Study programme - MSc Food Safety

Wageningen University is one of the few universities in Europe with the ability to offer education and research in all fields of food safety. This includes not only technical disciplines such as microbiology and toxicology, but also the legal, economic, risk management and communication aspects of food safety.

Year 1

The choice of courses is dependent on the specialisation.  Every specialisation has three types of courses: compulsory courses (CS), courses that are restricted optionals (RO1 or RO2, which means choosing one or more courses from a specified list), and courses that can be chosen as optionals (O). With the study adviser you will make a detailed plan of courses for the first year.

More extensive information can be found in the study handbook.

Year 2

The second year is divided into a thesis (36 ECTS) and an internship (24 ECTS). The topics of the thesis and internship should be within the scope of the specialisation.


A thesis is carried out at Wageningen University. You receive individual supervision from a Chair Group staff member. Every chair group (department) offers thesis topics. You will be able to apply for one of them during the first MSc year. You will be assigned to a thesis topic and the thesis supervisor by the chair group. Your thesis topic has to be approved by your study adviser.

Your resulting thesis is graded by your supervisor and another, independent, staff member. You are also required to present your results during a seminar, the ‘colloquium’.


The internship is always outside Wageningen University and can be in any country, at a university, an industry or an institute. Your internship is a unique learning opportunity, where you can apply your academic skills in a professional environment.

The internship is not related to the thesis, but is under supervision of one of the required departments in Wageningen.

Academic year

Wageningen University has an academic year which is divided into 6 periods, in one academic year you are assumed to take 60 credits (ECTS).
In period 1,2 and 5 two subjects are taught, generally one in the morning and one in the afternoon. These periods consist of 6 weeks of teaching, followed by one week of self study and one week of exams.  The third and fourth period are shorter, 4 weeks, and in these weeks one course is taught blockwise and fulltime. After each period you will have the exam of that course. The sixth period consists of 8 weeks, all students follow the integrated course Food Safety Management.

Programme outline

The programme offers three specialisations:

  1. Applied Food Safety
  2. Food Law and Regulatory Affairs
  3. Supply Chain Safety

The programme is a full-time two year programme, fully taught in English. The first year of the programme consists entirely of courses. The second year consists of an individual research thesis and an internship.