Professional course Food Risk and Society (Distance Learning)

Entry year
Course code
Professional/Short Course
Health and Social Sciences
Distance Learning
Course Director
Sian Buckley

15 credit Masters level module

Page last updated 4 October 2021


Accreditations and partnerships:

On successful completion of this module, you will be able to access, synthesise, critically analyse and apply knowledge and understanding of:

  • The identification and evaluation of the hazards presented by the food supply chain and the impact this has on public health, the environment and the economy.
  • Audit and analyse the food control mechanisms to protect public health including relevant food safety and quality management systems and food hygiene technology.
  • Legislation and policy in food risk and control.
  • Determining and reflecting on the most appropriate course of action in complex food safety situations.
  • Sustainable food supply chains.


Careers / Further study

This course can contribute towards:

  • MSc Environmental Health Studies
  • PGCert/PGDip Environmental Health



  • The principles and application of food technology including microbiological and non-microbiological hazards in the food supply chain. Key sources of contamination and cross contamination in the food chain and the impact this has on human health and the national economy.
  • The causes and aetiology of food poisoning and food borne disease.
  • The range of means by which food is handled, processed, stored and prepared ahead of consumption, and explain how these might serve to minimise or exacerbate risk.
  • The role of pre-requisites and their importance in food safety management systems.
  • Principles of HACCP and its application to food safety management and practical understanding of food safety auditing and HACCP and non HACCP based food safety management systems. Quality control and quality assurance systems in food safety management and the interventions and knowledge of the law surrounding food standards, food hygiene and food safety management systems.
  • The inspection, identification, judgement of fitness and quality of a variety ofmanufactured foods and primary produce.
  • The identification and evaluation of a range of interventions for dealing with food which fails to meet legislative requirements in terms of food safety and quality.
  • An understanding of the food supply chain market, the imperative of profit and the range of administrative demands placed on food business operators that might need to be considered when contemplating the assessment of risk and provision of advice and guidance to secure compliance and protect public health.
  • A detailed understanding of the legislation, guidance and policy which regulates/influences the safety and quality of the modern food chain.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching is delivered in the form of online lectures which are engaged with independently and as flexibly as you require. These may be supported by online seminars and other web-based activities.

Online seminar activities engage student-centred active learning techniques using online, Blackboard based discussion platforms (e.g. Collaborate or equivalent) and blogs.

Essential, indicative and supplementary online learning materials and resources are also provided via Blackboard, with links to online library resources.

Study time

This distance learning module utilises asynchronous online activities (including lectures, reading, quizzes, videos) and synchronous tutorials (seminars/discussions).

Progress through the module is managed through time-dependent release of online resources to ensure structured progression through the learning materials and the synchronous activities promote development of the student-tutor relationship and encourage a cohort identity in addition to supporting core learning. Approximately 30 hours of directed study (e.g. online lectures,seminars, etc.) are delivered via Blackboard.


The Assessment Strategy has been designed to support and enhance the development of both subject-based and generic key skills, whilst ensuring that the module's Learning Outcomes are attained. The assessment for this module comprises of a reflective blog and a written report. This two part assessment assesses all the specific module learning outcomes in addition to the CIEH Knowledge and Skills domains.

Full details can be found in the Module Handbook and on the module's Blackboard site.

Component A will comprise of a set of reflective blogs not exceeding 1500 words in total (excluding tables, figures and references). You will reflect on their learning and development over time, including what is learnt during online lectures/tutorials in addition to self-directed learning/activities. Reflective writing fosters critical analysis and evaluation skills which are considered fundamental to the practice of environmental health, with the CIEH identifying 'reflective practice' as a threshold concept of the discipline. The use of a blog will develop the your digital literacy and familiarise you with tools which are becoming more frequently utilised by environmental and public health institutions for risk communication and health promotion purposes. The logs will enable you to address a broad range of themes relating to food, risk and society as covered in the module.

Component B comprises of a written report of not more than 1000 words (excluding tables, figures and references) demonstrating and evaluating food safety management systems. The ability to implement, audit and support businesses to produce effective food management systems, across the food industry, to control or eliminate risk is a key skill in environmental health practice. The report enables you to demonstrate their knowledge, synthesise data and critically analyse alternative options.

Formative Assessment
Opportunities exist for formative assessment in the module, through Blackboard collaborate sessions and individual feedback.

Prices and dates

Supplementary fee information

Please visit full fee information to see the price brackets for our modules.

Funding may be available to support your learning. Please contact your Trust Education Lead. If you work in the Private, Independent and Voluntary Sector, please contact your employer who will advise you.


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How to apply

How to apply

You are required to apply online for your CPD modules, which you can take as stand-alone courses or as part of an undergraduate (level 3) or postgraduate (Masters level) programme.

For further information