module specification

NF7048 - Food Safety and Quality Management (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Food Safety and Quality Management
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 20
School School of Human Sciences
Total study hours 200
152 hours Guided independent study
48 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 60%   CWK 1 : Essay (2,000 words)
Coursework 40%   CWK 2: Case study (1,000 words)
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester North Friday Morning

Module summary

The module examines in detail the key aspects of the management of food safety through prerequisite programmes and HACCP as well as the role of supplier assurance and ingredient specifications in managing the quality of processed foods.  Growing concerns about authenticity, adulteration and fraud will be explored in the context of global supply chains.

Module aims

Students will study the application of Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) by conducting a critical review in the academic literature of the main causes of system failure.  They will examine industrial case studies and identify best practice before writing a comprehensive HACCP plan.  They will understand the importance of government inspection and sampling programmes as well as the growing reliance on third party auditing to agreed industrial standards (IFS, BRC, ISO and SALSA) in the safe and consistent production of food that complies with EU and global legislation.  The use of consumers’ purchasing power to drive up safety and quality standards will also be explored.


  • Regulation of the food industry, impact of food law in UK, EU and elsewhere to facilitate trade globally. Meeting key legislative requirements on hygiene, temperature, traceability, allergens and labelling.
  • The prevalence and common causes of food poisoning in England.  The role of Safer Food Better Business, the food hygiene rating system, scores on the doors and enforcement by Environmental Health Officers in protecting the public’s health.
  • The key aspects of quality management and Good Manufacturing Practice and the vital role specifications and supplier assurance play in the consistent production of food and drink.
  • The practical application of HACCP through prerequisite controls, hazard analysis, risk assessment, the determination of critical control points and the causes of HACCP system failure.
  • The growing importance of and the potential conflicts of interest inherent in third party auditing to agreed industrial standards (BRC, IFS) in global supply chain management.
  • Recognise the importance of food chemical safety in food production and distribution.  Identification of the common sources of chemical hazards.  Analytical methods used to determine and then quantify chemical hazards and safe exposure levels.
  • Appreciate the methods used and agencies responsible for authenticating foods and detecting food fraud.
  • Professional development and CPD, trade associations, professional bodies, sources of information and advice, industrial networks.
  • Enhance employability skills by including skills acquired on the course when rewriting cvs and having interview practice.

Learning and teaching

Basic understanding will be developed through attending lectures, participating in question and answer sessions, contributing to class discussions as well as considering industrial case studies in small groups.  Students will have to conduct and summarise their findings in two literature reviews, one orally in class and the other in a written assessment.

Students will take part in two visits; one to a manufacturer and one to a food research association.  Students will shadow a food professional conducting a food safety audit.   The second written assignment will develop their ability to produce technical information succinctly using tables and process flow diagrams.

Students will be expected to undertake a significant amount of self-directed study including reading of appropriate texts, peer reviewed journals and credible sources of information and guidance produced by government, trade associations and professional bodies.

Employability skills will be developed when revising their CVs and during interview practice and career planning sessions with practising food scientists.

Learning outcomes

On completing this module students should:

  1. Have a thorough understanding of the importance of a food safety culture driven by senior management in the manufacture of food and drink which is legal, safe and consistent.
  2. Have a critical understanding of the application of HACCP in the food industry and the significance of third party auditing in global supply chain management.
  3. Understand the vital role government agencies play in detecting fraud, ensuring authenticity and reducing the number of incidents of food poisoning in the UK.

Assessment strategy

Students will have to submit a list of relevant articles from two wide ranging literature reviews gathering relevant articles for academic journals, government web sites and other trusted sources of information on the web. 

They will undertake one critical review which will require them to summarise the literature, discuss key findings and present their own answers/summary to the question posed.

They will produce a HACCP plan based on the CODEX principles incorporating best practice in the succinct presentation of technical information using, text, diagrams, figures, tables and photographs.

The mock interviews will provide an opportunity for students to demonstrate the knowledge they have gained on this and other modules on the MSc programme.
Coursework 1 [LO1, LO2, LO3]
Coursework 2 [ LO1, LO2]


CWK 1 : Critical literature review answering the question: Why do HACCP plans fail? (2,000 words)

CWK 1 : Essay (2,000 words)


CWK 2: HACCP case study (1,000 words)

CWK 2: Case study (1,000 words)



Key Journals -British Food Journal, Food Control, Journal of Environmental Health Research, Environmental Health Journal, Journal of Food Protection

Key Websites – DEFRA, DH, Food Standards Agency, British Retail Consortium, Chilled Food Association, Food & Drink Federation

David Jukes. (1996-2015). Information on current food laws. Available: Last accessed 20/04/2015
Food and Drink - Good Manufacturing Practice: A Guide to its Responsible Management (2013), 6th Edition London: Institute of Food Science and Technology (CORE)
Marriot M G and Gravani R B (2006) Principles of food sanitation. (5th edition)New York: Springer
McLauchlin,J and Little, C (Eds) (2007). Hobbs' Food Poisoning and Food Hygiene. 7th ed. London : Hodder Arnold. (CORE)