders which can cause complications with investigation and prosecution due to communication problems between countries. In this module students will investigate the weaknesses in the food chain and how the security of the food chain can be protected by the application of Threat Analysis Critical Control Point (TACCP) and Vulnerability Assessment Critical Control Point (VACCP). Students will analyse such issues along with measures taken to strength the detection and enforcement of food fraud along with prevention strategies. As food is transported on a global scale the further laws relating to the import and export of foods from EU member states and third countries will be explored along with the justification for specific bans and restrictions that are placed on particular foodstuffs.
We regularly review our course content, to make it relevant and current for the benefit of our students. For these reasons, course modules may be updated.
How you'll learn
The course utilises a variety of teaching methods, including lectures, seminars, tutorials, group work and practical skills sessions in the maintenance and improvement of food quality and safety, for example, food microbiology laboratory sessions, food processing sessions and practical kitchen inspections. These will be taught in our SuperLab4 and in the kitchen, where you can work with a range of ingredients and use food processing equipment. We also incorporate the use of specific nutrition-based software, such as Nutritics and shelf-life assessment software such as ComBase.
Formative and summative assessments provide you with feedback to ensure that you are supported in your learning. A teaching and learning approach including asynchronous materials, online synchronous and face to face sessions will delivered via the virtual learning environment.
Teaching contact hours
Depending on the year of study you will typically have been 9 - 18 hours of structured weekly teaching and learning hours which may include activities such as workshops, laboratories, online tutorials, seminars and lectures. This will be supported by a weekly course programme hour with your tutors. In addition, you will be expected to undertake around 18 hours of self-directed study each week.
As an innovative and enterprising institution, the university may seek to utilise emerging technologies within the student experience. For all courses (whether on-campus, blended, or distance learning), the university may deliver certain contact hours and assessments via online technologies and methods.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are prepared for courses due to start in or after the 2023/2024 academic year to be delivered in a variety of forms. The form of delivery will be determined in accordance with Government and Public Health guidance. Whether on campus or online, our key priority is staff and student safety.
This course will be assessed using a variety of methods which will vary depending upon the module.
Assessment methods include:
- Group work
- Individual assignments
The Coventry University Group assessment strategy ensures that our courses are fairly assessed and allows us to monitor student progression towards achieving the intended learning outcomes.
International experience opportunities
Food safety practice takes place in higher education institutions, regulatory bodies and industry throughout the world. This international perspective is reflected in a number of modules on the course, which deal with issues of global importance, such as epidemiology and food borne illness, food fraud, food inspection and global food security and sustainability.
There may also be opportunities for you to apply to spend your optional enhancement year in an international setting2. In addition, there are may also be opportunities to attend an international food safety conference2. The course may also provide the opportunities for online collaboration with overseas institutions on a joint problem-based learning assignment (subject to availability).
Throughout my three years at Coventry my tutors have been very supportive and encouraged me to achieve my best work. The course has included some brilliant guest lecturers and it has been a privilege to meet and learn from some giants of industry. The Alison Gingell Building has cutting edge facilities and is a great place to study or just hang out with fellow students. Coventry has an amazing library that runs lots of support sessions to underpin your learning and there is a huge amount of online material available to access.
Typical offer for 2023/24 entry.
|Requirement||What we're looking for|
|A Level||BBC to include Biology or Chemistry. Excludes General Studies.|
|BTEC||DMM in the BTEC Level 3 Extended National Diploma in a Biological or Chemical Science based subject. Excludes Health and Social Care.|
|IB Diploma||30 points to include 5 points in Biology or Chemistry at Higher Level.|
|GCSE requirement||5 GCSEs at grade 4 / C or above to include English, Mathematics and two Science subjects.|
|Access to HE||The Access to HE Diploma to include 30 Level 3 credits above Merit of which 15 must be at Distinction in Biology or Chemistry units. Plus GCSE English and Mathematics at grade 4 / C or above.|
We recognise a breadth of qualifications, speak to one of our advisers today to find out how we can help you.
Are you eligible for the Fair Access Scheme?
We believe every student should have the opportunity to dream big, reach their potential and succeed, regardless of their background. Find out more about our Fair Access Scheme.
Select your region to find detailed information about entry requirements:
You can view our full list of country specific entry requirements on our Entry requirements page.
Alternatively, visit our International hub for further advice and guidance on finding in-country agents and representatives, joining our in-country events and how to apply.
English language requirements
- IELTS: 6.0 overall, with no component lower than 5.5.
If you don't meet the English language requirements, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.
For more information on our approved English language tests visit our English language requirements page.
Fees and funding
2023/24 tuition fees.
|UK||£9,250 per year||Not available|
|International||£18,300 per year||Not available|
If you choose to do a work placement2, you should consider travel and living costs to cover this. There is also a tuition fee3 of £1,250 that will cover your academic support throughout your placement year.
For advice and guidance on tuition fees and student loans visit our Undergraduate Finance page and see The University’s Tuition Fee and Refund Terms and Conditions.
We offer a range of International scholarships to students all over the world. For more information, visit our International Scholarships page.
Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessments, facilities and support services. There may be additional costs not covered by this fee such as accommodation and living costs, recommended reading books, stationery, printing and re-assessments should you need them. Find out what's included in your tuition costs.
The following are additional costs not included in the tuition fees:
- Any optional overseas ﬁeld trips or visits: £400+ per trip.
- Any costs associated with securing, attending or completing a placement (whether in the UK or abroad)
How do you know if you need to pay UK or international tuition fees?
We carry out an initial fee status assessment based on the information you provide in your application. Your fee status determines your tuition fees, and what financial support and scholarships may be available to you. The rules about who pays UK (home) or international (overseas) fees for higher education courses in England are set by the government's Department for Education. The regulations identify all the different categories of student who can insist on paying the home rate. The regulations can be difficult to understand, so the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) has provided fee status guidance to help you identify whether you are eligible to pay the home or overseas rate.
If you meet all the criteria required by any one category, including any residence requirements, your institution must charge you the home rate. You only need to find one category that you fit into.
This course is taught at the Coventry University campus, primarily in the Alison Gingell building4.
Our state-of-the-art SuperLab can hold up to 250 students at one time and has facilities for cell and microbial culture and equipment for microscopy, DNA, RNA and protein extraction and analysis.
Analytical Chemistry Suite
The Analytical Chemistry Suite is a dedicated space for chemistry-based teaching. Students can complete ‘wet’ chemistry and preparatory work, complemented by a comprehensive suite of analytical equipment which includes ICP-OES, uHPLC, HPLC, Fluorescence Spectrometers, UV Spectrometers, GC, and GC-MS.
You will use the kitchens for a variety of tasks where you develop understanding of food processing relevant to industry and local authority food inspection, including how risks are controlled, such as sous vide, investigating gas analysis of modified atmosphere packed products, and conducting a mock kitchen Inspection.
Careers and opportunities
This course is designed to meet the needs of the food industry and regulatory agencies by covering skills including how to assess food safety risks, advise on food hygiene and safety, inspect food and food premises, and understand and apply legislation relating to food.
We aim to share knowledge about how technologies will aid the food quality assurance process, and the problems of maintaining a sustainable global food chain. In addition, there will be opportunities for you to develop skills in problem solving, teamwork and effective communication that may be applicable to non-discipline specific graduate career routes. This must be supplemented with a Competency Development Portfolio (which may be completed during an appropriate placement year2 or after graduation) and professional discussion to meet the requirements of the CIEH (additional costs may apply).
Coventry University is committed to preparing you for your future career and aims to give you a competitive edge in the graduate job market. The university's Talent Team provide a range of support services to help you plan and prepare for your career.
Where our graduates work
There are a wide range of food safety management and technical management roles that are available to students within the food industry as well as local authority or government bodies such as the Food Standards Agency (FSA).
Graduates of this course have the opportunity to work in a range of environments related to food control, either in ensuring safety standards or enforcement.
I did a placement, which allowed me to further my education. I think it’s important to further your confidence in a competitive environment.
How to apply
Full-time students applying to start in September 2023 can apply for this course through UCAS from 6 September 2022. Read our application pages to find out your next steps to apply.
Part-time students should apply directly to the university.
If you'd like further support or more information about your course get in touch with us today.
Chat with our admissions team
Complete our contact form
Full-time students applying to start in September 2023 should apply directly to the university.How to apply
For further support for international applicants applying for an undergraduate degree view our International hub.
You can also download our International guide which contains lots of useful information about our courses, accommodation and tips for travel.
Get in touch with us today for further advice and guidance.
Chat with our admissions team
Complete our contact form
Coventry University together with Coventry University London Campus, CU Coventry, CU London, CU Scarborough and Coventry University Online come together to form part of the Coventry University Group (the “University”) with all degrees awarded by Coventry University.
The majority of our courses have been formally recognised by professional bodies, which means the courses have been reviewed and tested to ensure they reach a set standard. In some instances, studying on an accredited course can give you additional benefits such as exemptions from professional exams (subject to availability, fees may apply). Accreditations, partnerships, exemptions and memberships shall be renewed in accordance with the relevant bodies’ standard review process and subject to the university maintaining the same high standards of course delivery.
2UK and international opportunities
Please note that we are unable to guarantee any UK or International opportunities (whether required or optional) such as internships, work experience, field trips, conferences, placements or study abroad opportunities and that all such opportunities may be subject to additional costs (which could include, but is not limited to, equipment, materials, bench fees, studio or facilities hire, travel, accommodation and visas), competitive application, availability and/or meeting any applicable travel COVID and visa requirements. To ensure that you fully understand the visa requirements, please contact the International Office.
The University will charge the tuition fees that are stated in the above table for the first Academic Year of study. The University will review tuition fees each year. For Home Students, if Parliament permit an increase in tuition fees, the University may increase fees for each subsequent year of study in line with any such changes. Note that any increase is expected to be in line with inflation.
For International Students, we may increase fees each year but such increases will be no more than 5% above inflation. If you defer your course start date or have to extend your studies beyond the normal duration of the course (e.g. to repeat a year or resit examinations) the University reserves the right to charge you fees at a higher rate and/or in accordance with any legislative changes during the additional period of study.
Due to COVID-19, some facilities (including some teaching and learning spaces) and some non-academic offerings (particularly in relation to international experiences), may vary from those advertised and may have reduced availability or restrictions on their use.
By accepting your offer of a place and enrolling with us, a Student Contract will be formed between you and the university. The 2023/24 Contract is currently being updated so please revisit this page before submitting your application. The Contract details your rights and the obligations you will be bound by during your time as a student and contains the obligations that the university will owe to you. You should read the Contract before you accept an offer of a place and before you enrol at the university.